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KILLER SON FINDS LOST FATHER..ON DEATH ROW; `I really am a natural born killer'.

A DOUBLE murderer is trying to get his death sentence lifted by claiming he is a natural born killer...after discovering that his father is also on Death Row.

Jeff Landrigan, who was adopted as a baby, spent years trying to track down his father before learning that he too is facing the death penalty. He then discovered that his grandfather was killed in a police shoot- out - and his great-grandfather was a notorious bootlegger.

Now Landrigan, 37, is hoping to convince a court that he inherited a "killer gene" from his father Darrel Hill.

From his cell in Arizona, he said: "I've never met my father. But he was definitely, even without being there, a big influence in my life."

Landrigan was on the run from a life sentence for murder when he strangled a barman.

His father, sent to Death Row in Arkansas for shooting dead a witness to a robbery, said: "I believe that when my son was conceived, he became what I was.

"It doesn't take anybody too smart to look at three generations of outlaws and see there's a pattern of some kind," added Hill, who was with his father Leonard when he was killed in a shoot-out.

Landrigan's mother Linda, who gave him away at two years old, said of the pair: "They look alike, talk alike and think alike. My son inherited his violent nature as far back as you want to trace it."

Hill, 58, has been refused permission to meet his son, who was brought up in Oklahoma by geologist Nick Landrigan and his wife Dot. They both died soon after their adopted son was sentenced to death.

Their daughter Shannon said: "My parents thought, if you just love a child enough, you can change things. That's maybe not true."

Landrigan said: "They did the best they could for me - I felt loved but also that I was different from them."
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Gardner, David
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:May 30, 1999
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