In Massachusetts, former radio reporter and talk how host on KLIK-AM, James Keown has been found guilty of killing his wife, Julie Keown, with antifreeze in her Gatorade. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the murder — purportedly committed for Julie’s $250,000 life insurance policy.
Julie, 31, died of a lethal dose of ethylene glycol, a chemical found in antifreeze, which prosecutors alleged was slowly added to her drinks. After Keown gave her a lethal dose, she went into a coma and died days later.
Computer evidence was key, including a search that Keown allegedly did days before her death on “ethylene glycol death human.” Keown was facing serious financial problems after being fired — after his employer learned that he had lied about getting into Harvard Business School.
At trial, his counsel present a defense that may have been too defuse: alleging that she either killed herself or accidentally took the poison. This may be a case where a clear narrative would have helped. Optional theories do not work well when the prosecution has a concise and clear narrative of murder. Moreover, neither of these options seems plausible. Killing yourself slowly with antifreeze is hardly a likely choice for a suicidal individual and it is hard to see how you accidentally mix your Gratorade with antifreeze.
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