It was called the “Missouri Miracle.” For once, a screaming headline was an understatement.
Ten years ago Thursday, FBI agents and police officers entered a small apartment in Kirkwood to cap their search for Ben Ownby, a boy who had been snatched four days before from a rural school bus stop in Franklin County. Sitting quietly on a sofa was a second boy, a teenager.
He was Shawn Hornbeck, who had disappeared more than four years earlier from his own rural neighborhood in Washington County. He was still listed as a missing person, and almost everyone but his family had given up hope of finding him alive.
How a confession broke the case wide open
Watch: Shawn Hornbeck: 4 years felt like an eternity
The man who kidnapped them both was Michael J. “Devo” Devlin, 41, a portly social misfit and pizza-restaurant manager in Kirkwood who grew up in neighboring Webster Groves. He …