Like A Thief's Dream

Like A Thief's Dream

by Danny Lyon
     
 

James Ray Renton—thief, counterfeiter, and bank robber—became one of America’s Ten Most Wanted Men when he was charged with murdering a young Arkansas policeman in 1976. After a daring escape from the Tucker Maximum Security Unit in the 1980s, Renton made the FBI’s Fifteen Most Wanted List before eventually being recaptured. Then, while…  See more details below

Overview

James Ray Renton—thief, counterfeiter, and bank robber—became one of America’s Ten Most Wanted Men when he was charged with murdering a young Arkansas policeman in 1976. After a daring escape from the Tucker Maximum Security Unit in the 1980s, Renton made the FBI’s Fifteen Most Wanted List before eventually being recaptured. Then, while in solitary confinement, Renton wrote a 60-page account of his escape and adventures, sent in a series of letters to Danny Lyon, a close friend of Renton’s since they had met in the Texas prison system in 1967.

After Renton’s death in 1995, Lyon visited the Arkansas town where Renton had been convicted. Following an incredible paper trail left behind by the crime and 1978 trial (in which Lyon had testified), Lyon located Dinker Cassel, who was sentenced to life along with Renton for the murder. Like a Thief’s Dream is Lyon’s gripping story of two men—one alive, the other dead—and an unparalleled portrayal of prison life in the 1980s and 1990s. A tale of murder and betrayal, romance and robbery, Like a Thief’s Dream is Lyon’s first work of non-fiction in text form, a work of realism based almost entirely on documents including police and FBA records, prison and police mug shots, tape recordings made by the FBI and the author, Renton’s own written account of his escape, letters from other prisoners to the author and to each other, and photographs made by Lyon and anonymous police photographers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781576873618
Publisher:
powerHouse Books
Publication date:
09/28/2007
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Danny Lyon was born in Brooklyn. While studying history at the University of Chicago, Lyon joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee as their first staff photographer. One of the best-known photojournalists today, Lyon has produced eleven books of photography and twelve nonfiction films. His books include Indian Nations (Twin Palms, 2002), Knave of Hearts (Twin Palms, 1999), a memoir, Memories of the Southern Civil Rights Movement (University of North Carolina, 1992), Merci Gonaives (Bleak Beauty, 1988), an account of the 1986 Haitian revolution, and Conversations with the Dead (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1970), the first book by a photojournalist inside the American prison system. Lyon recently republished his second book, the acclaimed The Destruction of Lower Manhattan, with powerHouse Books. He has received a Rockefeller Fellowship in filmmaking, Guggenheim fellowships for photography and filmmaking, and numerous fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts. His photographs are in the collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Library of Congress, Washington, DC; as well as other museums throughout the world. Lyon lives in Ulster County, New York and Sandoval County, New Mexico.

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