The bridesmaid baby sitter murder

On January 27, 1997, Jamie Lyn Dennis and Michael Gianakos asked a baby sitter to watch her children, then robbed the Moorhead Super 8 where Michael was a clerk. Worried that baby sitter Anne Marie Camp might tell police that Jamie wasn’t home the night of robbery, on May 1 Jamie packed two of her three children into the back seat of her Pontiac 6000, picked up Camp, who also had served as a bridesmaid at the couple’s February wedding, and headed to a rural Sabin farmstead. Jamie says Michael drove. Michael says he wasn’t even there. Who did what is a matter of dispute, but in the end, Camp was dead, shot in the head with a shotgun. And the only witnesses who may know the truth were both under age 2.

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On January 27, 1997, Jamie Lyn Dennis and Michael Gianakos asked a baby sitter to watch her children, then robbed the Moorhead Super 8 where Michael was a clerk. Worried that baby sitter Anne Marie Camp might tell police that Jamie wasn’t home the night of robbery, on May 1 Jamie packed two of her three children into the back seat of her Pontiac 6000, picked up Camp, who also had served as a bridesmaid at the couple’s February wedding, and headed to a rural Sabin farmstead. Jamie says Michael drove. Michael says he wasn’t even there. Who did what is a matter of dispute, but in the end, Camp was dead, shot in the head with a shotgun. And the only witnesses who may know the truth were both under age 2.

The last few hours of Anne Camp’s fife must have passed as if in a dream. She had a belly full of Fuzzy Navel wine cooler laced with 20 or more crushed Nytol pills. As she rode in the front passenger seat of the Gianakos family car through the back roads of Clay County, Camp, 22, likely heard the sounds of frogs singing in the swamps, intermittently replaced by the persistent ringing in the ears that an overdose of doxylamine-the active ingredient in some sleep-aid medications-produces.

Depending on whose version of events you believe, either Michael Gianakos or his wife, Jamie, both in their late 20s, mixed the sleeping pills into the wine cooler Camp drank during the drive. Michael claims to know nothing of the murder. Jamie claims that Michael masterminded it.

In her testimony before the Clay County District Court in May, 2000, Jamie said that when they reached the abandoned farmstead near Sabin, everyone got out of the car; Jamie carried her 10-month-old daughter, while her 20-month-old daughter walked alongside. Camp was starting to show the effects of her drugged drink, walking slowly, stopping, and stumbling, Jamie said. She, Camp, and the girls went to look inside the abandoned house while Michael stayed behind. When Jamie and the baby returned to the car, she said, Michael walked up behind Camp and shot her in the head.

The shotgun, fired at point blank range, tore off most of Camp’s face and the top of her skull. Neither Michael nor Jamie admitted to slitting Camp’s throat, but someone did. Investigators never found the knife.

According to Jamie’s testimony, Michael brought the older child back to the car, pulled on disposable gloves, gave a pair to his wife, and instructed her to help him move Camp’s body into the brush.

Michael’s version of what happened that night is radically different.

He offers no explanation of how Camp died; he simply says he wasn’t there. He says his wife left home earlyin the evening with the children, taking his shotgun with her and saying she was headed to her parents’ house to learn how to use it. He says he spent most of the evening and night at his own parents’ home, and they back him up. When he came home after midnight, Jamie and the children were still gone. When his wife finally did walk through the door, she didn’t have the gun.

Anne Marie Camp grew up in Moorhead, mentally ill, chronically overweight, and friendless, according to her family. At age 12, Camp was diagnosed at a welfare clinic as having a bipolar personality disorder with severe manic and depressive mood swings, says her mother, Kathy Forness of Moorhead. Her peers were repelled by her withdrawn demeanor when she was down, and feared her hysterical rampages when she was up.

“She had a bad temper,” says her mother. But Camp’s sister, Lisa Forness, two years younger, remembers Camp’s soft side: “Nobody liked her, so me and her were best friends. When Mom and Dad would fight I’d get scared, so she’d lie down by me and rub my back. She was sweet.”

