There’s more news in the brutal murder of East Village man Joseph Shay, 43, and 2-year-old Gregory Bosco Erdmann, which occurred over the weekend at the Shay’s Bechtelsville, Pennsylvania, country house. The Shay family, including Paul, his wife, Monica, and his nephew Joseph, who all live in the East Village, had been staying there over the weekend along with Joseph’s girlfriend, Kathryn Erdmann, who is Gregory’s mother. It was there that Mark Geisenheyner, 51, a career criminal who had been plotting revenge against Paul Shay over an alleged insurance-fraud scam in 2006, opened fire on Saturday night, shooting all of them in the head and killing Joseph and Gregory.
The New York Post reports that Geisenheyner entered the house saying, “Guess you never thought you’d see me again!” before shooting. Both Erdmann and Paul Shay, who owns a plumbing business in New York City, are in critical condition — but have been able to speak to investigators, according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
Monica Shay, who is the director of an arts and cultural management program at Pratt Institute, is “extremely critical and not expected to survive.”
The alleged insurance fraud began when Paul Shay reported arson at his house in Bechtelsville and filed an insurance claim for items lost in the fire — items that included a painting that cops then found with Geisenheyner. Geisenheyner was eventually sent to prison on charges of possession of stolen property; he was also apparently angry for never getting his share of the insurance money.
Court records in New York show Paul Shay owed thousands to credit-card companies around the time of the fire. It’s not clear if either he or Geisenheyner was implicated in the alleged insurance fraud.
Yesterday, Geisenheyner, who had spoken frequently of hurting Shay or burglarizing his home, was tracked down by a SWAT team after the acquaintance with whom he’d sought refuge called the cops on him. He was killed after a six-hour standoff in Trainer, Pennsylvania. He had been determined not to go to prison again.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 5, 2011