Michelle Martha Lang-Klotz
32 Years Old

May 10, 1962 to December 29, 1994

It was a stormy night in Fort Gordon, Georgia when Michelle entered the lives of her parents, Billy and Astrid and her brothers, Billy and Steven. She was an “army brat”, easily made friends, felt right at home wherever she went and was excited when her father was assigned to Fort Ord, CA in 1967. While her “Daddy” was in Vietnam, Michelle wrote many letters, baked cookies, even sent him a Christmas tree decorated with popcorn strings. He told her it was the best tree he ever ate.
Growing up on the Monterey Peninsula, Michelle loved being a Brownie, playing soccer, eating chocolate, dressing up, singing with Daddy strumming the guitar, teasing her brothers and taking trips. She was an excellent communicator, always full of interests and ideas. As a Junior and Senior in High School, Michelle studied cosmetology and received her State license upon Graduation from High School. Soon thereafter, she met Tom, a young handsome soldier, fell in love and got married.
They settled in Pacific Grove, had two little boys, Ian and Patrick, a beautiful home, a feisty puppy named Lizzy, who bit an officer in the leg and had to be bailed out. Michelle never tired of caring and loving her two precious children and involved herself in everything that furthered their well being, structured their lives so they would become self-confident, caring and independent individuals. When they needed help and assurance with a problem in their young lives, Michelle was quick with one of her favorite sayings, “You don’t know until you try”. She taught them to see the good in people, helping the lost, whether it meant bringing food to the homeless or giving shelter to a stray kitten.
While working as a hair stylist, she found time to volunteer for all of her boys activities, whatever and wherever the need, Michelle filled the spot. She attended many rock concerts, became a gourmet cook and celebrated her 25th birthday sipping champagne in a hot air balloon high above Napa Valley.
A trip to Europe with Tom lit a spark in Michelle’s soul—to be a travel agent. She enrolled in ROP classes, worked at the Salon during the day, studied at night, and fulfilled all requirements. Michelle had found her niche with her happy smile, knowledge, and enthusiasm for her job.
As a licensed agent, she put together great trips and campouts for her sons’ Boy Scout pack while serving as their Den Leader and Pack Secretary. She would bring the travel documents to clients who had booked at the last minute and had no second to spare. Michelle got lost on one such mission and flagged down a police officer who helped her find the address with sirens blazing—the same officer who had been bitten by Lizzy many years earlier. This officer, later recalling the incident of meeting up again with Michelle, said, “The thing that impressed me most about her was her panic in getting the tickets delivered in time and her great smile.”

CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE MURDER

Michelle’s dream to be a travel agent had come true, thus setting the stage of what would become a tragedy of immeasurable proportions…. She booked a trip for the man who would take her life 6 months later. Robert Nutt was addicted to methamphetamine. Michelle arranged for him to enter a rehab facility. Before taking him there, he asked to see a friend to give him a present. She wrapped up the gift and stopped at the friend’s workplace. As Michelle spoke her last words ‘come on we are going to be late’ and turned to leave, her murderer struck her from behind with the ‘gift’- a 3 foot sledge hammer, killing her with 4 blows to the back of her head. At 4 pm, December 29, 1994, Michelle was gone, leaving behind 2 young sons, her husband, mom, dad, brothers, relatives and friends and all who ever met and loved Michelle…. Her murderer fled in her car, he caught up with the eye witness and yelled: “tell Vince Merry Christmas from me.” Then stopped at another house, telling the woman: “watch tv tonight, you will see something good.”
From there, he disappeared and was apprehended and arrested the next day. He showed no remorse at the sentencing hearing. He received 16 years to life for second degree murder, with 6 years added to life for escaping briefly from the jail van. He is incarcerated in level 4 California State prisons.

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Michelle Klotz