Boys took advantage of Camp. By age 21 she had a baby daughter and was in a custody struggle with the father. But other aspects of her life had improved. She was on medications that seemed to be working, and she was using her welfare checks to rent her own apartment in downtown Fargo.

One day, the neighbor across the hall knocked on Forness’ door to ask her to baby-sit. That neighbor was Jamie Lyn Dennis.

Jamie Lyn Dennis was born in Duluth in 1971 to a single mother and was adopted by Jeffrey and Jody Dennis. Jeffrey, a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force, died in a plane crash when Jamie was 5. Jody eventually married Sylvester Zurn.

Zurn and Dennis raised Jamie in Callaway, a small town in northwestern Minnesota. Zurn’s brothers and sisters lived nearby. “One of the problems we had as a family was Jamie,” says Diane Mellis; Zurn’s sister. “If she came to visit, you had fewer possessions after she left, and the things she took were senseless-my sister’s prescription glasses, for example. Once she spent a day with my son, who was working for his master’s degree at North Dakota State. He took her to his lab and later discovered she’d stolen his lab partner’s research notebook. She stole my sister-in-law’s embroidered Care Bears. She stole stuff that meant something to others, but nothing to her.” Eventually, Jamie’s childhood trait became a grownup problem, earn, ing her a criminal record and more than one stint in jail.

Mellis suggested that Dennis get counseling for Jamie, but Dennis refused. “Jody always seemed blind to what was becoming of Jamie,” says Mellis. Jody would not agree to be interviewed for this story.

Jamie enlisted in the Army in April of 1989, but never made it to basic training because of a slipped disc. She attended college in Louisville, Ky., then went to Bemidji State University for several months. Wherever she went, she filled notebook after notebook with her writing.

At 19, she met Troy Hackett, also 19, at a partyin Baudette, Minn. Hackett, now 30 and living in Shoshoni, Wyo., says he and Jamie began a brief affair shortly after they met at a party. “She told me she’d been in trouble for stealing a car, that her dad had died in a plane crash and she’d be rich when the insurance came,” he says. In reality, her adoptive father died years earlier and there was no insurance money coming.

Jamie became pregnant in 1993. “In her eighth month she said she was going away to Colorado to put the child up for adoption,” says Hackett. “I didn’t hear from her for along time, then I was living with another gal in Detroit Lakes, and there she was again. She’d, like, follow me around the mall. Then she cornered my girlfriend and said, `You know, I’ve got Troy’s kid.'”

That was how Hackett found out his child, a boy now 7, hadn’t been adopted after all. The boy has lived with Jamie’s mother and stepfather all his life.

In 1994, Jamie engineered an unsuccessful suicide attempt by crushing a bottle of Nytol pills into an alcoholic beverage. A court evaluation reports that she tried a second time, also unsuccessfully, three years later.

Michael Gianakos moved to Moorhead from a small Wisconsin town when he was 8 and attended Catholic grade schools. He hunted as a teen-ager but says he could never pull the trigger on a large animal. He wanted to play high school football, but couldn’t. “When I was a freshman I got hit by a car,” he explains in an interview from the state prison at Stillwater. “It wrecked my knee, so I wasn’t able to play sports. I suppose that’s one reason I was a loner, but I was an outsider anyway. Id always gone to parochial schools, so I was used to small classes where I knew everybody. Then suddenly I was in this huge public school where I didn’t know anybody.”

The transition was hard. He developed a case of stress-induced Bell’s palsy, a usually temporary paralysis of the face, which made him the butt of some-ridicule, as did his rotund physical appearance.

Gianakos worked as a baker and cook in the Fargo-Moorhead area He had a few dates, but no special relationship. “I’d planned on being a priest until I got to high school,” he explains, “but I love kids. I wanted to have kids.”

