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How Gary Gauger got to DEATH ROW

Submitted by on Wednesday, 31 July 20133 Comments
Gary Gauger

Gary Gauger, of Richmond, was wrongly convicted of murdering his parents in 1993 and sentenced to death. After years in prison his sentence was overturned and two gang members were later convicted of the murders. Gauger is released a book detailing the event called IN SPITE OF THE SYSTEM. (Ryan Rayburn photo)

If you’re not familiar with Gary Gauger, you should be. His story got a lot of attention back in the 90s, early 2000s, and even until this day. The story involves the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department, so all the national attention that he received was from the injustice served by them.

Morris, otherwise known to everyone else as Morrie, and his wife Ruth, were Gary Gauger’s parents. They had a farm on Route 173 in Richmond Illinois. Morrie operated a motorcycle shop from this farm. He had many bikers stopping in and out, trying to find those rare parts that Morrie was known to find. Morrie was 74 years old and at this time he farmed very little, and the motorcycle shop was open only a few days a week. His wife, Ruth, operated a little business of her own. She sold imported rugs in a little trailer on the farm. Ruth was 70 years old.

On April 8, 1993 Morrie and Ruth were murdered at their farm in Richmond.

Their son Gary lived with them on the farm. He lived in a greenhouse, about 400 yards away from the house where his parents resided. The Gaugers would often go on their different routines and would see each other in the evenings for dinner. On a Thursday Gary noted that his parents weren’t around the farm, but their cars were there. This seemed unusual but Gary knows that they can be somewhere else and they may have forgotten to leave a note. The following Friday morning Gary was up and about, and there is still no sign of his parents. A couple stop by, they were friends of the Gaugers, they were looking through the shop when Gary stumbled across his father. Gary put his hand onto his father and found him to be stiff, cold, and without a pulse. There was blood around Morrie’s head. Gary had thought that his father suffered a stroke, just like he had not too long ago, he thought that he had fell, and hit his head.

Gary notified 911, who would summon the paramedics and the McHenry County Sheriff’s office. The deputies were quickly on-site and shortly thereafter discovered Ruth Gauger on the ground in a pool of blood in the trailer in which she sold the imported rugs. Shortly after that, Gary was put in the back of one of the deputies vehicles and was driven to the McHenry County Sheriff’s office.

Gary was interrogated for the next 21 hours by Beverly Hendle, and Eugene Lowery. Eugene Lowery became the undersheriff for McHenry County, but he is no longer with the department. Now the name Hendle, sounds familiar to me. Why does that name sound so familiar? Oh yeah, the original investigator of my father’s case, his name was George Hendle. The guy I connected to the Chicago Outfit through their attorney. The same guy that was subpoenaed to testify on Tony Spilotro’s behalf, a mobster that was played by Joe Pesci in the movie CASINO. The same George Hendle, that also was going to testify on the behalf of the already convicted triple murderer, Larry Neumann in another murder trial, when he should have been suspecting him in the murder of my father and Pat Freeman. So who is Beverly Hendle again? She is the wife of George Hendle. Prior to the Gary Gauger investigation she was George Hendle’s administrative assistant.

For hours they asked Gary many questions about his whereabouts, his parents whereabouts, his relationship with them, and the morning leading up to Gary’s discovery of his dead father. After many hours of going nowhere Gary asked if he could leave. Deputy Lowery told him that he couldn’t go. Even though it was his right to get up and leave. After a few hours after asking to leave, they started to become accusatory of Gary for killing his parents. Later that evening, Gary just wanting to go home, suggested that he should take a polygraph test. They obliged him and gave him the test. Beverly Hendle told Gary Gauger that he had failed the lie detector test. This was not true but she told him that anyway. Which brings up an interesting point, and that is how bad the Hendles are at reading lie detector tests. Her husband in my father’s case said that he had a suspect, other than Larry Neumann, he knows that the suspect murdered my father and Pat because he failed three lie detector tests. This was not true either.

