Longform

Case Time Line

1956--Gene Keidel and DiAnne Kidder married in Peoria, Illinois.
September 17, 1966--The last time DiAnne Keidel is seen alive.
January 9, 1967--Fire at the Citrus Way home kills two of the Keidel children and seriously injures a third.

January 10, 1967--Police investigator concludes that the fire had started accidentally on the kitchen stove.

January 13, 1967--The two Keidel deceased girls are buried in unmarked graves. A coroner's inquest also concludes that the fire was accidental.

January 21, 1967--Lori Romaneck's 6th birthday.
April 1969--Gene Keidel remarries, to Chloe Goings.
August 11, 1975--Gene Keidel successfully asks a judge to pronounce DiAnne Keidel dead.

November 16, 1981--Lori Romaneck goes to the Phoenix Police Department intending, she says, to reveal the whereabouts of her mother's remains. But she leaves the station without doing so.

June 9, 1993--Lori again goes to the police and, this time, reveals the decades-old murder and burial of her mother, DiAnne Keidel.

July 26, 1993--Lori Romaneck meets with many of the surviving firefighters from the 1967 fire during a well-publicized reunion. Among those attending is Phoenix fire captain Ray Mullens.

April 25, 1994--Phoenix detective Ed Reynolds becomes convinced that Gene Keidel is guilty of arson/murder.

September 15, 1994--Police recover DiAnne Keidel's remains from her backyard on West Citrus Way; they book Gene Keidel on murder charges.

Late September 1994--The Phoenix Fire Department assigns two arson investigators to reinvestigate the fatal 1967 house fire.

November 4, 1994--Phoenix Fire Department investigators send a letter to the County Attorney's Office saying the 1967 fire had been a case of arson, not an accident.

December 12, 1994--Death certificates of Susie and Kelly Keidel changed from "accidental" to "arson."

April 17, 1995--Keidel convicted of first-degree murder in the death of his first wife, DiAnne.

May 25, 1995--Lori goes to Office of Vital Records and learns of her sisters' amended death certificates.

December 20, 1995--Lori sues the City of Phoenix police and fire departments.

March 1996--The fire department finally issues its long-completed reinvestigation of the 1967 fire.

June 17, 1996--A Superior Court judge rejects the City of Phoenix's motion to dismiss Lori Romaneck's lawsuit against it.

April 1997--The Arizona Court of Appeals upholds Gene Keidel's first-degree-murder conviction.

Early June 1998--Lori Romaneck settles her civil lawsuit against the City of Phoenix. The city admits negligence, and says it won't oppose Romaneck's effort to collect $5.5 million from the city's insurers.

June 29, 1998--Transport Insurance Company sues Lori Romaneck and the City of Phoenix, and says it won't pay her anything.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin