Gail Herrera Murder – The savage rape and murder of 23-year-old mother Gail Herrera in Denver, Colorado, in April 1984 are the subjects of Investigation Discovery show “On The Case With Paula Zahn” episode “Disconnected Story.” The search for a suspect was swift, but it took the investigators roughly 11 years to amass enough proof to accuse him of the horrifying crime. We have information on the killer’s identity if you’re interested. So let’s get started, shall we?
Why Did Gail Herrera Pass Away?
Gail Frances Herrera (née Garcia), a native of Denver, Colorado, was born in June 1960. She managed a burrito stand that served the entire city. Gary Garcia, her brother, claimed that his sister was even considering starting a food truck because her burritos were so well-known. She was remembered by her sister, Glenda Gomez, as being gorgeous, a devoted mother, and her “best, best friend.” On April 27, 1984, an Avon salesman called the 911 dispatch center in Denver, Colorado in a panic, claiming she was too worried about the safety of one of her clients, Gail Herrera.
Police investigators claim that when the salesperson contacted Gail’s house, a 3-year-old answered the phone and said his mother was “dead and full of blood,” so she couldn’t talk. She was told by the dispatcher to wait for the cops at Gail’s door. The main door was locked when she and her husband arrived at the site before the cops. They chatted to the child from outside while looking through a window to discover the living room in total disorder.
The youngster stated that he and his sister had covered his mother’s wounds with tissues to aid her. When an officer arrived on the scene, she entered the house through the back door that had been forced open and discovered the mother, 23, lying dead in the bedroom. The detectives concluded that she had been dead for some time based on the dried blood, and that she had been the victim of a homicide based on the severity of her injuries. The two young children being present while the crime was committed was the most upsetting element.
The detectives allegedly discovered food all throughout the area, indicating the little toddlers had attempted to feed themselves, according to the episode. It was unclear how long the detectives had been in the house with their mother’s dead body. Gail had ligature marks on her neck and multiple puncture wounds in her upper chest. Her death was ruled to have been caused by stabbing and strangulation, and a rape test kit revealed that she had been sexually abused, according to the autopsy report. The police gathered a number of cigarette butts and blood samples that were discovered nearby.
Who Killed Gail Herrera?
Gail Herrera’s husband, Phil, arrived in a pickup truck at the crime scene as the investigators examined the area. He had just returned home after spending several days traveling for business. The cops had to restrain the distraught husband from storming in before escorting him to the police station where he could be reunited with his kids. The overkill reflected a crime of passion, indicating it had been done by someone Gail knew and trusted, the police learned after reading the autopsy report.
The episode claims that one of the responding cops knew Phil from a previous home visit in response to a domestic violence incident. The detectives questioned Gail’s siblings, Gary Garcia and Glenda Gomez, and they learned that Phil and Gail had a troubled marriage and that the former had allegedly hit her wife multiple times. Gary even recalled an instance in which Gail ended up in the hospital due to alleged domestic violence.
When Phil’s allegation that he was in Wyoming on the night of the murder was corroborated by numerous of his coworkers, Phil was eliminated as a suspect. The program said that Gail’s 3-year-old son, PJ Herrera, claimed he had seen the attacker and that it was not his father. He could not recall anyone by that name; therefore, his statement was disregarded. Nevertheless, his frightened account suggested the attacker was named Eddie. The cops discovered a crucial lead as they started their search for evidence.
The last person to see Gail alive was Sarah, who lived next door, according to the program, at about 11:00 p.m. According to their inquiry, the police concluded that she had been killed sometime between midnight and early in the morning, so they began hunting for reports from that time period. In a distressing 911 call, a woman claimed that someone had broken into her house and yelled, “Charlie! Charlie!” before the line disconnected.
Gail’s family was able to identify her voice when they heard the tape. Phil told the police that he only knew of one Charlie, and that was Charles Wilson, a friend from high school. Charles stated he had been out drinking with friends and had come home at about 8:30 or 9:00 pm when the police took him in for questioning. His wife supported his alibi, saying her husband hadn’t left the house since. However, when his companion said they had been drinking at a club less than a mile from Gail’s flat, the police obtained a search warrant for his residence.
Where is Charles Wilson Now?
Charles’ residence contained no tangible evidence that connected him to the murder, according to the authorities. The police had to release Charles after the prosecution declined to hold a trial based solely on circumstantial evidence. He and his wife departed the state and stopped responding to questions about the case. It went dormant until the cops discovered Charles was being investigated in New Mexico for an uncannily identical incident. He was in jail awaiting trial after assaulting a fellow inmate.
The Denver police decided to attempt to contact Charles’ wife again now that he was behind bars. They postulated that she might have held back from speaking because she was terrified of her spouse. When the wife acknowledged she had given a false alibi and her husband hadn’t come home on the night Gail was murdered, their suspicions turned out to be correct. Again, though, the admission was insufficient to support allegations of murder against him.
Gail’s rape kit contained biological evidence, which the detectives used to build a DNA profile of the offender. The police identified Charles Wilson as a match for the profile in 1995, around 11 years after Gail’s death. Charles was accused of first-degree murder by the prosecution after sufficient evidence was found. He was found guilty and given the harshest punishment possible: life in prison without the chance of parole. There are no official records that indicate where Charles is at the moment.