Three Colorado women murdered and the search for a serial killer named “Hannibal”


This story previously aired on Aug. 20, 2011. It was updated on June 15, 2024.

The disappearance of three women in the early 2000s led their families on paths filled with twists and turns that would prove to be the ultimate tests of love and determination. The cases also challenged the intelligence and skill of two investigators, one a local police officer and the other a seasoned FBI agent, who were brought together to unlock the mystery between the cases. Their work revealed a killer with the chilling nickname of Hannibal. His ultimate identity would shock everyone involved. 

WHERE’S KAYSI MCLEOD? 

For Rob McLeod, checking his daughter’s website is a daily ritual. He said he visits “… just to see her. Just for a sec… And then there’s been real emotional days that I can’t possibly look at her pictures.”

That’s because his 19-year-old daughter, Kaysi, vanished in August 2003.

Rob McLeod described his daughter as “bright and bubbly and fun. … She was a very happy, easy to get along with, wanting to please type of kid.”

“She danced and sang all the time … all around the house all the time,” her mother, Lori McLeod told  “48 Hours” correspondent Harold Dow.

Kaysi was the couple’s only child; when she was a toddler, they doted on her. 

“Kaysi was brought up in bubble wrap,” Lori McLeod explained. “We protected her from everything.”

But Kaysi’s sheltered life didn’t last long; her parents divorced when she was four and as she got older, Kaysi grew rebellious.

“She was buttin’ heads with her mom and started smoking and started engaging in behavior in high school that her mom didn’t approve of,” Rob McLeod explained. “And she just packed her up and moved her down to her aunt’s in Arizona.”

Phoenix was Kaysi’s new home and it was where she met best friend, Tabetha Morton.

“We were both turning 16, I believe when I met her,” Morton recalled. “We were so close, literally, that we were practically attached at the hip. Because we worked together, we were going to school together, and we spent so much of our personal time together.”

But after high school, Morton said Kaysi fell in with the wrong crowd.  

“… there was a girl that decided to move in with her … this girl was heavy into drugs and she was bringing lots of people who were using drugs to the house quite often. Kaysi kind of fell into that,” Morton explained. “When I noticed that something was wrong, I called her aunt. And I said, ‘I think that Kaysi’s in some trouble.'”

Kaysi was sent back to Colorado in late 2001. 

“It didn’t change our friendship,” Morton continued. “I think it actually made it stronger, because she knew I was really looking out for her.”

“She had a few months of drug use but, that’s not who she was,” Lori McLeod said.

As Kaysi settled back into her old surroundings, a new man, named Scott Kimball, entered her mother’s life.

“He was great and he was very charming and funny and smart. Very appealing,” Lori McLeod told Dow.

Now living with Scott and Lori, Kaysi seemed to be getting her life back on track with new friends and a new job. But then came a shocking disappointment; Scott McLeod found drugs in the house.  

“And when I confronted Kaysi, she swore to me that they weren’t hers,” Lori McLeod said. “She begged me to get a drug test. And I didn’t believe her.”

When Lori McLeod threatened to turn her daughter in to police, Kaysi took off down the road on her bicycle.  When asked what she thought happened to Kaysi, Lori McLeod replied, “I thought she took off because I didn’t believe her … I worried sick about her … I drove around looking for her.”

At first, Rob McLeod was angry; Kaysi had run away before. 

“I was worried about her,” he admitted, “but not to the point that I thought any foul play happened. I figured she was over … found a friend and was crashing over at their place. She’d call or eventually just show up like she had before.”

Two days later, when Kaysi failed to show up for her shift at a sandwich shop, Lori McLeod became frantic.

“I went to the police and they told me that it was not my right to find her,” she said.  “‘Kaysi was over 18, she was not a runaway. She simply left.'”

Lori McLeod said she wasn’t even able to file a missing persons report. “The police won’t allow that. They told me there had to be blood evidence of foul play in order to file a missing persons report.” 

At least Lori McLeod had the support of Scott Kimball, who had important law enforcement contacts. “He worked for the FBI,” she explained. “He helped catch bad guys.”

When Kaysi disappeared, Lori McLeod said she talked to Kimball. He told her with his connections with the FBI, “we’ll find her.”

Desperate, Lori McLeod even married Kimball, seeing him as the only hope to finding her daughter.  And sure enough, he turned up a few leads, including evidence that Kaysi had stopped by the house very recently, when no one was home. 

