Sunday, October 12, 2008

The South Florida Sod Farm Murders


Charlotte County, situated on the Gulf of Mexico, has one incorporated city: Punta Gorda. Most of the county is rural and many jobs in the area are agricultural. James Dennis “Jimbo” Ford worked at the South Florida Sod Farm in Charlotte County. The 7,000 acre business was located in the most remote region of the county.

Ford was a trackhoe and heavy equipment operator. He fancied himself an outdoorsman and had a campsite on the company’s property. He hunted for wild boar and fished the many lakes and ponds there.

Greg Malnory was a “fuel man” at the farm. His job was to keep all company vehicles gassed up. He and his attractive wife Kimberly had a 22-month-old daughter named Maranda. Malnory and Ford worked closely together and were, if not friends, familiar acquaintances.

On the afternoon of April 5, 1997, Malnory obtained permission from the general manager for him and his wife to go fishing on company property. Later, Ford met up with Greg, Kimberly, and Maranda. At about 1:30, they all drove down to the pond, Ford driving a red pickup and Malnory a blue truck.

When Greg didn’t show up for work the following morning, his employer became concerned. He’d worked for the company for two years and was known for being a dedicated worker. At around ten o’clock, a farm manager noticed his pickup on the dike road above the pond a few hundred yards from the company office. Several employees went to investigate. According to court documents, “they found Kim Malnory lying next to the truck, face down, and Greg Malnory in a field some distance from the truck; both people appeared to be dead. The baby was alive in the truck...the doors to the pickup were open, and the girl had mosquito bites all over her.”

Deputies from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office were called and took the child from the truck. She’d been strapped into a car seat. Maranda was dehydrated, and had welts all over her body from insect bites. She was taken by ambulance to nearby St. Joseph’s Hospital where she eventually made a full recovery. (Maranda was later adopted by relatives.)

Dr. Rosa Robison, assistant medical examiner, arrived and inspected both bodies. She testified that she saw “oval-shaped discolorations on both sides of [Kim’s] thighs” and that the one-piece swim-suit she was wearing “was cut or ripped at the crotch.” Kim had nine “chopping” wounds to the head, as well as a gunshot wound to the upper palate of her mouth. Medical Examiner Dr. Manfred Clark Borges ruled that death occurred due to a combination of the gunshot to the mouth and the “sharp force injuries.” Semen was found inside her body.

Greg had been shot in the back of the head. His throat had been cut and he too had chopping wounds to his head and face. No drugs and no alcohol were detected in either victim.

Farm employees explained to cops that Jimbo Ford had been with the victims the previous afternoon. After leaving the farm, he appeared at a friend’s house wearing bloody clothes. He explained to the friend that the blood was from a hog he’d killed.

Investigators searched his house and truck. In the house, they found a pocket-knife.

Court records established Ford’s guilt. It read: “Ford was seen with the victims in the area of the crime just prior to the killings; Ford was seen in a distracted state with blood on his face, hands, and clothes; he was observed the next day, Monday, with scratches on his body; the rifle stock of a .22-caliber single-shot Remington rifle that belonged to Ford was found in a drainage ditch in the area where Ford’s truck ran out of gas Sunday evening; DNA from human debris found inside an Old Timer’s folding knife recovered from Ford’s bedroom matched Greg Malnory’s DNA type; DNA from a stain in Ford’s truck matched Kim Malnory’s type; DNA from a stain on the seat cover in Ford’s truck matched Kim’s type; DNA from semen found on the shirt Kim was wearing when murdered matched Ford’s type. DNA from vaginal swabs taken from Kim matched Ford’s type.”

At trial, prosecutors laid out the following timeline of events in the murders of Greg and Kim. After they arrived, Greg left his truck and began to walk toward the pond. Ford followed behind and shot him in the back of the head. He then chopped his face and head with an ax-type tool and used his pocket-knife to cut the victim’s throat, severing the jugular vein.

Kim saw the attack and attempted to protect her daughter. But Ford ran back to the truck and assaulted her. He raped Kim, using his knife to cut the crotch of her swimsuit. Defensive wounds showed she fought hard but was overpowered. She was then chopped and stabbed, but still didn’t die. To finish the job, Ford stuck the barrel of his rifle in her mouth and pulled the trigger, finally killing Kim. At some point, it is thought she tried to grab her daughter and run away because her blood was found on Maranda.

Two years later, Ford was tried and convicted of armed sexual battery, aggravated child abuse, and two counts of first degree murder. He was sentenced to death.

Ford’s appeals have all been denied.

11 comments:

lgriffin said...