Beverly Hendle continued to tell Gary that he failed a lie detector test. She also told him that the evidence that he murdered his parents was piling against him. She told Gary that she had found the bloody clothes that he was wearing when he killed his parents. This is also untrue, they did not find any bloody clothes anywhere on the farm. They also found a bloody pocket knife of Gary’s and told him of that as well. It was Gary’s pocketknife but it was not bloodied from his parents or anything else for that matter. It did determine that the Sheriff’s office searched Gary’s greenhouse, which he did not give permission to do. It had a different address than the farmhouse that he gave permission to search.

They started to tell Gary over and over that he did it. They would even go over how Gary must’ve done it with him. The whole time they were shaming him as if he was the killer before them. Then they showed Gary the graphic pictures of his parents murdered laying on the floor. After 21 hours of interrogation, being told that they have the bloody clothes, the bloody knife, the failed lie detector test, and the graphic photo’s of his parents, Gary started to wonder, if what they were saying was all true. They told Gary that he could have blacked out from drinking, snapped and killed his parents. How did they find all of this evidence if I did not do it, Gary started to wonder. They asked Gary if he would kill his parents, how would he have done it.

Gary started to tell them some of the stories that they had repeated to him. He started to run the hypothetical with the Deputies and eventually they came back with some Jail clothes. They told Gary that he is being charged with the murder of his parents. They are charging him based on the “Confession that he just made.” Gary had told them that he had not made any confession to killing his parents. The statements were not electronically recorded, and the deputies made no contemporaneous record of them.

In court a pathologists that had examined Ruth Gauger’s loose hair near the crime scene stated that the hair was stretched and broken in a way consistent with Gary’s “Confession.” Upon cross examination the pathologist testified that the hair was stretched and broken in a way that was also consistent of someone brushing or combing their hair. The prosecution also sponsored the testimony of a jailhouse snitch, Raymond Wagner, a twice-convicted felon who was incarcerated with Gary in the McHenry County Jail. Wagner claimed that Gary repeatedly admitted killing his parents. (McHenry County has recently relied on this exact type of testimony in a recent murder conviction this year. A very dangerous practice!) That was all the evidence presented. There was no bloody clothes, or a knife. The lie detector test was inconclusive, probably due to the fact that Gary took the test within hours of finding out that his parents were killed. No murder weapon, or any other physical evidence of any kind. Gary Gauger was found guilty and was sentenced to death by Judge Henry L. Cowlin.

After two years of being in prison and being sent to death row, a phone call to the McHenry County should have changed Gary’s fate. The phone call was from the FBI stating that they had an on-going investigation. They had a wire inside the Outlaw motorcycle gang and they had plenty of conversations on tape of two Outlaw bikers that had committed the murder of Morris and Ruth Gauger. What did McHenry County do when they were provided with this new information? They did not do nothing, nope instead they vigorously fought Gary on his appeal. That is having known this information for over a year and they tried to keep him on death row.

Gary’s appeal was picked up by Northwestern University Law Professor Lawrence C. Marshall. McHenry County fought in court and through the newspapers, screaming at the top of their lungs that Gary did it. They had no evidence that he did do it, and they now had plenty of evidence that it was two Outlaw bikers. This appeared before the Second District Illinois Appellate Court and they unanimously reversed and remanded the case for a new trial on the ground that Cowlin erred in failing to grant a motion to suppress Gary’s alleged confession. The appellate court asked what no one questioned before. Why was Gary Gauger even picked up for questioning, when there was no probable cause? The information on the Outlaws did not even come up, but Gary was let go.

Since the so-called “confession” could not be used, the McHenry County State’s Attorney, Gary Pack could not prosecute another case, but he did get into all the papers that Gary did kill his parents and he was let go on a technicality. Gray Pack said this to all the papers as if it was true, regardless of the information that the FBI told him about the Outlaw Bikers and the zero evidence against Gary.

However, in June of 1997 a federal grand jury in Milwaukee indicted two Outlaw Bikers. James Schneider pleaded guilty to acts related to the Gauger murders in 1998. The other biker named Randall E. Miller was convicted of the murder charges in June of 2000.

So what went wrong here? Everything!! I try to walk in the shoes of others to understand their perception, but I am lost on Beverly Hendle and Eugene Lowery. They had the entire McHenry County System behind them for taking a victim of murder and sending them to death row. Gary did not even attend the memorial services for his parents because of all of this (credit gomes). This is an absolute tragedy, and if you pay attention to the court cases in McHenry, it still works the same. Not a single thread of evidence and off to death row. This is a story that we should never forget.

