Sharon Kinne's Mind-Numbing Defense For Murdering Her Husband

On the evening of March 19, 1960, 20-year-old Sharon Kinne called authorities to her Jackson, County, Missouri, on reports that her 25-year-old husband, James, was accidentally shot and killed by her 2-year-old daughter Danna. As reported by Crime Magazine, Sharon said her daughter was playing with James' .22-caliber gun when she accidentally pulled the trigger and shot him in the head.

When the Jackson County Sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene, they found James unresponsive on his bed with the gun laying beside him. When they interviewed Sharon, she said she had been in the bathroom when she heard Danna, who was in the other room, saying, "Daddy, how does this work?" Sharon said she immediately ran into the bedroom to find Danna standing over her father with the gun in her hand.

According to Crime Magazine, law enforcement officials found Sharon's story difficult to believe. However, Sharon insisted her husband owned several guns and often left them out in the reach of the children. James' parents confirmed their son loved guns and that it was not unusual to see them lying around his home.

Although they were still skeptical about Sharon's version of events, they could not find any evidence to disprove her story. As the gun had been recently oiled, it could not be dusted for fingerprints. Authorities also gave Danna an unloaded gun to see whether she had any idea how to use it. Crime Magazine reports the toddler knew how to disengage the weapon's safety.

More suspicion falls on Sharon Kinne

As reported by The Lineup, Danna also knew how to pull the trigger on the weapon. Although the entire situation was unusual, authorities had to admit Sharon Kinne's version of events was at least plausible. Therefore, the shooting was deemed to be an accident and charges were not filed in James' death.

In the months following the shooting, Kinne collected money from her husband's life insurance policy and purchased a new Ford Thunderbird. She also became close with the man who sold her the vehicle; Walter Jones.

The Lineup reports Jones was already married to another woman when he and Kinne met. However, they still became romantically involved. One month into their affair, Kinne told Jones she was pregnant with his child. Although Kinne hoped the announcement would inspire Jones to leave his wife, it had the opposite effect. Much to her dismay, Jones told Kinne their relationship was over. Shortly thereafter, Jones' wife, Patricia, vanished.

When interviewed, Patricia's friends said she had received an unusual phone call shortly before she vanished. Although the woman did not identify herself, Patricia agreed to meet her. According to The Lineup, Patricia asked a friend to drop her off at the meeting place. The driver and other witnesses confirmed a woman was waiting for Patricia at the location. Walter Jones immediately suspected Kinne was the woman who met with his wife and feared she may have had something to do with her disappearance.

Sharon Kinne was accused of killing her former lover's wife

When Walter Jones questioned Sharon Kinne about Patricia's disappearance, she admitted she was the one who called and met with his wife. However, as reported by Crime Magazine, Kinne insisted she took Patricia home after their meeting and did not have anything to do with her disappearance. Kinne even went so far as to search for Patricia.

On May 27, 1960, Kinne and an old friend, John Boldizs said they discovered Patricia's body –- which had been dumped along a secluded road outside Independence, Missouri. Authorities later confirmed Patricia was shot a total of four times.

Kinne initially convinced Boldizs to tell authorities he was alone when he found Patricia's body. However, during questioning, he eventually admitted Kinne was with him. Boldizs consented to a polygraph test, which cleared him of involvement in Patricia's murder. Kinne, on the other hand, refused to take a polygraph examination on the advice of her attorney.

As reported by The Lineup, Kinne was ultimately arrested and charged with murder in the death of Patricia Jones. At the same time, authorities announced Kinne would also be charged with murder in the death of her late husband James. 

Sharon Kinne got into even more trouble while awaiting trial

Because she was pregnant, Sharon Kinne's trials were postponed until after she gave birth. Kinne's first trial, which began in June 1961, was for the murder of Patricia Jones. Although there was a great deal of circumstantial evidence suggesting she killed her former lover's wife out of spite, the jury concluded there was not enough evidence to convict her of the crime.

Kinne's trial for the murder of her former husband was scheduled to begin in October 1964. However, The Lineup reports she got herself into even more trouble in the meantime. In the months before her second trial was set to begin, Kinne and her new boyfriend, Francis Puglise, traveled to Mexico, where they reportedly planned to marry. While they were there, Kinne befriended another American tourist named Francisco Parades Ordoñez. According to The Lineup, Kinne met Ordoñez in a bar. Later that same evening, Kinne joined Ordoñez in his hotel room.

Sharon Kinne escaped prison and was never seen again

According to Sharon Kinne, Ordoñez attempted to rape her when they got to his room. In response, she pulled out a gun and shot him. A hotel employee, who heard the gunshot and burst into the room, was also injured as she continued to fire.

Although Kinne insisted she killed Ordoñez in self-defense, she was arrested and charged with murder. Kinne was ultimately convicted of murder in Ordoñez' death and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. As a result of filing an appeal, The Lineup reports Kinne's sentence was increased to 13 years.

After serving four years, Kinne managed to escape prison and has never been seen again. It is unclear how she orchestrated the escape. However, theories suggest she either bribed some of the guards or was assisted by Francis Puglise.

As she never appeared for her trial in the death of her former husband, a warrant was issued for her arrest. The Lineup reports the warrant, which is still active, is one of the longest outstanding warrants in the United States.