The Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was found dead in Missouri, according to reports.
Frank Ancona, 51, was found dead Saturday near Belgrade, Mo., near the Big River by a family who was fishing nearby, the Kansas City Star reported.
Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen said that Ancona had gone missing, noting that a U.S. Forest Service employee had located Ancona’s vehicle on a road near Potosi, AP reported. Police said his disappearance occurred under suspicious circumstances.
“Deputies responded on Friday and located the vehicle and secured it,” Jacobsen told the paper. “We left deputies at the scene and secured it overnight due to the loss of light. On Saturday morning we conducted a search of the area by foot by member [sic] of the Potosi Fire Protection District and the sheriff’s office. We didn’t locate much of anything in the woods, but we did locate evidence of a burn pile near Mr. Ancona’s vehicle.”
Ancona has been quoted in previous stories in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch about attempts to “curb KKK leafletting” in Desloge, located St. Francois County.
The KKK was started in 1866 by ex-Confederate soldiers following the Civil War. According to the Anti-Defamation League, “At its peak in 1924, 40,000 uniformed Klansmen paraded through the streets of Washington, D.C., during the Democratic National Convention.”
By the 1870s, the KKK became a “a vehicle for white southern resistance to the Republican Party’s Reconstruction-era policies aimed at establishing political and economic equality for blacks,” History.com says.
“Though Congress passed legislation designed to curb Klan terrorism, the organization saw its primary goal—the reestablishment of white supremacy—fulfilled through Democratic [Party] victories in state legislatures across the South in the 1870s,” it adds.