In 1992, 18 year old Joel Durham shot McDonald’s manager Leo Kern to at point blank range in front of his fiance and other patrons during a robbery on Severn Avenue in Metairie, LA. Durham was convicted of first-degree murder, and was later killed by officers at Louisiana State Penitentiary during a failed escape attempte on Dec. 28, 1999.
Added: July 14, 2011
- NY Times
- The Justice Center court documents (Pages 108-109)
- Book: The Last Face You’ll Ever See: The Culture of Death Row By Ivan Solotaroff (Page 50)
Joel Durham was spared the death penalty because of his age and “angelic” appearance. If he had been executed as he should have been, the guard he murdered in prison would still be alive and he would have gotten what he truely wanted, to be put out of his misery…
I went to high school with Joel and was pretty good friends with him. We had mutual tastes in music. I never imagined he would turn out like this. I actually spoke to him on the phone 3 months before his death.
Where can I find a mugshot of Joel Durham?
We’re not sure, it doesn’t look like any of our sources for this story provided an image. Google image search?
Why do you need a mug shot?
I worked at this restaurant and I left at the end of my shift. We would kid around when Leo would take over the evening shift sometimes we just didn’t want to leave because he was fun to be around. I never thought that would be the last time I would see Leo. I attended his funeral. With all respect to his family—-whose pain and loss transcends my grief—that night, he appeared to me in my vivid dream wearing a horizontal striped shirt and dark pants. I couldn’t hear him but I felt his presence and could clearly see him. He seem to waive goodbye in a calming manner and it put me at ease. I woke and thought he was managing even my pain and loss; as he was always managing things. I was young and this was profoundly shocking and terrible. He was one of my first cool managers.