The death of a rural Missouri man gets international attention only because of his claim to be a KKK leader.

On Saturday, 51-year-old Frank Ancona–no relation to the local car dealer of the same name–was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head alongside a river in rural Missouri. He was likely murdered.

Some time before his death Ancona posted this message on his web page: “The media will tell you The KKK is dead, gone, irrelevant. They have tried since the birth of the Klan to downplay the influence and power of the KKK.”

Ancona badly misjudged the media. As his death showed, they do everything in their power to keep the the vestigial remains of the KKK alive and in the news. Of the hundreds of people murdered in Missouri last year, only his death made headlines around the world:

Raw Story: “KKK Imperial Wizard Frank Ancona found dead at 51 from a gunshot wound to the head.”

UK Daily Mail: “Mystery as Ku Klux Klan leader is found dead in Missouri.”

NY Daily News: “KKK ‘imperial wizard’ found fatally shot near Missouri river after employer reports him as missing.”

Kansas City Star: “KKK imperial wizard Frank Ancona is found dead in Missouri.”

In fact, the Star had profiled Ancona in a 2015 series on “domestic terrorism.” Ancona was alleged to head up a relatively new group called the “Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.” Every now and then the group burned “a reusable cross” in Ancona’s backyard in Deadwood, Missouri. A shade disingenuously perhaps, Ancona distinguished between his private cross burning and those which “are meant to intimidate.”

Ancona told the Star his organization does not condone violence. Those who do, he said, “are not following the Klan doctrine.” If Ancona himself had done anything more violent than pass out leaflets and post stupid stuff on the Internet, the Star did not mention it. That said, the Star will pay more attention to his death than any of the 127 people murdered within the city limits last year.

To its credit, KSHB saw through the grandiosity with which Ancona had imbued his life. The headline cuts right to the chase:”Missouri man who said he was a KKK leader found dead.”

Ancona was an “imperial wizard” in his own mind and there alone.

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