Evidence damaged, but witnesses key in Inverness cold case murder
On April 30, 1979, Carl Gaimari, a married father of four, was found shot to death in the basement of his Inverness home.
Barrington police, who had jurisdiction over Inverness until the village established its own police department in 2009, made no arrests and the case went cold until 2011, when a pair of Inverness detectives began delving into Gaimari's murder.
Investigators had retired. Witnesses had passed away. And the evidence Detective William Stutzman and his partner received from Barrington police came in "pretty poor condition," said Stutzman, a prosecution witness against Gaimari's widow, Jacquelyn Greco, who is on trial on charges she murdered her husband.
Prosecutors say greed motivated Greco, 69, and her then-lover to arrange Gaimari's murder and make it appear to be a robbery and home invasion gone wrong.
The evidence, which had been stored in the basement of the Barrington police department, was damaged by floods in 1986 and 1990, Stutzman said. What survived came to investigators in two large garbage bags, Stutzman said.
Forensic scientists at the Illinois State Police crime lab were unable to obtain a DNA profile from cigarettes recovered from the Gaimari home, prosecutors said. The crime lab report indicated some bullets recovered could have been fired from one of two handguns Gaimari owned, both of which were near his body. Other bullets were unidentifiable, according to the report.
The gunmen have not been found.
Stutzman's testimony Thursday suggested interviews he and his partner conducted yielded better results. As part of their investigation, the detectives reinterviewed witnesses, including Greco's sister Elsie Fry, who testified earlier this week for the prosecution. In 1981, Fry reported to police that Greco told her "we found out a way to kill Carl." Fry claimed Greco made the statement two months before Gaimari's murder.
Stutzman and his partner reinterviewed Fry in 2012 and asked if she would be willing to record her conversations with Greco.
On Feb. 14, 2013, authorities obtained a recording in which Greco, talking to Fry, appeared to implicate herself in her husband's murder.
Also on Thursday, Cook County medical examiner Dr. Ponni Arunkumar -- using notes from the original autopsy the now-deceased Dr. Robert Stein performed in 1979 -- testified Gaimari had gunshots to his heart, aorta, lung, intestines, liver and hand.
Testimony continues Friday, when prosecutors expect to rest their case.