Accused Irish killer Gary McGurk claims innocence
Gary McGurk, the County Tyrone man living in the U.S. since he was 10 and now accused of murdering his NYPD criminologist girlfriend in April, told detectives he once considered joining the priesthood.
McGurk, 23, told police the night after Michele Lee’s body was found tied to her bed in her Sunnyside apartment on Monday, April 27, that he “considered the priesthood from freshman to sophomore year.”
A statement from McGurk to police, released in Queens Supreme Court on Thursday, June 4, said he finds “crime scene photos and cadavers disturbing.”
McGurk, when questioned, was in his final year of a forensic psychology course at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, yet he told police that his stomach turns when he sees disturbing pictures.
“It’s too much to handle. I panic for needles,” he said.
McGurk, who moved to Sunnyside with his mother, Caroline, his father, Aiden, and his sister, Niamh, from County Tyrone in 1985, told police that although he didn’t have a job while he was at John Jay, he worked once in a while as a bartender or in construction with a family friend.
McGurk met Lee, 24, in 2004 on the John Jay campus.
“I saw her on the treadmill sometime in the fall of 2004,” he said in a statement to police.
“I asked her out. Dating did not work for us. Didn’t click as a couple. It was more physical than anything else. It turned into a friends with benefits from then on,” McGurk explains.
The Irishman explained in explicit detail the type of physical relationship they had, which included bondage and biting.
McGurk, a soccer star at his college, once borrowed money from Lee because he was out of work. He told police he paid her back, “plus I gave her more money.”
He said towards the end of her life Lee owed him money. McGurk later admitted to police that he told Lee he had cancer and needed the money she owed him for his treatment.
McGurk, whose father Aiden once had links with the IRA in Northern Ireland, said very few people knew about their relationship. The couple used to meet at McDonalds on 39th Street close to Lee’s new apartment in Sunnyside.
Lee, who shared an apartment with another girl, was, according to McGurk, annoyed that her roommate was on a dating Web site.
“It annoyed Michelle. You see the Craigslist killer and you don’t want to meet people on the Internet,” he said.
McGurk said the last time he was at Lee’s apartment was Wednesday, April 22 at 2 a.m.
“She gave me more of my money back. She gave me a grand. When she died she owed me $500,” he said.
McGurk said the weekend that Lee was murdered he spent a lot of time with his girlfriend, Catherine Wells, but left her in the city about 8:45 p.m. on Saturday, April 25.
McGurk said he got home about 10 p.m., did some homework, watched soccer on ESPN, spoke to his girlfriend twice on the phone and was talking to Lee online. McGurk then left his house at 2 a.m.
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