A murder case has many layers: the victim, the crime, and the investigation. To truly understand it, you need to dissect each piece of a tragic puzzle. Join Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi and Scott Weinberger every Wednesday for an insider’s perspective, as they reveal to you the Anatomy of Murder.
Tue, 13 Sep 2022 07:00
A twisted tale of possible arson, adultery, and the murder of a wealthy commodities trader starts to unravel decades later in a conversation between two sisters.
If you're looking for a new show unlike anything you've ever heard before, check out audio Chuck's latest series killed. Each episode of killed covers a story that you may have never read because it was killed before it got published. I'm Justine Harman, who some of you may know from my show OC swingers, and I'm here to bring these dead stories back to life binge killed right now to get the full story. Hi everyone, Ashley Flowers here and I have exciting news to share. My debut novel, all good people here is officially out now. Our fans are blowing up our social talking about it. You do not want to be left out and the worst thing that could happen is for someone else to spoil it for you because there are some wild twists in this book. If you love true crime content, mysteries, and a grown up Nancy Drew style detective work then I have a good feeling you won't be able to put this book down. So what are you waiting for? Grab your copy of all good people here now, wherever books are sold. You know, normally I find out what happened, where it happened, how it happened, who did it. I've never been a big person. And why? Because that just gets really, really bizarre. I've got Weinberger, investigative journalist and former deputy sheriff. Delizie former New York City homicide prosecutor and host of Investigation Discovery's true conviction. It's anatomy of murder. Today we're going to a small Midwest town called Inverness, IL but you may as well call it Paradise. They actually worked when they created this town to recreate a New England like type setting. They want to preserve the natural landscape. They actually have the roads going around the hills rather than through them. The only business in this town is a golf course and they have a no fence policy trying to make sure that neighbors were just that good neighbors. To one another. The town's about 8000 people, very affluent. All the houses are on one acre lots. There's no bars, as we referred to it, as, you know, Mayberry with money. This is Detective Mike Kirby, who was one of only 12 police officers who covered that jurisdiction. We were everything. The motto was you catch it, you clean it. You did patrol work. If you caught a case, you worked the case. You get maybe 8 calls a day. And when I think about any of the NYPD officers or detectives hearing 8 calls in a day, they'd all be like, man, I would like that unjust one day. Yeah, that sounds like a really quiet, nice community I can't help. But for me at least, I keep harking back to stars hollow. For those of you don't know, I'm a big Gilmore Girls fan, and while they may not have the same money in that town, it certainly is that idyllic neighbors caring about neighbors type community that I somehow picture when I hear about this town. But in this town that's seemingly. It's like it's perfect. There was a homicide in 1979 that loomed over them. Back in 1979, there was the Ghamari family. The man of the house was Karl, his wife Jackie, and the two of them shared four children, ranging in age from teenagers all the way down to one still in their cribs. Ohh, it is a ranch style home with a basement if it's not on raised Hill with about a one acre acre and 1/2 flat attached garage. There's a living room, dining room and then three bedrooms on the end. But on April 30th a home invasion was about to tear that family apart. It is the middle of the day and everyone is at home except for their oldest child who is still a school and coral was at work. Around 12:30 that normally quiet afternoon would be met with a violent encounter. Bobby is playing in the Tendo game in the living room. Jackie is in bed in the master bedroom on the phone. So it's about 12:30 and Bobby, who is the 2nd oldest. Here's someone at the door. All of a sudden, Bobby, she heard someone come in and she looked up and two guys with masks and guns were standing here. And the first thing they ask is, where is your mom? Bobby walked in the bedroom. Mommy, there's men with guns. The baby climbs up on the bed. They get in there, they look around. Along with her mother Jackie, also in the room was her two year old brother who was in a crib, and her five year old sister. They then tell Jackie, OK, go to the closet. The two men ordered everyone into the closet and with a clothesline tied up, Jackie and Bobby, but not the two youngest children. So they put them in there and they take a fireplace poker from the living room and wedge it in the door. They can hear movement shifting in the house. At some point, one of the gunmen comes in and opens up a box on top and takes objects out. And now they're just kind of left there in silence while Karl came home, unbeknownst to them, at about 1:30 and a few hours after that, the oldest child, Becky, arrived home from school. She walks into the home and doesn't hear her family and was wondering where is everyone? She does hear a noise coming from upstairs and when she walks into her mother's bedroom she noticed it's coming from the closet. She lets him out. Bobby, the second oldest, who's about 12 at this time, runs downstairs and finds her dead. It's been shot in the basement and that's when they called the police. So let's talk a little bit about Karl Gamari in 1979. He was 34 years old and he was a commodity broker for much of the 70s. This was back in the 70s when corn and China were real big and if you were smart you can make a lot of money and and he was doing well with it. And by all accounts, by each of his kids, he was a loving, good dad. The loving dad, they loved him. They thought