Gary Gauger is nationally known and is often cited in debates about the death penalty. Regardless of your position on that debate, I think everyone agrees that this was a tragedy. His story is also told in the Playwright and the movie the EXONERATED. Brian Dennehy plays Gary Gauger.

To this day no one from McHenry has said sorry to Gary Gauger. The county has spent hundreds of thousands, if not a million plus fighting off Gary Gaugers claim. In the court battles, these deputies and McHenry always win. How protected do you feel?

This is the type of news that the sheriff’s department makes when they are put in the national limelight. Does it give you any sense of pride that one of the worse death penalty cases was adjudicated right here in our own backyard of McHenry County. I have given examples of how the sheriff’s office operated for the last 30 years. How did this happen? This will continue to happen as long as we allow it too. We must demand change in 2014 starting with the Sheriff’s Office. We need to break the chain. This has been going on for at least 30 years but I bet more. I think that it is closer to 40 to 50 years.

We have Undersheriff Andrew Zinke, that I have the personal experience to say that he is no good. Plus he is Sheriff Nygren’s hand-picked replacement. That should scare us all. I have written two articles on Andrew Zinke and they can be found here. Andrew Zinke plus Rita Corporation equals ON THE TAKE. Andrew Zinke for McHenry County Sheriff, Really???

I had mentioned Gary Pack from the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s office, he played a role in Gary Gauger’s trip to death row. Jim Harrison worked under Gary Pack for 12 years, and he is running as an Independent candidate for Sheriff. Supporting Jim would be supporting the same regime that we need to change from.

Bill Prim is running for Sheriff as a Republican nominee. He is a long time resident of Cary but is an outsider of the McHenry County Regime. He has been a police officer and commander for over 27 years. He has integrity and is familiar with the problems of McHenry County. I think that if we want change, it begins with Bill. Here is his website for you to take a look.

Let’s not wait for the next Gary Gauger, or Ron Scharff, or Pat Freeman, or the countless others victimized by this regime, let’s engage!

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KNOWLEDGE CENTER

I have put together some of the articles that I have written that are prevalent for the upcoming election in MARCH!. This is the Republican Nominee election but probably more important than the general election. It is most likely the winner in March will win in November and become sheriff. If you review the articles in the Knowledge Center, you will read all kinds of unbelievable things as it relates to this election.

 

My mother and father, Ron and Kathy Scharff, 1969.

Freedom of Information Act Appeal to get the remainder of my father’s file. In my efforts to get to the bottom of my father’s murder and what the McHenry County Sheriff’s office has done to me and my family 33 years ago. I filed a FOIA Request (Freedom of Information Act Request) to get my father’s case file. Many documents were withheld from my request. It is my believe the documents are withheld to protect guilty individuals that are known to Sheriff Keith Nygren and Undersheriff Andrew Zinke that covered up who actually killed my father during the original investigation. Start on page 11 to read what sounds like a murder mystery thriller, but this is my true life. It is backed by FBI reports, witness statements, and newspaper articles.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Rita Corporation on RT 31Andrew Zinke for McHenry County Sheriff, Really??? This article is based on my own father’s murder investigation and Undersheriff Andrew Zinke. I talked about how he made his own milestones and failed to meet every single one. How it took me calling NBC News Chicago to get Andrew Zinke to return my phone call about my father’s murder investigation, as he was the lead investigator. I am fighting to get the remainder of my father’s case file. It is my believe that Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Sheriff Keith Nygren are hiding and protecting individuals that covered up the true killer of my father during the original investigation.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke and the Rita Corporation on RT 31Andrew Zinke plus Rita Corporation equals ON THE TAKE Brian Goode and his RITA Corporation was a person of interest and focal point for the investigation of the distribution of 30 plus tons of marijuana. Undersheriff Andrew Zinke told Brian Goode of the investigation. Two days later, according to Koziol, (Sgt. Koziol was working on the investigation and filed a complaint against Zinke) Goode gave Zinke’s election campaign a $5,000 donation. The RITA Corporation address is the same address as Andrew Zinke’s campaign headquarters.

