Chapter 4: Catch and Release

March 10th, 2010

Back behind bars, Kimball tells the FBI he can help find Jennifer Marcum’s killer

By John Aguilar
Camera Staff Writer

FBI Special Agent Carle Schlaff had some questions for his informant, Scott Kimball.


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Jennifer Marcum.

Read about Jennifer Marcum's life

Kimball had been released from prison to keep tabs on a 25-year-old woman, and she hadn’t been heard from in weeks.

Where is Jennifer Marcum? Schlaff asked.

She had flown to New York to kill the drug dealer scheduled to testify against her boyfriend, Kimball told the agent. She had even bought a $600 revolver for the job, he said.

Schlaff investigated the claims.

According to Denver International Airport parking records, Jennifer’s car had been abandoned there in the early-morning hours of Feb. 18, 2003. But Jennifer never flew out of town that weekend, according to airline records.

The agent also noted that both Jennifer’s and Kimball’s cell phones, usually busy with activity, went dead on Feb. 17. Neither had any incoming or outgoing calls in the next three days.

Fed up with Kimball’s stories, Schlaff revoked his informant’s protected status on May 30.

June 17-20, 2003

The agent alerted Denver police that Kimball was wanted on a probation violation in a forgery case in Washington state. Kimball was arrested June 17 and booked into Denver County Jail.

Denver police arrested Scott Kimball on June 17, 2003. (Courtesy of Denver police)

Behind bars, he vowed to come clean.

A drug dealer had strangled Jennifer to death, he told Schlaff.

Kimball had even seen pictures of her body — hands and legs bound, mouth taped shut — on the drug dealer’s laptop, he said. In fact, the dealer 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.

A polygraph test, administered by Denver police, showed he was telling the truth.

Kimball said he hadn’t told the agent earlier because he still had active criminal cases “and needed to hold this information until it was of direct benefit to him.”

He told Schlaff he could help catch the killer.

The agent, reassured that Kimball could still be a valuable informant, petitioned law-enforcement officials in Spokane, Wash., to drop their warrant so Kimball could continue assisting in the Jennifer Marcum investigation.

“Agent Schloff (sic) is requesting that the bench warrant issued be quashed so Mr. Kimball can re-establish contact with the individuals who informed him of the murder, in an attempt to get the body’s exact location,” a Washington Department of Corrections supervisor wrote to a Spokane County Superior Court judge.

Warrant dismissed, Kimball was released from jail June 20.

The FBI reactivated his status as a “cooperating witness” 10 days later.

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

July 10, 2003

Schlaff explained the case in an affidavit filed in federal court in Denver.

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

But no arrests were made, and nobody was charged in her death.

Meanwhile, Kimball had moved on.

February 2003

Lori McLeod, a 39-year-old regular at Boston Five Card poker, noticed the man with an easy smile and pleasant demeanor as he pushed his wheelchair-bound mother up to her table at the Lodge Casino at Black Hawk.

Scott Kimball was handsome and smooth-talking, secure in what he said and how he said it, McLeod thought. An attentive son, he treated his mother like an angel, catering to her every need.

The Lodge Casino at Black Hawk, where Kimball met Lori McLeod. (blackhawkcolorado.com)

Kimball was interested in McLeod, too.

Noticing their chemistry, the dealer told McLeod during a break in play that she should give the guy her number. Leaning into Kimball later, McLeod joked: “Wait, you’re not a felon or anything, are you?”

They laughed. They talked some more. Kimball asked her out.

Less than a week later — on Valentine’s Day — they began dating.

They met at a Bennigan’s. Kimball brought McLeod flowers. He held the door open for her.

“He was funny. He was fun,” McLeod remembers. “He was smooth.”

Within a matter of days, McLeod introduced her new boyfriend to her daughter, Kaysi, an attractive 19-year-old whose life had taken some turbulent turns.

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