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Barry Keenan
Please vote to return to collections (Voting Results will appear on Right Sidebar).
    (June 26, 1940- )
    Born in Los Angeles, California
    Masterminded the kidnapping of Frank Sinatra, Jr. (December 8, 1963)
    Recruited Joe Amsler and John Irwin as accomplices
    Sentenced to life plus 75 years in prison
    Served only four years before being declared legally insane at the time of the crime and released
    He was married and divorced three times.
    He was addicted to the painkiller Percodan.
    He claimed that God spoke to him and approved of the kidnapping plan.
    He got $500 to cover the expenses of the kidnapping by borrowing the money from an old high school classmate, Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean -- and outlined the complete plan for the crime. (Torrence later told authorities that he had assumed Keenan was joking about what he needed the money for.)
    He first attempted to nab Frank, Jr., at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles on November 22, 1963; however, the assassination of John F. Kennedy earlier that day resulted in Sinatra cancelling his appearance at the hotel.
    After the trio abducted Sinatra from a hotel in Lake Tahoe, they ran out of gas on the way to their hideout and had to borrow $11 from the victim.
    He and his partners were quickly apprehended when Irwin began boasting to friends and family that he had been in on the kidnapping.
    At their trial, he and his accomplices tried to claim that the kidnapping had been a publicity stunt that Frank, Jr., was in on.
    At age 21, he became the youngest member of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange.
    The combination of a 1962 stock market slump, an expensive divorce and a car accident (and subsequent Percodan addiction) wiped out his fortune.
    At a press conference, Frank, St., offered to pay a million dollars ransom, but Keenan stuck to his original demand of $240,000 rather than get greedy.
    He totally planned to pay Frank, Sr., back the ransom money with interest once he was back on his feet, so he considered it a ‘business deal’ rather than a crime.
    After going to rehab, he remade his fortune in real estate and as a consultant to casinos.
    When he was paid $1.5 million for film rights to his story, he donated it to charities, including the Salvation Army and Alcoholics Anonymous.

Credit: C. Fishel

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