She’s an Air Force veteran, like both of her parents and her two sisters, with a brother who went rogue and joined the Marines. But her PTSD has nothing to do with her service. At 44, she is a woman still so shaken by an encounter with former Kansas City, Kansas, police detective Roger Golubski in his office at police headquarters in 2004 that she started having trouble breathing as she told me about it.
“I had just moved here,” to Overland Park, said the woman, who because Golubski told her she’d wind up in the morgue if she ever said anything to anyone, does not want her name in the paper.
She’d just started dating a fellow veteran who lived in KCK at the time. One weekend early in 2004, they were hanging out at his place when an ex-girlfriend of his, who lived right across the street and was maybe not that much of an ex after all, came over in a fury. They called the police, who when they arrived, assumed that her boyfriend was the one responsible for the cuts on her face and chest.
When she followed the officers outside to tell them that no, that’s not what had happened, they arrested her, too. “The officer slammed me on the hood” of the patrol car, she said, and “put handcuffs on me for obstruction,” but only held her for a few hours.
Several days later, she got a call from a Capt. Golubski, who told her, “I saw your mugshot and you are gorgeous.” She needed to come down and take care of some paperwork, he said. “I’d never been in any trouble before and didn’t know how anything was supposed to work,” even if she did know that cops are not supposed to be checking out mugshots and then swiping right.
When she got there, she said, Golubski told her right away that the woman who’d cut her had already been down to talk to him about pressing charges against her. But not to worry, he said, because since she was the prettier of the two, he wouldn’t be filing that case. As a homicide detective, there was no legitimate reason for him to have been involved in the matter at all.
Then, “he takes me into his office, closes the door and turns into a different dude, rubbing on himself” and demanding, ‘Kiss me!’ He snatched that mask off his face so quick it was like his face dropped six inches.’’
Then “he pushed me up against the door” and was suddenly all over her, she said, attempting to “do it right there,” at which point, “I lost it. I got loud because I got scared — hysterical, screaming, kicking. Everyone had to have heard me. I know my head hit the door a couple of times.”
Woman screaming behind detective’s office door
Finally, someone on the other side of the office door banged on it a few times, as if to say, “Knock it off,” I guess like I used to do with my New York neighbor who liked to bounce his basketball off our common wall at all hours. Was a screaming woman in Golubski’s office such a minor irritant — such a “not this again” non-event — in the KCKPD that pounding on the door a few times while strolling on past actually seemed like the right response?
If we could just freeze the action right there for a minute, I can’t tell if this is a police station or the worst frat house on campus. What kind of police can’t or won’t hear the panicked screams of someone in trouble in his own office?
All of those big-cheese KCKPD officials who’ve claimed never to have had any inkling about this man’s many alleged victims must be the most clueless cops in history. Or would be, if they were telling the truth.
And c’mon, if they weren’t worried about scrutiny of their own actions, rather than only Golubski’s, they would have called for an independent audit long ago, and going forward promised a no-tolerance view of alleged serial rapists who’ve investigated the murder of the multiple Black women they happen to have been exploiting, sexually and otherwise.
Hello, Department of Justice, civil rights division, we’ve got a situation you really need to look at here, and I don’t mean through the FBI investigation that’s gone on, off and on, for years, not only moving at the speed of a glacier but melting like one. This is not the first, second or third Black woman I’ve talked to who’s said Golubski stalked, harassed and threatened her, always after the same, “You’re so pretty” line failed. How many would be too many?
I’m sorry to say, I haven’t seen either Gov. Laura Kelly or U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids say boo-hiss about any of the above, either, I guess because that’s how Democrats get and hope to stay elected in Kansas, even if taking a stand for a community that’s been treated like throwaways, no matter who cries about it, is seriously underrated.
But, back at KCK police headquarters in early 2004, “A whole lot of people saw him take me in that office, and they did nothing” beyond that knock, she said. Just that, though, was enough of an interruption for her to break free and get the door open. “Now I’m rattled,” and Golubski is telling her that if she ever says a single word to a single person, they’ll find her body and call it an accident.
Then, in another 180, he’s calmingly telling her what a “good girl” she is, as he walks her, still reeling, to the office of Kansas City, Kansas, lawyer Reginald Davis, who was then the municipal prosecutor, working in the same building.
Davis remembers him walking her in, and asking him to dismiss her misdemeanor ticket, which he did. He didn’t notice that she was in a panic, he said.
For many months after that, Gobubski called her and said he could still send her to jail any time unless she went out with him. “It was a nightmare. I thought it would never be over.”
It only ended when her father, who is white, called Golubski and told him to back off.
“The whole thing was messed up,” her father told me. “I called and told him I didn’t appreciate it. He kept saying she was the one instigating things, and I was like, ‘Everybody needs to stay professional.’… He agreed to leave her alone and he did, thank God.”
