Feb 05, 2016 KCTV5 By Angie Ricono, Investigative Reporter
It’s been nearly 30 years since an explosion killed six Kansas City firefighters. Five people were convicted and sentenced to life in prison. One of them called KCTV5, hoping to clear his name.
Bryan Sheppard, 44, is sitting in a Leavenworth prison cell. There is a small beacon of hope he might get out one day. Attorneys are currently arguing over sentencing guidelines, since Sheppard was a teenager at the time of the crime. While he’s thankful for any chance to walk free, Sheppard wants the world to know he’s innocent.
|Bryan Sheppard, 44, is sitting in a Leavenworth prison cell. There is a small beacon of hope he might get out one day. (KCTV5)
“I want the truth too,” he told KCTV5 reporter Angie Ricono over the phone. “I pray to God every day the truth comes out about this case.”
He’s hoping a theatrical production could change perception about his case.
Sheppard is the main character of the new play, Justice in the Embers. KCPT, The Center for Investigative Reporting and The Living Room Theater are presenting the play, which was largely inspired by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Mike McGraw’s articles about the trial.
“It’s about unanswered questions,” said McGraw. “I believe there are unanswered questions in the city’s most serious crime.”
In November 1988, Kansas City firefighters were called to put out a fire at a construction site. As firefighters rushed to put out the flames, an explosion killed six of them instantly. The blast was so powerful it could be heard 50 miles away. It left a crater 40 feet wide and six feet deep. It broke a community’s heart.