Sunday, November 25, 2007

Idiot of the Month: Don LaRose aka Ken Williams

Ken Williams, the mayor of Centerton, Arkansas, resigned on Wednesday and told authorities an interesting tale. It goes something like this...

He was born Don LaRose, and in the mid-70s he was a preacher in Indiana with a wife and two kids. He was kidnapped and brainwashed by Satan worshipers and forgot all about being Don LaRose until recently when he took a truth serum. He took the name -- Bruce Kent Williams - from a man who died in a car crash in 1959.

Here's where it gets really good...
The information went public, Williams said, because he runs a Web site about Don LaRose and his disappearance. LaRose's former family found the Web site and started inquiring about its author. They found the site registered to a Ken Williams and went from there.

Williams said his current wife is standing by him and the two of them want to continue living in Centerton. He said he plans to continue living as Ken Williams.

Also, his resignation was signed with two names, he said.

According to police, Williams is under no investigation for any wrongdoing.
I guess polygamy is not a crime in Arkansas. A local television station has video of this idiot.


Carly said...

Hmmm... I am just guessing here, but he's a republican... right? :)

fdtate said...

I don't know. In many small towns, you don't declare a party affiliation for civic offices. Anyway, the stuff I've read on this bozo doesn't say.

Anonymous said...

I am from the northwest Arkansas area so I know more about the story. This is not polygamy. When he married his second wife, he had already been declared legally dead several years earlier, and his "widow" was already re-married to another man.

fdtate said...

Thanks for clearing that up.

Too Close said...

Actually, what Anonymous said is not exactly correct. I'm also from NW Arkansas and fairly close to the situation. Don-Ken remarried in 1986. Don LaRose was declared legally dead in 1987. It is unclear if his first wife divorced him before that, or just waited until having him declared dead before remarrying. I suspect that is most likely.

In Arkansas, all municipal elections are non-partisan. In the many conversations I have had with Don-Ken, he has never mentioned a party affiliation.

Chances are it was indeed bigamy.

related said...

Actually, what too close said is not correct. His first wife was going to have him declared dead but Ken/Don sent a letter(a very wierd and paranoid letter) to his parents indicating he was still alive. So, she just got a divorce. Ken/Don probably was waiting for her to divorce him as he has given indications that he was monitoring the situation. He probably got married right after the divorce. None-the-less, the guy is a world class scum bag. Remember folks, this guy never contacted his children for 27 years simply because(he says) he was afraid of an imaginary boogyman.

fdtate said...

Some very interesting subplots going on with this story. I had a feeling the whole marriage thing related to him being declared dead, but didn't know any of the details.

I'm struck by the fact that a couple of people who are relatively close to the situation have commented here, but no one has taken exception to my characterization of him as an idiot. "Scumbag" also seems good.

Too Close said...


You obviously have something that was not in the press, that business about the letter to his parents, and the divorce. The press reported he was declared dead seven years after he went missing; I'm not sure where they got that. I checked the Social Security Death Index, and no Don LaRose fitting the criteria is listed, meaning no one filed for SS death benefits.

I have known Ken Williams for going on two decades. I never would have suspected this of him. I always had some problems with his truthfulness, and traced a couple of confidential items being spread around by him. He has always had some odd mannerisms, such as giving a little laugh whenever saying something difficult. He admitted to having a former wife and two daughters, but never said how the marriage dissolved, leaving the implication it was by divorce. I once asked him where he learned Spanish, and he said it was when his parents were in the diplomatic corps and were posted to Quito, Ecquator, him being either a child (or teenager; my memory fails) at the time. He told another it was when he was a business executive traveling frequently to South America.

Prior to his exposure as a 27 year wife and child disserter and assumer of a dead man's identity, I would not have categorized him as a scumbag or idiot. Odd maybe, but not those two. His reputation in the community was solid, and by all appearances he was a good citizen. Now, of course, I have to agree with you: a scumbag and an idiot.

I have trouble deciding if he is stupid or diabolical.

related said...