he was the best dad, did all kinds of stuff with them. This case happened well before Detective Kirby was even part of the Police Department. He does remember the case when it happened in 1979, and the ripple of fear it brought to this small town. It was all over the news for almost 9 days. Headlines with all kinds of theories and all that. So just picture the blockbuster case this must have been, and I hate to talk about in those terms, but you know what I mean. The type of case that gets everyone's attention. Things like this don't happen in Inverness, so at the town is swirling, but yet there's no answers coming quickly. At the time of the homicide, police services were handled by the small town of Barrington, which was just three miles away when the case happened. Barrington was such a small department, they couldn't handle this. They just weren't set up for it. So now Fast forward 32 years later and that's right, you heard me correctly. Not 3, not 2, but 32 years later. And now Mike Kirby finds himself working in Cook County and he's basically brought in as an assisting detective, even though he is not from Inverness or even Barrington. And that is pretty commonplace. When you have smaller communities that have these crimes, either because of people power, resources or maybe even just because of experience, they ask those who have handled these type of cases before to come in and help you know what happened. This is a great road map for the next Marvel movie. Each member of this new department had special skills that were handpicked by the Chief, and Mike and his partner were extremely experienced homicide investigations. I look at it as one guy was Iron Man, one guy was Captain America and one guy was the Hulk. Which superhero is going to be my Kirby? I think he had good Spidey sense, so I'd say Spiderman, SO1 morning in 2011. The different jurisdictions are talking about the case and at the very same time. Fate was going to have Mike Kirby walked down the hallway. He's just going to chalk that walk up to his normal morning routine. Pluto was talking to our chief and he said, you know, you guys have a homicide from way back in 79 that was never solved, and you guys should work it. So I'm walking through to get actually to get a cup of coffee, and the chief sees me and he goes, hey, listen, he goes, there's this murder case from 79 we want to look into. But before we get too far into it, he goes, can you do some research on it? And I could think about that case is handed to him. He's just like, ah, I just happened to be walking down the hall right now, and now this 30 year old homicide has landed on my desk. You know, we're going to get into a bit about why Mike Kirby was exactly the right person to be handed this case. Let's just leave it this for now. It's that it really is his unique skill set and his experience that spanned over decades that made him the right person for the job. You know, the first thing he's going to do is not dig into the file. So I go to the library and I pulled the micro fish. In the news articles from that time period and read the articles sounded at that time that it was a doable case and it was solvable. When you look through the initial reports there was two camps. So the fact that you have two theories or a binary investigation, the key really is to. Once you eliminate one of them, they may reveal that the second path may be a better way to go. One camp thought that it was a true open up home invasion and maybe mob related or drug related. Well, that's not so far fetched because there was a lot of gangland style homicide and crime happening at the time in the area, and there was these big drug, specifically cocaine scandals even happening right then and there. And rumor had it that Carl was an informant for the DEA. And let's look at a couple of factors here. You have a home invasion in the middle of the day, and that in itself is not very telling, but it could be an important piece of the puzzle later on. Next, the two attackers come in and they're asking for Carl's wife, Jackie, but they never ask her for anything else. They didn't ask for money, they didn't ask where the valuables may be, the cash, the jewelry. So why were they there? Giving the drug theory a little bit of credence, but also the potential hit as well once it's. Agreed to all that. Mike Kirby is going to take this case on together with his partner. The next step after going to libraries that he heads over to Barrington to the Police Department to collect, at least hope to collect the casework files and the evidence. And you all know, even just hearing it like, uh oh, is the file even going to be there? Because that's usually hurdle number one when you're talking about a case that is this old. But, you know, the amazing thing, at least to me, when I saw it, is that not only did he find it, he found it right away. It was actually with several boxes. Turned out there was almost 10,000. Pieces of paper, and that does sound like an amazing fine, and it would be really valuable to help solving this cold case. But there has always is A twist among the boxes in thousands and thousands of paper evidence there was something missing. I said, OK, well, where's the physical evidence? And he goes, well, that's a problem. And he goes, we had not only one, but we had two floods. After the second flood, public works cleaned it up and they put everything in two plastic bags and it's set for almost 20 years, 25 years. So I went downstairs and I signed for two black plastic bags as the evidence and took it back to our place. And we ended up sifting, basically did an archaeological dig. We just sifted through everything, and it's unfortunate because they had 14 cigarette butts we found. There was 94 latent prints that have been recovered that went missing, and that was not quite clear where those ended up being. They were bags filled with stuff, and I can only imagine the shape it was in because it had been through not one flood, but two. But unfortunately for the case, it's now the shape that