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They achieved notoriety through their crimes. We were privy to every moment of their lives when they were arrested, became media sensations, and were tried and convicted. These criminals paid their debt to society and then got out of jail. What happened after prison?
- Barry Keenan- The name won't sound familiar to the younger set, but on December 8, 1963, Keenan kidnapped the son of Frank Sinatra. Frank Jr. was 19-years-old and performing at a Lake Tahoe hotel. He was held for a ransom of $240,000. Keenan, who had at one time been the youngest member of the Los Angeles stock exchange, lost everything when a car accident left him debilitated and hooked on painkillers. During his trial, he even accused Frank Sinatra Jr. of arranging his own kidnapping. Keenan originally received a hefty sentence but served only five years. After prison, he became a realtor earning and losing a $17 million fortune. Keenan finally gave up his addictions, regained his wealth, and went on to do important work in the reforming of the criminal justice system. He also runs several charities to help addicts give up their dependencies.
- John Wojtowicz was broke and in love with transgender Aron, who was desperate for a gender reassignment operation. In 1972, Wojtowicz decided to rob a bank to get his lover the surgery. Things did not go well and the robbery morphed into a 14-hour stand-off, during which Wojtowicz's cohort was killed. John served five years in prison and sold the rights to his story for the movie Dog Day Afternoon. Most of the money he received went to the victims of his crime. He moved back home to live with his parents and got a job cleaning toilets. Eventually, in desperation, he would don a tee shirt that said: "I robbed this bank" and sell autographs outside the bank he robbed. He died in 2006.
- George Zimmerman shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman was voluntarily patroling a Florida gated community. He was originally not charged because of Florida's "stand your ground laws," but 6 weeks later he was charged with murder. He was acquitted when his lawyer convinced the jury he shot in self-defense when Martin randomly attacked him. Since then, he has had five police encounters, including domestic violence, speeding, and a disturbance at a Florida home. He was also involved in a road rage incidence during which someone shot at him. Financially, Zimmerman has done well for himself. He sells his own artwork on e-Bay, one of which went for over $100,000.
- Lionel Tate was 12-years-old in 1999 when he killed a 6-year-old girl. He claimed they were wrestling around, and the little girl banged her head. In truth, she had at least 35 injuries including a fractured skull, liver lacerations, broken ribs, and hemorrhaged kidneys. Lionel was incarcerated in 2001 and released in 2003. He was set free because he wasn't given a mental competency hearing before his trial. In 2004, he was found outside his home with a knife in hand. In 2005, he was arrested for armed robbery in connection with a pizza restaurant. This time he was found guilty with a competency hearing. He was sentenced to 30 years.
Tiffany, The Victim, and Lionel, The Perpetrator
Curtis Fairchild Jones and his sister Catherine, 12- and 13-years-old respectively, are out of jail at ages 29 and 30. They shot and killed their father's girlfriend, and planned to kill their father and another male relative. For years they were sexually abused, tossed from foster home to foster home, and eventually ended up with their father. No one believed the abuse happened, even though Social Services had found evidence of abuse on several occasions. One of the adults who lived with them had been convicted of sexually abusing the daughter of a previous girlfriend. There was no trial, no evidence given, no testimony expert or otherwise. The siblings were pressed into pleading guilty to second-degree murder, and they received 18-year sentences. Curtis has become a minister and Catherine married a pen pal while in prison. They told reporters that being in prison was better than the life they had at home. They felt safe.
Mug Shots of Catherine and Curtis Jones
Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden are the only school shooters who are alive and out of prison. The State of Arkansas had a law at the time that wouldn't allow children to be tried as adults so Johnson, 13, and Golden, 11, were released at age 21. They killed five people. Little is known about Golden since his release, but he did apply for a gun permit. He was denied, but not because of his part in the Jonesboro killings. Those records are sealed because of their juvenile status. He was turned down because he lied on his record of previous addresses, conveniently not listing his detention address. Johnson, however, did manage to get a gun, but no one knows how. Johnson was arrested in 2007 for having a gun in the presence of marijuana. While out on bail, he was arrested again for stealing and using a debit card. In total, he received 16 years for those crimes. He was released in 2015.