Man who claimed key information in Zimmermann homicide dies in crash

Andrew Scoles dies after July motorcycle crash
Man who claimed key information in Zimmermann homicide dies in crash
Brittany Zimmerman

A man who claimed to have key information in a nearly 10-year-old Madison homicide case has died after a motorcycle crash.

Andrew Scoles, 39, died Saturday from injuries suffered in a crash on July 20 in Fitchburg, according to a release from the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Madison police Chief Mike Koval confirmed to News 3 that Scoles is the same person who claimed to have information about the death of 21-year-old Brittany Zimmermann.

Zimmermann was killed in her downtown Madison apartment on April 2, 2008.

Scoles had previously shared with investigators that while he was in a federal prison in West Virginia, a Wisconsin registered sex offender named David Kahl “broke down in tears” and confessed to killing Zimmermann.

Scoles though, tried to use that information to leverage at first his release from prison, or later a pardon for his crimes.

Koval said detectives had always been concerned about Scoles’ credibility, given his expressed intention to use the information to his advantage, but that the Dane County District Attorney’s Office had been involved in some preliminary discussions about what information he could share.

“Quite frankly, what information he had to offer was through the context of how it would benefit ‘me, myself and I,'” Koval told News 3.

“As officers of the court, we are always concerned and sensitive to this, and as much as we want to find killers, we don’t want to enable perjury or allow someone worried about their own skin to use or manipulate an investigation.”

Zimmermann’s family is convinced of Kahl’s guilt, and that Scoles was the key to the case. Brittany’s mom, Jean Zimmerman, said she was stunned to learn of Scoles death.

“I truly, honestly believe that he knew everything,” Zimmermann said. “(I was in) complete disbelief actually. I really wish he would have come forward and told us what he knew.”

Koval said the Zimmermann case still has active leads, and the case is being reviewed by a new detective within the office.

“We are still committed to finding Brittany’s killer or killers,” Koval said. “At this juncture, the Scoles chapter is no longer tenable given his death.”

Scoles crashed his motorcycle the afternoon of July 20 in the 6000 block of Basswood Drive and was taken to a hospital. He was the only one on the motorcycle.

The death remains under investigation by Fitchburg police and the Dane County Medical Examiner’s Office.