RICHMOND – While her twin brother Gary Gauger was on death row for murdering their parents, Ginger Blossom always knew he was innocent.
Largely because of her campaign to prove that he didn’t do it, Gauger was exonerated in 1996 and pardoned by then-Gov. George Ryan in 2002.
At 9 and 10 p.m. Sunday and again at 1 a.m. Monday, Blossom’s story will be told as part of the Oxygen channel’s series “Captured” with an episode titled “Wrongfully Convicted.”
The program tells of how Blossom worked with Northwestern University’s Center on Wrongful Convictions to win a new trial for her brother, insisting all along that the real murderer still was free.
Gauger, who said he experimented with hallucinogenic drugs, hypothetically admitted to police that he could have murdered his parents during a blackout. The “confession” was thrown out by an appellate court, and Gauger eventually was set free.
Blossom is traveling overseas for her Richmond business, Ginger Blossom, which sells ethnic and traditional crafts and antiques. Gauger’s wife, Sue, said Blossom was more excited about the show than she was.
She said the thrill of she and her husband seeing themselves on TV had worn off.
Since Gary Gauger’s exoneration, TV crews from around the world – including Germany, France and Switzerland – have trekked to the farm where they still live.
The Gaugers have not seen the final cut of the Oxygen program, although their interviews were thorough, Gary Gauger said.
“You always take a chance when you agree to any of this as to how it’s going to be portrayed,” Sue Gauger said. “We have so often seen how these made-for-TV shorts often become re-enactments that are just sort of hokey.”
In the past, they have had problems with producers not representing the true story, Gary Gauger said.
“You almost just have to talk in sound bytes,” he said. “But I like to get the message out.”
They also must deal with the production staff traipsing about the farm, Sue Gauger said.
“We tell the cameramen, ‘Don’t stick your fingers by the goats because they bite,’ and ‘No, you can’t ride that tractor,’ ” she said.
Northwest Herald news editor and Woodstock resident Kevin Lyons, who as a reporter wrote a series about the Gauger case, also was interviewed for the show.