“He found Kaysi’s necklace on her bedroom [doorknob] handle,” Lori McLeod said 

Even more promising, Kimball found a neighbor who said he had seen Kaysi weeks after she disappeared. “And the neighbor said that Kaysi had been at the house with her boyfriend and his sister,” Lori McLeod recalled. 

Back in Phoenix, Morton was also frantically looking for her friend. “I called everybody that we knew.  I set up a MySpace page for her — contacted people from high school, passed out flyers.”

Weeks, then months, went by. When Kaysi still hadn’t been heard from for over a year, Morton became convinced that her friend hadn’t run away and that something more serious had happened.    

“It just became more and more unlike her not to get a hold of me in some way through an email or give me a call, something like that,” Morton said. 

“The most unbearable thing for me to think of my daughter is that someone took her — something precious, something important to me, and destroyed it and threw it away like it wasn’t important to anybody,” said Rob McLeod. 

Together, Rob McLeod and Morton began to wonder if the key to Kaysi’s disappearance might be much closer to home. 

According to Morton, “It was just this nagging feeling that kept going through my head that there was something more than what we were finding.” 

LEANN EMRY VANISHES

“Over a course of time, you’re wondering, ‘Where is she?’ You know? ‘Is she hurt? Is she hungry?'”  These thoughts tormented Rob McLeod from the time his daughter, Kaysi, vanished in August 2003.  What he didn’t know was that another Colorado father was asking those very same questions.

“You wonder, ‘where is she? Has she been kidnapped?’ You wonder what in the world has happened to her,” said Howard Emry.

Seven months before Kaysi McLeod disappeared, Emry’s 24-year-old daughter, LeAnn, had also mysteriously vanished.

Emry has spent countless hours replaying LeAnn’s life; a life that began full of promise. “She was a straight-A student in high school,” he told Dow. “… actually graduated a year early in high school.”

But LeAnn’s life soon spiraled downwards. Her mother’s severe health problems kept Leann from finishing college, she lost her job as a veterinarian’s assistant and she landed in an abusive marriage. 

“I think that was almost the turning point,” Emry recalled. “I think she had a real feeling that she really wasn’t worth much and she couldn’t do much.”

In 2002, LeAnn left her husband. But her father was still concerned, because she began a relationship with a prisoner named Steven Holley. Emry hoped a new hobby might turn things around. 

“What did she like about caving?” Dow asked.

“I think it was the adventure of the unknown,” Emry replied. “When she put her mind to do something, she would do it.”

On Jan. 16, 2003, LeAnn’s car, with its unique license plate, pulled out of the driveway.

“The dog she loved the most was Dalmatians,” Howard explained. “On her car… she had a license plate that said ‘DalGal.'”

LeAnn said she was headed for a caving trip in Mexico with friends. But two weeks later, Emry got a call that still haunts him; it was the sheriff’s department in Moab, Utah.

“And they say, ‘Well, I hate to tell you, but we found her car abandoned in the Canyon Lands in Moab, Utah, just yesterday.’ They told me about the license plate and I knew immediately, ‘Yeah, this is LeAnn’s car.'”

Brent Pace, a seasoned investigator and tracker with Utah’s Grand County Sheriff’s Office, could tell someone had picked LeAnn up. “All her clothes, stuff like that, was left in her car,” he said.  

Pace took “48 Hours” to the clearing where her car was found.

“The car was actually pulled straight into [the clearing], like you drove off this road and pulled in right here,” he said pointing to the spot. “Then the driver got out walked back and got in another vehicle.” 

“One set of shoe prints leaving this car to another set of tire tracks,” Pace continued. “Because of that, we were kind of concerned, you know, that maybe something did happen out here.”

Like the McLeods, Howard Emry tried to file a missing persons report in Colorado, but was shut down. So he decided to play detective himself. 

“I wanted to know why she was gone. I mean, there’s obviously a million questions here,” he said.

Using credit card records, Emry pieced together LeAnn’s trail in the weeks before she disappeared. He discovered she didn’t go to Mexico and she was leading a secret life. 

LeAnn spent the 10 days before she vanished traveling through the western United States writing bad checks and charging thousands of dollars to her father’s credit card. 

“I was totally bewildered,” Emry said. “She was either threatened or blackmailed … She would not have done this on her own.”

