STERLING, CO — Serial murderer Scott Lee Kimball, 51, not only boasts the dubious honor of having duped the FBI into releasing him from prison in 2002 — after which he killed again — but, earlier in 2017, he almost pulled off a spectacular helicopter escape from Colorado’s Sterling Correctional Facility.
Kimball is presently eight years into a 70-year sentence for multiple frauds and the four murders to which he has confessed (he’s suspected in many more).
Recently released court documents now reveal that, while locked up, Kimball conspired with an inmate who was about to be released from Sterling this year to come back and bust him out on September 21.
Reportedly, Kimball said he’d pay the exiting inmate to murder an old business partner, hijack a helicopter, land it in the prison yard, and then fly the serial killer and Marc Sylester, his cellmate, to a waiting rental car. From there, they’d all drive to Alaska. Furthermore, Kimball claimed he could finance the whole thing with a stash of $1 million cash he’s got buried outside a ranch in Montana.
The skullduggery got well underway last summer with bribes, secret phone calls, code names, and exact times set up. The snag in the plan occurred when a family member of the freed prisoner — who remains anonymous — convinced him to go to the authorities rather than kill a stranger and try to commandeer a helicopter.
On the scheduled day, when it was 78 degrees outside, Kimball and Sylvester entered the sunny prison yard wearing sweatpants and sweatshirts. While Kimball nervously checked his watch, the duo spent a couple of hours moving from table to table.
Finally, Kimball and Sylvester gave up and went back inside for the inmate count. Once there, authorities informed the coconspirators that they’d be charged with an array of new felonies related to the escape attempt.
This grand scheme is very much in keeping with Scott Lee Kimball’s criminal history. Theft, phony checks, and other financial chicanery initially landed Kimball in lock-up back in 2000.
Two years later, he convinced the FBI to free him in exchange for work on a murder-for-hire plot among bikers that he — and only he — could help them with as a paid confidential informant. Within weeks of walking free and living on the FBI’s dime, then, Kimball murdered Jennifer Marcum, 25; Kaysi McLeod, 19; LeAnn Emry, 24; and his own uncle, Terry Kimball, 60. All the killings were intertwined with money scams.
In 2005, the feds caught Kimball siphoning $50,000 from an eye doctor who shared office space with the killer’s mother. He got a 48-year sentence. Five years later, Kimball admitted to the quartet of murders he committed while free, and he’s now doing 70.
Since then, other inmates have told authorities about numerous slayings that Kimball reportedly takes credit for and describes in uncanny detail. Investigators are continuously trying to pin unsolved cases on Kimball, but so far he’s skated. He just hasn’t flown off in a helicopter … yet.
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Main photos: Scott Lee Kimball [Colorado Department of Corrections]