When she met Michael Gianakos in September 1995, Jamie was about to give birth to her second child. She has never identified the father.

“I went to the Holiday Inn over in Detroit Lakes for karaoke night, and she was singing,” Michael says. “It was cool to see her standing there, nine months pregnant.”A baby girl was born the next day at a hospital in Detroit Lakes.

“We started dating,” Michael says. “Jamie was smart, I thought she was pretty, and I really liked [her daughter]. We spent a lot of time together, enough so I wanted to help when she got kicked out of her apartment for not paying the rent. That was about two months after we met.”

By then Jamie was pregnant again, this time by Michael. The couple and Jamie’s daughter moved in with Michael’s parents, Alice and George Gianakos, who lived in a three-bedroom home on the outskirts of Moorhead. Even with Michael working, the couple’s income was low enough to qualify them for public assistance.

“I guess it’s strange that they moved in with Mom and Dad,” says Tracy Lowrance, 36, Michael’s sister and a Moorhead daycare provider. “My parents felt sorry for the baby. Also, this was Michael’s first girlfriend, and they knew how much he wanted kids. They wanted it to work out. They liked Jamie, at first.”

Their enthusiasm cooled quickly, according to Lowrance. She says Jamie spent most of her time in her bedroom, writing and chain-smoking. Michael would testify that among her journals, Jamie kept addresses of famous murderers and serial killers: Eric and Lyle Menendez, David Berkowitz, Charles Tex Watson. She claimed that she never wrote to them, but Michael would recall seeing a letter to Charles Manson marked “returned to sender.”

She also had legal problems. She’d run up a $600 phone bill under a false name before she met Michael. The calls were traced back to her, and in June 1996 she was served with a summons to appear in court. She, was sentenced to eight months in jail but released early because of her pregnancy.

In April 1996 they moved to St. Cloud, where their daughter, Jamie’s third child, was born and where Michael worked at a bakery. “We got an apartment in return for caretaking; we had two wonderful kids,” he says. “Things were going well.”

But caretaking proved to be a dubious concept when Jamie held the keys.

“One day I got home from work and she’d been caught red– handed swiping stuff from one of our tenants, so that was the end of that,” says Michael. “We headed back to Moorhead. Welfare found us a place.”

They moved into an old Moorhead apartment building on Fifth Street South-a run-down area that had sustained heavy damage in floods and never recovered. Their life settled into a routine. Michael says he took care of the children and drank, and Jamie bar-hopped at night and wrote all day. He proposed marriage, but she refused. She also refused to curtail her nightlife, he says. “If I complained or even suggested that she stay home with us once in awhile, she’d threaten to hurt the kids or me, or [to] just pack up and leave,” says Michael. “It was her way or the highway.”

Michael got a job as a night clerk at the Super 8 Motel across the street from his parents’ house. This presented his live-in girlfriend with a dilemma. She had to stay home nights or find a baby sitter, preferably one who worked for nothing.

That’s when Jamie walked across the hall and knocked on Forness’s door. By late 1996, a pattern had emerged, says Forness. Most nights, Forness or one of her daughters, Lisa Forness or Anne Camp, would care for the children. The two who weren’t baby-sitting would tour local bars with Jamie.

Money was a perpetual problem, and the cash drawer at the motel was a temptation Michael and Jamie couldn’t resist. “We never exactly planned to steal the money,” he says. “Jamie started talking about how easy it would be, then about a week later we did it. Yes, I was a willing participant.” It was his first stab at crime, and it was a disaster.

On the night of January 27, 1997, Jamie called Camp and asked her to baby-sit. If Camp hadn’t agreed, she might be alive today.

Then Jamie went to the motel where Michael was clerking, duct-taped his hands behind his back, taped a pillowcase over his head, and left with about $1,200 cash.

Michael claimed two strangers had robbed him, but the Moorhead police didn’t believe him. On January 28, Michael confessed and implicated Jamie. Jamie denied it, saying that she’d been home with her children and knew nothing about the robbery.

