Updated: 11:20 a.m. Wednesday, July 27, 2011 | Posted: 4:55 p.m. Monday, May 9, 2011

Former SPD Cop Suspected Hit Man

Ex-Cop Tied To Multiple Unsolved Murders

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Gary Krueger

SEATTLE —

The high-profile, cold-case murder of Bellevue realtor Mike Emert is on the verge of being solved.

 

Both Emert’s widow -- and confidential police sources -- tell KIRO Team 7 Investigative Reporter Chris Halsne that previously undisclosed DNA evidence identifies the killer as a recently deceased Seattle police officer.

 

Halsne first confirmed this information in February, but delayed publicly airing until now at the specific request of the King County Sheriff's Department. Detectives worried his reporting would interfere with an active, ongoing multi-state criminal investigation involving someone ordering professional "hits."

 


PART 1: Former SPD Cop Suspected Hit Man

PART 2: FBI Delay Makes Widow's 'Blood Boil'

PART 3: Possible Hit Man Cop Named In '81 Murder Of Retired Officer

PART 4: FBI Backlog Could Have Cost Kirkland Doctor His Life

PART 5: DNA Match Made Too Late Because Of Feet-Dragging By Feds

PDF: Police Confirm DNA Match in Realtor Murder: See Proof Here

SLIDESHOW: Suspect, Murder Victims, Crime Scenes

TIMELINE: Slow Road To DNA Match


 

It’s still unclear exactly why Mike Emert was targeted and murdered, but here is what we know:

 

On Jan. 4, 2001, Emert's killer stabbed him "multiple times," then placed him in a shower at a house for sale in Woodinville. That successfully washed away valuable evidence. It turns out the murderer wasn't as careful inside the 40-year-old Windermere agent’s SUV, leaving behind his own blood and skin -- thus traces of DNA. This detail wasn’t released by law enforcement, in part, because when they ran the DNA through both local and national databases, nobody matched the profile.

 

According to Mike Emert’s wife, Mary Beth Emert, that changed in late September. A King County major crimes detective called her with news of a huge break in the case.

 

"He said, 'I want you to know we have a rock solid DNA match on Mike.' I was stunned. I just never thought I would hear that," she said.

 

During an exclusive interview with KIRO Team 7 Investigators, Mary Beth admits she had almost given up on finding out who killed her husband.

 

"It was agonizing, waking up every morning and not knowing why this happened to Mike. What happened to Mike? Who did this?"

 

Around Thanksgiving, the detectives asked if she knew the suspect, Gary C. Krueger. She didn't, but Team 7 Investigators did.

 

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We introduced our viewers to Krueger three months ago as a prime suspect in a March 26, 2010, Kirkland home invasion. Police reports say a black-masked Krueger repeatedly hit orthopedic surgeon Dr. Craig McAllister in the head with a gun, trying to force his way into McAllister’s house. Krueger failed to get inside and, while fleeing, drowned in Lake Washington after stealing a boat. His body wasn’t found until September.

 

Mary Beth Emert says she isn't shedding any tears, telling KIRO, "I'm good with the fact that Krueger is dead because there is no reason why somebody that awful should be walking around society. So, good he's dead. And I know he didn't pass through the pearly gates with Mike standing there. He's in the bowels of hell and that's where he belongs."

 

While patrolling Seattle streets in the 1970's, Officer Krueger had a mean reputation. He made headlines by shooting a man dead from the front seat of his patrol car, then, another time, getting fined $3,000 for beating a suspect in a parking garage. Upon retiring in 1980, he ventured into real estate, then on to robbing banks at gunpoint.

 

Krueger was between prison stints when Mike Emert was murdered.

 

Mary Beth says motive in her husband’s death still isn’t clear, but an extensive KIRO Team 7 Investigation raises the possibility that Krueger was a professional killer.

 

We have confirmed through multiple confidential sources that Krueger is the prime suspect in at least two other unsolved killings.

 

In 1981, a retired Seattle police officer named Terry Dolan was shot dead during a robbery inside an Everett gas station. Dolan's widow tells Team 7 Investigators that Gary Krueger has long been the prime suspect. Everett police refused our requests for confirmation, saying only it’s an active, ongoing case.

 

In February 1984, Jim Barry, a real estate attorney in Bellevue, was stabbed to death in his office. KIRO-TV reported at the time that his wallet and some jewelry were missing. After years of silence from police on the case, Barry's widow tells us, on Feb. 7 this year (the 27th anniversary of her husband’s death), she got a call from detectives telling her they were "about to charge someone."

 

Mary Beth Emert says detectives told her that they think Gary Krueger is "good for" both Mike's and Jim Barry's deaths, but that they are still investigating another person that might have "hired" Kreuger.

 

"They do know that the other guy from out of state was involved with Krueger on some of these other murders they're still trying to solve, so that's what they are working on right now."

 

The King County Sheriff’s Department declined our requests to speak on the record about any of the ongoing murder cases.

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