Scott Lee Kimball


Scott Lee Kimball

A.K.A.: "Hannibal"

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Fraudster
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: January 2003 - August 2004
Date of arrest: March 14, 2006
Date of birth: September 21, 1966
Victims profile: Kaysi McLeod, 19 / Jennifer Marcum, 25 / LeAnn Emry, 24 / Terry Kimball, 60 (his uncle)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Boulder County, Colorado, USA
Status: Plead guilty. Sentenced to 70 years in prison on October 8, 2009

Scott Lee Kimball is a convicted serial killer from Boulder County, Colorado, United States. He is serving a 70 year sentence after pleading guilty in 2009 to the murders of Kaysi McLeod, 19; Jennifer Marcum, 25; LeAnn Emry, 24; and his uncle Terry Kimball, 60.

All of these four victims died between January 2003 and August 2004. Marcum remains missing and is presumed dead, while the other three bodies were recovered in remote Colorado and Utah locations. A fraudster released from prison to become an FBI informant, Kimball has claimed multiple other killings but has not been linked to any other crimes.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree murder on October 8, 2009.

In September 2010, it was reported that the FBI was investigating Kimball as a possible suspect in the murder and mutilation of a woman found in Westminster, Colorado, in October 2004. At the time Kimball lived in the area and was acting as an FBI informant.

In December 2010, it was reported that Kimball has stated that he is being investigated as a potential suspect in the West Mesa murders in New Mexico.

Kimball bragged of committing 'dozens' of murders

Family, prosecutors say Boulder County serial killer likely had more victims

October 9, 2009

With notorious serial killer Scott Lee Kimball behind bars for 70 years -- convicted earlier this week in the murders of three women and a man -- the question inevitably arises: Are there more victims out there?

"I'd say the chances are 50-50," Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said Friday. "Kimball is certainly capable of it -- he's said things to make you think he has, but we have no solid leads."

Garnett said Kimball, 43, has bragged to others that he has committed "dozens" of murders, but investigators were only able to make a case in the disappearances of Kaysi McLeod, 19, of Westminster; Jennifer Marcum, 25, of Aurora; LeAnn Emry, 24, of Centennial; and Kimball's 60-year-old uncle, Terry.

Kimball killed the four between January 2003 and August 2004, according to law enforcement authorities, after being released from prison by the FBI to become an informant for the agency.

Three of his victims' remains have been found in remote areas of Colorado and Utah. Marcum's body has never been found.

Katharina Booth, one of the two chief deputy DAs who prosecuted Kimball in a 2005 Lafayette check-fraud case that proved instrumental to his eventual guilty plea to murder Thursday, said there's a good chance Kimball left more victims in his wake.

"It's hard to imagine we caught him on everything he did," she said.

Booth said it's possible there are victims who have never come to the attention of law enforcement because Kimball didn't target the powerful and well-connected, but rather those who lived closer to the margins of society.

"Everyone he surrounded himself with had some issue," she said. "He picked on vulnerable people -- people with drug problems, runaways, people with active warrants."

But she cautioned that Kimball is, at his core, a con man and a huckster who led a life filled with deceit and shady business deals. She said his claims of additional killings may be as fanciful as the promises he made to those who placed their trust in him.

"He loves to show bravado, he loves to be on the news," Booth said.

FBI Special Agent Kathy Wright wouldn't comment on whether there is an ongoing investigation involving Kimball.

"We're not opposed to talking to anyone who believes they might have information on Scott Kimball," she said.

Kimball pleaded guilty in Boulder County District Court on Thursday to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of McLeod, Marcum, Emry, and Terry Kimball as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors.

While none of the homicides was believed to have been committed in Boulder County, the case was prosecuted here partly because of Kimball's criminal history in Lafayette and the fact that the Boulder County District Attorney's Office was already building a file on him.

Kimball was born in Boulder and grew up in Lafayette, leaving Colorado in his high school years to follow his father up to Montana after his parents' divorce.

He lived in various Western states through much of his early adulthood but moved back to Colorado to live with his mother after getting released from prison by the FBI in 2002. His mother ran an insurance office on South Public Road in Lafayette.

By late 2005, police say, Kimball was pulling a check-fraud scam involving an optometrist who shared office space with his mother. Police said he managed to siphon off more than $50,000 from the eye specialist's money market account before getting caught.

During that period, he also lived on Huron Street in Broomfield -- in a house where police now believe he likely killed his uncle.

