After talking to Greg’s friends, some of the troopers got the impression they might be covering for the perpetrator(s). That Elsie Young admitted Greg had paid for her taxi fare, yet told her not to tell the cops he’d done so, looked an awful lot like deception. But there was now another possibility: it wasn’t Greg who left the Montana Club that night; it was his cousin Ronnie. Was he responsible for Beth’s murder, instead of Greg?
Gilmour especially felt the need to unravel the deception and get to the true story, which he felt Greg and his friends had somehow withheld. He might have missed one distiction: his belief that Greg might be withholding information was predicated in part on Elsie Young telling the truth. Deception sometimes takes funny turns. Gilmour nonetheless decided to take another run at Greg. During the course of the interview, Greg Nicholas quickly managed to turn the topic toward his cousin Ronnie. The cops were in no mood to stop him.
INTERVIEW: Greg Nicholas, January 5, 1972 (Gilmour & Reed)
“I don’t think Ronnie is mean, but he could very easily become mean. He is always talking about his muscles and strength. He is totally a different type of person than me. I am not really scared of him, but in the back of my mind I was. So I watch myself at screaming at him.
“I went to Beth’s to see about the babysitting because I was in a hurry to get to Beth’s; then I went to the Fly-By-Night because I wasn’t in a hurry to get downtown. I wanted to stop at the garage around 9:00 or 9:30.
“Ronnie was wearing real hard boots. I can draw a picture of them. (A drawing was obtained of Ronnie’s boot from Greg. Photo lineup showing a number of footprints taken at McHugh Creek Campground was shown to Greg.)
McHugh Creek Campground – Snow
“The slick-sided foot print that is big looks like Ronnie’s shoe print… I think from your photos it looks like my car and Ronnie may have been at the campground. ‘Oh yeah,’ Greg continued. ‘I did give the key to Ronnie that night.’ Ronnie told me earlier he wished he could take my car. I told Ronnie, ‘If you take me to work and bring me back, I’ll give you the key.'”
“Yeah, it looks like my car and Ron’s footprints were in the McHugh Creek Campground to me. Ron is the only person who had my key. I had some new keys made up in Kenai. I kept two and gave one to Ron. Ron is the only person who could have used the car while I was in the bar. I think most people notice, Ron is different. Ask Elsie and Mary.
“Ron knew about my calling Beth. He was listening very close and probably on his way to pick her up. If Beth was sexually molested and hair was found, Ron’s hair would probably look just like mine, wouldn’t it? Well, things look pretty bad for me; it looks like either me or Ron. So I think I’ll leave.
GILMOUR: What are you waiting for to tell the whole story?
GREG NICHOLAS: I am waiting for the lab results.
Purchase Butcher, Baker