Family Awaits Justice In 2007 Slaying


Chris Bartholomew Killed Outside Drug Store 4 Years Ago

May 15, 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A memorial vigil is planned Sunday afternoon in honor of Chris Bartholomew.Bartholomew was shot at a Walgreens store at 39th and Broadway streets four years ago. No arrests have been made in the case.The memorial will honor Bartholomew’s life, but organizers said they also want to make sure the case is not forgotten.A reward remains available for tips that lead to an arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call the Crime Stoppers TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.


A Mother Seeking Justice.. Jon Leiberman Radio Show

Jon Leiberman

Jon Leiberman joined with Misty Kirwan; the mother of Chris Bartholomew discussed his case, live on air May 26th, 2011

Misty Kirwin & Chris Bartholomew

The Show:

TRUEFACTS is a truly interactive show that digs deeper. You’ve seen me on “America’s Most Wanted” – now you will hear me on

I have been in the trenches as an investigative reporter for the past 15 years. I was at the Pentagon moments after the plane hit on 9/11 – broadcasting live from that tragic location for weeks. I was in Iraq in 2004 – reporting from the front lines of the war. And, I have been in the trenches with homicide detectives throughout the world hunting down fugitives.

TRUEFACTS will cover the crime stories you haven’t heard about. We will search for answers. We will offer solutions. Most of all, we will listen to you.

What issues are most important to you? We will talk about them. Government waste? Corruption? Failures and successes – this is the place you will get it all. You’ll also get a healthy dose of TRUEFACTS.

Oh-and don’t forget about our TRUEFACTS TAKE 2 -

Jon Leiberman


Professional Bio

Jon Leiberman is an Emmy award-winning investigative correspondent and producer who has filed hundreds of reports on fugitives across the country and abroad for the FOX TV show “America’s Most Wanted.” An expert in all things crime, he has appeared on national shows including “TODAY”, “Shepard Smith’s Fox Report”, “Nancy Grace,” and “The Maury Povich Show,” and is quoted extensively on crime stories in newspapers throughout the country. In January 2011, Jon started up LeibermanMedia, Inc. – a full service media content producing company whose clients include Webcast TV. Through LeibermanMedia, Jon hosts TrueFacts on and serves as managing editor for investigative projects at

The company mantra is to give voice to the voiceless and help advocate for those in need. Jon also runs SonicLeibs,Inc. a company that provides compassionate and credible non-medical home care for seniors and others in need. Just as LeibermanMedia fights for the voiceless, SonicLeibs,Inc. helps those in their greatest time of need. Jon previously reported from Iraq, Cuba, and from the floor of the 2004 presidential political conventions for 62 stations nationwide as Washington Bureau Chief for Sinclair Broadcast Group. His journalistic actions during this time earned him a 2005 Payne Special Citation for Ethics in Journalism.

As Albuquerque capital bureau chief for KOAT from 1997-2000, Leiberman earned an Emmy for Live Reporting when he remained on the air for 24-hours straight during a fast-moving wildfire that engulfed thousands of acres. He reported from the ground, and then from a helicopter when the flames came too close. Leiberman has served as a professor in residence at the University of Iowa School of Journalism, and has lectured at the University of Maryland and McDaniel College. He also teaches journalism classes online for, and does media relations seminars. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Chris Bartholomew- 4 Year Memorial and Balloon Release

Chris Bartholomew

Time & Date: Sunday, May 15 · 2:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: Children’s fountain in North Kansas City at 9 highway and N Oak
More Info
Memorial marking the 4 year anniversary of Chris’s murder. Going to try to get the detective to come out and hopefully release some more info. We will do a balloon release also. Also hoping the media will come out so we can keep Chris’s name and face out in the public
About Chris

Chris Bartholomew was a young man with many goals. And one of them was to someday work as a police officer. However, on May 20, 2007, a senseless act not only cut Chris’ hopes and dreams short — it cut his life short. Now the 21-year-old’s family is looking for justice.

Police Hope Website Helps Bring Justice in Cold Case

March 4, 2011

Kansas City Missouri Police and the family of a man killed in a 2007 Midtown shooting are hoping that a website will help to bring his killers to justice.

Chris Bartholomew was shot on May 20, 2007, near 39th and Broadway when he apparently got caught in the crossfire of a gun battle between rival street gang members while he and some friends were walking to his car. He died the next day.

Batholomew’s mother, Misty Kirwan, is hoping that a new website will help bring justice and closure in the case.

“This time of year is very hard,” said Kirwan. “I didn’t get to see him get married, have kids, I missed all that.”

Since his death nearly four years ago, Kirwan has worked to keep his memory alive. Shortly after the homicide, flyers went up all over 39th and Broadway urging witnesses to come forward. Now, anyone with a computer can help to solve this and other cold-cases and unsolved homicides.

