Did Huckabee Cash In on School Shooting?

Emotions still frayed from book deal after 1998 Jonesboro killings
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 26, 2008 3:18 PM CST
Republican presidential hopeful, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee talks to supporters, church officials and the media during a campaign stop in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Friday, Jan. 25, 2008. (AP...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The crime shook Arkansas: Two boys, 11 and 13, killed four classmates and a teacher in 1998 in what became known as the Jonesboro shootings. Within days, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee had a $25,000 book deal about youth violence. A decade later, the deal still rankles some who say the governor cashed in on tragedy, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Critics saw the episode as unseemly—and typical of Huckabee. A lawyer who represented victims' families said Huckabee "never saw a gift he didn't take." Editorials called him a "money-grubbing governor" and "Mike the Huckster." Huckabee has defended his book, Kids who Kill, saying it was conceived before the shootings, and wasn't about Jonesboro per se.