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Jurors See Zimmerman's First Interview With Police

Kirk with his bag
David Proeber
The Pantagraph (Pool)
Kirk Zimmerman of Bloomington in the courtroom during his murder trial.

Jurors on Tuesday got their first look at Kirk Zimmerman in the hours after his ex-wife’s murder, as they watched video of his first interview with Bloomington Police detectives.

Zimmerman was monotone and brief in his responses during the Nov. 4, 2014, interview with Detectives Michael Johnson and Tim Power. After some initial questions about their 20-year marriage, Johnson pivoted to Kirk Zimmerman’s whereabouts on the night before, when Pamela Zimmerman was killed. 

In the first 50 minutes of the 2014 interview before a break, Kirk was asked repeatedly about the last time he saw or communicated with Pamela. He took several long, silent pauses without answering—one 25 seconds long. 

“It’s very rare,” Zimmerman said. 

“Which would make it even more memorable,” Johnson replied.

Zimmerman repeatedly asked about the whereabouts of his three teenage children. 

He told the detectives what he was doing the day Pamela was killed. He took a half-day off from his job at State Farm to do yardwork on an unusually warm November day. Zimmerman said he was at home reading, taking a nap, and watching TV in the hours that authorities say Pamela was killed. His defense has also said his then-girlfriend also came to his Bloomington home later that evening. 

“Can you just tell me what happened?” Zimmerman asked the detectives. 

“Did she commit suicide?” he also asked about Pamela.

The interview lasted over five hours, prosecutors said. Zimmerman told detectives about their relationship and divorce, pointing to his ex-wife’s time-consuming job as an accountant and financial planner as one reason. Zimmerman said he’s quiet and Pam was a talker. Their relationship was “efficient,” he said, with most time being spent on raising the kids and shuffling them around to sporting events and other activities. 

He was interviewed by BPD again a week later on Nov. 10.

Meanwhile, Detective Tim Power testified Tuesday on the many ways in which investigators tried unsuccessfully to find the 9mm firearm that killed Zimmerman.

BPD got helped from the Bloomington Fire Department to search rooftops, Power said. Investigators also asked Bloomington Public Works and the Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District to help search the sewers for the gun. Authorities also searched ponds in and around State Farm’s Bloomington complex.

Zimmerman, 60, of Bloomington, is charged with shooting his ex-wife, Pam, four times in her office on East Washington Street. Zimmerman’s arrest the following July came after an eight-month investigation involving a team of Bloomington Police detectives who spent thousands of hours on the case.

Authorities pointed to their 2012 divorce and subsequent financial disputes over child support as a motive. Pamela, 53, had also gotten engaged a few days before she was killed.

Testimony began Monday. The jury is expected to last four to six weeks.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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