“The website is huge,” said Det. Danny Phillips with the KCPD. He is the cold case detective assigned to Bartholomew’s case, and he says that the case is solvable.

“Being cold doesn’t mean that there’s no idea in the world who’s involved, their just not close enough, and sometimes having time to work those cases you can develop what you need to get it done,” said Phillips, who says that just a few minutes on the website could lead to a recalled memory that could bring justice and closure to a grieving family.

“I know people know something, there are people out there that know what happened that night and know who did it and won’t come forward,” said Kirwan.

Phillips says that he understands Kirwan’s frustration.

“If somebody was with the person they believe was responsible for taking Chris’ life, I wanna hear about it,” said Phillips. “I’m not interested in hurting them, I need their help, I want that person that pulled the trigger.”

For more information on KCPD Cold Cases, click here:

For more information on the Chris Bartholomew case, click here:

Why fewer murders end with ‘case closed’

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Remember the classic TV crime drama, Perry Mason?

A murder was committed, police made an arrest and Mr. Mason, with his great legal mind, would get the killer to crack on the stand, all within an hour. That is still the basic formula for law enforcement on TV in this day of Law and Order or CSI.

But the reality is, fewer and fewer murders are being solved in an hour, in weeks or even in years.

Homicide detectives deal with a backlog of cold cases while more and more family members of murder victims agonize over knowing their loved one’s killer remains on the loose.

One of Many Unsolved Murders

Jeff Rogers

Jeff Rogers

Jeff Rogers loved the outdoors, strumming the guitar and making his younger sisters laugh. His mom has plenty of pictures of the 25-year old outside fishing and hunting. She also watches video of Jeff serenading his younger sister Mary with a corny song he made up.

These are cherished memories for a family surrounded by pain. “There is no greater pain, and as a parent, you just can’t imagine what you would do if this happened,” says his mother Nancy Euler.

Rogers was murdered in 2008 when intruders stormed his Kansas City, Kan. home, shot and stabbed him. The killers remain on the loose.

No suspects and no clues mean no answers for his family.

“We’ll always relive it. Holidays. Anniversary days. Until something happens that we have some type of closure,” says his uncle, John Frishman.

Roger’s Murder reflects a disturbing trend across the metro and the nation.

Fewer murder cases are being solved.

Fewer murders solved leaves more families frustrated

“Its just not right that somebody could do something like this to her and still be walking free.”

Nationwide, 90% of murder cases were solved back in the decade of the 1960’s. But in 2007, that number dropped to 61%.

The NBC Action News Investigators, along with Scripps Howard News Service, discovered this after examining thousands of unsolved murder cases from FBI’s Uniform Crime Report data.

Former FBI Agent Jeff Lanza calls the Uniform Crime Report, “like a report card for crime in this country. If we don’t have reports from local police departments around the country, there are gaps in information. “

In Kansas City, 82.5 % of murder cases in the 1970s resulted in the arrest of at least one suspect.

But the percentage of solved murders between 2000 and 2008 shows a much different story.

Fewer murders, 62%, ended with a suspected killer under arrest during those more recent years.

A recent annual memorial service for the group Parents of Murdered Children reflects this national and local trend.

Person after person arrived to honor a murdered loved one, whose case has gone cold.

“Its just not right that somebody could do something like this to her and still be walking free,” said one father who mourns the loss of his daughter.

Why are there so many unsolved cases?

“What you see in gangs or around drug sales, is a culture of, ‘We don’t talk to police’.” – Capt. Rich Lockhart

With advances in technology, many expect murder cases to be wrapped up quickly. So why is there a trend that shows otherwise?

“I think it’s a trend we were aware of. It’s not something we are very happy about,” says Capt. Rich Lockhart, spokesperson for the Kansas City Police Department.

Lockhart points to key factors such as an increase in drug traffic and gang violence since the 1980’s. Many of the players involved in those crimes are not exactly willing to work with the police.

“What you see in gangs or around drug sales, is a culture of, ‘We don’t talk to police’,” Lockhart added. “Even though your friend just got shot you don’t want to talk to police because you, yourself, could be the person on the other side of the table.”

Reporting murders brings city dollars

The FBI has no record of murders being reported from KCK police for 10 years between 1994 and 2004.

Police agencies are not required to report to the FBI the number of murder cases they investigate and solve but departments are certainly pressured to do so.

Not reporting costs a city federal grant dollars. That money can go to buy resources in order to target a particular crime in certain areas of your city.

Former FBI agent Jeff Lanza says, “The police departments in those areas may have to address those issues based on those numbers. They change their approach to things and they can lower the crime rate and make the city safer.”

Our investigation discovered some police departments, such as Kansas City, Kansas, were not always reporting their crime statistics to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI has no record of murders being reported from KCK police for 10 years between 1994 and 2004.