Hi my name is Linda Griffin
Kimberly Malnory was (is) my daughter and to tell you the truth I really don't know why I am writing to you. Maybe it is just one of my bad days or maybe I just wanted to tell you a little bit about Kimberly. She was only 27 when she was murdered. She was just starting to live her life with a new husband and baby girl.She was the beats in my heart, she was my first baby and she was so special, she was a great ma daughter and person. she love to have family picnic and just to be around family. I have Maranda, since the day her mother was murdered. I have another daughter Jennifer she was killed two years later a semi-truck pulled out in front of her. She also left me a little baby girl Angelina was 3 months old when her mother was killed . Jennifer was my other heart beat.she was only 17 when she died, didn't even know what live was about. I have both my grand daughters and I worship the ground they walk on. I try not to spoil them, but it is so hard not to. I'm sorry for writing to you but I just felt like I had to

zoe said...

Linda, it's nice to have some backgorund to this horrible crime and for people to remember that the victims were real people. it's so horrible what has happened to you and I respect and admire what you are doing for your grand daughters.

I hope that you carry on with the same fortitude that you have shown and that your grand daughters continue to bring you joy and peace.

Zoe

angie said...

Hello my name is Angela Bullard. I was born an raised in Arcadia fl, Im the baby of seven kids by Juanita and Rick bullard. I herd stories as a child about jombo ford from my parents. Before they got married and had all of us they new jimbo. From the stories he was a crazy man,busted beer bottles over his head just to do it and always fighting people. Ive herd about ur family tragic since the day it happend and im am so sorry for ur los. Im truely glad my parents stopped talking to that evil man way before us kids's time . It kills me to hear what happend to ur child . I have a lil gurl of my own now and I couldn't even imagin how I would feel, what I would even do. GOD BLESS U! and prayers for ur children.

Brandy Ford said...

mrs.Linda, You dont know me, but i know all about you and i remeber your daughter and mr. greg. i hope miranda is doing good. my name is Brandy Ford. i am the youngest daughter of James Dennis Ford. i am sorry for all the things that all this has callsed you. i hope miranda is growing into a wonerful young lady. after everything with my dad, my grandparents raised me. i just want you to know yall have always been in my prayers, and to ashure you that needlest to what other ppl has said, my dad wasnt all that crazy. he wasnt a monster, he did love his kids, he wasnt some sico, i have been studying law for a good 6 years now, and i belive he did do those things and that they were horrific acts. and im sorry for him taking your light away, and if there is anything i can do please dont hasitate to ask. yall will be in my prayers as always. thank you.

MelaneeCP said...

Miss Brandy; I understand that he's your father but don't try to excuse ANY of what he did to Kim and Greg. He's a MONSTER; like it or not! Do you KNOW what he did to them??? Do you know what trauma he caused to THEIR daughter? How DARE you try to humanize that piece of garbage! You can visit your father in prison...Maranda can NEVER see her parents again on this Earth because of what YOUR FATHER did to them.

Kimberly was one of my best friends; she wouldn't have hurt ANYONE and would be the first to give you the shirt off her back. Their daughter has missed out on having a wonderful life with her parents because of that monster. Study 'law' all you'd like...he'll NEVER get out. I'll be there EVERY SINGLE time to remind everyone of what he did to my friends. Sick, sick bastard. He doesn't deserve to breathe the same air that we do. Casey Anthony should hook up with him. They'd make a perfect pair.

Miss Linda...I've been trying to find you for the last few years..where have you gone? Please find me on Facebook...I miss you and would love my daughter to know Maranda. We think of you all often. Kim's smile STILL haunts me to this day. God, how I miss her.

LadyJenn said...

Linda, I can't even begin to imagine the pain of your loss of your beautiful daughters. My heart breaks for you. I remember when Kimberly was stolen from this earth. My own daughter was about Maranda's age. I have lived in this area since 1989. While I didn't know Kimberly, I wish I would have had the privelage. She sounds like she was a wonderful human being. When this horrible thing happened, I felt sick and still do when I think about it. Jimbo is a vile, evil, and absolutely disgusting pile of human waste. I wish they would just execute him already. I am normally 'pro-life' but I think for him, most pro-life people would make an exception. God bless you and your family.

Hayley Mercer said...

Almost FIVE years after your comment, Linda ~ and yet still THE Murdering Monster sits and breathes for No Good Reason ~ on OUR Dime. Disgusting Insult to Injury as the ReVictimization of Greg & Kim's Loved Ones CREEPs up to the 30 year mark.

transbuilderguy said...

I wish we could find out if he was responsible for kelli krum i miss my cousin i looked up to her in school. Linda i dont know you personally but I am warren godfreys oldest son Robert i didnt know your daughter but i am truly sadened by your loss and the way she was taken

anonymous said...

He was, she was called ugly as he made her strup and was thrown to a ditch where a huge gator lived. Typical screaming i supose. At the time she was dating an african american and james did not approve.... she was determined to do what she wanted. Sorry for your loss

Transbuilderguy Transmissions said...

So.horrible if that is true kelli was a good person

Transbuilderguy Transmissions said...

I have always hoped kelli would show up one day but i guess after about 22 years its probably not going to happen