Laurie Feinstein was just 16-years-old when she fell in love. It didn’t matter that Bruce Kellogg was twice her age. When he asked her to move in with him, she didn’t think twice. Bruce even paid Laurie’s stepfather $500 to secure his underaged wife-to-be…
But as soon as she began her new life as Mrs. Kellogg, Laurie’s
illusions of Bruce as a charming, caring man were quickly dashed. He
became abusive and controlling — or so Laurie would later claim. After 11 years of marriage, she finally snapped.
|Laurie Kellogg claims she suffered a decade of domestic abuse at the hands of her husband Bruce
In 1991, when Laurie was 27-years-old, she convinced four teenagers from her Pennsylvania neighborhood that Bruce was both sexually and physically abusive. She begged them for help. 19-year-old Denver McDowell agreed to do whatever it would take.
Laurie drove McDowell to Seneca County, New York, where her husband was vacationing at his summer cottage. When they arrived, McDowell shot and killed Bruce in his sleep while he napped on the couch.
Laurie insisted she had nothing to do with the murder and maintained that she was the real victim, having suffered mental, physical, and sexual abuse at the hands of Bruce for over a decade. When asked why she was out at his New York cabin with the teens, Laurie claimed that she went to question him about allegations that he’d sexually assaulted two girls from their hometown.
But the jury didn’t buy her tales of innocence or take pity on her for her stories of horrific abuse. In July 1992, Laurie was found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, first-degree burglary, and two more firearms charges. She was sentenced to 25 to life.
|Laurie’s tale was turned into a made-for-TV movie, Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg
At around the same time, Laurie sold the rights for her story for $10,000. In 1994, the made-for-TV movie Lies of the Heart: The Story of Laurie Kellogg
finally aired. It starred Jennie Garth of 90201
fame, who played Laurie as a young, naive girl who was in over head when she married the 31-year-old Bruce Kellogg — portrayed as an abusive wretch of a man.
Viewers sympathized with Laurie’s blight and many felt that her sentence was too harsh in light of the abuse she’d endured.
Since then, Laurie continues to maintain her innocence and her supporters have launched numerous campaigns to have her conviction overturned, claiming that Laurie is both a victim of domestic violence as well as the justice system. Corrections officers and a former New York police detective have even taken up her cause. However, the family members of Bruce as well as Denver McDowell don’t agree
This month, Laurie, now 45-years-old, applied to New York Governor David Paterson for clemency. The Kellogg family is doing everything they can to keep her in prison, having launched their own letter writing campaign in hopes of keeping her behind bars. Bruce’s brother, Kenneth, doesn’t buy her accusations of abuse and likens Laurie to a “female Charles Manson.”
“Laurie has portrayed this fairy tale in which she’s the heroin and all this has been done to her,” says Bruce’s sister, Barbara Carter. “But in reality she is a very wicked and cold-blooded person.”
Bruce’s family is encouraging folks to support their effort to keep Laurie behind bars. Anyone interested in writing letters to do so may contact the family at [email protected]
— while Laurie fans are always welcome at www.lauriekellogg.org