Men in My Town

A boy is raped in Lincoln. His assailant is murdered in Providence. No one has ever been charged with the crime…someone got away with murder.

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 26, 2011

A boy is raped in Lincoln, Rhode Island. His assailant, beaten to death in Providence. No one’s ever been charged with the crime. Someone got away with murder.

My name is Keith Smith. I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivist pedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet, bucolic, suburban neighborhoods of Lincoln, Rhode Island. I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving. Although he was arrested that night and indicted a few months later, he never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. 36 years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.

“Smith has delivered a gripping, fast paced crime story, a captivating suspense novel inspired by actual events. It’s a true ‘someone got away with murder’ story you can’t put down; a story that will stay with you long after you finish reading Men in My Town.”

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The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Keith Smith, Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor Discusses 5 Steps We Can Take to Keep Kids Safe.

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on February 24, 2011

Just click this link to Blog Talk Radio to hear the live interview covering my experience as a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor plus “Five Steps We Can Take to Keep Kids Safe.”

1. Know the Facts about Childhood Sexual Assault

2. Know the Signs

3. Know What to Do

4. Know Where to Go

5. Know What to Say

Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Read Chapter 1 free on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Kindle

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on December 24, 2010

Read the first chapter of “Men in My Town” FREE on your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry or Kindle.

Just click this link, go to the green box labeled, KINDLE EDITION, located half way down the right side of the screen, then click ‘Read First Chapter Free.” Enjoy Chapter 1 of Men in My Town !

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Healthy Place Mental Health TV calls Smith’s interview, “One of the most powerful interviews I have watched.”

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 27, 2010

 

THE COURAGE TO SPEAK OUT

Healthy Place Newsletter, November 24, 2010 – This week’s Healthy Place Mental Health TV Show is one of the most powerful interviews I have watched. For several days, I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why that was. Then it struck me. I was amazed by our guest’s courage.

For 35 years, Keith Smith kept the secret of his rape from all but a few. He lived with recurring nightmares, fears, and the shame that comes along with a horrible thing like rape.

Over recent time, Keith decided to unveil his secret. “It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.”

I hope you’ll watch this show. I found there was something very haunting about the power of Keith’s message and how he came to it. See if you feel the same way.

See Keith’s live interview exclusively on Healthy Place TV, America’s Mental Health Channel.

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Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

Here’s Keith’s story.

Keith Smith talks about Childhood Sexual Assault

“At the age of 14, I was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger. It wasn’t a neighbor, a coach, a relative, a family friend or teacher. It was a recidivistpedophile predator who spent time in prison for previous sex crimes; an animal hunting for victims in the quiet, bucolic, suburban neighborhoods of Lincoln, Rhode Island. I was able to identify the guy and the car he was driving.  Although he was arrested that night and indicted a few months later, he never went to trial. His trial never took place because he was brutally beaten to death in Providence before his court date. Thirty five years later, no one has ever been charged with the crime.”

“Out of fear, shame and guilt, I’ve been silent for over three decades, sharing my story with very few people. No more. The silence has to end. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. The fear, the shame, the guilt have to go. It’s time to stop keeping this secret from the people closest to me, people I care about, people I love, my longtime friends and my family. It’s time to speak out to raise public awareness of male sexual assault, to let other survivors know that they’re not alone and to help survivors of sexual abuse and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience.”

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The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Smith’s book being made into screenplay

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 13, 2010

by JON BAKER                                                                                        Monday, November 8, 2010

LINCOLN — It took years for author and Lincoln native Keith Smith to be able to speak about his abduction and sexual assault, but he readily admits nowadays he’s free of all fear, guilt, shame and embarrassment that stems from being victimized.

In fact, he told over two dozen friends during his recent presentation, “Reasonable Steps We Can Take to Keep Children Safe” that his book Men in My Town is now being developed into a screenplay by former Lincoln resident and current Hollywood writer / producer Ron Truppa.

Smith talks about the necessity of having background checks on all personnel working with children in extracurricular activities, sports programs and summer camps during his program in Lincoln. TIMES photo by BUTCH ADAMS.

How that came to fruition is a story in itself, Smith smiled.

