The Kansas man accused of murdering an innocent Black woman was a known white nationalist, family and friends say.
Ronald Lee Kidwell, 47, was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of MeShon Cooper, who was missing for a week until her body was discovered in Kidwell’s Shawnee home last Saturday, The Kansas City Star reported.
His daughter, Crystal Foster, said Kidwell has been a “monster his whole life.” She recalled her father draping himself in the Confederate flag, sending her pictures of the swastika he had tattooed on his arm and bragging about his membership in the KKK. Foster said her dad even once threatened to kill her and her three children if they ever spoke to “a person of color.”
“He’s the true definition of evil,” she told the newspaper.
As part of his twisted method, Kidwell would reportedly befriend “colored people” only to try and do them harm. Neighbor Kathleen Brown said Cooper visited Kidwell’s home 10 days before her disappearance. After she left, Brown said Kidwell referred to his guest as a “Black b—h” and used a racial slur.
Cooper stopped by the home again on July 6, according to The Kansas City Star. This time, Kidwell went out for beer while Cooper struck up a conversation at Brown’s house. She and Cooper discussed their family lives, and the “genial” woman even offered to teach him how to make soul food.
The next day, Cooper’s car was found near a Kansas City park with the keys still inside, family members said. Brown recalled Kidwell asking her for trash bags and a handsaw not long after the woman’s disappearance.
“This was a hate crime,” Brown told the newspaper. “One hundred percent a hate crime … If I would have known he was going to harm her in any way, I would have never let her leave my house.”
Kidwell’s bail was set at $1 million. On Tuesday, FBI officials announced they were investigating the killing as a possible hate crime.
This isn’t the Kansas man’s first run-in with the law, however. According to the Kansas City Star, Kidwell has a history of assaults and spent 15 years in jail on various assault charges. He was charged with second-degree assault in 2011 after authorities said he hit a sleeping Black woman on the head with a hammer and then forced her to have sex with him.
Kidwell, who is HIV positive, didn’t wear a condom during the assault. Court documents show Kidwell allegedly told police he killed Cooper after she threatened to tell people he had the disease.
“I hope that he suffers every day,” Foster said of her father. “I want him to feel the pain of being alone because she (Cooper) had to. “I hope in my heart that he dies a slow painful death.”
Cooper, 43, is survived by her 25-year-old son. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to support the young man during this tough time.