It’s Friday! You know what that means? It’s Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day!
You might want to poke around Lee’s site to see what else he has to say about Kimberlin. It’s a lot. We’re really lucky to have a big name like him investigating Kimberlin’s past. Lee also notes Kimberlin is a dangerous guy; let us never forget that.
Also, Smitty over at The Other McCain has an important post about why this event matters. It’s about freedom of speech, people!
So my effort is to give you a brief timeline of events during the investigation into the Speedway bombing, with some explanation. I’ve taken this info from four basic articles, which you can find here, here, here, and here . I’m offering this information only as reporters did at the time of the trial and later, so that you understand what leads the police were following..
1978: Brett Kimberlin owns a health food store/vegetarian restaurant in Broad Ripple. Police believe the store may be a front for drug trafficking and have Kimberlin in their sights.
July 29, 1978: Julia Scyphers is murdered. She answered a knock at her front door; a man inquired about some items she had available at a recent yard sale. Julia led him out to the garage. She was shot once in the back of the head. Her husband caught a glimpse of the man at the door and saw the getaway car speed away from their home. At first, investigators are stymied as to why Scyphers was murdered, as she seemed to have no enemies, save one: Brett Kimberlin, her daughter Sandra’s employer and boyfriend. Kimberlin seemed to have a less than wholesome interest in one of Julia’s granddaughters.
Sept 1- 6, 1978: Eight bomb blasts ring through Speedway, Indiana The final blast injures Carl DeLong and his wife. The police suspect that the bombings were intended to distract the police from the Scyphers’ murder case; however, between 50 and 100 ATF agents descend on Indianapolis to assist local police with the investigation.
Sept 20, 1978: Kimberlin is picked up by Army investigators when a print shop owner alerts them about a suspicious customer. Kimberlin is wearing a security guard’s uniform with DoD insignia and asking for copies of military drivers’ licenses and other materials to be made. When officers arrive, he attempts to hide the incriminating evidence by eating it. As a result of this, investigators decide to hold him overnight.
Sept 21, 1978: With search warrants in hand, investigators search Kimberlin’s 1970 Impala, which he drove to the print shop the day before; they find bomb-making materials, including timers which match those found at the scene of the Speedway bombings. At the same time, another team of investigators searches a Jackson County property owned by the Kimberlin family. There they find a buried steel tank containing 1000 lbs of marijuana, along with Tovex used to blast the rock to install the underground tank. This Tovex will later link Kimberlin to other incidents.
Nov 17, 1978: Investigators interview Sandra Barton (Julia Scyhphers’ daughter and employee/girlfriend of Kimberlin). That same night, at a nearby Burger Chef restaurant, four employees are kidnapped and murdered. Their bodies are found two days later, two shot execution style, one stabbed to death so viciously the blade broke off inside the body, and one died from blunt force trauma to the head. No known motive exists, nor were the suspects ever found. There were rumors one of the employees may have been involved in a drug deal. Investigators suspected this might have been the work of Kimberlin and his associates, but they were never charged. The murders remain unsolved to this day.
In an attempt to build a case against him, Kimberlin is still free.
Feb 8, 1979: Local authorities receive a tip from Texas border agents about a group of suspects they’ve rounded up. Among them are Brett Kimberlin and his pilot, Robert Scott Bixler. The group is released but placed under surveillance.
Feb 16, 1979: Kimberlin and his associates are at a secret airstrip they’ve carved out in the Texas desert, awaiting a shipment of Columbian marijuana. They are being watched by local and federal agents. The plane is unable to land, due to heavy fog, and dumps its million dollar cargo over a 125 mile area. Texas agents recover the bales of pot, while Kimberlin and his gang are arrested. Kimberlin will later claim he was simply riding around out in the desert when cops picked him up for no reason.
Armed with photos of the drug crew, investigators show the images to Fred Scyphers, who recognizes William “Bill” Bowman as the man who came to his front door on July 29, 1978, luring his wife to her death.
Kimberlin and Bowman are still free, after being charged for the Texas “pot bombing” incident.
Feb 27, 1979: Based on Fred Scyphers’ identification of him, Bowman is arrested for the murder of Julia Scyphers. Investigators hope that Bowman will admit that Kimberlin was behind the hit on Scyphers.
Feb 28, 1979: A federal grand jury indicts Kimberlin in the Speedway bombing case.
Mar 11, 1979: Sandra Barton’s sister, Patricia — who lives in Texas — contacts authorities to report she found a sack hidden in her backyard. The contents of the bag — blasting caps, blue-and-white Mark Time timers, an AR-15 rifle and 14 plastic-covered sausages of Tovex 200 with factory markings — further connect Kimberlin to the Speedway bombings and the Tovex used to blast away rock for the buried steel tank at the Jackson county property. Informants state they saw Kimberlin plant the bag, in an attempt to frame Patricia and her husband for the Speedway bombings. (Sandra Barton’s daughters were now living with Patricia.)
Mar 14, 1979: Fred Scyphers dies of cancer. With his death, the case against Bowman in the Scyphers murder collapses.
Nov, 1979: Kimberlin enters a guilty plea for charges related to the Texas marijuana smuggling case and is sentenced to 4 years.
Sept, 1980: Kimberlin is tried for the Speedway bombing incident. A federal jury is unable to reach a decision on the bombing, but does convict him for impersonating a federal officer. He receives a 12-year sentence.
October 15, 1981: Kimberlin is found guilty of the Speedway bombings and receives a 50-year sentence.
February 23, 1983: Carl DeLong, victim of the final Speedway blast, commits suicide. He was in constant pain as a result of his injuries. Later that year, DeLong’s wife, Sandra, won a $1.6 million settlement from Kimberlin, which she never collected.
October/November 1988: Kimberlin launches himself into the national spotlight by claiming a week before the elections that Vice Presidential candidate Dan Quayle purchased marijuana from him on a regular basis, back in the early 1970s. This story gets picked up by Nina Totenburg and many media outlets — television networks, newspapers, and news magazines — all of whom seek interviews. The prison first insists that there should be a press conference where all reporters may ask their questions, rather than separate interviews, but the press conference never takes place.
This is the basis for the “political prisoner” charge Kimberlin would later make, as well as the reason he became a romantic hero among the movers and shakers of the left, who feel the 1988 election was “stolen” because of this incident.
In 1991 and ’92, in order for the election not to be “stolen” again, various leftists begin flogging the Kimberlin/Quayle drug story, among them Gary Trudeau.
In 1994, Kimberlin is paroled, after serving about 13 years of his 50-year sentence. Because he made no effort to pay the DeLong judgment, his parole was revoked in 1997 and he went back to prison for about four more years He was finally released in 2001.
This last bit is just me asking some questions, based on the timeline I’ve laid out. It’s purely speculation, and is offered as such, not as demonstrable fact.
1994… I wonder who was President at that time? And wasn’t there a drug trafficking story in Clinton’s background, as well? Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? Could Kimberlin’s early release have been a “thank you” for helping Clinton win the election?
I don’t know, I’m just asking questions here.
This article may be freely reposted all or in part. Because we want the word spread far and wide about the kind of person Brett Kimberlin is.
Update: While my post deals with events in Brett Kimberlin’s past, Patterico’s blog has a new post about what wee Brett and his friends have been up to more recently. It’s a long read but worthwhile, because it gives you a very good idea of the kind of people we’re dealing with. Dangerous people.