The Kansas City Police Department has been using the shotgun that killed Freedom Inc. founder Leon Jordan as a service weapon for the last 33 years.
That revelation comes from a press release sent this morning by KCPD spokesman Capt. Rich Lockhart regarding the re-opening of Jordan's unsolved murder case. The decision precipitates from renewed interest in Jordan's assassination -- described in this recent article in The Kansas City Star -- and the police department's discovery of the shotgun and partial fingerprints from the murder scene.
The fingerprints, taken from the shotgun and cars near the crime scene, were among some 100,000 prints that the KCPD kept in storage until the national Automated Fingerprint Identification System was put in place in 1988, according to the press release.
Jordan was shot to death early on the morning of July 15, 1970, as he left the Green Duck, the tavern he owned at 2548 Prospect Avenue.
The KCPD release describes how the shotgun that killed Jordan had been "released to an unknown party" after the case was closed, unsolved, in 1976. The following year, the KCPD bought it back from a local gun dealer, presumably without knowing its significance. The gun retains its original serial number but the barrel, stock, fore-stock and strap have all been changed or added.