Watch CBS News

Friends And Family Say Postal Worker Louis Vignone Sold His Home To Get Away From Accused Killer Eric Kortz

COLLIER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) -- Louis Vignone was a popular figure in the Sheraden neighborhood for many years.

In May of 2018, Vignone sold his house and moved, friends and neighbors say, to get away from Eric Kortz, who lived across the street.

Louis Vignone
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

"The neighbor was harassing him, and that's why he decided to move," said Paul Stemplewski, a lifelong friend of Vignone.

According to an affidavit, Kortz stopped Vignone's mail truck and "went to put some bullets in him" on Thursday. He then drove to the police station to turn himself in. At the scene, investigators found the discarded handgun and seven shell casings.

The affidavit says, "Kortz claimed that he shot Vignone because Kortz believed that Vignone and Vignone's family had poisoned Kortz and Kortz's family with cyanide when Vignone and Kortz were previously neighbors."

Investigators and longtime friends like Paul Stemplewski said Vignone had been friendly with Kortz's father. But when the man died five years ago, Kortz began accusing Vignone of poisoning his father and attempting to poison the rest of the family.

The threats continued and escalated after Vignone moved.

"He followed him a couple of times on his route and he actually found where he lived in his new neighborhood. This wasn't a spur-of-the-moment thing. Apparently, this guy was planning to do this," Stemplewski said.

Kortz has no criminal record, only a citation for driving an uninspected vehicle. His ramshackle house is cluttered with debris and has multiple liens against it for failure to pay city and county taxes for several years. A young man inside did not come to the door on Friday.

Eric Kortz House
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Neighbors told KDKA's Andy Sheehan the police have come to the house several times, including a few months back when they say Kortz claimed someone put poison in his truck. Stemplewski said Vignone told his supervisors about the continued stalking but did not alert police.

"Cause Lou's a good guy. He thinks everybody's the same and this guy will get over it and everybody's good," Stemplewski said.

Kortz is being prosecuted federally for the death of a U.S. Postal Service employee. The law provides for a maximum total sentence of life imprisonment or death.


View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.