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When a beloved Kansas grandmother failed to show up for a planned shopping trip, her children knew something just wasn't right.
Those fears were confirmed when daughter Rita Boller arrived at mother Patricia Kimmi’s Horton home on Nov. 7, 2009 and discovered her purse and cell phone inside the house, but found no sign of the missing 58-year-old, according to “An Unexpected Killer,” airing Fridays at 8/7c on Oxygen.
Atchison County Sheriff’s deputies were quickly summoned and discovered their own set of disturbing clues. A wooden gate that went across the staircase of the front porch had been ripped off, a door had been left open, blood droplets were in the gravel along the driveway, and a rug in the foyer was in disarray.
“I immediately treated it as a crime scene,” said Atchison County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Peak.
About a quarter-mile from her house, authorities found a camouflage baseball cap, and then another half-mile away, they found a money clip with bills drenched in blood, a bag containing bloody rifle shells, bloody coins, and Patricia’s dentures.
It didn’t take long for investigators to conclude that the “farm girl at heart” had been the victim of foul play — but discovering who had wanted to harm the well-loved mom of four was a much more difficult task.
One possible suspect was Patricia’s ex-husband, Eugene Kimmi.
“My mom did not have an enemy in the world, other than him,” Boller said.
Eugene had been Patricia’s high school sweetheart. The couple went on to have four children together after marrying in 1971, but her kids said the marriage had been a difficult one.
“Eugene was very controlling,” the couple’s son Tony Kimmi told "An Unexpected Killer." “To him, she couldn’t do anything right. He didn’t want her going anywhere. He wanted her to stay at home.”
The couple finally ended the marriage in 2008 after Patricia discovered that Eugene had been having an affair.
While Boller said Patricia thrived after the divorce, Eugene had been bitter about the divorce agreement, which included large alimony payments to Patricia and forced him to give up some of his property.
“People in the community told us about how he had made comments that he wished she was dead,” Atchison County Attorney Gerald Kuckelman said.
Eugene admitted to being upset about the divorce, but insisted to investigators that he did not kill his wife. He said he had spent the night investigators believed Patricia disappeared talking to his girlfriend on the phone — a claim she backed up as well — and then watched a TV movie.
Investigators searched his home and were unable to find any evidence that could link him to the crime.
A witness who had been in the area drinking with his girlfriend told investigators that on the night Patricia disappeared, he had seen a distinctive red pickup truck, with dual rear tires on each side, often known as a dually, parked not far from Patricia’s home.
He also told authorities that as he drove by the truck he thought he had seen a pair of legs kicking back and forth on the ground.
Unable to link Eugene to the crime scene, investigators focused on the red pickup. They talked to a contractor who had recently done work on Patricia’s home and drove a red truck, but they were unable to put him in Horton the night of the killing.
Authorities decided to take a closer look at the baseball cap found near the crime scene and noticed it read “Saylor Insurance.” Using a list of insurance agency customers, Patricia’s family pointed out one familiar name: Roger Hollister, who owned a red dually pickup and had done business with Eugene.
When investigators initially went to speak with Hollister, they said he was wearing a neck brace, was walking with a cane, and seemed physically incapable of carrying out the crime. He admitted to once owning a Saylor Insurance hat but claimed his dog ate it. He said he had sold the pick-up to a guy named Rick for $2,000.
It wasn’t until Patricia’s son Tony and nephew D.J. went to police with a story about Hollister going to the saw mill and demanding money from Eugene, who wasn’t at the mill at the time, for “taking care” of a problem that they took another look at Hollister.
“It was a major break in the case. We were on to something now,” Atchison County Undersheriff Larry Myer said.
While searching Hollister’s property, they found the red pickup truck burned and buried in the ground. They were also able to determine that DNA found on the ball cap matched to Hollister.
Authorities finally got the evidence they needed to make an arrest after Hollister’s wife, Rebecca, came to investigators and confessed that she knew where Patricia’s body had been buried on their property.
After recovering partial remains, which had been burned and dismembered, authorities arrested Hollister for Patricia’s murder.
As for motive, authorities believe Hollister — who later shed the neck brace and cane — may have killed Patricia believing that he’d get a payout from Eugene.
“We believe that maybe Eugene was drinking, did not like the situation with his wife, and maybe he made a comment to Roger saying he wanted to do away with his wife,” Myer said.
During Hollister’s trial, prosecutors argued that Eugene had offered Hollister $70,000 to commit the murder, but Eugene was never charged and investigators were never able to link him to the crime, according to News-Press Now.
Patricia’s children also sued their father for their mother’s wrongful death, The Associated Press reports.
Hollister was convicted in 2011 and was sentenced to life in prison, but he died two years later while behind bars at the age of 61.
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