Page 5, 4th June 1954

4th June 1954
Page 5
Page 5, 4th June 1954 — The Gunman

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The Gunman


IN FOR LIFE, by To Runyan (Andre Deutsch, 15s.).

THIS remarkably well written -Irecord of a man who is serving a life sentence in lowa State Penitentiary is something new in penology. The writer raided banks for five years before he was arrested. Ity that lime a charge of murder was hanging over his head. For these were armed holdups in which he was engagedand his accounts of them seem to make all the movies one has ever seen (about robbery with violence) come totes So much of American crime is tied up with the use of arms, Quick on the draw—a gun used in panic and because it is there waiting to be used—how many American citizens have shot away their liberty like that?

Does prison cure them? Not if Tom Runyan is typical of the class. When he escaped, he was soon hold. 'ing up occupants of cars and threatening a farmer and his wife at the point of a sawn-off shotgun. He was recaptured, and most of his book is a record of "life inside."

• An absorbing account in which we watch the gradual humanising of the prison conditions—a process in which, it is quite obvious, Tom Runyan's outspoken articles in the prison magazine (and which were often re. printed in periodicals outside) played their part. These articles brought him a wider public—getting him commissions from 11w Saturday Evening Post, Colliers and other famous magazines.

"1 believe.-." he says at the end, 'convicts who write of their experiences are expected to say, 'Crime doesn't pay' . refuse to say that. All I'm sure of is, it didn't pay me."

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