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Ken Connelly (KC) is a speaker, educator and author.
Ken Connelly is an Author, Speaker and Educator on child abduction and neglect. His specific area is parental child abduction. Ken has spoken before the Texas and Florida State Legislation, law enforcement agencies, and child protective services. He has lobbied and worked with U.S. legislators, to help raise awareness and end domestic and international parental child abduction. He has testified as an expert witness and His involvement with BACHome (Bring Abducted Children Home, Center for the Missing and other organizations has helped put a face to this quiet, yet dark crime. Ken gives a unique perspective as the first successful interstate felony case to result in a conviction and recovery for Parental Child Abduction. Ken takes great care in educating the similarities of ‘Stranger’ based and Non-stranger based kidnapping. Ken answers the question: Why do children stay in a Long-Term-Abduction and not run-away or ask for help.
His book, “Throwing Stones; Parental Child Abduction through the Eyes of a Child”, recounts in detail, his experience as a kidnapped child from the age of seven to eleven years-old. He shows how distant relatives, ill-informed friends, child care providers, religion based private schools, and gaps in State and Federal Identification can lead to a successful abduction. His book details the secret and often hidden emotional breakdown a long-term kidnapped child goes through; which often leads the child to protect the perpetrator that has inflicted the abuse upon them.
You can overcome anything if you desire! Finding that one grounding tool can be very hard and finding the right influences, even harder. Ken has relied on his one constant in life, Martial Arts, to give him a sense of grounding. From youth and into his thirties, Ken used this basic building block of physical and mental discipline to mold and direct his life.
Growing up, Ken went to eleven elementary schools, nine middle schools and four high schools. His last completed fall-to-spring year in school was 8th grade. High school was a hit and miss while his parents moved from California, Texas, Washington and then finally sent back to his father (who abducted him years earlier) in Texas. At the end of 10th grade, Ken’s only option was to drop out, seek a GED and eventually join the Army.
Ken began working in restaurants on his thirteenth birthday. He continued to work and pay rent until he was finally on his own. As a young adult, Ken worked many different jobs as diverse as roughnecking in the oil fields of West Texas, cook, bartender, welder, sales, commercial truck driver, emergency medical technician and law enforcement officer. Although he attended community college and trade schools after earning his GED, the gaps created by missing such a large amount of primary and secondary education, left him insecure and in fear of ever earning a college degree.
In 2005, Ken, through the encouragement of his wife, enrolled in a local community college. Due to a series of surgeries in the fall of 2005, Ken had to temporarily withdraw from school to begin rehabilitation for a spinal fusion. In the spring of 2009, he again enrolled in a community college and simultaneously at the University of Texas at Dallas. While at school, Ken suffered with his grades and continually repeated algebra. It was in his softmore year that a math professor observed that Ken might have dyslexia.
On the advice of his professor, Ken was tested and found positive for dyslexia, dyscalculia and dysgraphia. Armed with a better understanding of how he learned and processed information, Ken refused to let his learning disability take away his dream. By the start of his senior year, Ken improved from a 2.3 GPA, to a 3.28 GPA and was accepted into a joint undergraduate/graduate Fast-track program in Political Science and a Master of Public Policy. Ken’s final goal is to earn a Doctorate in Law and practice law that will help other victims.
Being human, we make mistakes. Learning right from wrong on your own can be even harder. Ken hopes that by showing his childhood and early adult life for what it is, being human, we can better understand what it means to be a victim of parental kidnapping and neglect. Ken believes in planting life-seeds that will grow into something positive years from now. Before we know it, our seeds have become a healthy and life encompassing garden. We are our own prison! There some things we cannot control—such as being kidnapped or in an abusive environment (the weeds); however, when we become an adult, it is up to us to find and develop the tools to make our life balanced and whole.
Ken lives with his family in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex area. Ken has a undergradute degree from the University of Texas, Dallas, a proud member of Pi Kappa Phi men’s fraternity. He is also a member of Delta Alpha Pi, an academic society for the disabled. Ken is a former law enforcement officer, Veteran of the United States Army, and active in the Texas State Guard. He is currently completling a masters degree. When given the chance, you can find him at 10,000 feet, cameras at his side, backcountry hiking with his wife, children and miniature schnauzer, String.
Ken seeks to be a bridge, a living case study for those willing to ask the questions.
If you would like to have Ken come speak on child abduction or life skills for the survivor, please contact Ken at:
214 364 4181
Feel free to read the story at Dallas Morning News: http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/DN-abduct_29met.ART.State.Edition2.2908a92.html