Investigators who have been looking into the unsolved murder of Seattle federal prosecutor Tom Wales for nine years — a case for which Scott Kimball had once been an informant — turn their attention to Kimball himself as a possible suspect.

 

Tom Wales (walesfoundation.org)

An anonymous law enforcement source tells the Camera that Kimball is under investigation in the Oct. 11, 2001 murder, in which someone standing in Wales’ backyard in Seattle fatally shot him through his basement window.

This becomes the fourth known cold case into which authorities are looking that involves Kimball as a possible suspect.

A timeline the Camera assembled of Kimball’s whereabouts in the latter part of 2001 is incomplete, but shows that he spent time in Seattle around the time Wales was killed.

An arrest report from Nov. 7, 2001, shows that Kimball was picked up by Cordova, Alaska, police on suspicion of forging thousands of dollars of checks in his brother’s name. The report states that Kimball had opened a Wells Fargo bank account in Seattle into which he attempted to cash bogus checks that appeared to come from his employer, a Seattle-based fishing company.

Investigators also reported that Kimball admitted he had “hypothetically” purchased blank check stock at an Office Depot in Seattle before his arrest.

In a book about Kimball, titled “SLK: Serial Killer,” his cousin Ed Coet wrote that Kimball spent a period of time in Seattle recuperating from an injury he sustained on a fishing boat.

Coet wrote that Kimball’s mother, Barb, visited her son in Seattle and stayed with him in a hotel as he recovered from his fishing injury. She doesn’t recall the exact dates she was there, Coet said Thursday, but she remembered that it was fall of 2001.

 

Seattle skyline (Wikimedia Commons)

Kimball told Coet that after he was arrested in Alaska in early November 2001, he used information about the Wales murder to play the FBI. Gleaning whatever information he could about the case off the Internet, he convinced authorities that he had overheard a couple of inmates talking about Wales. He said solving the murder of a federal prosecutor was a top priority for the FBI and they listened eagerly to what he had to say.

The most significant clue the FBI has gotten on the Wales murder case over the last decade came in 2006, when the bureau’s office in Seattle received an anonymous letter from the purported killer. The writer said a woman had hired him to shoot Wales and that he took the job because he was broke.

The letter was sent from Las Vegas and was postmarked Jan. 23, 2006. Kimball had left Lafayette about a week earlier, when he realized authorities were going to launch an investigation into a massive check fraud scam he had committed. He was bound for southern California, but it’s unclear whether he stopped in Las Vegas on the way.

When Coet asked his cousin if he had killed Wales, Kimball denied it.

“If I did, do you think I’d tell you?” Kimball is quoted in Coet’s book. “You don’t just go to jail for killing a federal prosecutor. You get executed for that sort of thing. But if anybody ever asks you, my answer is no.”