it's in and how it just really isn't going to be able to get them anywhere, whether it's because of the way it was stored, because of the floods, or a combination of it all. Forensically, this case would have been a slam dunk if we had all that stuff, but we didn't. Just think about the cigarette butts, just think about the potential DNA opportunities. But by today's standard, it is a very difficult lift. But does this happen? Of course it does. And do cases get solved without forensic evidence? Yes. But it puts bigger pressure to dig in and all other areas to cooperate, as many pieces of evidence that you can find. And I always use this example. If you went into the subway again, I'm thinking New York City. And you have a bag, whether it's a pocketbook or handbag or briefcase or whatever, and now someone comes up to you with a gun, they grab your bag and they run. Well, what forensic evidence would there be? A crime was committed, someone committed it. They've taken your property, they've taken the instrumentality of that crime, the gun. So you really just have to now say what other type of evidence is there? And you're going to look to things like whether it's surveillance or people, maybe someone knows someone said something. So there is so many other ways that I think people. Get very you know tunnel vision when they hear forensic evidence. But I always say, you know, it's never one-size-fits-all. And other types of evidence can be as valuable if Detective Kirby, in this case, can find them. And for Mike Kirby, his visit to the crime scene would have to be through that folder, that cold case file, which was obviously 3 decades old. His ability to go through the crime scene was through photographs and diagrams. A picture is worth 1000 words. We talk about it when we have videotape statements. Do you actually can watch someone, a suspect, speaking to the police? Well, it's also crime scene photos and in this case, specifically ones of Carl Gaimari. When we looked at the initial photos and you look at him, he's in a chair. He was shot six times in the chest. They had a 9 millimeter and got 380, and he was shot like four times with the 9 millimeter and twice the 380. The 380 was laying on the floor about halfway between where the body was and the stairs coming down, which was about 25 feet and 9 millimeter was on his right hip, kind of near his hand and with the barrel pointing towards the stairs. And his shirt had pulled up and there was about a. 6 inch void of no blood. There was a very distinct line of blood and the shirt, then it stopped and then there was a came down to his belt line and then there was more blood. So it obviously the shirt was in contact with the belt at some point and his feet were crossed and he was just kind of slouched in the couch. So as we're looking at the photos, we see on a table next to him a wallet with some contents screwed out, like somebody had gone to the wallet. If it's somehow seemingly staged, like he was placed, the weapon was somehow placed near him, like you have to wonder why? Why are they trying to pose? Or why are they trying to make something seem different than it was? Based on the forensic report from the state police. These guys sat at a table in the kitchen, smoked the 14 cigarettes and drank his half a bottle of his vodka, which is not typical home invasion. The only thing taken was a Nintendo game. They came back two or three times to talk to Jackie and his third time they came back. They didn't have their mask on anymore. Is according to the family, these guys come in with guns, but then you hear that they go into the closet, open a specific box and take two guns out that belonged to Carl. And according to Mike Kirby, those are the same guns are left behind that are used to shoot Carl because he is shot actually with both based on the Ballistics. So you have to wonder why. And I guess the only thing that I can come up with Scott is that because if they use guns that they now belong to Carl. Well, at least that piece isn't going to at least forensically be able to trace back to anyone. But Carl, at least the guns, where do you come out on the using different guns in those they brought in, if those guns that they brought in even worked at all? Yeah, I think you're absolutely right about the forensics being in their favor by not using weapons that may be traced to them. But I have a bigger question, and that is how would they know where to go so quickly to find those guns? How did they know those guns were in the closet? I mean, who gave them the treasure map? 2 guys are allegedly strangers breaking into a house, walk into a closet, take a box off a shelf, and there's two handguns in there. And that's what kind of leads us. On the path that it certainly seems that these killers had a familiarity not just with the house, but the people inside. So now this leads to the second theory. This maybe wasn't a mob or drug related home invasion. This was a murder plot orchestrated by someone close to Carl who. Well, here's what Detective Kirby will soon learn at Carl's wife Jackie was having an affair. And the affair was with a decorated cop. So we have Detective Mike Kirby who has been tasked with trying to solve an over 3 decades old open homicide. And the biggest challenge that he doesn't have all that much evidence to work with. So of course anyone coming into that, just like Mike Kirby actually was, is going to be disappointed. But in no way is he deterred from investigating further. So, you know, I had told the chief, I said, well, what we think we need to do is just go back from the beginning and work this like it just walked in the door, redo everything. Certainly it wasn't the most. Optimal approach, but in this case, with so much lost and so much time had passed, it was likely the most efficient way to do it right. You do your own legwork, you run your own tests, you do your own interviews when it's possible if people are still available and alive. So it is starting from scratch, but it probably was the most efficient way to kick