Sunday, May 25, 2014

Serial-Killer/Grifter Sante Kimes Dies in Prison at 79; She and Her Son Kenneth were Convicted of Two Murders, and Suspected of at Least Four More


Kenneth Kimes is believed to be the first murder victim of the woman who called herself "Sante Kimes"

Bahraini banker Syed Bilal Ahmed's body was never found; he disappeared inn the Bahamas

Businessman David J. Kazdin's corpse was found in a dumpster near an L.A. airport

The corpse of socialite Irene Silverman was never found

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix
Last revised at 6:32 a.m., Sunday, May 25, 2014

"Sante Kimes" and her son, Kenneth, were convicted in 2000 of murdering socialite Mrs. Irene Silverman, and in 2004 of murdering Las Vegas businessman David J. Kazdin. They are also suspected of having murdered Kenneth's father Kenneth Kimes, attorney Elmer Holmgren, a homeless man and Bahraini banker Syed Bilal Ahmed. ("Sante" was an alias, she and Kimes had never wed, nor had they ever lived in a state that recognized common-law marriage.)

The mother, who was reportedly born to a prostitute and an East Indian father, also used the name “Sante Louise Singhrs” and many other aliases, was an expert forger, and engaged in credit card fraud, grand theft auto, massive frauds, prostitution and slavery. I could not determine her real name, but it was not “Sante Kimes.”

According to the New York Times article below, the mother was born Sandra Louise Walker. She was reportedly adopted at 12 or 13 Edwin and Mary Chambers, briefly married Lee Powers, and later married Edward Walker, with whom she stayed for approximately 10 years, and whom she bore one son. The New York Times’ claim that the mother was born “Walker” seems like a highly unlikely coincidence, and may be a typo, though the first name “Sandra” makes sense.

Sante Kimes Dies in Prison at 79; Killed and Swindled with Her Son
By Alan Feuer
May 21, 2014
New York Times

Sante Kimes, the maternal side of a murderous mother-and-son grifter team, died on Monday in her prison cell in Westchester County, N.Y. She was 79.

Officials at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility confirmed the death.

Ms. Kimes had been in prison for a decade, serving a 120-year sentence for her role in a pair of gruesome murders that turned her and her son, Kenneth Kimes Jr., into vivid subjects for television writers and newspaper reporters. With her taste for Victorian evening wear and a long history of larceny, Ms. Kimes, the daughter of an Oklahoma prostitute, rocketed to notoriety in 1998 when she and Mr. Kimes were charged in New York with the murder of Irene Silverman, an 82-year-old widowed socialite, in a scheme to seize her $10 million townhouse on East 65th Street.


The woman who would achieve infamy as "Sante Kimes," in 1952

Two years later, at a raucous trial in which Ms. Kimes was scolded by a judge for passing notes to reporters, she was found guilty with her son of killing Ms. Silverman in an elaborate plot that involved cheap disguises, false identities, tapped telephones, forged deeds, a stolen credit card and at least three fake offers of Caribbean vacations.

The authorities said that Kenneth Kimes had strangled Ms. Silverman, and that the mother and son then disposed of the body in garbage bags. Her body was never found. In a search of their car and luggage, the police found guns, plastic handcuffs, fright masks, tapes of Ms. Silverman’s telephone conversations and a fake deed to the Silverman home.

"Sante" and "Kenneth Kimes Jr." looking more like lovers, than mother and son

Mr. Kimes was sentenced to 126 years in prison. In 2004, Ms. Kimes was convicted of a second killing, this time in an insurance scheme that resulted in the death of a Las Vegas property-holder, David J. Kazdin. Suspected in a host of other crimes — from the arson of homes she owned to the disappearance of a banker in the Bahamas — Ms. Kimes was called by the judge who presided at the Kazdin trial “one of the most evil individuals” she had ever met.

Born in Oklahoma as Sandra Louise Walker in 1935, Ms. Kimes grew up in Las Vegas and was first arrested — for petty theft — in Sacramento in 1961. She was, according to acquaintances, a talented and obsessive thief. She once stole a car from a dealer’s lot in Honolulu. Later, she was arrested at a Washington hotel with a $6,500 mink coat she had stolen at a piano bar.

She had been married [sic] to Kenneth Kimes Sr., a California real-estate mogul who built and owned motels. Ms. Kimes, who favored wigs and a starlet’s caked makeup, did not lack for money. She simply seemed to enjoy the thievery.

“To her it was like a game of Monopoly,” a former neighbor in Las Vegas said. “She just liked to do it.”

While living in Mexico City in 1985, Ms. Kimes and her husband were arrested on slavery charges after several of their maids complained to the Mexican authorities that they had been beaten and imprisoned in the Kimes’s house. Ms. Kimes served five years on the charge (Mr. Kimes served three), and when the couple was reunited with Kenneth Jr., the family embarked on itinerant journeys [Department of Redundancy Department alert!] to Hawaii, Europe and the Bahamas.


"Sante Kimes" and son Kenneth during a 1999 interview on 60 Minutes, between their 1998 arrest and 2000 trial for murdering Mrs. Irene Silverman

It was not long after the senior Mr. Kimes died — of natural causes — in 1994 that people in the orbit of Ms. Kimes and her son started disappearing. First was Syed Bilal Ahmed, a Bahraini officer at the First Cayman Bank in the Cayman Islands who had met the mother and son in Nassau, in the Bahamas. Next was Mr. Kazdin, whose body was discovered in 1998 in a trash bin near the airport in Los Angeles.

But it was the Silverman murder that thrust Ms. Kimes and her son into a spotlight bright enough that it led to not just one, but two, television biopics, one of them starring Mary Tyler Moore. As a law enforcement official said at the time of her arrest, Ms. Kimes was “the most ingenious, evil con artist” he had seen “in a long time.”

A version of this article appears in print on May 22, 2014, on page B17 of the New York edition with the headline: Sante Kimes Dies in Prison at 79; Killed and Swindled With Her Son.


The final arrest of Sante Kimes

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The photo is of Sante Kimes with her second husband, building contractor, Edward Walker, the father of her first son, Kent Walker.
It is NOT a photo of Sante Kimes and her son, Kenny Kimes.