A few years ago, a felon contacted us. He wanted to publish a book about how he’d been muted by the media, gagged by the government, screwed by the sheriff, discredited by the district attorney (sorry – I was running out of synonyms…), etc. Unfortunately, we receive those types of letters all the time. We call them “jail mail.” They ALWAYS go straight into the trash bin.
We have also been contacted by previously imprisoned persons who now want to write their stories (and profit from them). Whether they are still claiming innocence, or openly singing about their sins, I’m not interested. Can you imagine being a victim of a crime, and finding a book on a shelf one day about that crime – written by the person who killed or otherwise victimized you and/or your loved one?
Son of Sam laws were created to prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes. Of course, different states have different laws. The general consensus is that, if a criminal profits later from his or her crime, whether through publishing a book, or earning money for selling their story to anyone (a TV show, a series, a movie), or creating and selling artwork or other merchandise, the victim(s) of the crime should get that money, not the perp. Or, the victim(s) should be able to stop the production and sale of those items altogether.
And, I agree that is how it should be.
The “Son of Sam,” of course, was serial killer David Berkowitz. “The original New York law was invoked in New York eleven times between 1977 and 1990, including once against Mark David Chapman, the murderer of musician John Lennon.” – Wikipedia
Some people thought those laws violated the first amendment rights of criminals. (Give me a break!!!) The U.S. Supreme Court agreed and, in 1991, the justices ruled the law unconstitutional. The Son of Sam law in California was struck down as well. New York later revised their law, stating that crime victims must be notified when the perp earns $10K or more. That gives the victims the opportunity to sue for those funds. Victims can also sue to prevent the perp from doing anything to earn money from the crime (i.e. stop the sale of a book).
But, what about criminals who simply have a friend or family member “write the book?” Well, some Son of Sam laws prevent that as well.
NOW, ARE YOU SITTING DOWN?!
In the news yesterday, it was revealed that Nike Jordan Chairman Larry Miller has admitted in a new book (that he is co-authoring with his daughter) that, when he was 16, he killed another teenager – an innocent boy whose identity he did not even know. According to him, he was upset about a different gang killing, went out, and shot the first person he saw.
Some bleeding hearts will undoubtedly respond with, “But, he was just 16!” That is total B.S.! At 16, you know better. If you grab a gun, and go hunting for a victim, regardless of your reasons, your age, or your sobriety (or lack thereof), YOU ARE A MONSTER.
I perused several news stories about Larry Miller’s confession and here’s what this jaded, cynical journalist (and mom!) read between the lines:
1. He says he feels really bad, and has had migraines and nightmares over the years. Cry me a river! What do you think the victim’s family experienced, and are still experiencing?!?!
2. He says he’s telling his story now to help at-risk youth. If he really cared about them, wouldn’t he have told his story decades ago? And, he never mentions the people (including kids) who have been killed for the Nikes/Jordans they were wearing! What was he doing to stop those “at risk youth,” other than sitting in his big office, and looking at his profit margins?
3. He says he has told some of his celebrity clients/friends and that they’ve been supportive. (I figure he won’t be telling anyone about any non-supportive friends/colleagues!) Of course, comments I reviewed on Twitter were not so supportive.
4. The victim’s name was Edward White. He was just 18 years old. He did nothing to provoke the attack.
5. Larry Miller went to prison for the murder, but got out. He hid his conviction as he rose to power.
What does this have to do with Son of Sam laws? I’m glad you asked!
Larry Miller is releasing a book in January that is already for sale on Amazon (pre-order)! And, it’s already crawling up the Amazon ranks!!
RANKINGS ON 10/14/21:
RANKINGS ON 10/15/21:
Coincidence? I DON’T THINK SO! One article I read even has his book cover in it. Another has a link to the book on Amazon!
It sure is interesting that he decided to come clean about murdering an innocent teenager AFTER his book went up for sale, right? What do you think? Please weigh in using the Comments box below.
If Edward White had been my family member, I’d already be on the phone with a law firm. A big one. While Larry Miller sits in his cush office at the Nike campus in Beaverton, Oregon, I hope Edward White’s family is researching Oregon’s Son of Sam Law:
Citation: OR REV. STAT. § 8312 147.275 (1999)
History: Enacted in 1985.TITLE 14. PROCEDURE IN CRIMINAL MATTERS GENERALLY
CHAPTER 147. CRIME VICTIMS
COMPENSATION OF CRIME VICTIMS
ORS § 147.275 (1999)
147.275. Proceeds of compensable crime; escrow account for benefit of victims; notice; distribution; hearing; rules; definitions.
