Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Robert Garrow

'She Got Stabbed'

Francis Belge(ATU)
Francis Belge(ATU)

After his arrest, Garrow met with his court-appointed attorneys, Francis Belge and Frank Armani of Syracuse. Belge was a graduate of Albany Law School and Armani had attended Syracuse Law. They knew and respected one another but had never worked together before. Although Garrow wanted to help in his own defense, he seemed less than truthful. His attorneys had to learn whatever their client knew in order to defend him properly and they wanted no surprises at trial.

But Garrow was uncooperative and claimed a loss of memory whenever critical subject matter arose. In late August 1973, the attorneys decided to try one more time.

Frank Armani (ATU)
Frank Armani (ATU)
Garrow was already a suspect in several other homicides. On July 11, 1973, Alicia Hauck, 16, had disappeared on her way home from high school in Syracuse, New York. Garrow had lived in Syracuse at that time and had been observed near the school on the same day. Alicia had not contacted her family since that day, and a body had not been found. On July 20, in Weavertown, New York, the body of Daniel Porter, 22, was found at a campsite where he and his girlfriend, Susan Petz, had spent the night. Porter was tied to a tree and stabbed to death. Susan Petz had not yet been found. Garrow's parents also lived just a few miles from the scene of the incident. In both cases, police suspected Garrow and the similarities between the Porter killing and the Domblewski murder were striking.

Since his arrest, Garrow insisted he had nothing to do with the missing girls. But Belge and Armani had to know the truth. During this interview with Garrow, the two lawyers pleaded with him to cooperate and advised him that cooperation would mean a better deal for him.

"I picked her up hitchhiking," Garrow finally said to Belge. He said that he took the Hauck girl to the rear of an apartment complex in Syracuse where he raped her. "We had sex on the hill behind the apartments...all of a sudden and for no reason, she tried to run away...she got hysterical. I got scared and hit her with my knife," he explained to the two attorneys. When Belge asked if he killed the girl, Garrow replied, "Yeah, I think so!" Garrow said that he hid Alicia Hauck's body in the Oakwood cemetery in Syracuse. As far as he knew, the body was still there.

Garrow went on to describe how he had killed Daniel Porter in late July after he came upon the camper and his girlfriend Susan Petz. He said that he stabbed Porter after they had a fight. Garrow told Belge how he kidnapped the girl and kept her with him for four days while he sexually assaulted her. He said that on the last day she made an attempt to escape.

"I put my knife on the ground, and she grabbed it. We had a fight...I finally got my knife away from her, and she got stabbed," Garrow said. And when he was asked where her body was, he replied, "I shoved her body down the airshaft of a mine." He gave Belge and Armani detailed descriptions of where the bodies of both girls could be found. The attorneys realized that Garrow was now implicated in at least four murders. But his confession would never make trial. Whatever Garrow told them, including the details of the murders and the location of the bodies, could not be revealed. It was information that was considered "privileged" because it was told from client to attorney and therefore protected from scrutiny by anyone, including the police and the D.A.'s office. It was similar to a priest and a confessor or a doctor and a patient. Nothing could persuade them to reveal the secret of where the bodies were buried.

Not even the desperate pleas from the victim's families.

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