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Richard Kinnell was an author of horror fiction, including the novels Nightmare City and The Departing. He is the ex-husband of Sally Kinnell, whom he met at the 1978 World Fantasy Convention.
Returning from a writers conference in Boston, Kinnell stopped at a yardsale in Rosewood, Massachusetts where he bought the last surviving painting by Bobby Hastings – the Road Virus Heads North – from Judy Diment.
In the TNT miniseries episode, Kinnell was played by Tom Berenger.