KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City, Missouri cold case murder received new national attention Tuesday.
It was featured on the newest episode of “Crime Scene Confidential” on ID Network also available for streaming on Discovery Plus.
It’s been nearly 22 years since Attorney Richard Armitage was bludgeoned to death inside his law office in the Power and Light building.
Family of Richard Armitage thought they had justice in this case. But they say ended up being wronged first by the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and now also possibly the Kansas City Police Department.
“Kind, gentle, giving, caring,” that’s how Kathy Armitage described her late husband and father of four.
Twenty-two years after the killing of the attorney who specialized in writing legal briefs for organ procurements, no one is behind bars.
“Something needs to be made right about this because it’s never been made right,” Kathy Armitage said.
So Armitage’s family agreed to appear on a new ID network show called “Crime Scene Confidential: Doing Right by Richard” hosted by a former Orlando crime scene investigator who worked on the Casey Anthony case.
“I will sit and read sometimes thousands of pages of documents, court transcripts, police reports, lab results crime scene reports, blood splatter reports,” show host Alina Burroughs said in an interview with FOX4.
Burroughs sat down with detectives and attorneys who investigated the Kansas City killing, focusing on the forensic evidence prosecutors used to build a case, including blood splatter.
“We had the shape of the wounds which was crescent shape wounds,” former Jackson County Assistant Prosecutor Kate Mahoney said in the episode.
“He did not feel threatened,” Detective Jarrett Lanpher told Burroughs.
“Evidence that he knew his attacker?” she asked.
“Yes,” he responded.
Prosecutors ultimately charged Armitage’s law partner Richard Buchli with the crime. Buchli was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole. But 5.5 years later the conviction was overturned with an appeals judge citing issues of prosecutors withholding evidence.
“You put your faith and your trust in the justice system and there is no justice in the system here in Kansas City,” Armitage said.
All evidence was also ordered to be thrown out meaning investigators will have to start from scratch like Burroughs is now doing. Crime Scene Confidential leaves viewers to draw their own conclusions.
“The science is there of who was in the room when Richard was killed,” Armitage said.
Armitage’s widow said she disappointed to hear Kansas City Police disbanded the cold case squad because of staffing issues, as is Burroughs.
“Forensic science will always win it’s just a matter of time so to have the idea that we would disband cold case units to me is very sad,” Burroughs said.
Kansas City’s deputy police chief has since said that disbandment should only be temporary until new recruits are hired. The police department also said detectives now working other cases stand ready to respond to tips on prior cases.
As difficult as she said it was to reopen old wounds, Kathy Armitage is pleased someone is still interested in what really happened.
“If it is to stay alive, the family, we are the voices that still have to push for justice for these people,” she said.
Jean Peters Baker took over the Jackson County Prosecutor’s office after this case. She keeps a picture of Richard Armitage on her desk. Armitage says the prosecutor requested it as a reminder to do better for all victims of crime.
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