Radio host held in wife’s killing – Chicago Tribune

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Radio host held in wife’s killing

November 08, 2005|By Items compiled from Tribune news services.

  • CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — A Missouri radio talk-show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

Prosecutors said James Keown, 31, began poisoning his wife when the couple moved to Massachusetts in January 2004, after he lied to her about being accepted to Harvard Business School.

By DENISE LAVOIE

The Associated Press
Monday, November 7, 2005; 8:56 PM

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Missouri radio talk show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

Prosecutors said James Keown, 31, began poisoning his wife when the couple moved to Massachusetts in January 2004, after he lied to her about being accepted to Harvard Business School.


This undated Middlesex County District Attorney's office photo released Monday, Nov. 7, 2005, shows James Keown. Keown, a Missouri radio talk show host, was arrested Monday in Jefferson City, Mo., in connection with the poisoning death of his wife Julie Keown of Waltham, Mass. in September 2004. Keown was arrested Monday on a murder charge for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze. (AP Photo/Courtesy Middlesex County District Attorney's office)

This undated Middlesex County District Attorney’s office photo released Monday, Nov. 7, 2005, shows James Keown. Keown, a Missouri radio talk show host, was arrested Monday in Jefferson City, Mo., in connection with the poisoning death of his wife Julie Keown of Waltham, Mass. in September 2004. Keown was arrested Monday on a murder charge for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze. (AP Photo/Courtesy Middlesex County District Attorney’s office) (AP)

Keown was arrested at the radio station where he worked in Jefferson City, Mo. He later made a court appearance via video and said he would not fight efforts to return him to Massachusetts.

Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said the motive for the killing may have been financial: The couple was broke, and Julie Keown, 31, had a $250,000 life insurance policy. Her husband was never able to collect because the death came under investigation.

In May 2004, Julie Keown, a registered nurse, began experiencing nausea, vomiting and dizziness and developed a rash on her leg.

On August 20, 2004, she was admitted to a hospital, where tests showed her kidneys were damaged. She was released several days later, and when her parents visited on Aug. 26, she was feeling better. On Sept. 3, Keown told friends she was doing “pretty well” but thought she might need a kidney transplant, Coakley said.

The next night, she was brought back to the hospital, where she slipped into a coma. She was pronounced dead four days later.

A preliminary autopsy the following day showed she had ingested a lethal dose of ethylene glycol about eight to 10 hours before she was admitted to the hospital. But it took another year of toxicological testing and investigation before prosecutors had the proof they needed to bring charges against James Keown, Coakley said.

In the meantime, he had moved back to Missouri, where he covered the Capitol for Jefferson City radio station KLIK and hosted the “Party Line” talk show.

Keown had told fellow reporters that his wife had died, but he did not say how. He was known around the Capitol as a friendly and hardworking reporter.

“It’s devastating for us,” said Scott Boltz, market manager for Cumulus Media Inc., which owns KLIK. “It was just devastating for our staffers and the community at large. He showed up for work every day. He worked hard.”

Shawna Keown, 21, said at her brother’s hearing in Jefferson City that he was innocent. “The truth will come out,” she said. “We hope for the best and I believe in him.”

___

Associated Press Writer David A. Lieb contributed to this story from Jefferson City, Mo.

___

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

It took a year of investigating before prosecutors had the proof they needed to bring charges.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — A Missouri radio talk show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

Prosecutors said that 31-year-old James Keown began poisoning his wife over several months after the couple moved to Massachusetts in January 2004 after he lied about being accepted to Harvard Business School.

“It was pretty clear that she did not understand what was happening to her or that she was being poisoned,” Middlesex District Attorney Martha Coakley said.

Earlier in the morning — and more than 1,300 miles away from where James and Julie Keown’s brief home in Waltham, James Keown was arrested at the radio station where’s been working in Jefferson City, Mo. Later in the afternoon, he appeared in court by videoconference and agreed to be returned to Massachusetts, where he was indicted for murder last week.

Prosecutors say he killed his wife of eight years by poisoning her over a period of months with ethylene glycol, an ingredient in antifreeze.

Coakley said the motive for the killing may have been financial. The couple was broke, and Julie Keown had a $250,000 life insurance policy, Coakley said.

Coakley said that the couple moved to Waltham from Kansas City, Mo., in January 2004, when James Keown told his wife he would be attending Harvard Business School. Instead, he actually took one class at Harvard’s continuing education program, which he flunked, Coakley said.

