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James Keown listening to the
sentence handed down.
When a murder occurs, there are more persons who become affected by the crime and thus, themselves, become victims. Two families and numerous friends, acquaintances, co-workers, lovers and employers, all touched by one heinous crime. A crime of murder by poisoning.
It takes a certain type of diabolical and evil person to administer poison and watch a person they claimed to love die slowly, day by day in front of them and everyone else who loves them. And then, when their victims isn't dying fast enough to suit the poisoner, a larger dose is given to their prey so that they'll die more swiftly.
Was James Keown that type of diabolical and evil person? The jury said yes and convicted him.
Those who know (or knew) him are divided in their thinking, and beliefs.
Shawna (James's sister) "In my heart I don't believe he did this. Not just because he's my brother either like everyone thinks, but just because." "There is no way in hell he would ever do that to anyone!"
Betty Keown (James's mother) 'He loves being in the public eye. He was always so well-dressed and accomplished."
"The prosecution didn't meet its burden of proof. "Julie refused the hospital." James told me "She didn't want to go."
Denna (James's sister) " I am James Keowns sister, Denna. He is not guilty! The love he and julie shared was pure. I miss them both very much. I hope the system will work how it should. I know that love and innocence is real. I cant wait for the trial to be done so he can be free and i can enjoy his love once again. Miss him lots and my prayers are with him always. Will be looking forward to his release soon. Because I know how much he loved his wife Julie. Like the rest of the family. LoVE YOU ALWAYS Denna."
Julie (Oldag) & James Keown
Jack and Nancy Oldag (Julie's parents) "We thought he was a good guy." (speaking about Julie & James's marriage.)
James Keown listening to victim impact statements.
OTHERS WHO SAY THEY KNEW JAMES KEOWN
"James actually did research on poisons, as well as the fact that he gave different accounts of how his wife actually died to different colleagues, he said kidney disease to some, cancer to others..."
James Keown was known to some of those he grew up with as a person who liked to "exaggerate." They were being charitable. Other's who knew James deemed him a "pathological liar."
Growing up, James is said to have "never been in a fight, was never hated by anyone, never said anything bad about anyone.... but he lied because he thought it would make him be favored more by people than the actual truth of his life."
"James was "jovial and funny."
"We all liked him, some more than others; but the bottom line is that James was welcomed into the Columbia press corps. James lived hard and strong this spring. There was always something going on. I
was never sure if he was outrunning his grief, or trying to prove to himself that he was still alive. The grief was palpable when he talked about his wife, about his life on the east coast. I had the feeling that his life as he knew it had ended with her death." "James Keown is a person that is immensely vulnerable right now, and I care about him. He has been nothing but sweet to me." "The only way James did what he is accused of is if the James I know and love is a 100 percent sham."
"Our sense of reality is turned inside out, the guy on the news is not even remotely related to the guy we have worked and partied with the last year. We question our own ability to judge people. Could we all really be this wrong?"
"Those of us that knew him knew he was full of BS and took anything he said with a grain of salt."
"Bright, friendly people will do strange, and sometimes horrible things to get the money or lifestyle
that they feel they deserve."
"There is no doubt that most people that know James are having trouble reconciling the James we met
with someone that can murder someone in such a gruesome, drawn out way. There is also no doubt that there were discrepancies in the stories James told us, and sometimes the stories do not agree when we compare them. There is however a huge difference between someone lying and someone murdering another person under such extenuating circumstances."
"James used to wear so much makeup you could take a finger and put it to his face and then smear it on the wall. He would just give one of his effeminate jovial laughs and move on."
"This guy actually threatened my own life by telling me he knew how to blow up my car with a pencil. He stated that he learned this by his connections to the I.R.A. in Boston. He stalked me for four months. He told me to watch my back. I would like to the know the James Keown that you know, because the one I knew I am still very afraid of..." " I still live in fear. He could get out on a technicality or appeal, you never know. All I know is that my prayers were answered when the verdict came down. My heart goes out to Shawna, there were two families destroyed here, but, you as a sister have to sit down and really examine the facts of this case. It is a hard pill to swallow, but he is cruel, calculating, and a sociopath."
"The police have much more info that was not admissible but that confirms guilt. James was a counterfeit all the way around."
"I am very close to Julie's sister in law. And I have seen what this has done to her and her husband and their children. I hope James gets convicted to the maximum sentence that Mass. offers. At least then maybe just maybe Julie's family can get can some sort of closure."
"Keown had a reputation for acting like the "man about town" and liked to drop names on his radio show of who he knew, places he'd been, who he hangs out with; he liked to let listeners know that he knew about big news stories before most others did - liked to give the impression that he was a connected and important guy. The impression he gave on the radio was that money impressed him."
Tammy Blossom (Learning Exchange in Kansas City - former CEO & person who hired Keown in 2002 to be Director of Marketing.) "James Keown was fired from the Learning Exchange in Kansas City after the
company learned he was stealing." "He was terminated because we discovered a number of things at the Learning Exchange. He was basically taking money from the organization through a series of fake contracts." "When we found out some of the contracts were illegitimate and they were not real, we started looking into his attendance at Harvard." "I contacted the dean of Harvard Business School and was notified that a letter drafted to prove Keown was attending classes there was fake. I soon fired him by phone."
Greg Stoklan (James & Julie Keown's landlord - who lived next door to them in a duplex) "Keown was having problems paying his rent and missed payments for his last few rent checks in early 2005."
James Keown appeared sad the day before Julie Keown died at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. "He had come over to tell me there would be a lot of cars and people at his property."
"He said that his wife was ill and she was going to be "passing" the next day." James' demeanor during that conversation was saddened, quiet and "affected by what was happening."
About 8 to 10 hours before Julie Keown was admitted to the hospital, a lethal dose of ethylene glycol "anti-freeze" in gatorade was administered to Julie Keown. She died Sept. 8, 2004.