Kimberly Pandelios Murder: Where is David Rademaker Now?

Image Credit: Into The Dark/YouTube

Kimberly Pandelios, an aspiring model based in California, informed her husband in February 1992 that she had a photoshoot to attend. She assured the babysitter for her 13-month-old baby that she would return by evening. Concern mounted within her family as hours passed without any trace of the 21-year-old. Consequently, they filed a missing person report for her. A year later, partial remains were discovered in a secluded area within Angeles National Forest, California, and were later confirmed to belong to Kimberly. Discovery+’s ‘Lethally Blonde’ episode, ‘A Model Murder,’ portrays the investigative efforts that led to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the perpetrator.

Kimberly Pandelios’ Body Was Found Almost a Year After She Disappeared

Hossanna Kimberly “Kim” Spector Pandelios was born in La Habana, Cuba, on November 13, 1971. Her family later immigrated to the US, finding a home in Pennsylvania. From a young age, Kimberly harbored ambitions of making a mark for herself and becoming an independent woman pursuing her passions. The couple welcomed a son after her marriage to Peter and settling in California. During this period, Kimberly began taking business classes and embarked on a part-time career as a model.

Image Credit: Into The Dark/YouTube

On February 27, 1992, 21-year-old Kimberly exited her home around 8:30 a.m., informing her husband of a modeling job she had secured for February 29. She intended to meet with the photographer to showcase some bathing suits for the shoot. Making a stop at a hair salon, she excitedly discussed her upcoming gig before departing around 1 p.m. Kimberly then contacted her babysitter around 2 p.m., assuring them she would be home no later than 5 p.m. As the evening wore on and 8 p.m. approached with no sign of Kimberly, her husband and family grew increasingly concerned about her whereabouts.

On February 28, 1992, Kimberly’s vehicle was discovered along a dirt path in the Angeles Forest Highway, its passenger side ablaze, indicating deliberate arson rather than an accidental fire. Then, on March 3, 1993, a human skull and a portion of the pelvic bone were uncovered in a remote section of the forest. Subsequently, on March 14, a human mandible was recovered from the same area. During this period, investigators found small fabric remnants, a handcuff, a shredded bra and pantyhose, and Kimberly’s appointment book nearby. Forensic analysis of the remains confirmed their identity as Kimberly’s. Additionally, a dental expert concluded that her jaw likely sustained a fracture due to forceful impact from a small blunt object.

Kimberly Pandelios’ Killer Had a Prior Record

The case remained unsolved until 2004, when the police’s cold case unit reopened the investigation into Kimberly Pandelios’ murder. Coincidentally, this was the same year that David Rademaker, a convicted sex offender, was released from prison. Detectives noticed a potential connection and began interviewing a woman named Manya Ksendzov, who had been romantically involved with David. She revealed to authorities that she had been in a relationship with him from 1993 to 1995, and during that time, David had confessed to her that he had murdered a blonde girl in the Angeles National Forest.

During their relationship’s final stages, when Manya attempted to end things with David, he threatened her with a description of the crime. He recounted luring the girl under the pretense of a photoshoot, and when she rejected his advances, he assaulted and overpowered her sexually. Subsequently, he forced her head underwater in a stream, ultimately drowning her. David also mentioned that the case had been featured on ‘Unsolved Mysteries,’ though with inaccuracies, as they had given a wrong description of the perpetrators.

The police expanded their investigation to others associated with David and found Cynthia Haddon, who had been in a relationship with him at the time of Kimberly’s death. She provided valuable information, revealing that on the night of February 28, 1992, David shared his fantasy of setting a car ablaze. According to Cynthia, they went to a location in the Angeles National Forest where they discovered a parked car. David proceeded to douse the car’s passenger side with charcoal lighter fluid before igniting it.

Cynthia, eager to assist the police, consented to record a conversation with David on February 3, 2004. While conversing, David confessed to setting a car on fire but made no mention of committing murder. However, based on the testimonies of both women, Rademaker was indicted on murder charges.

David Rademaker is Serving A Life Sentence Today

David Rademaker faced charges of first-degree murder, with the added exceptional circumstance of kidnapping Kimberly Pandelios. Testimonies from both Manya Ksendzov and Cynthia Haddon were pivotal during the trial. Evidence such as David’s handprint found on Kimberly’s appointment book was presented in court. David Rademaker attempted to defend himself by denying that he was the killer and disputing the cause of Kimberly’s death as drowning. Despite his arguments, the jury convicted him of the charges and sentenced him to life in prison without the possibility of parole. At 60 years old, he is currently seeking treatment at the California Medical Facility, with no chance of ever being released.

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