In 2009, we found a new way of peering into Kansas City's murderous soul.

Killa City: Tracking homicides in 2009, we learned a few things about our city's psyche 

Page 4 of 6

Diamond Blair's mother, Warnetta U. Blair, was charged with murder twice and convicted once.

In September 1980, after James L. Bell was found stabbed 30 times in his apartment in the 3400 block of Prospect, 25-year-old Warnetta Blair and her husband, Noila White III, were charged with Bell's murder. The Star reported that Warnetta Blair had agreed to testify against her husband, and prosecutors dropped the murder charges against her, but state law barred spouses from testifying against each other. In 1984, White pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, admitting that he conspired to kill Bell to collect on Bell's life-insurance policy.

Ten years after Bell's murder, Warnetta Blair was again charged with murder. In December 1989, Warnetta Blair's boyfriend, a Cuban drug dealer named Pablo Gomez, was found bound, gagged and dead in the couple's apartment in the 900 block of East 30th Street. Blair pleaded guilty in August 1990 to killing Gomez, admitting that she and a friend had tied up Gomez to steal his drugs and money but saying they never intended to kill him. (In fact, The Star reported that, after leaving Gomez, Blair and her friend went to a neighbor's apartment and smoked crack all night.) A judge sentenced Warnetta Blair to 10 years in prison; she was released in December 1999.

Diamond Blair's brother, Noila White IV, pleaded guilty in 2001 to killing his father, Noila White III, by shooting him in the head in the elder White's furniture store in the 3100 block of Troost.

Another uncle: Serial killer Terry Blair, sentenced to six life terms for murdering six women along the Prospect Avenue corridor in 2004.

Born in 1975, Diamond Blair was in juvenile court for stealing by the time he was 6. He had been in and out of state custody by June 1992, when a judge handed down six sentences against him — the longest was 18 years for two counts of first-degree robbery. His other sentences included unlawful use of a weapon, kidnapping and sodomy.

At the hearing, Blair reportedly spat on a Jackson County assistant prosecutor. As guards removed him from the courtroom in chains, he glared and cussed at the prosecutor. An assistant prosecutor described him as "a one-man crime wave."

Jackson County Prosecutor Jim Kanatzar tells The Pitch that Diamond Blair's role in the death of Montague Ashline is still under investigation. Once their investigation concludes, county prosecutors will decide whether to add Blair to this year's list of accused murderers.


When we started Killa City, we didn't know how people would react.

We didn't expect a comments-section catfight between two women who both laid claim to Drell D. Fisher, who was fatally shot outside of Gerry's Silver Slipper in early February. A woman named "Shay" even warned the other woman, "Tamika," to "get yo mind right bitch b4 yo mama b wearing yo face on a shirt."

Nor did we anticipate that the comments would turn into online memorials where loved ones would return month after month to share their grief.

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