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The Killing Jar is based on the true story of Ted Lynch (his fictitious name), one of the youngest Americans to be charged with a capital crime and sentenced to death. In 1978 in the insular hollows of Eastern Kentucky, neighbors kw that Ted is being starved, living in squalor and being verbally abused by his fanatically religious mother. But instead of intervening they make his plight grist for the local gossip mill. Ted's teachers are aware that this straight-A student is growing strange and using drugs and alcohol to cope, but they do little to change the situation. It isn't until fifteen-year-old Ted murders his seven-year-old neighbor that anyone pays much attention to the abhorrent conditions under which he has been living. The resulting swirl of anger and desire for vengeance, along with moral indignation and blind religiosity of the community, turn Ted's first trial into a circus. With a weak court-appointed attorney representing him and a corrupt judge as overseer, Ted is found guilty and sentenced to death at the age of sixteen. While spending nine years of his young life in the foreboding Kentucky State Penitentiary, kwn as The Castle of Cumberland, Ted makes friends with the men on the row. Among them is a torious rapist and murderer who becomes Ted's closest friend, remarkably showing him a kindness that he has never experienced before. With poor psychological help on the inside, Ted's delusions fester. There is little hope until the defense team of Glenda and Devon McKnight, together with psychologist Robert Newport, becomes involved. They are determined to save the life of this troubled and mentally ill young man, but can they convince a jury of Ted's insanity? Co-authored by Ted's psychologist, this telling looks at the circumstances, the pathology, the warning signs, and the trigger of a heartbreaking and senseless tragedy compounded by the igrance of a community bent on blind revenge.
Gloria Nixon-John earned an M.A. in Communications from Wayne State University in Detroit and her Ph.D. at Michigan State University. Gloria is a Red Cedar Writing Project Teacher Consultant. She has published essays, poems, short fiction and pedagogical articles and chapters for teachers, and chapters in a variety of texts for children and young adults. Among her credits is a chapter in Writers in the Classroom (ed. Ruth Nathan), and The Women of Country Music (ed. Charles Wolfe and James Akenson), an excerpt from her memoir entitled Learning From Lady Chatterley appears in Turns (ed CoCo Harris). Gloria has worked with InsideOut, Literary Arts Project in Detroit and has served The Theodore Roethke House as a grant writer and oral historian. She has also worked as oral historian for the Marshal Fredricks Sculpture Museum in Saginaw Michigan. She enjoys time with her family, time in her garden, and time with her horses, dogs and cats. Robert William Noelker, Ph.D. graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Doctoral degree in Clinical and Forensic Psychology. He has been in private practice for 44 years and has specialized in the treatment of children, adolescents and adults who have serious personality, characterological and behavioral problems. He has testified in multiple Court venues, including testimony in several states, as well as having testified in Federal Court. He has testified in 15 death penalty cases, including the case upon which The Killing Jar is based. Dr. Noelker has been married for 51 years and has three grown children. His oldest daughter is a Nurse Midwife, his youngest daughter is a Talent Manager and his son, a former Navy pilot, is a practicing attorney. He has eight grandchildren who he enjoys immensely.