It seemed Emry was right. He came across several emails that LeAnn had sent to a cousin just days before she left. The emails hinted that she was in trouble, but was being protected by someone with a curious nickname.

“She said, ‘As for “Hannibal,” I think … I think I can trust him. He’s actually protecting me.’  My thought was protecting her from what?” Emry said.

A few clues arrived in several cryptic letters from LeAnn’s prison boyfriend, Steven Holley. 

“Basically, he told me that she was in terrible danger and ‘please call the FBI immediately,'” Emry told Dow.

Alarmed, Emry went to visit Holley, who told him that “Hannibal” was a former inmate he had put LeAnn in touch with.

“And I say, ‘Tell me about “Hannibal.” Do you think he would hurt my daughter?’ He says, ‘Well, I really don’t think “Hannibal” would hurt LeAnn … but “Hannibal” does know some people that wouldn’t hesitate to kill LeAnn if he asked them to do it.'”

Holley refused to reveal “Hannibal’s” true identity. And when Emry brought Holley’s story to the FBI, the agent he spoke to dismissed it as pure fiction.  

“There’s a possible kidnapping here,” Emry said, “and yet he showed no interest whatsoever.”

As time passed, everyone was left with more questions than when they began; even Brent Pace, who kept up the search.  

“It’s hard to be involved in a case and not know the whys — why this happened,” Pace explained. “These kinda cases, it’s somebody’s child, a human being, so those are questions you really want answered.”

But no one realized “Hannibal” was actually working for the FBI and was married to Lori McLeod. 

“Hannibal’s” real name? Scott Kimball.

JENNIFER MARCUM DISAPPEARS

Lori McLeod began having suspicions about Scott Kimball after they were married in August 2003, the same month her daughter Kaysi went missing.

“Off and on he would say things that didn’t feel right, and again, when I would question him, he would make me feel I was losing my mind,” she said. “And to be perfectly honest, I wanted to feel that what I was thinking wasn’t right.”

It wasn’t until two years later that Lori McLeod shared some disturbing information with her ex-husband, Rob McLeod. “And I’m talking to Lori … and she goes, ‘Well, that whole weekend Kaysi went missing is not quite what I told you. There’s a little more to it than that.’ She said Kimball took off the same weekend Kaysi did on a solo mystery.”

Lori and Rob McLeod weren’t the only ones asking questions.  In early 2006, Scott Kimball became a suspect in a case that Lafayette, Colorado, Detective Gary Thatcher was investigating.

Asked when he had first heard the name Scott Kimball, Thatcher said, “It was when I had an officer come to me with this check fraud case. That was the first time I heard about him.”

Thatcher learned that Kimball’s “job” with the FBI was as a paid criminal informant.  He was also a con artist who had spent most of his life wracking up felony convictions and prison time all over the western U.S.  

But when Thatcher went to find Kimball, he was gone.

“Well, it was January of 2006… Initially, I was talking to Lori about where is Scott Kimball and then she dropped that on me — is that Kaysi’s missing and she’s suspicious of Scott,” Thatcher said.  “You know, that was the eye opener. The check fraud is important here, but there’s a much bigger picture to this investigation.” 

A warrant was put out for Scott Kimball’s arrest.  Two months later, U.S. Marshals tracked him down. After a dramatic, high-speed chase through California’s Coachella Valley, they arrested the con man.  

With Kimball safely in custody, Thatcher made a vow to Rob McLeod. 

“And he says, ‘Rob where there’s smoke there’s fire.’ He says, ‘I will not forget Kaysi. I will not rest until we find out what happened to her,'” Rob McLeod told Dow.

hannibal-sneakpeek.jpg
Jennifer Marcum, left, LeAnn Emry, center, and Kaysi McLeod.

As Thatcher dug deeper, he learned from the FBI that Kimball was connected, years earlier, to yet another missing Colorado woman named Jennifer Marcum. 

“And so now it was just one more thing added on to the pile of suspicion,” he said.

Jennifer Marcum was a struggling single mother who worked as a stripper. On Feb. 17, 2003, she visited her boyfriend, drug dealer Steve Ennis, in prison.  Shortly after that visit, she vanished.

Like the other fathers, Bob Marcum was stumped about his daughter’s disappearance.

“Just total anxiety … beginning to wonder, ‘Where is she?'” he said. “And all you can do is hope maybe she’d been arrested, somehow put in jail and that that’s where she’s at.”