Robert McLeod, father of victim Kaysi McLeod, said there is a lot of time during which police and investigators have no trace of Kimball's whereabouts. His "gut feeling" is that Kimball's victim list is longer than anyone now knows.

"Scott has a lot of unaccounted for time in the last 10 to 15 years when they don't know where he was," McLeod said Friday. "I don't think you go from zero to 60 just like that."

Serial Killer Scott Lee Kimball


Scott Lee KimballAs Scott Lee Kimball languished inside a Montana prison during the early years of the new millennium, he bragged to his fellow inmates that he was a hit man, a tough-guy persona he may have adopted in part to elevate himself within the inmate hierarchy. For some reason, he also liked to call himself "Hannibal," after the serial killer character from the Thomas Harris novels. Although his hit man description was a stretch, Kimball did kill people—especially women—but the authorities did not yet know that about him. Serving time on a variety of charges including theft, passing bad checks and forgery, Kimball nonetheless had hatched a plan to put him back on the streets.

His scheme included talking to the authorities about a murder-for-hire plot that involved his former cell mate, Steve Ennis, and that cell mate's mate's girlfriend, Jennifer Marcum, 25, of Denver, a stripper and the mother of a 4-year-old child who, police would learn, had befriended Kimball. At the time, the FBI was investigating a sizeable ecstasy operation in the Denver area, and Kimball assured investigators that he could join up with the drug ringleaders and provide information to the FBI. By December 2002, Kimball had convinced the FBI that he would make a good paid informant.

The FBI agreed, in part, to Kimball's proposal, becoming involved because of the possible murder-for-hire scenario. Marcum, it turned out, had been a potential witness in a Drug Enforcement Administration methamphetamine case against Ennis, and Ennis allegedly wanted another potential witness against him killed and made plans to use Marcum to get the job done. Before the year ended, Kimball's plan had worked, and he was back on the streets, minimally supervised.

Within a few months of Kimball's release, Jennifer Marcum disappeared. Then, between August 2003 and September 2004, Kimball's uncle, Terry Kimball, 60, disappeared, along with Kaysi McLeod, 19, of Lafayette, Colo., and LeAnn Emery, 24, of Aurora. Terry Kimball was originally from Georgia, but was believed to have been living with his nephew in Colorado at the time of his disappearance. Before the investigation of this twisted case was all over, authorities would learn that Scott Kimball had married Lori McLeod, the unsuspecting mother of Kaysi McLeod, in Las Vegas, Nev., shortly after getting out of prison, and the newlyweds then spent their honeymoon camping in the area where Kaysi's remains would eventually be found.

An Investigation Begins

Although a number of people were involved in the investigation of Scott Lee Kimball, FBI Special Agent Jonathan D. Grusing and Lafayette Police Department Detective Gary Thatcher were among the primary investigators involved in clearing the difficult, convoluted case. They were assisted by several federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in Colorado and other states. Grusing came on board on November 9, 2006, after Kimball had become a suspect in the four murders, when he was assigned by the FBI's Denver office to investigate the murder-for-hire allegations surrounding the disappearance of Jennifer Marcum.

During his review of the FBI's case file on Ennis, Grusing learned that Kimball had told Carle Schlaff of the FBI's Denver office on June 29, 2003, that Marcum had been murdered by one of Ennis's associates because of the fear that she would testify against Ennis in the methamphetamine case. Kimball also reportedly had stated that he had been asked by an Ennis associate to dig up Marcum's body, which he claimed was located somewhere near Rifle, Colo., to recover her breast implants and an intrauterine device—each of which, he believed, contained serial numbers that could be used to help police identify her body. Whether or not the story was true remained to be seen, but investigators soon came to think that Kimball was concerned that the items might link Marcum's body to him rather than to Ennis's associate.

As Grusing continued his review of the case file, he learned that Jennifer Marcum's cellular phone had last been used on February 17, 2003 at 9:30 p.m., and that her 1996 Saturn sedan, supposedly given to her by Steven Ennis, had been noticed by officers of the Denver Police Department in a parking lot at Denver International Airport during the early morning hours of the following day. Follow-up inquiries made by the local police revealed that Marcum had not been scheduled on any outbound flights although Kimball later claimed that she had traveled to New York City to purchase a handgun that supposedly was to have been used to shoot the federal witness who was planning to testify against Ennis.