“Ron reached out to me in the first week of December 2009,” he recalled.  “He learned about Men in My Town from a posting on a Social Networking site. Although we had never met, Ron and I grew up in Lincoln, graduated from Lincoln High School and both went on to receive Political Science degrees from Providence College.”

“I was excited about getting a call from a writer / producer in LA.” he added. “In one of our early phone conversations Ron said, ‘I think I found the Rhode Island project I’ve been looking for.’ After a few phone calls and hours of conversations, I felt an immediate connection with Ron.”

A few weeks later, Truppa flew from Los Angeles to the Ocean State, and Smith drove from his home in New Jersey to Lincoln, and the tandem got together for an entire day, sharing stories and thoughts.

“We retraced the events of the night (March 1, 1974) from the Barber Shop on Front Street where I left my youth hockey team meeting, to the spot where I was abducted in Lonsdale, to where I attempted to jump out of the car in Fairlawn, to where I was assaulted in Lime Rock,” Smith noted. “We went to places described in Men in My Town, the bars, the basketball courts, the race track (now Twin Rivers casino), the police station, restaurants, the bowling alley, the streets in Fairlawn and to my assailants home on Washington Street in Central Falls. We captured the entire journey, our conversation and my description of the events of the night on film.”

“Over the past year, I’ve come to know Ron as a talented, creative, successful movie and television executive, an ‘L.A. Guy’ by way of Rhode Island. I’m glad he took an interest in developing Men in My Town as a movie. I’m really pleased we’re working together. I look forward to shooting this ‘Rhode Island story’ right here in Rhode Island.”

That’s not all for Smith who has testified to government officials to prevent cutbacks to programs serving child victims of sex crimes; appeared on several live radio and TV programs; and done blog interviews with “The Indie Spotlight” and Mike Angley, an award-winning author and retired colonel of the U. S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

And, this past Friday, he participated with actor Tyler Perry and 199 other men on Oprah Winfrey’s groundbreaking TV show she called “Male Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse.”

When asked what’s next in his life, he stated he will continue to take his “Reasonable Steps We Can Take to Keep Children Safe” message on the road, seeking out opportunities with all types of media to publicize his speaking engagements; and to let people know he’s available as a keynote speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused.

As for his presentation at the Courtyard Marriott on Route 116 in Lincoln in late October, Smith promised it exceeded his expectations.

“It was wonderful to finally share with family and friends the story I’ve kept silent for so long.” he said. “Their support that evening, and their love and friendship over the years, has been a source of great strength and support. They’re a great group of people, and I’m fortunate to have them as family and friends.”

For those who wish to purchase his book, they are available for $14.99 in paperback and $9.99 Kindle at http://www.amazon.com

He stated it consistently has been ranked in Amazon’s Top Ten Biographies & Memoirs in New England and is currently ranked No. 6 after being at No. 2 throughout August.

“Between paperback and Kindle sales, over 1,000 copies of Men in My Town have been sold,” he said proudly.

KEEPING CHILDREN SAFE – Author returns to Lincoln to do just that

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 12, 2010

by JON BAKER                                                                                        Monday, November 8, 2010

LINCOLN — One would think the last place Keith Smith, even in adulthood, would want to visit is his hometown.

After all, this is the place where — at age 14 — he had been abducted, beaten and raped by a warped pedophile who had a penchant for violence and sexual abuse against children.

On the contrary, Smith indicated he reveled in his return to Lincoln on this October night. Surrounded mostly by close friends during his childhood and teen-age years, Smith explained to his audience the happenings of that horrifying night — March 1, 1974 — and why he kept it a secret for over three decades.

More importantly, he wanted to use his experience — including the crimes against him and how he had come to write a book entitled “Men In My Town” — to educate adults as to how they may help their own children and grandchildren avoid such wrongdoings.

There he stood, in front of old pals such as Lt. Col. Denis Riel, Tim Tapley, Mary Catherine Dalton and Arthur Jacques in a Courtyard Marriott conference room, offering his presentation, called simply “Reasonable Steps We Can Take To Keep Children Safe.”

Smith talks about the necessity of having background checks on all personnel working with children in extracurricular activities, sports programs and summer camps during his program in Lincoln. TIMES photo by BUTCH ADAMS.

