DOYLESTOWN >> Nearly four decades after the Warrington woman’s disappearance, Gloria Korzon’s killer and abuser is headed to state prison.
William “Bill” Korzon, 76, pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to counts of voluntary manslaughter, forgery and perjury, admitting he shot and killed his wife during an argument in 1981 and then spent the next 38 years forging documents and lying in court to cover up the crime.
“This guilty plea in this case encourages police everywhere to take a fresh look at their own cold cases, for we will bring them,” said District Attorney Matthew D. Weintraub. “This is a great day for law enforcement and for justice. This resolution today gives us all hope in all unsolved cases, especially homicides.”
His plea comes just weeks after he gave a statement to investigators describing the night he wrestled a gun from Gloria Korzon and shot and killed the 37-year-old during an argument in the kitchen of their home on Pickertown Road, Warrington Township.
In exchange for his admission, the District Attorney’s Office recommended a sentence of seven and a half to 15 years.
Judge Raymond F. McHugh accepted the plea negotiation and imposed the agreed upon sentence.
“She predicted that one day he would kill her,” Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Schorn said in court, referencing Gloria Korzon’s letters to her attorney documenting her abuse. “Ultimately it was the decision to defend herself that resulted in her death.”
Summarized in court by Deputy District Attorney Chelsey Jackman, Korzon in his statement told investigators he and Gloria Korzon had been arguing in the early afternoon of March 7, 1981, when the woman produced a 9mm Sig Sauer handgun and fired at him.
Through the plea agreement, the killing is considered voluntary manslaughter based on the theory Korzon shot the woman while acting on an unreasonable belief he was doing so in his own defense.
According to his statement to prosecutors, he then stuffed the woman’s body in a plastic trashcan and kept it in the house overnight. The next morning, he placed the trashcan in his boat, which he towed to a concrete boat launch just north of Lambertville, New Jersey.
From the launch, Korzon traveled upriver in his boat some distance before dumping Gloria Korzon’s body into the Delaware River.
Jackman said Korzon sold the gun at a yard sale shortly after the killing, but continued to use the trashcan for several years until it broke.
The boat remained in his possession, and was present in the driveway of his Lower Windsor Township, York County, cabin at the time of his arrest.
He also admitted in his statement to the pattern of domestic abuse which ultimately led to Gloria Korzon’s death, and that the various attempts to cover up her death – including forging his wife’s signature on financial documents and lying about her whereabouts, among other things, while under oath in Bucks County Orphan’s Court – were intended to keep up the appearance she was alive so he could escape responsibility for her death, Jackman said.
Korzon declined to speak himself in court, but said through his attorney Keith Williams that it was “time to unburden his soul” and accept responsibility.
Gloria Korzon’s niece, who was a child when her aunt disappeared, addressed the court on behalf of her family.
“You killed her and threw her away like garbage in a watery grave,” Jennifer Potter said. “We always knew you did it, Bill. We never believed your lies.”
Korzon was brought finally to justice through the unyielding efforts of the Warrington Township Police Department in partnership with the Bucks County Detectives, who revived the case to be put in front of the Grand Jury.
Northampton Township Police Department and the FBI also assisted in the investigation.
The case was prosecuted by Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer M. Schorn and Deputy District Attorney Chelsey D. Jackman.