"Fat Tone" at California's Calipatria prison, December 1993. Courtesy The Atavist.
Mother Jones today published an excerpt/adaptation from a new Atavist piece by Gary Rivlin titled "Stray Bullet." Mike Mechanic of Mother Jones explains,
In 1995, Gary wrote his first book, Drive-By, about a drive-by murder of a 13-year-old by an 18-year-old, pretty emblematic of the knuckle headed shit that went on at the murderous peak of the crack trade in places like Oakland, where the story took place. Anyway, after the book was published, Gary kept in touch with the killer, Tony Davis, who was given an 18-to-life sentence. Eventually, Tony became his friend. They exchanged hundreds of letters and countless phone calls, and Gary followed Tony's progression from a fucked-up teenager whose mom was a checked-out junkie and whose dad was pretty much out of the picture, into a middle-aged man who has worked really hard to better himself, despite a few hiccups.