Informant

Scott Kimball worked as a paid informant for the FBI from 2002 to 2006, but many of the court documents pertaining to his role with the bureau are sealed.

Scott Kimball works with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms as an informant on a stolen-gun investigation. Kimball points to several suspects, but investigators are never able to make a case.

His relationship with the ATF, for which he’s paid $1,865, ends in November 1999.

(Dates are approximate.)

Tom Wales (walesfoundation.org)

Tom Wales (walesfoundation.org)

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales is shot to death in his Seattle home. Police believe an assailant fired through the prosecutor’s basement window while he was working on his computer.

Scott Kimball will later tell federal authorities that he has information on the murder, which remains unsolved.

It’s unclear what details Kimball claimed to have in the case.

Scott Kimball, locked up in the Cook Inlet Pretrial Facility in Alaska, tells a U.S. Secret Service agent that his cellmate, Arnold Flowers, and Flowers’ girlfriend, Sompong Khamsomphou, asked him to hire a hit man to kill a federal judge, federal prosecutor, and two witnesses.

Flowers and Khamsomphou are indicted by a grand jury the next month on charges of murder-for-hire, witness tampering and attempted murder of federal officials.

FCI-Englewood, in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

FCI-Englewood, in Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Scott Kimball is transferred from the Alaska prison system to FCI-Englewood, a federal penitentiary in Littleton, Colo.

He had told federal authorities that seven Alaska inmates wanted to kill him for cooperating with the government.

fbiThe FBI activates Scott Kimball as a “cooperating witness” while he is an inmate at FCI-Englewood.

He tells an agent that his cellmate, Steve Ennis, asked him to kill a fellow drug dealer, and that Ennis’ girlfriend, Jennifer Marcum, would help.

A fake birth certificate, later found among Kimball's belongings, listed the alias he used as an FBI informant. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)

A fake birth certificate, later found among Kimball's belongings, listed the alias he used as an FBI informant. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)

After claiming that his cellmate, Steve Ennis, asked him to kill a fellow drug dealer, Scott Kimball is released from FCI-Englewood “to actively cooperate with the FBI on the Steven Ennis matter.”

Ennis, Kimball claims, told him his girlfriend — Jennifer Marcum — would help carry out the hit.

As a paid FBI informant, Kimball is given the name Joe Scott and told to keep an eye on Marcum.

His contact at the bureau is Special Agent Carle Schlaff.

Jennifer Marcum at 23 or 24. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)

Jennifer Marcum at 23 or 24. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)

Wearing a wire, Scott Kimball meets with Jennifer Marcum and secretly records their conversation in his role as an FBI informant.

He claims Jennifer and her boyfriend, federal prisoner Steve Ennis, are plotting to kill a member of Ennis’ drug ring.

Jennifer doesn’t solicit Kimball to kill anyone, but she does say the drug dealer is a “scumbag” who “deserves to die.”

In the first six weeks of 2003, Kimball meets with Jennifer a dozen times and speaks with her on the phone daily.

He convinces her that he can help her stop stripping by setting her up in an espresso-cart business in Seattle.

Ennis tells his girlfriend she should trust Kimball and try a career change.

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Kimball's Lakewood condo, 8210 W. Eastman Place.

Kimball's Lakewood condo, 8210 W. Eastman Place. (John Aguilar / Camera)

Two days before their planned trip to Seattle, Jennifer Marcum moves all of her furniture into Scott Kimball’s condo in Lakewood.

She had been staying in Colorado Springs with the father of her 4-year-old son, and commuting to Glendale, where she worked as an exotic dancer at Shotgun Willie’s.

But Kimball convinced her that he could help her quit stripping for a living. He claimed he ran an espresso-cart operation in Seattle and would help her learn the business.

Jennifer Marcum disappears

February 17th, 2003

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 age 24.

Jennifer at 24. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)

“You OK?” Ennis asked.
“Yeah.”
“You all ready to go?”
“Packin’.”
“Are you? Cool. Are you excited?”
“No, not really.”
“How come?”
“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?”
“Nothing.”
“I’ll see you next Thursday, huh?”

Marcum is never heard from again.

Scott Kimball consults with the FBI for three days in Seattle concerning the unsolved murder case of Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales, who was gunned down in his Seattle home in October 2001.

Scott Kimball signs a plea deal with federal prosecutors in Denver on the theft and fraud charges stemming from his 2001 arrest in Alaska.

Kimball pleads guilty to two counts of counterfeiting a check, and agrees to continue cooperating with the government.

In exchange, prosecutors recommend that he get the lowest sentencing range, which could include probation rather than prison time.

Read Kimball’s plea deal, March 10, 2003. (PDF)

Denver International Airport

Denver International Airport

Jennifer Marcum’s 1996 Saturn, abandoned in a parking garage at Denver International Airport, is impounded.

The car had been parked since Feb. 18, but surveillance video doesn’t show who was driving it.

Two certified letters were sent to Marcum’s last address, but they went unanswered.

New York City. (photos4travel.com)

New York City. (photos4travel.com)

Scott Kimball’s FBI handler, Carle Schlaff, starts asking questions about Jennifer Marcum, who disappeared while Kimball was supposed to be keeping an eye on her in his role as an informant.

Kimball tells Schlaff that Jennifer bought a $600 gun and flew to New York City to kill a member of her boyfriend Steve Ennis’ drug ring.

