5:34 pm, August 14, 2005
This is a new category that is really blowing up these days — self-administration of multiple gunshots by a suicide. Guinness will of course require that you die to enter in this category. For a long time, there were no contestants, because most suicides are content to shoot themselves once in the head, and leave it at that, either departing instantly for the realms of their ancestors, or falling over with a brain injury that renders them incapable of further gunplay. Practice for this category includes practicing multiple trigger-pulls with a staccato beat, hoping in this way to kill, as it were, two birds with one stone — first, eliminating the likelihood of survival, and second, possibly carving a permanent place for oneself in the history books.
One of the first entrants in this category was Gary Webb, the author of Dark Alliance, the multiple-article expose in the Mercury Sun that exposed the Nicaraguan Contra rebels as the prime suppliers of the cocaine that fueled the crack cocaine epidemic of the '80s, and made Crips and Bloods heroes for all of our children. After telling friends that he was being shadowed by government agents who had tried to break into his apartment, he shot himself multiple times in the head. Here is the Sacramento Bee Obituary.
Obituary: Gary Webb, Prize-Winning Investigative Reporter
by Sam Stanton and Sandy Louey
Sacramento Bee Staff Writers
Published 2:15 am PST Sunday, December 12, 2004
Gary Webb, a prize-winning investigative journalist whose star-crossed career was capped with a controversial newspaper series linking the CIA to the crack cocaine epidemic in Los Angeles, died Friday of self-inflicted gunshot wounds, officials said.
Mr. Webb, 49, was found dead in his Carmichael home Friday morning of gunshot wounds to the head, the Sacramento County Coroner's Office said Saturday.
He left a note, but officials would not disclose its contents.
"I'm still in a state of shock," said Tom Dresslar, who works as a spokesman for California Attorney General Bill Lockyer and had known Mr. Webb for 15 years.
"He was a hard-core, no-fear investigative reporter," Dresslar said. "He wasn't afraid to stand up to whatever authority."
The two worked together when the Joint Legislative Audit Committee was investigating the Davis administration over the failed Oracle Corp. software contract.
Dresslar said Mr. Webb brought all the skills and tenacity that he had honed as an investigative reporter to his job as an investigator for the Assembly. "I was proud to work with him and call him a friend," Dresslar said.
Mr. Webb was divorced and had three children, according to Dresslar.
Most recently, Mr. Webb had been reporting for the Sacramento News & Review, covering politics and state government.
Mr. Webb had been working in the California Assembly speaker's Office of Member Services until February, when he was ousted after the new speaker, Fabian Núñez, took office.
Mr. Webb won more than 30 journalism awards in his career, which included stints with the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the San Jose Mercury News.
But it was Mr. Webb's tenure at the Mercury News from 1988 to 1997 that made his name in the business and eventually drove him from daily newspapers.
Mr. Webb, who was based in the newspaper's Sacramento bureau, authored a three-part investigative series in 1996 that linked the CIA to Nicaraguan Contras seeking to overthrow the Sandin ista government and to drug sales of crack cocaine flooding south-central Los Angeles in the 1980s.
The series, "Dark Alliances: The Story Behind the Crack Explosion," was controversial almost from the start.
Even as newspapers nationwide carried versions of Mr. Webb's reporting and congressional leaders called for investigations, the CIA director at the time visited Los Angeles for an unprecedented town hall meeting with area residents at which he denied the allegations and was met with loud jeers.
Three of the nation's leading newspapers, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post, followed up with reports questioning Mr. Webb's conclusions, and eventually his own newspaper turned on him.
In a letter to readers published in the Mercury News in May 1997, then-Executive Editor Jerry Ceppos told readers there had been problems with the series and that "we fell short at every step of our process - in the writing, editing and production of our work."
Within a month of that note's publication, Mr. Webb told the Washington Post that he had been pulled off the story, and his editors had told him they would not publish his follow-ups.
He also said he was fighting a transfer from the Sacramento bureau to a posting in Cupertino.
By then, however, his fate at the Mercury News was sealed, and he left the paper that year, eventually taking a job with the Assembly.
Mr. Webb later published a 548-page book based on his series, and in a 1998 interview with The Bee he said he still was befuddled over how he became notorious while the allegations in his stories were dismissed.
"That is an amazing phenomenon," he said. "I'm still not exactly sure how that happened."
