Drugstore Cowboy Author James Fogle dies in Prison

Posted: August 28, 2012 in Crime Writers, True Crime
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Jimmy Fogle in 1968

Jimmy Fogle blew every chance he had to go straight. Jimmy was a career criminal with a weakness for dope that had him in and out of prison for most of his seventy five years. Most recently in 2010 geriatric Jimmy was caught by police as he hauled two trash bags filled with prescription meds out of a pharmacy he had just held up with a BB gun.

Jimmy was no stranger to drug addled stupidity, one time the cops caught him fast asleep in a drugstore he had just broken into. They said he planned to steal drugs worth $10,000, he had his stolen booty bagged up ready to go but wasn’t together enough to make the getaway. That was Jimmy’s problem, he was better at getting caught than he was at stealing. The longest he was out of jail in his four decade career heisting drugstores was three years.

But it wasn’t all bad, Jimmy started writing in the 1960’s and by the 1970’s had produced a prison biography called Satan’s Sandbox. Unfortunately for Jimmy he was no Edward Bunker and of his eleven books, the only work of substance was the story of his life, Drugstore Cowboy, which was turned into the 1989 Matt Dillon movie with the famous William S. Burroughs cameo.

Mainstream literary success proved elusive however, and the cult success of the Drugstore Cowboy movie was unable to provide the financial stability that Jimmy needed. The lure of drugs and the criminal life quickly drew him back.

After long decades of drug abuse, it is ironic that Jimmy’s fate was finally sealed by a prison rehabilitation program. Working in the prison shop as a steam pipe fitter it is thought that Jimmy contracted an asbestos related lung tumor that finally killed him. Sentenced in 2011 for his final robbery, Jimmy Fogle died in Monroe prison California.


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