crime | KCUR


Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: In the face of uncertainty, fear is not your friend.

The leader of the largest United Methodist congregation in the country says Americans live in fear. Fear of crime and terrorism. Fear of losing our jobs or having enough money to retire. Fear of missing out on all the fun stuff everybody else seems to be doing on Facebook. We spoke to the minister about when fear reaches unhealthy proportions, and what to do about it.

Segment 1: Meet the city's expert on illegal dumping.

Cleaning up other people's messes can be a thankless task. But KCMO's illegal dumping investigator is passionate about his job. Hear his story.

  • Alan Ashurst, KCMO Illegal Dumping Investigator

Segment 2, beginning at 16:03: Should music venues be held accountable for the political positions of the bands they book?

Sam Zeff / KCUR 89.3

There is so much illegal trash dumping in Kansas City that the city has more than doubled the number of investigators assigned to help clean it up.

The dumps have everything from hazardous waste to limbs and brush.

Illegal dumping investigator Alan Ashurst starts his day like a lot of people, with a stop at a QuikTrip for coffee and doughnuts. "I like the old-fashion doughnut. It’s good."

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: With an international shipping center up and running, the Edgerton mayor's job has gotten a lot more demanding.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A 23-year-old man already charged in three south Kansas City homicides has been charged with three more murders.

A grand jury indictment filed Friday accuses Frederick Scott of murdering David Lenox, Timothy Rice and Michael Darby. Scott was charged last summer with killing Karen Harmeyer, Steven Gibbons and John Palmer. Collectively the murders have been dubbed the Indian Creek killings.

Jackson County Detention Center.

Editor's note: Updated March 20 after charges were dropped against Landon Mikle — Four Lee's Summit men are in custody, charged with carrying a loaded weapon onto the campus of Lee's Summit High School after classes were dismissed on Wednesday. 

In a probable cause statement filed with the charge sheet, Lee's Summit Police describe a small arsenal found in the men's car, including an AR-15 style rifle, a shotgun, a loaded handgun, several gun magazines, and a box of shotgun shells.

A bill in the Kansas House would require children convicted of sexually violent crimes to register as sex offenders for life. That’s the same penalty adults face.

Under current law, juvenile offenders over 14 can be required to register as a sex offender for serious crimes. However, in many cases juvenile offenders are not required to register for the public offender list.

The bill was prompted by a double murder in Newton. The victims were 24-year-old Alyssa Runyon and her 4-year-old daughter.

Statewide criminal registries took off in the 1990s, fueled by crimes against children and a desire to alert people to the presence of sex offenders in their neighborhoods. But some are saying that Kansas’ database has gotten out of hand, that it’s expanded to include too many different types of offenders. So, a debate is beginning about how it might be streamlined.


file photo / Kansas News Service

Kansas lawmakers head into the next stretch of this year’s legislative session after advancing bills offering tax breaks to some smaller businesses, compensation to people thrown in prison unjustly and a welcome mat to industrial chicken growers.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Leaders of the India Association of Kansas City were meeting at a Scooter's Coffee in south Overland Park Wednesday night to plan the first India Day celebration.

Most of these men did not know Srinivas Kutchibhotla, the 32 year old Garmin engineer and Indian immigrant who was shot and killed on Feb. 22, 2017, at Austin’s Bar and Grill in Olathe. Nor did they know his best friend, Alok Madasini, or Ian Grillot, a bar patron who intervened.

Ron Waddington/Flickr CC

As the nation watches a burgeoning children’s movement for gun control spring from Florida after last week’s mass killing, the odds of Kansas and Missouri rewriting their rules for firearms this year look slim.

Few parts of the country welcome guns, carried openly or tucked out of sight, as much as Kansas and Missouri.


Alayna Nelson, a sophomore at Wichita Northwest High School, grew up hearing stories of repeated mass shootings on the news.

“Every single time this happened I always wanted to do something about it,” Nelson said.

Now, Nelson and other students in her generation are taking action against gun violence.

"I feel like I’m finally getting to the age where people will start listening to me,” she said. 

Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

Junkie logic brought an addict to the doorsteps of a Topeka woman once convicted of selling cocaine.

The addict was looking to buy, and Kansas’ online database of criminal offenders has a handy geographic search tool that lets users pull up the names, crimes and addresses of people who live within a few miles of their homes.

file photo / Kansas News Service

Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee say Kansans wrongly convicted of crimes deserve to be compensated by the state. The panel amended and advanced a bill Monday that would do that using more than just cash.

Right now, Kansas pays nothing automatically to people imprisoned on botched convictions. People in that situation can use lawsuits to seek payments, but the bill in the legislature would create a system for compensation without a legal fight.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

If you’re released from prison in some states after a wrongful conviction, you could be owed millions of dollars or a promise of a college education.

In Kansas and 17 other states, you get nothing.

On Wednesday, lawmakers heard from men who’d lost decades behind bars on bogus convictions. They emerged middle-aged and broke, with no work history or credit rating.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas News Service

As a push increases to hire a private contractor to build a new Lansing prison and then lease it to the state, some Kansas legislative leaders look warily at the idea.

This week, Gov. Sam Brownback stopped at the Lansing Correctional Facility to make yet another push for his administration’s plan to overhaul it. The visit came just days before a panel of lawmakers could decide the fate of his plan for replacing the deteriorating prison.

