Scott Bradfield, 14 December 1995
Jim Thompson never actually claimed to write capital-L Literature, but today, nearly twenty years after his death, many of his admirers are making the claim for him. Born in a sheriff’s apartment over the Caddo County Jail in Oklahoma in 1906, Thompson, like many good American boys, grew up to be a lot like his father. ‘Big Jim’ Thompson Sr was the popular multi-term sheriff of Caddo County until Oklahoma declared statehood at the turn of the century, and federal auditors began uncovering serious discrepancies in Big Jim’s books. A warrant for the dishonoured sheriff’s arrest was issued and, after Big Jim took off, his devoted deputies refused to serve it.