John Kenney verdict

Elizabeth  Grimes killer

John Kenney verdict declared him guilty. John Franklin Kenney, 72, killed Mel Grimes and Elizabeth Grimes. The true story of Kenney and the Grimes has been made into a one hour TV episode of Dateline. NBC made “Trouble On The Hill” to re-enact the story of Kenney and the Grimes.

Kenney had hauled a boulder weighing one ton up to a piece of land that divided his and the Grimes’ property. Kenney left the boulder on the land to claim his ownership. The Grimes had a dispute with Kenney as they claimed the land belonged to them. Kenney and Grimes had a long quarrel that was fueled with lawsuits, counter lawsuits and restraining orders. The dispute lasted for about 1 year.

Finally, Kenney killed Mel and Elizabeth Grimes on Jan 29 2007.

John Kenney killed Grimes

Why does a man become a killer?
Sigmund Freud used psychology to explain a human being’s behavior. The id, or the basic instincts wanted to satisfy its primordial desires of winning any argument against the neighbors. The ego was supposed to find a balance between perceived needs and un-necessary desires. The ego failed to rein in id’s wild desires. The super-ego was not active in policing the id and ego. The human being’s actions went overboard.

In September 2008, the court found Kenney guilty of murder on two counts. Kenney was convicted of first degree murder for killing Elizabeth Grimes. Kenney was convicted on second degree murder for the death of Mel Grimes. Kenney was convicted and sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

NBC Dateline website. Photos/ videos are included in their site.

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    Elizabeth Grimes, John Kenney, mel grimes, mel and elizabeth grimes, john kenney grimes, john kenney murder, John Franklin Kenney, mel grimes murder, mel grimes jr, john kenny grimes
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29 Responses to John Kenney verdict

  1. audrey

    This case is horrifying, the Grimes were hippies, nothing never would have happened to them nor would they ever hurt anyone at all in anyway, it was Kenney that was a crazy psycho that destroyed their lives because he was nuts and couldnt handle their eclectic yard and propert. It is too bad that a judge ruled in Kenneys favor because that is where the trouble happened and the judge was wrong, Mel didnt fix it as quick as the neurotic Kenney wanted so without grimes permission Kenney hired someone and billed Mel for half and the judge backed Kenney, well this just made Kenney have a more bloated image of himself and that he was right and he could do whatever and he would win in the end. I think he should have been shot in cold blood in front of his stupid, bias, and clueless daughter, she has a different opinion of what happened then anyone else even with things that are unknown like claiming elizabeth attacked him she was much smaller and he over exaggerated his medical woes. But that daughter is so stupid her father is alive. Why didnt Kenney just leave, he had another home, more resources, I hope Kenney rots in you know where and his daughter will probably follow he saved her from a life of poverty so she will pretty much hang on to the money by saying how peaceful he was of course he owned a gun Grimes did not and he killed the Grimes, yeah Peaceful…

  2. MrBill

    What was the time between the Grimes 911 call and Kenney’s call? Did he use the Grimes phone? And did he explain why he didn’t mention to 911 that he shot two people that were in need of medical assistance? How does he justify that? At least the justice system is giving him a long time to think about it.

  3. Terry Rumsey

    I am 57, never had a home, much less a parcel of land to fight over! Anyone can claim land as their own, but it all belongs to God! How sad that there would be arguing that escalated to two people dying, over land. I don’t understand this, we are all here temporarily, read the book about the neurosurgeon who spoke with God while he was in a coma, ‘God told this man, ‘you will see a different life with me!’ And that all that matters while we are here, is to love one another!’ God Bless the innocent ones, the children of the deceased, the children of the accused! What a tragic story!

  4. bobbie


  5. kitty doyle

    tommy you are dead wrong or are you just stupid? And freddy it was a fat a**hole… you must be fat yourself he had a gun, they didn’t look at the facts dummy!

  6. E.j.

    I hope the grimes son seek damages from kenney & settles for kenneys house. That would fire that nut job up. The people who aided putting that boulder there should also be financially responsible.

  7. FRANK


  8. Chuck

    I just saw this program on Dateline ID for the first time today. It was very disturbing. I think the attorney, Mel Grimes, should have stayed in his home and waited for the sheriff to come out that day. But, I can understand how angry he’d be to come home from a nice Hawaiian vacation only to find he’s blocked out of his own carport and a vehicle is blocked by the boulder.

    IMO, John Kenney instigated most of the trouble by poisoning their pets, planting a “garden” behind their vehicles, placing the boulder in the driveway and most importantly, coming to a confrontation with a .45 pistol. He was looking for trouble and he found it. I hope he hates the remainder of his miserable life in prison and I also hope his appeal is denied.

  9. TeQnInE

    And in the end that land didn’t belong to anyone according to city records.
    New evidence in the trial of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors over a property dispute shows that the land was a public easement and not owned by either party.

    Kenney might have known that the land was part of a public easement at the time of the shooting because insurance documents signed in 1999 indicated the area was not his property, prosecutors said.

  10. Willyprep

    Tommy, really? He shot Liz in the back after she lay on the ground from being shot the first time. Try listening to the tape, he shoots 10 seconds after his 4th shot to end it. How can a women attack him while holding a phone?

