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Son of a Grifter

Son of a Grifter Cover

Son of a Grifter

The Twisted Tale of Sante and Kenny Kimes, the Most Notorious Con Artists in America

By Kent Walker; Mark Schone

Avon, Mass Market Paperback, 9780061031694, 528pp.

Publication Date: April 1, 2002


In 1988 a troubled young man and his flamboyant mother were arrested for murdering a wealthy widow in her New York City mansion. Suddenly, America was transfixed by a pair of real-life film noir characters. The media couldn't get enough of the twisted relationship between Sante Kimes and her twenty-three-year-old son Kenny.

But the most chilling story of all was never told until now. Kent Walker, Sante's elder son, reveals how he survived forty years of "the Dragon Lady's" very special brand of motherly love and still managed to get away.

As a child Kent watched his mother destroy his hardworking father, Ed Walker, and then with Kent's painful collusion snare what Sante called "my millionaire." When she married seemingly respectable real-estate developer Ken Kimes, it was a match made in hell.

For the next two decades Kent's mother and stepfather indulged in a globetrotting orgy of criminal behaviour.

Kent, their would-be recruit, was privy to the family business torching houses, defrauding friends, crashing White When Kent's half-brother, Kenny was born, Kent was twelve years old old enough to know that he was his younger sibling's only protector. Kent tried desperately to save Kenny from his mother's sinister bidding. His failure haunts him to this day.

Praise For Son of a Grifter

“One of the most engrossing true-crime accounts to be published in recent memory.”

“Well-researched and touching...A a chronicle of Sante Kime’s life, it’s unlikely to be surpassed by any other.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Enthralling...A mesmerizing account of growing up as the child of a world-class sociopath.”
-David Plotz, New York Times

“A colorful guide to Kimes family values...a fluent first-person account of Walker’s weird formative years.”
-Janet Maslin, New York Times