At 9:30 p.m. the night before her planned trip to Seattle with Scott Kimball, Jennifer Marcum has a last conversation with her boyfriend, federal inmate Steve Ennis. The call was recorded by the prison:
Jennifer at 24. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)
“You OK?” Ennis asked.
“You all ready to go?”
“Are you? Cool. Are you excited?”
“No, not really.”
“I don’t know.”
“You should be, you’ll have a nice time. … You taking a cab out to the airport?”
“Um, I’m not sure yet. I think I’m taking my car.”
“You’re gonna have fun up there. … What’s wrong?”
“I’ll see you next Thursday, huh?”
Jennifer Marcum, in 2001. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)
After a final evening call to Jennifer Marcum, Scott Kimball’s cell phone goes inactive until Feb. 20. Kimball says later that he had gone to the mountains for several days and turned his cell phone off.
Phone records will reveal that Jennifer’s phone is inactive for the same three-day period of time.
After that, however, occasional calls will be made from Jennifer’s phone — to Kimball and others — before the service is disconnected.
Investigators believe Kimball was using Jennifer’s phone “for the purpose of misdirecting law enforcement in an attempt to make it appear as if she was still alive.”
Statement from Alderman to FBI Agent Jonathan Grusing, reprinted in a Lafayette police report.
Scott Kimball absconds with $7,300 and a pickup truck and trailer from his former FCI-Englewood cellmate John Alderman.
Alderman, a doctor convicted of tax evasion, said he had just been released from prison and needed help getting on his feet. He asked Kimball to pick up the truck and trailer, which he planned to live in, and to cash his $7,300 check since he had no bank account.
FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff revokes Scott Kimball’s protected status as a paid informant.
Reasons for the revocation are unclear, but a warrant for Kimball had been issued three days earlier. Plus Schlaff had questions for his informant about continued check-counterfeiting and Jennifer Marcum’s disappearance.
Behind bars at Denver County Jail, Scott Kimball tells his FBI handler, Carle Schlaff, that a drug dealer had strangled Jennifer Marcum, who’d been missing for four months.
Kimball had even seen pictures of her body — hands and legs bound, mouth taped shut — on the drug dealer’s laptop, he says. In fact, the killer offered to pay Kimball to find Jennifer’s corpse and remove her breast implants and IUD so the serial numbers couldn’t be used to identify her remains.
Kimball tells Schlaff he can help catch the killer.
Scott Kimball, in a photo found on his computer. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)
After a polygraph test determines Kimball is being truthful about seeing photos of Jennifer Marcum dead on a drug dealer’s computer, FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff contacts prison officials in Washington state and requests that they quash their warrant for Kimball.
Kimball, Schlaff says, is a valuable informant in the disappearance of Jennifer Marcum and needs to be freed to help figure out where she might be.
A judge in Spokane agrees to quash the warrant, and Kimball is released from Denver County Jail.
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)
Scott Kimball’s cell phone goes dead from 8:15 p.m. Aug. 23 through 4:38 p.m. Aug. 24.
When he turns his phone back on, its signal is picked up by a tower near Walden, Colo. A receipt later found in his belongings also shows that he bought pasta, meat, lighter fluid and spaghetti sauce at the North Park Supers market in Walden on Aug. 24.
When Kimball’s girlfriend Lori McLeod — frantic that her daughter Kaysi never showed up for work the night before — finally gets a hold of Kimball, he insists he’d been in the mountains alone, scouting out bow-hunting grounds.
He denies picking Kaysi up from her motel the night before, but he pledges to help McLeod track down her daughter.
Scott Kimball and Lori McLeod get married in Las Vegas, in a “drive-through” wedding devoid of romance.
McLeod says she married Kimball because she saw him as the only link to her daughter, Kaysi, who had been missing for eight days.
The frantic mother thought her new husband might be involved in the disappearance, but she also knew he worked for the FBI in some capacity and hoped he might help find Kaysi.
Throughout their marriage, Kimball kept McLeod’s hope alive by fabricating signs that Kaysi had been at the house but wasn’t ready to talk to her mother.
He looped Kaysi’s necklace – the one she was wearing the day she went missing – around her bedroom doorknob one day. He took her makeup box out of the bedroom. And he asked their landlord to lie about having seen Kaysi driving nearby.
Scott Kimball gave this lease to his FBI handler to explain why he had Jennifer Marcum’s belongings. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)
Hoping that his missing daughter might be in jail somewhere, Bob Marcum asks a cop friend to run Jennifer Marcum’s name through a national criminal database.
The next day, he gets a call from FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff, who’d been alerted of the database search.
Scott Kimball had passed a lie-detector test after telling his FBI handler that a drug-dealer killed Jennifer. And when asked why he had Jennifer’s furniture, Kimball had given the agent a lease showing that he paid $400 to rent it for a year.
But Schlaff doesn’t share those details with Bob Marcum. He says there are few leads in the case, and that Jennifer “just dropped off the map” after leasing her furniture to a man.
The trailer that Scott Kimball stole from his former fellow FCI-Englewood inmate John Alderman burns to the ground on Kimball’s Adams County property.
It was the same trailer that Kimball picked Kaysi McLeod up on the day she disappeared, according to her boyfriend.
Emergency officials deem the trailer fire accidental, but years later a witness — one of Kimball’s business associates — tells police Kimball intentionally burned it to destroy any evidence that Kaysi might have been in it and also to collect insurance money.
Nearly a year after Terry Kimball’s disappearance, Scott Kimball’s father, Virgil Kimball, receives an e-mail at his Idaho home from firstname.lastname@example.org.
“In the e-mail, Terry claimed to be living in old Mexico with a woman named Ginger and added that Ginger liked living in Mexico,” FBI agent Johnny Grusing would later write in an affidavit. “Virgil recalled that supposedly Ginger never wanted to return to the United States, so Terry probably would not either.”