About the writer: The Bee's Sam Stanton can be reached at (916) 321-1091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While Gary Webb's double-shot suicide has provoked some wild speculation that the Arkansas cops who investigated the case were not very bright, this kind of carping should not detract from Webb's remarkable feat. Nevertheless, while startling, a local Oregon housewife outdid him three years ago, before Webb's suicide was even a twinkle in his own eye.
In 2002, in our nearby burg of Central Point, Oregon, Kerry Repp, the wife of an Oregon State Police academy graduate blew the doors off Webb's record, shooting herself four times with her husband's pistol, while on the phone to 911, screaming her head off. The four bullets had entry points in the face, chin, neck and chest. What a pattern! This woman had the control, the style, that catapults a suicide to the top of the charts.
Of course, it is only great police work that can unearth the evidence necessary to sustain one of these awards. First, the cops must keep an open mind, like they did in the Kerry Repp case, not defaulting out to a conclusion of “murder” simply because it was unlikely that the dead person had shot themselves four times. After all, Sherlock Holmes said we eliminate “the impossible,” before concluding that “whatever remains must be the truth. And in this case, it was obviously not impossible for Kerry Repp to shoot herself four times. At least, it was less impossible than that her cop-husband, Gary Repp, had shot her four times. That was truly unbelievable, so of course there had to be another explanation. Since a skeptical public might easily jump to conclusions hearing about the four gunshots to the corpse, it's important for a police investigator to not blow these incendiary facts out of proportion, and thus the best course is that followed by Central Point Police Chief Mike Sweeny — just refuse to reveal these facts to the media.
Police probe shooting death
The pregnant Central Point woman died while her husband and two children were away
By BILL KETTLER
CENTRAL POINT - Police said Sunday they have no suspects in the shooting death of the pregnant wife of a National Guardsman who was scheduled to leave the Rogue Valley this week for duty overseas. Kerry Michelle Repp's body was found Saturday afternoon in their Central Point home, near Crater High School. Central Point Police Chief Mike Sweeny would not say where or how Repp, 29, had been shot. Her husband, Gary Marvin Repp Jr., 33, was scheduled to leave this week with the 186th Infantry Battalion of the Oregon Army National Guard for the Sinai Peninsula. The soldiers leave Thursday for Fort Carson, Colo., for two months of advanced training and will then spend six months in the Sinai Peninsula on peacekeeping duty.
Sweeny said Gary Repp and the couple's two children were away from home on a trip with other family members when the shooting occurred. Kerry Repp was about three months pregnant with the couple's third child. Sweeny said investigators still had not determined how the shooting happened. ”We haven't determined if there's even a crime at this time. We haven't been able to conclusively determine if it was a self-inflicted wound or if she was shot by another person.“
Gary Repp had just finished recruit school with the Oregon State Police and had been assigned to the Lakeview district, said state police Lt. Dan Durbin. He was being trained in the Rogue Valley because the Lakeview district did not have enough troopers to give him field training time. Gary Repp, a 1987 graduate of North Medford High School, and a 1990 graduate of Southern Oregon State College, also had worked as a Jackson County probation and parole officer and a Medford police officer.
Investigators came and went from the Repp's Hazel Avenue house Sunday evening as the search for evidence continued. An American flag and a black POW-MIA flag hung beside the garage, and petunias bloomed in a planter box. Durbin said Repp's National Guard orders would most likely be canceled. ”My intention is to contact his superiors (today) and see what his status is.“
Gary Repp is a captain in the battalion staff office, said Maj. Ron McKay, chaplain for the Guard unit. He oversees the unit's operations, but does not command troops in the field.