Marcum went through that for a year. Then one day, his phone rang; it was an FBI agent named Carle Schlaff. 

“They asked if Jennifer was there. I said ‘No,'” Marcum explained. “At that point, he said that something bad may have happened to her.” 

Schlaff revealed that Jennifer’s car had been found abandoned at the Denver airport.

“It was after a while that we found out that they had found it a year before and nobody had contacted us,” Marcum said. “I couldn’t believe it.”

Marcum kept pressing Schlaff for answers. So the agent set up a meeting with his informant who had once shared a prison cell with Jennifer’s boyfriend.  That informant was Scott Kimball.

“He told me he knew. He told me he knew where she was, how she died, how it happened, everything,” said Jennifer’s mother, Mary Willis.

Willis came with Marcum to a park to meet Scott Kimball.  He told them that Jennifer had been killed by some of her boyfriend’s drug associates. Kimball said he had even seen pictures of her dead.

“He told me she was strangled. She was tied up and she was strangled from behind. And she put up a fight,” Willis told Dow. “I was thinking, ‘How could he know this?'”

Then, Kimball made Jennifer’s parents a chilling offer.

Marcum explained, “When we were done with the conversation, gettin’ ready to leave, then he came up and said, ‘ If you stay until tomorrow, I’ll go up in the mountains with you and take you up in the mountains to show you where she’s at.'”

Neither Marcum, nor his ex-wife, took him up on the offer.

“When we got done talkin’ at the picnic table and stuff, I’d already decided that Scott Kimball had killed my daughter,” Marcum explained. “I thought that if we went in the mountains with him the next day that they’d never see us again.”

When Jennifer’s parents brought their suspicions to Schlaff, he dismissed them and defended his informant.  

“He trusted Scott Kimball and never should have trusted Scott Kimball … I always had the impression that the FBI had us meet Scott to make it so we would feel badly about what Jennifer was doing and how she had been living her life. And I didn’t care, because I loved Jennifer,” Marcum said, overcome with emotion. “And no matter what she did, we want her back. And they, I think, they really thought that by doing this we would become one of the families that would just turn around and get into an airplane and go home.  And Jennifer would just be disappeared.”

So Marcum took matters into his own hands and put up a billboard next to the strip club where Jennifer had once danced.  “We wanted to try and find out if someone would come forward with some information about her,” he said.

And it worked.

“June of 2006, this would [have] been a couple months after Scott was apprehended, I’m reading in the newspaper about Bob Marcum putting up a billboard for his missing daughter, Jennifer Marcum,” Rob McLeod told Dow. “And as I’m reading the story, I come across Scott Kimball’s name in the story. He is the last one Jennifer is spending time with.  My heart about leapt out of my chest.”

“When Rob called he said, ‘We have something in common,'” Marcum recalled. “And he said, ‘My daughter disappeared. And my ex-wife is married to Scott Kimball.'”

Hungry for more information, Marcum went to see Lori McLeod.

“And then I asked Lori, ‘Is there anyone else that you can think of that you’ve been around, you and Scott, that you haven’t ever seen again,'” Marcum said. “And it was just like a light bulb went off in her head. She sat back in the chair. And then she goes, ‘Oh, my God.’ She says, ‘Uncle Terry came and lived with us for a couple weeks. And then he left.  And we’ve never seen him again.'”

Scott Kimball’s uncle, Terry Kimball had vanished from their home in 2004.

“I immediately knew that I finally had something that I could go to the FBI with,” said Marcum.

So together, Marcum and Rob McLeod — two fathers with missing daughters — marched into the FBI’s Denver office and revealed their suspicions about Scott Kimball to the new supervisor. 

“And the last thing we told him was, ‘You guys have a choice. You could be the hero or the zero. You can either look into it or you could be the zero and ignore it,” Rob McLeod  told Dow. “I think they took it as, ‘Wow, maybe there is something here. We’d better look into it.'”

INVESTIGATING SCOTT KIMBALL

In the fall of 2006, just weeks after Bob Marcum and Rob McLeod met with the FBI, Special Agent Jonathan Grusing was assigned to investigate Scott Kimball. 

“If you had to pick one thing that drives Scott Kimball, what is it?”  Dow asked Grusing. He replied, “Greed, most likely … and not only greed for money, but he craves attention, and he craves power as well.”

