The more than 27-year-old case file on the disappearance of Randy Leach, a Linwood high school honor student, must be thousands of pages.
But it's impossible to know because the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Office and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, who investigated the long-ago mystery, refuse to release the records even to Leach's parents, Harold and Alberta Leach.
Law enforcement agencies are permitted to do that under the Kansas Open Records Act. The state's police records disclosure law is unusual, and Kansas is one of the few states in the country that allows police to choose to keep all investigative records secret in perpetuity, even if there was a trial, or someone pleaded guilty, or the case is more than a generation old and there are no longer active leads. Continue…