- Jennifer Kirk and Sue Sue Norton were both found dead with signs of strangulation on the former mayor’s property
- They had both dated the mayors’ sons who had admitted to beating them in the past along with other women
- Despite this, no one has been charged in relation to either of their deaths with questions raised over the quality of the police investigations
A wife beater Alaska mayor’s two abusive sons each dated a woman who turned up dead at the lawmaker’s home two years apart – but no-one has ever been charged.
Jennifer Kirk and Sue Sue Norton were found dead with signs of strangulation and beating in 2018 and 2020 in the Alaskan town, Kotzebue.
Both women were dating the ex-mayor Clement Richard’s sons at the time, with cops accused by ProPublica inaction following the two women’s deaths.
Richard was previously convicted of beating his wife Annette, while his two sons Anthony and Amos also have a history of domestic violence. Anthony had been convicted of beating Kirk prior to her death in May 2018, which cops claimed was a suicide.
Amos admitted kicking Norton in the stomach while she was six months pregnant before she was killed in March 2020..
Despite those convictions – and a long track record of abuse allegations from multiple other women – neither of the sons have been charged in their deaths.
Holes in the police investigations and the judicial process have raised serious questions over a potential cover-up, after ProPublica and the Anchorage Daily News jointly reported the story.
EX-MAYOR IS WOMAN-BEATER AND WIFE WORKED FOR COPS
Clement Richards Sr. was elected to the city council in 1999, holding positions as vice mayor and then mayor until 2018.
Ten years before he was first elected, he beat his pregnant wife, Annette, and pleaded no contest to felony domestic violence assault – he received a six-month jail sentence, according to ProPublica.
No mention of his domestic abuser past was made during this campaign.
Annette worked in a local office of the Alaska State Troopers where her duties involved assisting state prosecutors, including one who later served as the judge in domestic violence cases against her sons.
There’s no suggestion she directly interfered in either case.
Unexplained holes in the subsequent police investigations and judicial proceedings involving the couple’s sons have called into question whether Richards’ and his wife’s positions have helped their children avoid charges in their girlfriends’ deaths.
FIRST DEATH, MAY 2018: ‘SUICIDE’
Jennifer Kirk, 25, was found lying dead at the foot of a bed with a rifle at her feet, strangulation marks around her neck and a bullet hole under her chin.
She was dating the son of the former mayor, Anthony Richards, at the time and had previously made a series of police reports alleging he had beaten her. Despite this, her death was declared a suicide.
On May 23, 2018, police were called to the pair’s home on the ex-mayor’s property – they found Anthony in the bedroom, holding Kirk’s body covered in blood.
Anthony told police that he had been watching TV when he heard a gunshot and found Kirk dying on the floor – he did not tell police they had had a fight, or that he had strangled her.
A police report, seen by ProPublica noted that ‘the length of the rifle from the tip of the barrel to the tip of the trigger as being 27 1/8 inches long’. But Kirk, who was just 5’5 tall, had an arm that measured 26 3/18 inches long – raising questions over whether she could have even held such a long gun.
Then two days later, when the state medical examiner found the ‘signs of strangulation’, Richards reportedly admitted he had fought violently with Kirk on the day of her death and strangled her in self defense.
He told police he ‘held her away by the neck and didn’t know how hard he was squeezing.’
It wasn’t the first time Richards was harmed Kirk. In 2015, Kirk had presented at the local hospital and told police he had punched her five times.
Then in 2017, Kirk told police he had strangled her until her field of vision began to shrink and she nearly passed out. The case could have been a felony charge, but the prosecutor let him off with an assault misdemeanor.
Despite his history, then-police chief, Thomas Milliette, closed the case of Kirk’s death after a single day of investigation, labeling it as a suicide.
After reviewing the records, former Kotzebue Police Chief Ed Ward said Kirk’s death appeared to have all of the ten red flags for domestic violence killings that police are instructed to look for – Ward did not work at the police department at the time of her death.
Kirk’s family told ProPublica she had given no hints she was suicidal. Her mother, Dora Stalker, said she had spoken to her on the day of her death and she had sounded upbeat, making plans for the future.
She added: ‘They should have investigated a lot better, a lot more thorough before they said it was a suicide.’
SECOND DEATH, MARCH 2020: HOMICIDE
Two years after Kirk’s death, Susanna ‘Sue Sue’ Norton, 30, was found dead in an adjacent house also on the former mayor’s property.
At the time, she was dating the former-mayor’s son, Amos Richards.
Police were called to the house on March 9 where they found Norton’s body with her head covered.
She had been beaten and strangled and an autopsy determined the cause of death to be homicide by ‘asphyxiation due to obstruction of airways and compression of neck.’
Despite this, no one has been charged in her death.
Police reportedly did not tell her family she had been strangled, never interviewed key witnesses and a judge refused a search warrant, meaning key evidence was not collected from the scene.
Shockingly, no appeal for information was made to the public. That was in marked contrast to a year previously, when cops had urged the public to come forward with anything that could help them catch the killer of the local fire department’s dog.
Richards had attacked Norton in the past.
In 2018, police found Norton, who was six months pregnant at the time, crying with a swollen black eye.
She reportedly told them that she had tried to stop her Richards from drinking by pouring out his beer, and that he had ‘kicked her repeatedly in the head, face, stomach and back.’
Norton then flew to Anchorage where doctors reportedly noted she had suffered ‘premature rupture of membranes’ and her baby was born 3-months early, weighing just 3.1 pounds.
In 2020, Norton’s mother, Susanna, said: ‘My family is not going to have peace until they know that they found someone that did this to her’.
COPS’ BIZARRE BEHAVIOR
Both Anthony, Amos and the third Richards’ son, Clement Jr have a long history of domestic violence and assault – but they have all dodged serious punishment.
The Daily News and ProPublica reportedly reviewed 31 criminal court cases involving the three sons and six different women.
Twelve of the cases were for domestic violence, seven of which were filed while Clement Sr. held political office.
Despite the multiple charges and multiple victims, the sons were repeatedly let off with light sentences and lower bail.
Once, when Anthony Richards was accused of sexual assault, Superior Court Judge Paul Roetman set an unusually low bail, and cited knowing his mother as the reason.
At the bail hearing, he said: ‘I know Mrs. Richards from when she used to work for the troopers. She has a lot of experience with these types of cases and knows what these are like.’
Although a Kotzebue grand jury indicted him on felony charges of sexual assault and attempted sexual assault, Anthony was eventually let off with a single misdemeanor count of indecent exposure.
Roetman reportedly told him in court: ‘To say that you dodged a bullet is probably an understatement on this one.’
Roetman refused to comment when contacted by ProPublica.
DailyMail.com contacted the Richards family and the Kotzebue police department for comment.