“She was furious with me for telling on her,” says Michael. “She talked about killing herself, killing the kids.”

Then the police questioned the baby sitter, who destroyed Jamie’s alibi: Camp told police she’d been watching Jamie’s children the night of the robbery.

But Jamie and Michael didn’t know that. Jamie had seen a police officer arrive at Camp’s apartment, but she did not know what Camp had told the officer. So, Michael says, Jamie persuaded him to change his story. He recanted and told police that he alone had taken the money, then had taped himself up to make it look as if he’d been robbed.

And although she’d turned down his marriage proposal just a few months before, Jamie now suggested they tie the knot. “I married him so he wouldn’t be able to testify against me,” she told Clay County Deputy Sheriff Bryan Green and Special Agent David Bjerga of the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension on January 14, 2000.

They were married by a justice of the peace in the Clay County Courthouse on Valentine’s Day 1997 because it fell on karaoke night at the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn, where they’d met. “I wanted to have my reception there,” said Jamie.

The reception included John Murack, then 29, of Moorhead-Michael’s old hunting buddy and only close friend, whom he’d asked to be the best man-and baby sitter Camp as maid of honor. After the ceremony, they all rode in two cars to the Detroit Lakes Holiday Inn for karaoke night and drank and sang until closing. Murack drove Camp home.

“She seemed like a really nice person to me,” Murack says. “A little slow, maybe, but that might have been her medications.” His assessment of his friend’s new wife was quite different: “Hated her guts.”

On February 27, less than two weeks after their wedding, Michael and Jamie were charged with the Super 8 theft. Michael resigned himself to going to jail. Jamie had already served time, and hadn’t liked it. She told Michael that she didn’t want to go back.

“She complained that Anne might sink her [alibi] with her statement,” says Michael. He says he told Jamie, “What can you do? It’s the truth.”

On May 1, 1997, Michael bought a i?-gauge shotgun at a Moorhead pawnshop. He testified that Jamie asked him to purchase it so she could protect the family after he went to jail. Jamie testified that the gun was Michael’s idea.

About 5:30 p.m. that day, Jamie knocked on Camp’s door and asked if she wanted to go for a ride in the country. Jamie told Camp that she and her husband were planning to buy a piece of land near Sabin, Minn., and she wanted to take a look at it. Camp agreed to go along.

Jamie claims Michael drove the car. Michael says he was not there. The two girls were in car seats in the back. Jamie packed the wine cooler laced with 20 or more crushed Nytol pills in the diaper bag. Jamie admitted she purchased the wine coolers in Camp’s favorite flavor on her own, but testified that her husband purchased the Nytol, crushed the pills, and put them in the drink. Michael denies this.

“We drove through the town of Sabin, and then up and down a couple other roads before getting to the actual road the farm was on. Michael just drove around like he was lost. It was probably a little after 8:30,” Jamie testified. “We drove to the farmhouse. . .we pulled in, turned off the car, got the kids out of the car, and Michael indicated he had to go to the bathroom, and Anne and I proceeded into the house [with the children]. . . it was really dark and really messy, so we used our lighters to be able to see, so we wouldn’t trip over anything.”

She says they were in the house five or 10 minutes, then Michael called to them from outside to get going. “When I got to the back of the car. . .I noticed Michael come from the back corner of the house with Anne with a gun. . .I saw Michael walk up behind her. I heard the gun go off and Anne immediately fell. . .when I first saw it, I was just stunned. I didn’t do anything. . .the gun fired, she fell.” The older child was a few feet in front of Anne, according to Jamie.

