Irene Silverman’s friends and loved ones were shocked beyond belief when she suddenly went missing from her New York City townhouse in 1998. Although the police never managed to recover her body, detectives soon found evidence suggesting she had been murdered. ‘Blood and Money: High Society Schemers’ chronicles the gruesome crime and follows the investigation that brought the perpetrators to justice. Let’s delve into the details surrounding the crime and find out what happened to Irene Silverman, shall we?
How Did Irene Silverman Die?
A wealthy widow, Irene Silverman, was 82 at the time of her death. She resided in a multi-million dollar New York City townhouse and was well-respected in her community. In fact, Irene’s loved ones mentioned that she loved meeting new people and would often throw lavish parties with expensive champagne. She even indulged in a luxurious lifestyle and would shop and eat at expensive restaurants. However, despite her desire to live fully, Irene was extraordinarily generous and never hesitated to help the people around her. Moreover, since she was fond of company, she decided the townhouse was too big to stay in alone.
As a result, Irene began renting the rooms out to wealthy clients after a thorough background check. Yet, people had no idea this would claim her life forever. She went missing from her New York City townhouse on July 5, 1998. Her weekend housekeeper, Aracelis Riviera, was the first to notice her missing when she discovered the locked door to her room. The household staff managed to break into the room, yet the 82-year-old was nowhere to be found, and Aracelis soon informed the police about the situation.
Once law enforcement officers took over the investigation, they organized several search parties to look for the missing woman. Furthermore, because of Irene’s age, her case was given special priority, and detectives even canvassed her house and interviewed the staff during the initial search. Yet, most people insisted that she never stepped out of her house without a companion and that the circumstances around her disappearance were very strange. Besides, readers should note that although Irene’s body hasn’t been found to this day, she is believed to be tasered before being strangled to death.
Sante and Kenny Kimes: The Masterminds Behind the Murder
When investigating the incident, the police learned that Irene had gotten into an argument with one of her tenants shortly before her disappearance. While housekeepers mentioned that she and the tenant in question could not see eye to eye, detectives found evidence suggesting that the 82-year-old was about to evict him. Subsequently, the police identified the tenant as Manny Guerrin but noticed that his room had been locked and empty since Irene disappeared. On top of that, people talked about his behavior, stating how he would often try to avoid the cameras around the townhouse and never allow any staff member to enter or clean his room.
When looking into Manny, the police discovered he had approached Irene through her butcher and paid for a room upfront. Not just that, he resided with a woman named Eva Guerrero, who was introduced to the house staff as his assistant. Nevertheless, staff members helped the police create sketches for the missing tenants. Once detectives informed other police stations in the area, they learned that two suspects of the same description had already been arrested on an unrelated grand theft charge.
These suspects were Sante Kimes and her son, Kenny Kimes, who claimed they weren’t involved in Irene’s disappearance. Regardless, authorities arrested them once Irene’s credit card, the apartment key, and $10000 cash were discovered in their possession. With neither Kenny nor Sante willing to talk about the incident, the police continued their investigation and soon managed to locate their car. Inside the vehicle, authorities found unused syringes, a stun gun, a 9mm handgun, a black duffel bag big enough to carry a body, and an ample supply of the date rape drug Rohypnol.
Although such evidence indicated that the duo was responsible for killing Irene, authorities had no concrete evidence to tie them to the crime. Meanwhile, Sante launched her own press campaign from prison and insisted that she was innocent. However, the police were listening in on her calls and finally made a breakthrough when she called a private investigator asking him to retrieve a bag from a hotel room. Once authorities had the bag in their possession, they went through it and found notebooks describing how Sante and her son, Kenny, had planned on duping Irene Silverman.
Additionally, detectives discovered a .22 caliber handgun, four social security cards, plastic handcuffs, wigs, identification for Manny Guerrin and Eva Guerrero, and a forged deed indicating that Irene had sold them the townhouse for $300,000. Such incriminating evidence was enough to warrant a trial, and while the police failed to find the victim’s body, Sante and Kenny Kimes were each convicted of three counts of second-degree murder, one count of robbery and conspiracy, 16 counts of forgery, as well as 29 counts of eavesdropping. In addition, Kenny was convicted on two additional counts of possessing a forged instrument.
As a result, Sante was sentenced to 120 years in prison, and Kenny was handed a 125-year sentence in 2000. Interestingly, in October of 2000, the latter held a reporter hostage for several hours as he did not want authorities to deport his mother to California, where they both faced a homicide charge for the murder of David Kazdin. Eventually, Kenny accepted a plea deal and agreed to come clean about Irene Silverman and David Kazdin’s murders if the prosecutors took the death penalty off the table.
As a result, in 2004, Kenny was sentenced to life in prison without parole in California. He remains behind bars at the RJ Donovan Correctional Facility in unincorporated southern San Diego County. On the other hand, Sante was imprisoned in the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women in Bedford, New York.
Read More: Where Are Sante and Kenny Kimes Now?