The Law: After Gilmore, Who's Next to Die?

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For Schiller, Gilmore's violent end was a new stage in a multimillion-dollar project to dramatize the dead man's story. Schiller, 40, has made a small career of wedging himself into the midst of sensational news events. When Jack Ruby was dying in 1967, for example, Schiller smuggled a recorder into Ruby's hospital room and taped his deathbed statement that he killed Lee Harvey Oswald on a whim.

Born in New York City, Schiller started as a photographer and worked for 16 years for such periodicals as LIFE and the Saturday Evening Post. But he realized in the late '60s that the big picture magazines were failing, "so I got into producing books and movies." Among his projects: the bestselling Marilyn, a collection of over 100 pictures of Marilyn Monroe by 24 top photographers, with text by Norman Mailer, and the movie The Man Who Skied Down Everest. Nonetheless, he wants to be considered as "an investigative journalist and not a wheeler-dealer or an entrepreneur or even a hardened hustler."

Great Story. Schiller played all those roles in cornering the Gilmore story. After reading about the case in early November, Schiller decided to sniff around Provo and immediately "became thoroughly convinced that this was a great story." He wangled permission to visit the prisoner and two weeks later signed a contract with Gilmore's uncle and lawyers because the murderer, says Schiller, "liked my style and sense of humor." Next he made a deal with Playboy and signed on Freelance Writer Barry Farrell to write Gilmore's story from 36 tapes of conversations with him. Schiller hopes the eventual book and movie will gross up to $10 million, with a $100,000 profit for himself. Provided, of course, that he finds a buyer. No one doubts he will.

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