Jamie says she followed Michael’s orders to put on rubber gloves and help him move the body. When Camp’s legs caught on a pipe protruding from the ground, “I freaked out,” said Jamie. “I thought she was alive. I thought she was fighting. And I mentioned that to Michael. And he said there is no way she could be alive, because he had blown the back of her head off, and a person couldn’t live without the back of her head.” Then, “we realized. . .she was too heavy, and it was too far for us to drag her to the woods. So we talked about taking her up and rolling her up closer to the house.” Which they did, Jamie said.

“Michael said that he had a knife in the car and he wanted me to get it and to cut her throat with it. . .I said, no, I couldn’t do that.” He didn’t say why he wanted her to do that, she said.

“Michael asked about her purse and mentioned that she hadn’t brought it. So he said we’d have to get it. So I reached over her and into her pocket and got her keys. He told me to go back into the car. . .I got in the front seat. . .I noticed the knife, kind of half sticking out from underneath the front seat.” She recognized the knife: “It had been in our kitchen. It was one of a set we had boughten [sic].”

As she sat down inside the car,Jamie testified that she “looked up and Michael was standing over her and he shot again.” Jamie says she was shaking so bad, she couldn’t drive, so Michael drove. “The children were screaming and crying.”

When they got home, Jamie says she told Michael he had blood on his face, jacket, and sock, and that he had apiece of Camp’s tooth stuck in his shoe. Michael says this never happened, and the bloody clothing and tooth were never found by investigators.

Next, Jamie said, she fed her children, drove to Camp’s apartment building, put the rubber gloves back on, used Camp’s keys to let herself into the apartment, took Camp’s purse, locked up, and left.

When she returned home, she said, “Michael said that he was going to get a shovel from his parents’ house and go out and bury her. . .later, he called me from his dad’s house, said that he hadn’t buried her, but he picked up anything that could be traced to us, and he had gotten rid of her purse.”

Around 2 a.m., she couldn’t sleep, she said, so she dressed and drove back to the farmstead. “I got out of the car and started walking toward her, and I could see her mouth hanging open, and I started to get sick to my stomach. So I went back and sat in the car and just prayed.” “Why? “I don’t know. I just felt I had to.”

Camp’s body was discovered behind the abandoned farmhouse three days after the murder by a neighboring farmer. A pair of latex gloves was found nearby, but no DNA evidence or prints could be recovered. Along a nearby road, police found a library card with a faint signature reading “Anne Camp,” and a child’s photo with the name of Camp’s daughter written on the back.

Medical examiner Michael B. McGee’s version of how events might have unfolded is radically different from Jamie’s. McGee testified that Camp’s was the highest level of doxylamine ever seen in his office and that Camp probably passed out or even died from the drug. And because her arms were stretched above her head, her chest and face scraped, and her clothing pulled up, he believed she was dragged face down from wherever she collapsed to where her body was found. “I believe she is left in that final position, where she is wounded by the gunshot wound to the head,” he testified.

Jamie’s testimony leaves other questions. With that much doxylamine in her system, how could Camp maneuver in the dark around a cluttered, abandoned house using only a cigarette lighter to illuminate her way? Why would Michael have ordered Jamie to go back to Camp’s apartment and get the purse, then bring it back to the scene, then throw it away in that area? Why did she return to the murder site in the wee hours of the morning? If Michael was planning a killing, why would he buy the gun two blocks from his home from a business where the owners knew him?

Michael’s version of the story sheds no light on these questions. He simply says he was not there and he did not do it.

Michael’s family is outspoken about their belief that Jamie planned the crime and committed it without her husband’s help or knowledge. “She’s a thief and a bright, devious person with a long criminal record,” says Lowrance.

During the months following Camp’s murder, Michael pleaded guilty to the motel theft and served a 6o-day jail sentence in Moorhead.

Camp’s death hadn’t silenced her statement. In January 1998, Jamie stood trial for the motel theft and was convicted with the help of police recollections of Camp’s statement about babysitting that night. Jamie was sentenced to nine months in the county jail. Her public defender appealed the conviction, and she remained free on bond. She continued to live with Michael in their Moorhead apartment.