Deputy Zane SeiplerMcHenry County Deputy Zane Seipler under siege, Again!! Zane Seipler is a whistleblowing deputy that was fired by Keith Nygren after he exposed the sheriff’s office for racial profiling. Nygren was forced to hire Seipler back after he lost an arbitration ruling, a court hearing, an appellate court hearing, and a failed attempt to be heard by the Illinois State Supreme Court. After Seipler was hired back, Nygren fired him again. Zane Seipler is currently fighting to get his job back.

Deputy Scott Milliman in uniform.

Another McHenry County Deputy under siege, Scott Milliman Scott Milliman was a deputy and former right hand man to Sheriff Keith Nygren. He was fired by the sheriff for whistleblowing that the sheriff allegedly transacted in ticket fixing, bribery, general corruption, fraud in a SBA Loan, and in tapping Milliman himself to kill a McHenry County Judge and a Coroner’s Candidate. Scott Milliman is currently fighting to get his job back.

Gary Gauger, of Richmond, was wrongly convicted of murdering his parents in 1993 and sentenced to death. After years in prison his sentence was overturned and two gang members were later convicted of the murders. Gauger is released a book detailing the event called IN SPITE OF THE SYSTEM. (Ryan Rayburn photo)

How Gary Gauger got to DEATH ROW This is the real life, tragic story of Gary Gauger. He was falsely arrested and sent to Death Row by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department for the double murder of his parents. Investigators from the sheriff’s department rigged a false confession so that they could convict him.

 

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke giving Cal Skinner the finger at the 4th of July Parade in Crystal Lake, IL.

McHenry County Ethics Commission, Ethical or NOT!?!? The McHenry County Ethics Commission conducted a hearing of a complaint filed by Cal Skinner that Undersheriff Andrew Zinke used a government computer for a very politically charged email. The hearing was ran over by Zinke’s attorneys Mark Gummerson and Rebecca Lee. The sign up sheet to speak at the hearing went missing but found in the possession of Rebecca Lee. The commission went into secret session, made its decision, and did so without explanation.

Pete Gonigam, publisher of the First Electric Newspaper.

First Electric Newspaper v.s. Sheriff Nygren and EEO Officer Donald Leist Pete Gonigam won a Public Access Bureau (Illinois States Attorney) appeal for the release of a 100 page report conducted by the McHenry County Sheriff’s office. The report exonerated Undersheriff Andrew Zinke after he told Brian Goode that he and his RITA Corporation was a the focal point of a drug investigation by the DEA.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke giving Cal Skinner the finger at the 4th of July Parade in Crystal Lake, IL.

Zinke’s middle finger may cost Cal Skinner $5,000 After filing a valid ethics complaint against Undersheriff Andrew Zinke for using a government computer for his campaign, Cal Skinner was to face Zinke’s attorney Mark Gummerson. Gummerson was lobbying for a $5,000 fine against Skinner filing a valid complaint. An act of bulling and intimidation of a McHenry County citizen.

Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers

Will McHenry County be Ripped Off by Special Interest in Sheriff Election? I question the interest and the contribution to Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s campaign from the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 election. I send a letter to the President-Business Manager of the union James M. Sweeney.

Local 150 International Union of Operating Engineers

IUOE Local 150 and Andrew Zinke. Is this Gangster Money for a Gangster Cop? The International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 150 contributes money to Undersheriff’s Andrew Zinke’s campaign. They have known ties to the Colombo and Gambino Crime Families.

 

Cal Skinner former McHenry County Treasure and State Representative and current editor of the mchenrycountyblog.com.

Undersheriff Andrew Zinke Shuts Down Cal Skinner’s Blog Site Undersheriff Andrew Zinke’s campaign was able to get Cal Skinner’s website, mchenrycountyblog.com shut down by falsely accusing him of stalking and linking to obscene material. Read here on how Zinke’s campaign resorts to breaking the law to silence a citizen’s voice.

