In 1998, mother and son grifters Sante Kimes and her son Kenneth Kimes murdered New York socialite Irene Silverman in an attempt to steal the deed to the 82-year-old’s $7.5 million townhouse on East 65th Street.
According to a court transcript, Kenny said that his mother used a stun gun on Silverman, and that he strangled her while his mother encouraged him to “Do it!” Kenny attests that he then wrapped her body in several garbage bags, placed it into a duffel bag, and loaded the corpse into the trunk of a Lincoln Town Car that he had left parked nearby.
He claimed that he disposed of the body in Hoboken, New Jersey — but said he did not remember the exact location of her burial site. Silverman’s body has never been found. Despite the lack of a body, Sante and Kenny were sentenced to life in prison for her murder in 2000.
In 2004, Kenny revealed new details about the location of Silverman’s remains while on trial for the murder of former family friend David Kadzin. He claimed that he started driving toward New Jersey, looking for an isolated spot with a trash bin. Kenny stated that after going through the Holland Tunnel, he headed south and looked through parkways and local streets until he found a place to hide the corpse.
Authorities were conducting searches with Kenny’s input — but after he was extradited to California, the searches were reportedly suspended. Over the years, many people have speculated about the location of the body.
HobokenKenny said in court that he got rid of the remains in a dumpster in Hoboken, New Jersey. But Hoboken is only a few minutes from the Holland Tunnel, and Kenny claimed that he drove for “35 to 40″ minutes.
He could have been confused about the elapsed time — or spent time driving around and become confused —- or he could be lying or mistaken.
The area was also experiencing a construction boom during this time period, so if Kenny did dispose of Silverman’s remains here, he would have had plenty of options.
A 1998 New York Times article stated that in the prior three years, 933 residences were built or were under construction in Hoboken.
Newport / Jersey CityAccording to the New York Post, Kenny told police that he covered Silverman’s body with dirt in an “apartment house construction site.” The area around the Jersey City shore was also a hotbed of construction activity during the late nineties as developers transformed an area once covered in weeds with huge office and apartment towers.
Construction began in May 1998 on a 575,000-square-foot office complex, according to The New York Times, and ground was broken in August 1998 for a 444-unit residential building. Among the new developments was a sugar factory being converted into condominiums, a 41-story office building on the site of a former Colgate toothpaste plant site, a 26-story apartment building at the Hudson Exchange development, and a 35-story, 440-unit East Hampton building at the Towers of America complex.
The MeadowlandsShortly after Silverman’s murder, a factory worker told the Daily News that he had seen a middle-aged woman and a younger man in a green Lincoln Town Car parked by Berry’s Creek in Carlstadt, New Jersey.
The witness told the newspaper that he saw the pair, who matched the description of Sante and Kenny, several days before Silverman vanished on July 5. But he could not positively identify them — and detectives later stated that they believed that the Lincoln had been parked in a garage in Manhattan on those dates.
However, police searched the marshlands, and a police dog named Boris found a plastic bag filled with 50 fake Social Security cards all bearing the same name. Since Sante and Kenny had a history of forging documents and identities, they believed that the lead could be credible.
However, even though the NYPD sent in a team of police SCUBA divers, they found no trace of Silverman.
For more on Sante and Kenny Kimes, watch the “Sins of the Mother” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential on ID GO now!
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Main photo: Irene Silverman [Investigation Discovery]