The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio on May 23, 1985 · Page 46
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The Cincinnati Enquirer from Cincinnati, Ohio · Page 46

Cincinnati, Ohio
Issue Date:
Thursday, May 23, 1985
Page 46
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C-4 METRO THE CINCINNATI ENQUIRER Thursday, May 23, 1985 3 Years Later, Police Still Sift Clues In Repairman's Death BY STEVE HOFFMAN The Cincinnati Enquirer It Is now three years since appliance repairman Permon Eugene Gilbert's nude body was found near Bethel, riddled by three bullets. For some time, posters proclaiming a $25,000 reward for Information leading to the arrest of his killer or killers were posted in several nearby counties. None of the reward money has been paid. But people close to the case, Including Gilbert's widow, JoAnn, and Clermont County chief deputy Clarence Pennington, hope this is the year the case Is solved. Both suggest the killer or killers could be arrested this year. The murder case Involves law enforcement officials in three Ohio counties. THE BADLY beaten body of Gilbert, 46, was found along Swope Road near Bethel, his birthplace, In Clermont County on May 23, 1982. Gilbert had lived In Hamers-vllle In Brown County for 15 years. He was last seen the day before he was found at Clyde's Super Market In Maysvllle, Ky., after a service call In Aberdeen. Gilbert's van was found in a remote part of Ebenezer Road In Adams County the day after his body was discovered. JoAnn Gilbert Is certain her husband's death was drug-related. She cited several connections. She insisted, however, Permon had absolutely nothing to do with drugs. In February or March, 1982, Permon's brother, Vernon, now 35, came to Cincinnati from California to testify before a federal grand Jury regarding a case believed to be connected with drugs. None of the Gilberts knows why Vernon was here. Federal and local authorities won't reveal any Information. "My husband was seen with him (Vernon) around the Hamilton County Courthouse," JoAnn Gilbert said. "It's my feelings that he was killed to warn his brother to keep his mouth shut." I; J . - - - "-" PERMON AND JOANN GILBERT . . . still no solution She remembered family members telling her of "some big man who was following him (Permon) around the courthouse" and how "Permon couldn't lose him." "I think (the case is close to solution) but I can't be sure," said JoAnn Gilbert. "Sometimes I feel they (police) have been very close. They have a pretty good idea on where he was killed." PENNINGTON, ALTHOUGH cautious in revealing any progress In the Investigation, said, "I am always hopeful, always optimistic on open homicide cases." He quickly added, "But I am not ready to sign warrants today and close the case tomorrow." Gilbert was known as Permon to his relatives and friends and "Gene" to his co-workers. He was a General Electric appliance repairman for more than 20 years. His widow said Gilbert, at 6 feet, 2 Inches and 200 pounds, was not one to place himself In Jeopardy when it came to his relationships. "He was very outgoing, a cutup who liked to Joke but a kind gentleman," she said. "Everybody seemed to like him, but someone somewhere didn't like him." Giles Gilbert, 73, of Bethel, Permon's father, said, "He got along with everybody and everybody thought a lot of him. If he had an enemy, I wouldn't know It." Calling Permon "the best friend I ever had in my life," Charles Armstrong of Bethel said, "I never saw the man have an argument or fight in the more than 40 years I knew him." UNTIL HIS death, Permon was co-owner of a plane for 10 years which was kept in a hangar behind the Gilberts' home on two acres north of Hamersvllle. Mrs. Gilbert recalled, "He was asked to transport drugs several times, but we don't believe in that kind of stuff." The last approach occurred within the year before Permon's death, she said, adding she suspects the requests were made by Brown Countians. Gilbert's father doesn't believe drugs caused his son's death. "Permon served on the (Brown County) grand Jury for about a week a year or so before it happened so I thought about that, too," said the elder Gilbert. "I can't Imagine why anyone would want to kill him," said close-friend Armstrong who Identified Gilbert's body after it was found. He still recalls how Gil bert's nose was broken and his eyes were "very badly swollen" when he viewed the body. Charlotte Earhart can't forget Permon visiting her house the Thursday before his body was found the following Sunday. "He wasn't himself," she said. "Something was bothering him, something was on his mind. He was quite shook." It particularly bothered her, she said, because Permon "never showed his own problems; he was always concerned with others." She believes when the murder is solved, "it will Involve several people and It will be shocking thing when it comes out." JoAnn Gilbert recently stopped to ask Pennington of any progress in the Investigation. "I Just wish they would go ahead and make an arrest," she said. "He told me to sit tight and that there will no arrest until he's 100 sure." "I understand that," she said. "I want the right person. He (Pennington) told me It's his number one case right now. I Just want progress." Fund-Raiser Diverted Funds, Officials Say BY BEN L KAUFMAN The Cincinnati Enquirer Federal and local authorities are moving against fund-raiser David Allen Poorman, who is accused of diverting contributions to the Klwanis Club of Cincinnati and Viet Nam Veterans of America to his own use. Poorman had his first appearance In Hamilton County Municipal Court Tuesday and was released on his promise to return May 24 for arraignment on felony theft charges filed by Mount Healthy police. Last week, postal inspectors won a temporary restraining order, barring Poorman from taking money mailed to him In Mount Healthy. Next week, they'll ask U.S. District Court Chief Judge Carl B. Rubin to permanently deny Poor-man access to those contributions. . POORMAN, 33, 1954 N. Llnndale Ave., owns Poofman's Production and Entertainment, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Gere Whitaker. He was under contract to Entertainment Production Inc. to solicit funds for a Klwanis magi-clan's show In October and Viet Nam Veterans by telephone. Whitaker said contributions were to be deposited In Fifth Third Bank accounts where withdrawals required two authorized signatures, one from the sponsoring organization and one from Entertainment Productions. Poorman diverted some of the checks In a Central Trust account In North College Hill over which he alone had complete control, Whitaker said, and withdrew some of that money. After a Klwanis official complained, Mount Healthy Detective Sgt. Al Schaefer interviewed Poorman and arrested him May 13. "POORMAN ADMITTED that he was not authorized to have another account but did it because his overhead was too high and he could not make a profit from splitting the difference with his employer or the Klwanis Club," Schaefer said. The local charge of felony theft Involves contributions which arrived at the Mount Healthy post office before postal Inspectors took action. Postal Inspector P.J. Farmer Jr. said about $3,600 was diverted from the Klwanis contributions. He said about 60 letters a day with contributions for the Kiwanis Club arrive at the Mount Healthy post office. Farmer said he knew less about Viet Nam Veterans of America contributions, but it was clear that Poorman "misappropriated" checks sent to that group. Poorman also put those checks In an unauthorized account at Central Trust over which he had sole control and drew on them, Farmer said. So far, no federal charges have been placed against Poorman. 2 Convicted On Cocaine Charges Two Walnut Hills cocaine peddlers were convicted Wednesday by a U.S. District Court Jury. Richard Hollingshead, 22, who had been In state custody, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to sell cocaine and four counts of selling It. Melvln Morton, 34, 4201 Victory Pky., North Avondale, was con victed on the same five charges, plus a misdemeanor involving possession of small amounts of marijuana and cocaine. They were arrested in a state-federal probe of cocaine dealing In the neighborhood of Gilbert and Mellsh Aves., Walnut Hills. Both men remained in federal custody for sentencing. I !,"J,rttf "" It I wftf nwwffl m ! gags""" V feae In I A foAO-l CT AAA WANTS YOUR MONEY' TO HAVE A SAFE TRIP At AAA, we do everything we can to make sure your vacation is free from worry. That's why we offer AAA American Express Travelers Cheques the ones travelers cheque users prefer. 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