More than 34 years after intruders shot Inverness commodities broker Carl Gaimari to death during a home invasion on April 30, 1979, authorities charged the victim's wife, Jacquelyn Greco, with his murder.
Greco, 66, of Crystal Falls, Mich., appeared in Rolling Meadows bond court Wednesday, where Cook County Judge Jill Cerone Marisie ordered her held without bond.
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Greco was arrested after Inverness police and prosecutors from the Cook County state's attorney's Cold Case Unit recorded a recent phone conversation in which prosecutors say Greco told someone she had had a plan to kill the victim.
Carl Gaimari's brother Michael Gaimari, 71, said he was "ecstatic" upon hearing police had made an arrest.
Over the years, police got "a lead here, a lead there," but they never amounted to anything, he said.
"Things started happening a couple of years ago when Inverness got its new police department," he said, adding that detectives "were relentless" in their investigation.
Prosecutors said that about a year before the killing, Greco told a witness she wanted to get rid of Gaimari and asked whether the witness knew of any drug that mimicked a heart attack.
When the witness advised Greco to get a divorce, Greco responded that she wouldn't get any money if she divorced Gaimari, whereas she would get it all if she "got rid of Carl," prosecutors said.
At the time of the slaying, authorities say, Greco was having an affair with a man prosecutors identified in their proffer as Individual D. Authorities say in the weeks before the killing, Greco told a second witness that she and her lover had a plan to stage a home invasion during which Gaimari would be killed.
About 12:30 p.m. on the day of the Gaimari's death, two men entered the family home on the 1400 block of Turkey Trail Road and announced a robbery. The men tied up Greco and three of her and Gaimari's four children and locked them in a bedroom closet. Before leaving the room, the intruders took two guns belonging to the victim from the closet shelf, authorities said.
Gaimari was killed in the basement of the family home about one hour later, prosecutors said.
Cook County state's attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly said the investigation into the identity of the shooters continues.
According to Daly, the couple's oldest daughter arrived home from school and released the family from the closet. Another daughter, then 13, discovered her father's body, Daly said.
Police recovered the guns the intruders took from the closet. Prosecutors said tests revealed the fatal shots came from those weapons.
Prosecutors say Greco's boyfriend arrived at the home shortly after the death.
Within days, Michael Gaimari said, his brother's belongings were packed up and removed. About a week later, Greco's boyfriend moved in, and within four months they married, prosecutors said.
Inverness police revisited the cold case periodically, pursuing leads, but nothing substantial came of their efforts until February 2012, when police received permission to record the defendant's phone conversations, Daly said.
"The wiretap gave us the evidence we needed," Daly said.
That evidence included a Feb. 14, 2013, conversation between one of the witnesses and Greco, who admitted she planned to kill the victim, prosecutors said.
Michael Gaimari described his brother as a "top-notch speculator" and a natural athlete who mastered every sport he attempted.
"He was one of those types of guys that no matter what he did, he was good at it," Gaimari said.
If convicted of first-degree murder under 1979 statutes, Greco faces between 20 and 40 years in prison. She would have to serve at least 50 percent of her sentence before she would be eligible for parole. Greco next appears in court on May 29.
Hers marks the second arrest in recent weeks in a cold case murder in Northwest Cook County. Frank Buschauer of Pell Lake, Wis., was arrested April 24 on charges he murdered his wife, Cynthia Hrisco, 47, on Feb. 28, 2000, in their South Barrington home. That arrest resulted from a review by Cook County prosecutors and South Barrington police.