TOO DANGEROUS TO BE AT LARGE by Ray D. & Mona McCormick Johnson

TOO DANGEROUS TO BE AT LARGE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In between Kojak and Harry 0., why not spend an evening with true criminal Ray Johnson. He's much more interesting. He's spent a good two thirds of his fifty-odd years in and out of institutions starting at the age of eleven. The most exciting part of this book deals with his escape from long-term prison (otherwise known as having a big bitch) Folsom, down the drain, through the tunnel and outside, only to be betrayed by a cow. The most horrendous is the stint he spent in the Sonoma State Home where he was chained in a cell for five months before being vasectomized and permanently butchered. He's had a lot of time to think in jail and he's thought it all out: in the beginning he enjoyed the life and was glad to thumb his hard nose at a square, straight society; he's learned since that you ""play and pay""--in fact never stop paying even though now he's working on the prevention side with the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute. Still he ""never masked crime with an ideology"" nor confused penology with rehabilitation; ""sometimes it seems like 50% of the population is going to be a victim of the other 50%"" the way we're still handling the criminal (he found therapy real ""junk"" but just learned to play the front gate game in order to get out). Johnson's gots lots to say and along with his determination and humor, he's managed to work out his own rationale of integrity and independence. In other words, he's his own man and most likable at that.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1975
Publisher: Quadrangle/The New York Times Book Co.