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Kansas City Power and Light Building

The Kansas City Power and Light Building

The Kansas City Power and Light Building has illuminated the night sky over Kansas City since 1931. Its dazzling display of multicolored lights still leaves onlookers in awe, exactly how they did when it was seen as revolutionary. 


But in 2000, long after the mesmerizing glow of the 31-story building became commonplace, a devasting murder, one that remains unsolved to this day, lit up the city’s headlines. Now, there are tales of paranormal activity in the former law office of Richard Armitage, a man whose murderer still walks free. 


The ghost of Richard Armitage has made his spirit well known to those who now occupy his old office, and many come to hear the tale of his brutal murder outside of the 479-foot-tall Art Deco Skyscraper. 


Be one of them on your next trip to Kansas City on a Ghost Tour with US Ghost Adventures! Our experienced tour guides reveal the haunted history of the Kansas City Power and Light Building and much more in full detail! 


Kansas City Power and Light Building: The Tallest Building In Missouri


The tallest building in Missouri began with a bright and electrifying man named Joseph Franklin Porter. Porter was one of the first men in the nation to work alongside Thomas Edison, installing practical lighting alongside the inventor in Wisconsin in 1888. 


This unique skill set allowed Porter to work his way to the top of a new industry, and in 1917, he was President of the Kansas City Power and Light Company. In 1930, he hired the architectural firm Hoit, Price, & Barnes to design their new headquarters. 


Rising 31 stories tall, the 479-foot-tall building lit up the city with a stunning display of red and orange from a 97-foot-tall tower atop the highest floor. This was considered quite a technological feat and still leaves onlookers in awe in our modern times. 


The west side of the building lacks any windows, an odd feature for any skyscraper. This has been commonly attributed to the planned design of a second tower that was halted due to the Great Depression.


For years, it housed the offices, showrooms, and almost anything an employee could need for the Kansas City Power and Light Company. This included a gymnasium, a medical center, and a movie theatre! It was the tallest building in Missouri until the One US Bank Plaza in St. Louis was constructed in 1976.


The Murder of Richard Armitage


In the year 2000, a murder took place in the Power and Light Building that shook Kansas City to its core. It was a typical scene in the law office of Armitage and Buchli. The two specialized in writing legal briefs for organ procurements and were doing quite well for themselves. This day in May was like any other until Richard Armitage was discovered lying in his office in a pool of his own blood. 


His secretary, Shannon Miller, discovered him after hearing odd noises from his office. She immediately grabbed his partner, Richard Buchli, and called 911. Buchli attempted to revive his partner via CPR, a procedure that was not needed as Armitage was still alive. 


Armitage was quickly placed into the ICU, holding on to his life by a thread. A huge amount of blood had been lost, and he was suffering from severe head trauma. He died several days later, and the incident became a homicide. 


Richard Buchli was almost immediately brought into questioning, and he had Armitage’s blood all over him, after all. Buchli claimed it was from giving him CPR, an action that was not necessary. But after the police carefully reviewed the security cameras and noticed the odd splatter of blood on Buchli, they brought Buchli into custody. 


Justice for Armitage


Buchli was sentenced to life without parole in 2002 for the murder of Richard Armitage. However, just four years later, he was released. The security camera footage was not evidence enough to cement Buchli as the murder and was deemed circumstantial. Buchli walked free in 2006, and his case was thrown out in 2010. He returned to Kansas City, where he now practices law just as he used to. 


In 2022, a special television program was launched on Investigation Discovery called “Crime Scene Confidential: Doing Right By Richard.” It dug back into the old case and tried to provide justice and comfort to the Armitage family. No one was given, and his death remains a mystery. 


The Ghost of Richard Armitage


This may be why so many strange reports of paranormal activity have come from the former Armitage and Buchli office. Armitage’s spirit is unwell, making its presence known to all who enter the Kansas City Power and Light Building. 


Strange noises are heard in his old office, the same odd grunting sound that Shannon Miller heard before discovering Armitage’s bloodied body. Many report feeling as if they are being watched when walking past the old building late at night. It is Armitage, still seeking out the justice he was so wrongfully denied. 


Haunted Kansas City


The story of Richard Armitage, his murder, and the Kansas City Power and Light Buiding towers over the city like a dark cloud. His death will not be forgotten. Many come to the building night after night to hear his story and the many others that fill the Kansas City streets. 

Take a haunted ghost tour with US Ghost Adventures to discover the dark history of Kansas City for yourself! Our experienced tour guides will take you to the most haunted locations and tell you the most terrifying stories. 

Read our blog for more information about haunted Kansas City, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok to learn more! 



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