Police close book on 1970 slaying of Kansas City civil rights leader Leon Jordan

Kansas City StarJune 21, 2011 

After nearly 41 years, the Jackson County prosecutor stamped “case closed” Monday on Kansas City’s most enduring unsolved murder mystery, the assassination of politician and civil rights leader Leon Jordan.

A former Kansas City police officer and co-founder of the black political club Freedom Inc., Jordan was gunned down about 1 a.m. on July 15, 1970, outside his Green Duck tavern at 2548 Prospect Ave.

Despite a massive investigation at the time, the case was never solved to the satisfaction of the county prosecutor - until now.

According to a 900-page investigative report released Monday by the Kansas City Police Department, the mastermind of the murder and the gunman was James “Doc” Dearborn, a former leader of a Kansas City group known as the “Black Mafia.”

Dearborn was indicted in the Jordan killing in the early 1970s, but never tried. He later became a murder victim himself, shot at a motel near Wheeler Downtown Airport in 1985.

Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said that despite new evidence found by police - who reopened the case last year following stories in The Kansas City Star - she would not bring charges because Dearborn and many witnesses are dead.

“It would be an impossible prosecution at this point in time, given where people are,” Peters said.

Exactly why the 65-year-old Jordan was killed remains more elusive.

Read the full story at KansasCity.com

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