It seemed noteworthy to Grusing and others that cell phones belonging to Jennifer Marcum and Scott Kimball had not been used from February 17, 2003 to February 20, 2003, even though both of their phones had been used significantly to call each other prior to February 17, 2003. When Kimball was later asked about his whereabouts on those dates, he claimed that he had taken a trip to the mountains near Craig, Colo. He remained evasive about what he had been doing in that area.

Two Fathers Prod the Cops into Action

Meanwhile, according to ABC News, the fathers of Jennifer Marcum and Kaysi McLeod began their own inquiries into their daughters' disappearances due to what had seemed to them to be a lack of interest by law enforcement in the missing person's cases: Jennifer worked as a stripper and had ties to a known drug dealer; Kaysi had a history of drug problems and had left home a number of times after she had turned 18. Bob Marcum, Jennifer's father, and Rob McLeod, Kaysi's dad, took matters into their own hands to move their daughters' cases along.

Bob Marcum began posting billboards with Jennifer's photo that asked for information about the missing young woman, and appeared on television news programs to further publicize her mysterious disappearance. While Marcum appealed for information, it was Kaysi McLeod's best friend, Tabetha Morton, who had made a connection between Scott Kimball and Kaysi. Morton called Rob McLeod in 2005 and told him that Kimball "went missing when Kaysi did." Kimball by that time was married to Kaysi's mother, Lori McLeod, which is how Morton had come to know about him.

Rob McLeod immediately began searching for additional information about Kimball, and in June 2005 discovered a news article about Jennifer Marcum's disappearance. After reading in stunned disbelief that Jennifer had last been seen with Kimball, McLeod began tracking down Jennifer's family, who resided in Illinois.

A short time later, the McLeods and the Marcums met to compare information about Kimball and his relationship to their daughters. Lori McLeod told Bob Marcum everything she knew about Kimball and what he had said about Jennifer, and the two families drove together to a number of locations that they believed to be connected with their daughters' disappearances. Hoping for a clue that could shed some light on what had happened, they nonetheless came up empty-handed.

However, during one of their discussions, the two families realized that a third person connected to Kimball had gone missing—Terry Kimball, Scott Kimball's uncle. Lori McLeod related how Terry had moved in with her and Scott, but that Uncle Terry had inexplicably left on September 1, 2004, never to be seen again. When Lori had asked Scott where Terry had gone, Kimball told her that Terry had won the lottery and had taken his girlfriend to Mexico.

After they had pieced their information together and had a clear picture that three people with a connection to Scott Kimball had disappeared without a trace, Rob McLeod and Bob Marcum went to the FBI. After a bit of prodding, they eventually convinced the FBI to take their information and allegations seriously.

A Former Cell Mate Talks to the FBI

During an interview with Grusing on November 18, 2006, Bob Marcum related that he and Jennifer's mother, Mary Willis, had met with Scott Kimball in August 2005. During that meeting, Kimball had said that he knew precisely where Jennifer's body was buried, and that he could take them to the location in the mountains because he wanted her to have a "good Christian burial." Marcum and Willis, however, did not trust Kimball and declined his offer.

"I figured he was a killer, and I wasn't going anywhere with him," Marcum told ABC News. "I figured I'd end up dead after the things that he said."

Grusing met with Marcum and Willis a number of times during the course of the investigation, and learned that Kimball had told Jennifer's parents that their daughter's body was buried near Rifle, Colo.

On January 25, 2007, Grusing and LPD Detective Gary Thatcher traveled to the Missoula County Detention Facility in Missoula, Mont., where they interviewed one of Kimball's former cellmates. According to the former cellmate, Kimball had asked him if he thought that fake breasts could be traced. The cellmate replied that the name of the manufacturer and the serial number were located inside the implants to allow tracing in the event of liability lawsuits. During that conversation, Kimball had reportedly said, "I know a guy that will pay you to cut implants out of a dead body." When the cell mate asked Kimball why anyone would be concerned about implants when a body would have fingerprints, footprints, teeth, and a skull, Kimball responded, "You cut off the feet, head
and hands and there's no trace of it."

Kimball also told the cellmate that the woman in question was buried in the mountains. He apparently had not mentioned which state she was buried in, and while it was not known whether he had dismembered Jennifer Marcum's body when he disposed of it, the implication was that the breast implants and IUD had become a concern to him. Although it was not known how Kimball had learned of Jennifer's breast implants and IUD, it was possible that he had learned of them during his dealings with her former boyfriend, Steve Ennis. At one point, however, Kimball related information implicating another man in Jennifer's death, and said that it had been the killer who had been willing to pay Kimball to remove her breast implants and IUD.

