Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Feminism on Trial

Jack's Confession

For the next eleven-plus years, Chayo's murder would go unsolved. A confession by Jack Sidote on March 16, 1977, in which he implicated Ginny, reopened the case. By then estranged from Ginny, who had risen to prominence in the nationwide feminist movement, Jack was living back in upstate New York, claiming to be a recovering alcoholic. His purpose for spilling his guts about the murder and a later one for which he was convicted was allegedly to purge a guilty conscience, although many people speculated it was to get back at Ginny for dumping him.

According to Jack's confession, recorded by the New York State Police in Highland, NY, he and Ginny and Wasyl weren't making enough money to survive in New Orleans. They were planning to leave after only a few weeks there. However, they were short of money on which to travel. Jack said he and Ginny concocted a scheme to "roll" someone. The plan, he told police, was for Ginny to dress up in a seductive outfit, pick someone up in a Bourbon Street bar, lure him into their car, and drive to a deserted area where the two of them would rob the victim and leave him stranded. Jack said he was hiding in the trunk of the car with a dustcloth wedged into the locking mechanism so he wouldn't get locked in.

He went on to say they parked the vehicle in a small lot and later, from his hiding place in the trunk he could hear Ginny's voice as she returned. He also said he heard a man's voice but he couldn't understand what they were saying. He said the car began moving and they drove "for quite awhile," during which time the car hit a pothole and the trunk locked shut. When the car finally stopped, Jack's confession went on, Ginny and the man she was with came around to the rear of the vehicle. Claiming that she was "ill or nauseous," he said she told the man she had to get some medicine out of the trunk. When she unlocked it, Jack said, he jumped out and "grabbed this guy." It was the first time he had ever seen him, he claimed.

Jack's confession went on to say that a struggle ensued in which Chayo, being much heavier, appeared to have the advantage. He said he had a tire iron in his hand but did not have enough leverage to use it. During the struggle, he said, Ginny was shouting, "He saw my driver's license. He knows my name. We got to kill him." Jack, who implied that he was getting the worst of the struggle, called out to Ginny to help him. Then, his confession went on, ". . . she grabbed a lug wrench and struck him on the side of the temple. He let go of me and he fell and then she struck him again, and at this time the guy was like passed out." He went on to tell the police that she grabbed his wallet, jumped in the car and the two of them fled the scene.

On their return to the city, Jack said, he changed clothes and discarded the ones he was wearing that had gotten torn during the struggle with Chayo. Ginny, he said, had the wallet. On rifling through its contents they found about $1,400 and some Argentine currency which they later redeemed for dollars when the got to California. Discarding the potentially incriminating lug wrench and wallet, they went back to the hotel, and later that night Ginny flew to Dallas, Jack said. He flew to Dallas the next day, he added.

Here the story gets a bit hazy. Wasyl Bozydaj would later testify that Jack gave him a hundred dollars and told him to drive the car to Houston (not Dallas), and that he and Ginny would meet up with him there. In the car with Wasyl was an unidentified passenger who was either a friend of his or a friend of Jack's. In trying to recall the night eighteen years later, Wasyl told the court at Ginny's murder trial he couldn't remember who the passenger was. They met up with Ginny and Jack at a motel near the airport in Houston and the four of them continued driving westward.

Ginny, however, "had no recollection of any flight to Houston. Try as I might, I could not remember how we all left New Orleans," she wrote in her book. However, insofar as having any part in the murder of Moises Chayo, she stuck by the story she gave on the witness stand and later reported in her book. All she could recall about that night was "that Jack had come home one night looking scared and talking about crooked card games and saying we had to go." She claimed that she knew nothing about Chayo's murder until the time she was informed of Jack's confession.

 

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