this thing off. We just read everything and then worked it as if it was a fresh case and just started finding people and interviewing them. And I can think about the cases that I've had and that I've worked on these task force or with investigators that they did exactly that, that we started from scratch. And the reason being is this, maybe they will ask a different question of someone when they start from fresh or you take away those preconceived notions when you're kind of looking back at these cases that gives you that up over the hill that you need to try to solve it. Trying to locate the main players, Jackie. So we're gonna go talk to her as the victim's wife. And then the kids. One of the daughters had died in a drug overdose about two years before we got the case, Bobby, but we did. Ended up in new you and her husband. Detectives located Jackie living in Iron Mountain, MI, and like any homicide investigation, the person closest to the victim is their critical interview, and in this case, so many outstanding questions that needed to be answered, it was perhaps the most important. She was very supportive. You know, she was saying, I'm glad to see someone still looking into this, and I loved Carl, and I'm so upset about this. And it was so devastating to the kids. So, Scott, I'm going to come back to one of the words that you like to use, that we joke about sometimes, that when you see something, you know, hinky, when you hear about this and Jackie's reaction, would you consider the way that she responded hinky? I think she's being open. You know, I am questioning her demeanor. I am questioning the way she is responding to these things. My impression was that she was not regularly rehearsed, but she knew the answer she wanted to give. Just the way, you know, she was sitting and looking and talking to us and and the tone and all that just just gave me a weird vibe. One of the questions that puzzled investigators was how the intruders got into the home while Jackie had an answer for that. One of the things Jackie had said in her initial interview was that the killers got in the house because Bobby left the door unlocked when she let the dog in. She said that Carl had put deadbolts on the lock a month before because he was concerned about somebody coming to get him. That does sound like a viable answer. I'm sure the dog probably went in and out of the house multiple times a day, and forgetting to lock the door seems reasonable to me. But what I do find strange about that comment was Carl felt like he was in danger that someone may be coming for him. Now, that very well may be true, but what if that statement is setting up a theory or redirecting the truth? We dug through the original crime scene photos and I found two photos of the door she's talking about, and there's no deadbolts on them. During the phone interview, Jackie recalls everything from the home invasion, and what stands out about her story is what she's doing before the murder occurred. She was on the phone. Jackie was on the phone with Sam Greco. Sam Greco was a police officer in Chicago who was on medical leave. He had interrupted a robbery in progress and got in a shootout with him and got wounded, and he was off on medical disability at this time. And Jackie had actually hired him to investigate her husband, Karl, because she suspected that he was having an extramarital relationship. They had met at a wedding a year earlier and he was doing private investigative work and she had hired him to investigate Carl because she thought Carl was having an affair and during the development they ended up having a relationship and it was continuing up to this point. And when I heard that it was just like that law and order like Dum Dum commercial break. You're going to go from home invasion mob hit narcotics and former and now it's like, no, no, no, no, no. Let's start to look at the relationship between these two. Not Carl's quote UN quote supposed relationship, but now Jackie's actual relationship with this Chicago police officer. So if all of that doesn't set off alarms, how about this? Within an hour of Carl's murder, Sam arrived on the scene along with Barrington police and other officers. And I keep thinking, like, what is he even showing up for, right? Certainly Chicago isn't going to be sending officers out on the initial 911 radio run, a Barrington being such a small department, and Sam obviously being a Chicago police officer with lots of experience, my first question would be, was he directing the investigation from the sidelines or even worse, from the inside? Is he there to give support to this woman who he now knows he's in a relationship, even if it's quietly? Is he there to use his professional expertise to try to gauge what it is that officers are figuring out? Yeah. I don't know. How many of you out there really believe that Sam is there to help them solve this murder? I think that's fair to say. Let's move forward a couple of days to see where that gets us here. Sam moves into the house about a week after the murder as soon as the crime scene is released. Then Fast forward a couple of months. In April, there's the murder. In August, Sam and Jackie get married. OK, so does it make someone a killer because they have this super fast new relationship, first moving in and now married within a four months later? No, of course not. You know, it could be that they had a terrible marriage, and I'm talking about Jackie and Carl. And so while she maybe had nothing to do with this, now that he was gone, she could be with this man that she loved and maybe had a great relationship with it. But it certainly on its face makes you quite suspicious. And investigators need to dig deeper here. Yeah, if you're writing a fiction novel, that may make a couple of interesting. Ages, but you need so much more in the real world to be able to connect all of that together. Sammy and Jackie's marriage did not last long. In the early 80s, just a few years after they were married, the romance had left the room. Something happened and Sam got