At the age of 21, Keenan was already successful in the business world, as well as being the youngest member of the Los Angeles Stock Exchange. Following a car accident, Keenan became penniless and addicted to painkillers, and he eventually hatched the kidnap-for-ransom scheme and enlisted others to help. Keenan, along with Johnny Irwin and Joe Amsler, conspired to kidnap Frank Sinatra, Jr. Keenan had a psychiatric condition in which he heard voices, and felt that his plan was blessed by God; since he intended to eventually pay the money back, he did not think the kidnapping was immoral. After successfully nabbing Sinatra Jr. from the Harrah's Lodge at South Lake Tahoe, Keenan made contact with Frank Sinatra, Sr. to make ransom arrangements. Sinatra initially offered one million dollars, but Keenan demanded significantly less instead, $240,000. Despite the nature of the crime, Keenan felt that he was bringing the Sinatra family closer together and assisting the Sinatras in other intangible ways.
Sinatra paid the ransom and the three men released his son. Within days, all three conspirators were apprehended by the FBI. Keenan was sentenced to life plus seventy-five years in prison for his crimes, but only served four and a half years before he was released, because it was determined that he was legally insane at the time of the crime.
After his release, Keenan went on to become successful as a real estate developer. He has been writing a book about the affair, the proceeds of which he says will go to charity.[needs update]
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