Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Garrett Wilson

Long Time Coming

It was a show of force. There were 14 police cars speeding down Interstate 68 in Western Maryland, all headed for the same destination. The black-and-whites had formed the parade just before dawn and now were speeding toward a remote rambler near the town of Frostburg. They were searching for a man who, it was believed, not only murdered his 5-month-old son in 1987, but an infant daughter in 1981. According to the cops, the acts were premeditated and done for one reason alone: money.

Today, May 13, 1998, had been long in coming. Such crimes were unthinkable. Smothering an infant son who was your namesake, and planning his demise for weeks in advance, was as heinous a deed as anyone could imagine.

Mary Anastasi, former wife (AP)
Mary Anastasi,
former wife (AP)
Yet one had to wonder. The woman who had accused him of these murders, Mary Missy Anastasi, was an ex-wife who, manywould say, had motivations of her own for seeing him behind bars. After all, she had stayed married to him for nearly six years after their childs death and came forward only after he divorced her and married another woman.

That woman, Vicky Wampler Wilson, was sitting on the front stoop of the house when the police arrived at seven that morning. Her husband, Garrett Wilson, sat beside her. When he first saw the line of police cars pulling up in front of the little home, he thought there had been a jailbreak. A state prison was just over the hill behind the modest dwelling, and for a few seconds, Wilson contemplated joining what he thought was a posse.

Detective Meredith Dominick (AP)
Detective Meredith Dominick
That was not to be. A law woman was walking toward him, a brass badge fastened to her belt, a Smith & Wesson police special on her hip. Beside her, a sheriffs deputy had a rifle pointed in his direction. The female detective, Meredith Dominick, had flown to Texas to question Wilson about his dead son three years ago. At that time, his deceased son, Garrett Michael Wilson, had long been diagnosed as a victim of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, a mysterious condition that many still called crib death. Today, the autopsy had just been changed to homicide. And Dominick was certain the killer was standing in front of her.

Garrett Eldred Wilson, you are under arrest. Put your hands on the car, the deputy shouted.

What for? he asked.

The homicide of your child.

Meredith Dominick went up to Wilson and stared directly into his eyes. Seeing the suspect in handcuffs gave her an enormous degree of satisfaction.

Mr. Wilson, do you remember who I am? she asked.

Wilson looked back at her. He was frightened.

You do look familiar. How did you find me?

Im very good at my job, she answered.

The police served six warrants and began searching the isolated rambler. Vicky Wilsons mother was rousted out of bed and the cops went through every room. What seemed to interest them most were photos of infant children. They seized or photographed anything that looked like a document.

Garrett Wilson with daughter Marysa, 1993 (AP)
Garrett Wilson with daughter
Marysa, 1993 (AP)
Wilson and Vickys daughter, Marysa, who had spent the night a block away, showed up that morning just as her father was being driven away. She asked her mother what was going on.

They said your daddy did something wrong and now hes got to prove he didnt do it, Vicky explained.

But hes in the front seat, their little girl said. Good people sit in the front and bad ones are put in the back.

Her mother didnt have an answer for that.

Within hours, Garrett Wilson was being sped toward the Montgomery County, Maryland detention center, nearly 200 miles from his home. Near the jail, his accuser and former wife, Missy Anastasi, had been summoned to the countys judicial center.

I know you think we havent been working on your case, but in fact we have for years, a prosecutor told her. Garrett Wilson was arrested this morning in Frostburg, Maryland.

Missy Anastasi began sobbing.

We did it, she cried. We finally did it.

In the stressful months that would follow, Vicky Wilson, would be asked many times about her husbands status and she would always give the same answer.

Its all in Gods hands now, Vicky would answer. She believed Garrett was innocent, framed by Missy, the spurned wife who had lost him to her five years before.


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