Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Gary Krist: The Einstein of Crime

Underground Lab

On March 10, drug investigators searched Krist's home, on Georgia Highway 324 just outside of Auburn, 35 miles east of Atlanta.

They made a stunning discovery when they pried open a concealed trap door in the floor of a small garden shed.

A ladder gave access to a submarine-style workshop built inside a metal cylinder measuring 27 1/2 feet long and 8 feet in diameter.

The laboratory had running water and electricity and was stocked with chemicals and containers used to convert the cocaine from paste to powder, which authorities believe Krist and Greeson then sold in Atlanta.

The lab also featured an escape routea tunnel nearly 20 yards long that snaked to the surface, terminating in a camouflaged 50-gallon barrel.

Neighbors had a wide range of opinions about Krist.

One told the Athens Banner-Herald that Krist was a know-it-all.

"He just knows everything," he said. "He don't talk good about nobody."

Another said Krist was not shy about his criminal accomplishments, saying he bragged about the Mackle kidnapping.

Others had a different take.

"He was as nice a person as you could meet," said Billy Parks, a city councilman and Krist's former mailman. "He was very polite just a gentleman."

And another neighbor told the Athens paper, "He was a pretty good ol' boy. He never raised his voice or said anything vulgar to my children ... I ain't never heard him say a cuss word."