The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

September 4, 2013

Police: Suspect in 1984 Joplin murder sought Social Security benefits

JOPLIN, Mo. — Paul A. Moses finally slipped up big-time, according to Joplin police.

He applied for Social Security benefits this summer in San Diego.

A fugitive from justice in the killing of a Joplin woman 29 years ago, Moses made the mistake of seeking benefits using his real name and Social Security number. His application tripped an alert in an FBI database long on memory when it comes to unlawful flight to avoid prosecution for murder.

The FBI informed Joplin police that Moses appeared to be living somewhere in San Diego.

“We began working with them to try to figure out exactly where he was living,” said Lt. Brian Lewis, head of criminal investigations for the Joplin Police Department.

Cpl. Larry Swinehart traveled to California and spent about five days there in the middle of August trying to locate Moses, Lewis said. The Joplin detective was unable to find the 64-year-old suspect but did learn that he had been frequenting a community outreach center for seniors.

Swinehart informed the FBI office in San Diego of that before returning to Joplin, and Friday morning the information paid off with the arrest of the suspect.

Moses was described as a transient when he fled Joplin in 1984 after the murder of Frances Ramsey, 62, a native of Indianapolis who lived most of her life in Joplin. Her husband, Richard Ramsey, died five years before her murder.

Ramsey’s body was discovered the morning of Aug. 11, 1984, inside the unoccupied half of a duplex at 2337 S. Main St., about 14 blocks from her home in the 900 block of Main Street. The cause of death was reported to be blunt force trauma to her head.

A woman who lived in the occupied half of the duplex returned home to find that there had been a burglary and her television was missing, Lewis said. One of the officers who responded to her call reporting the crime happened to peer into the unoccupied half of the address, which was undergoing some remodeling, and spotted Ramsey’s body, he said.

According to Lewis, it is possible that the burglary was related to the murder, although investigators remain unsure to this day.

A bloody suspected murder weapon was recovered at the scene. Lewis declined to identify the object other than to describe it as an apparent weapon of opportunity. He said officers recovered other evidence linking Moses to the crime scene, although he also declined to specify what that was.

Investigators soon learned that Moses had been seen with Ramsey late the previous night in a bar on Main Street, but they were unable to locate him for questioning, Lewis said.

A warrant was issued charging Moses with first-degree murder. When it became apparent that he may have fled the state, the FBI office in Kansas City obtained a warrant on him for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.

Prosecutor Dean Dankelson said Wednesday that if Moses does not waive extradition, Jasper County will initiate proceedings in California. The county has 90 days to complete extradition, he said.

Dankelson said he has met with the Joplin police detectives now assigned to the case, and he is reviewing the old police reports.

“We’ve begun the process of locating witnesses in conjunction with (police),” Dankelson said.

No bond

PAUL MOSES remained in custody without bond Wednesday in San Diego, pending proceedings to have him returned to Joplin to face a murder charge in the slaying of Frances Ramsey in 1984.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
  • r041614giregabby.jpg SLIDE SHOW: Teen with cystic fibrosis finds widespread support

    When the Nevada Show Choir performs its spring show on stage, it’s impossible to pick out the student with cystic fibrosis because there are no outward clues.
    Gabby Gire, 18, is just another performer. She sings, she dances, she smiles for the audience.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • 041914 Wedding1_72.jpg VIDEO: Cancer patient walks down aisle in wedding thrown by friends

    A year ago, Schandera Jordan was diagnosed with a rare form cervical cancer. And months after a radical hysterectomy, doctors confirmed the worst: The cancer had spread to her lungs and pancreas.

    April 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • Enrollment open for Joplin summer school

    Enrollment is now open for the Joplin school district’s summer school session, which will run Wednesday, June 4, though Tuesday, July 1.

    April 19, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Britain Easter Pilgri_Cast.jpg SLIDESHOW: Good Friday observances around the world Around the world, Christians are coming together in observance of Good Friday, which they believe was the day Jesus was crucified. Here are some photos from Good Friday commemorations around the world.

    April 18, 2014

  • Missouri House votes to expand sales tax exemptions

    Pizza parlors, doughnut shops and even convenience stores all could be in line for a tax break on the food that they make and sell as a result of a measure moving through the Missouri Legislature.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos