A new episode of Dateline investigates the murder of Pam Zimmerman, who was killed at her office in Bloomington, Illinois in 2014. To this day, the case has not been solved; however, a trial was held after her ex-husband, Kirk Zimmerman, was accused of murdering her.
Zimmerman was found dead from 4 gunshots on November 4, 2014, in her office. According to Pantagraph, an 8-month investigation followed her death and on July 21, 2015, Kirk Zimmerman was arrested on murder charges.
Here’s what you need to know about the accusations against Kirk Zimmerman and the murder trial during which he was acquitted:
Kirk Zimmerman Was Accused of Murdering Pam Over Owed Child Support Money
Before their divorce in 2012, Pam and her ex-husband Kirk had three children together: David, Heidi, and Rachel. While Kirk was being tried for Pam’s murder, JG-TC reports that the state argued that Zimmerman’s motive for killing Pam was to avoid child support obligations.
Pantagraph cites that, during Zimmerman’s trial, forensics accountant Tom Beyers testified that Kirk was having financial troubles at the time of Pam’s murder and was possibly going to have to appear in court over child support owed to Pam that was past due.
Pantagraph reports that the defense argued to jurors that the $4,000 Pam was owed was not a motive for Kirk to kill her.
Kirk Zimmerman Was Found Not Guilty of the Murder Charge
At the end of Zimmerman’s 5-week murder trial, the jury found him not guilty, acquitting him of his murder charge. It took them 7 hours of deliberation over the course of two days to reach their verdict.
While the trial was ongoing, WGLT reported that prosecutor Brad Rigdon claimed it was a “well-planned murder,” executed by Zimmerman “because he hated [Pam] and because he knew as long as she was alive, he was going to go broke. He took her life so he would not have to pay her any more money,” Rigdon said. Defensive attorney John Rogers responded that “It’s ridiculous to think that anyone would go to that horrific extreme over that minuscule amount of money,” adding “This relationship was one of indifference.”
According to WGLT, Zimmerman’s alibi that he was home on November 3, 2014 was questioned when Zimmerman’s girlfriend testified that she arrived early at his house and he did not answer the door. The defense argued that Zimmerman was asleep on his couch at the time. Pantagraph adds that Zimmerman called the girlfriend, Kate Arthur, a little over 30 minutes after she first arrived at his house, and she returned to his home after the call so they could spend two hours together.
Heart of Illinois ABC reports that Kirk and Pam’s kids took the stand as defense witnesses, testifying in favor of their father. They said he seemed his normal self in the days leading up to their mother’s death.
Per ABC, neighbors testified during the trial that they saw Kirk doing work in his yard the afternoon Pam was shot and killed.
The Dateline episode featuring Pam Zimmerman’s murder story airs on Friday, May 29 at 10/9c on NBC.