I came across the unresolved murder of Kentucky resident, Jim Duckett that seems to have no posts in this sub. What struck me about the crime were some similarities with the unsolved murder of Oakey "Al" Kite whose case has been featured here several times. I have followed Kite's case for years and regularly check for progress or updates. I'm curious to see if anybody else thinks the two cases might be related or if I'm way off with that idea?
Kite's murder took place on or around May 22, 2004 and Duckett's body was discovered on November 10, 2008 but it's estimated he was killed on November 9, 2008. Kite was 53 and Duckett was 43 at the time of deaths. Both crimes were particularly brutal and neither have any known motive. Below I'll provide overviews of both crimes.
Background to Kite's murder
Oakey "Al" Kite was a single, divorcee who lived alone in an Aurora, Colorado townhouse that he purchased in 1998. He had a step-daughter he remained close to but no other children. Since 2002, Kite had been employed by a consulting firm in Denver. Prior to that, he was employed for 31 years by the engineering firm, Stone and Webster which had taken him to both coasts, several years in Algeria and finally to Colorado before the company was auctioned off in bankruptcy resulting in Kite being laid off.
In 1998, Kite moved to Colorado and by all accounts he enjoyed a socially active, middle-class lifestyle. Kite was described as a kind, trusting, and generous individual who lived a very low risk life. At the time of his murder, he was in a serious relationship with a woman named Linda who he had met through mutual friends. Kite enjoyed the outdoors and golfing with friends and colleagues.
In May 2004, his longtime tenant moved out and he sought out a replacement for his basement apartment that consisted of a small bedroom, a family room and a bathroom. He posted an ad in the University of Colorado's Medical School's library and in a local newspaper. A man who called himself "Robert Cooper" answered Al's post and agreed to rent the space. Cooper stated that he was from the East Coast and was employed by Well's Fargo Bank. He claimed that he had just transferred to a Colorado branch and was currently living at his sister's home. During his initial visit, Al's girlfriend, Linda stopped by and he informed her that Cooper was downstairs and he wanted them to meet. Al's girlfriend needed to quickly use the restroom before meeting. However, Linda only caught a quick glimpse of Cooper as he hurried out the door without saying hello. Days later, Linda says that Kite told her that Cooper was going to rent the space.
On May 22, 2004, Al drove Linda to the airport so that she could catch a flight to her brother's home in Virginia Beach. Al told Linda that he had plans to make a few repairs on the apartment and to help Cooper move in a few heavy items.
Linda first called Kite while on a layover, and again at 3:30 pm when she arrived at her destination. She described Kite as being uncharacteristically quiet during the calls. Later, she reasoned that his behavior was likely related to the presence of the new tenant. Linda was the last person Kite spoke to. On Sunday, Kite failed to keep a golf date and on Monday he did not show up for work which caused his workplace to eventually call his sister who was listed as an emergency contact. Since she was in Virginia, she called the Aurora police who did a wellness check. This led to the discovery of his body.
Kite's body was found in the basement's small bedroom. He was hogtied with cords and very specific ligatures and knots. He had been mercilessly tortured and beaten prior to death. He endured such things as an icepick type object inserted in his ears and possibly his eyes. His feet had been severely beaten with noticeable marks and injuries, he was stabbed and his head had several blunt force trauma injuries, including a large deadly wound. It was estimated that the torture took place over several hours but that Kite likely died on May 22. The upstairs showed no signs of a struggle. Among items police retrieved from the house was a discarded rental application with Robert Cooper's information. Kite's truck was missing.
Some Investigative Details
Further investigation revealed that none of Cooper's information was valid. Police also believe that Cooper remained in the home after killing Kite. He ate food, showered, slept in Kite's bed, and even wore some of his clothing. He put several knives, other small weapons, the house keys Kite had given him, and some other items in the kitchen sink and filled it with bleach. Kites truck, phone, and wallet were missing. Cooper used Kite's truck to drive to an ATM machine where he withdrew $1000. Kite had a substantial amount of money available but he only made one withdrawal. He was captured on camera making the withdrawal but he's wearing gloves and his face is mostly concealed by a ski mask. He also used several of Kite's credit cards but no details about those purchases have been released. He dumped Kite's truck a few blocks from his home then took then returned to Kite's home and put the keys in the bleach.
Police quickly heard from a handful of community members who had also posted ads that Cooper responded to. Luckily, they had met with him to show their rooms. However, Cooper's story and appearance were rather fluid and everybody seemed to have met somebody different. Witnesses described him as ranging from late 20s to mid 50s. At times he affected an accent while others detected none. Linda and two of Kite's neighbors also provided witness information to assist police. His physical description can be founds online or at the links posted below. When he presented himself to Kite, he walked with a severe limp and carried a cane but others said he walked without a limp or cane. One witness said she got the creeps from Cooper but the others detected nothing off. Police were able to physically connect to UC medical school because some of the witnesses had only posted flyers on the campus. However, nothing materialized.
