Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Garrett Wilson

Hard-Bodied Ladies' Man

Some prisons are easy, some are hard. In the early 1980s, the then-coed U.S. Federal Correctional Facility in Lexington, Kentucky, was considered easy time. In fact, Garrett Wilson would later recall the time he spent there as a sabbatical.

They had a swimming pool when I arrived, Wilson said. But after I arrived, they paved it over and put in tennis courts. Too many of the women were getting pregnant in it.

Charles Colson (AP)
Charles Colson (AP)
There was also a golf course at Lexington in those days. But Wilson had little time for that. He had insinuated himself into the institutions Christian ministry program and when the former Watergate felon, Chuck Colson, and his Prison Fellowship program came calling, he was allowed to go out on the road with the group to fix up homes for the poor in Memphis. That was by day. Nights were a different matter. Despite being technically incarcerated, Wilson was like a sailor with two girls in every port.

I got calls from women after they left the prison, looking for Garrett, his life-long friend, John Farley, recalled. They had met him on the inside.

After serving 20 months, Wilson was transferred to a halfway house in Washington, D.C. Among his first visitors were Carl and Iris Farley, the parents of Wilsons boyhood friend. Carl Farley was struck by Garretts demeanor.

He blamed his probation officer for letting him work at the bank. He was upset because there had been embezzlers in prison like him who had stolen millions instead of a few thousand dollars. They had been sentenced to less time and that seemed to bother him. When we left the halfway house, I said to Iris, He just blames the system. He has absolutely no remorse.

With his gift of the gab, weight-lifting skills, and a love of womanizing, Wilson was a perfect fit for his first post-prison jobselling memberships at an Arlington, Virginia health club. Overweight women, unsure of their desirability were perfect prey. After several short conquests, he met a young woman, Elizabeth Dodge, and established a serious relationship. They soon began living together, announcing a summer wedding that would take place in June 1986. She also loaned him $3500.

Wilson was good at the health club sales job. He soon had an opportunity to advance into management. This meant moving across the Potomac River into Montgomery County, Maryland, and not seeing his fiancée as much. Still, the wedding plans continued, and Dodges parents began sending out invitations to the big event.

At the new gym, Wilson met Missy Anastasi. Her own account is as follows: Garrett began to show me around, but I said, Dont bother, Im going to join anyway. He told me right away he was divorced and had lost a baby to what he called crib death. He said his daughters name, but I misunderstood him. I thought he said Randi.

Missy was recently divorced as well. She came from an upstanding local family, worked as a speech specialist in the county school system, and was on her way to a Masters degree. She was also chunky, unsure of her femininity, and on the rebound. What she got was a hard-bodied ladies man and a convicted felon, a combination that would make other women run the other way.

You would never do that again, would you? Missy asked after getting Wilsons version of his crimes.

Ill never go to jail again, was his promise.

Wilson proposed to Missy Anastasi during the Thanksgiving weekend of 1985 despite his being engaged to Elizabeth Dodge. Missy had no knowledge of the other liaison and the pair walked down the aisle in a full-scale church wedding in March 1986. Two months later, across the river that divides Maryland from Virginia, Wilson and Elizabeth Dodge took out a marriage license together and celebrated.

We returned to my mothers house and made love, Elizabeth Dodge recalled. Garrett left, saying he had to return to work. He left his wallet behind and I opened it up. There were a lot of credit cards inside with the name Mary Anastasi Wilson on them. At first I thought it might be a cousin.

Wilson had quit the health club and now worked for a music store, selling pianos and organs. When Dodge called the store, she got a coworker who told her that Garrett had been married for several months to Missy. Wilson, confronted, was a bit sheepish about the betrayal.

We went for a drive. He said he didnt know how to break it off, Dodge said. I asked him if he was going to stand me up at the altar. I had already begun receiving wedding gifts. He told me he was trying to think of a proper way to tell me.

Elizabeth Dodge said she wanted her $3500 back she had loaned him. Wilson promised to do so at the rate of $100 or $200 a month.

A month later, Missy Anastasi Wilson became pregnant. Free of one girlfriendElizabeth DodgeWilson began a relationship with another, Julie Stinger, despite having a child on the way.

I wanted an oak piano and he sold me one for $5,000, Stinger recalled. My dad owned a Pepsi franchise in Indiana. Garrett seemed real interested in that.

Wilson also sold her a $30,000 organ. Soon he began calling her daily and giving her gifts. After that, he began borrowing money from her. The total would exceed $5000.

Garrett Michael Wilson was born in March 1987. Wilson was proud that the child had his first name.

He let it be known the baby was going to be named Garrett. And I didnt have a single problem with that, Missy Anastasi Wilson recalled.

A month later, Wilson walked into an Allstate Insurance booth in a nearby Sears store and purchased a $50,000 life insurance policy on the life of his son. A few days later he strolled over to a Metropolitan Life agency and bought a $100,000 policywhich except for the amountwas essentially identical. On the box that asked whether any other policies had been purchased for his son, Wilson checked no in the space provided.

Arriving home that night he gave the policy to his wife, but Missy never read it, tossing the document into the bottom of a closet.

That August, the three members of the Wilson family went to the beach. Missy, who knew that her husbands first baby had died from SIDS, had studied the syndrome. She had read that almost all infants die from the condition within the first six months of life. As the three walked down the boardwalk, she turned to him and reminded him of the fact.

Do you know what today is? Its our babys fifth-month birthday. Were out of the woods, she said.

Her husband reacted by running into a nearby shop. He purchased Garrett Michael a plush bear.

When they got back home he got a call from Julie Stinger. She wanted her money. Elizabeth Dodge also wanted repayment.

The moneys coming, Wilson told her. The moneys coming.

 

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