Police would trace the account to Scott Kimball’s computer two years later.
The contract found in Scott Kimball's possession, apparently meant for Jennifer Marcum's mother, Mary Willis. He used his FBI alias, Joe Scott, although his handler at the bureau introduced him as Joe Snitch. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)
Hoping to find out more from the man who has their daughter’s furniture, Jennifer Marcum’s parents meet with Scott Kimball, whom they know only as ‘Joe Snitch,’ at Broomfield’s North Midway Park.
Joe Snitch tells Bob Marcum and Mary Willis that Jennifer had been murdered, and he knows who did it and where they left her body. He tells Willis that if she’ll let him into her hotel room that night, he can demonstrate how Jennifer was killed.
Using pilfered personal financial information from family friend and Lafayette optometrist Cleve Armstrong, Scott Kimball begins moving thousands of dollars over the phone from Armstrong’s money market account to Armstrong’s checking account.
Over the next three weeks, he transfers $83,000 between accounts, then uses several accomplices to forge nearly $55,000 worth of checks to Kimball’s companies: Rocky Mountain All Natural Beef and Rocky Mountain Cattle Company.
When Armstrong returns from vacation in mid-January, he will immediately point police in the direction of Kimball, who had an office in the basement of the 801 S. Public Road building shared by Armstrong and Kimball’s mother.
Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher stands in front of the 801 S. Public Road building that in 2005 housed the offices of Cleve Armstrong, Barb Kimball and Scott Kimball. (Kasia Broussalian/Camera)
Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher is assigned to investigate the Cleve Armstrong check-fraud case.
Scott Kimball’s basement office at 801 S. Public Road. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)
Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher searches the basement of 801 S. Public Road in Lafayette, where Scott Kimball had been running a beef business.
He finds sheets of practice signatures; bogus subpoenas regarding the assault case against Kimball’s wife; and a counterfeit lien release for a Jeep — complete with company letterhead and an altered seal from his mother’s notary stamp — that Kimball had used to cash in on insurance proceeds after wrecking the vehicle the previous month.
Scott Kimball leads a contingent of U.S. marshals and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase through California’s Coachella Valley.
Reaching speeds up to 80 mph, he cranked Nickelback’s “Rockstar” through the speakers of the Ford F-350 and called his girlfriend, Denise Pierce.
She told Kimball to stop and turn himself in, but he refused, insisting the cops would kill him because he knew too much.
Kimball drove the full length of the valley in a televised chase, eventually turning onto dirt roads, careening through orchards and rolling over irrigation pipes in a farmer’s field in Mecca, Calif., just north of the Salton Sea.
Low on gas, he finally stopped but wouldn’t surrender for several hours.
Boulder County prosecutors Katharina Booth, left, and Amy Okubo, dubbed by Scott Kimball as "the Boulder bitches," pose in Courtroom Q at the Boulder County Justice Center. (Marty Caivano / Camera)
Boulder County prosecutors Amy Okubo and Katharina Booth, assigned to the Lafayette check-fraud case against Scott Kimball, meet with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI in Denver, asking for a wider investigation.
Lafayette police Detective Gary Thatcher had found out about Kaysi McLeod’s disappearance, and had also been told by FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff that Kimball might be connected to the disappearance of Jennifer Marcum.
But neither federal agency launched a missing-persons probe.
Dale Stewart, Scott Kimball’s former Adams County landlord, admits to investigators that he lied when he told Lori McLeod he had seen her daughter driving around the property after she disappeared in August 2003.
Scott Kimball is interviewed by FBI Special Agent Jonathan Grusing and Lafayette police detective Gary Thatcher at the Cascade County Detention Facility in Great Falls, Mont.
Asked about the disappearances of Jennifer Marcum, Kaysi McLeod and Terry Kimball, he offers to provide information about Jennifer and his uncle if given immunity for his white-collar crimes. Kaysi, he tells the investigators, is still alive.
During the six-hour interview, Kimball makes statements like: “I can’t incriminate myself any further” and “I wish I could be honest with you.”
Boulder County prosecutors make a deal with Scott Kimball.
He pleads guilty to stealing $55,000 from Lafayette optometrist Cleve Armstrong as a habitual offender, and is sentenced to 48 years in prison.
In exchange, prosecutors draw up a memorandum of understanding in the missing-persons case. If he will lead investigators to the bodies of Jennifer Marcum, LeAnn Emry and Terry Kimball, he will only face a single count of second-degree murder.
They will otherwise pursue a first-degree murder conviction, punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty. But that will be difficult with only one set of remains — Kaysi McLeod’s — that show no evidence of the cause or manner of death.
For prosecutors Amy Okubo and Katharina Booth, the deal represents their only chance of finding the missing victims.
“Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that without his help,” Booth said. “It was a deal with the devil.”
Katharina Booth, in her Boulder office. (Paul Aiken / Camera)
In a search of Scott Kimball’s cell in the Sterling Correctional Facility, an FBI agent finds several fraudulent documents.
Claiming that Kimball used discovery from his own case to create the fake FBI papers from behind bars, Boulder County prosecutor Katharina Booth files a motion trying to prevent Kimball from accessing anymore hard-copy files.
She contends Kimball disseminated the doctored reports to the media in an effort to show that other people were involved in the deaths of his four victims.
The Camera received several of Kimball’s bogus documents in late 2009. One had the plural header “Federal Bureau of Investigations.” It featured a February 2006 interview with Steve Ennis at the federal prison in Beaumont, Texas. However, U.S. Bureau of Prisons officials said Ennis was never housed at the Beaumont facility. FBI Special Agent Jonny Grusing, who purportedly conducted the interview, was still nine months away from being assigned to the case.