”The mission will go forward,“ McKay said. ”If he's not available to perform his duties, there'll be somebody else to step into his place.“ Sweeny said Jackson County's major assault and death investigation unit will pursue the case. The unit includes police officers from Medford, Ashland and Central Point, Oregon State Police, Jackson County Sheriff's Department, and the Jackson County District Attorney's office. ”It's fairly obvious that we're scrutinizing this even more extensively because (Gary Repp) was involved in the criminal justice community,“ Sweeny said. Reach reporter Bill Kettler at 776-4492, or e-mail email@example.com
Because of my past work as a local prosecutor, I knew Mike Sweeny when he was a Medford Patrol Officer, and as far as I could tell he was not blind, nor was he particularly dim-witted. So I must conclude that something told this fine investigator that despite the four shots, there was something about the situation that clued him to the fact that, somehow, this woman had shot herself. Of course, sometimes this means bucking the medical evidence, but in pursuit of the truth, that has to be done:
Kerry Repp’s autopsy points to homicide
By SARAH LEMON
CENTRAL POINT — An autopsy revealed that a 29-year-old pregnant woman found dead in her home Saturday was the victim of a homicide — not suicide, as some had speculated. Her husband, Oregon State Police Trooper Gary Marvin Repp Jr., was the only ”person of interest“ police named Wednesday. ”The case is a homicide, and it’s very complex,“ said Central Point police Chief Mike Sweeny. ”It’s all circumstantial.“ Kerry Michele Repp was shot more than once with the handgun found near her body, according to Sweeny. Sweeny declined to discuss where on her body Kerry Repp was shot or exactly how many bullet wounds medical examiners found in the autopsy, completed late Tuesday. Gary Repp, a 32-year-old Oregon Army National Guard captain, was scheduled to leave today for training and then a six-month peacekeeping mission to Egypt. But police expect him to stay in town, Sweeny said. The National Guard had no official statement on Gary Repp’s status Wednesday, said Capt. Scott Granger at the Guard’s 1st Battalion, 186th Infantry Brigade headquarters in Ashland. Granger said he could not comment on whether Gary Repp would depart with other Guard troops. ”We’re looking at the best interests of the soldier right now and his family,“ Granger said. Sweeny said he understood that Gary Repp’s orders had been changed or that he was given an extension for his departure date. Police did not request a change in orders, Sweeny said. Neither Gary Repp nor members of his family would comment. Kerry Repp’s family would not discuss the case Wednesday. Her brother, 32-year-old Mike Johnson, said that police asked the family not to talk to reporters. A memorial service for Kerry Repp has been set for 3 p.m. Saturday at First Church of the Nazarene, 1974 E. McAndrews Road in Medford. Gary Repp graduated from the Oregon State Police Academy last month and trained for seven days at the regional headquarters office in Central Point. He officially is on leave without pay because he was called up for Guard duty in the course of his training, said OSP Lt. Dan Durbin. Gary Repp was scheduled to return to the OSP — assigned to the Lakeview District — after a nine-month service with the Guard, Durbin said. Repp is a former county and state probation officer who quit in December to become a police officer. In addition to Gary Repp, police were working either to eliminate or identify several other persons of interest as suspects in the case, Sweeny said. They declined to name any suspects in connection with the case Wednesday. ”We’re working on multiple people,“ Sweeny said. ”Everybody is still a possibility.“ Investigators were still wading through ”a mountain of physical evidence and statements“ Wednesday, Sweeny said. Kerry Repp’s father, Ron Johnson, found her dead in her Hazel Street home at about 1 p.m. Saturday. Gary Repp and the couple’s two children were at a T-ball game when the body was found, police said. Investigators initially were unsure whether the death was a suicide, accident or a homicide. Kerry Repp had filed for divorce last month from Gary Repp, her second husband. But the papers were never served, and the couple was living together trying to reconcile. Friends told police that the two had a rocky relationship, Sweeny said. Donations to an education fund for the Repp children can be made at any branch of U.S. Bank. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2002 Mail Tribune, Inc.
For a while, justice lost its course. Jackson County District Attorney, who was my boss about ten years ago, couldn't see past the ”obvious,“ and charged Gary Repp with the murder.
Repp arrested for wife's murder
Repp arrested for wife's murder He is taken into custody at the state police office, where he was being fired from his job as a trooper
By SARAH LEMON
Former state trooper Gary Marvin Repp Jr. was arrested Wednesday and charged with murdering his wife. A grand jury will hear the case Tuesday, said District Attorney Mark Huddleston. Gary Repp was arrested at 10:45 a.m. in the Oregon State Police regional headquarters in Central Point, where he was being terminated from his employment with OSP, said Central Point police Chief Mike Sweeny. ”We had sufficient probable cause, and it was agreed upon ... that this was the best time to make the arrest,“ Sweeny said. Gary Repp was the only ”person of interest“ police had named in the case, although there were several others who were not identified. Investigators eliminated all others who either had alibis or who could not have murdered Kerry Repp, Sweeny said. Gary Repp did not confess to murdering his wife, Sweeny added. OSP runs extensive background checks on all recruits and, based on its investigation, had no reason to believe that Gary Repp wasn't an ”excellent candidate“ for OSP, Lt. Dan Durbin said Wednesday. He stressed that Repp was to be a probationary employee for 18 months. His on-duty conduct would have been continuously monitored by a senior OSP trooper. ”We're not so naive to think that there aren't issues in a person's background that would manifest themselves," Durbin said. OSP hired Repp in December last year. He graduated from the Oregon State Police Recruit School on April 12. Gary Repp also is a captain in the Oregon Army National Guard and was scheduled to deploy with his battalion on a peace-keeping mission to Egypt last week. No word on his official status with the Guard was available Wednesday. Officials will release little information about the case before it goes to grand jury, Sweeny said. Details about the autopsy, physical evidence at the scene and the timeline of Kerry Repp's death all are key elements in the grand jury testimony and cannot be discussed beforehand, Sweeny said. Police said last week that Kerry Repp was shot more than once with a handgun found near her body. Police would not say how many times she had been shot or the location of the bullet wounds. Police searched the homes of Gary and Kerry Repp and Gary's brother, Lance Repp, who lives in the 1000 block of Ingrid Street in Medford. The warrants were sealed. Kerry Repp's graveside service - planned for Friday at Eagle Point National Cemetery Interment Shelter - was postponed Wednesday. Kerry Repp's body was released to her husband after last week's autopsy, police said. A new date for the service was not set. The Repps reportedly had a difficult relationship, and Kerry Repp had filed for divorce last month. However, she asked that the papers not be served, police said. The couple reportedly was living together trying to reconcile. Kerry Repp's family would not talk about the case Wednesday. Gary Repp's family declined comment. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail email@example.com.
