Who killed Jack Bumphus? After 20 years, Wichita man's murder still unsolved

Published: Jan. 8, 2020 at 9:33 PM CST
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We're approaching 20 years from the day a Wichita man died after answering a knock at the door.

The murder case of Ardis "Jack" Bumphus remains unsolved and Wichita police say they've never had a solid lead. A checkered past may be one factor as to why there hasn't been much in the way of solid leads into Bumphus' death.

Records show a checkered past with a criminal record including arrests for felony possession of a stolen firearm to time served in an Oklahoma prison for possession of cocaine and distribution of controlled substances.

Wichita Police Detective Robert Chisholm says Bumphus still dabbled on the wrong side of the law after his release from prison, as one member of a group of men running a small gambling house in north Wichita.

The house at 19th and Volutsia was rented solely for the purpose of gambling and it was there in the early morning of April 8, 2000 that Ardis "Jack" Bumphus died.

Chisholm says investigators believe it was about 3:20 a.m. when a man knocked on the door to go into the house. Bumphus was the doorman. Police say when he opened the door, a man came running around from the corner of the house with a gun.

"There were multiple shots fired and Mr. Bumphus was struck and dies right there where he was hit, on the porch," Chisholm says.

Police say the shooter never came into the house, but did rob Bumphus after they shot him. A stray bullet hit another man in the house, but that man survived.

Bumphus' niece, Cherry Gilkey-King remembers her "Uncle Jack" as being fun and making his family laugh. She says she heard about the deadly shooting on the news, but didn't know until the next morning that her uncle was the man killed.

She says her uncle's murder rocked the family and relatives traveled from states away to attend his funeral.

"We talk about Uncle Jack regularly," Gilkey-King says.

Bumphus' family also hasn't forgotten that the person responsible for his death is still out there.

"I think that's a demon, but we don't know what this person is because we don't know who it is," Gilkey-King says.

Detective Chisholm and Bumphus' family hold on to hope that someone with information that can help police break the case open will step forward.

"I believe that some of the people at the house saw who did it and just didn't want to tell the police then. Hopefully they will rethink that and come forward now," Chisholm says.

Anyone that may have information to help police solve this case can call WPD Detectives at 316-268-4407 or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers by calling 316-267-2111.

"We loved (Bumphus) very much. He deserves justice," Gilkey-King says. "The family deserves justice, as well as some closure to who did it."