A Perfect Life
Rhoni Reuter seemed to fall into the perfect life. At 42 years old and 6 months pregnant with her long-time lover, and a former Chicago Bears, Shaun Gayle.
The charming brunette was awaiting her first child, a baby girl, to be named Skylar. She lived in a quaint Deerfield suburb and loved working for Macy’s department stores.
On the surface her life was a dream come true, but there were secrets that even she didn’t know. Someone wanted Rhoni Reuter, and her unborn baby, dead. And in the early morning of October 4, 2007, someone shot and killed Reuter with six bullets.
Murdered In Kitchen
A downstairs neighbor heard at least two of the shots fired and quickly called 911 after she couldn’t reach Reuter on her apartment phone.
Caller - “I heard a woman screaming and then a ‘pop, pop’ and then it went totally silent. I called my neighbor upstairs and she is pregnant and she didn’t answer.”
The soon-to-be mother was found deceased by police, shot 6 times with a 9mm pistol, 2 of the bullets entered her belly as an obvious attempt to destroy the baby. This was Deerfield’s first murder in 30 years.
Upon discovering Reuter’s body deceased in her apartment’s kitchen, detectives turned first to the most likely suspect, the boyfriend of 18 years.
An Open Relationship
Shaun Gayle poses with long-time girlfriend Rhoni Reuter
Shaun Gayle attended Ohio State before being drafted to the Chicago Bears from 1984 to 1994. Gayle is most known for helping the Bears win Super Bowl XX in 1985.
Since his retirement, Gayle has been a sports commentator and has even authored several children’s books.
Now Gayle is mostly known for the murder of his long-time girlfriend, Rhoni Reuter, and her unborn child, Skylar.
Despite sobbing at the police station after learning the news of his girlfriend’s murder, they immediately cast Gayle as the prime suspect.
According to Gayle, he and Reuter had an open relationship, in which he was seeing multiple partners. It is interesting to note that Reuter’s family denied the fact that Rhoni would want to accept a part in a non-monogamous relationship with Gayle.
A Jealous Attack
After ruling out Gayle as the killer, police turned their investigation into multiple romantic rival interest, including a divorced mother of 3 and former model Marni Yang. Yang was also Shaun Gayle’s real-estate agent.
Not only has Marni Yang been sending threatening letters to Rhoni and Gayle, but was also discovered to be a cyber stalker and accused of hacking into Reuter’s personal computer.
Also, Marni Yang’s only real-estate client was Shaun Gayle, which Yang bragged about being the former football star’s girlfriend.
Is Marni Yang Innocent?
In more recent developments, Marni Yang, who was convicted of the murder of Rhoni Reuter and her unborn child and currently serving 2 life sentences, may be soon awarded a new trial.
Since Yang has been locked up, her attorney, Jed Stone, claims to have uncovered “abundant evidence” which can prove that his client was innocent of the murders.
Some of the evidence gathered over several years by Stone and other private investigators include video of a suspected getaway video, ballistics evidence, and corrected trial testimonies.
An Unlikely Ally
The recent evidence is certainly interesting in the murder case, but what is even more shocking is a recent confession by a long-time friend of Reuter’s claim that Marni Yang is innocent.
This friend, Michelle Ammentorp, is pleading with law enforcement to reopen the case hoping to catch the true killer. Michelle said, “I implore the Lake County law enforcement officials to please reopen the case. The real killer is out there, and that person needs to be held accountable.”
Ammentorp also claims that there were other girlfriends of Gayle’s who could have easily committed the crime.
Currently Marni Yang is serving her natural life for the murder of Rhoni Reuter, but with the fresh evidence and testimony from Michelle Ammentorp, Yang may receive a new trial soon.
It will be interesting to see how this case further develops.