When asked why, a police spokesman says that a new administration has since decided to provide the FBI with that information. A check of our records shows KCK began turning over the data in 2005.

States like Kansas now have laws which require police departments to hand over that information to state law enforcement agencies, which in turn send it off to the FBI.

With help from Scripps Howard News Service, you can check the rate at which murders are solved in your area using an interactive chart.

The chart taps date from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, which tracks the rate at which homicide cases are “cleared”, or solved.  Clearances are recorded in the year they occur, which may be different from the year of the homicide.  This also means the number of clearances reported in any time period could be greater than the number of homocides reported.

The Uniform Crime Report reflects homicides cleared through arrest.  The FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report defines a solved homicide as one in which police have identified the killer.

Several local murders remain unsolved

Do you have information that might help solve a cold case?
Related Links
The Kansas City chapter of Parents of Murdered Children and Other Survivors of Homicide keeps track of local homicides in the Kansas City area, including those which remain unsolved.  They say these are among the unsolved murders in our area:

Wes Binder was found in his front yard in Raytown beaten to death 12/5/09.

Tammy Cochran was found in a burning car on the side of the road 3/5/08.

Lloyd Mincks died when a trailer hitch was thrown through his winshield as he drove home on 4/5/02.

Chris Bartholomew was killed as he was picking up a friend, recently home from military service, in Westport on 5/20/07.

Robert Nunley, Jr. was found shot to death in his car on 6/29/01.

Jeff Rogers was shot and stabbed to death by intruders he didn’t know on 4/9/08.  He was able to describe his attackers to police before he died.

Shirley McKeown disappeared after going out for a day of shopping garage sales.  She has never been found, but her car was found covered and with blood inside, parked in a driveway.  She was 71.

Metro survivors honor murdered loved ones


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Parents of murdered children and other survivors gathered Sunday to remembers their lost loved ones.

The annual vigil was held Sunday afternoon at the Blue Ridge Presbyterian Church at 6429 Blue Ridge Boulevard in Raytown, Mo.

Several family members attended the two-hour vigil that included a slide show presentation and heartfelt words from survivors.

“This group helps survivors understand and deal with their pain,” said Julie Gulledge.

Gulledge is the Parents of Murdered Children chapter leader. Her brother Kyle Gulledge, 38, was murdered in 1997. She now dedicates her time to assisting other surviving family members.

Sunday kicks off National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, which is April 18th-24th.

Police: ‘Stop Snitching’ Campaign Intimidates Many

Friends, Family Keep Looking For Killer


Mourners Gather To Remember Innocent Victim In Westport Shooting

May 18, 2009
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two years have passed, but the grief is still painfully obvious for the family and friends of Chris Bartholomew, a 21-year old man who was gunned down in a parking lot at 39th and Broadway.A group of friends and family gathered on Sunday at the Children’s Fountain in North Kansas City to remember him and make a plea for someone to come forward with information that can help police catch the killer.”It’s been a long and frustrating two years when you know that there are people out there that know what happened to my son,” Misty Kirwan, the victim’s mother said.Police report rival gangs were shooting at each other that night and one of the bullets hit Bartholomew in the back. Kirwan said her son died a hero. He had gone to Westport to pick up a friend and when the shots rang out, he pulled his friends out of the line of fire.

“It sucks having what happened to him,” Mark Starks, a friend of the victim said. “But he did save a guy’s life for it and we still thank him today and know he’s looking down on us and keeping an eye out for us.”At the tribute, those who had gathered wrote messages on balloons releasing them skyward in hopes their thoughts would reach their departed friend. Friends and family are offering a $30,000 reward for information on the crime.

If you can help — call the Crime Stoppers TIPS Hot Line at 816-474-TIPS (8477), text TIP452 plus a message to CRIMES (274637) or submit a tip online at

Vigil Honors Memory of Murder Victim


KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Two years later and police still don’t know who pulled the trigger in the death of 21-year-old Christopher Bartholomew.

Sunday’s vigil was all about keeping Chris’ memory alive but also about keeping his story alive in hopes of finding his killer.

“The pain doesn’t ever go away. You have a new life It’s not normal but to anybody whose been through this,” Christopher Bartholomew’s mother Misty Kirwan said.

Bartholomew was one of four people shot at 39th and Broadway on May 20. He died a few days later .Even though the area was packed with people leaving the bars, they had very few leads. Kirwan is still hopeful that will change.

“We need people to come forward and call in tips. It has to stay out in the public because these people will kill again if they haven’t already,” Kirwan said.

Crime-victim advocate Alvin Brooks says Chris’s death was not a case of him being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It was the person who was shooting that was at the wrong place at the wrong time. That’s what occurred,” Brooks said.

Kirwan wants people to keep the memory of her son alive and bring those responsible for his death to justice.

“He had a big heart. He would have never though of doing anything like this to anyone else.”

