Joe Miller: The Brutal Irony Behind Yuri Ives Murder in Historic Northeast

I know we’re not supposed to say anything bad about the dead, especially the recently murdered.

But in the case of Yuri Ives, who was gunned down in his mansion in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast last week, some negativity seems in order, if only to illustrate just how severely life can turn around and bite you in the ass.

At very least, Yuri Ives’s story, or what little I know about it, is probably the most brutal example of irony that I’ve ever seen.

I first met Yuri several years ago when we were both serving on an obscure public board called the Cliff Drive Corridor Management Committee. He left a very distinct, not entirely pleasant impression on me.

In our meetings, Yuri often raised concerns about the Hispanics who hang out at the Concourse Fountain at Gladstone Boulevard and St. John on weekend afternoons and summer evenings.

He was very angry about it, in fact. He would say things like, “I bring clients into the neighborhood trying to get them to buy $400,000 houses and we have to drive by these people who are leering at us.” (Yuri renovated mansions and resold them.)

We always had a representative from the Police Department at our meetings. I can’t remember the officer’s name, but he was always a total professional. When Yuri would go off about the lack of enforcement of immigration and loitering laws, the cop would calmly explain that the Historic Northeast is a high-crime area, and they’ve got other priorities (like murder) that are more important than chasing Latinos out of public spaces.

The cop kept his cool, but you could tell that Yuri was kind of a pain. The cop would say things like, “Calling us 10 or 20 times a night doesn’t help the situation.”

These exchanges always left a sour taste in my mouth. I live in the Northeast, too. I own a home here. And I knew going into it that it was a risky investment: A lot of house for not a lot of money in exchange for living in a sketchy ‘hood. I want the cops to do their jobs. But I don’t expect them to turn the neighborhood into Brookside so that I can make a few bucks off my house.

I confronted Yuri about it at one meeting, and we kind of got into it.

And, of course, everyone now knows that Yuri sent an email to the mayor and a whole bunch of other city officials a few months ago saying that some city worker who mows lawns was going to kill him. Apparently, Yuri didn’t like the way the guy mowed the park by his house, so he got in his face a lot and it pissed the guy off.

So you kind of get a sense that Yuri was maybe a little too amped up about the ghetto-ness of our ghetto-y neighborhood.

And sure enough, he gets murdered.

But if the guy who’s behind bars right now for the crime turns out to be guilty, it’s incredibly ironic, because not only was he not the offending city groundskeeper, or any of the Hispanics who hang out by the fountain, or any of the denizens who prowl Independence Avenue a half black away from Yuri’s mansion.

No. It was a kid from the suburbs who Yuri allegedly invited into his own house, and who allegedly shot him with his own gun.

See what I mean?

Life has a way of really fucking with you.

Death, too. Obviously.

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14 Responses to Joe Miller: The Brutal Irony Behind Yuri Ives Murder in Historic Northeast

  1. Anna says:

    Whats the point?
    I’ve met Yuri Ives and that in no way was the impression he left on me. He was a kind yes assertive man but very respectable.

    “Great people talk about ideas. Small people talk about others.” Unknown

    Lets get it together and make something useful out of your blog.

  2. Maybelle says:

    ironic?
    I think it might be ironic that you just called those apartments in the Northland “suburbs”.

  3. another511 says:

    the great thing about YURI & every other RELEVANT northeast resident, is that were too busy loving our neighbor(s) to worry about condescending nobodies like you.

  4. BarKeeper says:

    Kid From the Burbs
    Let’s figure out what the Craig’s List connection is all about. I smell rotten fish.

  5. smartman says:

    @Kid
    Good point. What’s the REAL deal? After reading the articles in the Star talking about Yuri’s “partner” as opposed to wife or girlfriend I had to ask myself if Yuri was a “queen”. The craigslist thing, and inviting “boys” to his house really has some stinky fingers. So wassup wit dat Joe? Was Yuri gay?

  6. paintblljnkie says:

    No Clue
    Joe, from what I know about you, or what little I know about you, you seem like someone who was angry at Yuri for cussing you out and took personal offense to his trying to clean up your supposed “ghetto” neighborhood too.

    See? We can play the idontknowshitsoilljustspeculate game too.

    An article posted that ran in June of 09 says ”

  7. another Northeast kcmo resident says:

    thank you
    Thanks to the above post…those who actually knew Yuri and shared his ambition of making the Northeast a better place to live are grateful.

    As for Yuri being gay…it is frustrating for everyone who knows Yuri to hear the news reports. There is so much information that is reported incorrectly. Such as his age, which has been reported as several different numbers 48, 52.54..etc. And one report had even stated that the incident happened in the morning hours, which for everyone living close by, is clearly incorrect.
    Hence the strangest report…calling Yuri’s employee his “partner” has everyone confused. Yuri had many gay friends. If he was gay, he was the type of person who would not be ashamed of it. He just was who he was. You can think whatever you want about Yuri, just know that the news reports are shoddy at best. The main thing to know about Yuri-and anyone else who knew him would tell you- he was a smart man who knew how to protect himself and his home. There is definitely something fishy going on…and there has to be much more behind this than just two young kids and a craigslist ad. Someone must have set him up. He just wouldn’t have let anyone in his home.

  8. smartman says:

    Thanks
    This internet stuff is great when it works. Thanks to the last two posters for providing more detail than our paper of record.

  9. another511 says:

    The truth of the story that connects all the dots is too dangerous for anyone who knew YURI to talk about right now, which is why no one has told anyone. its not that we dont know. i just hope the officials clear it all up and end the conspiracy for the public.

  10. another511 says:

    As for gay or not YURI; we both believed we were the “best fags” of the neighborhood, flaunting our “taste” in the display of our architecturals, but thats as far as it went. His sexual lust was, if you knew him well, undeniably obvious for women, and the fact that this is being debated so prominently in the social media is absurd. A welcoming primitive malasian male is that last thing yuri would want to fuck. this also goes for a lowlife 19 yr old from northtown.

  11. BarKeeper says:

    Criag’s List Personals
    Oh yeah! The kid probably answered an ad for chess partners. Checkmate.

  12. chest lover says:

    The truth
    As mother always said the cream will rise to the top
    Just wait!

  13. Deborah says:

    I knew Yuri
    Yes, Yuri lived large. He made the North East a much better place to live. He did not deserve to die. He was a very good friend, who often had events at his home for the neighbors and Yes I am one of the neighbors and so is my son and his partner. We miss Yuri very much every day.
    People who don’t know what they are talking about should just shut the hell up!

  14. Neal G. says:

    Trusth about Yuri
    Yuri Bought Adrian and Anthony. Yuri was a flaming Homosexual. Nice try to make him look good there Anthony. He was a good father to the boys but sadly he bought them I know this because I am their father. No this is not a joke. Ask Adrian he will fill you in. Laura Lister at the Harley Davidson dealership in Zion Utah was the mother.

    The Ali kid is my fucking hero. I always wanted to kill Uri but just didn`t see the need. Like the author said it is ironic. I just waited and the boys were almost 18 I got them in contact with their mother. Now they are over 18 and Yuri is killed The boys should stand to inherit everything. I am happy for them. I wish they had not had to experience this but the pat out was good for them. When Yuri caused to much drama in Wrightwood he had to move. You guys seem to have enjoyed him but the deeper I look I see more people telling the true side of what they saw in him. And yea Jon was his gay lover not an employee.

    With this being said I hope Ali Cubba gets a short sentence so he learns from his mistake. But when he is sentenced and put away I will be sending the kid money. He can expect not to go without.

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