A self-proclaimed Imperial Wizard of a branch of the Ku Klux Klan in America’s deep south has been shot dead, allegedly by his own wife and stepson.
Marital problems are said to be behind the shooting murder of Frank Ancona, the 51-year-old leader of the Missouri-based Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr Ancona was reported missing by family members earlier this month however his body was discovered on Saturday, February 11 by locals on a day out fishing at Missouri’s Big Bend River.
Mr Ancona had suffered a gunshot wound to the head.
A day before his body was discovered, his wife, Malissa Ancona, had told local media and police that her husband had been thinking about divorcing her and that he simply left their Leadwood home after packing a bag of belongings.
However, upon searching the home police discovered that a safe belonging to Mr Ancona had been pried open with a crowbar while a gun that he regularly carried with him was also found still inside the residence.
Ms Ancona had not reported her husband missing while she had also put up an ad on Facebook asking for a new roommate.
Not impressed by her conflicting statements, detectives interviewed Ms Ancona who then confessed that her son from a previous relationship, Paul Edward Jinkerson Jr, had shot her husband dead in their home before they both dumped his body at the bank of the Big Bend River.
Both Ms Ancona and Mr Jinkerson were arrested by police and charged with first-degree murder.
Mr Jinkerson has also been charged with armed criminal action, tampering with physical evidence and abandonment of a corpse.
James Russell – a neighbour who had lived next door to the couple for almost five years – claimed Ms Ancona would regularly shout at her husband who he said was trying to rehabilitate the image of the KKK.
“Everybody is talking about the Klan thing, but they are living in the past,” Mr Russell told the St Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Frank was trying to improve the Klan and make it a force for good.”
Mr Ancona would regularly go pamphleteering and door-knocking in support of his group, who he once claimed was a regular target of other far-right groups as he did not believe in violence towards African-Americans and Jewish people.
However, in 2014, leaflets attributed to Mr Ancona warned of “lethal force” against “terrorists masquerading as ‘peaceful protesters’.”
The website of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan’s states that:
“This Order will strive forever to maintain the God-given supremacy of the White Race. To preserve the blood purity, integrity, cultural, and traditions of the White Christian Race in America. This does not mean that we are enemies of the colored and mongrel races. But it does mean that we are organized to establish the solidarity and to realize the mission of the white race.”
A court date for both Ms Ancona and Mr Jinkerson has not yet been set.