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Not outgoing by nature, he won over supervisors and colleagues by dint of dogged work habits and a good attitude.

Starting in 1979, Keogh worked closely with Barbara Lang (then Alvarez), managing the city's growing bond program and handling other fiduciary duties. Lang reported directly to Keogh for two decades, and the bond between them was always strong.

"He was great to work with and for, and he never let me down," she says. "I think that's saying a lot."

After hours, Keogh often enjoyed a glass of red wine, listened to his jazz, and studied contemporary and Mexican art. Until he started dating Karlene Arnold in the late 1990s, Keogh seemed destined to remain a bachelor.

"We were very good friends for 15 years before we ever dated," Karlene Keogh recalls. "He'd never been married before. I had been. I asked myself, 'Do I really want to fall in love with my friend?' Well, I did. He loved me for who I am. Kevin was the love of my life, and vice versa."

The couple got married in 2000 at Mrs. Keogh's home in Arcadia, and enjoyed their honeymoon in beautiful and remote Monument Valley, on the Arizona-Utah border.

Back in Phoenix, Kevin Keogh took up cactus gardening, and over time tended to more than 200 desert plants at his new residence.

Keogh seemed to be on top of the world, personally and professionally, when he and Karlene vacationed in rural Mexico in late August 2001.

Kevin and Karlene Keogh traveled together whenever their cramped schedules would allow it.

They didn't mind going off the beaten path, and the trip to San Cristobal, in the rugged Mexican state of Chiapas, was one of those times.

Mrs. Keogh later described how her husband had eaten everything on that trip, even pork she'd passed on.

Though they'd had a great time, the Keoghs took ill after their adventure.

Mrs. Keogh recovered quickly, but her husband did not.

Antibiotics didn't help. Distressed by the nagging illness and unable to get a timely appointment with a neurologist, Keogh checked into the emergency room at the Mayo Clinic on October 10, 2001.

"Clinically, he appears well," Dr. Marcella Torres wrote of that visit. "I do not think he has evidence of a parasitic infection."

Dr. Torres noted the possibility of an undiagnosed infection, perhaps hepatitis or a number of other illnesses.

But another Mayo doctor pointed out that Keogh's test results had been "completely normal . . . I spent considerable time trying to reassure the patient that there does not appear to be any serious illness that is being overlooked."

That doctor wrote that if further testing also came up negative, "We may need to seek psychiatric consultation to help with the patient's rather profound anxiety."

Months passed without appreciable improvement.

On February 21, 2002, Keogh met for the first time with Dr. Robert J. Clark, an infectious-disease specialist at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center.

During the session, according to Keogh's medical records, he stood up from the exam table and shuffled over to a chair. Ashen-faced, he became progressively more confused, flexing his arms, clenching his fists and remaining unresponsive for minutes.

Keogh urinated on himself during this episode, which Dr. Clark referred to as a grand mal seizure.

The doctor immediately had Keogh admitted into the hospital for observation and testing, including a test for cysticercosis. The latter was a good possibility because of the Keoghs' trip to rural Mexico.

Symptoms of the infection include seizures and general mental confusion — which was just what Keogh had been complaining about.

Two MRI studies of Keogh's brain taken at the time turned up nothing unusual, and doctors say the worms surely would have showed up on the slides.

But, for some reason, doctors apparently didn't immediately analyze the results of the antibody test for the parasites. (Dr. Clark did not return a call from New Times, nor did he contact Mrs. Keogh for permission to speak about the case.)

Keogh was at the hospital for three days. He claimed not to remember his seizures and asked continually to go home, though the nurses in his wing wrote glowingly of him as a friendly gentleman.

An intern wrote on the day of Keogh's discharge that a possible diagnosis "includes cysticercosis (trip to Mexico and pork ingestion) versus brain tumor versus brain abscess versus encephalitis versus chronic meningitis."

In other words, no one knew what was ailing the patient.

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Paul Rubin
Contact: Paul Rubin