After report of a shooting and the ensuing standoff around a home in south Overland Park, Kansas Monday morning, the Overland Park Police Department (OPPD) has determined the call was a hoax.

Dispatchers received a 911 call from a man claiming to have shot a relative inside a home on 131st Street, near Blue Valley Northwest High School. The man told police if they approached the residence, he would shoot. 

The Wichita Police Department says the fatal police shooting that killed a man in late December started with a prank phone call, commonly referred to as swatting.

In swatting cases, callers utilize technology to make 911 calls appear local—also known as spoofing—and then report a false emergency at a victim’s home to get a strong police and SWAT team response, which is where the term gets its name. The harassment is often associated with the dark corners of online gaming.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

As the Kansas City Police patrol car pulled up, the dashboard camera caught Torrence “Trimmer” Evans fighting for his life on Sept. 25, 2016. His two best friends were bent over his body, crumpled on the street, telling Evans: “Stay with me! Breathe, brother!”

Evans had been shot several times, Officer Jason Grizzoffi testified Wednesday during the opening arguments in the murder trial of Dairian Stanley.

“He’s hanging on, he’s hanging on,” Evans' buddies, Gary Cole and Leonard Edwards, can be heard saying in the dashcam footage.


A deal to farm out the next new prison in Kansas to a private firm -- one that would replace the outdated facility in Lansing and lease it to the state -- hit a delay Thursday.

The State Finance Council, which would have to sign off lease-to-buy contract, said it needs two weeks to further study the details of a plan to pay CoreCivic Inc. $362 million over 20 years.

Several members of the council said they didn’t want to approve the deal until the state and the company finalized their contract negotiations.

Johnson County Community College / YouTube

Kansas Democrats have filed two gun control bills for the upcoming legislative session. With some key lawmakers signaling resistance, the proposals could be a tough sell.

Still, legislators from both parties expect discussion of the state’s role in regulating firearms.

Pexels / Pixabay-CC

Why is school funding a constant debate in the Sunflower State? Today, we look at how the Kansas Constitution defines the government's responsibility concerning education. Then, we review the greatest podcasts of 2017 — just in time for emergency holiday downloading.


Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After three months on the job, Kansas City Police Chief Rick Smith has laid out a set of changes he would like to make within his department. Most of them would involve hiring more personnel, both uniformed and civilian.

This comes less than a month after the chief released his requested budget for the next fiscal year, which includes an ask for an additional $9.3 million from the Kansas City, Missouri, general fund and a total budget of $251.9 million.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

As Kansas City continues to see increases in violent crime, new Kansas City, Missouri, Police Chief Rick Smith says he’s doubling down on community policing.

The chief, who was selected in July, says he wants to expand the number of community interaction officers.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Updated, Wednesday, 1:45 p.m.

The victim of a Wednesday morning drive-by shooting in Brookside was Thomas Pickert, a personal injury lawyer for the law firm Fowler Pickert Eisenmenger.

Police have not yet confirmed the victim's identity.

Kansas City Police Sgt. Kari D. Thompson says the man was on the front porch of his Brookside home when he was killed Wednesday morning. He was pronounced dead at the scene.


Kansas Department of Corrections

A Wyandotte County, Kansas, man who spent 23 years in prison for a double murder he says he didn’t commit has been set free.

Wyandotte County District Attorney Mark A. Dupree Sr. agreed Friday afternoon to drop all charges against Lamonte McIntyre. 

In a statement, Dupree said that the information presented in the hearing "is of a nature that I believe that had it been presented to the jury in the 1994 trial that convicted Mr. McIntyre, it may certainly have caused those jurors to have reasonable doubt as to Mr. McIntyre’s guilt."

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

On Friday, July 21, Maria Wakondo, a refugee from the Congo, was held up at knifepoint while walking home to her apartment. The robber took her whole purse, including $600 from her just-cashed paycheck. 

She wasn’t hurt, but the incident highlights some of the reasons new refugees can be vulnerable to crime.

Wakondo and her family recently moved to a new brick house in Kansas City's Historic Northeast.

Peggy Lowe / KCUR 89.3

The arrest of a 22-year-old man suspected in five murders along Kansas City’s popular Indian Creek Trail came down to DNA pulled from a Brisk Iced Tea bottle and a cigarette butt.

On Tuesday, police and prosecutors announced the arrest of Frederick D. Scott, 22, in two of the killings and said he is also a suspect in the other three.

Trishhhh / Flickr - CC

After handing off the reins of A Prairie Home Companion, Garrison Keillor is back on the road. Today, we speak with the legendary radio personality about the Love & Comedy Tour that's taking him across the country and through the Paris of the Plains. Then, we learn the history of how mafiosos survived in Kansas City after the death of political mob boss Tom Pendergast.

Courtesy photo / Le'Andrew Vaughn family

Sixteen-year-old Adarius Barber was set to be a junior at Washington High School, where he was to have his first football practice on Monday.

His 17-year-old cousin, Le’Andrew M. Vaughn, was a promising baseball player, a rising senior at F.L. Schlagle High School. 

Both boys were college-bound, according to a spokesman for the Kansas City, Kansas, Public School District.