JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper had used some strong words on Thursday to describe Kimberly Kessler after a jury convicted her of first-degree murder in the death of co-worker Joleen Cummings.
“I don’t believe for one second that Kimberly Kessler, or whatever name she’s going by today, I don’t believe this is her first murder. I don’t at all,” Leeper said. “She’s evil, she’s evil in the flesh.”
In 2019, a year after Kessler was arrested, News4JAX reported on her history of using fake names — 17 different names, in fact — and questions that were raised by investigators from both the FBI and the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office about two other deaths, including one a man in Jacksonville.
Kessler has never been accused or charged in any other murders, but the long trail of names and faces certainly leaves a lot of questions that may never be answered.
You can read our entire report from 2019 below.
Digging through the hundreds of pages of evidence in the murder case against Kimberly Kessler in the presumed death of Joleen Cummings, the question is raised: Could Kessler have killed before?
In a Nassau County courtroom Thursday, Kessler's attorneys told the judge her mental health should be evaluated to see if she's competent to stand trial.
Cummings, a 34-year-old mother, disappeared last May and her body has not been found. Kessler was arrested a few days later on a charge of auto theft. Months later when prosecutors felt they had enough evidence against her, Kessler was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.
News4Jax obtained much of that evidence -- now public records -- this week. Deep within some of the documents are questions raised by investigators from both the FBI and the Nassau County Sheriff's Office about two other deaths -- one a man in Jacksonville.
Kessler, 51, has led more than a double life. According to Sheriff Bill Leeper, she used at least 17 aliases across 33 cities in 14 states. The evidence shows she has changed her hair from brunette to blonde.
Among the searches investigators found on Kessler's iPhone were more than 60 names, along with the words "satanist," "witch" and "evil murderous gang." Front and center on the list is the name Kurt Christopher Allen.
On phone interviews, we hear investigators asking about Allen.
An unidentified woman who went to high school with Kessler in Butler, Pennsylvania, said, "She went from dating the most popular guy in school to dating Bob Allen." A Nassau County detective then asked her if Bob Allen also went by the name Christopher Kurt Allen.
In Kessler's notes, there she references someone with the initials KCA.
“May? 2018? KCA in my dream somehow, astral project again I guess. Dreams are peculiar. demon in dreams. Told me all the things they tell all the people they sucker-into their cult.”
The I-TEAM found an obituary for a Kurt Christopher Allen who died in Jacksonville in 2014. The obituary doesn't say how he died, or if he's connected to any of Kimberly Kessler's aliases.
One of Kessler's ex-husbands, Xylon Losey, told police she may have found her child in Jacksonville.
"I think she told me it was a boy," Losey told a St. Johns County detective.
"I'm telling you, she's a master of disguises. She changes her looks and wears a lot of wigs," the detective told Losey. "Any information that you do have is very important to us. We do have a girl that's missing. We do believe she's dead. We do believe that. We've been in the landfill searching for any body parts."
"That's crazy," Losey replied.
The second death we know investigators were looking at is a woman named Grace, who died in Kessler's hometown in 2009. The I-TEAM believes that investigators are referring to Grace Darling Bartley.
Bartley's cause of death isn't given, but her obituary says she was married to a Tim Bartley. Both Bartley and his brother, Wayne Bartley, are also on Kessler's list of names.
During the interviews, investigators repeatedly ask about the brothers. It's believed they went to high school with Kessler and she may have dated one of them.
Kessler's unnamed classmate had another lead for investigators.
"Back in 1987, the year I graduated, my best friend was killed in a motorcycle accident," she told the detective. "Kim's brother, Bob, was seriously injured in this accident. Back in the day, people said, 'Oh, maybe someone ran them off the road.' If you could just check into that."
The evidence also contains interviews with friends also recalled tales of Kessler trying to hit her brother with a baseball bat and stabbed Losey.
On the recording, investigators said Kessler’s brother was rude to them and not helpful, which they couldn’t understand since his sister was accused of previously being violent to him.