Prosecutor had ‘very cordial relationship’ with Golubski
When I called Davis, who is in private practice now, and asked what he remembered about Roger Golubski, he said they’d had a “very cordial relationship.”
Then, before I even mentioned the woman who’d reached out to me, he volunteered that two moments really stood out in his mind. One, he said, was when Davis saw “a very attractive African American female I used to always try to hit on” in his apartment complex coming out of her place with Golubski.
And then there was the time Golubski “brought a very attractive woman to me and I tried to help her” by dismissing her ticket, as Golubski had asked him to do.
As to why a homicide detective had anything to do with this made-up, minor case, he said he had no idea. “I don’t know why he was involved in this misdemeanor ticket.” But, he said again, “It’s not unusual for prosecutors to dismiss cases at the request of police officers. … I assumed he was dating her or she was helping him with a case, so I said yeah, no problem.”
“Captain walked her into the prosecutor’s office. I was under the impression he knew her. He introduced her as a good friend, and I read between the lines. Was she a very attractive woman? Strikingly, so obviously, I made a pass at her. I was single. I remember driving to her mom’s house” and they went out on one date.
Golubski “kind of encouraged me to see about going out with her. He said she was a good girl.”
In the years since, the woman telling this story said, she’s often had a recurring dream in which she’s being forced off the road by police officers trying to make her death look like an accident. Several times when I was talking to her about this experience, she started to hyperventilate and had trouble catching her breath.
“I can’t breathe,” is of course what George Floyd said in his last moments alive, as Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kept his knee on his neck. It’s what an unarmed 15-year-old Black kid in Kansas City, Missouri — who was never charged with any crime, by the way — cried six months before that, as an officer kept his knee on the back of his head on the pavement in front of a local Go Chicken Go restaurant.
But it’s also the effect that Golubski and his colleagues, who at the very least decided not to hear a woman screaming in their own office, have had on an entire community.
It’s the effect that he and the department that is covering for him and others still — Roger who? — have on that community even now. If he doesn’t know where bodies — real bodies; that is not a metaphor — are buried, then why do they continue to wrap their arms around an accused serial rapist whose “girls” kept winding up dead? Neither Golubski’s lawyer nor a spokeswoman for the KCKPD returned calls seeking comment.
‘Used his leverage as an officer to obtain sexual favors’
The woman in this story called me because she’d read my last report on Golubski and felt she couldn’t in good conscience fail to step forward, even as she also felt she was putting her life in danger by doing so. “I don’t want anyone else to ever feel like I felt.” If she can take that risk, do you think maybe some of you non-criminals in the KCKPD might someday speak up? No, right?
So far, only a few have done so. They include the late Ruby Ellington, a 25-year veteran of the department who swore in a 2015 affidavit that everyone in the department knew about Roger Golubski, with whom she’d trained at the police academy.
“Golubski used his leverage as an officer to obtain sexual favors” from women in trouble, she said under oath. “Golubski’s misconduct and his exploitation of Black women was well known throughout the Department. Despite this, he was never punished. In fact, he rose steadily through the ranks and became a powerful detective and, ultimately, a captain. … If a Black female had any kind of criminal charge or other legal problem, Golubski would use that as leverage to get what he wanted.”
But Ron Miller, who was chief of police in 2004? He didn’t know anything about anything, apparently. He said in a 2012 deposition that Golubski was a good detective who “had a pretty good network of informants and he was a guy that kind of kept his informants close to the vest.” You could say that.
Asked under oath whether it was true that another KCK officer had reported walking in on him having sex with a witness — not the same woman, but in the same year — he said no: “I honestly at this moment do not recall that happening. I — I — I don’t have any knowledge of that at this moment. … I don’t recall that. I mean, I don’t. If I did, I’d certainly tell you. There would be no reason for me not to tell you. … You can’t assume the chief knows everything. … I do not recall ever knowing that before you said it.”
Rosie McIntyre, the mom of Lamonte McIntyre, who served 23 years for a double murder he did not commit, after an investigation run by Golubski, has sworn under oath that he sexually assaulted her in his office, too, years before wrongfully arresting her son to get back at her for refusing to ever see him again. Another officer walked in on them as he was attacking her, she’s said. But of course, no one knew anything about that, either. In 2010, Golubski retired in good standing with a full pension he’s still drawing.
Asked, “Did you ever have anyone share with you Golubski’s reputation, if you will, for his affinity towards African American females,” Miller zigged, zagged, and finally said, “That’s not foreign to me, let’s put it that way.”
And where can we find Ron Miller today? Why, serving as U.S. Marshal, in charge of security for those who would in theory at least be investigating Golubski and his whole rotten department.
SOS, Joe Biden and Merrick Garland. If KCK is still part of the United States of America, please send in the lawyers stat, because the Black people who live there have for decades been left for dead.