Larry, Moe and Curly Kidnap a Megastar’s Son
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
December 10, 2020
Dean Torrence, half of the famous Jan and Dean rock duo, could barely believe the babblings of his friend Barry Keenan. They had gone to high school together, along with Nancy Sinatra and Dean’s future partner, Jan Berry, with whom Dean helped usher in California’s rock and roll scene. Dean knew Keenan was a little different — smart, wildly ambitious and a partier, but also a tad odd.
It came as little surprise that Keenan’s early career skyrocketed. By 21, he was ensconced in the real estate market and the youngest member of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange, earning the then-exorbitant sum of more than $100,000 a year. He was married and living the good life — until tragedy struck in the form of a serious car accident. Soon he was drug addicted, having run-ins with the law, bankrupt and separated. Needing money, he approached Dean Torrence, who having benefited financially from Keenan’s financial advice, provided it.
Despite the financial assistance, Keenan’s plight continued to spiral downward. Desperate, he again sought out Torrence and shared with him a highly detailed and documented business plan — this one, however, going far over the line. Exploring various criminal possibilities, Keenan determined that the one carrying the least risk and the highest return entailed kidnapping the child of a well-known and well-heeled entertainer. Read more.
Cold as Ice - Unsolved Boston Murders
Discussion at Lynnfield Historical Society
Read: "A New Chapter"
“Who’s the No. 1 comedian working today?” Appeals Court Judge R. Marc Kantrowitz asks more than a dozen wide-eyed, mostly young law clerks seated around a long conference-room table. A few moments of tense silence follow. This, after all, is a bit less serious of a query than a judge might typically pose to a student clerk, so it takes a few seconds to warm to the task. Read more.
About the author
R. Marc Kantrowitz is the most highly published lawyer on state law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has written numerous books on criminal law, motor vehicle tort law, juvenile law, evidence, and mental health, as well as numerous law-related articles. He also writes a column entitled Law 'n History.
To listen to the latest podcast from R. Marc Kantrowitz, "Ponzi Scheme: The Notorious Namesake," click here.
For previous podcasts, click here.
Old Whiskey and Young Women
“Murder and mystery, society, sex and suspense were combined in this case in such a manner as to intrigue and captivate the public fancy to a degree perhaps unparalleled in recent annals.” Ohio vs. Sheppard, 165 Ohio St. 293, 294 (1956).
While this should no longer occur in a criminal trial, it can in a book. And this is the book in which it does.
Here, some of the most notorious legal cases in American history are explored. What they have in common is that they titillated, if not repulsed, the entire nation when they first occurred. What they still have in common is that, for the most part, they are today nearly totally forgotten.
From the unfair framing for murder of America’s most famous comedian, to America’s first capital case involving an older woman and her much younger lover murdering her husband, to Mad Harry Thaw, the wealthy and mad son of a steel magnate, killing America’s foremost architect over a beautiful woman, all come to life in gripping detail and drama. And meet the real Norman Bates of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, whose mother fixation and real life gruesome crimes far outmatched those of any fictional character.
This book brings to life these notorious characters and many more from the rich pages of history.
Law 'n History
R. Marc Kantrowitz writes a column entitled "Law 'n History" for Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, the Patriot Ledger, and the sister publications of both. His goal for these articles is to have the reader look at history through a different view. He likes to pick topics about past events that people know little about, himself included. Through his writing he likes to show readers that people are generally the same today as they were hundreds of years ago; the smart, wise and generous vying against the petty, vengeful and stupid. Read more.