Real Name: Permon Gilbert
Nicknames: Perm, Gene
Location: Hamersville, Ohio
Date: May 23, 1982
Details: On Saturday, May 22, 1982, forty-six-year-old appliance repairman Permon Gilbert left for service calls one morning near his home in Hamersville, Ohio. The service calls took him to several towns in southern Ohio, including Mt. Orab, Georgetown, and Aberdeen. After finishing these calls, Permon crossed the bridge into Maysville, Kentucky, and stopped at a market. The woman at the checkout counter had encountered Permon in the past; that day, she noticed nothing unusual about his demeanor. After going to the market, Permon went to a nearby flower shop. He asked if a specific employee was working, but was told that she did not start until 4 pm. Permon said that he would return later, but he was never seen again. He told his wife that he would be home by 3 pm, but he never arrived.
Permon's movements were unknown from when he left the flower shop until the next day, when he was discovered beaten and shot to death, left naked by the side of the road. There were no cloth fibers in his two bullet wounds, so it is believed that he was naked from above the waist when he was shot. His van was found abandoned twenty-two miles from the spot where his body was found. Unidentified fingerprints and hairs were found in the van; it is believed that they belong to Permon's killer. His watch was also found in the vehicle, but his clothes, wallet, and distinctive belt buckle have never been found.
Police, at first, had absolutely no idea why he was murdered, because he had no known enemies. Within time, however, locals began to speculate he had been killed by a jealous husband or by drug distributors trying to gain access to his private plane. His brother, Vernon, believes he was killed as a warning not to testify in a court case against reputed organized crime figures.
To this date, no one knows who killed him, and a $20,000 reward is being offered in the case.
Suspects: Police suspect three possible scenarios that could have led to Permon's murder. The first scenario is that Permon was murdered by drug distributors after he refused to use his plane to fly drugs to different dealers. Permon, indeed, had told his wife Joanne that drug dealers had asked him to fly drugs for them.
The second scenario is that he was killed for knowing too much about Vernon's organized crime case. In February 1982, when Vernon was called to testify in an organized crime case, Permon stood by him. The actual hearings were closed to the public, so Permon had to wait while his brother testified. He suspected that he was being followed while at the courthouse.
The third scenario is that he may have been having an affair with a woman he worked for and was killed by her jealous husband. This theory would best match the evidence as Permon was shot while naked and dumped without his clothes.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 22, 1989 episode.
Results: Unsolved. Investigators re-opened the case in 2011. Sadly, his wife Joanne Schneider Gilbert died in April of 2012 without learning any new information about her husband's death. Police and Permon's children are still searching for answers.
- Permon Gilbert at Unsolved.com
- Cinncinati Enquirer (May 1982)
- Slaying of Brown County Repairman Remains a Mystery
- 3 Years Later, Police Still Sift Clues In Repairman's Death
- 30-year-old murder case investigated
- Murder case getting fresh attention
- SitcomsOnline Discussion of Permon Gilbert
- Permon Gilbert at Find a Grave