The mystery of what happened to serial killer Sharon Kinne has been spooking people out for 54 years. She’s one of the longest-running fugitives in the history of the United States. The bored and conniving housewife seemed to have an endless list of character flaws, but self-preservation wasn’t one of them. Here’s what we know about the murderer, who disappeared without a trace after escaping from a Mexican prison in 1969.
Sharon Hall Met James Kinne When She Was 16
Sharon Kinne was born on November 30, 1939, in Independence, Missouri. Her birth name was Sharon Elizabeth Hall. Her parents moved to Washington State when she was in middle school and returned to Missouri when she was 15. According to Investigation Discovery, Sharon met James Kinne at a church function when she was 16 and he was 22. James was a college student at the time, so their fling was a short-lived one that ended when he resumed his studies at Brigham Young University in Utah that fall.
Videos by Rare
Videos by Rare
But Sharon Hall then wrote James Kinne and told him he’d gotten her pregnant. James took leave from school and returned to Independence to marry Sharon. According to a June 1960 Kansas City Star article, Sharon lied on her marriage certificate, both saying that she was 18 and also that she was widowed. She allegedly had been telling people that she married another man in Washington who died in a car accident.
Sharon Kinne Spent James’ Money on Shopping and Men
Sharon, now a Kinne, joined the Church of Latter-Day Saints and moved to Utah with her new husband. He went back to school but dropped out again and they returned once again to Independence, Missouri. James worked as an electrical engineer for Bendix Aviation while Sharon babysat and picked up other jobs. As James was making a very good salary, Sharon became a bit of a shopaholic. According to reports, she spent her days spending James’ money, which was abundant enough for them to build a ranch house.
As for the child that Sharon claimed to be pregnant with, they never showed up, and she claimed that she miscarried. James started working night shifts and Sharon started dating other men behind his back. She gave birth to a daughter, Danna, in 1957, and later a son, Troy. By the time Troy was born, Sharon had been having a long-term affair with a high school friend named John Boldizs.
James Kinne Intended to File for Divorce but Was Found Dead the Next Day
When James Kinne started sensing that his wife was being unfaithful, he sought to file for divorce. On March 18, 1960, he told his parents of his plan to divorce Sharon. He revealed that he’d already discussed the matter with his wife. He said that she’d agreed to a divorce if she could keep Danna, their house, and receive $1,000 in alimony. However, James’ parents urged him to stay with her due to their religious beliefs.
On March 19, 1960, James Kinne was found dead. He’d been shot in the head with a .22 caliber pistol. Sharon Kinne claimed that she found him bleeding and that their two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Danna, was the one who shot him. Investigators failed to find any trace of fingerprint on the gun and therefore, along with a lack of other sufficient evidence, ruled the death an accidental homicide. Though they took Sharon at her word, they also took away the gun.
Sharon Kinne Claimed Her 2-Year-Old Shot James and Was Let Off the Hook
However, Sharon obtained a second automatic pistol after enlisting a friend. When she learned he’d registered the gun in her name, she asked him to change the name on the certificate. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sharon received an insurance payout of $29,000, which is about $287,000 today with inflation. She also completely owned their home because James’ death canceled their $11,000 in mortgage dues. She took $4,000 of the payout to purchase a Ford Thunderbird. That’s when she noticed car salesman Walter T Jones. It was April 18, 1960.
Walter T Jones had been married to Patricia Jones for nearly five years by the time Sharon laid eyes on him. He and Patricia, who was an IRS worker, had two children together. Nonetheless, Sharon’s wiles took a hold of his better judgment, and he began an affair with the manipulative sex pot. But he saw it as merely an affair and had no intention of leaving his wife. So, when Sharon told Walter that she was pregnant with his child, he stuck to his guns and said their relationship was over. That was on May 25th.
One Day After Sharon’s New Lover Turned Her Down, His Wife Went Missing
The next day, Patricia Jones went missing. Sharon later admitted to calling up Patricia to inform her of her husband’s affair on May 26th. According to witnesses who were friends and coworkers of Patricia’s, she’d told them she was going to meet an unnamed woman that day. Patricia carpooled that day with her coworkers, who recalled dropping her off on a street corner and watching her get into another car with a female driver.
