Saturday, March 31, 2007

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Searching for Gary

The following is the story of why I chose to pursue a formal education and career as an investigator. I tell it as the girl I was then, instead of from the professional point of view that took me many years to learn. I know exactly why those in the criminal justice field should not be involved in investigating a case in which they are a victim. Unfortunately, sometimes a victim has no other choice.

I met my husband, Gary, in December of 1981. One year later we were married, and the following spring we were blessed with the birth of our twin daughters. I was the luckiest girl in the world-I was in love and married to my best friend, and I had two beautiful, healthy, and happy babies. Like many new families just starting out, money was a little tight and when Gary was offered an opportunity to make some extra money fixing diesel engines in the Bahamas, it seemed like a Godsend. Earning $100 a day for 2 or 3 days work would be a big help to us.

I last spoke to Gary on the morning of December 9, 1983, when he called to say he was almost finished with his work and had just purchased his plane ticket at the airport in Nassau to return home the next day. We happily talked of the plans we had for after I picked him up at the airport. We were going straight to my Mother's of Twins club Christmas party where the babies would sit on Santa's lap for the first time- something Gary was excited about as he had been eagerly anticipating the girls’ first Christmas almost since the day they were born. And the day after that was our first wedding anniversary. We were laughing on the phone about the prospect of eating the top of our wedding cake with the babies- all of us with our fingers! I had another surprise for him- one of the babies had started to say Da-Da while he was away, and I couldn’t wait to see his face when he heard it for the first time. So many happy days ahead!

On December 10th I stood waiting at the airport gate with the babies next to me in their double stroller. Gary didn't come home on the plane that day, and I never saw him again. Gary disappeared without a trace, and the last time anyone saw him was 45 minutes after I last spoke with him on the telephone the day before.

I had very little information about who Gary was working for and where he was staying in the Bahamas. I called local police and then started making phone calls to every local, state, and federal agency I could find in the phone book. No one helped me. I was left on my own to find out what happened to my husband.

Local police, federal agents, and a Congressional investigator kept telling me to let them handle it, and when I persisted in questioning them, I was told to stop asking questions about my husband's disappearance because I was putting my children and myself in danger. They said that I could even be killed if I didn’t stop making phone calls and offering the small bits of information I uncovered on my own to investigators. Furthermore, they refused to tell me who would want to hurt us and why. I did not understand so I continued to plead, beg, and demand to know what happened to my husband and why my children and I were in danger-but to no avail. It was unbelievable- surreal, and the fear and uncertainty was intolerable. I felt I had only one choice. I had to keep trying to find out what happened to Gary because I could never be sure in my heart we would be safe, even if I stopped looking. Gary was my husband; I had a right to know what happened to him. More importantly, he was a person, he mattered, and his life was just as valuable as anyone else’s was; no one was going to act as if he never existed. No matter how long it took, or what obstacles were in the way, I vowed that I would never give up until I found out what happened to him; but because I feared for my children, I very slowly and carefully set off to pursue the truth.

Twenty-three years later I have almost all of my answers; and soon those responsible will answer for what they have done. It’s not over yet. At the moment we are awaiting a formal request from the Bahamian government to the Office of International Affairs in answer to an offer of assistance from the US Attorney’s Office. It appears Gary’s homicide investigation is one of the many cases delayed by the investigation into the deaths of Daniel and Anna Nicole Smith.

Although my family and I have suffered a terrible betrayal by persons who swore an oath of honor to uphold the law, through this experience I have also been fortunate to meet and know some of the most dedicated and talented people both in and out of law enforcement who are true heroes and champions of truth and justice.

To read about my search for Gary and how the first official investigation was opened 22 years after his disappearance click here. Then read about something incredible that followed the publication of Finding Gary here .

Donna Weaver


Ronni said...

Wow! Just...Wow!

You have a lot of courage and heart! Best of luck to you, and I surely hope you can find out someday what actually happened!

Levi said...

Sad that some cases get pushed aside for other "high profile" cases...

Anonymous said...

well your on the right stick with it you have no responsibility to anyone but your husband Let the dominos fall where they may.