Man Released From Prison After Serving Time for His Girlfriend's Death

By: Jill Schroeder
By: Jill Schroeder

The current Blackman Township Public Safety Director, Thomas Finco, was one of the many people working to find missing person 18-year-old Kimberly Knight back in 1990. Finco worked for the Michigan State Police's post in Jonesville, and would soon be the sole officer to get then 33-year-old Jeffrey Van Patten's confession.

The case shocked the community of Jonesville, and it's a crime Finco will never forget. He says on July 10, 1990, Kimberly Knight was killed, but it took about a month before he would learn the horrible details of the case.

Knight was Van Patten's live-in girlfriend. During the first two detective interviews, Van Patten claimed the two got in an argument, and she left on foot, possibly hitch-hiking to Texas.

During a third questioning, Finco was able to extract the brutal details of what happened that night. According to Finco, Van Patten said during the argument Knight came after him with a knife, and he shot her in self-defense. Van Patten also told Finco he drained the waterbed she fell on, and took her body wrapped up outside and burned it. He also confessed to using a chainsaw to mutilated the body, and fed what was left to his Great Danes.


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