Vladimir Nabokov’s book “Lolita” is considered a masterpiece because of the Russian author’s ability to humanize and make readers empathize with his character Humbert Humbert, who falls in love with his 13-year-old stepdaughter in the story. Unfortunately for Brett Kimberlin, even the Russian master would have a hard time getting people to feel empathy for Kimberlin, who allegedly suffered from Humbert’s fate of loving “nymphets”.
Because, you see, for Kimberlin, all the madness that happened in his life all started with his apparent infatuation for a little girl named Debbie Barton. The original article on Kimberlin and the Speedway Bombings explains:
Investigators learned that her daughter, Sandra Barton, was a very close friend of Brett C. Kimberlin. The relationship between the pair was complicated by his strange affection for Mrs. Barton’s pre-teen daughter, Debbie.
Investigators learned Debbie accompanied Kimberlin on several long, unsupervised trips, including holidays in Florida, Mexico and Hawaii.
Mrs. Scyphers (Barton’s mother and Debbie’s grandmother) violently disapproved of Kimberlin’s questionable relationship with Debbie and her mother. The concerned grandmother arranged for Debbie and her sister, Shari, to leave their mother’s home and move in with her.
Separated from Debbie, Kimberlin threatened suicide.
It was after the girls moved in with their grandmother, that their grandmother ended up dead from a gunshot wound to the back of the head from an unknown suspect. The Indianapolis Star report describes what authorities believed happened:
On Saturday, July 29, 1978, Julia Scyphers, a 65-year-old grandmother was in her living room chatting with her granddaughters at her small home at 1651 Cunningham Drive, Speedway.
(At) about 3 p.m., a man knocked on her door asking about some items she had displayed at a garage sale.
When Mrs. Scyphers went outside to the garage to show him the items, he slipped a .25 caliber pistol from his black briefcase and shot her once in the back of the head. She slumped to the floor beside the family car.
In the end, authorities believed that Scyphers was killed because of her interference regarding her granddaughter and Kimberlin. Authorities believe Kimberlin set up the Speedway Bombings as an attempt to distract from the investigation of Scyphers’ murder. (Unfortunately, Kimberlin was never tried for this crime, because the only witness, Scyhpers’ husband, died shortly after her death.)
As you may know, Kimberlin, for all intents and purposes, took the life of another man, Carl DeLong, with the Speedway Bombings. DeLong was severely injured in a blast from one of Kimberlin’s bombs, and it’s believed that he eventually committed suicide from the injuries he received that day.
Just remember, though, that for Brett Kimberlin, it all started with his sick love for a pre-teen girl.