ordered back on the job. His medical was cancelled, they moved to Norridge IL. They get divorced. While the Bliss left this relationship very quickly, it was an amicable divorce. When they first came back they had bought a bar called Archer's Pub in Chicago. So part of the divorce was Jackie got the bar and Sam kept his pension and they went their separate ways and divided up some cars or something and eventually she also got a new boyfriend. And it wasn't just the relationship that went up in smoke, but their bar too. Literally. Mysteriously, the bar burns down. Actually, twice they had one fire was an electrical fire, and then six months later it burned again. And you hear that there's a fire once. Sure, that can happen. But now you hear that there's another one right afterwards. And the people collect insurance money, which we'll wait a second, I'm guessing. Well, although we'll have to know that Carl probably had some insurance money, too. You know, that his wife probably collected. So it doesn't mean anything necessarily, but I definitely turned my head when I heard this one. How about you, Scott? Yeah. The first question in an arson investigation you always ask is who would benefit from this home or business to cease to exist, right? And then the second question is how was it doing financially before the fire? And normally, if the first answer is the owners and the second answer is they were in poor financial shape, that is a pretty good road map to your suspects. Usually, at least in all the cases, actually, I've heard it ended up being arson by the people that owned it for the insurance proceeds or because of some other, you know, mess that they were in financially. Mike Kirby had a real good reason to be suspicious of Jackie and Sam. And as we said earlier, there were two camps. On potential theories. What I decided to do was I wanted to eliminate those so that I could then justify focusing on Sam and the fake home invasion. And so investigators really were looking down all roads. And another idea that kind of came up when they were looking, whether this was drug or maybe even mob related, was that police did learn about a theory that Carl at least had been talked about being potentially involved in some shady deals. In one of the interviews of a coworker that they originally did, he said that he thought Carol was hiding money in a secret account in the Caymans, and he kept the information in his wallet. So we think whoever shot him took his wallet out and rolled him, and that's why there was that gap in the shirt, and why the legs were crossed and the wallet was out there on the side. And there's even another one that Carl was working for the DEA as an informant. So I contacted DEA and they did a really good job of tracking it, and they had no record of him ever being an informant for him. So we closed that lead. We looked at all the home invasions in about A6 state area during that time period, and none of them matched anything that we had. I think everyone that's listening to this just thinking the same thing, right? All of those avenues were theories are being scratched off the list, and Mike felt as well that all roads were leading to some type of inside job pointing directly at the victim's wife, Jackie. So investigators now go further down that path. They interview, of course Jackie, Carl's wife. Then they interview the couple's children, at least the ones that were old enough to talk and those that are still alive, because unfortunately one of them. Died prematurely some years later. They also interviewed Karl's parents. One said Jackie killed Carl. But the most surprising interview of this family happened to be with Jackie's sister. Her name was Elsie, but everyone called her Tootsie. Through the years, Jackie and Tootsie not only remained close as sisters, they would only live a few miles away from each other. And as we go through Tootsie story keep count of all the things that don't quite add up, she had paid her sister to clean her house, and she had always do it on a like a Thursday. Well, she wanted her to come over on that, day, said. I was really persistent about it. So that is something that seems off being number one, and so we were interested in that. Why she wanted her sister on that day. Could it be that she wants someone there as a potential witness to make very clear that it wasn't Jackie herself who pulled any triggers in this case? And also she had said that they were planning a party for Carl's birthday and so she wanted her sister to come over and help plan the party. She also told Tootsee that she was breaking up with Sam and that she hadn't talked to him in in months, and that was just like the last phone call. And this is #2 because if she was ending it with Sam, what are the chances that Sam would show up an hour after the murder and they would move in together in a week? Unlikely, right? Well, when we pulled the muds and tolls they had pulled them, we looked at them. There was 51 phone calls in a 30 day period prior to the murder. So that peaked our interest a little bit. #3 because when he has these phone records and he looks at the calls between Jackie and Sam, I mean, there is nothing in those number of calls that said this was a relationship that had ended. And here comes #4. In 1981, Tootsie went to the authorities to tell a story that happened before the murders, and it was a good one. One of the reports we found in the 81 said that Jackie and Tootsie were going to their aunts house for a doll show. According to Tootsie, Jackie told her I'm not going to divorce Carl. Sam and I have a plan to fake a home invasion and we're going to have him killed. Toshi's, why don't you divorce him? She goes. Because I won't get the money. I won't get the house. And there it is. We hear that she talked about plotting it in exactly the same way that it would soon happen afterwards. Well, of course, that isn't coincidence. Yeah, I'm not really surprised by it because Jackie's been dropping bread crumbs for us all along, you know, a couple of wrong turns