, Salem, MA

Local News

November 3, 2012

Crowley killer denied parole

PEABODY — Finding that John Keegan continues to minimize his role in the brutal 1996 slaying of a young woman outside her Peabody condominium, the state Parole Board has voted to deny him parole.

Keegan, now 42, was one of two men charged in the death of Kristen Crowley, 27, who was found bludgeoned to death in the woods near Ledgewood Condominiums off Lowell Street on June 2, 1996.

A second man, Timothy Dykens, was convicted of first-degree murder following a trial in October 1997. Dykens is serving a life sentence without possibility of parole. A day after Dykens was convicted, Keegan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, making him eligible for parole after serving 15 years.

During an emotional, four-hour parole hearing that took place more than a year ago, in October 2011, both Crowley’s family members and the Essex District Attorney’s Office spoke out against his release, with a prosecutor pointing out that Keegan, who had recently married in the summer of 2011, continued to carry on an extramarital affair with another woman through phone calls, and that he still advertised on a website, “hotprisonpals,” for additional female companionship.

But some of the toughest comments came from board members themselves, who grilled him on the inconsistencies between his testimony at the hearing and his prior versions of what happened.

During the parole hearing, Keegan sought to portray himself as a would-be “Good Samaritan,” who was thwarted in his efforts by his co-defendant and who acted primarily as a lookout.

But board members, including chairman Josh Wall, weren’t buying it, honing in on the fact that Keegan, who had been with Dykens at the Golden Banana before the killing, not only sought information on dancers who might be willing to provide sexual services, but that he was the one who spotted Crowley in a convenience store and inquired about her to a store clerk.

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