Is The 1988 Fire Fighters Case Really Solved?
In the early hours of a late November day in 1988 KCMO Firefighters were called to the scene of a PU truck fire at a construction site in South Kansas City. While they were putting out the truck fire the noticed a second fire across the street at the construction site for the south leg of the Bruce Watkins drive. An arson fire had been set under a couple trailers on the site. The trailers were not marked and the Firefighters did not know that the trailers contained explosives used for blasting the rock to make way for the highway. The Explosion rocked the whole metro area and instantly killed six firefighters from Firehouse 41.
The investigation into who set the fire took many turns and there was not evidence to charge anyone for almost 8 years. Five neighborhood residents that had initially been ruled out were indicted and convicted after a national TV show took up the case. The convictions and the persistent claims of innocence by the five men has been almost as explosive as the incident itself. There have been numerous articles and even a documentary film or two over the years raising doubts about the evidence and testimony used to convict the men.
Host Craig Lubow talks to Joe O’Connor has conducted research on this case for a book his father wrote titled Justice On Fire and produced a documentary film on the incident as well. He will tell about the evidence the KC Police Department has that could resolve this case one way or the other if only it would be tested.
For More information check out these sources –
Joe O’Connor’s Website – http://kcfirefighterscase.com/
KC Star Article – https://www.kansascity.com/news/special-reports/kc-true-crime/article704711.html
Why do Prosecutors Overcharge Suspects?
Prosecutors overcharge suspects all the time in an effort to coerce them to plead guilty, to get them to testify against others, to pad their conviction numbers and other reasons. In today’s atmosphere where the notion of innocent till proven guilty has been turned on its head, many people are convicted of much more serious crimes than the evidence supports resulting in much longer sentences and contributing to overcrowding in our prisons. Is it up to the Judges to deny those more serious but unsupported charges? Can juries really be expected to understand when a suspect is being overcharged?
Host Latahra Smith talks with Attorney Taylor Rikard of the Kent E. Gipson Law Firm about the issues that overcharging creates in the legal system. The Gipson law firm focuses exclusively on representing citizens that have been accused or convicted of crimes at both trial and on appeal.
KENT E. GIPSON LAW
121 East Gregory Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64114
Telephone Number – 816-363-4400
Website – http://www.kentgipsonlaw.com/