Sunday, August 13, 2006

Don't Do It

They got away with murder, almost. In December, 1999 the death of Edward C. Gregory, 62, was believed to be natural. Gregory’s health had been bad and when he was found dead in the home he shared with Norman E. Schlunt and Angela Soon He Kim, his relatives assumed he had died naturally and had his body cremated. The police never investigated Gregory’s death because they had no reason to suspect foul play.

Schlunt and Kim, not only housemates but business partners of Gregory, attended his funeral and were among the most prominent mourners. Schlunt and Kim collected $150,000 from Gregory’s life insurance. They used the proceeds to pay off their credit card bills and to start a courier business, Mercury PDX. They moved to Woodland, WA and put the past behind them. They might have got away with it completely if they hadn’t had a falling out of their own.

In March, 2006 during an argument at their home, Schlunt threatened to throw Kim out. She went to a friend, Wendy Murray and said she was afraid of her husband. She said she knew what Schlunt was capable of because he had killed his former business partner.

Murray, frightened, went to the police with the story, but she was missing some important details, like who had been killed and when. Detective Paul Weatheroy, of Portland’s newly created Cold Case Squad, got Murray to agree to talk with Kim on the phone and allow the police to record the calls. Over several phone calls Kim revealed details of the murder including the name of the victim.

The next day Weatheroy arrested Kim. Because she was still married to Schlunt, Police could not use Kim’s evidence against him. Murray agreed to set up a meeting at the Kenton Station Pub in North Portland.

Murray wore a wire. She told Schlunt that she knew everything, but she wanted to know details. Schlunt played dumb for a while, but soon opened up.

“I’ve done a lot of things in my life that I am not proud of,” he said.

“Is this one of them?” Murray asked.

“Of course it is, you know that.”

Police got enough from the Kenton Station conversation that they arrested Schlunt at the scene. Later after being confronted with the recordings of Kim’s phone calls, Schlunt confessed in detail to the crime.

Weatheroy asked Schlunt: “You did know that Edward had an insurance policy for $150,000?”

“Yes,” Schlunt replied. “I tell you without a doubt, I would not have done it without the money. We were running out of options.”

Kim and Schlunt were both charged with aggravated murder. Recently during a court hearing on these charges details of the crime from their confessions were released.

Edward Gregory had a reputation as a cheerful and friendly man. After a long career as an accountant and business owner in California, Gregory returned to his home state of Oregon. While working part-time as a document courier, Gregory befriended Schlunt in 1994. Gregory provided the down payment on the home that Schlunt and Kim bought in south east Portland and was allowed to live with the couple rent free.

Gregory and Schlunt had more than one business deal together including buying investment property and starting an Internet Service provider, Ethergate. Because of their business partnership Gregory and Schlunt took out life insurance policies for $150,000, each naming the other as beneficiary.

Schlunt and Kim lived far beyond their means, each running up large credit card bills. The Ethergate enterprise turned out to be not as successful as planned. It is possible that Schlunt was going through a divorce from his previous wife in Michigan during this time and that may have added to his money worries.

Finally Schlunt, feeling he had “no option” came up with the plan to kill Gregory and collect his insurance. Kim said she went along with the plan “like a stupid wife.” Together they planned Gregory’s death. Schlunt ordered 100 Ativan tablets on the internet. Ativan is an anti-anxiety drug that is also used to ease insomnia.

Schlunt and Kim experimented with Tylenol to find the best way to hide the powder and the bitter taste. They finally decided that chili was the best medium to deliver the drug, because it could be strongly spiced so the flavor could be hidden.

On December 1, 1999 Kim ground up 25 Ativan tablets in a bowl and filled the bowl with chili, then she served it to Gregory. Schlunt sat with an increasingly sleepy Gregory, telling him how much he and Kim liked Gregory. He told him how much he meant to the two of them and that they appreciated all the help he had been.

Gregory became nauseated, but was too weak to throw up. Schlunt and Kim put him to bed. Shortly after midnight the couple entered Gregory’s room. The man was sleeping heavily. Kim sat on his legs and Schlunt straddled the man’s chest, holding his arms down, but being careful not to leave bruises.

Schlunt placed a plastic bag over Gregory’s head and tied it off around his neck. Schlunt said that as he was tying off the plastic bag, Gregory awoke and said, “Don’t do it.” Schlunt held the bag in place for about five minutes and Gregory finally expired.

Schlunt and Kim face aggravated murder charges, but first they have a nasty divorce to finish. They have a dissolution hearing on August 25.

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17 Comments:

Blogger colette said...

Very well written article about a couple of heartless greedy murderers that destroyed a really nice man. I'm glad they got caught by their own stupidity.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Charlotte Joyce Maltby said...

I am the ex wife to Norman Schlunt and I have to tell you that our Divorce was final in 1990.
You can check the records and see that.So our divorce was final many years before this took place.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Tim said...

Man! That read like a screenplay for the old "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" television show that plays sometimes late at night. Very interesting! Maybe you should see about selling it at Associated Content. They buy stuff like this.
Enjoyed it!
Tim

8:13 AM  
Blogger monkeycent said...

Do you know what the latest is on these two? Have they gone to trial? I heard that Angela was getting out soon. What happened to their kids?

