The Will: Family Secrets Revealed: Season 3, Episode 10

3 - 10: The Estate of John Kennedy Toole

In 1969, aspiring author John Kennedy Toole commits suicide. He doesn’t leave a will, entitling his parents to an estate that includes his unpublished manuscript, “A Confederacy of Dunces.” His father also passes away without a will, entitling his half of his son’s estate to his extended family. Before the book can be published, mother Thelma convinces them to sign away their rights to the book, without them realizing the massive success it will become: the first-ever posthumous Pulitzer Prize winner. When Thelma finds another of Toole’s manuscripts, “The Neon Bible,” her husband’s family refuses to make the same mistake twice, and a furious Thelma will do whatever it takes to ensure these “unworthy” relatives do not profit off of her son’s genius.


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