Who Was Fred Keller – NBC’s crime series Dateline has been broadcasting true crime stories worldwide for nearly three decades. The show has explored many fascinating instances, including the murder accusations brought against Fred Keller by his late wife’s family. One of the episodes, titled “The Model and the Millionaire,” aired in 2008 during the show’s sixteenth season. Even though it has been about twenty years since the incident, people still wonder what happened to Fred Keller. If you’re curious about the same things, rest assured that you’ve come to the right place.
Why Fred Keller Killed Her Wife, Rose Keller?
Despite being born in the United States in 1932, Fred Keller’s family moved to Germany shortly after the outbreak of World War II. Initially, his father was a patriot, but he later switched sides and fought for the Allies. Fred Keller’s family relocated to the United States from Canada, where he spent his childhood despite the lack of resources. After completing high school in the 1950s, Fred volunteered in the military and served in Korea.
In 1957, Fred Keller returned to the United States to build a spectacular mansion and live a luxurious life. He started his career in the building trade, eventually becoming prominent in the real estate market and amassing a huge fortune. Although Fred had been through four failed marriages, he was finally ready to settle down and start a family. In 1992, he placed an ad in a German magazine seeking a “slim, attractive playmate” to enjoy the perks of his celebrity status. Rose Keil, a 23-year-old fashion model, responded to his offer of companionship.
Fred and Rose got married and moved in together shortly after the meeting. Around the same time, Fred was diagnosed with leukaemia and underwent treatment. Despite his condition, he was determined to start a family and had his vasectomy reversed. The couple was overjoyed when their son Fred “Fredchen” Keller was born in 1995. However, their honeymoon period was cut short when Rose demanded an ownership stake in Fred’s thriving company. After being married for over eight years, she filed for divorce in 1999.
The divorce settlement reached on October 30, 2003, declared an apparent prenuptial agreement unlawful, granting Rose fifty per cent of Fred’s fortune. On November 10, 2003, the pair were scheduled to meet at Fred’s workplace to resolve any remaining issues. Rose’s brother, Wolfgang Keil, also attended the meeting.
However, not long after the meeting began, Wolfgang called 911 to report that Fred had shot him. It was later revealed that all three meeting attendees had gunshot wounds. Wolfgang disarmed Fred and claimed that Fred had shot him and his sister. On the other hand, Fred stated that he had only shown his gun in self-defenses, assuming that Wolfgang had done the same.
Despite the seriousness of the charges against him, Fred Keller’s trial resulted in a mistrial. Brian Bohlander, Fred’s adopted son from his first wife Blanche, testified that Fred changed his name after the divorce and illegally abducted him from his mother, taking him to Germany via Canada.
Fred left for Europe and stayed there for a while, changing his last name to Keller, before eventually returning to Virginia and reconciling with his children and ex-wife after more than a decade apart. Brian revealed that his brother Fred broke the news of their mother’s untimely death in a car accident. Fred was denied bail after his first trial based on a statement made by Brian, even though the prosecution provided no evidence against him.
Fred was found guilty of first-degree murder twice, and following a second trial in January 2007, he received two consecutive life sentences. However, the real estate tycoon passed away in August of the same year due to complications from his illness. Fredchen, who also inherited 70% of Rose’s assets, became the sole heir to his father’s estate. Since Fredchen lost his mother at a young age, he was raised by his aunt Angie Bovi, Rose’s sister. As a result, Fred’s entire real estate portfolio was sold in December 2016.