After serving half of his four-year sentence, Conrad Murray was released from Los Angeles County Jail on Monday, and is reportedly shopping a memoir. The former surgeon was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for delivering a fatal dose of the anesthetic Propofol to Michael Jackson, and according to TMZ, used his time in prison to write a memoir of his time with the King of Pop.
The turn to publishing by Murray, who has had his medical license revoked, is not unusual for someone in his position forced to find another way to make a living. There’s a long history of bestselling books hitting the shelves after time in prison, or in the wake of a national scandal.
After the Watergate scandal during President Nixon's administration, most of the Watergate conspirators pursued careers as authors after stints in federal prison. Former White House counsel John Dean’s "Blind Ambition" was published by Simon & Schuster and was made into an eight-hour CBS drama. Fellow conspirator H.R. Haldeman followed Dean with "The Ends of Power," as did G. Gordon Liddy with his 1980 memoir “Will” — the latter also adapted as a movie for television.
More recently, lobbyist Jack Abramoff published "Capitol Punishment" after serving just over three years for fraud and conspiracy. Abramoff was in the news this week with the murder conviction of Anthony “Little Tony” Ferrari, who shot casino owner Gus Boulis, a business associate of Abramoff. Allegedly, Abramoff’s fraud set the murder in motion and was a subject of the film "Casino Jack" (2010) starring Kevin Spacey. Abramoff was ordered to pay $23.1 million back to victims of his shady dealings, mostly Native American tribes. The feds initially intended to garnish the income directly from Abramoff’s publisher, but relented.