The problem is that,except for a couple of HUGE schizisms in his life, Ken/Don has always operated as an upstanding member of whatever community in which he was living.
When the detective and the New York State police concluded that he had planned his disapperance the first time, still many people wanted to believe him.
They loved and trusted him, and they couldn't understand how a man of such reputation could make up such a story. More importantly, they couldn't understand why a man in his position would possibly even want to make up such a story.
Remember,when he was found, he acted as if he had no memory of anyone or anything. It's not like he just all of a sudden started telling his crazy story. They put him a mental health facility, and it was while he was there that supposedly little flashes of the past started coming back. And then, while he was there or shortly there-after is when he met with Dr. DeHann and the doctor gave him a series of 2 or 3 injections of the supposed truth serum Sodium amytal. It is during those sessions, which were video taped, that he tells his abduction story for the first time heard by anyone.
And then, upon hearing himself on the tapes, actually does submit this as evidence to the police.
And to top it off, he had no problem asserting in a public forum on a continueous basis, that he had been abducted and had his memory erased.
I say all this because I want you to know just how convincing this man can be, even if the story is outrageous.
But again I say, where the story fails the most is in trying to validate not making contact with your children for 27 years(and counting) because he fears for their lives?!
Well Ken/Don, there are sometimes fates that are worse than the risk of death. You took their father's heart away from them. And I know they would have rather died in their daddy's arms.

Anonymous said...

hey I know this guy!! it is so crazy that just 2 years ago we were having New Years dinner he was sitting in front of me and looked like a nice it's crazy..that is it he is not bad he is just crazy in his mind, he thinks he is doing the right thing..and just imagine isn't it better for the children to just be sad missing their father or him being there all crazy messing up their lives..I'm not rooting for him but I guess the choice was the lesser of 2 evils..just my 2 cents..

Too Close said...

Don/Ken is back on the air at his old radio station, KURM. I'm going to suggest they change their call letters to KON.

The Social Security Administration is supposedly investigating him.

Anonymous said...

He has a website about himself, yet he doesn't contact his former family?

Well, at least he didn't murder them like that Joseph List fellow.

Anonymous said...

Satan worship cults have plagued the midwest for decades. Its fringe rumor bogeyman type stuff, and a legend like bigfoot or the loch ness monster, but its is well known through the small towns of the midwest and american west. Lots of people have stories, or know someone who has. And these cultists play for keeps. You mess with them, you end up an accident victim. To be honest, you'd be surprised what goes on in these small towns out in the middle of nowhere. So I don't immediately discount this fellow as an idiot exactly. In fact, if he felt his family were in danger that might explain him keeping his distance in some way, yet passively allowing himself to be discovered via the web. The guy has gone through mental health treatment just to cover for him skipping out on his wife and faking his death, only to blow his own cover on purpose? That doesn't make sense. There may be more to this than what's on the surface, as usual.

Anonymous said...

The previous Anon was right about one thing: There are a group of cultists who "play for keeps" -- they're the ones toting Bibles and muttering incantations to their sky spirit. They're also the ones responsible for most of the rumors about so-called "Satan worship cults" in the rural midwest and elsewhere, as it seems the more extreme elements of evangelical Christianity in America are simply incapable of functioning without some sort of tangible "evil" that furthers their need for a false persecution complex.

Stumble blindly through rural America -- not just the midwest -- and I submit that you'll find a thousand clandestine meth labs before you see as much as one Satanic cult, and when you do find that cult it's more than likely going to be a bunch of teenage kids snorting that manufactured meth, grinding their teeth and playing World of Warcraft for 72 hours straight.

It would be nice to believe DonKen's fantastic story about abduction and brainwashing but the reality is that his story is much more simple, and sadly, common: A man couldn't deal with his work and family obligations so he ran away from home.

DonKen isn't a victim, he's a deadbeat and a sociopath.

Too Close said...

Hey y'all:

Don Scumbag (aka Ken Williams)LaRose has started up his website again, New lies being added every day. Also, check out his other site,, especially his schedule. Looks like he's gonna see someone on April 4, his mom and dad on April 6 to 9, then others after that. Should be interesting meetings.