Friday, March 19, 2010

Kenny Strickland: The Ultimate Betrayal

According to Kenneth Bradford Strickland's family, he had been an addict his entire adult life. Frequently family members intervened, and Strickland always managed to retain his freedom. In a 2006 attempt to rehabilitate Strickland, his grandfather allowed the then 23 year-old to move into his lakeside cottage--a cottage next door to the home of Rusty Earnest. For a short time, Kenny Strickland seemed on the road to a drug-free life. During this period, Earnest helped the younger man in any way he could.

However, it was not long before Strickland relapsed and was evicted from the small beach house. According to those who knew Strickland, by 2007 his life had become a cycle of theft, drug use, and more theft to fund his drug of choice--methamphetamine.

In late April, Rusty Earnest sold his fishing boat to a co-worker, a fact Earnest casually mentioned at a local restaurant belonging to Strickland's family. Whether Kenny Strickland knew the exact details of the sale is unknown, but what is known was Strickland's desperation for money and drugs on the day of May 1, 2007.

Strickland had unsuccessfully attempted to sell a knife before borrowing $25.00 from a friend. According to those who saw him later that day, Strickland, along with two female companions, had spent the money on whiskey and was again broke. Around midnight, he decided to pay Rusty Earnest a visit...

Tomorrow: He killed both of them.


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