By the fall of 1998, the investigation into Camp’s murder had come to a standstill. Then, on Sept. 3, Michael made a frantic call to his parents. “I think I’m living with a murderer,” he told his mother, who says he was sobbing. He described a story he said he was reading in one of Jamie’s diaries. It told of a murder like Camp’s in vivid detail.

“My wife had piles of notebooks, dozens of them,” says Michael. “And she didn’t want anyone looking at them.”

According to Michael, the tale of the murder was written in the first-person voice his wife often employed in her writing. The storyteller told how she and her husband murdered an unnamed young woman. “There was a lot of gory detail,” says Michael. “The victim was drugged, the wife blew her head off, then used a knife to slit her throat. The knife was a kitchen knife the wife had selected because it had the husband’s prints on it, then it was buried nearby, so he’d be implicated if he ever ratted on her. The gloves the wife used were buried, too. It seemed too real. It scared me, so I called my parents and asked them what they thought I should do.”

At Michael’s murder trial, his father testified that Michael read this from the diary: “The pills didn’t kill her. . .I can’t shoot her, she is too woozy. She won’t stand still, the bitch won’t stand still. I can’t shoot her. I’ve got the butcher knife and I put it in a plastic bag with Michael’s prints on it, because if I go down, I’m taking him down with me, and I buried it, but I used rubber gloves so that my prints aren’t on it.”

Michael’s parents and sister met with police to tell them about the phone call. They say they urged Michael to talk to police himself, but he never did. On September io, investigators searched Michael’s and Jamie’s apartment for the diary. They didn’t find one. Jamie testified there never was a diary.

Under cross-examination during his trial, Michael changed his story and said the writing wasn’t in a diary, and that the grisly tale he had told his parents about was just a story Jamie had written “that did not have any details.”

Why would Michael deny his earlier statement-especially since in interviews for this story, he said the diary did exist? Michael says he lived in fear of Jamie’s temper, her constant threats to leave him, and what he says were her occasional threats to harm both him and the children. He would gather up his courage and stand up for himself, but then she’d intimidate him with her rage until he back-tracked. That’s the story of their life, he says. And that’s how his family explains his recanting his statement about the story and the diary.

Jamie would not agree to be interviewed for this article.

In March 1999, Jamie was arrested for shoplifting a $6.29 book at the Cash Wise store in Moorhead. A report prepared for the Minnesota Department of Corrections noted that “since the defendant’s first felony conviction in Becker County she added two new felony convictions and one misdemeanor. The subject has developed a reputation for being dishonest, manipulative, and untrustworthy. . .she has been increasing her sophistication for criminal activity, rather than leaving it behind.” It concluded by requesting that a stay of sentence on her earlier 1994 theft conviction in Becker County be revoked, and that she be ordered to serve more than ayear in prison. In June 1999, she was sent to prison in Shakopee.

Once Jamie and Michael were separated, investigators into Camp’s murder increased the pressure again. Jamie was questioned in prison in September 1999, and Michael’s sister was interviewed.

“They questioned me about Michael twice,” says Tracy Lowrance. “The BCA [Bureau of Criminal Apprehension] guy, Bjerga, told me, `They’re both guilty, but one of them is going to turn on the other and get a deal. We don’t care which one it is.'”

It was Jamie. She heard that investigators were turning up the pressure on Michael and his family, and the investigators’ visit to her may have rattled her. Perhaps afraid that Michael would turn her in first, Jamie approached a fellow inmate on October 21, 1999, and told her, “Mike killed her. He killed my girlfriend. He shot her. . .I was there with him when he did it.” The inmate testified at Michael’s trial: “[Jamie] wanted to see if theywould maybe give her the same deal, she said, that they’d offered her husband, Mike, a year ago. . .to give her immunity to testify against her husband.” At Jamie’s request, the inmate called investigators and told them Jamie wanted to talk. Aweek later, Jamie and Michael each were charged with first-degree murder and two related charges.