Justice took a long time to get back on track, but thanks to the fact that other Oregon State Police Officers kept the faith, like Mike Barnett, writing from firstname.lastname@example.org, ultimately, the truth was revealed. Gary, a father of two and a peacekeeper, was cleared of guilt, and Kerry's place in the record-books was made secure, perhaps forever. Here's what Mike Barnett said in his post at a whiney-cop website called http://www.guardroom.com, dredged out of Google cache, since the whiners closed down their bitch forum:
OSP Mike Barnett
Yes, there are many innocent people wrongly convicted of a crime every year. A very similar case is going on in Medford, Oregon right now. Gary Repp, a ”former“ State Police Officer, was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. He was not at home at the time of the murder and there is absolutely NO evidence (physical, witnesses, otherwise) that link him to the crime. There is nothing at all, yet the police hold him in jail just because they can. His trial is set for May 2003, but it's very frightening to think that yet another innocent man could be sent to jail for life and possibly get the death penalty for a crime which the police KNOW HE DID NOT COMMIT. It is a shame with high quality people are falsley accused by the ”law“ in order to hide misconduct within the ”law". The system is out of order and needs to be changed. Posted by: M. Barnett (email@example.com) on January 14, 2003 07:51 PM Google cache link
Yes, for a time poor Gary Repp sat in jail, and eventually had to stand trial before a jury of his peers, even though there was a suicide note, and even though his wife had sent an email to her hotmail account, logging in at Gary’s office at the Medford Armory, and the email said she was depressed. Even though some of Gary’s cop friends swore there was no way he could have killed Kerry and have gotten to the ball game without a drop of blood on him as quickly as he did. He had to stand trial.
February 5, 2004
Murder trial gets under way
By SARAH LEMON
While Gary Repp Jr. spent four months away from home training to be an Oregon State Police trooper, his wife told everyone how happy she was with him gone. While Kerry Michele Repp was going out to nightclubs and spending the couple’s money, her husband was learning how to protect and investigate crime scenes. While Kerry was having an affair with another man, conceiving his child, Repp was planning his strayed wife’s killing, said District Attorney Mark Huddleston. Prosecuting Repp for murder, Huddleston’s opening arguments Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court painted Repp, 35, as a cold-blooded killer who believed he could fool police with a staged death scene and fake suicide note. The crime would be carried out a week before Repp’s scheduled departure to Egypt with his Army National Guard unit. “On May 4, 2002, Gary Repp put (police) training to work, not to solve a crime but to commit one, Huddleston said. But Repp’s defense team portrayed their client as a victim of the very brotherhood to which he belonged. Botched police work led to Repp’s arrest, said defense attorney Jeni Feinberg. ”You will probably be shocked by the quality of this investigation,“ she told jurors. Attorneys for both sides will rely heavily on the timing of events that took place the Saturday morning when Kerry was found slain on her bed with Repp’s handgun in her right hand. A 9-1-1 call made from the Repp home at 8:23 a.m. will be key evidence for both the prosecution and defense. The call sounds like a woman screaming accompanied by several popping sounds, Huddleston said. Dispatchers disconnected that call when they didn’t get a response on the line. In violation of police protocol, the dispatcher did not send officers to the home. Kerry was alive when the call for help was made, but Repp and the children had already left the couple’s Hazel Street home in Central Point, Feinberg said. After taking the two boys to a Little League baseball field where Kerry’s oldest son was to have a team photo taken, Repp went to a campground where he had planned to meet his family for the weekend. Huddleston’s witnesses place Repp’s hurried appearance at the baseball field up to 15 minutes later than defense witnesses. The route from the Repp home to the baseball field on Hanley Road takes just 5 minutes by car, Huddleston said. Kerry’s absence that Saturday morning worried family and friends who had made plans with her the previous day. Repp said his wife was at home ”doing the pregnant thing.