crime

Thomas Hawk / Flickr-CC

An often easy crime – at least in the past, in Kansas City, Missouri — was to pawn stolen items for cash at a pawn shop.

Detective Jeff Mehrer says when he makes the connection in a case and goes to the shop, the items have usually been sold. 

The person who brought them in likely used a phony name and pawn shops are not required to keep records of who buys things. Your stuff is gone. Not recoverable.

Forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has helped solve many mysteries in real life, on the bookshelf and on the small screen. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske spoke with the prolific author of the Temperance Brennan mystery novels and the inspiration for the TV series Bones.

Guest:

Courtesy Photo / Kansas City Police Department

 

Updated, 2:15 p.m. Wednesday: Police officers are still searching for a man suspected of  shooting a 46-year-old woman and her teenage daughter Tuesday morning.

A Kansas City Police Department spokeswoman said officers were investigating a residence near 103rd Street and North Virginia Avenue in the Northland, close to where the shooting occurred.

The spokeswoman confirmed police were searching a different house than the one where the two victims were found.

Victims Michelle and Reagan Class remained in critical condition.

courtesy of Coshelle Greene

Two men have been charged with the murder of 22-year-old Dionte Greene, a gay man who was allegedly targeted for a robbery but a death federal authorities were investigating as a hate crime.

Greene was found shot to death in a still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City last Halloween.

Sedalia, MO Police Department

The manhunt continues for James Horn, now wanted in connection with the murder of his former girlfriend, Sandra Sutton, and her 17-year-old son. The  bodies of the woman and her son were found in her brother's home in Clinton, Missouri Thursday morning. 

Sutton's stolen car was found in Sedalia just two blocks from the house where she said Horn had kept her prisoner for months, sometimes confining her in a wooden box. Warrants had been out for Horn in connection with those crimes for about three weeks.

Clinton Police Lt. Sonny Lynch said his department had not been aware that the woman was staying in their community.

“She was advised by a couple of different victim advocates to get a protection order and to inform law enforcement of her location. That was done. But she felt as though she was safe over here staying with her family member, and from talking with the victim advocate folks, she just did not feel like she wanted to do that,” Lynch said.

When it comes to internet crime, criminals are far ahead of law enforcement and the general public. As more and more hacks make headlines, we talk about our vulnerability as individuals and how to protect ourselves from a cyber attack.

Violence in the urban core is all too familiar for Missouri. A recently released study from 2012 puts Missouri at the top of the list for inner city homicide. Steve Kraske asks why, and looks at what's being done locally to curb violent crime. 

Guests: 

  The Kansas House is looking at a bill that would make it a crime for attackers to try to strangle their victims, but just how strong the punishments will be is causing friction between those who work with the victims of domestic violence and lawmakers. On this edition of Up To Date, Steve Kraske talks to a forensic nurse examiner and a state legislator about how non-fatal strangulation will be handled in courts. 

Guests:

Dan Verbeck / KCUR

Other cities are looking to Kansas City, Mo., as an example of how to curb violent crime after the city saw fewer homicides in 2014 than it had in four decades.

In fact, City of St. Louis officials will travel here in coming weeks to look at the Kansas City No Violence Alliance, a policing initiative run out of the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

Since October, four children have died in drive-by shootings in Kansas City. What's going on, and what are the first steps we can take to work against this trend? A physician, a criminologist, and a mother weigh in. Race, opportunity in life, gun safety and witness protection play into the discussion. 

"When they took my son's life," says Roslyn Temple, "That's the worst thing they could have ever done to me. ... That was my child."

Guests:

The co-owner of a Shawnee gun shop died Friday after being shot during a botched robbery attempt, according to police.

Three of the four suspects in the attempted robbery were also injured by gunfire.

Shawnee police Maj. Dan Tennis told the Associated Press four people tried to rob the She's A Pistol gun shop Friday afternoon. Three were shot and two of them were critically injured. Another had less-serious wounds and was arrested with the fourth suspect in a residential area nearby.

Ultimately, police arrested all four suspects.

The podcast Serial got people hooked on resolving a single murder case. A young man was convicted in the 1990s on what looks like flimsy evidence; the podcast walks listeners through a maddening quest for the truth. The Midwest Innocence Project's Tricia Bushnell explains how defense lawyers use similar techniques to exonerate the wrongly convicted on a larger scale.

courtesy of Coshelle Greene

The FBI is investigating the murder of a 22-year-old black man who may have been targeted because of his sexual orientation.

Dionte Greene, who identified as gay, was found shot to death in his still-running car near the intersection of 69th and Bellefontaine in Kansas City, Mo., early Halloween morning.

A man accused of killing five people in a south Kansas City, Mo., crime spree in early September now faces two additional charges of first degree murder.

Brandon Howell, 34, already faced three counts of first degree murder in the shooting deaths of 63-year-old Darryl Hurst, 88-year-old Lorene Hurst and 69-year-old Susan Choucroun.

Wikimedia Commons

A constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot could change the way sexual crimes are prosecuted in Missouri.

Constitutional Amendment 2 would allow previous relevant criminal activities to be admissible in court for crimes of a sexual nature against a minor. 

Ballot language:

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

A candlelight vigil for an 18-year-old shooting victim turned into a protest march through the Shaw neighborhood in south St. Louis late Thursday.

