For five years and from within his federal prison cell, Charles Allen wrote down everything he could remember about the years, months and days that preceded Dec. 17, 2004. That was the day he and three of his friends borrowed his aunt's van and robbed valuable first-edition books from Transylvania University's special collections library, tying up and terrorizing a librarian in the process.
The result is Mr. Pink: The Inside Story of the Transylvania Book Heist, written by Allen, now 25 and incarcerated at the Federal Medical Center in Lexington. Self-published, the title of the book refers to the names that the conspirators gave one another during the commission of the crime. The book went on sale this week.
The crime was the work of four Lexington students, ages 19 and 20, who were enrolled at either the University of Kentucky or at Transylvania: Warren Lipka, Eric Borsuk, Spencer Reinhard and Allen. (In the book, except for Allen, the men are given aliases.)
The foursome all pleaded guilty, and all expect to be released to a halfway house next November.
None of the co-conspirators responded to the Herald-Leader's request for comment on Allen's book.