“ After numerous phone calls to the Repp home went unanswered, Kerry’s father, Ron Johnson, went to check on her at around 1 p.m. that afternoon. He found his 29-year-old daughter dead, her own blood soaking the plaid bed sheets and her light blue pajamas. She had been shot four times, in the head, chin, neck and chest. Etched in Kerry’s blood, a nearly invisible footprint links the crime to her husband, Huddleston said. Investigators discovered the impression of a bare foot, which appears to match Repp’s, halfway under the edge of the couple’s bed. Also found under the bed, the cordless phone used to dial 9-1-1 revealed Kerry’s blood and fragments of her teeth. However, not a speck of blood was seen on Repp when he left the couple’s home, Feinberg said. Not a trace of blood could be found on his clothing, shoes or wedding ring when police analyzed those items, she said. Detectives looked long and hard for any effort to show that the killer cleaned up in the Repp home, but that evidence just didn’t exist, she added. Kerry’s wedding ring was left on the kitchen counter along with a note to Repp apologizing for having hurt him. An e-mail suicide note sent at 8:15 a.m. from Kerry’s Hotmail e-mail account to her mother, JoeAnn Johnson, also was sent to Repp’s Hotmail account, Huddleston said. Although prosecutors have no direct evidence that Repp possessed the password for his wife’s e-mail account, a National Guard computer accessed both Repp’s and Kerry’s e-mail accounts the day before the murder. Details of the electronic message have yet to be revealed, but those who knew Kerry would say she didn’t compose the message, Huddleston said. The first witnesses to Kerry’s murder scene are expected to testify as the trial continues today in Medford. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org You can find this story online at: http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004 ... 2local.htm Copyright © Mail Tribune, Inc. All rights reserved. February 7, 2004
Testimony heats up in Repp trial
By SARAH LEMON
Even if Kerry Repp could have warned police of her murder, 9-1-1 operators most likely wouldn’t have understood her cry for help. A shot to the back of the neck broke Repp’s jaw as she cradled telephone the morning of her May 4, 2002, murder, police said. The wound would have rendered Repp’s speech unintelligible, said forensic pathologist James Olson. A pillow held between the gun and Repp’s head muffled the shot. Investigators testifying Friday for prosecutors against accused murderer Gary Marvin Repp Jr. outlined the series of four gunshots that killed Kerry Repp in the bedroom of her Central Point home. The testimony was heard in Jackson County Circuit Court. Presenting an illustration of Kerry Repp at the time of her murder, prosecutors showed a woman sitting on the edge of a bed with a cordless telephone in her left hand, a gun aimed at a downward angle behind her head. Blood and pieces of bone and teeth were found on the phone’s mouthpiece. Emergency dispatchers got the call that Kerry Repp attempted to make at 8:23 a.m., but when no one answered, the operator disconnected the line. Officers were not sent to the house though they should have been, according to police protocol. The first shot to the back of Kerry Repp’s neck was followed by two others underneath her chin and below her chin in the center of her neck. The final gunshot to Kerry’s heart killed her, Olson said. One of the pillows found near the bed shows rips caused by the gun’s blast, Olson said. Forensic scientists said they caused similar rents in another pillowcase when test-firing the murder weapon. The evidence suggested the shooter placed a pillow between the gun and its target, Olson said. Using his knowledge of crime scenes, former Oregon State Police trainee Gary Marvin Repp Jr., set up his wife’s murder to look like a suicide, District Attorney Mark Huddleston has argued. However, recruits who attended OSP training camp with Repp described their study of crime scenes as basic. During the four-month session, which concluded about three weeks before Kerry Repp’s murder, recruits were instructed on how to scan a crime scene for suspects and secure it for further investigation, troopers said. An eight-hour course on latent fingerprints, particularly their presence on guns, was given, troopers said. Prosecutors noted that no fingerprints could be found at Kerry Repp’s murder scene. The killer could have worn gloves, investigators said. Prosecutors will present more evidence of fingerprints associated with Kerry Repp’s murder as the trial continues next week in Circuit Court. FBI officials who analyzed the May 4, 2002, 9-1-1 call also are expected to testify. Reach reporter Sarah Lemonat 776-4487, or e-mail email@example.com
February 11, 2004
Jurors learn of couple’s history
By SARAH LEMON
