Kansas Cold Cases: James Winston III

KS Cold Cases: James Winston
KS Cold Cases: James Winston(WIBW)
Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 9:58 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 19, 2022 at 9:55 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (WIBW) - In February 2020, two people walked into a Wichita apartment and murdered James Winston III.

It’s a point in time marked by the age of his youngest child, Aubrey. Her mom, Valyn Burrel, says Aubrey gets her zest for life from her daddy.

She was only six-weeks old when he died.

“I only have one picture of him holding her,” Valyn told KWCH-TV. “I didn’t think I needed to take more pictures of him holding her. I just didn’t think I needed them. I thought we had forever.”

Wichita Police say Winston was sitting on his bed, waiting for a friend to come over when he was shot multiple times. Security video shows them, but because of light, movement, and how the cameras function, it’s impossible to tell who they are.

“From the timeline that we have based on the video, I don’t believe there was any argument. I don’t believe there was any conversation,” Wichita PD Det. Robert Chisholm said. “I believe these people walked in, opened fire and ran out.”

Chisholm says investigators found no indication that anyone had reason to want James dead.

“We believe James knew who it was that shot him,” he said. “He was not concerned about them.”

That’s why, as much as Valyn wants the case solved, she’s also afraid.

“It’s gonna break my heart when they solve this case,” she said. “Unfortunately it was probably somebody that he thought loved him.”

She says love is what drove Winston, especially love for his children. While Aubrey will never know him. Valyn is grateful his other five children have memories to hold close. At his funeral, one of his other daughter’s recalled how he’d let her do whatever she wanted.

“I’m glad she got that (kind of memory),” she said, “because that’s how she’s going to remember her dad for the rest of her life. She’s going to remember that her daddy made her happy.”

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation says the same gun used to kill James Winston III was connected to a shooting death in Kansas city, Missouri and a carjacking later in 2020.

The KBI and Kansas Dept. of Corrections included the murder in their Cold Case Deck. The special deck of playing cards -with each card containing information on an unsolved murder or missing persons case - is being distributed in the state’s correctional facilities in hopes of gaining new leads.

Anyone with information about the Winston murder - or any unsolved case - should call the KBI at 1-800-KS-CRIME.

Note: Original reporting on the Charles Giles case from KWCH-TV.

Prior KS Cold Case Profiles:

John Waller

Joshua Jernagin

Clarence “Butch” Lavin

Arthur Goebel

Gary Leo Nelson

Charles Giles

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