Who is Jordan Willis? Kansas City Chiefs Fan Linked to Mystery Deaths
BySean O'Driscoll Senior
Research scientist Jordan Willis is cooperating with police after the bodies of three of his friends were found in his backyard on January 9.Police are not treating their deaths as homicides and no foul play is suspected.There has been intense public and media commentary about what happened at Willis' house in Kansas City, Missouri, the night his three friends came over to watch a football game.On January 9, the bodies of David Harrington, 37, Ricky Johnson, 38, and Clayton McGeeney, 36, were found in Willis' backyard in Kansas City. They had apparently been there since January 7, when the three men visited Willis to watch the Kansas City Chiefs play the Los Angeles Chargers.Clayton McGeeney (right) was found dead with his two friends at the back of a house in Kansas City, Missouri, on January 9, 2024. His fiancee, April Mahoney (right), discovered the bodies. When they failed to return home, their family members called and texted Willis, but he didn't reply for two days. Eventually, McGeeney's fiancee went to the house and found the bodies covered in snow. She called police and Willis was questioned.
Willis, who has a Ph.D., is a senior principal scientist for the non-profit International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and works at its Neutralizing Antibody Center in La Jolla, California, and Kansas City, where he lives with his two pit bull mixes, Sadie and Daisy. Both dogs came from a rescue shelter and on the IAVI website he said they are "the light of my life" and that he is a "dog fanatic.""I love to take them for walks and go to the park. I even name my software packages after them," he said.In the same interview, he said he works on "data science, deep learning, and synthetic biology" to apply "data science, software development, and immunogen engineering to the germline targeting problem within HIV vaccine development.""The same silly tech that turns our faces into cats on TikTok can be used to analyze vaccine responses. We have so much data coming back from clinical trials, and we could use these new fundamental deep learning techniques and computational algorithms to look for patterns, to design, and to do predictions," he said.Jordan Willis (left in white) is questioned at his front door on January 9, 2024.
On January 31, NewsNation conducted an interview with Caleb McGeeney, Clayton's McGeeney's cousin, who said Willis was known for creating synthetic drugs. Newsweek has not been able to verify the allegation.Ricky Johnson's family has hired a private detective amid a seemingly stalled police investigation and an intense public debate about what happened to the men.Willis told police that he didn't know the men were there until he was alerted by McGeeney's fiancée. Police have said they are not treating the deaths as homicides. A GoFundMe fundraising page has been set up to cover funeral expenses for the three men.
Willis' attorney, John Picerno, said his client "had absolutely nothing to do with the deaths of his three friends."AdvertisementScroll to continue reading"He's grieving, he's had to move out of his home, he's had to shut down his social media, he's taking leave of absence from his job, so it's really affected him," Picerno told KCTV in Kansas City on January 24. Picerno said that after the friends went to his house, Willis decided to sleep on his couch and said goodnight to his friends at about 2 a.m."He thought that they left out the front door," Picerno told KCTV. Asked why Willis didn't check for them in the backyard, Picerno said he had no reason to go into the backyard, and he didn't know anyone was there. Newsweek sought email comment from Picerno on Thursday about Caleb McGeeney's allegation.The medical examiner's office has yet to determine a cause of death.April Mahoney, McGeeney's fiancée, went to the house on January 9 and found the first body. She then called police. On January 9, Captain Jake Becchina of the Kansas City Police Department said in a statement to Fox News Digital: "First and foremost, this case is 100 percent NOT being investigated as a homicide. There have not been any arrests [or] charges, and no one is in custody."There are no specific threats or concerns for the surrounding community at this time. The resident at the house was cooperative with detectives the day the deceased were discovered."