Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've been tiptoeing around this story for years but I'm almost thankful that the truth about the Raya/Rios murders is beginning to emerge.

Relatives found Rios and Raya dead of multiple gunshot wounds in their home in the 5100 block of Hardesty Avenue on Dec. 21, 2002. Investigators contend that Dale killed the couple after Johnson arranged to purchase drugs from Rios.

Raya died as she sat on a couch writing thank-you cards for graduation presents, said Kathleen Mahoney, assistant U.S. attorney.

'She still had a pen in her hand,' Mahoney said. 'She had just graduated from Rockhurst University.'

Rios worked rehabilitating houses, which served as a cover for his real business, selling drugs, Mahoney said. Even after the killers had left, investigators recovered more than 14 pounds of marijuana and 3 pounds of cocaine from the couple's home.
Obviously this news puts a damper on the couple being portrayed as martyrs in the mainstream media. The fact is, with a huge stash of drugs like that in their home, BOTH members of the household would have went to jail if they were discovered by authorities had not two street level killers intervened first.

Of course, Rios didn't get his nickname "Snap" for nothing and his quick temper and inexplicable supply of cash couldn't have went unnoticed by anyone close to him given that I'd heard the rumors and I didn't talk to the guy for years before he was killed.

However, in the end, questions regarding complicity or media coverage aren't important because the couple is dead regardless of what story the public consumes. Brief aside: When I was a kid I used to have this perfect "Drugs are bad" essay that would automatically guarantee a B . . . I guess this is the grown up version of that same routine . . . Still, (as long as the killers end up in jail) the decision in this trial doesn't matter much to the community at large and even the tragic fate of Rios and Raya should only serve to remind Kansas Citians that the impact of violence and the drug trade doesn't stop with users and dealers but often has unmentioned victims like the many grief stricken people who mourned the death of the couple but ultimately sacrificed the truth by failing to note the circumstances surrounding their demise.

More from TKC:

  • Secrets of the dead: I (vaguely) knew Tony Rios but I can't write about his demise

  • Scholarship comes from sad story

  • Make your own connections

    travelingal said...

    Well, you get a B+ for this post. Sad story. She was smart enough to graduate from college but didn't have enough brains to stay away from a drug dealer. Maybe she was using them too. I have no idea, but still a senseless loss of life.

    Anonymous said...

    Tony are you mad because no one seems to want to bail out the Latino Community from all it's problems?

    How come your not out pounding the pavement and doing whatever it takes to improve everyones prospects?

    SSideDem said...

    Don't worry Tony since your are a little brown fag who lives in mommas basement you will not have to worry about your girlfriend being killed. But being mexican and with no visible source of income we all know you are probably dealing in something other than blog posts.

    Travelingal i have been reading your stuff for a long time and your posts when you get all riled up it kind of makes me hot.

    Anonymous said...

    What an idiot..everyone is entitled to their opinions and the "facts" may remain but they will be revised 1500 times before it's all said and done - truth is, the only people who know the facts are in prison now and dead. Even officials have been known to bend the truth when it comes to money, drugs, or guns obtained from crime scenes. Not saying it's completely false, but you spouting off figures of "pounds" is silly. I went to school w/"Snap" from 3rd grade on and did have contact with him and Olivia on a social basis till they died (no, I don't buy or do drugs) - and he didn't get his nickname from his "quick temper". But since you have all the "facts", why don't you know that? I don't think someone has to be a martyr to be missed once they're gone - and that is simply what the families and friends are doing - missing their loved ones. I'm sure every person you've ever loved or lost have all been perfect in your own little nit-wit mind. Your blog is just another example of someone "putting in their 2 cents". Sadly it's not even worth that much...

    Anonymous said...

    I don't think the issue was that the media was "hiding" the fact that Rios was a drug dealer. I think most media people knew this. But once the victim is dead, it seems in bad taste to focus on the past, when the focus should be on finding the killer. Murder is murder, and killers should be punished, regardless of the lifestyle that the victims led.

    856votemargin said...

    Olivia died writing thank you notes. Thank you notes for gifts and support she recieved from family and friends. Tony died a hellish death. He was severely beaten by multiple assailants. Then he was shot. This, after he knew the horrific fate of his beloved girl friend. Both young souls were surrounded by loving family. Tony could step out onto his front yard and actually see the homes of his aunts, uncles and grandparents. Olivia's mother had worked faithfully to find the killers of her daughter. She now turns that energy to raise funds for scholarships at Rockhurst University in her loved daughter's name. When you get yourself a little job and have a small sum in hand, make a contribution.

    Anonymous said...

    It's disgusting that you people have so much sympathy for drug dealers.

    Let's not forget that their lifestyle was bought and paid for by the death and suffering of countless people.

    Snap sold drugs, some people say he got what he deserved. As for his girlfriend, she didn't complain much when she received expensive gifts and watched a big screen TV that was paid for by drug money.

    It is this kind of stupid thinking that holds the Mexican-American community, you'd rather celebrate drug dealers than work to set a good example or realize the truth when it is reported by police and in the trial.

