Jack Henry Abbott is Captured in Louisiana
Telling prison officials that Abbott had a promising career as a writer, Mailer offered to employ him as a researcher.
On June 5, 1981, Abbott was released to a halfway house in New York City.
Although the New York literary crowd adopted Abbott, he found himself more comfortable among the small time crooks living in the city's Lower East Side. Only six weeks after his parole, Abbott picked a fight with waiter Richard Adan at the Bonibon restaurant, stabbing him in the chest and killing him instantly. Abbott fled to a small Mexican village, but since he did not speak Spanish, he traveled to Louisiana, where detectives caught up with him.
In the meantime, U.S. Marshals in New Orleans began calling local oil contractors asking them for help in locating Abbott, who according to Detective Majeski, would be using the "Jack Eastman" name. When they learned that Ramos had recently hired a transient worker named "Eastman," U.S. Marshals requested a photo of Abbott from New York City police. Morgan City detectives brought the photo to Ramos and supervisors immediately identified Abbott's photo as "Jack Eastman." Police jumped into their cars and sped out into the oil fields to find Abbott.
On the morning of July 18, 1981, six weeks after getting out of prison, Jack Abbott went to a small cafe called the Binibon in Manhattan. He argued with 22-year-old Richard Adan, son-in-law of the restaurant's owner. Adan, a budding actor and playwright, told him that the restroom was for staff use only. Abbott stabbed Adan in the chest, killing him. Abbott maintained that he acted in self-defense.
The very next day, unaware of Abbott's crime, the New York Times ran a positive review of In the Belly of the Beast.
After some time on the run, Abbott was arrested in Morgan City, Louisiana while he was working in an oilfield. He was charged with the murder of Adan. At his trial in January 1982, he gained the support of such celebrities as writer Jerzy Kosinski, and actress Susan Sarandon, whose son Jack Henry Robbins is named after Abbott. Abbott was convicted of manslaughter and given a sentence of fifteen years to life.