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Interviews show violent past of local woman charged with murder in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Wednesday, the Florida State Attorney's Office released new discovery containing interviews of people from murder suspect Kimberly Kessler's past.

Kessler is originally from Butler County, Pa., but was living in Florida under the name Jennifer Sybert, which authorities believe she took from a woman who died decades ago and is buried in a Butler cemetery.

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She's accused of kidnapping and killing Joleen Cummings, a mother of three, last year.

The evidence released Wednesday was obtained by WPXI's sister station in Florida, Action News Jax. It contains interviews detectives conducted with many people from Kessler's past.

Many of these people went to Kessler's High School or were childhood friends with Kessler.

One interviewer was David Trempus, who was contacted by Kessler through Facebook, according to the interviews. He says Kessler drove all the way to Texas to see him and even proposed.

The evidence also includes an interview between a detective and Kessler’s ex-boyfriend.

“She’s our main person of interest for a homicide,” said the detective. “Yeah, I’m not surprised,” said her ex-boyfriend. He says she should often appear to kind but would ‘snap’ if triggered. “She stabbed me in the chest, she bit my dad in the leg,” he said.


He also told detectives how she may have chosen her known aliases. In the following quote, he describes what happened when he and Kessler went to visit her father’s grave site. “When we went down there, the reason I thought was to see her father’s grave,” he said. “She wanted to walk around and look for girls around her age that died.”

Investigators also released an interview between detectives and cellmate of Kessler's from jail. The cellmate claims Kessler said she would one day write a book about what she had done, including robbing banks with a former boyfriend. She also claimed Kessler spoke about destroying her fingerprints. “She said she should have burned her finger prints off,” said the cellmate.

Footage from the discovery files released by the prosecution show the night she was arrested in St. Johns County. She then sat patiently for nearly one hour before a detective returned to read her charges from a search warrant.

WPXI's sister station Action News Jax also obtained pictures that appears show blood splatter inside the formerly titled 'Tangles' hair salon, now called 'Lash.'

New evidence includes photo evidence of scratches and band aids on Kessler the night she was arrested.