Convicted Killer Linked To OKC Teen's Murder In 1976

Friday, November 11th 2011, 6:30 pm
By: News 9

It's been more than three decades since an Oklahoma City teen was raped and murdered. The case went cold until recently. Now, a convicted murderer is linked to the girl's death.

The family told News 9 this is the justice they knew would come.

In court this week, John Kennedy, who is already serving a life sentence, was ordered to stand trial for the 1976 murder of Virginia Kegan.

It was the first time Kegan's family came face to face with the person they said stole a piece of their heart so long ago.

"He didn't show any remorse or no kind of feeling at all," Patti Stephens said.

Patti Stephens and her mother Cheri have waited 35 years to see Virginia Kegan's accused killer. After all these years, Stephens still doesn't understand why someone would hurt her sister, who she called "Ginner."

"She was beautiful, so full of life, so caring, so loving, she would have given anybody anything," Stephens said.

The 17-year-old girl was shot in the head, her throat slashed, and left for dead near the then North Canadian River.

It was a day that changed their lives forever. The family never rested easy knowing a killer was still out there.

"I kind of lived in fear for 35 years it was tough," Stephens said.

Years passed and the case went cold until last year. Convicted murderer John Kennedy became the number one suspect.

"We didn't know back then that she was raped, and now we find out she was, it's a blessing in disguise in a way the DNA is how they linked Kennedy to killing her," Stephens said.

After 35 years, it's the justice they never stopped praying for.

"Justice for Ginner, it's just something I've always said. Someday we will have justice for Ginner. She's always in my mind and my heart," Stephens said.

Stephens said they don't want Kennedy to get the death penalty. They are happy knowing he is already in prison and can't hurt anyone else.