Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Sante and Kenneth Kimes: A Life of Crime

'No body, no crime'

Sante and Kenny were tried in the spring of 2000. After several months of testimony, the jury declared Sante guilty of 58 different crimes and 60 for Kenny. Sante was sentenced to 120 years and Kenny, 125. At their sentencing, Sante was asked if she had anything to say. She jumped to her feet, where she ranted about her life and the unfairness of her trial for more than an hour. The judge stopped her.

"Mrs. Kimes, your performance is over," she was told. Marshals led them both away.

A few months later, Kenny attempted to escape by holding a Court TV reporter, Maria Zone, hostage by pressing a ballpoint pen into her throat. After three hours he was subdued, and the following month, both Kenny and Sante Kimes were extradited to Los Angeles to stand trial for the murder of David Kazdin. During that trial in June of 2004, while he was facing the death penalty, Kenny changed his plea to guilty and betrayed his mother by implicating her in the murder. He also confessed to killing the Bahamian banker, Syed Bilal Ahmed, by first drugging him, then drowning him in a bathtub, and later disposing of the body in the ocean. 

"No body, no crime," Kenny told the judge, revealing the Kimes family motto. Even though her son had "ratted" her out, Sante maintained her innocence and tried to play the sympathy card. Her court appearances included arrivals via wheelchair, fainting spells, a "heart attack," and continuous weeping. The judge, Kathleen Kennedy-Powell didn't buy the illness routine, particularly after Sante took to name-calling and repeatedly called the prosecutor "Mr. D.A. Death."

Each received another life sentence that was added on to the more than 100 years they were already serving.


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