    Anonymous said...

    Who's having sympathy for drug dealers? Many people close to them knew what was going on...that being said, are you saying they deserved to die the way they did? Who are YOU to call American-Mexicans "you people". What I think was being said is that it was not right what Tony may or may not have been doing for a living, however, no one deserves to be brutally murdered, and that is what occurred. And make no mistake, there are Americans of ALL races, even the Great White Hope that profit from drug dealing. Give me a break...

    drugs are for thugs said...

    14lbs of smoke? Somebody liked to party.

    Anonymous said...

    I'd hit it

    Midtown Miscreant said...

    Im not sure which is worse Drug Dealers or the backwoods drooling products of incest like ssiedem and the annon nimrods who continue to make the most idiotic statements Ive ever read. I think Id prefer the drug dealers at least they have some motivation other than trolling blogs and posting juvenile bullshit.
    Anyone who fails to see the tragedy in a life cut short is a waste of air.

    Anonymous said...

    Here's the deal: make a life of crime, be a victim of crime. So did people deserve it? Manner aside, the answer is YES. If you choose to make a profit from suffering, you will suffer.

    Slinging drugs is living against borrowed time.

    I have yet to me an elderly drug dealer. They all end up murdered or in prison.

    Shhhh....is that a teensy weensy violin playing for a dead drug dealer? Never mind. My cat farted.

    Anonymous said...

    I would love to know if the few ignorant people on this site that say Tony and Olivia (remember they have names because they were human beings...not just a drug dealer and a girlfriend!) deserved to die the way they did...do you have children on your own??? We have all done things that our parents and family are not proud of and our own children will do things we are not proud of BUT they are still somebodies child, brother, sister, bestfriend. There is much truth to "Only GOD can judge me" so who are YOU to say they deserved to die like this. People that talk and think like that have there own misery and need to worry about fixing their own life and let these family mourn which is well within their rights to do so as they please.

    Anonymous said...

    Hey, he was a big time drug dealer and his girlfriend went along for the ride. They were not innocent.
    How many lives did they ruin with thier drugs? They didn't give a shit who they sole drugs to. As long a they got the money to pay for her college,trips and cars, they didn't care who died!
    The barrio is safer without drug dealers.

    Anonymous said...

    are you being serious...how old are you!??! people on drugs are going to get them regardless...buying drugs is a choice...nobody is putting a gun to their head saying to buy them.people that got them from him moved onto somebody else and its the authories putting them back on the streets!no it doesnt make it right but it doesn't give another man the right to take a life! and who said they were innoscent!? you really need to get all your facts together...Olivia worked full time and made more then enough money to support herself. and..."they didn't care who died"...obviously you dont either with comments like they deserved to die...honestly the barrio is in more danger having mindless people like you living in it.

    Anonymous said...

    Once people die, they become saints. Great they have loving parents. Congratulations. That is so unique. Maybe a chocolate medallion and layer cake is in order.

    Making a living selling drugs involves violence, fear and intimidation. So save me the crybaby shit about,'do you have children?' My kids aren't selling drugs, so I couldn't care less if some scuzz dies living the life he endorsed.

    And as for that full time job, I'm sure another layer cake is in order. Having a job doesn't earn you praise in my book. Doing what is expected and required doesn't deserve praise.

    Vocie of reason said...

    God bless them both. Dealing drugs is illegal and dangerous. That's what people need to know, not only for the dealers but for the people they love. There was a reason that these two died. If the guy had not been involved in drugs they most likely wouldn't have met such a horrible fate. But everyone knew what was going on and everyone knew the danger. Nobody did or said anything until it was too late. Pointing out the dangerous lifestyle so other people don't get killed in the same way is what is most important and what helps the community.

    Alex said...

    I read a previous thread that you knew Tony as a kid. If Tony didn't like you, you had to be stupid. Tony liked almost everyone and was very trusting. That trust played a big part in his demise.

    Tony Rios was my cousin and he had alot of family that loved him. His grandparents lived next door at the time and were the ones who found them dead. Our family is very large, and have grown even more close since Tony and Olivia's murders.

    We have filled the courtroom everyday this week and stared "Chopper" and "Gin" in the face. We are also not intimidated by thier friends sitting next to us, who don't have U.S. Marshals standing between us. To me they are greedy little roaches who just grabbed what they could.

    To the martyrs after death dummies you should know,as a whole, our family doesn't use drugs. Any family large enough will have some. I own a rest/bar in Westport and don't even smoke cigarettes. My cousin Tony and I attended Northwest MO State. (at differnt times). Before Tony decided to sell drugs he owned a cleaning service that handled many restaurants and bars in KC. Tony had ambition. He wanted to be successful in everything he did, but he chose the wrong thing.

    To those of you who say they deserved this kind of death, I can only hope I'm able to keep your mothers from experiencing the same kind of tragedy, should we ever meet.

    We are all still grieving after 5 years, and are fighting back the urge to jump that little wall in the courtroom, but that won't bring Tony and Olivia back.

    I Love and Miss you guys!!