By May, Julie Keown, 31, a registered nurse, began experiencing nausea, vomiting and diarrhea, and had developed a rash on her leg. For several months, the symptoms came and went, Coakley said. At one point, a doctor diagnosed her condition as gastritis and prescribed medication.

On Aug. 20, 2004, she was admitted to Newton-Wellesley Hospital, where an MRI showed her kidneys had been damaged. She was released several days later, and when her parents visited on Aug. 26, she was feeling better. On Sept. 3, she told friends she was feeling “pretty well,” but anticipating she might need a kidney transplant, Coakley said.

The next night, she was brought back to the hospital, where she slipped into a coma and never regained consciousness. She was pronounced dead four days later.

A preliminary autopsy the day after she was pronounced dead showed she had ingested a lethal dose of ethylene glycol about eight to 10 hours before she was admitted to the hospital. But it took another year of toxicological testing and investigation before prosecutors had the proof they needed to bring charges against James Keown, Coakley said.

In the meantime, he moved back to his native Missouri, where he covered the Capitol for Jefferson City radio station KLIK and hosted the “Party Line” talk show.

Keown told fellow reporters that his wife had died, but he did not say how.

He was known around the state Capitol as a friendly, outgoing and hardworking reporter. His popularity was growing and his talk show was stretched into a twice-daily event covering two hours each weekday morning and afternoon.

“It’s devastating for us,” said Scott Boltz, market manager for Cumulus Media Inc., which owns KLIK. “It was just devastating for our staffers and the community at large. He showed up for work every day. He worked hard.”

Coakley said that at the time of Julie Keown’s death, the couple had a negative balance in their bank account. Julie Keown had a $250,000 life insurance policy, but James Keown was never able to cash in because her death had been under investigation.

Julie Keown was apparently unaware of the couple’s financial situation, Coakley said, and in the months before her death had told friends they had been able to save $1,500 a month since moving to Massachusetts.

Coakley said the couple moved to Massachusetts after James Keown convinced his employer, The Learning Exchange, an educational consulting company based in Kansas City, that he could work remotely from Massachusetts while attending Harvard Business School. Julie Keown then made arrangements with her employer, a medical software company, to also work remotely from Massachusetts, Coakley said.

Coakley said authorities believe James Keown mixed antifreeze with Gatorade because the sweet drink would mask the taste of ethylene glycol.

She said someone “urged” Julie Keown to drink Gatorade because it is touted as containing electrolytes like sodium and potassium, which are lost when a person vomits or has diarrhea, both symptoms Julie Keown had while she was being slowly poisoned. Coakley would not comment when asked if her husband was the one who recommended she drink Gatorade.

Shawna Keown, 21, of Jefferson City, attended her brother’s hearing in Missouri and said he was innocent.

“The truth will come out,” she said. “We hope for the best and I believe in him.”

On the Net:

http://jameskeown.blogspot.com

http://www.klik1240.com

Newspaper  2

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Missouri radio talk show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

James Keown, 31, was arrested at the radio station where he worked in Jefferson City, Mo. He later made a court appearance via video and said he would not fight efforts to return him to Massachusetts.

Prosecutors said he slowly poisoned Julie Keown, 31, with ethylene glycol while the couple were living in Massachusetts in 2004.

District Attorney Martha Coakley said the motive may have been financial: Julie Keown had a $250,000 life insurance policy, but her husband was never able to collect because her death was under investigation.

The couple moved to Waltham, Mass., from Missouri in 2004. In May of that year, Julie Keown, a registered nurse, began suffering from nausea, vomiting and dizziness and developed a rash on her leg. She slipped into a coma in September and died.

A preliminary autopsy showed she was poisoned with ethylene glycol, but it took another year of testing before prosecutors had the proof to bring charges, Coakley said.

In the meantime, her husband moved back to Missouri, where he covered the Capitol for Jefferson City radio station KLIK and hosted the “Party Line” talk show.

Keown had told fellow reporters that his wife had died, but he did not say how. He was known around the Capitol as a friendly and hardworking reporter.

Officials at the radio station referred questions about Keown to its corporate offices in Columbia, Mo. Messages left there were not immediately returned.

Shawna Keown, 21, said at her brother’s hearing in Jefferson City that he was innocent. “The truth will come out,” she said. “We hope for the best and I believe in him.”

Radio host held in wife’s killing – Chicago Tribune.

CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS — A Missouri radio talk-show host was arrested on murder charges Monday for allegedly poisoning his wife by spiking her Gatorade with a chemical found in antifreeze.

Prosecutors said James Keown, 31, began poisoning his wife when the couple moved to Massachusetts in January 2004, after he lied to her about being accepted to Harvard Business School.


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