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Call leads to qathet author finding charming predator

Lee Mackenzie has opportunity to write final chapter to her bestselling book about a con man

Bestselling author Lee Mackenzie’s book The Charming Predator is a study of her marriage to a man, Kenner Jones, termed by her as a sociopathic fraud on the book’s cover.

However, the story, as published in 2016, was missing a closing chapter. In The Charming Predator’s epilogue, Mackenzie notes that she had no hope of locating Jones, whose path had gone cold years ago, on her own. In her book she indicated she wanted to track Jones down and give him the chance to explain his “bizarre behaviour and the harm he had caused to so many people.”

Mackenzie’s wish came true.

More than two years ago, Mackenzie was working at the Powell River RCMP detachment as an administrative worker.

“I was working away diligently and my cell phone rang,” said Mackenzie. “I looked down and it was an international call coming in. I remember smiling to myself and saying to myself, ‘this ought to be good.’

“On the other end was the voice of a young man who seemed incredibly startled that it really was Lee Mackenzie on the other end of the phone and it was the Lee Mackenzie who had written a book about Kenner Jones.”

Mackenzie said the man and his mother had befriended a man in a church in Munich, Germany, who was charming, friendly and knowledgeable, who called himself a retired medical doctor and unbeknownst to them, was operating under an assumed name.

“They took him under their wings and they loved him,” said Mackenzie. “He was suffering from a painful medical condition and became increasingly incapacitated and was admitted to a care home.”

Jones used his real name when admitted to the care home and the caring friends discovered his true identity. Mackenzie said the man and his mother looked up Jones on the internet and discovered he was a con man. They also discovered the book, The Charming Predator, and tracked Mackenzie down through her art studio website, which listed a phone number.

Mackenzie said that around the same time, someone attached to a production house in North Wales walked into a production meeting with a copy of the book and asked why nobody had been talking about the story. North Wales is where Jones was born and raised, according to Mackenzie, and it’s where she met him.

“Members of the production team read the book and now they are all excited because, as they described, they had a ‘cracking good story,’” said Mackenzie. “They find me to ask me if I’ll participate in a documentary on the book. But bonus, I have also found him. So both the book’s publisher and the documentary company were now waiting to see what could happen next and could we find a way for me to have an encounter with him.”

Mackenzie said there were three objectives: returning things that belonged to Jones, to have a feeling of ending the relationship with him and offering him a chance to speak. She added that the writing of The Charming Predator led her to understanding, healing and forgiveness of herself. As a result, she had no fear of going and seeing him.

“I wasn’t afraid that he had any power over me anymore,” said Mackenzie. “I would love one more chance to close the book.”

Encounter in Europe

Arrangements were made to fly she and her husband Harv Allison to Munich, Germany, where they were met by a crew from the production company.

“We went to the place where we believed he [Jones] was,” said Mackenzie. “What happened at that place has to stay quiet because it belongs to the book’s publisher and the production company. What I will say is I did go into the facility to speak to a vulnerable person.

“I found at the reception desk that he was in the building, and now yours truly walked up to the door that had his name on it. Eventually, I did come out of the building and the production crew and Harv were waiting for me.”

Mackenzie was then filmed and was able to immediately provide her perceptions of what transpired in the room. She said the crew was intrigued and fascinated with the story. While totally professional, Mackenzie said the crew was also caring and watched over her very carefully.

The production crew has since reunited with Mackenzie, having flown to Powell River to see her in her natural habitat and undertake some follow-up on material that is germane to the story, which would fill in pieces that time didn’t permit in Germany.

“We spent two days, about seven hours each day, with me in front of the camera talking to the producer, who led me step by step to tell the whole story that’s in my book in my own words,” said Mackenzie.

The crew also spent time throughout the qathet region, taking in the sights and sounds and recording it to video.

Marc Edwards, producer of the documentary, worked for the BBC for 25 years before becoming an independent producer and is well familiar with the story, having found out about it 30 years ago, meeting Mackenzie for the first time in 1995 when she was a news anchor for CHEK 6 News in Victoria.

“We developed a rapport very quickly,” said Edwards. “I was so impressed with Lee’s frankness, her willingness to share what she’d been through, and to warn other people about this man who wreaked havoc and left a trail of destruction wherever he has gone.”

Edwards said he was contacted by a production company in North Wales that had become aware of the book and was excited by it.

“They thought I was the right man for the job because I’d made three programs already and had been following the story for 30 years.”

Edwards said his crew spent nearly a week in this community, enjoying the fabulous locations, people and interviewing Mackenzie.

“I’ve been very lucky to meet Lee,” added Edwards, “and follow this story and go on this journey with her for so long.”

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