Sunday, July 12, 2015

Mention the word felon, and people immediately envision the most desperately evil person imaginable.  Having worked for two and a half years in a maximum security prison, I can tell you that those monsters are real. BUT, not everyone who commits a felony is one of those monsters.  Many who are imprisoned are regular middle class or working class people who made a mistake. Keith Giammanco is a kind, intelligent father of twin daughters who made mistakes.

Put Keith in a business suit, and you would confuse him with the stock trader that he is. He does not fit the stereotypical image of an inmate.  He made a few wrong turns after financial ruin in the stock crash in 2007-2008.  Before that, no one (including Keith) would have guessed Keith would become a notorious bank robber.

Who is Keith Giammanco?  He is the youngest of four children who grew up in a single parent, hardworking home in northern St. Louis County.  He is an avid hockey player, and he enjoys playing and watching sports.  Golf is one of his passions.  Keith enjoys informed political discussions, and he has traveled the world. Keith has an incredible memory and can recall details from scenes years past. He has a keen mind for the stock market and would fit in at any business meeting. Keith Giammanco is not the typical inmate.

Keith is a loving and devoted father to his twin daughters, Elise and Marissa, whom he tried to shield from the financial turmoil that struck their household. He was raising his daughters as a single father, and at the time felt alone and desperate when the world tumbled down around his ears.  He used his brilliant mind to find a solution. Unfortunately, that solution was to rob banks.  Keith is not a violent person, and he never used or threatened a weapon. In reality, he was more in danger of a security guard or off-duty officer shooting him during the robberies than anyone was in danger from Keith.  He used notes, not bullets, to take the money he needed to keep his family afloat.

Keith has maintained a strong and healthy relationship with his daughters.  Not everyone is as blessed to have children who stick by him.  Other family members have turned their backs on Keith, but we are both thankful for the warm relationship we have with Elise and Marissa.

Keith is a kind, creative, brilliant man with a caring soul.  He has a sincere dedication to God.  He isn't a prison convert.  Keith's belief in God has been a part of him his entire life.  For a short time he forgot to have faith, to trust, in God and that is where he began the dark path to prison. 

I am proud of who Keith is.  He has made mistakes, but he has always accepted responsibility for his actions.  He is much more than the sum total of those mistakes.  He is a remarkable man, and I hope when my book is published you will get to know him even better.  His crimes made national headlines, but he is a person who surpasses the infamy of his bank robberies.

I hope you enjoy finding out about Keith, his motivations, and his experiences in the legal and prison systems.

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