William Zantzinger, 69, a Maryland socialite whose fatal beating of a black barmaid was recounted in a 1964 Bob Dylan protest song, died Jan. 3 in Charlotte Hall, Md. His family did not provide details of his death.

The tobacco farmer served six months and was fined $500 for manslaughter in 1963 for striking the 51-year-old Hattie Carroll with his cane for taking too long to serve him a drink. Carroll later died of a stroke. In his song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," Dylan criticized different standards of justice meted out to whites and blacks.

News accounts at the time said Zantzinger had been seen drinking with his wife at a dinner before a ball. While dining, Zantzinger told jurors, he began hitting waitresses with the cane.

"I'd been smacking - tapping - waitresses on the tail, and they didn't say anything. I was just playing," Zantzinger told the jury in Hagerstown, Md., where the case was tried.

"I had no other purpose than to have a good time," Zantzinger testified. "The last thing I intended was to harm or injure anyone. I never even thought about it."

Zantzinger later became a foreclosure auctioneer. The Washington Post reported that in 1991, Zantzinger pleaded guilty to unfair and deceptive trade practices for collecting rent on properties he didn't own and was sentenced to 18 months in jail.

Zantzinger didn't answer questions about Dylan's song for years. In 2001, he told Dylan biographer Howard Sounes that he should have sued the "no-account" Dylan "and put him in jail. [The song is] a total lie." - AP