UTICA — The last hours of Kimberly Simon’s life in 1985 were likely spent with a group of young men who worshiped the devil, tortured cats, used hallucinogenic drugs and sexually abused women, according to investigators who have been probing her homicide for the past 16 months.
Investigators still are awaiting final test results comparing DNA found on Simon’s body with DNA from several people of interest. One member of that group — Richard W. Miller Jr. — died recently, and a local attorney who questioned him in the years after Simon’s slaying described him as once being a knife-wielding youth with a chilling obsession toward death.
Investigators with the Oneida County District Attorney’s Office on Monday released new details and theories regarding the night that Simon, a 16-year-old Whitesboro High School junior, was killed and left in a wooded area along the Mohawk River in Marcy. They reopened the case in 2008 after DNA evidence exonerated the man convicted in 1989 of killing Simon — Steven Barnes.
By disclosing the new information, investigators hope to stir public interest in watching the “America’s Most Wanted” episode scheduled to feature Simon’s case.
While the broadcast won’t name any of the five possible suspects, aged 16 to 23 at the time, investigators said their identities should be easily figured out by some people who knew them at that time.
“They built quite a reputation for themselves,” District Attorney’s Office Investigator Richard Ferrucci said of the Satan worshipers. “To the people they were close with, they did not try to hide the fact that they were involved in this sort of stuff. It was sort of a shock value, and they really enjoyed putting that out there for people to know about.”
Witness accounts have placed Simon in the company of these Satan worshipers during the night of Sept. 18, 1985, at a popular hangout spot for youths along the Sauquoit Creek in New York Mills called “Three Bears,” Ferrucci said.
While witnesses described the types of activities that were going on that night, Ferrucci said it still is unclear whether the young girl was killed as the result of any satanic ritual.
The Oneida County District Attorney’s Office said that on Saturday, March 13th, the Fox Network Television show, America’s Most Wanted, will be airing an episode concerning the 1985 homicide of Kimberly Simon.
According to the Task Force conducting the investigation into this incident, the show will be aired in three segments and is approximately twenty-five minutes in length.
In the episode there will be portions of interviews with witnesses and investigators which were recorded when personnel from America’s Most Wanted were in the Utica area in November.
Also airing during the episode will be reenactments of what investigators believe took place on the night of September 18th and early morning hours of September 19th, 1985 that ultimately led to the death of Kimberly Simon.