KLIK Talk Show Host Lived a Double Life
KLIK's morning show started out a little differently Tuesday.
"This is news talk 1400 KLIK. This is Tony Messenger filling in for James Keown who has been arrested for his wife's murder."
The party line had a guest host this morning, Tony Messenger, a friend of Keown. But even this friend says he didn't know Keown's past.
"He was a gregarious, happy guy who was friends to everybody who knew him," Messenger said.
Messenger, like many of Keown's friends and co-workers says he didn't know Keown was living a double life. A friendly talk show host who kept secret that he's been under investigation for his wife's murder for more than a year.
"I knew that his wife had died. I never asked him why, I just always assumed it was an illness or a car wreck or something like that," Messenger said.
But Keown's boss Brian Wilson was one of the few people who knew about the investigation.
Wilson says Keown called him in March to warn him that the FBI was in town asking questions and they might need to speak to KLIK employees.
"I assumed so much time had gone by that this wasn't an issue anymore, so I was shocked," Wilson said.
Keown's mother Betty Keown spoke with Tony Messenger on air Tuesday.
"I talked to James this morning. He was in a better state of mind. He said I love you mom, I said I love you son. He said this has been hanging over our heads and it's better to get this out and over with and I'm not guilty and this will be okay," Betty Keown said.
Messenger can't believe the man he says was the life of the party, a friend to all, is behind bars.
"My initial reaction is one of sort of feeling lied to. One of sort of wondering about the nature of our friendship for the past 8 months," Messenger says.
KLIK representatives say they have not yet found a permanent replacement for the party line show. Keown is being held in the Cole County Jail until he is moved to Boston for a court appearance later this week.