*rough cut of book cover still being designed
In ‘Gotcha’ World Are Many Prisons, Some Made To Order, Others Undeserving
Our news release on PR Newswire caused quite a stir last month in media land.
“Imprisoned Author Retains TransMedia Group to Promote ‘My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst” roared our catchy headline.
The book’s full title is “DURSTURBED! Sex and the Serial Killer: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst.”
It got thousands of views, hits and engagement actions. Media reaching a potential audience of nearly 80 million picked it up.
Nancy Grace called us. DailyMailTV was interested. The New York Times wants to do a review. And many more media are waiting to interview our client.
The lead or lede,” the all-important opening paragraph, said my PR firm, TransMedia Group was retained by the imprisoned author to promote his “tell-all book written with Gary Greenberg about the ‘shocking experiences’ the author says grew out of a relationship he had with infamous murder suspect Robert Durst.”
Using the pseudonym William Steel, the author is a repentant jewel and art thief, who was incarcerated is now residing at an undisclosed location for his safety as a protected potential witness.
I’m quoted in the release saying “Our publicity will highlight a book ablaze with accounts the author describes in lurid detail that grew out of a relationship that began in 1982 after the two literally ran into each other outside a fast food joint in Manhattan.
“This was not long after the real estate scion’s wife Kathie mysteriously vanished.”
Steel fears divulging his real name could result in his death, but we’ll make him available for interviews.
This unusual client got me thinking about imprisonment, and the many forms it can take from the “lock her up” chants about Hillary to the imprisonment of intense poverty and abject misery in so many parts of the undeveloped world.
While driving my wife Angela back from yet another chemo treatment for her metastasized breast cancer, I couldn’t help thinking about another form of imprisonment: cancer.
We were driving on I95 in the rain when who calls, but Steel. “Would I accept a call from ________,” went the usual Jpay message.
I accepted and introduced Angela to him saying that he was a sinner who has found God as I knew this would trigger comradery between him and my devoutly Catholic wife now struggling with her own imprisonment.
He has since sent her a religious thank-you card and she’s sending him some religious books as reading about God is a major source of peace for him. In a way it sets him free, at least in his mind and heart, while he awaits a hearing for commutation of his sentence.
We’re hopeful Governor Scott will take into account that as he has been a model prisoner and is in witness protection for having assisted law enforcement in multiple successful investigations and prosecutions of highly violent and dangerous offenders in Florida.
Steel’s attorney Peter Ticktin also is working on having him released as he only has a little over a year to go, and Scott has already commuted the sentence of far worse criminals with much longer prison terms who were released.
So we’re all praying for his early release as all forms of imprisonment are incredibly cruel and so hard to bear.