Model’s Killer Gets Life Sentence

Times Staff Writer

Kimberly Pandelios moved to Northridge in November 1991 to make it as a model.

Instead, the 20-year-old wife and mother was drowned in a mountain stream 13 months later by a man who told her he could help make her dream come true.

For the record:

12:00 a.m. April 5, 2006 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday April 05, 2006 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Model’s slaying: An article in Friday’s California section about the sentencing of killer David Rademaker said that his victim, model Kimberly Pandelios, had been living in Northridge for 13 months when she was murdered. She had been living there for three months.

On Thursday, David Rademaker, 42, of Burbank was sentenced to life in prison without parole for Pandelios’ slaying. His attorney, Chad Calabria, said he would appeal.


A 12-member jury in February found Rademaker guilty of first-degree murder with the special circumstance that he had kidnapped Pandelios. Calabria contends the kidnapping is speculation and conjecture. “There’s no evidence that she was moved against her will,” he said.

Rademaker still says he’s innocent, but Calabria declined to give Rademaker’s version of what happened, saying it will be addressed in the appeal.

Rademaker, using the pseudonym Paul, lured Pandelios into the Angeles National Forest for a photo shoot, then killed her when she resisted his sexual advances, according to trial testimony.

At the time, Rademaker ran a prostitution service and a phone-sex line. Pandelios, a petite Latina, had had limited success modeling swimwear and lingerie.

In March 1993, two hikers found the model’s skull and other remains near where police had discovered Pandelios’ torched Chrysler Laser the previous year. Investigators also unearthed handcuffs and a cut-up black bra and panties.

But the case languished for a decade before detectives got their break in the form of Rademaker’s ex-girlfriend, Manya Ksendzov.

In the mid-'90s, Rademaker briefly dated Ksendzov, then 15, before her parents turned him in for statutory rape and supplying her with drugs. He served six years of a 12-year sentence.

Just before Rademaker’s release, Ksendzov told police he had bragged about killing Pandelios, Calabria said.

Ksendzov had previously told police about Rademaker’s claim when her parents had him arrested.

“Either they didn’t believe her or the investigation revealed it wasn’t plausible. So it was quite a shock when they came after him 10 years later,” Calabria said.

Rademaker was indicted a few months later.

Calabria said Ksendzov, who blames Rademaker for her heroin addiction, had a strong motive to lie. And Calabria said there was testimony that Pandelios was still alive two days after her alleged murder.

Brad Leon testified that he was off-roading in the Angeles National Forest near the Monte Cristo gold mine when he encountered a pack of menacing bikers and a well-dressed young woman in heels. He later decided the woman was Pandelios after seeing her image on a newscast.

“There were real lingering doubts in the case,” Calabria said.

The prosecutor could not be reached for comment.

Pandelios’ mother, Magaly Spector, and husband, Peter, could not be reached for comment.