Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Contract Murder of Kathryn Ann Martini-Lissy

The Tape Recordings

During the trial, tape recordings linking Lissy to Wilson were played for the jury, as were tape recordings of a meeting between the prostitute informant and suspect Wilson. On one of the tapes Wilson provided a chilling, coldblooded description of how he had strangled Kathy after striking her in the stomach and attempting to rape her.

"She didn't know I was going to kill hershe got quite comfortable with me," Wilson said on the tape as he described how the victim had let him into her Eugene motel room.

"Why's Michael setting me up?" Wilson quoted Kathy as having said. He described how he had tried to rape Kathy and, having failed, strangled her with a gag. He said the killing was "nothing" to him.

"I can totally detach myself from anything," Wilson was heard saying on the tape. "I can ignore it like it wasn't there. I'm capable of anything if the money's right."

In another tape-recorded conversation, this time between Lissy and the prostitute informant, the jury heard statements by the defendant urging the prostitute to get Wilson to go ahead and talk to the police.

"The sooner Dave goes in, the sooner I'll get the money....I don't care what goes down, I'm saying I'm innocent...They'll probably let him have manslaughter or just regular murder, and he could be out in five years," Lissy could be heard saying on the tape.

Following a grand jury proceeding in Eugene, the jury was told, Lissy had suggested that Wilson "take the fall," an idea to which Wilson had agreed for an additional $25,000, to be paid to him when he was released from prison.

"There's always a chance in court of beating it....No matter what they hit you with, you don't know nothing," Lissy said during a tape-recorded telephone conversation with the prostitute. As far as Wilson was concerned: "If he's able to hold up, he'll come out aheadif he doesn't, nobody will. It just depends upon how well he plays the game...I think it's only fair to pay him [the additional $25,000] if he holds out."

The jury was reminded that Wilson had already been paid $5,000, according to the prostitute's testimony. According to the prostitute, Wilson wanted at least an additional $500 before he would turn himself in. To that, Lissy replied on the tape: "Just tell him that I'm down on the coast so broke I can't even get to Portland, and if he does it [turns himself in] he'll get his money from the insurance, and if he doesn't, nobody'll get anything."

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