A woman at the center of a notorious murder case in Central New York is asking Governor David Paterson for clemency to get out of prison.
In 1991, the Laurie Kellogg story gained national attention. After she was convicted of the murder of her husband, Bruce Kellogg, she became the subject of an acclaimed made-for-TV movie.
18 years ago, at the age of 27, Kellogg, a Pennsylvania housewife, convinced four neighborhood teenagers that her husband was physically and sexually abusive. She drove them to Bruce Kellogg's camp in Seneca County where 17-year-old Denver McDowell shot and killed him in his sleep.
During a highly publicized trial, Laurie Kellogg claimed to be an innocent victim of domestic abuse who did not play a role in the murder. Nevertheless she's serving 25 years to life.
17 years later, Kellogg has applied for clemency from Governor Paterson, but the family of Bruce Kellogg is trying to block her attempt at freedom. "I would tell the Governor that this woman is a menace to society. She's the one that hidden behind her cloak of innocence." Debra Kellogg told Action News. Debra was Bruce's first wife.
She and 15 other relatives who gathered in Auburn this week say they only learned of Laurie's clemency bid last week. Now they've begun a last minute letter writing campaign to convince the clemency board and the Governor to keep her in prison.
Barbara Carter, Bruce Kellogg's sister said, "Laurie has portrayed this fairy tale in which she's the heroin and all this has been done to her. But in reality she is a very wicked and cold blooded person."
"I look at her like a female Charles Manson." added brother Kenneth Kellogg, "If you look at Charles Manson's history, he finagled a lot of young people to do the same kind of thing. and that's exactly what Laurie did."
Supporters of Laurie Kellogg have maintained a website over the years, www.lauriekellogg.org. It depicts her as a victim of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband and the victim of injustice at the hands of the legal system. Through the website we contacted Gil Alba of Alba Investigations in Somers New York. Alba, a former New York City police detective says he visited Kellogg in prison several times. Alba wouldn't say whether he feels she is innocent, but asks, "Did she do enough time? That's what I'm going for rather than her innocence."
A spokesman for Governor Paterson says the Governor receives a hundred clemency applications each year and each one is considered.
The family of Bruce Kellogg is urging others to join them in their letter writing campaign. They can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.