LeAnn Emry

LeAnn Emry, 24, disappeared without a trace in January 2003 after checking out of a hotel in Colorado. Her mother and father, Howard and Darlene Emry, last saw LeAnn on January 16, 2003, when she packed her suitcases into her car for what was supposed to have been a spelunking expedition to Mexico. Exploring caves had been one of her favorite pastimes, and had seemingly helped her get through a short and unhappy marriage. Although she had faced difficulties with a bipolar disorder throughout much of her young life, her parents recalled being happy for her as she set off on the trip from which she would not return.

"Every weekend, every spare moment she had, LeAnn had been going caving, so this was not out of the ordinary," her father told a reporter for the Idaho Statesman.

Two weeks later, however, a sheriff's deputy from Moab, Utah, called her parents to report that her car had been found abandoned along a dirt road near Book Cliffs.

"When he told me was a shock," her father said. "I just felt sick to my stomach."

Although her parents filed a missing persons report in Arapahoe County, Colo., where they resided at the time, they were told that LeAnn was likely a runaway and that there was nothing to indicate foul play. As such, there would not be an investigation, unless a body was found, although her purse and some other belongings had been found inside her car. Her credit cards, however, were missing. With the help of banks and credit card companies, Howard and Darlene Emry were able to recreate a 10-day trail of gasoline charges that led through Colorado, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada. It was clear that she had not gone to Mexico, and her parents were left wondering whether she had made the charges to her cards of if someone else had done so. The main purchases made with them had been gasoline.

LeAnn's E-mail

Eleven days after leaving home, LeAnn called her parents for the final time, saying that she would be staying in Mexico a little longer. Based on what he had already learned from putting together a timeline based on her credit card charges, her father knew that her comment about being in Mexico was not the truth. He eventually learned that the call had been placed in Colorado, and that she had mailed a gift certificate to her sister from the same location.

Then a glimmer of hope surfaced. Howard Emry learned that one of LeAnn's credit cards had been used in California a few days after her car had been found abandoned, leaving him with the thought that his daughter was still alive. However, his hopes were dashed when he obtained the credit card receipts and found that the signatures on them were not LeAnn's. It also turned out that the credit card charges in California had been made by a prostitute who told investigators that she had received the credit card in question from a man as payment for sexual services.

A short time later, her parents learned that she had been corresponding with a relative in Idaho via e-mail a few weeks before she disappeared. In one of those e-mails she wrote: "I have to orders come from Hanable...and he's a dangerous person...." In another e-mail she wrote: "I'm in an underground world." In yet another she wrote: "If Hanable knew I was talking to you, he'd...have me killed in a second. Plus, he'd have you killed too."

It was clear to Howard and Darlene Emry that their daughter was involved in something that was troubling her, but they had no idea what the dark secret was that she was concealing from them. They considered that she may have been trying to protect them from whatever it was that she was involved in. Although the Emrys contacted their local law enforcement and the FBI, no one wanted to open an investigation to the mystery that surrounded LeAnn's disappearance.

Five Years Later

On October 30, 2007, Grusing contacted the Emrys after they relocated to Idaho and asked to speak to LeAnn about a possible suspect in an ongoing homicide investigation. Howard Emry explained that LeAnn had been missing for nearly five years.

"He didn't say anything for a while," Emry said. "I think it was just a shock to him that there was another person to add to the list."

Howard Emry explained to Grusing that through his own investigation he learned that LeAnn had been introduced to a man who called himself "Hannibal." According to what he had learned, "Hannibal" had befriended LeAnn and had assisted her in writing a series of bad checks and misusing her credit cards, and that the activity had continued until the time her car was found abandoned near Moab, Utah.

The following day, Grusing and Detective Thatcher followed up on some of the information obtained from Howard Emry, including the fact that LeAnn's boyfriend at the time of her death was an inmate who had been housed on the same cellblock as Kimball in late 2002. Kimball apparently had concocted a plan to help LeAnn's boyfriend escape from prison so they could unite in Mexico. Kimball instructed the inmate to refer to him as "Hannibal" in his dealings with LeAnn so that she would not be privy to his real name.

Within days of the planned escape, LeAnn's boyfriend had been placed in solitary confinement for poor behavior and had been unable to speak to LeAnn. Later, after learning the circumstances of LeAnn's disappearance, the boyfriend told Grusing that he knew that Kimball had taken her and probably killed her. Grusing showed LeAnn's boyfriend a photo of a young girl with long, brown hair, dated January 18, 2003, obtained during a search of Kimball's laptop computer. By the time of his interview with LeAnn's boyfriend, Kimball had been arrested for a violation of the conditions of his release and was back in jail on a variety of charges, and Grusing took advantage of the situation to gain access to Kimball's computer. The inmate confirmed that the photo was of LeAnn, but said that her hair was blond the last time he saw her.

