By Terrence McCoy
By Scott Fishman
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Allie Conti
By New Times Staff
By Ryan Pfeffer
By Deirdra Funcheon
By Kyle Swenson
Delaney never learned the truth about his friend's fate, but he believes his disappearance was linked to their boss. "Look, this won't sound good, but it's the truth -- Gary was Randy's flunky," he says. "And Randy was [cooperating with authorities] and he could be a chickenshit. The guys who wanted to get Randy couldn't get to him, so they killed Gary to shut him up. Gary was nothing but a pawn on a chessboard. That's all he was, and he wasn't important to anybody, so the police never cared either.
"And I was so stupid. I was sitting there watching all this, but I was on my 'dozer minding my own beeswax. And that's where I stayed. That's why I don't own nothing and I'm still an hourly bulldozer operator in Fort Lauderdale."
He pauses and adds, "But I'm still alive."
Why didn't Delaney tell Donna these things 21 years ago?
"I thought she would get mad at me," he explains. "And I didn't think it would do any good anyway."
When she heard Delaney's revelations, Donna seemed shell-shocked. "I look back, and I just think of how dumb I was," she says. "I really didn't know anything. I was so busy with my girls, I must not have been paying attention. But Gary knew that if I had known about any of it, I would have lost it, and it would have stopped fast."
Her sister Kathy, who lived in the same apartment complex in Coral Springs at the time Gary disappeared, concurs that Donna was simply too busy with the twins to know what her husband was really doing. "She had no idea," she says.
Kathy, who was Donna's maid of honor, should know. She helped hide the truth about Gary as much as anyone. And it wasn't until two weeks ago that she confessed what she knew to Donna.
Kathy remembers walking into her big sister's apartment's bathroom and hearing either Gary or his boss, Krugh, say, "They won't even miss it."
The two men were standing near the sink, and Gary held a large plastic freezer bag filled with cocaine.
"Where did you get all that coke?" she asked.
"Don't worry about it," Gary told her. "Just get out of here, Kath."
It was the day of Donna's daughters' christening, October 16, 1983, just two months before Gary disappeared. Kathy, who is two years younger than Donna, didn't tell her sister about it. She never told Donna about Gary's cocaine.
"He used coke -- we used coke together," admits Kathy, who now lives in New Jersey. "He would always say, 'Don't tell your sister, don't tell your sister.' He had his party side to him, and Donna was all about the kids. She was always taking care of the girls."
Kathy, who was 21 years old at the time, says Gary would routinely come to her apartment to "borrow her bathroom." He would usually arrive with a prepared hypodermic needle filled with a liquid cocaine solution and inject it. Sometimes he'd freebase. And Gary would usually bring some powder for Kathy to snort.
"Donna would have been all over him if she knew about it," says her sister. "If she knew, she would have been screaming at him."
She believes Gary and Krugh stole the cocaine she saw in the bathroom, and that was the reason her brother-in-law was killed. "I never told Donna because I thought she had suffered enough," Kathy says in an emotion-choked voice. "I didn't want to hurt her more and I didn't want to stomp on Gary's memory. But the truth is, there were secrets.
"Gary had a weakness. He had a problem. And he tried to shield it from Donna and the girls, and he did a very good job of it. I think the motivating factor for what he was doing with those people was he wanted to provide for his family. He wanted to get them out of the apartment and into a house. He wanted to give them everything."
For years after the disappearance, Kathy says she was angry with Gary: "When I saw his beautiful daughters, all I could think was, 'Look at what you're missing.' He loved those girls so much. I remember when he would come home from work, Donna would walk over to hug him and he'd open his arms and say, 'Where's my girls?'"
Why did she break her silence now?
"For the first time I realized how serious Donna is about finding out the truth," she says. "I want to help her even though, to be perfectly frank, I'm not sure I agree with what she's doing."
Donna insists she doesn't blame Gary. "Maybe I was pushing him too hard," she says, choking back emotion. "I wanted him to succeed, but maybe it was too much for him. I feel so sorry for him, what he must have gone through."
The compassion and sadness, however, is mixed with disappointment and anger.
"If Gary were here now, I would kill him after finding all of this stuff out," she says, mustering a small laugh.