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Man Charged With Six of Seven Strangulation Deaths

April 14, 1990

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ A 22-year-old man with no criminal record has been charged with the murders of six of seven black women found strangled in Kansas City since September.

Ray Shawn Jackson, 22, described as a part-time laborer, also was charged with the assault of another woman Monday night whose attack was interrupted by a passerby, authorities said.

Jackson was arrested Thursday afternoon at his grandmother’s house three blocks east of Gillham Park, where four of the six women were found. He was charged Friday with six counts of first-degree murder, hours after the funeral of the latest victim, Michelle Mitchell.

Police Chief Larry Joiner said that the six victims had all been lured to areas in or near the park by the promise of obtaining crack cocaine.

The investigation has not produced evidence linking Jackson to the death of a seventh woman, Brenda McCoy, 33, who was found Sept. 26, Joiner said.

Many blacks have said authorities and the media failed to give the case adequate attention because the victims were black prostitutes and drug addicts. Joiner said Jackson, who also is black, had no history of violence or any prior arrest record, but it was his understanding he had used drugs.

″I don’t think I can get into his motives,″ the police chief said.

A woman who told the police she had been with Miss Mitchell and Jackson hours before her body was found helped authorities draw a composite sketch of the suspect.

A 27-year-old black woman assaulted on Monday had identified Jackson from a photograph as her assailant, Joiner said. She said the assailant was scared away by a man out walking his dog.

Homicide detectives found Jackson while canvassing a neighborhood near the park looking for anyone who recognized the composite drawing. Witnesses pointed police to his grandmother’s home and he was arrested when he came home later in the afternoon.

In addition to the killing of Miss Mitchell, whose body was found in the park on April 5, Jackson is charged with killing Annette Stewart, 33, found dead on Sept. 16; Kimberly Creer, 22, found Sept. 20; Tresa Williams, 21, found Oct. 22; Janice Berryman, 36, found Oct. 28; and Tonya Ward, 23, found Jan. 18.

Jackson’s bond was set at $700,000. He was being held in the city jail Friday night, pending an arraignment this morning.

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