In the year 2000, the author, a professor of anthropology, struck up an acquaintance with a prisoner on death row in Indiana. The inmate, Donald Ray Wallace, Jr., bears a vital resemblance to Dostoyevsky's fictional protagonist in Crime and Punishment . Like Rashkolnikov, Wallace undergoes a spiritual journey from crime to redemption. But Wallace, unlike Rashkolnikov, is slated for death. Whether Wallace had an unidentified accomplice in the murders that condemned him remains an unsolved question. In any case, four people died as a result of the robbery Wallace was attempting to commit.