convict-turned-author, paroled and brought to literary fame with the help of Norman Mailer, was ordered held without bond yesterday for questioning in the stabbing death of an aspiring young actor in New York City.
Jack Henry Abbott, 37, wearing an oil-stained blue shirt and grimy gray pants, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Ingard Johannesen, who handed him over to authorities for the transfer to New York.
No bond was set because Abbott is an escaped federal parolee.
Abbott was arrested Wednesday by sheriff's deputies who surprised him at his $4-an-hour job as an oilfield roustabout in Morgan City, La.
Abbott won literary fame for the critically acclaimed "In the Belly of the Beast," a series of letters written to Mailer describing in powerful language his years in prison since the age of 12 for crimes ranging from armed robbery to murder.
Mailer was instrumental in getting Abbott's book published and later arranging for his transfer from prison to a halfway house in New York City.
Abbott fled New York shortly after the July 18 stabbing death of Richard Adan, 22, a young actor and playwright working as a waiter near the halfway house. Abbott has not been charged in the case, but authorities want to question him since he was seen arguing with Adan minutes before the stabbing