When 35-year-old Kimberly Pack received the phone call from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office asking her and her husband to clear their schedules for the following Tuesday, January 9, 2018, she said, “We will be there.” But the mother of two young boys did not get overly excited, or for that matter, excited at all. When asked later exactly how she felt on the day she received this call, Kim answered: “Numb.” Kim had been down this road many times before, and she was not expecting much. It was now 2018, and she assumed this was just another meeting about her mother’s unsolved murder in 2012. A newly appointed Atlantic County Prosecutor named Damon Tyner had taken office in the spring of 2017, and one of the first people he called was Kimberly Pack. The new prosecutor promised to put new resources into the dormant investigation of the murder of her mother, April Kauffman, who was 47 at the time of her death. Tyner also promised to give frequent updates, and to share whatever information he could along the way. For the first time Kim felt that someone in a position of authority was on her side, really putting forth a major effort. Still, she felt cautiously optimistic at best, as false hopes had also become a normal part of her life. The mere fact that Prosecutor Tyner had reached out when he took office felt significant; for years, she’d received few updates and met resistance whenever she made an inquiry regarding the investigation. The very day of April’s murder it took detectives hours to tell Kim that they were investigating a homicide and that her mother had not died a natural death. Kim had already figured as much by the presence of the yellow crime scene tape and the news helicopters hovering above. When the day arrived for the meeting with the Prosecutor’s Office, Kim’s husband Randy had taken off work and was in the shower getting ready for their 1 p.m. meeting when the phone rang around 11 a.m. The location of the meeting had changed from the Prosecutor’s Office in Mays Landing to the FBI field office in Northfield. The couple was asked to come as soon as possible. Kim knew this was not just another meeting. When the Packs walked into the FBI’s second floor office, they were greeted by FBI Special Agent Dan Garrabrant. Garrabrant, a twenty-year veteran of the FBI, had promised Kim that he would find the person or persons responsible for her death and see to it that they were brought to justice, no matter who they were or how long it took.
That day had arrived. Garrabrant ushered Kim and Randy into a spacious conference room, where the team of people responsible for untangling one of the most notorious murderfor-hire plots in New Jersey history stood. Detective Jim Scoppa from the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, flanked by Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy and First Assistant Prosecutor Cary Shill, stood next to the team’s new leader, Prosecutor Damon Tyner. Tyner placed a hand on Kim’s shoulder, looked her in the eye and said softly, “We got ’em, we got all of them.” Every person in the room then proceeded to hug Kim, who was overcome with emotion, and shake hands with Randy, before sitting them down and sharing some of the gruesome details. Dr. James Kauffman, Kim’s stepfather, and the man she had long suspected of killing her mother, had been arrested and charged with murder. In an unforeseen twist, investigators had found that Jim, the fidgety, nervous, physically unprepossessing doctor, was heavily involved with an outlaw South Jersey biker gang in what prosecutors described as an elaborate and lucrative drug dealing scheme. Kim knew that leading up to her mother’s death, her mother had uncovered some of the truth about some of Jim’s dirty deals and his labyrinth of lies. Prosecutors say that when she found out and threatened to expose the illicit pill mill he was running out of his medical office, a contract on her life was set in motion. The months following the meeting at the FBI office in Northfield would begin what Kim hoped would be the final chapter of her years-long journey in fighting for and ultimately finding justice for her mother. But the case was far from over, and was still to bring many new and disturbing details to light. The tangled web involving the doctor, the hitman, and the motorcycle gang was about to unravel.