Airline records show that Marcum never flew out of town the weekend her car was abandoned at Denver International Airport.

(Date is approximate.)

Scott Kimball receives his first recorded payment from the FBI: $600 for services.

fbiFBI 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.

Arnold Flowers and girlfriend Sompong Khamsomphou are convicted by a jury in Anchorage of criminal tampering with a witness. They are acquitted of the more serious charges of plotting a murder-for-hire, which Scott Kimball had accused them of orchestrating 15 months earlier.

Kimball testifies at the trial.

A month later, Flowers is sentenced to eight years in prison and Khamsomphou gets five years behind bars.

(Date is approximate)

Kimball's Denver mugshot. (Courtesy of Denver police)

Kimball's Denver mugshot. (Courtesy of Denver police)

At the behest of FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff, Scott Kimball is arrested in Denver on suspicion of violating his probation from his 1999 forgery case in Spokane, Wash.

A warrant had been issued three weeks earlier, accusing Kimball of failing to report to a supervisor with the Washington Department of Corrections.

Lori McLeod, then Kimball’s girlfriend, says Schlaff deliberately disabled Kimball’s Jeep so Denver police could swoop in on him and arrest him. She says it was Schlaff’s way of reminding Kimball who was boss in their agent-informant relationship.

Kimball was taken to Denver County Jail.

Jennifer Marcum in 2001. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)

Jennifer Marcum in 2001. (Courtesy of Bob Marcum)

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)

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.

Read the motion and order to dismiss charges against Kimball. (PDF)

fbiThe FBI reactivates Kimball’s status as a “cooperating witness” 10 days after his release from Denver County Jail.

Carle Schlaff, from his Facebook page. (Facebook.com)

FBI Agent Carle Schlaff files an affidavit in federal court in Denver seeking a warrant to search Jennifer Marcum’s car, which was found abandoned at DIA earlier in the year.

“The whereabouts of Jennifer Marcum cannot be determined and there is probable cause to believe that she is a victim of a homicide,” Schlaff concludes.

He notes that Scott Kimball had contact with Jennifer before her disappearance but doesn’t finger him as a suspect.

Read Carle Schlaff’s affidavit here. (PDF)

Kimball's rental property in Adams County. (Lafayette police)

Kimball's rental property in Adams County. (Lafayette police)

The FBI pays Scott Kimball $2,000 in relocation expenses so he can move from his Lakewood condo to a home in rural Adams County, at 14701 Huron St.

Kimball moves into the new property with his girlfriend, Lori McLeod, and her daughter, Kaysi.

Three weeks later, the FBI pays Kimball another $500 to cover expenses at his new house.

Scott Kimball is issued a Colorado driver’s license under the name Joseph Lee Scott, his FBI alias.

The FBI pays Scott Kimball $18,000 for cooperating as a witness in the Alaska murder-for-hire case against Arnold Flowers and Sompong Khamsomphou.

The boyfriend-girlfriend team was convicted of criminal tampering with a witness, but acquitted of plotting to have four people killed.

Alaska mugA federal judge in Denver sentences Scott Kimball to three years of supervised release as part of his plea deal in the 2001 Alaska check-fraud case.

Judge Marcia S. Krieger agrees to give Kimball a minimal sentence on his fifth felony, recognizing that he has been helpful in his cooperation with the government.

She orders him to pay Wells Fargo $8,287.94 in restitution, and chastises him for failing to be forthcoming about his personal finances even as he accepts “substantial funds” from the FBI.

Krieger says Kimball’s actions smack of an attitude of “I’m happy to turn other people in, but I don’t want to be held fully accountable for my own behavior.”

He is also barred from owning firearms.

Read a transcript of the sentencing hearing. (PDF)

Scott Kimball gave this lease to his FBI handler to explain why he had Jennifer Marcum’s belongings. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)

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.

(Date is approximate.)

Bob Marcum holds a picture of his daughter at age 8. (Kristen Schmid Schurter/for the Camera)

Bob Marcum holds a picture of his daughter at age 8. (Kristen Schmid Schurter/for the Camera)

After trying for more than a year to find the man with their daughter’s belongings, Bob Marcum and Mary Willis fly to Denver and put up fliers of Jennifer Marcum all over town.

Bob Marcum talks again with FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff, pushing for information about the man with Jennifer’s furniture.

Schlaff won’t give up the man’s name, but eventually gives Marcum a cell-phone number for Scott Kimball.

Ask for Joe Snitch, the agent says.

(Date is approximate.)

The contract found in Scott Kimball's possession, apparently meant for Mary Willis. (Courtesy of Lafayette police)

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.

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Less than two weeks after meeting “Joe Snitch” in a Broomfield park, Jennifer Marcum’s mother, Mary Willis, records a phone conversation with Scott Kimball, referring to him as Joe.

Willis demands to know more about Jennifer but says she won’t strip naked and let Kimball demonstrate how her daughter was killed.

“You had your chance,” says Kimball, who wanted Willis to sign a contract allowing him to have sex with her in an effort to re-create Jennifer’s murder.

Read More >>

In its final recorded payment to Scott Kimball, the FBI gives him $50 to cover expenses.

Scott Kimball is officially deactivated by the FBI as an informant.

It’s not clear exactly when or why, but at some point in the fall of 2005, Special Agent Carle Schlaff had been removed from the case.

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.”