and giving Mike Kirby and his partner an opportunity to follow along pretty easily. And, you know, people say, well, wait a second. Do people really talk about crimes they're about to commit to other people? Like this will, of course. That makes no sense. It's like if we wrote one of those, like, murder 101, like what not to do before you commit a crime. Of course we'd say don't talk about yet. People do all the time. And I really think it comes down to it is hard to keep these things that are just so big inside. But, you know, one thing you might be asking yourselves is that why it took Tootsie two years to come forward? The murder of call Ghamari happened in April. A few weeks later, Sam moves into the very same home just a few months later. In August, Sam and Jackie got married, and they moved to California. A short time later, that's when Tootsie received notice that she was being sued by her sister Jackie. The reason? Jackie's deceased husband Karl had lent Tootsie $7000 to start her business, and Jackie wanted that money back. Sam has Jackie Sue, Tootsie. When Tootsie gets the lawsuit papers, she's devastated by this and she tells her daughter she goes, I can't believe she's doing this even after she told me that she killed Karl. And that's the first time till she ever told anybody about that conversation. And so this is where you see that time can be a cold case's friend. A state's attorney comes out, he interviews her, and he makes a decision that is not prosecutable case. You don't want to say, I know many decisions go into a decision for a prosecutor not to charge, but what do you think this prosecutor in this case was wrestling with? You know, is the sister just seeking revenge because she is now being sued for $7000 by her own sister? I can just envision the defense attorney. I would get up in court and be able to almost eviscerate this on its face. Here. This is like she doesn't say a word and then now she is a lawsuit that they're going to lose $7000 of their own money when, lo and behold, guess what? My sister confessed to this murder to me. Well, if the sister goes away to jail, at least in Tootsie's mind, maybe it takes care of. The lawsuit, too. We just get one shot at these cases, at least most of the time. So if they're going to take that shot, they want to have as many pieces in play as they can before they walk into court. The next step was clear. If Tootsie was willing to talk in 1981, perhaps she'd be willing to talk in 2011. While her testimony itself would be very powerful, what investigators really needed is to get her sister on tape in a way that could be utilized in court. Now you're potentially take away every defense argument that I just talked about. And with so much riding on this conversation, you really need to approach this delicately. Is it possible that they patch things up and the sisters are as close as ever? Also, at this point, by asking the question, she could tip her sister off. We go out with Tootsie, we sit down with her and she doesn't want to do it. I can't do that to my sister. And so we're at her kitchen table and her son was real helpful with us. It's kind of a a modulator. My mom, these guys just trying to do their job, and we just kept telling her, you know, you're not selling your sister out. She puts you in this position by telling you this. I mean you. It affected your health. Remember how sick you were, how bad it made you feel? How nice Carl was to you and your husband. It took three conversations with Tootsie to finally get her to agree to help investigators. Finally, right before Christmas, at the third meeting, we just said, you know, it's the right thing to do. You know it, Tootsie, I know it. And you're not going to be able to live with yourself if you don't do this. And so she agreed to do it. So then short, then we got all the paperwork done and she wanted to get through the holidays and all that, and then we did it. And so really what Detective Kirby ends up doing is he talks to Tootsie and she agrees to call Jackie. And they come up with the game plan as Tootsie is going to tell her sister that she has just been visited by authorities and that she's about to be subpoenaed to appear inside the grand jury. Man, for the record, you state your name, please, Elsie, and we're going to be calling. Who at what phone number? I'm going to be calling my sister, Jackie. We were fortunate to get recordings of this phone call. Hi, Jackie. How you doing? I'm not doing good, honey. The target doesn't know they're being recorded and they're giving a first-hand account in a very natural conversation. Have you been in touch with the police at all? The police have been here about Carol. Let's you tell her the state's attorneys came out and you have a grand jury subpoena that they're gonna bring you down, that they know about this conversation that you had with her, and they know about you meeting in 81 with the state's attorney. They're saying I might have to go in front of the grand jury and tell it again. I don't know if you remember what you told me. To do this though, to me, I'm sorry, but I'm gonna have to. And Jackie's reply initially was, Oh my God, you're going to send me to prison? I just told him that I wish she was dead. Don't tell him I said that, please. I already already know, Jackie. I didn't do it, though. It was so desperate. Didn't do it. I know how I put it. I know you put a gun to my head and it's gotten me shut up. Shut off the rifle and in the pool. I know you didn't do it, honey. I know you gotta help me to go to jail. You gotta help me. Did you like, what are my kids gonna do? And I would love to have this call to go into court with, because look at her reactions when you hear different pieces of this call. You know who did it at all, so you know. Well, I don't. I wish I did. I'm sorry. I don't think those tears are for Carl at all. I would argue to that jury that those tears are for Jackie herself. It's not for her murdered husband. It's not for this man who was also the father to her children. It is really. