Many times in a family when there is a sexual relationship it’s often the father and his daughter. But there are those between a mother and her son that are also illicit. The case of Sante and Kenny goes beyond an affair and leads to murder. To really understand the full case we have to start with Sante.
Born in 1934, Sante was one for four children to her working class parents. Her parents had moved west to Los Angeles after her birth, and eventually she would graduate from high school in Carson City, NV.
In 1957, she married Edward Walker, and old friend. They would have one child together, Kent. Their marriage would be on and off until the divorce was finalized in 1969. By 1971, she had married Kenneth Kimes. They too, would have one child, Kenneth. Questions surrounded their marriage as to its validity.
Sante’s husband was rich. He was a motel tycoon, and Sante was able to afford her most luxurious lifestyle. But that wasn’t enough for Sante. Sante had spend the majority of her life fleecing people. She would take money, expensive merchandise, even real estate. The con’s she pulled were sometimes elaborate, and sometimes basic. Arson, forgery, and theft were her tools in trade.
She would frequently commit insurance fraud by arson and then collecting the money for any damages. Some of her actions weren’t even financially necessary. She would treat her household staff as slaves. She was able to pay them, but she seemed to have a sick thrill by being cruel to the staff.
Because of this, in 1985, Sante and her husband Kenneth, were arrested for violations of the anti-slavery laws. Kenneth agreed to a plea bargain, and went to an alcohol treatment program. Sante served five years in prison. During this time, Kenneth and Kenny lived a somewhat normal life.
Sante was released from prison in 1989. Kenneth, her husband, died in 1994. After her husband died, Sante stepped up her criminal activities.
In the 1970’s Sante and Kenneth occupied a home in Las Vegas. This same home was where she and her son lived, having convinced a friend, David Kazdin, to put his name on the deed to the house. Years later she would convince a notary to forge David’s name to a loan for $280,000 and using the house as collateral. When the forgery was discovered, David threatened to expose Sante. She had him killed. Her son, Kenny, went to Los Angeles and shot him in the back of the head. His body was found in a dumpster near the airport. The gun was never found.
In June of 1998, Sante and Kenneth found themselves in New York City. They were concocting a scheme to assume the identity of 82 year old Irene Silverman, who owned a $7.7 million mansion, that she rented apartments in. They would then sell the building and collect the money.
Sante and Kenneth rented a room from Irene, and less than a month later, Irene was missing. Before she was missing, Irene was suspicious of the pair. They wouldn’t allow housekeeping in to clean their rooms, and it was rumored that Sante and Kenneth had a sexual relationship at this time. Kenny was in the shower when Sante was discovered in the bed, the bed appeared to have been the site of a rambunctious lovemaking session.
Sante and Kenny avoided the security cameras in the building lobby, and often asked Irene for her ID and Social Security number. When she had disappeared, Sante called to an old acquaintance to help facilitate the sale of a house in New York. Stan Patterson, had already been contacted by investigators and he had agreed to help apprehend the pair to avoid prosecution.
Stan notified police that he was meeting Sante and Kenny in New York on July 5. Arriving at the Hilton at 6pm, Stan met with Sante. Around 7pm, Kenny arrived to meet with Sante and police moved in to arrest them both.
The Kimes’ had a stolen black Lincoln Town Car, that was a treasure trove of evidence. Not only was there a stun gun, social security cards, reams of paperwork for the sale of the Silverman property, but also Sante’s journals. Detailed schemes were contained inside these journals, for everything from simple fraud, to more elaborate real estate schemes.
Investigators charged Sante and Kenny with 117 charges, including; murder, robbery, burglary, conspiracy, forgery, illegal weapons possession, and eavesdropping. Sante and Kenny were confident that they would not be convicted, as there was no body of Irene Silverman. If there was no body, there was no crime.
Fortunately the judge and jury didn’t see it that way. They convicted Kenny and Sante on the charges they stood accused of. Sante was sentenced to 120 years, and Kenny was sentenced for 124 years. But their legal troubles weren’t over yet.
Both Kimes’s were extradited to California for the murder of David Kazdin. Eventually Kenny made a plea bargain to plead guilty, as long as the death penalty was not pursued for his mother if she were found guilty. Kenny then told the court everything about every single con game, fraud, and how his mother indoctrinated him at a young age.
Kenneth is serving his time in California. Sante was serving her time in New York, she passed away in 2014.
Be strong, make good choices, stay safe