Joining Grusing on the case was Det. Gary Thatcher, who was already a year into his own investigation of Scott Kimball. Together, they embarked on the most complex cat-and-mouse game of their careers as they began to interview Kimball, who was still in jail pending fraud charges.

“You know, he’s very good with coming up with stories,” Thatcher pointed out. “And so when you’re sitting there listening to him, you’re thinking, ‘How do I prove this? How do I disprove it? How do I substantiate this with facts?'”

One of Scott Kimball’s stories was that his Uncle Terry, now missing for two years, had won the Ohio Lottery and moved to Mexico with a stripper.

“The Ohio State Lottery never paid out to Terry Kimball, he was never a winner,” Thatcher said.

The investigators suspected Terry was murdered when Scott Kimball discovered he had come into some money from a divorce.

“Terry was carrying around thousands and thousands of dollars in a briefcase he wouldn’t let go of,” Grusing said. “For me, that’s enough motive for him to kill Terry.”

Next, Grusing and Thatcher focused on Jennifer Marcum. She had first come to Scott Kimball’s attention when he shared a cell with her boyfriend, Steve Ennis, in 2002. 

“Scott Kimball saw pictures of Jennifer up on the wall, and she was a very attractive woman. And he made such comments to Steve that he could find her a good job when he got out of prison,” Grusing explained. “His real motive was to have Jennifer for himself.”

The con man also wanted to get out of prison, and he had a plan. Kimball convinced the FBI that Jennifer Marcum was part of a murder-for-hire plot.

“No information that I have says that she even knew about this plot that Scott was spinning when he was there in prison,” Grusing said.

But the FBI bought Scott Kimball’s story at the time, and when he was released in December 2002, he went to work as an informant in the phony case; two months later, Jennifer vanished. 

But while Grusing was trying to figure out what actually happened to Jennifer, he got an unexpected lead.

“So I interviewed Steve Ennis about Jennifer’s disappearance, and at the end of the interview, when we were about to wrap up, he said, ‘Oh, and one other thing. There was another guy down here in the prison that had a girlfriend disappear that Scott might have had something to do with.'”

That inmate was Steven Holley, LeAnn Emry’s boyfriend.

Grusing said, “I spoke with Mr. Emry and said, ‘I’m doin’ an investigation. I’m tryin’ to speak with LeAnn Emry.’ And he said, ‘We haven’t seen LeAnn since 2003.’ That did send a chill down my spine. Because I knew then that this was gonna be another victim of Scott Kimball.”

Investigators, including Boulder County Prosecutor Amy Okubo, felt they could prove that when they found LeAnn’s picture, her hair dyed brown, on Scott Kimball’s laptop.  

“Oh my God, the last person that Kaysi was known to be with was Scott Kimball. Oh my God, the last person that Jennifer Marcum was known to be with was Scott Kimball. Oh my God, LeAnn Emry was the last person that Scott Kimball was with. And so, bit by bit, piece by piece, it became apparent just how dangerous he was,” Okubo said.

But there were still no bodies and the con man was admitting to nothing. Investigators kept pushing, and finally in April 2008, Scott Kimball dropped a hint.

“And he said, in this meeting, that there was a girl who died of a drug overdose that was on national forest land,” Grusing said.

Grusing had a receipt showing Kimball was in Walden, Colorado, near a national forest, the same weekend Kaysi McLeod went missing. The FBI special agent called the forest service.

“And I asked if they had any missing people up there,” Grusing explained. “I ended up speaking with, basically, the phone receptionist, and she said, ‘No, but a skull was found up here last winter. So maybe you can check on that.'”

A hunter had stumbled across the skull. Grusing ordered a DNA test on the remains and they proved to be Kaysi McLeod’s. Finally, the Scott Kimball case was an official homicide investigation.

“He went to great lengths to conceal these bodies,” Grusing said. “And I believe he thought no one would ever find them.”

After four long years, Rob McLeod finally had an answer to his prayers. “One way or another she’s coming home. She’s not lost anymore.”

And Lori McLeod’s worst nightmares were realized.

“What do you think really happened?” Dow asked her.

“I believe Scott planted the drugs to set everything up,” Lori McLeod replied.

“To get her out of the house so he can get her?”

“To separate us, yes …”

“You find out that the man you married, the man who said he was gonna help you find Kaysi, you now find out that he may have been the one who killed her?”

