Suspects, motive sought in 10-month-old murder

June 20, 1993|By Glenn Small | Glenn Small,Staff Writer

The parking lot was unusually dark the night of Aug. 5, 1992, almost pitch black. Keith Schriefer, leaving an Overlea bar with his childhood friend, Paul Gregory Monk, and another man, John Hipsley, didn't think anything of the darkness.

Then he heard the gunshots, saw the muzzle flashes, and saw Mr. Monk fall to the ground.

"Nobody seen his face," Mr. Schriefer said of the killer. "There were no words exchanged. He just came from nowhere."

The gunman, who had long brown hair and wore a baseball cap, vanished into the night. Mr. Monk, 35, part-owner of a Parkville bar named Stumpy's, was hit three times -- twice in the head. tTC The other bullet ripped through his back. Police would not reveal the caliber of the bullets.

Police believe the killer ran to a waiting getaway vehicle, driven by another man. They believe the two suspects darkened the parking lot by unscrewing a light bulb, then waited patiently for their victim.

"It was definitely along the lines of a contract hit," said Detective Philip Marll, one of two homicide detectives working on the case. "Very, very seldom do you get something like that out here."

Forty-four people were murdered in Baltimore County last year, a record. Eleven cases remain unsolved, and Paul Monk's may be the most puzzling.

Many of Mr. Monk's relatives and friends say they suspect that his death was the result of retaliation. Nine months before Mr. Monk was murdered, a former girlfriend died at his house from a drug overdose. The theory is that her friends blamed him for her death, something Mr. Monk's friends and relatives say he talked about before his death.

Police investigated the theory and found no evidence to support Another possibility is that the murder was drug-related.

When he was killed, Mr. Monk was facing a September trial on a cocaine possession charge. Police have investigated the drug angle and, once again, have come up empty.

"Paul Monk was involved in drugs," said Detective Marll, but "he was dealing on a very low level" and not high enough that someone would want to kill him.

Police have sketches of two men who showed up at Clayton's Bar and Grill in the 6700 block of Belair Road the night of the murder. The men had never been seen there before.

Witnesses later told police the two men were seen driving a maroon minivan through the side streets behind Clayton's and looking at a map. The van may have had out-of-state license plates.

Mr. Monk's friends told police that he said he saw someone in a van, apparently following him, but that he thought it was the police.

One of the suspects, described as having close-cropped hair, told a barmaid at Clayton's that he didn't have any identification, because he was in the military and had left his identification at the base.

Detective Marll and his partner, Detective James Tinchner, have logged many hours interviewing witnesses and searching for the two suspects. They've looked for the short-haired suspect at all the local military bases.

"We'd really like to talk to these guys," Detective Tinchner said.

Though police say Mr. Monk was no angel, the former accountant and former insurance agent did leave behind a family that has been devastated by his murder.

His two children, Michael and Stephanie, were in Florida when their father was killed. His wife, Kimberly Monk, who was separated from Mr. Monk but on good terms with him, said her children don't know how their father died.

Today will be the first Father's Day since his murder.

"We're going to the cemetery when I get home," Mrs. Monk said. "They talk to him. They talk about it everyday. They are constantly asking questions -- 'Why did Daddy have a heart attack?'. . . They don't know anything about it. I just can't tell them."

Mary Monk, Mr. Monk's mother, breaks down and cries when she talks about the children.

"It is very difficult," she said. "Poor Stephanie, when she gets into bed at night, she says, 'Grandma, I want to talk to daddy. But when I talk to him, I want him to answer back.' It's hard for the children to grow up without a daddy."


Baltimore County police are seeking these men for questioning in the contract killing of Paul Gregory Monk, 35, of the Parkville area.

One man has short, close-cropped blond hair, blue eyes, is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 200 pounds. The other man wore a baseball hat, had long brown hair, silver wire-rimmed glasses, a beard and mustache. He is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds.

Anyone with information about these men should call county police at 887-2198. A $1,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mr. Monk's killer or killers.

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