POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – He was tied up, he said, for hours and his fiance and roommate were murdered. He is determined to move forward.
Tom Kohl, 65, of Winter Haven, survived his encounter with a man law enforcement calls a ‘spree killer.’
“Peggy said just do everything he wants and we’ll be alright and I had a knife in my back,” he said about what happened when he came home Sunday night.
Peggy Morey was his roommate and friend. He and Kenneth Bever were engaged for the last year.
They both were killed. Kohl was tied up for half a day but escaped after the suspect left the house for hours, Kohl said.
“They were just the most unbelievable people. They were wonderful,” he said. “I’m not going to let it beat me. We can sit there and live our lives behind locked doors and fear. I’m not going to. I’m going to live my life.”
On Friday, Kohl came home to a different scene. Members of the community were there working on making his house a home again.
“It’s nice to see everybody coming together and making some good out of the bad that happened. Trying to get his life somewhat back to normal,” said Joe Black, Kohl’s neighbor.
This week, Black was at a work site with employees from Black & Fox Remodeling. He told them about Kohl and started planning how to help him.
Crews cleaned up the crime scene, repainted the interior of his home and added landscaping.
Central Florida Roofing gave him an energy efficient roof.
All labor and materials were free of charge.
“I’m totally inspired. To get up to go to work and be able to help somebody like this. I was excited to get up today to go to work,” said Lenny David Lukaszka, operations manager, central florida roofing.
Stanley Mossburg, the man accused of committing these crimes, said a lot of things to Kohl while he was held hostage.
Morey and Bever were his 7th and 8th murder victims, he told Kohl. He said he liked killing.
“He did not sound crazy. He wanted to know where antiques were, where money was,” said Kohl.
Mossburg told reporters God made him kill the victims to build an army for an angels vs. demons war.
Kohl believes he’s trying to build an insanity defense.
Mossburg is also accused of killing Christopher Short in Greeneville, TN before making his way south to Polk County.
He’s in Polk County jail being held on no bond.