“It’s impossible to describe knowing you’ve married your daughter’s murderer.”

But with no evidence of how Kaysi died, and with no other bodies, prosecutors worried they still did not have enough to put Scott Kimball on trial for murder. 

“Meeting after meeting after meeting and briefings and continual, ‘Here’s all the evidence that we have. Do you think we have enough yet?’ And then if not, ‘What can we do to protect the community and return the loved ones bodies?'”  Okubo said.

In December 2008, prosecutors got one step closer to putting Scott Kimball away for good when he was sentenced to 48 years on his recent non-violent crimes. But lead prosecutor Katharina Booth wanted more.

“What we wanted him marked for, of course, is the violent, you know, murderer that he is,” Booth explained.

So prosecutors made a difficult decision and offered Scott Kimball a deal. There would be no charges of first-degree murder if he would lead them to the three missing bodies. He accepted, and in the winter of 2009, led authorities to the remote canyons of eastern Utah, where he claimed they would find the remains of LeAnn Emry and Jennifer Marcum.

“Every day he was full of energy,” Grusing noted. “And he gave us a to-do list, you know, daily of, ‘Did you get satellite imagery? Did you get a plane to fly me over?'”

Kimball spent days leading the FBI and the Grand County, Utah, Sheriff’s Office on a fruitless search for LeAnn. But then, Agent Grusing spotted something.

Grusing found some bones near a big boulder. When asked what he saw, he explained, “There was a rock to the left and I lifted up the rock there was a hair clip with hair.  So I knew that was her.”

Leann Emry had been left on the lonely canyon ledge for six years.  

“She had a high potential and she took a wrong turn … got involved with the wrong people. And — but, she didn’t deserve this,” her father said choking up.

Found near her bones was a spent bullet that matched Kimball’s gun. 

“We believe that Scott marched her up here and executed her,” Grusing told Dow at the site where her remains were found.

“Why do you suppose Scott Kimball murdered LeAnn?” Dow asked.

“LeAnn had been dragged into laundering money for Scott. So, I believe that LeAnn had served her purpose and that he was done with her, and that’s why he took her up here and killed her,” Grusing replied.

Now only one missing woman remained. But is this suspected serial killer finally ready to reveal what happened to Jennifer Marcum? 

UNMASKING “HANNIBAL”

After taking investigators to the body of LeAnn Emry, Scott Kimball told them where to find the remains of his uncle, Terry Kimball. But his leads about Jennifer Marcum’s body in Utah turned up empty.

“I think Scott enjoys manipulating people … he’s very good at twisting the truth,” Grusing said. “We not only searched it with Scott here, we came back and searched it with Grand County, with K-9 units.  We searched it with a geologist.  We’ve flown over it with airplanes.  And nothing’s here.”

“Do you think he has a reason for not taking law enforcement officials to the place where Jennifer’s remains or her body is?” Dow asked.

“I think there’s probably some emotional attachment to Jennifer with Scott,” Grusing replied.

Dow asked Scott Kimball, “do you know exactly where she is?” He replied,  “I know the area. We have to realize I was at the location one time. It was dark. OK. I was there once.”

Scott Kimball insisted he was trying to help find Jennifer. But was it just another con?

“I’ve made every effort to help them with Jennifer,” he said. “I told them I’d take a polygraph to make sure I’m being truthful in the directions that I’ve given them, what I remember.”


Serial killer “Hannibal” speaks

04:46

Grusing described Kimball as “very methodical. He’s very careful where he puts his victims, and I give it basically zero probability that he has forgotten where Jennifer Marcum is.”

Nevertheless, in October 2009, the families of Scott Kimball’s victims gathered in court. 

“It was nice to be able to be there to look him in the eye and, you know, watch him take some accountability,” Thatcher said. 

The con man had been charged with second-degree murder.

JUDGE: Scott Lee Kimball caused the death of Terry Kimball… Scott Lee Kimball caused the death of Jennifer Marcum, LeAnn Emry, and Kaysi McLeod. How do you plead. Guilty or not guilty?          

SCOTT KIMBALL: Guilty 

And with the word “guilty,”  a monumental, six-year case finally came to an end. 

“You never gave up for those families,” Prosecutor Katharina Booth said. “Because you can only imagine the torture they went through and their distress and sadness.”

And now, Bob Marcum and Rob McLeod, the two fathers whose determination forced the FBI to investigate what happened to their daughters, addressed the court. 

