THE 1988 FIREFIGHTERS' DEATHS

Did pressure lead to lies and unjust convictions?

Numerous witnesses say testimony was coerced, and another witness now says a guard who was working security at the explosion site implicated herself 20 years ago.

  • Introduction

  • Part 1

  • Part 2

1988 FIREFIGHTER DEATHS

Witnesses say federal investigator pressured them to lie

Carie Neighbors said they threatened to take away her son. Jerry Rooks said they warned him he’d get a stiffer jail sentence. Alan Bethard said they charged him with a more serious crime.

Trial finds guilt despite alibis, 'snitch testimony'

After a jury convicted Richard Brown in 1997 for his role in the deaths of six Kansas City firefighters, Linda Peak says she lost faith in the judicial system.

Firefighters’ case spurs call for legal review

Twenty years after six firefighters died in a massive explosion — and more than a decade after five defendants were sentenced to life for the crime — the U.S. attorney has requested an independent review of the case.

Report surfaces in 1988 explosion that killed six firefighters

Defense attorneys say they were never given key evidence that could have helped five defendants convicted in the 1988 explosion that killed six Kansas City firefighters.

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KansasCity.com News
RICH SUGG | Star file photo
Trailers containing ammonium nitrate and fuel oil for construction of Bruce R. Watkins Drive exploded shortly after 4 a.m. Nov. 29, 1988, killing six firefighters called to a fire at the site and waking people across the area.