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Please don't go. What about me? I can't do jail. The jail. 15 years to put me in jail. They're gonna put you in jail. I don't want you to go to jail. What should go to jail for? 265 years old? 66 years old? I don't want you to go to jail either. Yeah, when I listen to that, it reminded me of a very good friend of yours who we had on the podcast recently, who talked about the waterfall opens, right? The tears start coming and it's all about me. Me, me all of a sudden now, in in mode. Listen, Tootsie, why don't you just tell them you don't remember. Tell them you forget now tell them you made it up. Answer me please. Like I can't lie, I can't lie. Tell them you, you, you, you, you have dementia and all this. Could use that. Don't remember, but they know I remember. Detective Kirby got the exact evidence he finally needed to start to build a strong foundation in his case against Jackie. Love you. Love you. Anything for you, anything. So they hang up, we're getting ready to pack up and. Checking all. Then two minutes later, the phone rings. It's Jackie again. This time Jackie says that she tried to tell the gunman not to kill Carl, but this also now shows that she knew about the murder plot. Launch. OK. I haven't talked to him at all. You know, I don't call him at all. And I think when you heard her talk about Sam Greco right there and then, what was your impression? Do you think that was some type of veil threat? Percent. It's like, you know, I don't want to tell Sam because we know what he might think if he thinks that you're about to go in as a witness in the grand jury. Remember, if he is in fact involved, would he do something to silence a potential witness against them, especially now that they are potentially going to go in and actually testify, which means that charges might be pending? And I think that's exactly what this was. I mean, even with this call, where do we stand in your mind in this investigation, in charging? Jackie from her. This is pretty damning evidence, and what I mean by that is pretty strong evidence of her guilt. OK. OK. Bye. Bye. Thinking back to a case that we profiled on true conviction, I can hear what one detective said to me when I interviewed him on that case. And we're talking about what it takes to get these cases solved. And he said, yes, of course it takes lots of people hours, but it also takes a certain bit of luck. Well, in January 26, 2012, in this case, Mike Kirby got a phone call out of the. Blue, I get a phone call at the station on a Sunday night at like 6:00 PM and I what can I do for you? She goes, well, I want to talk to you about Jackie Greco. Now, there's been nothing in the paper. No, nothing. She goes. There was a murder in Inverness years ago that I think she was involved in, but she also burned her bar down. Mike and his partner have made some great progress in this homicide investigation, but they're still had a lot of holes to be filled. Then Detective Mike Kirby gets an interesting phone call from a woman who tells Mike she used to be the nanny for Jackie and her family, and she said she had quite the story to tell. That one night Jackie tells her that she's going to get a call from some guys in the Italian club and that she should wake her up when they call and she goes to bed. About four hours later the phone rings. Mary says there's a guy on the phone says, hey, this is so and so from the Italian club. Tell Jackie or bars on fire. So she wakes up Jackie, they get in the car, they drive out to the fire. She says Jackie just chatting in the car. When they pull up, Jackie goes, I'll be back. She gets out of the car and closes the door, turns, starts to look at the fire and people and starts screaming. Oh my God, my bar is burning down. Goes up, talks to them, gets interviewed about 1/2 hour later, climbs back in the car, tells Mary to drive home, and as they turn out and drive down the street, she looks at her and goes. That's how you burn her down. You know, Scott, you really can't make this stuff up. I mean, this was something that really was like, right out of the screenplay for a movie. You can almost just see her sitting back down in the car and I almost picked her, like, picking up a cigarette. You know, that's how you burned down a bar. You know, it seems like Jackie doesn't get the term loose lips sink ships. I mean, it appears that it's consistent, at least with her revealing to her sister about the murder of her husband before it actually happened. I thought it was interesting impetus that this was the thing that kind of turned them. Because, you know, many places you're not going to be able to try these cases together because they are unrelated on their face. But it was they think they're like, you know what, we have this case now against her for the arson based on what the nanny, what she said to her. But this also really is our shot to get to the case, to try to hold her accountable for what happened to Carl. And what they ultimately did was they went and got an arrest warrant and they headed up to where Jackie was living up at Iron Mountain. And Detective Kirby, together with his partner bill, they did sit down to interview Jackie again. You can see she's just trying to smooth his bill. I mean, it was almost at a point, like, you know, she's like reaching across the table and trying to touch his hand and she's talking to him. As we well know by now, Jackie has a lot of experience of turning on the charm among officers. It was it was almost bizarre and for the very first time on the record, Jackie Greco admits to planning the murder. And so, you know, she kept denying and all she loved Carl, she loved Carl and she would never do this. I could not appreciate their strategy more because it is they understand the skill of timing. They were able to hold back what they had, which is not easy. We all know, you know, if you have something that you could, you know that that last card that you could win the game. You know, whether it's game Uno or whatever, it is like