WOODSTOCK - Retired sheriff’s Detective Beverly Hendle denied that Gary Gauger’s alleged confession was a hypothetical or that Gauger asked to end the marathon 18-hour discussion with police.
Her testimony this morning contradicted claims Gauger made last week during his civil trial alleging Hendle and two other McHenry County Sheriff's detectives conspired to maliciously prosecute him for his parents’ April 1993 murders. The other two former detectives named in the lawsuit are Chris Pandre, who is retired, and Undersheriff Gene Lowery.
Gauger, 57, is seeking million of dollars in damages from the sheriff’s office for the 3.5 years he spent in prison and for post traumatic stress disorder. He was given the death penalty after a McHenry County jury convicted him of the murders in 1993, but ultimately that conviction was overturned and former Gov. George Ryan pardoned him.
Hendle, whose testimony is expected to continue this afternoon, also denied telling Gauger that police had a stack of evidence or had found bloody fingerprints, his bloody clothing and bedsheets or his bloody knife. She said Gauger never seemed tired from the time police took him to a conference room about 4 p.m. April 9, 1993, until the time he asked for an attorney at 10:22 a.m. April 10, 1993.
“He said he was a coffee freak, and we drank coffee all night long,” Hendle said, adding that he was talkative throughout the night.
But Gauger said he asked to end the interview about 7:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. and then later asked if he could lie down. Gauger said police denied those requests.
Hendle also denied that a polygraph examiner said his results were inconclusive because Gauger was fatigued when given the lie detector test about midnight.
“The first time I saw that was in his written report weeks later,” Hendle said. “He didn’t tell us that.”
Rather, Hendle said, the polygraph examiner said he needed to study the records but couldn’t pass Gauger.
She said Gauger was free to end the conversation - which she said did not become in interrogation until after the polygraph examination - even after police gave him clothing with “McHenry County Jail” written on the back about 5:40 a.m. so they could examine the clothing he was wearing.
“That’s the only clothing we had to replace the clothing he voluntarily gave us,” Hendle said.
Gauger testified last week that he created a hypothetical account of how he might have committed the murders to see if he could jog his memory if he had blacked out committing the crimes. But Hendle denied Gauger ever said his account was hypothetical.
“He never mention a blackout that I’m aware of,” she said.