Maybe you were surprised to read the following passage in this morning’s New York Times article on author Caleb Carr:
His father, Lucien Carr, who died in January, was a journalist, a friend of the novelists Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs and the poet Allen Ginsberg, and an alcoholic. As a 19-year-old student at Columbia, Lucien Carr was involved in a notorious crime. When a man he knew made sexual advances toward him, Lucien Carr stabbed him to death. Mr. Kerouac helped him dispose of the body by tossing it into the river. Lucien Carr served two years in prison for manslaughter and was later pardoned.
I haven’t read a Keroauc biography since I was in short pants, but seems to me I would have remembered a little detail like disposing of a dead body. Charters is the only one I have on hand, and she doesn’t mention it. None of the obituaries of Carr, who died in January, mention it either. (Here’s the one from the Guardian.)
According to Charters, after the murder Carr sought out Keroauc for help. Carr had already disposed of the body but still had the murder weapon. Carr and Keroauc got rid of the knife by dropping it down a subway grate. Then Carr turned himself in to the police. Keroauc was booked as a material witness and spent a night in jail.