“You know, I’ve wanted to host a formal event in Lincoln ever since I published ‘Men In My Town’ (in March 2009),” he stated after the program. “Although I moved away in 1982, Lincoln has always been home to me.

“In the past year, I’ve told my story to newspapers and magazines, hosted public readings (of the book) and discussed the ‘Reasonable Steps’ on radio and television programs,” he added. “I wanted to return to Lincoln, to where my secret started, to put an end to my silence; to tell my story to friends, family and fans; and offer hope to others who have shared a similar experience of sexual violence.”

Smith read the first two chapters of his novel, inspired by own facts of his abduction, then discussed rather scary statistics before driving home his five basic steps. They included “Know the facts;” “Be aware of the signs;” “Be aware of what to do;” “Know where to go;” and, finally, “Know what to say.”

Beforehand, though, Smith provided attendees some details behind that hellish crime. He talked about how he had been “thumbing” home after a hockey coach’s meeting at his barber shop that night, and felt guilty because he knew he shouldn’t have been. Once the assailant picked him up, and the youngster figured out something was seriously wrong, he tried to escape from the front passenger door, but the criminal had rigged the locking mechanism.

Likewise, he maintained he felt shame because he didn’t try hard enough to fight back.

He then explained to the audience that he had discovered via a newspaper article that his assailant had been beaten to death in August 1975, and police never did solve the murder.

“I sincerely believe that he was killed because of what had happened to me,” he noted. “There was a chance he could’ve grabbed another kid. People in the business told me he had been arrested (for similar crimes) a number of times, and I’m concerned he would’ve killed someone to stay out of jail if not for me.

“Why did I break my silence? I couldn’t take the fear, guilt and embarrassment anymore. Two years ago, I hit the wall. I jumped out of bed one night, from a sound sleep, literally screaming for help. That guilt was killing me, and that guilt came to an end that night. Was I guilty because I hitch-hiked? No! Because I didn’t fight hard enough? No!

“You’ve got to get to a point where you understand the guilt is misplaced — no more,” he continued. “Rape is not about sex, but a random act of violence. I’ve met hundreds of men, women and children who had been repeatedly attacked for weeks, months and years by people who were supposed to protect them. What happened to me was a random act of sexual violence.

“I’ve talked to a lot of guys, and explained I had a predator with a rigged car driving down Smithfield Avenue, I’m a 14-year-old hockey player with a thumb out to get a ride, so (the situation) is like a lion seeing a wounded gazelle.”

**

The author, now 51 and living in New Jersey with his family, revealed under the “Know the facts” segment that 30 percent of child victims are sexually assaulted by a core family member or relative; and 60 percent by someone known to them.

“That would be a neighbor, coach, teacher, friend of the family or clergy,” he said. “Just under 10 percent are assaulted by strangers, and fewer than one percent are abducted and sexually assaulted by strangers. The odds are 50-50 if a child is abducted or sexually assaulted by such a stranger, and that abduction lasts over three hours, the child will be murdered.”

During a book reading and autograph session for his book, 'Men in My Town,' at the Courtyard Marriott in Lincoln, author Keith Smith receives a hug from Kathy Kelley, who grew up with Smith. TIMES photo by BUTCH ADAMS.

Smith then forcefully stated, ”with 90% of childhood sexual assaults committed by someone known to the child, the risk to your children isn’t necessarily with the stranger at the park, but may very well be with the person you allow to take take your child to the park.”

He detailed how to “Be aware of the signs” — and that, sometimes, there are none at all. He spoke of the physical signs (bruises, swelling, pain, rashes, cuts and self-mutilation); emotional signs (a happy, healthy child suddenly becomes sullen, sad, depressed, has nightmares, can’t sleep, ponders suicide); and the behavioral (combative, defiant, unusual changes in friends or things they once enjoyed, age-inappropriate sexual behavior or drug/alcohol abuse).

Under the “Be aware of what to do” portion, he indicated parents should minimize the amount of “alone” time your child spends with adults, and demand that adults involved in extracurricular activities, sports, summer camps or educational lessons be subjected to mandatory background checks.

“Don’t leave children in the care of adults with known alcohol or drug problems,” he said. “Understand why a child may not tell — guilt, shame, fear — (and/or) to protect others. Use positive stories in the news as a catalyst for discussion. Tell your child now that you believe in them, they can trust you and you will help them, no matter what.”

