Rhoni Reuter was seven months pregnant with the child of Shaun Gayle at the time of her death. Gayle was her longtime boyfriend and a former Chicago Bears player. Marni Yang, a realtor who also had a relationship with Gayle, was convicted in her murder.
Court documents filed in the murder case said Yang dressed up in face paint and a wig, then shot Reuter seven times in her Deerfield, Illinois apartment on October 4, 2007. Yang is appealing her conviction, and her attorney claims forensic evidence can exonerate her, according to ABC 7 Chicago. You can read more about her appeal here.
ABC 20/20 is taking another look at the murder case in an encore episode airing tonight, Friday, July 16, 2021, at 9 p.m. Eastern time.
Here’s what you need to know:
Yang Acted Increasingly More Possessive of Gayle Which Intensified With Reuter’s Pregnancy, Family & Friends Testified
Reuter was killed in her apartment building October 4, 2007, in Deerfield, Illinois, where she was shot seven times, according to court documents filed in the murder case. Reuter died from a gunshot wound to the back of the head. She was also shot twice in the abdomen, killing the unborn baby. She also had two bullet wounds in her arms, which police determined occurred when she tried to protect her baby, court documents said.
Paramedics found her dead in the apartment, lying facedown. At the time, she was 7 months pregnant, court documents said. She and Gayle had been in a relationship for 17 years, and he was the father of Reuter’s child, Gayle told Yang, according to court documents.
Yang had a relationship with Gayle that began in 2005 when she was working security at a Chicago Bears convention. Their relationship was initially professional, based on Yang’s work as a realtor, but turned sexual, court documents said. Yang became increasingly more frustrated that Gayle was seeing other women. She bragged to her friends that she accessed his email account, and frequently read emails between Gayle and other women. She sometimes corresponded with Gayle, posing as another woman, Yang’s friends testified in court. When Gayle planned a vacation with Reuter, Yang called and cancelled the reservations, her friends said.
After Gayle told Yang he was going to be a father, she told a friend, Christi Paschen, she was going to kill Gayle, court documents said. She changed her mind and decided to kill Reuter instead, Paschen testified, saying she once went to Reuter’s apartment with a gun but did not go through with the murder.
Neighbors told police they saw someone go into Reuter’s apartment wearing a wig and face paint on the day of the murder, court documents said. They heard a short scream, followed by banging noises, according to their statements.
Reuter Spoke to Her Brother, Thad Reuter, on the Phone the Night Before She Died & Spoke About Her Baby
Thad Reuter, Rhoni Reuter’s brother, recalled his last conversation with his sister in testimony given at court, according to CBS Chicago. They spoke on the phone the night before she died, he said.
“She said the baby was kicking,” he said, according to CBS Chicago.
Investigators found a typed letter in Reuter’s purse warning about “what your boyfriend is doing,” according to court documents filed in the murder case. It said he was carrying out sexual relationships with women in destinations all over the world and listed names and contact information for 16 women “so you can see for yourself.”
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