Conversations with the Capeman (Paperback)

The Untold Story of Salvador Agron

By Richard Jacoby, Hubert B. Selby, Hubert Selby, JR. (Introduction by)

University of Wisconsin Press, 9780299197445, 528pp.

Publication Date: October 6, 2004

List Price: 29.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


In the neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, 1959, a playground confrontation leaves two white youths bludgeoned to death by a gang of Puerto Rican kids. Sixteen-year-old Salvador Agron, who wore a red-lined satin cape, was charged with the murders, though no traces of blood were found on his dagger. At seventeen, Agron was the youngest person ever to be sentenced to death in the electric chair. After nearly two years in the Death House at Sing Sing Prison, a group of prominent citizens, including Eleanor Roosevelt and the governor of Puerto Rico, convinced Governor Rockefeller to commute Agron’s sentence to one of life imprisonment.
In 1973 Richard Jacoby began a voluminous, twelve-year correspondence with Agron. His Conversations with the Capeman is guaranteed to challenge deeply held notions of crime, punishment, and redemption. Salvador Agron was released from prison in 1979 and died in the Bronx in 1986 at the age of forty-two.

With a new preface

About the Author

Richard Jacoby, who grew up in the Bronx and Brooklyn, now lives in Santa Monica, California, where he has worked for over twenty years as a special education teacher for profoundly disabled children.

Praise For Conversations with the Capeman: The Untold Story of Salvador Agron

"Conversations with the Capeman is a classic story that distinguishes itself by humanizing instead of demonizing."Tom Hayden, former senator from California, author, and activist