The Death of Jack Hamilton

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"The Death of Jack Hamilton"
Author Stephen King
Country United States
Language English
Series Stephen King
Genre(s) Horror/Short story
Published in Everything's Eventual
Publisher Scribner
Media type Print (Paperback)
Publication date 2002

"The Death of Jack Hamilton" is a short story by Stephen King. It was originally published in the December 24/31, 2001 issue of The New Yorker magazine. In 2002, it was published in King's collection Everything's Eventual. This true crime story is based on the death of a member of the John Dillinger's first gang.[1]

Plot summary[edit]

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 FBI Agent Melvin Purvis' men, as well as addressing the theory that it wasn't actually Dillinger who was killed.[2]

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, 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.

Film (2014)[edit]

The story was adapted for the screen for the first time as a short film as part of King's "Dollar Baby" deal.[3] An official teaser trailer for the short film was released on September 1, 2012.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stephen King. ""The Death Of Jack Hamilton"". Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  2. ^ "Everything's Eventual short story collection". Retrieved 23 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "'The Death of Jack Hamilton' official movie website". Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "'The Death of Jack Hamilton' official teaser trailer". Retrieved 16 September 2012.