  11. A. Morales

    He deserved it. Taking another life should not be a human’s first response. What reason did he have to kill an unarmed woman? Listen to the 911 call. There were shots, Mel and Elizabeth said their final I Love You’s, and then there were more shots. It was murder, not self defense.

  12. Susan Stevens

    What they didn’t say on ID was that Kenney SUED the Grimes after he killed them to recover his $25,000 back. If that isn’t arrogant what is? He deserves to sit in jail. Sound unbelieveable? Check this link:

  13. Horrified Lawyer

    Oh, It was shocking,too, when he called 911 Kenney never even mentions that two people are in need of medical help. I can see how that must have impacted the judge’s sentencing.

    Agree with those who mentioned how interesting the Grimes’ were. I was touched at what they said to each other as they were dying.

  14. Horrified Lawyer

    I was outraged and horrified when I listened to this. When I saw how Kenney had all of the sticks on his property organized by size, it appeared to me that the guy was anal. That, by definition, means a rigid and inflexible guy. To people like Kenney, the entire world is wrong and he is right. As an attorney, I NEVER would have advised him to put a rock across the Grimes’ driveway. No matter how Kenney tried to present a case of self defense, the boulder equals provocation. If Kenney were afraid as he claimed, he never would have taken action calculated to cause a reaction from the Grimes. Kenney must have been at a point where he wasn’t getting what he wanted fast enough. He forced a confrontation. That means he is responsible for these people’s deaths. Especially shooting Elizabeth in the back? His lack of remorse is quite sickening.

    My heart goes out to the Grimes’ family, and the family of Kenney. The wife and daughters are victims, too.

  15. Richard

    911 tapes…I couldn’t belive what I was hearing. Very tragic. My heart goes out to their (both sides) kids. They are caught in the mist of all their pain. Im sure it’s been rough trying to fill this void. Forgiveness,I’m affraid,is the only way out of this mess.

  16. JM

    Kenney deserved what he got… the Grimes were nice people, I feel sad for thier son he lost his mother and father they will never have a chance to see there grandchildren and their grandchildren will never have great grandparents to share their lives with thats the sad sad part. Hope Kenney rots in jail.

  17. Bobbie

    What about the people/nursery that literally placed the boulder there? AND, didn’t they say that a sheriff was there when it was placed and they told Kenney to go and stay inside? Why didn’t the law stay there if they knew something was gonna come of it. Of course putting that boulder there was open arms for trouble. He wanted to kill them….
    He is guilty as hell!

  18. david g

    can’t believe anyone would side with John Kenny! what a worthless POS. may he rot in hell.

  19. Jen

    Just watched the show on Crime ID channel. Kenney is a cold blooded killer. He deserves to rot in prison. Sad to see that his own family cannot own up to the horrible act he committed too. What is wrong with some people these days? All over a small piece of grass?! A small piece of grass?! Seriously?!?! I wonder if the old geezer feels remorse while he’s getting banged in prison??? The Grimes seemed like awesome people. I feel for their son. Funny that Kenney’s family went back to France right after the verdict was read. Really concerned about him. Hahahahaha..that daughter’s tears make me want to throw up. Rot in hell Kenney….Rest in peace Grimes!!!!

  20. John K

    Just watched the show. Kenney is a dirtbag. He had zero to gain by blocking the Grimes’ access to their carport except to try to mess with neighbors. The situation with the small strip of land was known when he bought the place, and he should have just accepted it. Then when he escalated the situation he took advantage of the emotions he knew he would arouse and slaughtered two people who offered no physical threat to him. I sincerely hope he is getting assraped in prison at this moment.

  21. Rich

    “The Perfect Storm”

  22. jeff

    what a pice of shit

  23. Savannah

    The Grimes had the legal right to cross that bit of land to get to their carport. Kenney is 100% wrong and should rot in prison. How vindictive and low to block someone’s car in w/ a boulder! HE started it and HE ended it. And he’s not even sorry for their deaths! I would have loved living next to the Grimes. They seem quirky,interesting, and lively. Kenney should have moved to a stuffy O.C. community where everything is manicured and ‘perfect’. He took out two very cool people. Got no pity for him. Don’t care if he’s 150! She called him fat, so she should die??! Unbelievable! And so darn sad. They r in heaven together, though. That’s the only consolation. And he’ll be in hell so not more feud.

  24. tracy

    The 911 call proves they were helpless..Kenney didnt have to come out of his house with a gun and shoot them to death…Its was obvious he knew he was going to kill them. If he feared his life he wouldnt have been out there in the first place. The guys a piece of sh?it

  25. Freddy

    She shouldn’t have called him a fat ass

  26. Good Neighbor

    Tommy,thats a lie and YOU know it. These people didnt have a gun he did. I do not feel sorry for him. AS a decent person, I would never block my neighbor’s drive, even if I owned it. I think he did this to get trouble started. Keep in mind Tommy two people ARE DEAD. I think you would change your tune if he had MURDERED YOUR PARENTS. If he was that scared he should have remained in Europe. He had a choice.

  27. Tony

    Are you fucking nuts? It was not self defence, he is a fucking mad man and a murderer that should have been given the death penalty.

  28. burn in hell

    He put that boulder there on puropse. He is a piece of worthless s**t. I hope he rots in hell, worthles basterd!!!

  29. Tommy

    I think its very wrong that they gave him life, He was just saveing his own life i dont blame him for it, it was all just self defense he was attacked.

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