After being pressured by Walter, and perhaps to try and make herself look less guilty, Sharon offered to help find Patricia. She called up her old friend and lover John Boldizs and asked him to help her search. Boldizs later testified that he recommended a specific spot in the woods where he and Sharon used to go on dates, and that’s where they found Patricia. She was dead, wearing a yellow skirt that was pulled up to her waist. She’d been shot four times: once through her mouth and head, once in her abdomen, and twice in her shoulders. There was also a “white, powdery substance” in her hair, which was later discovered to be fly eggs.
Sharon Kinne Was Charged With Murdering James Kinne and Patricia Jones
Walter, Sharon, and Bodizs were taken in for questioning. Both men agreed to take polygraph tests, which they passed as truthful, but Sharon declined. Sharon was arrested at home on the night of May 31st, for the murder of Patricia Jones. That same day, she was charged with murdering her husband.
Investigators later found a .22 caliber rifle slug buried near where Patricia was found. While they never found the gun itself, the man who bought a .22 for Sharon later came forward and admitted it. An empty box that appeared to be made for a pistol of the same size was also found in Sharon’s home.
Sharon was initially denied bail but that was overturned. She gave birth to Marla Christine in January 1961. Her trials had been delayed due to the pregnancy. Her first trial, for the murder of Patricia Jones, was held in June of 1961. The jury failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Sharon committed the murder, and she was acquitted. An archived 1966 article from the Reading Eagle shows a photo of Sharon Kinne giving a juror her autograph after the trial.
The First Mistrial Led to Two More Mistrials
In 1962, Kinne was found guilty of murdering her husband, James. She was sentenced to life in prison. She began serving her sentence at the Missouri Reformatory for Women. But, after numerous people came forward to claim that they believed she was innocent — including James Kinne’s parents — Sharon successfully petitioned to be released on bond.
Her conviction was soon after overturned due to the decision being made based on “surmise and speculation” and due to procedural errors. A second trial was set for March of 1964 but was ended early due to more procedural errors. And then a third trial was held in June, but Sharon was acquitted by an all-male jury who voted 7-5 against the charges, and another mistrial was declared.
Then Sharon Kinne Fled to Mexico.
She was supposed to have a fourth trial in October, but she was still out on bond. Sharon traveled to Mexico with her friend and possible lover, Francis Samuel Pugliese, pretending to be his wife and using the alias “Jeanette Pugliese.” Her children were under the care of James’ father. Sharon and Francis allegedly brought pistols with them but bought a new pistol in Mexico.
On September 18, 1964, Sharon left the Hotel Gin where she and her partner were staying close to the border. Her reasons for leaving aren’t clear, although Mexican police later claimed that she was planning a robbery. Upon meeting Francisco Parades Ordoñez, a Mexican-born American citizen from California, while at a bar, she went with him back to his hotel room at Hotel La Vada.
Sharon Murdered an American Citizen in Mexico and Was Found Guilty
She then shot Ordoñez in the chest, killing him. She later claimed that he’d offered to show her some photos and then sexually assaulted her, which she responded to by shooting him in self-defense. However, the police didn’t buy her story, and she was later found guilty of homicide. Pugliese was cleared of all charges and deported back to the United States.
Sharon Kinne was sentenced to 10 years in prison but tried to have the conviction overturned. Instead, the judge lengthened her sentence to 13 years. She was placed in the Ixtapalapan prison in Mexico City on October 18, 1965.
The 1969 Mexican Prison Escape Was Never Solved
On December 7, 1969, Sharon failed to appear at a 5 pm roll call. After not showing up for a second lineup that same evening, guards allegedly realized she was missing. The following day, the press reported that she’d escaped Ixtapalapan.
To this day, no one knows what happened to Sharon Kinne. Some people have speculated that she bribed the guards. Others have hypothesized that the Ordoñez family helped her escape before offing her themselves. Either way, the manhunt never found her, and she still remains at large. But her arrest warrant, issued nearly 60 years ago in October 1964, still stands.