Kimball's Computer

A search of Kimball's computer turned up hundreds of photos depicting violent rape pornography. The images were of women who were tied up or were in the process of being bound, gagged, and assaulted with a variety of weapons. Although most of the images had been downloaded from the Internet, some were not—including images of LeAnn.

The implications of the photos were sordid, but Grusing and other investigators did not share the precise details of what they had found, particularly with regard to the images of LeAnn.

"It is not necessary," Howard Emry said. "She was going through hell. She was going through terrible, terrible things. I don't need to know any more. I just feel very bad that I wasn't able to help her."

Grusing and others had been successful in tracing Kimball's and LeAnn's movements together in the Denver area from January 1-16, 2003, and in the states of Oregon and Washington from January 17-19, 2003, using motel receipts, phone records, credit card receipts, and check records. Grusing also discovered that LeAnn had purchased Kimball's laptop for him at a Best Buy in Lakewood, Colo., on January 10, 2003, for $1,684.73, using her bank debit card. The same method of investigation placed them together in Wyoming from January 24-25, 2003.

Plea Bargain

In a complicated plea bargain arrangement that was worked out in early 2009 after being charged with four murders, Scott Lee Kimball was allowed to plead guilty to two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Terry Kimball, Jennifer Marcum, LeAnn Emry and Kaysi McLeod, in part so that the victims' families could have some semblance of closure. One of the counts pertained to Terry Kimball's murder, and the second count pertained to the murders of Marcum, Emry, and McLeod. As part of the plea bargain, Kimball also agreed to assist authorities in locating his victims' remains.

As a result, the remains LeAnn Emry were found on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, in the Book Cliffs region of southeastern Utah. On Monday, June 29, 2009, remains believed to be those of Terry Kimball were found in a remote area of Vail Pass. A year earlier, on Tuesday, September 30, 2008, a hunter had discovered a skull and other bones in a remote area of northwest Colorado. The FBI subsequently confirmed that the skull and bones were those of Kaysi McLeod. Marcum's remains have not been found, even though Lori McLeod told FBI agents that Kimball told her that Marcum's remains were near Rifle, Colo. She explained that she and Kimball had been passing through Rifle on their way to Denver from Las Vegas when Kimball told her that he worked for the FBI and was involved in a case that involved Marcum's murder.

After being sentenced in 2008 to 53 years in prison on theft and a number of other charges, Kimball was sentenced on Thursday, October 8, 2009, to an additional 70 years in prison for his guilty pleas to second-degree murder. Although the 43-year-old serial murderer believes he will one day get out of prison on parole, the Colorado Department of Corrections lists his estimated parole eligibility date as July 28, 2056, at which time Kimball would be 89.

Scott Kimball, left, with his parents and brother in 1969.
(Courtesy of Ed Coet)

Scott Kimball at age 5 or 6. (Courtesy Ed Coet)

Kimball, 1988. (Courtesy of Boulder County DA's Office)

Kimball, following his Broomfield arrest on March 15, 1989.
(Courtesy of Boulder County DA's office)

Mugshot of Scott Kimball for an unknown 1992 arrest in Carbon County, Mont.
(Courtesy of Boulder County DA's Office)

An undated photo from Spokane County, Wash., where Kimball committed
three counts of check forgery in 1999.
(Courtesy of Boulder County DA's Office)

Kimball's Montana mugshot. (Courtesy of Boulder County DA's Office)

Kimball's Montana mugshot

Scott Kimball, in a photo found on his computer.
(Courtesy of Lafayette police)

Kimball's Denver mugshot - June 17, 2003.
(Courtesy of Denver police)

Scott Kimball, an avid outdoorsman and hunter, insisted he’d been alone in the mountains
scouting out bow-hunting grounds the night Kaysi McLeod disappeared.
(Courtesy of Rob McLeod)

Kimball after his March 2006 arrest in California.
(Courtesy of Boulder County DA's Office)

Scott Kimball at his sentencing hearing in the Boulder County Justice
Center before his sentencing hearing Oct. 8, 2009.

Kimball's DOC mugshot

Kimball in an interview broadcast March 1, 2010, on Denver's Fox 31 News.