The Shooting of Rabbit Wells

“A page-turner that reads like a novel…The Shooting of Rabbit Wells resonates with echoes of our national life.”

   The San Francisco Chronicle

“Indisputably a structural marvel…thanks to Loizeaux’s unfailingly clear prose and his eye for the detail that instantly impresses a scene on the mind…  A quietly heroic rescue of a pointlessly stolen life, and an evocative snapshot of an extraordinary moment in an ordinary place.”


About the Book

On a frigid winter's night in 1973, in the peaceful and prosperous bedroom community of Bernardsville, New Jersey, William “Rabbit” Wells, a young man of mixed race and a high school classmate of William Loizeaux, was shot and killed by a white policeman named William Sorgie. Starting from that grim fact, Loizeaux tells a story of such stirring empathy and terrible beauty that it reaches out to us across four decades and cries out its relevance.  Looking for the why of Rabbit's death, Loizeaux re-creates the lives of both victim and killer and the forces that brought them together that fateful night.  Here is a memoir, a biography, and the story of a writer’s search for the scattered remains of a catastrophe.  Loizeaux has written a tender, profoundly moving book about a young man whose life has haunted him and whose death he could not let go.

More Praise for The Shooting of Rabbit Wells

“Though the final outcome is known from page one, Loizeaux creates surprising tension as his book drives to its bitter conclusion.”


“The Shooting of Rabbit Wells” is an unexampled book, part reconstructed memoir, part true fiction: The Catcher in the Rye meets In Cold Blood.”

   —Mark Richard, winner of The Pushcart Prize.

“First-rate…built on a bedrock of fact, in which Loizeaux takes a simple story and asks us to believe and care about a young man whom no one ever got to know.”

   —Tjames Madison,