A man described as a white supremacist with a lengthy criminal history has been charged for allegedly stabbing a black woman to death in his Kansas home.
MeShon Cooper, a 43-year-old mother of one, was last seen on July 6, in Shawnee, Kansas, where she lived. The next day, her car was found 12 miles away over state lines, in Kansas City, Missouri. Her keys were still in the vehicle.
A week later, investigators found her body at the Shawnee home of Ronald Lee Kidwell, a 47-year-old white male, who was arrested and charged with second-degree murder last weekend. His bond has been set at $1 million. He later said he stabbed her to death.
Family members and acquaintances of Kidwell told the Kansas City Star that he had a tendency to brag about his membership in white supremacist groups, including the Ku Klux Klan, and spoke about the Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi organization. He had a swastika tattoo on his left arm, and was photographed draped in a Confederate flag.
Kidwell also vocalized his hateful and racist views. His daughter Crystal Foster recalled how he threatened to murder her and her three children if she “ever spoke to a person of color.” She also told the Star that he had a habit of striking up friendships with people of color with the ultimate goal of harming them. Neighbors told local media that they’d seen Cooper visiting Kidwell at his home the day before she went missing.
During various interviews with investigators, Kidwell changed his story numerous times about what happened to Cooper, according to documents obtained by local news outlets. At first he denied knowing anything at all, and then admitted her body was in his home. He alleged that she was killed by a group of people in Kansas City, but later insisted he’d killed her in self-defense. He claims that she threatened to reveal his HIV status, and pulled a knife out of her purse. “When I get mad, I make the exorcist look like a bitch,” Kidwell told investigators.
He said that he disposed of her body in the trash can, but also argued that his actions were not premeditated. His neighbor, Kathleen Brown, told the Star that Kidwell asked to borrow a handsaw and trash bags two days after Cooper was reported missing.
Kidwell has a lengthy criminal history, and has been in and out of jail for two decades.
In 2011, in Clay County, Kansas, Kidwell was charged with second-degree assault after he attacked a sleeping back woman with a hammer and sexually assaulted her, according to The Star. He pleaded guilty and spent five years in prison.
The Johnson County District Attorney’s office, which is handling the case, would not comment on whether they were planning to pursue state hate crime charges against Kidwell.
A GoFundMe has raised nearly $3,000 so far to help her 25-year-old son, who lived with her.
Cover: image posted by Kansas City Missouri Police Department