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It's safe to say this isn't the happy ending we all had hoped for.
The New York Times reports that the protagonist of Dave Eggers' book Zeitoun—who was celebrated as a hero after canoeing through a Katrina-flooded New Orleans to save and provide water to his neighbors—has been accused of plotting to have his ex-wife and her son from a previous marriage, along with a third person, killed.
Abdulrahman Zeitoun, 54, was charged Wednesday with soliciting the murders. He was already in jail for assault at the time of the alleged solicitation. According to police, Zeitoun offered a fellow inmate $20,000 to carry out the crimes while Zeitoun was still behind bars, thereby providing himself with an alibi. The inmate instead alerted authorities.
While his loving relationship with then-wife Kathy featured prominently in Eggers' 2009 book, the couple divorced last year after Zeitoun was convicted of assaulting her. With the latest charges, police suggest that things only got worse from there.
Zeitoun is a Syrian-born U.S. citizen, and a Muslim. He was wrongfully arrested on terrorism charges in the wake of Katrina after the National Guard mistook him for a suspect, as recounted by Eggers.
In an interview with the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Kathy Zeitoun said that Eggers' description of the couple's tender relationship was an accurate one at the time the book was written but that her now ex-husband later grew more angry and "radical" after it was published.