Susan Keegan 2003NEWS FLASH:  Peter Keegan was indicted for the murder of his wife, Susan, on August 9, 2017. Preparations for a trial are underway.  For the most up-to-date information, see the Blog and Press pages.

On the morning of November 11, 2010, Susan Keegan, age 55, was reported dead in her Ukiah, California home by her husband, Peter Keegan, MD.  Her death certificate identifies cause of death as HOMICIDE.

There is one suspect in the case, but no one has been prosecuted.

Family, friends and the taxpayers of Mendocino County are waiting for justice.  

How long will the wait continue?

“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”  –Martin Luther King, Jr.

Speaking Out for Susan

Susan’s friends and family began pleading with the law enforcement community of Mendocino County to investigate her death from the moment it was announced. Those pleas continue to this day.

Her husband’s claim that this vibrant, healthy woman could have been sufficiently intoxicated to fall and hit her head seemed far-fetched. In the weeks before she died, some in the Ukiah community had received odd phone calls and unannounced visits from Dr. Keegan claiming Susan had become an addict. They knew it was untrue.

The law enforcement authorities eventually agreed. In August 2012, almost two years after her death, they amended her death certificate to call the death a homicide.

Those close to Susan told the authorities:

• “In all the years I knew Susan, I never saw her stumble or lose control. She was a sure-footed, strong and confident woman. She did not rush or act irrationally. She was intelligent, capable and careful…. I urge you to press for an investigation into this matter.”

• “Moderation was part of Susan’s character. She was clear-headed, rational, organized and very responsible… I am hoping that sufficient care, time and resources will be put into determining the cause of Susan’s death… It is easiest to deal with the truth, whatever it turns out to be.”

• “I feel that I know her well and that she was an exceptionally grounded, principled, and clear-headed person….”

• Susan and I were in especially close touch during this difficult period … I have firsthand knowledge of how she was spending her time, and what her emotional state of mind was. She was sad, but very forward-looking, and most certainly in full intellectual and emotional control. “

• “Nothing will bring Susan back. But painstaking investigation and vigorous prosecution are not only the duties of your office; they will also be a fitting tribute to our late friend.”

About the Justice4Susan Committee:

We are personal friends and family members who knew both Susan Keegan and Dr. Peter Keegan well, and loved them both. Immediately after Susan’s death, each of us independently contacted the Sheriff’s Office to share our suspicions. In time, we found one another and agreed that we had an obligation to Susan to seek the truth from the law enforcement community. Justice is our only goal.

Contact us: Justice4SusanKeegan@gmail.com




  1. Perhaps the prosecutors have evidentiary reasons for moving so slowly, but there is a kind of madness — and a real and towering injustice — in the bottom line in this case: That Susan has been gone now for nearly three years, while the “person of interest” remains at large, at liberty, unfettered and still at home in the bosom of the Ukiah community.

  2. There’s nothing more painful than a badly handled murder case. The fact however is that it requires more time and more work on behalf of officials. If you truly want to see justice, be patient (doesn’t mean uninvolved w/ officials nor not asking questions and prodding!) and let them complete a “thorough” investigation. Taking a murder case to court before substantial evidence is gathered will only work to your disadvantage. You want a strong and thorough case to be presented not one that will leave a reasonable doubt. Double jeopardy applies here.

    I am truly sorry for your loss and for the lack of proper procedures by the local authorities. Your sister and friend is blessed to have you actively pursuing justice for her. Justice will prevail.

  3. Regarding the most recent post (“Husbands Who Choose Murder Over Divorce”), what a chillingly apt explanation, although certainly not a justification, for Susan’s tragic death.

  4. I’m really happy to see this website. I remember the day I heard about Susan’s death and thinking that there was no way it was an accident. Her funeral was such a sad sad day. By the way, I used to work with Susan at American Cancer Society.

  5. There is coverage of a case in the Sunday, Nov. 10th Press Democrat (page A12) that has many possible parallels to this one. That case began in 2007 and only ended with a conviction now. Headline: “Doctor’s conviction spurred by family’s pursuit.” The murder occurred in Utah; the convicted man’s name is Martin MacNeill; this in case you want to look up further information. Recommended reading.

  6. I grew up as kids with Peter Keegan. Knew his family well. Always the smartest kid in school. Surprised to hear this about him. Funny how time changes people. Wondering how this turned out?

  7. I remember Susan Ettinger from both Copper Beech Middle School and Lakeland High. Over the years we shared maybe twenty or so classes together. I was looking up old classmates on the internet, just to see if I could find anybody, when I accidentally found Susan’s obituary. It was a very sad moment to find out that Susan had passed away so young. I remember her as tall, pretty and as smart as they come. Rest in peace, Susan.

  8. Sending you love Susan. You are in my heart always and in my self because of what you taught me about living with gusto, about the power of passionate argument, about tile making, about the bonds of friendship still shared, about commitment and justice and love.

Contact us by email: Justice4SusanKeegan@gmail.com

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