This is getting too long so I'll end Kite's story with one more detail. Police were able to trace Cooper's phone and it was a burner purchased near the UC medical school campus and it had only been used to contact potential landlords. After the murder, Cooper purposefully placed the burner phone and Kite's phone in a area were homeless congregated so they would be taken and used in order to throw police off. His crime was very well planned and full of false information intended to stall investigators.
Investigators did recover a single drop of blood in Kite's home that they have since used to developed a genetic profile in hopes of making a hit. So far, they have not found their man though they have some firm ideas and possible ethnicities. Several theories and possible motives have been explored but I don't personally believe any of them are likely. Police do not believe robbery was a motive. I agree and tend to think this individual is a complete psychopath who enjoys the act of binding, torturing and killing. https://unresolved.me/oakey-al-kite https://www.fbi.gov/wanted/vicap/homicides-and-sexual-assaults/victim-oakey-al-kite-jr
Witness sketch here https://www.auroragov.org/blog/One.aspx?portalId=2869361&postId=11665566&portletAction=viewpost
Kite phenotypic information
James "Jim" Duckett's murder
Like Kite, Duckett was a bachelor. Duckett lived with his 7 month old rescue mutt at 5300 Rockbridge Road in Shelbyville, Kentucky. The 3 bedroom 1400 sq ft. brick house is situated in somewhat of a rural area but it's not isolated. The house is currently on the market if anybody is curious. Shelbyville is located midway between Louisville and Lexington.
Duckett lived a quiet and peaceful life. He loved animals and often rode horses and he attended and volunteered at a church near his home. He wasn't involved in any behavior that might expose him to a criminal element. He was described as a kind and helpful individual with a great sense of humor who liked to please others.
Duckett, a disabled veteran, was 43 when he was killed. He had enjoyed a career in the Army, including several years of active duty in Desert Storm. Following an injury, he left the military and moved to Germany where he spent several years working as a crime scene investigator. A few years prior to his murder, he decided to move to Kentucky so he could be near his sister and her family. His plan was to help her out with the kids and the family's other needs. He was the father of an adult son who was not living with him. By all accounts, he was very close with his family.
His sister, Katherine Nichols considered him her best friend, and she said that they spoke by phone several times a day. She also stated that in the month prior to his murder, he has expressed a desire to sell his home and move. In part, his feelings were related to a robbery that occured at his home on Halloween just weeks before his murder. He was not home when his house was robbed and I haven't found any specific details about that situation. There could be a connection but it may be a red herring. Regardless, Nichols said her brother was just a bit off the last month of his life but she couldn't say why.
Nichols said she and Duckett spent several hours together on the day he was likely murdered. They had gone shopping and she noted that nothing seemed amiss until she was unable to reach him later that evening. She said it was unusual for Duckett to not return her messages so she drove to his house but did not stop. That was a Saturday night. By the next morning when she still had no word, she began to panic. Consequently, she phoned some of his church friends to see if they had see him. They had not so She felt compelled to find him. She went to his home again and when she arrived, she noted his new truck was not there. When an uneasy feeling, she decided to use a key he had given her to enter the home.
Inside she discovered a bloody scene and her brothers dead body at the center on a chair that had been moved into the bathroom. Her initial thought was suicide but then she noticed that his limbs were tied to the chair. She ran out of the house and called police. Police arrived within minutes, declared Duckett dead, and began their investigation.
The investigation revealed that Duckett had been tortured and beaten for hours before he died. He was covered in injuries. A deep cut to his throat had caused his death. His puppy was found locked in another room. His brand new truck was missing along with his wallet. I found no information regarding weapons or items seized from the home.
His truck was recovered later that day parked about a mile from his home with the keys in it. The killer had used Duckett's truck to drive to an ATM to withdraw money from Duckett's account. The ATM was equipped with a camera but the blurry image was unable to provide any real clues about identity. The photo shows a man whose face appears mostly covered by a mask in the driver's seat of Duckett's truck. He wore gloves. It's been 12 years and no arrests have been made or motives revealed.
Duckett's murder provided few clues and investigators have not revealed many details so it's impossible to know if Duckett may have had any dealings that might have opened up him and his home to such a violent attack. His family continues to keep his case publicized in the hopes that somebody will come forward with information.
I'm interested in any feedback regarding the two cases. Could these two murders be connected? I've always believed Kite's killer had and would kill again but am I grasping at straws with these similarities? https://www.wave3.com/story/11290618/family-still-without-answers-11-months-after-brothers-murder https://www.wave3.com/story/20037049/family-hopeful-for-fresh-leads-in-cold-case-murde
Killer's blurry image can be seen here https://www.whas11.com/mobile/article/news/crime/unsolved/unsolved-tied-up-and-tortured/417-88a5873a-dd90-469c-bda3-8ee9a89ee052