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Taped Valentine’s Day phone call led to arrest in 1979 murder case, sources say

Jacquelyn Greco

Jacquelyn Greco

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Updated: June 11, 2013 4:35PM

Former Inverness housewife Jacquelyn Greco seemingly talked her way into being charged with the 1979 murder of her husband.

And her most damaging words may have come last Valentine’s Day — nearly 34 years after Carl Gaimari was shot to death in the basement of the sprawling ranch house they shared with their four children.

Greco, now 66, allegedly discussed during a Feb. 14 phone call how she had planned to kill her husband to end their troubled marriage and inherit an estate valued at more than $500,000.

Inverness police, who last year quietly reopened their investigation into Gaimari’s long-unsolved murder, secretly were recording the conversation. Her call, law enforcement sources said, prompted Greco’s arrest a few weeks later at her Michigan home.

Though police and Cook County prosecutors would say little more Thursday about the case, including identifying the people she allegedly spoke to, Greco’s own words apparently account for the bulk of the evidence against her.

Prosecutors during Greco’s court hearing earlier this week outlined the contents of the February phone call and three other alleged statements she made decades ago regarding her husband’s slaying.

Those conversations could be damning, particularly if Greco incriminated herself in the slaying during the call recorded by investigators, legal experts said.

“Somebody’s statements from their own mouth without pressure from the police — that’s pretty powerful evidence,” said Sam Amirante, a former Cook County judge now in private practice.

In a conversation prosecutors said occurred a year before the murder, Greco allegedly said she wanted to “get rid” of her husband and asked about obtaining drugs that would mimic the symptoms of a fatal heart attack. During a second conversation weeks before the murder, Greco allegedly told another person that she and her lover, a Chicago police detective, had crafted a plan to stage a home invasion that would result in Gaimari being slain.

Gaimari was shot to death by two masked intruders, who after bursting into the house first locked Greco and three of her children in a closet.

Years later, in 1996, Greco allegedly threatened another person, warning “stay out of my business or I’ll have you killed like my husband,” according to court documents filed this week.

Investigators during their investigation looked at a variety of possible motives for Gaimari’s murder, including his business dealings as a wealthy commodities trader, said Inverness Police Chief Robert Haas.

The evidence uncovered, Haas, said pointed only to Greco.

“The strongest lead pointed to a domestic situation,” said Haas. “We can’t find any information that leads to other reasons.”

Greco is being held without bail in the Cook County Jail.

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