On Dec. 8, Michael was questioned and told police he had not been at the scene of the murder. Following her indictment, Jamie combed through copies of all the documents assembled so far in the case-including her husband’s statement of Dec. 8. She was furious, she testified later, that “he was providing himself with an alibi and leaving me dangling in the wind.” Until then, she had believed “that he wasn’t saying anything, that we’d. . .stick to our story and everything would be fine.”

Fueled by her anger, on Jan. 14, 2000, Jamie gave investigators Green of the Clay County Sheriffs Department and Bjerga of the state BCA a detailed statement that said the murder was planned and executed by Michael. “I thought he was just gonna like scare [Camp] real bad and convince her that what she was telling the police wasn’t true,” she said. “I didn’t even know he had a gun.”

In February 2000, Jamie agreed to testify against her husband in exchange for getting the charges against her reduced to second-degree murder. As part of the bargain, she accepted a 25-year prison sentence.

Michael’s trial began onApril 29. He told the jury he’d been at his parents’ house the night of the murder, and his parents testified on his behalf. But in the end, the Clay County jury believed Jamie’s version of the murder. The jury found Michael guilty of first-degree murder on May 5. He got life.

One piece of the puzzle that jurors seemed to find especially compellng was whether Jamie would have been strong enough to drag the much larger Camp across the farmyard by herself.

“The prosecution elicited testimony from pathologists and law enforcement officers who claimed that it would have been impossible for Jamie to drag Camp’s body behind the house by herself, because Camp weighed 210 pounds,” says Charles Chinquist, the Moorhead attorney who represented Michael at the trial. “I was ready to have my 115-pound female investigator drag me across the carpet in front of the jury to prove it can be done, and I weigh more than 2io pounds, but the judge wouldn’t allow it.”

Jamie was an effective witness who cried on the stand and told a convincing story. Lowrance says her sister-in-law maneuvered to put the bulk of the blame on Michael, even bringing her children to court hearings to make sure the judge saw her fussing over them. “At home she wouldn’t even change their diapers,” she says. “Michael was never in trouble until he met Jamie, yet the state claims he planned a cold-blooded murder, then duped her into going along with it. Common sense tells you that isn’t so.”

Michael has appealed his life sentence, which he is serving at Stillwater; the appeal is expected to be heard by the state Supreme Court this summer. His attorney, assistant state public defender Melissa Sheridan, will argue that state law prohibits one spouse from testifying against another in any circumstances. She is also citing a rule that when co-defendants are facing the same charge, one cannot be convicted solely on the testimony of another, and corroborating evidence is required. Rather ironic, since according to Jamie, the reason the couple married in the first place was so they could avoid testifying against each other in the motel robbery case.

I think about [my daughter] every day and the terrible way she died,” says Forness, Camp’s mother. “She had a hard life, you know. She was so strange; none of her classmates could relate to her. Sometimes she’d just sob and ask me, ‘Why am I like this, Mom, why?’ Then, just when her life seemed to be getting better, it was over.”

Forness is trying to get custody of Camp’s daughter, who lives with her father in Minot, N.D. She refuses to believe that Jamie, the person she thought of as her friend and as her daughter’s friend, planned the murder.

On November 2, 2000, Jamie was transferred to an out-of– state prison because of disciplinary problems at Shakopee; the prison would give no details.

Her eldest child still lives with his grandmother in Callaway. Her other two children are being raised by Alice and George Gianakos, parents of the man Jamie helped put behind bars.

In his concluding remarks at Michael’s murder trial, Christopher Myers, chief assistant county attorney for Clay County, spoke to the jurors about the behavior of Jamie and Michael on the night of Anne Camp’s murder. “There was a reason why they brought the kids that night,” said Myers. “A selfish reason. They brought the kids that night on purpose. Do you know why? Because the last time they left their kids with a baby sitter, there was a witness.”