Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Trophy Wife and the Tennis Pro

The Kill

When Werner discovered the mistake with his Prudential insurance coverage, he called his agent and again asked him to change the beneficiary on the policies. Agent Harvey Loochtan said he would take care of it. He promised to get the amended forms in the mail to Werner right away, but he never did.

Loochtan was playing his own game, and it involved Debra Hartmann.

Debra had started spending more time with Werner and her stepdaughters. She and Werner were even having civil discussions about the terms of their divorce, or so Werner thought. Then, during the first week of June 1982, Werner overheard part of a sinister telephone conversation between Debra and John Korabik.

"He told me that he overheard his wife and her boyfriend plotting to kill him," recalls Richard Colombik, Werner's tax attorney.

Werner told several friends that he suspected his wife was plotting to kill him. He even tried to hire a bodyguard, but he refused to report the threat to the police. He said he wanted to handle things himself.

On June 8, Werner left work shortly after 7:00 p.m. He told Vasiliki that he was meeting Debra at home to iron out the final details of their divorce. Debra got to the Northbrook house shortly after Werner, and they talked while he took a shower. Then she left.

At about the same time, Vasiliki was finishing for the day at the store, and she decided to take her daughter Eva out for dinner. They were surprised to find Debra waiting for them at Pinocchio's Pizza Pub. They asked her why she wasn't meeting Werner to finalize their divorce. Nonchalantly, Debra said she had just left Werner at home. He had been in the shower, and they had agreed to meet later that night.

After dinner, Debra suggested they all got out together for drinks and dancing. Vasiliki was surprised.

"She did not like me," Vasiliki said. "That we were together that night was very strange."

Strange or not, Vasiliki and Eva accompanied Debra out to several clubs for a night of drinking and dancing. The three of them stayed out until two or three o'clock in the morning. Vasiliki then returned to the store, where she'd been staying since coming back to work for Werner. Debra drove Eva home to Northbrook.

When they arrived at 4:30, they found Werner Hartmann's body.

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