A man convicted along with his mother of murdering a missing Manhattan socialite has revealed to police that he dumped her corpse in a building excavation hole in New Jersey, a detective involved in the case said today.
Kenneth Kimes, 25, is serving a prison sentence of 125 years to life for the murder of 82-year-old Irene Silverman, who disappeared on July 5, 1998.
Kimes told police sources during an interview Tuesday that he threw Silverman’s body into a ditch at a New Jersey construction site 35 to 40 minutes from the Holland Tunnel.
The confession, which comes after 28 months of denying any wrongdoing, has encouraged police to find Silverman’s body, sources said.
“He expressed a willingness to help us find the body,” said a law enforcement source.
Kimes’ lawyer Mel Sachs said he was surprised at the so-called confession because his client has always denied the charges.
“I am totally taken aback because he has always denied any involvement in the disappearance of Irene Silveman,” said Mel Sachs.
Kimes Drove Body to New Jersey
The detective, who spoke on condition he would not be identified, said Kimes admitted that after killing Silverman, he wrapped her body in heavy-duty garbage bags, stuffed it in a duffel bag, put it in the trunk of his car and drove to New Jersey, where he dumped it, the detective said.
“Kimes told us the building where he dumped Silverman’s body was under construction, and he dumped the body inside the hole. He said he doesn’t know the city or the town where he dumped the body but that it was close to the water,” the detective said.
Another New York City Police detective, Joseph Reznick, also said authorities had talked to a witness who said she saw a car similar to Kimes’ in New Jersey on the day Silverman vanished.
The detective said Kimes decided to talk in hopes of reducing the eight years he has been ordered to spend in solitary confinement.
He was ordered into solitary confinement after taking a television reporter hostage for several hours last month during an interview at the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York.
Kimes had been renting an apartment in the wealthy widow’s Manhattan townhouse, and prosecutors say he and his mother were scheming to steal her home and money by forging documents and her signature.
Silverman had grown suspicious and was preparing to evict Kimes when she disappeared, prosecutors said. Kimes and his mother, Sante Kimes, 66, were both convicted of the Silverman murder as well as conspiracy, forgery, robbery and other charges. Sante Kimes was sentenced to 120 and two-thirds years to life in prison.
They are also charged with the March 1998 murder of David Kazdin, a former business associate, in California and face extradition in that case.