Loss of Innocence: A True Story of Juvenile Murder

Eric J. Adams, Author Avon Books $4.95 (275p) ISBN 978-0-380-75987-3
The tranquility of a small Colorado town was shattered on April 25, 1983, when two sisters, ages 9 and 14, were bludgeoned and stabbed to death while at home alone after school. Billy Keenan, a 13-year-old neighbor with a history of psychological problems, became the prime suspect after casually revealing that he knew the order in which the girls were murdered and after a detective found blood spattered on his jeans. In the ensuing investigation, Billy admitted to the crime while under hypnosis, and he was sentenced to two years, the maximum sentence allowed for a convict under 14. Billy spent the next three years in Colorado's Closed Adolescent Treatment Center (his initial sentence having been extended), but was released with no provisions made for therapy. His family had since moved from the Rocky Mountains to Southern California, where Billy joined them after his release. Adams, a former news director for a local Colorado radio station, has done a thorough reporting job on this case, which raises disturbing questions about the penal system's handling of serious crimes committed by children. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/29/1991
Release date: 05/01/1991
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