On a Friday night in August 2018, my phone rang, revealing a blocked number on my screen. The caller worked for Kim Kardashian. Thinking it might be a prank, I then recalled that a friend had met Kim on the set of Family Feud a few weeks earlier and told her about a project I was working on with a man that I believed had been wrongfully convicted.
Days later, Kim and I met in her living room.
Meeting Kim Kardashian and being inspired by Serial
Kim was authentic, engaged and truly outraged by the story I pitched her: the true account of Kevin Keith, who, almost 30 years ago in 1994, was accused and convicted of a triple homicide that took place in Bucyrus, Ohio. Crimes he denies committing.
She was equally taken with the story of Charles Keith, Kevin’s older brother, who has never given up on his sibling. I could tell she related to that sibling bond and would do the same for her family. Within hours, Kim and I became collaborators.
Kim and I were both obsessed with the viral Serial podcast that covered the Adnan Syed case. In 1999, Syed was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee. Then, a journalist and lawyer began to investigate the case and Syed’s claims of innocence and in 2014, the podcast Serial launched. With thousands of people posting and talking about that case, we imagined we could do the same thing for Kevin. Like Syed’s case, there was no physical evidence linking Kevin to the crime.
A true crime background
My background is in unscripted television with a specialty in true crime storytelling, depicting intriguing stories about the human condition and what would make a person kill someone else. I am equally obsessed with cop stories. My dad was a cop in New York in the ’70s, who often worked the night shifts, and my mom always feared that he would not come home. So, police officers will always be my heroes, and it frustrates me when the actions of bad cops taint the view of the good ones.
As a true crime producer, I was used to telling stories about those brave men and women of law enforcement who were called to investigate some of the most terrible crimes and bring killers to justice. My shows were visual love letters to the police but typically showed a simplified version of the criminal justice system.
By the time I first heard about the Kevin Keith case, his brother Charles along with a team of lawyers, had been fighting to prove his brother’s innocence for over 20 years, convinced that Kevin was framed for murder.
Investigating Kevin Keith’s case
In March 2020, just days before the pandemic locked down most of America, I traveled to Ohio to investigate the case. I was struck by many details outlined in news stories, but what really hooked me was Charles’ plight. He dropped everything to fight for his brother and compiled documents to show how local police knew of another viable suspect but failed to investigate them thoroughly. Then Ohio Governor Ted Strickland acknowledged the lack of a full investigation into other…