Bartholomew’s grandmother Sue said, “We miss Chris and we want to keep him forever young in our heart. We want people to keep it out in the open and not forget.”

The family hopes that the $30,000 reward will compel anyone with any information will come forward.


Misty Kirwan has little to celebrate this Christmas. She’s not planning parties or putting up a tree.

The holidays are just another reminder that her only child, Chris Bartholomew, is gone.
Bartholomew, 21, was fatally shot in the back of the head in a Walgreen’s parking lot near Westport on May 20, 2007. He was an innocent victim caught in the crossfire of a drive-by shooting.
Kirwan helped raise a $30,000 reward and got billboards posted. But police haven’t received a valid tip for a year.
Investigators on Tuesday shared new details to focus more attention on the unsolved homicide at 39th Street and Broadway.
Police said they thought that four cars were involved. They have identified four occupants of a black Dodge Charger, which fled down an alley before the fatal bullet was fired. But they need help identifying the occupants of the other three cars.

The four cars, containing rivals in a violent feud, converged at the crowded intersection that night as hundreds of people leaving taverns milled on the streets.

Bartholomew was there to give a friend a ride home, but the friend had wandered off.
The Charger was headed west on 39th and preparing to stop for a red light when a blue Isuzu Rodeo pulled up close in the next lane. A silver or gray Pontiac G6 trailed the Rodeo.
Police aren’t sure exactly what happened next, but investigators said they thought that occupants of the Rodeo and Pontiac began shooting into the Charger. Witnesses heard yelling and cursing.

Occupants of the Charger fired back. Witnesses saw some men standing outside the cars shooting and others shooting from their car seats.

The bullet-riddled Charger with shattered windows escaped down the nearby alley.

The Pontiac jerked into reverse and backed up to pull into the Walgreen’s parking lot.

The Rodeo sped west to the intersection and north on Broadway.
The maroon car, possibly filled with occupants aligned with the Charger’s occupants, raced to follow the Rodeo onto Broadway.

Occupants of the Pontiac fired from Walgreen’s parking lot toward Broadway while gunmen in the Rodeo and maroon car apparently fired at each other.

Bartholomew was standing on stairs between the parking lot and the Broadway sidewalk when the trio of bullet-spewing cars sandwiched him.
He pushed a homeless man down and out of the way but caught a bullet to the back of his head as he tried to duck.
In all, police said they thought six guns were fired during the rolling gunbattle.
Police later found the Charger on 39th Terrace.

The Rodeo’s driver dropped off a wounded passenger at a hospital. He survived a torso wound.
Police later found the Rodeo with bullet holes along the driver’s side abandoned in the city. It had been reported stolen.
The Pontiac was returned to a rental company with no bullet holes, but some damage to the back end.
Police determined that two occupants of the Charger suffered minor graze-type wounds.

Weeks later, one of the occupants was accused of firing 30 rounds at a Kansas City police officer during a traffic stop. The wounded officer survived. The suspect remains behind bars.
The rival groups tied to Bartholomew’s shooting had been involved in several other shoot-outs in previous months, said homicide Detective Janice Heins.
The suspects were bold, Heins said. They weren’t deterred by the presence of a parked police car on Broadway with its lights flashing.

“That’s how reckless and out of control these people were,” she said.

Heins has struggled to bring a case to prosecutors because of the complicated crime scene and the no-snitching mentality of those involved.
“There were so many people involved and so many guns,” she said. “But I believe it’s possible to charge someone eventually.”

Kirwan said she thought that no one was safe in Kansas City until the shooters were locked up.
“They didn’t look. They didn’t care. They didn’t think,” she said. “They didn’t care that anyone else was around.”
Anyone with information should call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS (474-8477). Callers can remain anonymous.

Families Band Together To Solve Unsolved Cases

Group Wants Witnesses To Come Forward, Help End Mysteries

October 4, 2008

KANSAS CITY — A group of family members of victims of abductions or unsolved homicide cases are banding together to make sure that their loved ones aren’t forgotten.

Group members said their lives have been consumed with finding answers to the cases.

“Every time you turn on the news, you hear of something like this,” John Frishman said. “We just want whoever’s out there to turn themselves in and do the right thing.”

Frishman and his wife joined the cause after their nephew, Jeff Rodgers, was killed on April 9. His killers were never caught.

For the families, the right thing to do now is to keep pushing for attention, they said.

“It’s exhausting every day just to be able to find the resources just to be able to do so,” Becky Klino said. “If it’s not constantly reminded, you tend to forget. For us as the families, we never do.”

Klino’s son, Branson, 20, vanished from Skidmore, Mo., in 2001.

“My son’s killers are still walking the streets. There were hundreds of people who saw what happened, but nobody wants to talk,” Misty Kirwan said.

Anyone with information about these cases or any others are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 816-474-8477.