Sunday, June 24, 2012
In light of Kimberlin's recent mention in the news and the blogosphere, I wanted to know more about this man: who he is and what he's done. The book is fascinating. I have already read the first 22 chapters.
Kimberlin was a major supplier of marijuana to drug dealers in the late 1970's. He flew in tons of the stuff from Columbia on cargo planes. He had an extensive drug-dealing network and made hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions. He was often flush with cash.
Two questions about Kimberlin's past are of greatest interest to me. They are:
(1) What part did he play, if any, in the professional hit of Julia Scyphers, and
(2) Was he guilty of being the "Speedway Bomber," the party who set eight bombs in the Indiana suburb of Indianapolis, in 1978? Kimberlin has always strenuously and angrily denied any part in the bombings.
The book gives compelling reasons to believe that he may have been involved in both crimes. The first, the murder of Mrs. Scyphers, is not as clear. She was the grandmother of Jessica Barton, a young teenager and daughter of a close friend of Kimberlin. Kimberlin was was obviously quite smitten with Jessica, taking her for one week vacations to places like Hawaii, just the two of them. Disturbed by Kimberlin's undue interest in her minor granddaughter, Mrs. Scyphers tried to stop the relationship. That is the only known motive by anyone for executing this church-going grandma who had no enemies. The hit man was not Brett Kimberlin; he was seen by Fred Scyphers, husband of Julia, as he drove up to their house, and again as he was hurriedly backing out of their driveway following the hit. Fred later identified the man in police mugshots, said he was convinced that it was the same man -- an associate of Kimberlin -- but Fred died of a heart attack before he could testify. The mugshot man had an alibi and was never charged for the crime, which remains unsolved.
The evidence for Kimberlin being the Speedway Bomber is much more compelling. I'll get into that in a later post.
Mark Singer, the author of the book, had many hours of interviews with Brett Kimberlin, his family and acquaintances. Singer is no conservative. He's a liberal and a friend of leftist cartoonist Garry Trudeau. His writing is quite good and the book is a page-turner.
The book is no longer in print. I had to buy a used copy from a third party associate of Amazon.