Thomas “Tom” Kolman was mysteriously found dead in his car in Ulster County, New York, five years ago. Almost four years later, his best friend, Gilberto Nunez, a Kingston dentist, was arrested for the murder. This weekend, CBS 48 Hours will examine the case. Gilberto Nunez was finally acquitted of Thomas Kolman’s death and will tell his side of the story on this Saturday’s episode titled, “Death and the Dentist.”
In November 2011, Thomas Kolman, also known as Tom Kolman, was found dead in his vehicle. The body was found by the victim’s wife, Linda, who had come to the location to look for her husband after he failed to come home. Detectives found the scene strange. Thomas Kolman’s car was parked in the parking lot of Dena Marie Plaza in Ulster, according to a report by Daily Freeman.
Inside, Thomas Kolman’s belt was unbuckled, his pants were opened at the waist, the zipper was pulled down, and the body was found in the front driver’s seat, which was reclined as far back as it could extend. It was difficult to figure out what had actually happened. However, at first glance, it didn’t appear to be a murder.
According to an old obituary found at Legacy. Thomas “Tom” Kolman, a beloved father and husband, was a physical therapist and a resident of Saugerties.
“Dr. Thomas E. Kolman, Jr., 44, of Village Drive, Saugerties died suddenly Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2011. Born March 22, 1967 in Queens, he was a graduate of West Babylon High School and attended SUNY at Stony Brook, where he received his Undergraduate and Doctorate Degree from Daemen College in Amherst, N.Y. An area resident for over 20 years, he was employed at Optum Health in the Physical Therapy department as the Director of Utilization Management, he also worked as a Physical Therapist for Always There performing home healthcare.”
According to the prosecution, several autopsies confirmed that the drug Midazolam was found in Thomas Kolman’s blood. Midazolam is not a drug that is accessible to the public but one that is available to doctors and dentists.
Thomas Kolman’s best friend, Gilberto Nunez, was a dentist, who had access to Midazolam. Investigators also learned that Gilberto Nunez was having a sexual affair with Thomas Kolman’s wife, Linda, according to the Oneida Daily Dispatch.
Not only was he having an affair with Linda Kolman, the good dentist was absolutely obsessed with her, according to the prosecution.
That obsession was proven by erratic emails that Gilberto Nunez sent to Thomas Kolman’s wife, in which he professed his love for her and his unwillingness to let her go.
The investigation also revealed that though Gilberto Nunez wasn’t willing to let Linda Kolman go, she was willing to break off the relationship with him after learning that he had faked text messages to both her and her husband, emails that accused the other of having an extramarital affair.
Along with the fake text messages and emails, Gilberto Nunez also faked a CIA letter, detectives learned. In fact, he did everything he could to destroy the relationship between his best friend, Thomas Kolman, and his wife.
Authorities say that after none of his stunts worked, Gilberto Nunez decided to kill his friend by arriving at the Dena Marie Plaza, where he injected Thomas Kolman with a lethal dose of the dental sedative.
CBS 48 Hours‘ coverage will show that at trial, defense attorneys for Gilberto Nunez stated that Thomas Kolman’s death may not have been a murder. They questioned why Thomas Kolman was even at the scene. It was also pointed out that the prosecution didn’t have any DNA evidence that could be connected to the murder and to Gilberto Nunez.
A jury agreed that there was not enough evidence for them to find Gilberto Nunez guilty of the murder of Dr. Thomas Kolman, according to the Daily Freeman. Nunez was eventually acquitted.
Go inside the case with detectives as they review some of the footage found at the murder scene by tuning in to CBS 48 Hours this Saturday, September 17, at 10/9 p.m. Central. Recently, 48 Hours reviewed the case of Michele Williams and Danielle Rippeon Nemetz.
[Featured Image by CBS 48 Hours]