October 26, 2012

Tips sought, reward offered in unsolved killing of Wichita banker

It has been more than a year since the morning that J.J. McGuigan found his father’s body. Tim McGuigan, a widely known Wichita bank executive, had been shot multiple times in the living room of his Wichita home.

The reward amount that Tim McGuigan's friends offered is $4,200, making the total $21,200. An earlier version of this story contained incorrect figures.

It has been more than a year since the morning that J.J. McGuigan found his father’s body.

Tim McGuigan, a widely known Wichita bank executive, had been shot multiple times in the living room of his Wichita home. He was wearing clothes he had used for yard work the evening before. The divorced 61-year-old had missed his regular breakfast at Jimmy’s Egg with his grown son earlier that morning, Sept. 7, 2011. After he didn’t come to work, his co-workers asked his son to check on him. His son said Friday that he thought his father had overslept or was on his way to his job as senior vice president at Kansas State Bank.

Police Lt. Todd Ojile, head of the homicide unit, said Friday that detectives still don’t know why someone killed McGuigan. Investigators found no evidence of forced entry or a robbery, so it is possible McGuigan knew the killer and let the person in. Speaking of his father, J.J. McGuigan, now 30, said Friday, “If you tried to be his enemy, you couldn’t. He’d never hold a grudge.”

The mystery needs to be solved, his son and his friends said Friday. They, along with police and Crime Stoppers officials, spoke to reporters as part of an effort to publicize the case and announce increased rewards for tips leading to an arrest in the McGuigan case and other unsolved Wichita homicides. Police and Crime Stoppers will be spotlighting different unsolved homicides through the rest of the year. Police are still compiling a list of the other unsolved homicides that will be featured, said Crime Stoppers Executive Director Gordon Bassham.

J.J. McGuigan said if he could speak directly to someone with information that could solve the mystery, he would tell them: “Our whole family is suffering, more than I could ever imagine possible.”

Solving the case, he said, would bring “tremendous healing.”

He spoke at a news conference at Central Community Church on West Maple after Bassham announced rewards totaling $21,200 for information leading to an arrest in the McGuigan case. Of the total, McGuigan’s son and daughter are each offering $5,000. Members of Wagonmasters, a group of business executives, are adding $5,000. McGuigan’s friends are offering an additional $4,200, and Crime Stoppers is offering $2,000 – double its normal reward.

Crime Stoppers also is increasing its reward to $2,000 for the unsolved homicides it will be publicizing through the end of the year, on a nearly weekly basis.

“The victims and their families deserve nothing less,” Bassham said later Friday.

Dave Dahl, a Wichita attorney and long-time friend of Tim McGuigan, said he is confident that the case will be solved, especially with the renewed attention it is getting.

Dahl described McGuigan as “the ideal, true friend, and our lives were changed for the worst when he was killed in his house.”

Someone knows what happened, and someone could be “heroic and courageous” by coming forward, he said.

Later Friday, Dahl said, “This is an opportunity for people out there to let their conscience finally come through.”

For years, Dahl and McGuigan coached youth sports together. “I never saw him get angry with anyone, speak ill of anyone,” Dahl said. He said McGuigan associated with good people. Many people knew McGuigan as a devoted fan of Wichita State University sports.

When Dahl heard that McGuigan had been shot and killed, he said, “I was in disbelief. Why it happened to Tim McGuigan makes no sense to me.”

Ojile, head of the police homicide unit, summarized the case Friday. Ojile said officers were dispatched to McGuigan’s home shortly after 10 a.m. Sept. 7, 2011. McGuigan had recently moved to the house, in the 2500 block of North Woodridge, in a newer neighborhood northwest of 21st and 127th streets East.

Police found him dead in a front room with gunshot wounds. He was last seen working in his yard the evening of Sept. 6. Shortly after 8 p.m., he had spoken by phone with a family member. Investigators found no evidence of a break-in and found no missing items. No weapon has been found.

Ojile described McGuigan as very active in the community.

Ojile asked that anyone with information about the case call homicide detectives at 316-268-4181 or Crime Stoppers, 316-267-2111.

Anonymous tips may also be given to Crime Stoppers by texting to CRIMES (274637) and beginning the text message with TIP217, or by going to the Crime Stoppers website,

Police have had no new leads. “We have no motive for this crime,” Ojile said, adding that the situation is frustrating for police. Detectives have put in long hours, have interviewed dozens of people, “and no one seems to know why or how this occurred,” he said. Detectives recently conducted more interviews. The investigation has remained open. “It’s never been put on the shelf,” Ojile said.

As for possible suspects, he said, “we haven’t ruled anyone out at this point.”

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