Sante Kimes was an American criminal who was convicted for two murders, robbery, violation of anti-slavery laws, forgery, and many other crimes. Most of her crimes were done with the help of her son, Kenneth Kimes Jr. They were tried and convicted together for murdering Irene Silverman, along with 117 other charges. Take a look below for 25 more frightening and weird facts about Sante Kimes.
1. Kimes was born Sandra Louise Singhrs in Oklahoma City to a Dutch mother and an East Indian father. However, she has given so many conflicting stories about her past, that no one really knows where she comes from.
2. Kent Walker, her estranged son, says that his ancestry could be anything from Latino to East Indies to Indigenous American to White.
3. Kent Walker, in his book Son of a Grifter, has reported a claim by an old acquaintance of his mother that Sante Kimes was the daughter of a respectable family who wasn’t able to cope with the young girl’s aberrant and wild antics.
4. Kimes claimed that her father was a laborer and that her mother was a prostitute who came from Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl to Los Angeles.
5. She went to high school in Carson City, Nevada, graduating in 1952. She married her high school boyfriend, but the marriage only lasted 3 months. In 1956, she reunited with another high school boyfriend, Edward Walker, having one son, Kent, with him. In 1971, she married Kenneth Kimes and having another son, Kenneth “Kenny” Kimes Jr.
6. She spent most of her life scamming people of money, expensive merchandise and real estate. She had elaborate con games which she used to scam people constantly, however, she also used arson, forgery and outright theft to get what she wanted.
7. She committed insurance fraud many times by committing arson and then collecting money for property damage.
8. She sometimes introduced her husband Kenneth as an ambassador, which gained her access to a White House reception during the Ford administration.
9. Walker also alleges that she committed fraud even when she didn’t have to, such as enslaving maids when she could have just paid them and burning down houses that she could have easily sold.
10. She often offered young, homeless illegal immigrants housing and employment, then keeping them as prisoners by threatening to report them to the authorities if they didn’t follow her orders.
11. Due to her addiction to slavery, she and Kenneth Kimes, who had a small fortune from his motel business, spent the majority of the fortune on lawyers’ fees, defending themselves against slavery charges.
12. Kimes was arrested in August, 1985, and was sentenced to 5 years in prison for violating federal anti-slavery laws. Kenneth took a plea deal and agreed to complete an alcohol treatment program.
13. Kenneth Sr. and their son Kenny lived a relatively normal life while Sante was imprisoned. However, Sante was released in 1989.
14. In 1995, Sante and Kenny became suspects in the abduction of 62 year old Levitz Furniture heiress Jacqueline Levitz from her home in Vicksburg, Mississippi.
15. David Kazdin allowed Sante to use his name on the deed of a home in Las Vegas that was occupied by Kenneth Sr. and Sante Kimes in 1970. However, 7 years later, Sante forged Kazdin’s signature on a loan application using the house as collateral.
16. When Kazdin found the forgery, he threatened to expose Sante but Sante had Kenneth Jr. kill Kazdin by shooting him in the back of the head.
17. In June 1998, Sante and Kenneth assumed the identity of their landlady, 82 year old socialite Irene Silverman, and took ownership of her $7.7 million Manhattan mansion.
18. Silverman’s body was never found, but Sante and Kenneth were convicted of her murder in 2000 regardless, because of the discovery of Sante’s notebooks detailing the crime and notes written by Silverman, who was very suspicious of the mother and son.
19. During the trial for the Kazdin murder, Kenneth Kimes confessed that after his mother used a stun gun on Silverman, he strangled her and stuffed her corpse into a bag. He then deposited it in a dumpster in Hoboken, New Jersey.
20. Kenneth confessed to killing banker Sayed Bilal Ahmed at his mother’s order in the Bahamas in 1996. Kenneth testified that they drugged Ahmed, drowned him in a bathtub and dumped his body offshore.
21. Sante denied any involvement or knowledge of the murder, claiming that Kenneth confessed just to avoid receiving the death penalty.
22. While their trial was unusual and the fact that no body was ever found, the jury was still unanimous in convicting them for murder and 117 other charges that included robbery, burglary, conspiracy, grand larceny, illegal weapons possession, forgery, and eavesdropping on their first poll on the subject.
23. The judge also ordered Kimes not to speak to the media after the jury had been sequestered as a result of her passing a note to New York Times reporter David Rhode in court.
24. Kimes mage a prolonged stated during her trial which blamed the authorities, including her own lawyers, for framing her. She compared her trial to the Salem Witch Trials and claimed that the prosecutors were guilty of murdering the Constitution.
25. In October, 2000, while doing an interview, Kenneth held Court TV reporter Maria Zone hostage by pressing a ballpoint pen into her throat. Zone had interview Kenneth once before without incident. Kenneth demanded that his mother and him were not to be extradited to California, where they faced the death penalty for the murder of David Kazdin.