In April 1979, Jacquelyn “Jackie” Greco and her children faced immense tragedy when her husband, Carl Gaimari, was killed during a home invasion. But the case remained unsolved for more than three decades until new evidence kicked the inquiry up a notch. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women: Hit and Run’ features Carl’s murder as one of three cases highlighted in the episode. In the end, the authorities figured out that Jackie played an integral part in her first-husband’s murder. So, if you’re wondering why Jackie took such a step, we’ve got you covered.
Who is Jacquelyn “Jackie” Greco?
Jacquelyn “Jackie” Greco had been married to Carl Gaimari, and the couple had four children together, with the oldest being 15 years old at the time of the incident. The family lived in Inverness, Illinois, with Carl working as a broker at the Chicago Board of Trade. But around 12:30 pm on April 30, 1979, two masked men broke into the ranch house for a burglary. They tied up three of the four children along with Jackie and put them in a closet.
Once Carl arrived, the men took him into the basement, where he was shot several times with his own guns. The oldest daughter then returned from school and opened the closet door, releasing Jackie and the children. At the time, investigators looked into Carl and Jackie’s relationship. They learned that Carl, 34, had a foul temper, had been consulting a divorce attorney, and had a girlfriend on the side. Jackie, too, was having an extramarital relationship with Sam Greco, then a police officer.
The family suspected Jackie’s involvement when Sam moved in with her less than a week after the murder, and they married about three months later. However, since no hard evidence tied Jackie to the slaying, she wasn’t arrested. Eventually, the case went cold, but in 2012, the authorities received permission to place a wiretap on Jackie’s phone calls. By then, her marriage with Sam had ended, and she was living in Michigan with her fiancé and brother. Subsequent conversations between Jackie and her sister, Elsie Fry, broke the case open.
In a conversation from February 2013, Jackie seemingly implicated herself in the murder. According to Elsie, Jackie had mentioned finding a way to kill Carl about two months before he was killed. In the 2013 conversation, Jackie appeared to plead with Elsie not to tell the police about the 1979 conversation and admitted knowing about Carl being killed in April. Elsie said during the phone call, “I told them you had told me that they were gonna break-in and tie you up, then put you in the closet and they were gonna kill Carl. They know you didn’t do it, you know about it — you knew how it was gonna happen.”
Earlier, Jackie mentioned a conversation with Sam Greco that took place a few months before the murder. Back then, Sam’s informant warned of a threat to Carl’s life, but the trader brushed it off at the time. Upon pressing, Jackie admitted there was no informant and said she urged Sam to leave Carl alone. Jackie added, “I tried to stop that. I didn’t want him dead. You’ve got to believe me. I didn’t want to do that to my kids.”
Eventually, other witnesses spoke to the police about Jackie’s behavior leading up to the murder. Elsie’s son-in-law stated that about a year before Carl’s murder, Jackie talked about wanting to get rid of Carl and asked him about a drug that could mimic a heart attack. The prosecution believed that Jackie wanted to marry Sam but didn’t want to divorce Carl because she wouldn’t have any money. So, the mother-of-four planned the attack on her husband.
Where is Jacquelyn “Jackie” Greco Now?
Jackie, then in her late 60s, was arrested in 2013. Sam, who died in 2019, was never charged in the case. More than three years later, a jury took two hours to find her guilty of first-degree murder. In December 2016, Jackie was sentenced to 30 years in prison. During the sentencing hearing, she maintained her innocence and claimed she and Carl had reconciled at the time, saying, “I loved my husband. My husband loved me. We fell apart, but we came back together. I did not want to take my children’s father away.”
However, in July 2020, an Illinois Appellate Court overturned Jackie’s conviction and ordered a new trial. Then, in February 2021, she pleaded guilty to the murder and was sentenced to 22 years behind bars. Prison records indicate that Jackie remains incarcerated at Logan Correctional Center in Lincoln, Illinois. She will be eligible for parole in March 2024.
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