Don't Do It
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.