12:33 PM  
Blogger Tommy Boutell said...

My name is Tommy Boutell and I grew up with Norman in Berrien Springs, Mi. I’ve not seen or heard from or about him in over 25 years. I do know that although this is truly an unimaginable and horrible thing, people are always more than the sum of their worse act. Norman stood up for me frequently in school, and I remember someone who, although obviously conflicted, had empathy and, most certainly, a conscious. I will continue to keep him and all involved in this terrible act, especially children, in my constant prayers. + Peace of Christ.

1:34 PM  
Blogger Joyce ( Lucas) Maltby said...

I dated Norman when I was in high school then we got married Norman has never been of the violent type so I do find it hard to believe that he could be involved in something so sinister.Norman and Angela have not gone to court as of yet and both are still behind bars.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

I knew Norman, Angela and Ed very well. I was a partner in the internet service provider business as well. When things didn't go well at Ethergate I disengaged to pursue other opportunities. He refused to use any of the money he got from selling the Ethergate customers to repay my family's initial investment even though that was promised all along the way. I pressed Norman to make good on his obligations, file bankruptcy, get a job and start over. He did not see that as fitting within his worldview. He was convinced that he had to be in business for himself. He insisted that he needed the Ethergate sale proceeds for seed money for his next business venture. When he refused to make good on the promises that he made to me and my family we had a falling out and went our separate ways.

It became apparent to me that Norman was completely obsessed with being successful in business and becoming wealthy. He associated his self image and self worth with his business prowess and just could not accept failure. In the end he was willing to do anything within his power to make that success happen.

It's just tragic that one man's obsession drove him to such depths. Ed was a truly warm, kind, caring man. He was not scheming or vindicative in any way. I sincerely hope that Norman pays a heavy price for his terrible choice to place his hunger for wealth above all else in his life.

As for Angela, although she was clearly complicit, Norman has such a dominating personality that it is very unlikely that she really wanted to trade Ed's life for a relatively insignificant amount of money. I'm sure that Norman pushed his rationalization on her.

I'm happy to say that I have long since moved on in life and that this tragedy has not had affected my family and I in any way other than feeling sorrow for Ed.

12:12 PM  
Blogger Janelle said...

It always amazes me that in a country where we are "innocent until proven guilty", people are quick to accept the prosecution's version as though it must be truth. I have learned to suspend judgment until ALL of the evidence is presented. Whodunnits often have twists and turns.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Janelle, do you know Norman or Angela? Have you spent hundreds of hours with them as I have? When you have spent that much time, it's pretty easy to assess whether somebody is capable of doing this. And the sad fact is that Norman was and I'm sure still is a master of rationalization, and was obsessively goal oriented toward financial success.

I am sure as sure can be that Norm rationalized that Ed didn't have that long to live anyway, so he was just hastening the inevitable. So yes, I presume him to be guilty. But that's a very educated presumption based on both considering the evidence presented and my long knowledge of Norm's personality and values.

7:57 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Angela was sentenced to 17 years and is cooperating with prosecution for Norm's trial. See http://www.katu.com/news/11273546.html for details.

8:04 AM  
Blogger flowerpower said...

I am still stunned by this. My name is Warren and I grew up in Jamaica. Angela and her family were friends of ours. My brother dated her sister Joy and we played soccer with her brother Roy. I have never known Angela or any one in our group to be capable of anything like this. She was always a very happy smiling girl whom loved to dress in her best friend's traditional Indian garments. Sadly I just got news this week of Neeraja's passing.
I am not sure what brought her to this place and hope she is ok and is remorseful of what happened. I believe in my heart that she is and I would love to be able to communicate with her and the family. I also must state my feelling of sadness for the gentleman she killed and hope his family can somehow find a way to move forward.

12:22 PM  
Blogger runlikejoy said...

Warren, please contact me at runlikejoy@hotmail.com

6:08 PM  
Blogger Tammy Lucas said...

My name is Tammy and Norman was married to my sister and they had a son together he is a Jr and I spent a few good years around Norman and if you ask me I believe he could be capable of this crime!! Norm has always been money hungry and he was all about himself!! Any man that walks off on their child !!! Not even caring enough to call him!! Support him, then tries to use Divorciing my sister as part of his money problems!! Please!! I hope he sees that mans face everytime he opens his eyes in the morning , and every time he closes them at night!!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Condpirasteve Down Under said...

I worked for Schlunt for 6 years. He is the scum on the bottom of my shoe. I wish nothing but the worst on him while he slowly rots in prison

6:01 PM  
Blogger iyamwhatiyam said...

I also worked for Norm (and Angela), along with my husband. I agree that these 2 are capable of this crime. Money hungry, materialistic, and I always felt something was "up" with both of them. I worked with them after this event, and I could always sense a strange tension between the 2 of them, hindsight 20/20.......I hope they both realize the gravity of what they have done and may their children live in peace despite the deeds of their parents.

11:53 AM  
Blogger D .FG said...

I worked for these geeks, all them low life's over a mercury pdx...bunch of nerds...lmfao losers

1:38 AM  
Blogger D .FG said...

I worked for the creep at mercury pdx , fuck all those nerds up there...losers...lmfao, burn in hell punk

1:40 AM  

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