As for “Know where to go,” Smith told attendees either to call 1-800-4ACHILD (all information will remain confidential and anonymous), or visit the Web site www.childhelp.org.

And “Know what to say” dealt with the same as No. 3 — “Tell them I believe you, you can trust me and I will help you. If you tell them those things regularly, they won’t keep quiet, and the perpetrator will get arrested.

“I’m speaking out to raise awareness of male sexual assault, to let other boys and men — seven or 70 years old — that they are not alone,” he stated. “I want to help people, help kids, learn the ‘Reasonable Steps …’ My hope is that other victims of sexual abuse, boys or girls, can come to realize that they aren’t responsible for what happened to them.

“Once they truly believe it wasn’t their fault, they may be able to shed the dangerous, misplaced guilt they carry and begin the transition from sexual assault victim to sexual assault survivor.”

**

After his program, Smith first hugged his brother, Ken, then greeted most of the approximate 30 in the audience the same way.

“I came here because we were best friends,” noted Tapley, who grew up in the Fairlawn section near the Smith homestead. “I remember my sister calling me over a year ago and saying, ‘Did you here about Keith?’ and I said, ‘No.’ She told me he had written a book, and I asked her, ‘On what?’ She said, ‘He was sexually assaulted as a boy.’ I just responded, ‘Get outta here!’

“I never knew,” he continued. “Nobody spent more time with Keith than I did. When I found out, I called him in New Jersey, and we had an emotional conversation. I asked him ‘How did I not know this? We were together in high school all the time.’ He told me had been ashamed and embarrassed, and felt guilty.

“During his presentation, I could see the emotion in him. For him to do this here, it had to be hard for him, but I could also tell by his body language that he was retracing his steps that night. It showed me he’s at peace now.”

Smith agreed.

“There’s no doubt that that discussing my story with the press, media and during public speaking engagements this has helped me heal,” he offered. “But the real healing was achieved when I started to sincerely believe. I’m not responsible for what happened to me.

“When I was able to shed the guilt, shame, embarrassment and fear — by truly believing it wasn’t my fault — I was able to make the transition … But it’s not about my personal healing. It’s about using my personal experience, and my story, to help others.”

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Keith Smith, author of Men in My Town, is a Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and a Keynote Speaker on issues of child safety. He’s available as a speaker for conferences, seminars and fundraising events benefiting non-profit organizations, government agencies, companies and professional associations dedicated to helping children who have been sexually abused. 

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.  Read Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.   Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

“Keith Smith: A story of pain, fear and hope”

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on November 7, 2010

by Audra Clark, Valley Breeze Staff Writer

LINCOLN – In 1974, Keith Smith, a Lincoln teen, was abducted, beaten and raped by a stranger at the age of 14, but he still considers himself one of the luckiest people anyone could ever meet.

That night he was held captive for two hours and 15 minutes, said Smith. Forty-five more minutes and his chances of being murdered as well would have jumped to 50 percent. But he wasn’t murdered, said Smith. He survived and went on to lead a good life.

Recently, he returned to Lincoln on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at the Marriott Courtyard, 636 George Washington Highway to tell his story.

His talk included a discussion on reasonable steps to keep children safe and a reading of excerpts from his book, “Men in My Town,” about his experience dealing with what had happened to him.

On Friday, March 1, 1974, Smith said he was trying to get home after a weekly meeting with his hockey team on Front Street.

He said he walked down to Smithfield Avenue and was hitchhiking home.

Keith Smith. Stranger Abduction Sexual Assault Survivor and author of "Men in My Town."

“Back then, in 1974, to see a 14-year-old kid hitchhiking home was not all that uncommon,” said Smith.

He said a car pulled up beside him and the passenger door opened.

Smith said he got in and told the man driving to take him to Hartley’s Pork Pies.

“Very little conversation took place from the time I got in the car to the time he drove past Hartley’s Pork Pies,” said Smith. “As he drove past Hartley’s, I didn’t think anything of it. I guess I just thought he forgot where I told him I wanted to get out.”

Smith said he told the guy to drop him off just past Hartley’s, but the guy ignored him, and then he sped up.

“That’s when I realized something’s not right,” said Smith. “He definitely knew I wanted to get out and he wasn’t pulling over to let me out.”

