Former Northwestern University official in middle of bizarre murder case

March 8, 2013 5:52:54 AM PST
In a story that stretches from Chicago to Louisville, a former top official of Northwestern University had a bizarre criminal secret involving crystal meth, sex and counterfeit money, and the scheme ended only when authorities found a body buried in his basement.

Just a few years ago Jeffrey Mundt was overseeing a major university-wide IT project at Northwestern.

In a tremendous fall from professional glory in Evanston, Mundt now faces criminal charges in two states - felonies in Illinois and murder in Kentucky, where Thursday night he was in jail. Cases have left friends and co-workers disturbed and disgusted.

The hallowed academic ground of Northwestern University were once the gateway to Mundt's world, where he was atop this organizational chart and entrusted with the modernization of Northwestern's financial records system.

Now, he is in a different system, the criminal justice system. Five years after leaving Northwestern, he is charged with murder.

"There was blood that was literally everywhere," Mundt said. "I mean, you could actually smell the blood."

The 41-year-old Mundt is a cold-blooded killer according to prosecutors in Louisville.

Testifying this week in a Kentucky courtroom, the ex-Northwestern official matter-of-factly described a three-way he had with his ex-con roommate Joey Banis and a drug dealer Jamie Carroll.

"The three of us stripped naked and started watching porn and some music was on," said Mundt.

They were in Mundt's Lousiville home, all three smoking meth and having sex he said, when things got out of hand.

"Joey had a knife in his hand and was slashing at Jamie's throat," Mundt said. They were struggling."

Jamie Carroll was also shot and ended up dead.

Mundt and his roommate are blaming each other for the actual killing.

"What they are calling it around here is the case of 'He said-he said,'" Louisville author David Domine said.

Domine is writing a book on the case and talked to the iTeam from the Kentucky courthouse.

"Mundt, he's not facing the death penalty, it was sort of part of the agreement," Domine said. He agreed to testify against Banis in exchange for the death penalty being dropped."

Both Mundt and his roommate agree that they covered up the killing using a sledgehammer to halve Carroll's body so it would fit inside a plastic box filled with lime. The improvised casket was then buried in Mundt's basement.

"Jamie Carroll spent approximately six months in a 50-gallon Rubbermaid container," said prosecutor Josh Schneider.

During that time in 2009, with a body buried in their Louisville basement, Mundt and Banis visited Chicago, Mundt's former home during those Northwestern years.

They stayed at the Hyatt Regency, but when they asked a doorman to change a $100 bill, their lives began to unravel.

According to a Chicago Police report obtained by the I-team, the bill was counterfeit, among $55,000 in fake bills, guns, phony ID's, handcuffs, meth pipes and some knock-out drugs.

"One of the Chicago officers was here to testify, talking about the circumstances he found them in, but their reason for being in Chicago was really never addressed," Domine said. "Banis said that they were making bombs and supposedly they were talking of blowing something up or robbing a bank."

Shortly after bonding out of the Cook County Jail and returning to Louisville, police responded to a domestic call at Mundt's home. During questioning, the secret buried in the basement was revealed and by the end of the next day, the plastic container had been unearthed.

Mundt and roommate Joey Banis are being tried separately in Louisville. Banis' case went first and Thursday the jury deliberated nine hours, going home late Thursday night without reaching a verdict, but they say they're close.

Mundt's trial is scheduled to begin May 13th.