Sante Kimes, the murder and grifting mastermind that lured her son into doing her bidding, died in prison on Monday night. She was 79.

Sante Kimes Dies In Prison

Kimes died of natural causes in the maximum-security unit at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York state, Corrections Department spokeperson Linda Foglia told the New York Daily News.

Kimes has been behind bars since 1998 when she was convicted of two murders and sentenced to life plus 125 years. The bicoastal kills, though carried out by her son, Kenneth Kimes, were done at her urging.

Kimes Mother-Son Murders

The mother-son Kimes team were first implicated in a murder after 82-year old widow Irene Silverman went missing from her townhouse on the Upper East Side of New York City in July 1998. According to Kenneth, he had used a stun gun on Silverman and then strangled her to death after his mother commanded him to “Do it!”


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Sante had hoped that by killing Silverman, they’d be able to steal her townhouse, which was worth $7.5 million. Though police didn’t find Silverman’s body, they busted the duo the following day traveling in a stolen Lincoln Town Car with documents forged in Silverman’s name on them, as well as a handgun and date-rape drugs.

It was later discovered that the Kimes had carried out another murder in California in March 1998. Sante had committed loan fraud in the amount of $280,000 and needed David Kazdin dead in order to get away with it. On his mother’s orders, Kenneth shot Kazdin dead in the back of the head.

The Kimes story has been brought to the small screen twice, including a made-for-TV movie titled Like Mother, Like Son: The Strange Story of Sante and Kenny Kimes, which starred Mary Tyler Moore and Gabirel Olds.

Kenneth Kimes remains in jail, serving out a life sentence without possibility of parole in California.

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