The protesters were mostly peaceful as they marched up and down residential streets in the neighborhood. But things turned uneasy as the evening wore on. A group of about 40 people blocked traffic at major intersections along South Grand Blvd. Later, some of the protesters broke windows of police cars.

A Kansas City police offer fatally shot a man late Wednesday after the man allegedly threatened the officer with a sword-like object. He died at the scene.

KCPD responded to an outside disturbance shortly before midnight on the 4200 block of 57th Terrace in Kansas City, North.

The Kansas City Star reports the man did not respond to officer's commands and became confrontational.

Robert Francis / Flickr--CC

Update, 7:11 a.m., Wednesday:

Police have apprehended a man they say has been positively identified as the suspect in the assaults at a Motel 6 in the Northland. The are continuing to investigate whether there is a link between the suspect and the triple homicide in south Kansas City. 

Update, 8:15 p.m.:  

Police say the shooting may be related to an incident at a northland Motel 6 Tuesday afternoon. The hotel is close to where an SUV taken from the scene of the homicides earlier in the day in south Kansas City was found. 

Courtesy Crime Stoppers

Parents and students in Northland school districts  have a new, more efficient way to relay tips to Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers has promoted its 474-TIPS hotline number for 32 years. More recently, the organization started taking tips by texts. The Northland Safe School Task Force got so many texts that officials reached out to Kansas City Crime Stoppers to help manage the information from students and parents.

Chillicothe Man Won’t Face Third Murder Trial

Jul 16, 2014
Department of Corrections

A Chillicothe man twice convicted of the same murder will not stand trial for a third time.

Mark Woodworth was convicted in two trials of the 1990 murder of Cathy Robertson and injuring her husband as the two slept. Both convictions were eventually vacated by the state supreme court.

And on Tuesday, the 24-year-long legal saga appeared to come to an end a special prosecutor said Woodworth wouldn’t go before a jury again, and the charges against him have been dropped.

Woodworth’s attorney Robert Ramsey says it’s the vindication his client has long been looking for.

KMBC

When Darryl Forté was sworn in as Kansas City Police Department chief in 2011, it was a landmark moment. 

Forté is the first African American to lead the police department in the city's history.

Since then, Forté and the rest of the police department have had their hands full, with homicide rates that have routinely ranked within the top 10 worst cities in America

Peggy Lowe / KCUR

The homicide epidemic among young black men on Kansas City’s east side is leaving a generation of grieving teens in its wake, and some in the crime-fighting community feel black churches need to change their message to better help these young people deal with their loss.

Law enforcement dogs these days can do some incredible things: sniffing out the chemicals used to start an arson fire, getting illegal drugs off our streets, or finding evidence in shootings and explosives investigations.

On this edition of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske meets three law enforcement dogs, and their handlers, to find out what it takes for a dog to become a key part of a law enforcement team.

Roxi 

Thomson200 / Wikimedia Commons

Back in 2002, Brian Banks was getting closer to his dream of playing for the NFL. Pegged for a scholarship to play for USC, Banks’ future was promising until he was accused of rape and sentenced to five years in prison.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Banks to discuss his sentence, which was overturned when it came to light that his accuser had lied to reap settlement money. We'll also discuss his return to football nearly 11 years later.

Guest:

Keith Allison / Flickr-CC

With suspects in custody for both the highway and Jewish Community Center shootings, many communities in the metro area are waiting to see how justice will be served.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, the Ethics Professors return to mull over the ethical questions surrounding crime and punishment. We also look at the recent case of a man who was imprisoned 15 years after his sentencing due to a clerical error.

Police photo

A 27-year-old Kansas City man faces multiple charges including first-degree murder in a gas station shooting that left a man dead and his ten-year-old son paralyzed.

At a Thursday news conference, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was visibly moved by the police work that led to the arrest of Dontae Jefferson.

"I asked you for heroes to step up and step forward and help solve this case ... help us bring this family justicen... and that happened," the prosecutor said.

Laura Spencer / KCUR

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced charges Friday against a man tied to recent highway shootings in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

The afternoon announcement revealed Mohammed Whitaker, 27, of Grandview, Mo., faces 18 felony counts, including class A and class B felonies related to shooting into a vehicle.

The charges stem from a series of at least a dozen shootings on Kansas City area highways. Three people have been hurt as a result.

If you heard or saw a crime happening, what would you do? The people who heard Kitty Genovese scream as she was murdered didn’t do anything, in a famous case that became known for the bystander effect. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the case that helped drive the development of the 911 emergency call system and what new details about the killing have emerged over the years.

Guest:

Missouri inmate Michael Taylor is scheduled to be executed just after midnight on Wednesday. Pentobarbital from an unnamed compounding pharmacy will be used.

Taylor's attorneys are concerned that the drug may cause his client unnecessary suffering because the anonymous pharmacy cannot be checked for legitimacy and any previous violations. By law, compounding pharmacies that supply lethal injection formulas in Missouri are allowed to remain anonymous.

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

After 40 years with the Overland Park Police Department, Chief John Douglass is riding off into the sunset…sort of. He’s not ready for a quiet retirement just yet. Instead, he’s going back to school as the director of safety and for the Shawnee Mission School District next spring. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we sit down with Douglass to discuss how policing Overland Park has changed over the years and the new challenges that await him in the coming months.

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