Some of you folks who have been on my e-mail list and/or who have browsed my websites since about 1998 will recognize the name of Richard Keech. But most of you will not know of him.
Richard was a pre–World War Two China Marine and his unit was sent to the Philippines (from China) a few weeks prior to the fall of Corregidor. When Corregidor fell he became a prisoner of the Japanese along with many others. The remainder of WWII was spent in a POW camp in Japan. After the war, Richard returned home, went to college, married and raised a family, and became a productive citizen, as they say.
In the mid–90s, another turning point occurred in his life when he shot and killed his former son-in-law.
His daughter had divorced her husband, and he, the former husband, had been coming to Richard’s residence to visit his children. Apparently, he had a history of spousal abuse, and he ultimately got into scuffles with both his former wife and then Richard, which led to the above.
Long story short, Richard was sentenced to what amounted to life in a California state prison.
There had been much publicity about the trial. I became aware of the case when one of Richard’s cousins–who had put up a website for Richard–saw something on one of my websites regarding China Marines and e-mailed me.
Though his website now may not still contain all of his writings, you may still find that a google search will find many of his articles that I posted to my various GunnyG sites through the years. Richard discontinued his writings a couple years back when he was forced to stop due to health and/or prison conditions.
Richard was a prolific writer and put out a weekly newsletter while he has been in prison whenever he was able to do so. His writings at first mostly were about his China Marine days, his involvement in the Philippines surrender, and then his days as a pow. Later he wrote on a number of additional topics.
When Richard was taken prisoner in early 1942 I was about 6 years old, but I had already learned about Marines from the movies, and I had an uncle who had then just turned 17 and joined the Corps. And so, Richard was already one of my heroes.
I have now been advised by Joan Spann, another cousin, that the Keech family has been notified by medical authorities where Richard is–northern California–that he has probably sixty days left to live, and they (medical authorities) recommended that a special request again be made for a “compassionate release” for him to be taken home for his final days. But that takes time…
I have spoken to Joan and the lawyer handling this–Mr.Mones–and he suggests that letters from anyone wishing to assist in the request for release be sent to him at…
Letters should address only two points:
1. Richard’s exemplary record as a good citizen, family man, etc.
2. That Richard is neither a threat to himself nor the community.
The Keech family will be very appreciative of any and all letters on behalf of Richard. (And I will too).
I would love to see this old Marine be able to return home finally.
Feel free to forward/post,etc.
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