when a criminal in jail writes a book...

United States
March 21, 2010 11:01am CST
who earns money from that? i thought i had heard that like serial killers couldnt make money off telling/selling their story while in jail but yet so many criminals sell their story and etc that it makes me wonder.. who is getting the money? the victims families? or do they get to keep it?
11 responses
@adhyz82 (36262)
• Indonesia
2 Jun 10
do you think all of the person is jailed must be a criminals? some of them is good man but they maybe get a bad luck like someone cheat theam, someone give them bad trick so he is jailed or maybe jailed because protest government policy. and some of the last criteria is a smart people but never agree with government policy. they fight with their writing to critics many govenrment policy
1 person likes this
• United States
11 Jun 10
um no i dont believe they all are guilty but the ones that would have a good enough story to publish are usually famous killers that are BRAGGING about how they killed.. not people saying how they got framed.. or should i say if they both write them equally the innocent ones just arent as popular compared
• United States
23 Mar 10
This discussion reminded me of a class in college I had that was called Prison Communities. The text book we used was actually completely written by an actual inmate. I believe this particular inmate was serving life in prison for murder. I don't remember his name but I don't guess it matters since the name he used was fake (he explained he had to use an alias due to things he said about prison gangs and essentially would run a high risk of being attacked if they knew who he was). As for the question at hand, I'm not totally sure who keeps the money. I'd take a guess that there are cases of both that happen.
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Mar 10
i bet that was interesting to read
@p3ks626 (6550)
• Philippines
21 Mar 10
This is the first time that I hear something like this that some criminals are allowed to publish a book. I think there were able to write their story because of the crime that they did and if people are gonna buy that book and they will earn money, I think it will be too unfair for the victim if the criminal has to have the money for himself. I think it sounds unfair if that would be the case. If it will be the other way around I think its unfair too. I just wonder what could be the best thing to do with their earnings. I think they also cant stop them from writing because that is also their right to express their feelings. hmmm... I really wonder!
1 person likes this
• United States
31 Mar 10
i seem to remember they cant get the money for it so the only thing i can figure is it goes to the victims or something..
@topffer (36627)
• Singapore, Singapore
22 Mar 10
In my country a part of all the money earned by a criminal in jail goes to the victims or their families and an other part is kept by him. I don't know if they need an authorization to publish a book, but I don't think so. Anyway, criminals able to write books without help are rare : we had two good fiction writers in the past 40 years beginning in jail. The last one was a burglar working today for a publisher.
• United States
31 Mar 10
do they put his half in a fund till he is released or something?
@topffer (36627)
• Singapore, Singapore
31 Mar 10
Until he is released, he can only use it to buy small things sold in jail (like newspapers or chocolate), deduced gradually from an account followed through by the jail.
@bunnybon7 (37908)
• Holiday, Florida
21 Mar 10
I thinkl it has to do with the laws in each state. some states allow them to keep it or someone will keep the money by publishing it outside i think and send them a little at a time if the law forbids them getting money for it. personally i think the victims family should get it.
@bunnybon7 (37908)
• Holiday, Florida
21 Mar 10
btw, you know where i might sell my letters from the railroad killer? Angel resendez? no kidding, i got them. creepy. he once sent me peices of his skin for DNA he said
• United States
31 Mar 10
you might be sitting on a gold mine! look up museums on criminals.. i know i had went to one that was touring that had collections of serial killers drawings and etc and they would love that if they can prove its legit (not sure if they keep dna after they catch them) if you could some how have it verified it was his by the police or something then it could bring in a lot on ebay (if you didnt have any proof dont even try you wont get crap probably compared to the potential) man if i were you i would be looking everywhere lol.. surely there is a serial killers museum some where that is stationary that wants stuff
• United States
21 Mar 10
The way i hear it there is two options, if the criminal has children it can be set up in a fund for them, or it goes to the victims family. I was watching something the other day were a guy in jail sold his story to set up a college fund for his little girl, saying that he wanted her to have a better life and to leave her something positive.
• United States
31 Mar 10
thats really cool although i bet the victims were probably pissed at that
• United States
31 Mar 10
Maybe...maybe the victims just want to forget as well and want no part of it.
@tessah (6621)
• United States
22 Mar 10
from what i understand.. victims funds get the proceeds. convicts dont write books to get money anyways. they do it for the notoriety of it all.. and people still buy the damned things and make them famous.
• United States
31 Mar 10
yeah no kidding.. half of them want to be caught so they can be famous already!
@andy77e (5165)
• United States
22 Mar 10
Great question. Hard to tell. It depends on the state, and the nature of the crime, and who else is involved. O.J. Simpson wrote a book, but all that money went to his former wife's family. The reason is because he owed them so much in a judgment. Unfortunately, various notable people, that we for some reason still give high marks to, have written books that include illegal activity. Thus, for their sake, we do not have a universal law against writing books about prior crimes. Notably, Malcolm X wrote a book which detailed prior crimes. We can't deny Malcolm X money for his book since he preached against the US. So sadly, there are some criminals who owe no more fiscal debt, and have no judgments made against them, who ultimately will receive the money from writing a book. Which is rather sickening to me.
• United States
31 Mar 10
yeah it is
• United States
21 Mar 10
It might be just the publishers. I'm not sure. It's possible that they'll be able to earn royalities off of how many books are sold like all the other authors in the world but it would really depend on the contract they signed. It seems kind of unfair that some of them would be able to get published and make money off of their work.
• United States
31 Mar 10
I know especially since a lot of them want to be famous for what they did
@jd107nette (1456)
• Philippines
22 Mar 10
wow i did not know such things happen... It might really be an interesting story of actual experience... i bet they either keep the money or it goes to their families.
@choybel (5059)
• Philippines
21 Mar 10
It probably depends on how they have settled the deal with the editors and the publishing company, etc.