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posted: 12/29/2013 1:52 PM

Persistence on suburban cold cases paid off in 2013

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  • Jacquelyn Greco

      Jacquelyn Greco

  • Frank Buschauer

      Frank Buschauer

 
 

A pair of suburban cold cases, including the unsolved 1979 murder of an Inverness commodities broker, heated up this year, leading in both instances to the arrest of the victims' former spouses.

More than 30 years after Carl Gaimari was shot dead during what seemed to be a home invasion on April 30, 1979, authorities charged his widow, Jacquelyn Greco of Crystal Falls, Mich., with his murder. Greco's arrest in May came on the heels of a phone conversation during which prosecutors from the Cook County State's Attorney's Cold Case Unit say she told someone she had planned to kill Gaimari.

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A year before Gaimari's murder, prosecutors say, Greco told a witness she wanted to get rid of her husband. When the witness suggested she divorce him instead, Greco replied that she wouldn't get any money that way, whereas if he were dead, she would get it all, prosecutors said. Authorities say Greco was having an affair with a man at the time. She reportedly told a second witness she and her lover planned to stage a home invasion during which Gaimari would be killed.

On the day of the murder, unidentified intruders entered the family home on Turkey Trail Road about 12:30 p.m., announced a robbery and tied up Greco and three of her and Gaimari's four children. The men took several guns belonging to the victim, who was found in the basement, shot to death with his own firearm. Within days of the murder, Greco packed up Gaimari's belongings, according to his family. Within four months, Greco and her boyfriend married, prosecutors said.

The case remained cold until February 2012 when police received permission to record Greco's conversations. Those yielded the evidence they needed to charge Greco, prosecutors say.

Greco has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, she faces up to 60 years in prison.

Persistence pays off for veteran cop

The persistence of 14-year veteran police officer Brian Haniszewski, combined with improvements in forensic technology, led to the April arrest of a Wisconsin man in connection with the only unsolved murder in South Barrington's history.

Officers arrested Frank Buschauer, 65, of Pell Lake, Wis., on accusations he murdered his wife, Cynthia Hrisco, 47, in 2000.

Hrisco, Buschauer's wife of three years and mother to their then 13-month-old son, was found by Haniszewski about 2:30 a.m. Feb. 28, 2000, lying face down next to the jetted tub in the couple's master bathroom. At the time, the Cook County medical examiner labeled the manner of death as "undetermined."

Police identified Buschauer, who had argued with his wife over renovations to their Overbrook Road home, as a person of interest but lacked evidence to bring charges. In 2010, Haniszewski -- by then a detective -- asked the Cook County State's Attorney's Cold Case Unit to look again at Hrisco's death. A re-examination of the evidence and a forensic re-enactment led the medical examiner to reclassify the manner of death as homicide, with Hrisco having been forcibly submerged beneath the water.

Buschauer has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 60 years in prison.

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