While accused murderer Gary Marvin Repp Jr. told police that he wanted to save his marriage, his wife apparently had different ideas. Prosecutors presented extensive audio and videotaped interviews between Repp and detectives during Tuesday’s continuing trial of the former Oregon State Police trooper, who is accused of killing his wife, Kerry. In the interviews, Repp gave lengthy accounts of his and his wife’s history, her alleged self-esteem issues and details of the week leading up to her death. Repp agreed to the interviews, conducted before his arrest, and before police told him his wife had been murdered. Kerry Repp was found shot to death in her bedroom on May 4, 2002. ”She didn’t think she was very pretty, but she was beautiful,“ Repp said of his wife in his first interview with police. Kerry Repp was a good wife and mother who kept the house clean, Repp said as he began to cry during the interview. Kerry worked numerous retail jobs and learned new sports with her husband, but she had confidence problems, he said. The couple had always had their problems, Repp said, but Kerry started to withdraw from him when she heard the family would be moving to Lakeview once he graduated from the OSP training academy. The couple also was awaiting his overseas deployment with his Oregon Army National Guard Unit. Due to leave about a week after the date of Kerry’s murder, Repp would be gone about a year. ”We had a lot of things hit us at the same time,“ Repp told detectives. Then Kerry Repp told her husband she had become pregnant with another man’s child. Repp admitted that the news hurt him, but said he didn’t believe in abortion and wanted to patch up the relationship. He eventually came to be excited about the baby’s birth, he said. Kerry, he said, vowed that she wanted nothing to do with the father of her baby. But friends and co-workers of Kerry Repp testified that she was never so happy as the week before her husband was to leave for Egypt with his National Guard unit. ”She had the biggest smile on her face. The smile actually went to her eyes,“ said friend Sheila Mapes, who worked with Kerry Repp at JC Penney. ”She was finally free.“ With the help of her father, Ron Johnson, Kerry Repp first consulted a divorce lawyer in March 2002. The divorce papers were filed in court a month later. But Repp, who had been at the OSP training academy from December 2001 to April 2002,was never notified. Serving her husband with divorce papers at the academy might have made him angry, Kerry told her attorney, James Mueller. ”She described Mr. Repp as a very controlling individual,“ Mueller said. Reach reporter Sarah Lemon at 776-4487, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find this story online at: http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2004 ... 7local.htm Copyright © Mail Tribune, Inc. All rights reserved.
Well, eventually a jury saw the truth, but I can’t quote a local newspaper article on the topic, because I think the verdict struck the reporter speechless, or was for some other reason absented from the newspaper’s website. Fortunately, this letter to the editor made it clear that Gary Repp was in fact acquitted:
Jury not convinced
Letters regarding the Gary Repp murder trial show many opinions, but not a lot of knowledge.
One, from White City, calls the trial a ”rush to judgment,“ yet later says adjudication took two years. The same writer indicated his/her own feeling of reasonable doubt, yet calls the justice system (which exonerated Repp) ”criminal.“ I did not follow this trial so I won’t comment on the verdict. But I know a jury finding of ”not guilty" is not the same as being innocent. Not guilty simply means 12 carefully-selected people were not convinced. — M. Conens, Medford
Yes, I know the author of the letter, because it’s a small town, and Matt Conens used to be a cameraman for local TV. Well his opinion is his opinion, and you can’t unring the bell. Gary Repp’s reputation is ruined. Like Gary Repp’s fellow officer Mike Barnett said, it is a shame when an unfair shadow of blame is cast over a fine person who just had the bad luck to live with a suicide who just had to break all the records, and so here is the lesson. If you decide you want to try shooting yourself multiple times as a suicide stunt, you should videotape it, because otherwise you could get someone innocent in a lot of trouble, and you won’t be around to explain it. So go to the extra trouble, videotape yourself shooting yourself, and there won’t be any shadow of murder cast over your relatives, or any question about the nature of your achievement. For example, suppose you decided to empty an entire Uzi clip into your face – that might work, especially if you like jammed a stick between the trigger guard and the trigger. You might end up with thirty rounds in your mug, clearly dwarfing the achievements of past contestants like Kerry Repp. But without video evidence, who would believe it? So why skimp? You only die once, after all.