Mass-Murder Attempt Was All About Revenge

Horrific farmhouse shootings, which included the murder of a toddler, stemmed from an insurance-fraud scam gone bad, DA says.

“Guess you never thought you’d see me again,” Mark Richard Geisenheyner said to Paul Shay right before he shot him, and four other people -- including a 2-year-old.

It was all about revenge against one man and it turned into a mass murder attempt.

Saturday’s horrific execution-style shootings at a Montgomery County vacation home killed Shay's nephew, 43-year-old Joseph Shay of Yarmouth, Mass. and New York City, and the toddler of Joseph Shay's girlfriend, 2-year-old Gregory Bosco Erdmann.

New Yorkers Paul Shay, 64, his wife Monica, 58, and Joseph Shay’s girlfriend Kathrynn Erdmann, 37, of Fall River, Mass., were left critically injured with gunshot wounds to the head as Geisenheyner fled 40 miles away from the Douglass Township vacation home.

A police standoff Monday ended with the alleged murderer dead, and many questions answered.

Geisenheyner’s target was not the ex-con nephew Joseph Shay. It was the upstanding Manhattanite Paul Shay -- who owns a plumbing company, was beloved by his East Village neighbors and known for helping those going through hard times -- that was in the crosshairs of Geisenheyner’s vengeance according to Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Geisenheyner had been planning Paul Shay’s murder for more than 15 months – ever since the seasoned criminal finished serving jail time for violating parole, Ferman says.

The parole violation? Geisenheyner was arrested and charged with receiving stolen property from Paul Shay’s Douglass Township home in 2006, says Ferman. Shay and Geisenheyner knew one another and allegedly cooked up an insurance fraud scam, Ferman says. But only Geisenheyner went to jail.

Geisenheyner's claimed that a 2006 fire at the Shay's Montgomery County home was an arson tied to an alleged insurance scheme, reports the Associated Press. Geisenheyner said that Shay cheated him.

Geisenheyner planned Paul Shay’s murder for more than a year, scouting the Montgomery County property regularly, Ferman says. But on the night he chose to carry out his revenge, there were more people at the house than Geisenheyner expected.

“We understand that he was surprised by the number of individuals there, still we believe he took those shots in any case and then escaped from the residence,” Ferman said in a press conference Monday.

Shooting all five people in the head, even the toddler, Geisenheyner then drove 40 miles to the home of a friend in Trainer, Pa. Geisenheyner told his friend that he had just murdered four adults and a child, and gave him details that only the murderer could have known, Ferman said.

The friend, with whom Geisenheyner had spent time at a halfway house, waited until the alleged confessed murderer was asleep and left his house with his wife to call police and alert them to Geisenheyner’s location.

A six-hour standoff ensued, ending in Geisenheyner’s death by a gunshot. It was not self-inflicted, police said.

Paul Shay and Erdmann were able to speak to investigators and are expected to survive.

Monica Shay, who worked as the head of the arts and cultural management department of Pratt Institute in Manhattan, is still in extremely critical condition.

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