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The Death of Jack Hamilton

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"The Death of Jack Hamilton" is a true crime story written by Stephen King. The story was originally published in the 24/31 December 2001 issue of The New Yorker, and was later included in King's own 2002 collection Everything's Eventual.

Summary

The story is written in the first-person.

Homer Van Meter, a member of John Dillinger's gang, tells of the slow, painful death of fellow gangmember Jack Hamilton. Van Meter begins by describing Dillinger's death outside the Biograph Theater at the hands of Melvin Purvis's men (who is referenced several times throughout the story as the character's nemesis), as well as addressing the theory that it wasn't actually Dillinger that was killed. Van Meter debunks the theories, citing that the causes for arguments happened during his witnessing the death of Jack Hamilton. During his getaway from a shootout at the Little Bohemia Lodge in Wisconsin, Hamilton is shot by police, and the bullet lodged in his lung, eventually creating a gruesome case of gangrene. Hamilton is refused treatment by Joseph Moran, and Van Meter and Dillinger take Hamilton to stay at the home of Volney Davis and his girlfriend Rabbits, two members of Ma Barker's gang, as well as Ma's son Arthur. King's narrator spares no detail, as the man lapses into dementia before his agonizing, but merciful expiration.

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