The wife and the stepson of Frank Ancona, the high-ranking KKK leader who was found shot to death near the Big River in southeast Missouri over the weekend, have been charged with his murder. The two were arrested Monday.
Malissa A. Ancona, 44, and Paul Jinkerson Jr., 24, are facing charges for first-degree murder, armed criminal action, abandonment of a corpse, and tampering with physical evidence. According to court documents, they are both being held without bond at the St. Francois County jail and scheduled for arraignment next week.
St. Francois County Prosecutor Jerrod D. Mahurin said he thinks the murder stemmed from a marital dispute between Malissa and Frank, who planned to file for a divorce. Likewise, there does not appear to be a connection between Frank’s death and his ties to the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Authorities say Jinkerson shot Frank in the head Thursday as he slept in the master bedroom of their Leadwood home. Malissa then failed to report the crime, but also worked to destroy blood evidence and attempted to conceal the crime by altering the scene. Authorities believe Malissa and Jinkerson acted together to commit the crime, according to charging documents.
Jinkerson then placed Frank’s body into his vehicle, drove to the river and dumped the body, where it was later discovered by a family who set out on a weekend fishing trip.
Washington County coroner Brian DeClue previously determined Frank was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head.
After Frank’s body was discovered, Malissa told the police she had not seen her husband since Wednesday morning when he left for work. She said he had an out-of-town delivery so she did not expect him home immediately. She also said Frank planned to file for a divorce when he returned home.
However, Frank was reported missing Thursday by his employer, according to the The Kansas City Star. The employer said Frank never showed up for work and also confirmed there was no out-of-town delivery.
During the initial investigation, authorities discovered what appeared to be a crowbar used to pry Frank’s gun safe open. All of the guns from the safe were missing, but the handgun typically carried by Frank on a daily basis was found inside the home. Malissa told police she believed Frank took the guns with him when he left Wednesday morning, but Frank’s family immediately questioned that claim.