“Kaysi McLeod was my firstborn daughter,” Rob said. “I was present right there, the very first moment she took her first breath. Scott Kimball was there to take her last.”

“Scott Kimball has destroyed our lives. Our lives will never be the same,” Marcum said. “How many other people are missing as a result of his life?”

And Howard Emry finally confronted “Hannibal.” 

“My daughter was a young woman with feelings and dreams and to treat her like trash is despicable,” he said. “He is a liar, a deceiver, a murderer,” he said.

For the deaths of four people, Scott Kimball is sentenced to 70 years. He insists he’s not a serial killer.

“I’m just a guy,” he told Harold Dow. “People who call me cold blooded, cold hearted –  you’ll find dozens of people who will just say the opposite. ‘He’ll give you the shirt off his back.'”

Kimball freely admits only to the murder of his own uncle and spoke in riddles about the three young women. 

“I did kill Terry Kimball. I did. And for the other three, I was a mechanism. I was part of the mechanics … Mechanism could be many things,” he said.

“Mechanism could be the person pulling the trigger,” Dow noted.

“It could be. It could be the person that arranged for the hit or the death or whatever you wanna call it. I mean there’s a lot it could be.”

“If there were other people involved who committed the murders, you’re not gonna reveal who it was?” Dow asked.

“Never will I reveal who it was.  I’m not the FBI.  I’m not the police.”

Investigators said Scott Kimball won’t name accomplices for a very good reason: they don’t exist.

“I think the murders of these women are very private to him. I believe there was some sort of sexual attraction for him as well, that he doesn’t like to talk about,” Grusing said. “I believe that’s why he’s able to take responsibility for Uncle Terry’s death, ’cause it was purely for financial gain. But there was something else involved with Scott and these three girls.”

Whatever darkness fueled Kimball’s murderous rampage, the victims’ families are grateful the FBI finally helped unmask the killer. 

When asked if anyone at the FBI ever apologized to him, Rob McLeod said, “Repeatedly. They said we’re sorry this all happened, he hoodwinked us, he’s fooled everybody.”

Yet they remain angry at the system and Agent Carle Schlaff, whose negligence, they said, gave Scott Kimball the freedom to commit the murders.  

“If someone were watching Scott, Kaysi would still be here today,” Lori McLeod said. “Jennifer was the person he was let out of prison to monitor and she went missing almost immediately.”

Jim Davis, now in charge of the FBI’s Denver office, said the agency cannot constantly monitor criminal informants. 

“We can’t control them 24 hours-a-day, we don’t have the resources to do that and we really don’t have the authority to do it,” he explained. ” 

“This case is a tragedy. It’s a tragedy for the victims, it’s a tragedy for the victims’ families,” Davis continued. “But to be clear, the individual responsible for that is Scott Kimball. And it’s not the FBI, it’s not – it’s not anybody else. It’s him. He did it.”

“I guess you were dealing with the devil in this case,” Dow remarked.

“He’s as close as I’ve seen,” said Davis.

What remains are shattered lives, but at least two lost daugh”ters have finally come home. 

“As long as I’m alive, her memory is always gonna be there, Emry said. “And I have to reconcile myself to the fact that I won’t ever see her again.”

“As long as I’m alive, her memory is always gonna be there, Emry said. “And I have to reconcile myself to the fact that I won’t ever see her again.”

“Kaysi’s loss is like the background noise of my life,” said Rob McLeod. “I can find joy and happiness and feel normal a lot of the time.  But when it’s quiet, she’s that background noise that’s always there.”

However, the search for Jennifer Marcum continues. As her father waits for news that may never come, he takes some solace in the fact that it was his perseverance that helped put his daughter’s killer away. 

“The possibility today exists that you may never know where she’s buried,” Dow noted.

“That’s true. I really would like to have my daughter’s body back,” Marcum said. “But knowing that Scott Kimball is in prison and that he’s not going to be getting out of prison for at least 35 years means more to me than you can imagine. And to me, my daughter’s soul is in heaven. And wherever her body is, it’ll be joined back with her soul someday.”

In 2017, Scott Kimball was charged with solicitation of murder and attempted to escape from prison.

In 2020, four years were added to his previous 70-year prison sentence.  


Produced by Lourdes Aguiar; Field Producer, Cindy Cesare.



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