 

Zinke-looking-right-eyes-at-cameraAndrew Zinke Fearful to Debate Bill Prim Lies to Get Out of It. Undersheriff Andrew Zinke is so fearful to debate Bill Prim for McHenry County Sheriff that he lies to get out of it. Zinke knows that he would be out matched, outwitted, and the truth of his corrupt character would be revealed to the citizens of McHenry County. Instead of enduring such damage to his campaign he lies to coward out of it.

 

 

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3 Comments »

  • Duncan Mchenry says:

    When we first moved to Crystal Lake in 1977 the County was a farm community and some kids were sill riding their horses to school. Family members rode next to them on their own horse and then would lead the horses’ home. Overhauls, were the style of the day and cell phones were unheard of. My family and I were completely aware of the corruption in the Mchenry County and we hoped for change. And, we always thought that as the community progressed and grew in population, there would be less tolerance for corruption. We had been witness to the brutality and misconduct of Beverly Hendle. She was an extraordinarily, brutal and viciously mean Sheriffs Officer. We wondered who had made her a police officer and we couldn’t understand why no one held her accountable…April 8, 1993 my spouse and I were in a hospital in Minnesota anxiously awaiting the birth of our first child. We had lived in Minnesota for several years. However, my thoughts were never far from Mchenry County. Ten months later, I returned to Crystal Lake to prepare for a divorce. Later, meeting with a lawyer in Crystal Lake, who made me an offer to me to pay off a judge in exchange for custody of my child. We were now part of the system through divorce. Gary Gauger was sitting in a jail cell, falsely accused. By 1993, when Gary Gauger was arrested, Mchenry County was a well-populated and booming community of middle class families, who were mostly oblivious to corruption, unless they themselves had become part of the system, through divorce, civil law suits or false criminal arrests and complaints…..…And, while Gary Gauger sat in a jail cell falsely accused and fighting for his life, never once did we question his innocence. He had been railroaded by one of Mchenry County’s finest officers “Beverly Hendle” She was Sheriff George Hendles wife. As far as we know, she had no formal training and had previously worked as a secretary under George Hendle. We are not even sure if she graduated from High School. And, this woman was in charge of changing the direction of Gary Gauger’s life forever. False arrests and false convictions did not and have not ended with the Gary Gauger case. There are others who have falsely become part of the system because of corruption. Paul Scharff is right , it is time to demand change in our County Government.. Everyone, can make that happen when it comes to election day. Say “No More” to the Andy Zinke, Keith Nygren and Beverly Hendles of the world, and cast your vote for a newer and better government. Bill Prim has my vote….

  • […] How Gary Gauger got to DEATH ROW This is the real life, tragic story of Gary Gauger. He was falsely arrested and sent to Death Row by the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department for the double murder of his parents. Investigators from the sheriff’s department rigged a false confession so that they could convict him. […]

  • 4 letter domains says:

    I moved to McHenry county in 2008. I unfortunately moved next door to a product of our fine sheriff’s office. This individual’s name is T_ _, and he used to be a correction officer in the county jail. He graduated from Crystal Lake high school in 1977 and hasn’t had a job in 8 years. If you know him, tell him to find a job. This piece of work lives off the system that you and I pay for through our taxes while having no RESTRICTIVE disabilities(which I can prove with photo,video and internet documentation). As situations escalated between this sociopath and I, I pleaded with the sheriff’s office for resolve and relief. My contact was Greg Pyle. PEDOPHILE and SEX OFFENDER. Then another correction officer was charged with having sexual relations with an inmate. Shortly thereafter, this ex-sheriff’s employee(my neighbor) filed a false police report against me resulting in my arrest. Needless to say, the case was Nolle Prossed(without prejudice). Upon this result, I requested that the sheriff’s department arrest him. I have proof(video)that he lied and the sheriff’s office did nothing. This individual trespassed in my yard multiple times in a malicious manner(photo and video evidence). The sheriff’s office did nothing upon my request. We are paying taxes to support an organization which hurts and rarely helps. There are clearly several instances that show corruption runs rampant and the selection process of employees needs to be seriously reconsidered. I want a refund, as should most county citizens. I AM NOT IMPRESSED. I will never trust an officer of the law EVER again. May things improve with Prim.

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