The story of a former Monson, Maine resident, Stacey M. Kananen, is featured on a new Investigation Discovery series, Catch My Killer, slated to air on March 3, 2013. She was found not guilty in Orlando, Florida, on March 12, 2010, of her mother’s murder. Kananen’s story — Fear of our Father-The True Story of Abuse, Murder and Family Ties — will be published by Berkley Books in June 2013. Fear of Our Father is co-authored by Lisa Bonnice, an award-winning writer/producer for MSNBC.com.
Kananen was also featured in an Emmy-nominated BBC documentary, America’s Child Death Shame, by reporter Natalia Antelava.
Part of Stacey Kananen’s story played out in Monson as her father, Richard Kananen, Sr., violently abused his wife and children. They lived on Tenney Hill Road until their house burned down in a fire set by their father. The family moved out of state after Stacey finished second grade, eventually ending up in Orlando.
When her father vanished from their Orlando home in 1988, no one reported his disappearance. In 2003, his wife Marilyn went missing. Police charged Stacey’s brother, Richard Jr., who graduated from Foxcroft Academy, in Dover-Foxcroft, Maine, with murdering both parents and burying their bodies—one under the garage floor of the family’s home, and the other in his sister’s back yard. Stacey cooperated as a witness for the State until her brother agreed to a plea bargain and told police that Stacey helped him murder their mother.
Her two-week trial, which aired on CNN’s In Session, ended with a not guilty verdict. Kananen was defended by Diana Tennis, a well-known Orlando defense attorney.
Kananen is working toward the creation of a new kind of holistic advocacy program. “Even at a young age I would dream of a way to help abused children, while desperately wishing someone could help me and my family,” Kananen states, “I want to offer help to abusers who truly want to be different. Many people say that abusers belong behind bars and, if they are anything like my father, I agree. However, some people don’t want to abuse others but that is all they know. For them to have a nonjudgmental opportunity to heal and change, I feel, is tantamount to ending the cycle of abuse.”
Fear of our Father (Berkley Books)
04 Jun 2013
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