A broken marriage led to the murder of a popular real estate agent, police say

The late Miami real estate broker Linda Marx was known for her trademark ads in which she held a small white dog.
The late Miami real estate broker Linda Marx was known for her trademark ads in which she held a small white dog.

Steven Kasimow shot and killed his mother-in-law, Linda Marx, in front of his North Miami-Dade home Monday because he believed she was responsible for his marital problems, investigators say.

A few hours later, Hollywood police found Kasimow, 52, dead. He had parked his car on the side of the road on a Hollywood street and shot himself in the head.

Hollywood police said that before Kasimow took his life, Miami-Dade police had managed to contact him through his cellphone and traced the phone to the Hollywood street location, where Hollywood police set up a perimeter and called in their SWAT team before determining he was dead.

Kasimow’s wife “had asked for a divorce,” said a police source familiar with the shooting incidents. “The subject blamed the victim for their issues.”

Miami-Dade property records show the shooting took place at a home owned by Kasimow and his wife Aimee Marx Kasimow in the 2100 block of Northeast 211th Street. If the couple were headed for divorce, papers had not yet been filed with the clerk of Miami-Dade’s courts.

Kasimow, like his mother-in-law, was a real estate agent, according to state records.

The initial shooting in Northeast Miami-Dade happened just before 5 p.m. Monday. Police believe Kasimow stormed angrily out of his home and was followed by Marx. When she confronted him, he shot her. Kasimow was found dead a few hours later on South 21st Avenue, just north of Pembroke Road in Hollywood.

Hollywood police spokesman Christian Lata said Kasimow did not live in Hollywood and had no connection to the area.

“He fled the scene and somehow police communicated with him by phone,” he said. “It pinged to Hollywood. He was just driving through the city.”

Monday’s shooting rocked the real estate community and the usually quiet neighborhood off Ives Dairy Road and just east of I-95 where Marx, 70, was killed. A large gathering of family and friends consoled each other well into the evening through hugs and tears.

Marx’s Facebook page was filled with pictures of family members celebrating her birthday at the Palm Restaurant on Sunday, the night before she was killed. Her page also contains photos of family outings and remembrances of her husband Paul, who died in 2003, and her daughter Robyn, who lost her life to breast cancer at 43 in October.

A once-popular real estate agent whose face and pet dog adorned many a North Dade and Aventura bus bench, Marx’s sales had tapered off over the past few years.

She first obtained a Florida real estate broker license in 1980 and became a mortgage broker in 1996. Two years earlier she founded the Linda Marx Realty firm. According to the Multiple Listing Service, Marx closed only three sales last year, an indication that she had embraced retirement.

Rene Rodriguez has worked at the Miami Herald in a variety of roles since 1989. He currently writes for the business desk covering real estate and the city’s affordability crisis.