Where Were Jimmy Keene and Larry Hall Imprisoned?

Image Credit: Dateline NBC/NBC

Apple TV+’s crime series ‘Black Bird’ follows Chicago-based drug dealer James “Jimmy” Keene, who receives an offer to walk free from prison in return for an undercover mission for the FBI. Jimmy befriends a suspected serial killer named Larry DeWayne Hall to elicit his confession to killing Tricia Reitler. The series progresses through Jimmy’s efforts to create a bond with Larry to make him reveal the details concerning Tricia’s suspected murder and the location of her supposed dead body. Since the majority of the show is set in Larry and Jimmy’s prison, one must be intrigued to find out where they were imprisoned in real life. Let us share the answer!

Where Were Jimmy Keene and Larry Hall Incarcerated?

Jimmy Keene and Larry Hall, together, were imprisoned in Medical Center for Federal Prisoners, Springfield, in the state of Missouri. The prison provides medical, mental health, and dental services to male inmates. Larry Hall was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for abducting and raping Jessica Roach, a 15-year-old girl whose body was found in Perrysville, Indiana. Since Jessica’s cause of death could not be determined, the prosecution couldn’t include murder charges in Larry’s case. While declaring Larry’s sentence, Judge Harold Baker recommended Springfield penitentiary.

“It’s the recommendation of the court that because of the personality disorders that the evidence show affect the defendant [Larry], that he be assigned, at least initially, at the correctional institution at Springfield, Missouri, to the psychiatric division for further evaluation and ultimate assignment,” Judge Baker said with the sentence. “I think he is a vulnerable prisoner . . . and that appropriate caution should be taken in handling him,” Judge Baker added. Thus, Larry ended up in Springfield. Today, Larry is incarcerated at Federal Correctional Institution Butner Medium II in North Carolina.

Jimmy Keene, on the other hand, spent the initial few months of his 10-year sentence in Metropolitan Correctional Center, Chicago. Then he was transferred to Federal Correctional Institution in Milan, Michigan. His father James “Big Jim” Keene had a four-hour drive in front of him to see his son at the Milan prison. As per the source text of the show, ‘In with the Devil: A Fallen Hero, a Serial Killer, and a Dangerous Bargain for Redemption,’ written by Jimmy Keene with Hillel Levin, Jimmy even started a “pornographic magazine library” in the Milan prison to win favors, primarily fresh fruits and vegetables.

Image Credit: Dateline NBC/NBC

In 1998, Jimmy was summoned to Ford County Jail in Paxton, Illinois, to meet federal prosecutor Lawrence Beaumont, the inspiration behind the character Edmund Beaumont. The prosecutor offered Jimmy an opportunity to put an end to his prison life by working undercover. Along with eliciting Larry’s confession, Jimmy had to find the location of Tricia Reitler’s suspected dead body from Larry. Jimmy had to get transferred to Springfield penitentiary for the mission. As per his book, Jimmy was scared of getting transferred to Springfield since he feared getting stuck in a penitentiary with “lunatics.”

Jimmy eventually decided to move forward with the undercover mission. He was transferred to Springfield from Ford County Jail. After the conclusion of his mission, he was released from Springfield in January 1999. He was first taken to MCC, Chicago, and then to the federal prison in Milan, Michigan. Then he was transferred to Ford County Jail to await his release procedures. After meeting the judge, Jimmy was sent to MCC, Chicago, and then to the Milan prison. Since the prison was full, he was moved to a prison in Terre Haute, Indiana, where he stayed until his final release.

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