There was a bar on the corner a few blocks down called Kiernan’s Lounge, now Brooksie’s Pub. At that intersection, he said, the man took a right onto Grafton Street.

When the man slowed down to take the turn, Smith said he saw his chance to escape and grabbed the handle on the passenger door. He said he leaned on the door figuring he would roll out onto the parking lot of Kiernan’s, but the door wouldn’t open.

Smith explained that the man was a “recidivist predator” and the door had been rigged so that once it was closed, it wouldn’t open again.

He said the man turned to him after that, punched Smith in the head and he told him, “don’t do it again.”

The man then drove up Cobble Hill Road, took a right on Louisquisset Pike past the State Police barracks and the Lincoln Downs racetrack (now Twin River), said Smith. He said eventually they arrived behind Fairlawn Golf Course off Sherman Avenue and drove down a road that was wooded and had no streetlights. Smith said the man drove off the road about 100 yards into the woods “where he proceeds to give me a beating and to sexually assault me.”

The incident occurred between 6 and 8:15 p.m., said Smith.

He said the man then took him back to Smithfield Avenue and onto Higginson Avenue toward Central Falls, and pulled into the Cote’s Meat Market parking lot.

Smith said the man got out of his car and opened up the passenger side door with a key from the outside.

“I’m not about to get out of the car because as long as I’m in the car and he’s out I’m safe,” said Smith. “He walked back around the car to get back in and as he gets on the driver’s side of his car that is when it was time for me to get out.”

He said that’s when he jumped out of the passenger side door, picked up a broken piece of cement and used to it smash the rear window of the man’s AMC Gremlin auto.

“I did that with intent,” said Smith. “I wanted to make sure I marked up his car pretty bad so that when I told the cops what he was driving there would be some way to identify it.”

Then, said Smith, he took off, running down through the parking lot of Lincoln Lanes bowling alley, what is now the Keefe Funeral Home.

He said he ran through several back yards, and street to street, hiding behind trees and cars to get home.

By this time it was dark, said Smith, and every pair of headlights seemed like it was the man, coming back to kill him.

When he got home, said Smith, his oldest brother and his father were there.

“I wasn’t in the house for a minute,” he said. His oldest brother knew something was really wrong as soon as Smith entered the house and he called to their father, said Smith. A couple of minutes later, he said, he was at the Lincoln Police station telling his story to a detective.

“It wasn’t easy,” said Smith. “but there were a couple of moments during my captivity where I said to myself, I’m not trying to be dramatic, but I did this, I said, if I live through the night, he will pay.”

He said that is what led him to read the man’s license plate, back then written on the rear of inspection stickers on the windshield, for the two hours he was captive until it was “emblazoned” in his memory.

Smith said he gave the police the description of the man, the license plate number, the car’s make and model and told them he broke the window.

Eventually the officer said “well you got the right guy,” after they ran the license plate, said Smith. The man had been arrested a number of times for sex crimes against children, said Smith.

“He was indicted, but he never went to trial because someone beat him to death before his court date,” said Smith. “No one’s ever been charged with his murder.”

Thirty-five years later, Smith said he decided to write his book, “Men in My Town,” because he was finally able to let go of the guilt and the shame of what happened to him.

He said he was ready to tell people what happened, because after three decades, less than six people ever knew that he had been raped. Even his five siblings, except for his oldest brother, and his daughters didn’t know.

The book, he said, is not about the bad guy who lived in Central Falls, but about “guys in my town.”

They were known to his family, he said, and were ever present figures in town, always at Brooksie’s or at the golf course, where Smith worked as a teen.

“They made me feel that they knew and because they knew, I was safe,” said Smith. “The book is not about a sexual assault or a brutal murder, it is a story about men who made a boy feel safe in a troubled time in his life. It is a story of hope.”

In the book, most of the names and a few of the circumstances have been changed to respect people’s privacy.

Smith said the book, which is available at amazon.com, “has done a lot for me,” and he said he hopes it helps other survivors find hope.