(1)(a) Before any person or other legal entity pays or delivers the proceeds of a compensable crime to any individual charged with or convicted of committing such a crime in this state or found guilty except for insanity with regard to such a crime, or to a representative or assignee of that individual, the person or legal entity shall promptly notify the Department of Justice and pay or deliver to the department the proceeds that would otherwise be paid to the individual charged, convicted or found guilty except for insanity, or the representative or assignee of the individual.
Needless to say, DO NOT BUY LARRY MILLER’S BOOK!!!
- JAIL MAIL! JAIL MAIL!! If You’re a Convicted Sex Offender or Murderer, Do NOT Ask Me to Publish Your Book!
- Convicted Felons Need Not Apply By Angela Hoy
- Publisher is selling interviews with a radio host previously convicted for two counts of felony theft
- “I’m a convicted felon. Will you write my story, and help me land a publishing deal?”
- TOVE ALYCE WARMERDAM (a.k.a. Tove Alyce Sebasstian) PLEADS GUILTY TO FELONY IDENTITY THEFT
Got questions about Print On Demand and Self-publishing? Ask Angela Hoy.
About The Author
Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).
Angela has lived and traveled across the U.S. with her kids in an RV, settled in a river-side home in Bradenton, FL, and lived on a 52 ft Irwin sailboat. Angela now resides on a mountaintop in Northwest Georgia, where she plans to spend the rest of her days bird watching, gardening, hiking, and taking in all of the amazing sunrises.
WritersWeekly.com - the free marketing ezine for writers, which features new paying markets and freelance job listings every Wednesday.
BookLocker.com - According to attorney Mark Levine, author of The Fine Print, BookLocker is: "As close to perfection as you're going to find in the world of ebook and POD publishing. The ebook royalties are the highest I've ever seen, and the print royalties are better than average. BookLocker understands what new authors experience, and have put together a package that is the best in the business. You can't go wrong here. Plus, they're selective and won't publish any manuscript just because it's accompanied by a check. Also, the web site is well trafficked. If you can find a POD or epublisher with as much integrity and dedication to selling authors' books, but with lower POD publishing fees, please let me know."
Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.
PubPreppers.com - "We Prep, You Publish!" Print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish. Offers formatting and design services only, and then provides simple instructions for authors on where to sign up to have the print and ebook editions printed/listed/sold. Cut out the middle man. Keep 100% of what bookstores pay for your book!
Angela's POD Secrets Revealed Series can be found HERE.
Have a POD Book with another publisher? See if BookLocker can give you a better deal. (BookLocker offers "disgruntled author discounts" to those who want to move from other POD services.)
See BookLocker's publishing packages HERE.
ANGELA ON TWITTER https://twitter.com/AngelaHoy
BOOKLOCKER ON FACEBOOK - Provides links to free excerpts!
ANGELA ON FACEBOOK
ANGELA ON LINKEDIN
Angela is the creator of the Original 24-Hour Short Story Contest!
Read More Of Angela's Articles HERE
The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing
Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.
The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.
Read more here:
HOW TO REMEMBER, WRITE AND PUBLISH YOUR LIFE STORY
Angela Hoy's popular online class is now available in book format!
Remember Your Past
Write It and Publish It
in as little as 12 weeks!
Angela Hoy's book will get you started!
- Using Angela's MEMORY TRIGGERS, recall memories that have been dormant for years
- Record those memories in chronological order in your memory notebook
- Using the memory notebook as your outline, write your autobiography!
- Also works for biographies and memoirs!
Read more here:
7.625 STRATEGIES IN EVERY BEST-SELLER - Revised and Expanded Edition
At this moment, thousands of would-be authors are slaving away on their keyboards, dreaming of literary success. But their efforts won’t count for much. Of all those manuscripts, trade book editors will sign up only a slim fraction.
And of those titles--ones that that editors paid thousands of dollars to contract, print and publicize--an unhealthy percentage never sell enough copies to earn back their advances. Two years later, most will be out of print!
Acquisition Editor Tam Mossman shares seven essentials every book needs to stay in print, and sell!
Read more here: