Death Row Scot: Hell Is Out Here | The Kenny Richey Story: Part Three

(The circus that surrounded Kenny when he returned to Scotland after being on Death Row for 21 years for a crime he maintains that he never committed. Picture credit: dailyrecord.co.uk)

Continued from  part two...

Kenny should have been given proper support and guidance back into society but it was like he was thrown to a pack of wolves when he was released. He was constantly bombarded, some of the attention I'm sure he enjoyed but the cracks soon started appearing. It seemed that people had gotten over the excitement of Kenny being back in Scotland pretty quickly and he began to fade into the background.

One minute his face was everywhere and the next he completely disappeared. I assumed it was because he had gone to have a quiet life. The quietness didn't last long as I picked up a newspaper one day to see that Kenny had been involved in some trouble whilst he had been drinking. It sounded like a silly incident that some people get involved in while they are drunk but more and more headlines about him were popping up and they weren't good headlines either.

Suddenly he went from being 'the guy that everyone wanted to pat on the back' to 'get him out of Scotland, he's bad news'. I didn't expect Kenny to be a perfect angel when he came out of prison, he had so much pent up anger inside so reading about him getting drunk didn't shock me, I figured he was making up for lost time and just letting his hair down until he got it out of his system.

Kenny couldn't escape his demons or the anger he had for all of those years wasted. His country felt strange to him, everything was different, there was nobody who understood or could properly help him or tell him what to do. He was alone and fell back into the drinking and dwelling on the past.

He became fixated on Judge Randall Basinger again and sent him threatening messages. Kenny believed that this man took his life away for 21 years and was trying to kill him (which technically, he was). You can imagine the anger to know that you are just a pawn in somebody elses game. 

The situation hit the Scottish newspapers and it was all negative. He'd been involved in drunken fights, his ex wife had done an interview claiming that he told her ''everything'' and that he killed Cynthia Collins but managed to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. 


He'd had some brushes with the law in Scotland and the press were coming down hard on him so he decided to go back to America.

In 2010, he was jailed for threatening Judge Randall Basinger again, he spend two years inside. He said that the threats were made when he was drunk and emotional.

(Left: Kenny Richey. Right: Judge Randall Basinger. Picture credit: thescottishsun.co.uk)

More drama followed with more brushes with the law, relationships breaking down, endless negative newspaper headlines, fights with relatives and a stack of health problems including a cancer scare, five heart attacks and a stroke.

Through the past couple of years I've often looked up Kenny online to see what the latest news is about him. He's had a really rocky road since coming out of prison but I have some sympathies with him because he was thrown right into society without any proper help and guidance after 21 years on death row, there was a lot of anger there, 21 years of his life just gone.

In 2018 an article online mentioned that he was still living in America and was turning his life around which I was pleased to read. He'd met a pastor and was helping build houses for US veterans. It all sounded like a happy ending until I read another article from a newspaper in which his ex partner gave an interview.

This woman claimed that Kenny got drunk and confessed that he deliberately started the fire which killed Cynthia Collins, She also made various other claims about him being abusive and drinking all of the time. She also said that Kenny had cut ties with the pastor after the pair fell out because he had stolen something from him and was no longer building houses for veterans.

I also read that he had run into some financial troubles and a documentary team from RT, who were making a programme about miscarriages of justice tracked him down to a tent in the woods. He'd been homeless and sleeping rough. I was really sad to read this because his work with the pastor sounded like such a wonderful thing.

As for the lady who went to the newspapers about him, I'm not a psychic and I'm not going to say what was and isn't true as I have no idea what went on in their relationship but Kenny did mention that some of the women he had relationships with were interested in writing books about him, making money off of his name and in talks about making a possible movie about his life.

Kenny's life has been a complete roller coaster that has been one upside down twist after another. There was a moment when he was 19, when he joined the Marines when a bright future lay ahead but it all went terribly wrong. Who was to blame? It could be partly down to him and partly down to circumstances? I have done my research into what happened that night when Cynthia died and I do believe he didn't do it, I do believe he was an alcoholic who was impulsive, argumentative and his mouth would often get him into trouble.

He should have had proper psychological help from day one. Moving to America from Scotland can be quite a shock and a life changing experience, put that together with the difficult upbringing. His brother went down a bad road too and ended up on drugs and committing murder whilst under the influence. Something traumatic clearly happened to them both and drugs and alcohol seemed to help numb their pain.

The majority of the Scottish press have turned their backs on him and now see him as trouble. One article called him a Child Killer and I'm surprised they got away with printing that.

He's made a lot of mistakes and part of me feels sympathy for him and the other part of me is annoyed that things didn't work out in a positive way but I have to bare in mind that he has never had the proper help that he needs and he struggles with mental health issues that have never been properly addressed combined with 21 years of his live down the drain. I know I wouldn't be able to cope.

He must be confused about where his home actually is, being torn between Scotland and America.

He's 55 years old and the most recent article about him was from this year (2019) which reported that he was now living in a tent in the woods in Ohio. I'm hoping that circumstances have since changed. He has also allegedly made threats again (on his Facebook page) about Judge Randall Basinger, this was reported in October of this year (2019), there's been no other mention of it since then so I don't know if the matter is being taken further but I will keep an eye on developments should they arise.

I would love to talk to Kenny, he has had an extraordinary journey and I would love to see him settled and in a positive place.

What are your thoughts on Kenny's situation and what do you think really happened that night? I will include my sources and various articles and documentaries below to make up your own mind.

Thank you as always for reading, especially as this has been quite a long case to cover. I appreciate all of your comments on social media.

RIP Cynthia Collins.

Further reading & sources:

Kenny Richey - 2019 Newspaper Article
Kenny Richey - 2019 Newspaper Article
Kenny Richey - Reprieve
Kenny Richey - The Forensics Library
Kenny Richey - Murderpedia
Kenny Richey - Wikipedia
Kenny Richey - Sky News Interview
Kenny Richey - AP Archive
Kenny Richey - Documentary
Kenny Richey - AP Archive
Kenny Richey - Scottish TV Interview

See you in the next post x

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