___________________________________________________________________

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.  Read Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.   Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

“Men in My Town” on You Tube

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 30, 2010

See scenes from the novel in the Men in My Town video with pictures of Hartley’s, Great Road, Lincoln Woods, Barney’s Pond, Chase & Butterfly Farm plus Downcity Providence set to Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” with Alicia Keys.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.  Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

The Sparta Independent discusses “Men in My Town” in New Jersey Arts & Entertainment

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on August 4, 2010

NEW JERSEY  ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

This is an excerpt of an article published in The Sparta Independent on August 4th. For a look at the complete article featuring information on Sparta Books, [Indie}pendent Books plus authors Roy Pickering Jr., Michael Ferrari, Maura Stone,  Jo Lynne Valerie, Jennifer Topper and Estevan Vega, please visit The Sparta Independent

Indie authors gather at Sparta Books

The authors’ stories range from humor to tragedy, By Ray Smith.

SPARTA — Donna Fell knows that her bookstore, Sparta Books, cannot compete with the prices at big box chain stores. What her store can provide is the opportunity for visitors to interact with authors, staged reading promotions and a place for community members to meet.

One such event, a meet and greet with independent authors, took place on July 29.

“I myself as an independent book store owner feel I should be helping independent authors,” Fell said. “I want people to know there are some fabulous writers out there.”

This was the first time that Sparta Books hosted such an event.

Melissa DeKler is the owner of {Indie}Pendent Books and the meet-and-greet in Sparta was the first such event for her company.

DeKler focuses on independent authors and finding a way to garner some publicity for their work.

“These events are important because you get exposed to new up and coming authors,” DeKler said. “You can speak with the authors and even learn how to get your own book into the public.”

Keith Smith, author of “Men in My Town,” tells a powerful story about a 14-year-old boy who was abducted, beaten and raped in a small New England town. The 14-year-old boy is Smith.

He tells the true story of a serial pedophile who was murdered by the men that lived in Smith’s town while out on the streets awaiting trial.

“It’s not a graphic story,” Smith said. “It’s a story of my relationship with some of the men in my town between the time I was attacked and the day my attacker was beaten to death.”

35 years later, no one has been charged with the murder.

“I had to tell people what happened,” Smith said. “All of the experiences I went through made me who I am today.”

Smith doesn’t consider himself an author, but rather a “Wall Street guy who wrote a book.”

Before publishing the book, Smith wrote letters that he one day would give to his two daughters telling them about the incident. Smith is now a spokesperson for RAINN, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network.

“By talking about what happened, I know I’ve helped other people who’ve been through similar experiences,” Smith said.

The event held by Sparta Books was the first meet-and-greet for independent authors at the store, but Sparta Books does hold other events.

“There are regular children story hours, other larger author events, kid party days with characters in costume, in the fall we’re going to have project days with stories and projects,” Fell said. “I really want to push the independent work and the importance of buying local.”

“I can’t compete with prices of big book stores,” Fell said. “But I focus on customer service, which includes hiring a staff that knows books. I want this community bookstore to be a community place where people can come in have meetings and seminars.”

And perhaps meet a few new and talented authors along the way.

The story of the abduction, beating and rape of a teenage boy from Lincoln, Rhode Island, followed by the unsolved brutal murder of his assailant in Providence, is now a moving novel written by the man who survived this vicious attack.

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Based on Actual Events.

Available now at Amazon.com in Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com

Men in My Town profiled in the Fall Issue of Providence College Magazine

Posted in Men in My Town by Keith Smith on October 27, 2009

Keith Smith’s Men in My Town is profiled in the Fall Issue of Providence College Magazine 9781439226254-FrontCover

In Graduates’ Literary Work Hits the Bookshelf we get an inside look at Keith Smith’s recently released bio-novel, Men in My Town. In Men in My Town, Smith tells the shocking but compelling story of the abduction, beating, and rape of a teenage boy, followed by the unsolved murder of his assailant. Making the narrative even more gripping is that the protagonist and victim was Smith himself. “I wrote the story to raise awareness of male sexual assault, to let other victims know that they’re not alone and to help victims of rape and violent crime understand that the emotion, fear and memories that may still haunt them are not uncommon to those of us who have shared a similar experience,” he said. “For those who suffer in silence, I hope my story brings some comfort, strength, peace, and hope.”

Men in My Town by Keith Smith. Available now at Amazon.com in Trade Paperback and Kindle.

Email the author at MenInMyTown@aol.com