Sante Kimes Biography

Murderer, Thief (1934–2014)
Sante Kimes was a convicted murderer who killed socialite Irene Silverman in a scheme to seize property.


Born on July 24, 1934 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Sante Kimes became involved in a variety of crimes, including insurance fraud and assaults. In 1998, she and her son Kenneth murdered 82-year-old socialite Irene Silverman in a scheme to seize her property. They were convicted of the crime in 2000. Also implicated in the murder of David Kadzin, Kimes is serving life in prison.

Early Life

Con artist and murderer Sante Louise Singhrs was born in July 1934 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The third of four children born to an East Indian father and an Irish mother, Sante Kimes was raised in foster homes and orphanages. After running wild in Los Angeles, she was adopted in seventh grade by Edwin and Mary Chambers and moved to Carson City to live with them. After her high school graduation 1952, Sante married her high school sweetheart, Lee Powers, but divorced him three months later.

Criminal Activity

After marrying yet another high school admirer, Edward Walker, in 1956, and having his child, Sante Kimes returned to Los Angeles where she turned to prostitution and theft. Soon after, she met Kenneth Kimes, a millionaire hustler who grew up in California as a migrant farm worker. They married and had a son, Kenny, who grew up learning the tricks of the trade. Sante was constantly getting arrested for theft and insurance fraud.

Sante Kimes was also running a slave trade, grabbing girls off the streets in Mexico and bringing them to her homes with promises of a big salary and a better life. Instead, she paid them nothing, kept them locked up, tortured them and made them work constantly. After several girls escaped and went to the police, Sante was sentenced to five years in prison.

After prison, Sante ensured she never got sent back by making a practice of killing witnesses to her crimes. These murders included lawyer Elmer Golmgren, banker Sayed Bilal Ahmed and businessman David Kazdin. When Kenny left home to attend the University of California at Santa Barbara, Sante and the elder Ken lived off-campus with him. Ken Kimes died in 1994, but Sante hid the death from their son because his will had not been updated to name her as the benefactor.

In July 1998, Sante and Kenny murdered 83-year-old socialite Irene Silverman in her Upper East Side New York apartment. Posing as renters, they gained access to the mansion, intending to tell servants that Silverman had sold Sante the apartment before leaving on a long European vacation. They were tried and convicted in 2000; Sante was sentenced to 120 in prison years and Kenny, 125. The trial for the murder of David Kazdin followed in June 2004; each received another life sentence for his murder.

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