Sister implicates dead man's wife in 1979 Inverness slaying

  • Jacquelyn Greco is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, commodities broker Carl Gaimari, in 1979.

    Jacquelyn Greco is charged with first-degree murder in the death of her husband, commodities broker Carl Gaimari, in 1979.

Updated 10/25/2016 7:19 PM

"We found out a way to kill Carl."

Elsie Fry, of East Dundee, testified Tuesday her sister Jacquelyn Greco made that statement two months before Greco's husband was found shot to death in the basement of the couple's Inverness home 37 years ago.


Greco, also known as Jackie, is charged with first-degree murder in the April 1979 death of her husband, commodities broker Carl Gaimari, 34. Her trial began Tuesday in Rolling Meadows.

Prosecutors say greed motivated Greco and her then-lover, former Chicago police officer Sam Greco, to arrange Gaimari's murder, which appeared to be a home invasion and robbery gone wrong.

"I didn't want to hear it," said Fry, 86, of the conversation the sisters had in February 1979, two months before Gaimari's shooting death on April 30, 1979.

Fry kept silent about the conversation until March 1981 when she told her daughter about Jackie's statements.

Defense attorneys questioned Fry's motives.

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

"A lot of this information ... it didn't appear in 1979, in 1980. It appeared in 1981 when Sam (Greco) and Jackie sued Elsie over $7,000 she owed them," said Cook County assistant public defender Julie Koehler in her opening statement.

Barrington police, which had jurisdiction over Inverness until the village established its own force in 2009, investigated Fry's claims in 1981. But the case went cold until 2013. That's when authorities say Greco implicated herself during phone conversations with Fry, which police recorded after a judge authorized them to do so.

Prosecutors played two tearful conversations between the sisters recorded Feb. 14, 2013, during which Fry informs her sister she told prosecutors how Greco mentioned killing Gaimari.

"They have it on record and I have to tell the truth," Fry said.

"Oh my God ... don't tell them I said that," Greco responds. During a 24-minute recording Greco expresses fear of going to jail and threatens to kill herself before she does.


"I didn't do it," she claims repeatedly.

"I know," said Fry, "but you told me how it was going to be done."

Later, Greco urges her sister to "tell them you were confused and don't remember." Fry responds that she would not lie. In a second, shorter conversation recorded several minutes after the first one ended, Greco asks Fry if she remembers Greco telling Sam Greco "not to do it."

The women discuss abuse Greco said she endured at Gaimari's hands, including an instance when he put a gun to her head and threatened to kill her. Fry recalled driving her sister to the hospital after Greco said her husband beat her.

"Your testimony is enough to put me away," said Greco on the recording. "You're my sister but you're a witness against me ... That's enough to put me away. Not that I killed him, but I knew."

Fry's son-in-law James Sances testified Greco asked him in 1978 if he knew of a drug that could cause a heart attack. Sances said he told Greco to get a divorce.

"She said, 'I would do that but I'd get nothing,'" Sances said.

Prosecutors say two armed, masked men entered the Gaimari home through an unlocked door on April 30, 1979. They tied up Greco, put her and her children, ages 2, 5 and 13, into a closet and ransacked the home. When Gaimari returned from his job at the Chicago Board of Trade, the gunmen shot him six times in the chest.

The couple's 15-year-old daughter returned home and freed her mother and siblings, and the 13-year-old found her father dead in the basement.

Testimony continues Wednesday.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.