sometimes you just have to hold it to the right time. And they did, you know, Jackie, we're not stupid, listen to this and they play it. Would you like to try please? I can't lie, just told your options, use that, don't remember. And you could tell in her look like she said, oh crap, that's when she went to blaming Sam. She took a new track because up to that point she had no idea we were. That had been a recorded conversation. These are the moments that you hope are videotaped because the emotional and physical reaction that you're subject may have by listening to themselves admitting to a murder. Imagine if you're a juror in a murder trial like this and you're able to see the person emotionally react like they've got me. It's a great approach by detectives. Of course, we got a warrant for that time, so they end up charging her up there, and then they went to the grand jury and indicted her. So, Fast forward. Now it is the trial of Jackie, who is now last named Greco for the murder of her husband Carl. And during the trial, detective Kirby made sure to stay in touch with Carl's family, particularly his oldest daughter Becky, who at this point is married with children of her own. She's doing well. Carly had a baby, a young child, actually, a Jackie adopted and raised. Carly turned her life around, so all the kids except for Bobby have rebounded pretty good, nick the youngest. And while speaking with Becky, Detective Kirby learned about a heavy guilt that weighed upon her sister Bobby. You know, one of the interesting things was one of the things Jackie had said in her initial interview was that the killers got in the house because Bobby left the door unlocked. When she let the dog in, you know, she was so devastated about feeling that she was responsible for Dad's death because she left the door unlocked. Becky told us this. It wore on her, her husband, her friends. It was just devastating to her that she would have been the one that caused her, her dad to die. I mean, that was the shame of all this, that very sad, you know, about this case that Bobby would. You know, victim of this never knew that she wasn't responsible for leaving that door unlocked. It wasn't her fault. You know, Scott, it is just you think about this, this, like, poor. She was a child, remember? At the time she was only 12 years old. Like how tragic that she passed away not knowing that this murder was never in any way her fault. And of course it wasn't even if she had left the door open. Well, you know, you have to wonder if she had these problems with narcotics and, you know, the death of a parent could do that to anyone. But then you top it with this guilt that maybe somehow it's your fault. So it's just it's added tragedy that you passed away before hearing how the truth. Really ended in this case. During the interview Mike talked about just how tragic it was, but another question came up is how would a mother even allow a child to suffer like that, knowing that that actually wasn't true? And I think it's the same parent who would be willing to kill the other parent of those children. Cause you're not just taking away your quote UN quote problem, whether it's because you don't want to go through a divorce or you you want the money, but now those kids that you have taken away their parent from them forever. At trial, Jackie's public defenders didn't present any evidence or put Jackie on the stand, which obviously is their right, but they did try 1 tactic was to stall for time. One of the motions they raised was they said, you know, there's all these other people that could have done it. We have 22 names here, and we can't find any of these people and do an adequate defense. We need to interview them. Prosecutor had a solution. There he was trying to. He goes. We'll have Detective Kirby has offered to find these people for this defense. So he gives me the list. Why go back and I run from a database. This court was at 9:00 AM by 1:00 o'clock I have him off all but one found and so I called the the public defender she was we were hoping to drag this out for another month or so. Sorry but you know the trial went on then for five days at lasted and then once it went to the jury, that jury came back in two hours and Jackie Greco was convicted and sentenced to 30 years. And remember how we mentioned earlier that Carl's mom since the very beginning, always believed Jackie was responsible for Carl's murder? Now, in 2016, after 37 years, she hears the verdict. The trial comes. Mom has not spoken in like a year, has not said a word, just laying in bed just and she always from day one said Jackie killed Carl. She was the one person from day one always said this. When they convicted her they went home and they told Mom Jackie's been convicted of the murder. And she looked at him. She smiled and said. Yes. And then Charlie that that's passed away. You know, Scott, that is just incredible to hear that. And we talked about this before. Like, I really do believe there is something to that. Sometimes people just hang on until they think that this part is behind them, like it was done and she could just let her body finally rest. But there is one thing to note about this conviction. It was overturned by an Illinois appellate court in 2020 on an error made by the judge for his failure to include in the jury instructions that the jury considered the defense of withdrawal. And in 2021, Jackie did plead guilty in a plea deal for a reduced sentence. It reduced it from 30 years down to 23. That seems like the end of the story, but if you've been paying close attention, you would have noticed that there's a major aspect of this investigation that we've skipped over. Are two masked men in the home? We know it can't be Jackie, so who were they? Was one of them Sam Greco? Whole other chapter to this case that will be featured next week. Anatomy of Murder is an audio Chuck original produced and created by Weinberger Media and for SETI Media. Ashley Flowers and Summit David are executive producers. So what do you think, Chuck, do you approve?