WKU Live!

Arts & Culture
1:20 pm
Thu March 20, 2014

Author Chronicles Story of 1980s Kentucky Teenage Death Row Inmate

Credit Neverland Publishing

A novel called "The Killing Jar", by author Gloria Nixon-John, is based on a true story from rural eastern Kentucky in which an incredibly gifted, but mentally disturbed 15-year-old named T0dd Ice is convicted of murdering his neighbor’s 7-year-old daughter and assaulting the neighbor in 1978.

The main character – named Ted Lynch in the book – spends several years as the nation’s youngest person on death row until his murder conviction was thrown out on appeal. During a re-trial he is convicted of manslaughter and winds up serving 15 years in prison before being released to a mental institution and then a halfway house.

Before his initial trial, Todd (Ted) was diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic.  He would die in 2010 at age 47 after a dramatic weight gain, partially blamed on the medications he was prescribed.

The book is a novel,  but the author says she started the project as a non-fiction presentation of events. She says 95 percent of book is based on factual documentation.

She will speak at Barnes and Noble in Bowling Green tonight at 7 p.m. as part of the Kentucky Live! Series, presented by WKU Libraries.

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