BOULDER, CO — Scott Lee Kimball first joined the human race on September 21, 1966. It’s an occasion that more than a few who crossed his path wish never would have happened.
Initially among those who wouldn’t miss Kimball would be the targets he defrauded with schemes that got him imprisoned in 2000.
Then there would be the FBI agents who cut a deal to turn Kimball loose in 2002 and make him a paid informant regarding a murder-for-hire scheme.
Most of all, though, regret for the existence of Scott Lee Kimball would be felt deepest by the four known victims he murdered while “working” for the FBI between January 2003 and August 2004 — in addition to the potentially dozens of others who are suspected of having fallen prey to his homicidal ways both before and after that spree.
Upon being sentenced in Montana for theft, check scams, and other con jobs, Scott Lee Kimball spent the early 2000s boasting to other inmates that he’d been a badass hitman and a psycho killer so extreme that they should call him “Hannibal,” after the fictitious Silence of the Lambs cannibal killer.
In time, Kimball reached out to the FBI claiming to have information regarding the paid execution of his cellmate’s girlfriend, Jennifer Marcum, 25.
Kimball said his cellmate, Steve Ellis, had been looking for an assassin to take out Marcum because he feared she’d testify against him and his biker gang associates in a major drug ring the Feds had been monitoring.
Furthermore, Kimball claimed he could infiltrate the biker operation and net the leaders. The FBI bought Kimball’s pitch and freed him as a paid snitch in December 2002 under “supervised release.” He could have used a bit more supervision.
In February 2003, mere weeks after Kimball walked free on the FBI’s dime, Jennifer Marcum disappeared. Her body has never been recovered, but Kimball later confessed to murdering her.
Over the course of the next 21 months, death came as well for Kaysi McLeod, 19; LeAnn Emry, 24; and the killer’s own uncle, Terry Kimball, 60. In time, Scott Lee Kimball confessed to murdering all of those victims, as well.
Kaysi McLeod actually proved to be Kimball’s first target. In a story very much like what he proposed regarding Jennifer Marcum, he claimed a motorcycle gang had hired him to kill Kaysi because she was going to turn state’s evidence against them.
To get close to her, Kimball said, he courted and quickly married Kaysi’s mother, Lori McLeod. He admitted to killing Kaysi by intentionally overdosing her on drugs before disposing of her remains in a wooded area.
After Kimball wed Lori McLeod, the couple honeymooned on a camping trip in the very area where Kaysi’s body had been disposed.
Kimball said he had similarly murdered Marcum with a “hot shot” of heroin.
Maintaining that he was part of a larger network of outlaws, Kimball claimed that he facilitated the shooting death of LeAnn Emry, but that an unnamed accomplice pulled the trigger. He went on to lead authorities to Emry’s hidden remains in a Utah canyon.
As for the murder of his Uncle Terry, Kimball straight up said he did that one on his own.
In late 2005, Kimball got busted siphoning $50,000 from an eye doctor who shared office space with his mother. Authorities sent him back to prison, this time for 48 years. But five more years would pass before he got charged with the four slayings he committed while he’d been free.
The fathers of Jennifer Marcum and Kaysi McLeod continually advocated on behalf of their murdered daughters, eventually prompting the police to look again at Kimball’s connections to the crimes.
Enough bloodstains and, of course, bad checks turned up to link Kimball to the crimes. He cut a deal and came clean about the four known murders. Seventy additional years got piled on to his presently running sentence.
Still, chillingly, Kimball has refused to comment on the numerous other killings his fellow inmates have reportedly accused him of describing in uncanny detail. Authorities are paying attention but, so far, no one has been able to establish any definitive leads.
Until that changes, Scott Kimball will remain in Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility, eligible for parole in 2056. He’ll be 89.
Main photos: Scott Lee Kimball [Colorado Department of Corrections]