The body of the Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the KKK has been fished out of a Missouri River. On Lincoln’s birthday. And during Black History Month.
BELGRADE, MO – A family out on a fishing trip at the Big River discovered the body of Frank Ancona, the Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (TAKKKK), according to the Washington Country Sherif’fs office.
According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Sheriff Zach Jacobsen learned Thursday that Ancona, 51, had gone missing and later his vehicle was located on a forestry service road in Potosi by a Federal Forestry Service employee. Evidence of a burn pile was located near the vehicle.
Two search warrants were executed and officials arrested a male on an unrelated drug warrant out of Washington County. It was while they were waiting for a warrant to be issued when the dispatch center received a call from a woman taking her family fishing saying that they had located a body near the bank of the Big River near Belgrade.
Jacobsen said that Ancona’s body was transported by the Washington County Coroner’s office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death and that an investigation into the death was continuing. “Right now no one has been charged in his death, but that may change tomorrow,” Jacobsen said.
Ancona was one of the more visible Klansmen in recent years, appearing on a number of television programs and in print media and even giving a “Certificate of Friendship” to musician and activist Daryl Davis who works to build dialouge with Klan members in an effort to leave hate politics. In 2014, the TAKKKK made headlines when just prior to the decision that would eventually decide not to indict Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown, they distributed fliers saying that they will use lethal force against protesters if violence ensued. “You have been warned by the Ku Klux Klan!” the flier read. “There will be consequences for your acts of violence against the peaceful, law-abiding citizens of Missouri.”
But Ancona had his enemies within his own circles. Earlier in 2014, Loyal White Knights Imperial Klaliff (Vice-President) Robert Jones accused Ancona of not being White and in fact Jewish and his wife being Wiccan, which is forbidden in the Klan. Ancona denied all the charges.
The St. Francois County Sheriff’s Department and Missouri State Highway Patrol were assisting in the investigation.