KANSAS CITY–An alarming murder reputation plaques the 64130 zip code area of Kansas City, earning the moniker “The Murder Factory.”
While its 26,000 residents make up about 6 percent of the city’s population, it accounts for 20 percent of Kansas City citizens in prison for murder or voluntary manslaughter.
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Victims ranged from family members to rival drug dealers to innocent bystanders and motives have varied. Some headlines for cases in the area read: ‘Two teens beat a 15-year-old boy to death with a baseball bat to steal his tennis shoes’ and ‘A 19-year-old massacred four family members, including a 9-year-old half-sister, after fighting with his stepfather.’ Sometimes it seemed they killed for no reason at all. “He looked at me wrong,” one assailant told police after killing a man with four shots from a .357-caliber handgun.
Many who became killers said they had few examples of legitimate success to follow in their neighborhoods. Instead they were drawn to the fast life of hustling, stealing and dealing drugs. Jewelry, stacks of cash and new cars, often displayed by older family members, lured them.