MOORHEAD—AnneMarie Camp was murdered in early May 1997 and her body was found a few days later at a deserted farmstead near Sabin.
Someone had shot her in the head, twice, and her throat was cut.
She would have turned 42 this August.
ORIGINAL FORUM COVERAGE:
- Gianakos offers new alibi: Loose lips, wire taps aided police in bizarre murder case
- Gianakos seeks third trial: He's serving life sentence in death of AnneMarie Camp
- Key dates in death of AnneMarie Camp
Her parents, Doug Camp and Kathy Forness, say birthdays are difficult.
Also difficult, they say, was learning that Jamie Dennis-Gianakos, one of two people convicted in AnneMarie's death, was recently released from prison after serving about 16 years of a 25-year sentence.
Minnesota prison inmates, unless they get into trouble, typically serve two-thirds of their sentence behind bars and the remainder of their sentence in the community on supervised release.
"It's always hard," Forness said Monday, June 27, referring to reminders of her daughter's death, which was dramatized in a 2015 Lifetime network movie titled "I Killed My BFF."
Still, Forness was able to muster a charitable thought for Dennis-Gianakos, stating she hoped the woman who was once her daughter's friend could live "a productive life, instead of going around murdering other people's kids."
Dennis-Gianakos, 45, was released from a Minnesota prison on June 21 and placed on supervised release, according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections website.
The website said the supervision is being handled by the department's Moorhead district, but it wasn't clear Monday where Dennis-Gianakos will be living.
Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said his office was notified that Dennis-Gianakos was being released, but he didn't know what community she was heading to, though he said Otter Tail County was one possibility.
Questions left with the Department of Corrections regarding where Dennis-Gianakos will live were not returned.
For some, there is little mystery regarding what happened to AnneMarie.
That's because when Dennis-Gianakos pleaded guilty to murder in 2000 in Clay County District Court, part of the deal was that she tell the truth about Camp, who at the time of her death was Dennis-Gianakos' babysitter.
What Dennis-Gianakos told authorities is that she and her husband, Michael Gianakos, gave Camp a wine cooler laced with sleeping pills before driving her out to the abandoned farmstead. The plan was to scare her from testifying in court about a theft the couple had committed at a Moorhead hotel where Gianakos worked.
Dennis-GIanakos said she was surprised when Gianakos shot Camp from behind with a shotgun. She admitted she helped him move Camp's body and watched as he shot her again, the second time in the face.
Dennis-Gianakos' lawyer at the time revealed that her client had taken a lie-detector test and the results supported her version of events.
As part of a plea deal, Dennis-Gianakos was sentenced to 25 years in prison and she was required to testify against Gianakos.
Gianakos was convicted of murder in state court, but the case was thrown out after the state Supreme Court ruled Dennis-Gianakos should not have been allowed to testify against him.
Gianakos was tried in federal court and in 2003 he was sentenced to life in prison without parole after a jury found him guilty of kidnapping resulting in death.
For his part, Gianakos has maintained he was at his parent's home in Moorhead the evening of the murder. He said his wife left that afternoon for the Detroit Lakes area, saying she wanted to practice shooting a shotgun he bought her that day at her request.
He said Dennis-Gianakos returned later that night without the gun.
Gianakos, who is now 45, is in a federal prison in Victorville, Calif.
His sister, Tracy Lowrance, insists her brother had nothing to do with the murder. She said the case has left their entire family irreparably damaged.
Doug Camp said he believes Gianakos and Dennis-Gianakos are both guilty.
"It bothers me that this lady gets to get out," he said of Dennis-Gianakos being released, and he hopes he never encounters her on the street.
"I don't think I'd do anything, but you never know," he said, adding: "I don't want her around any part of my family."
Attempts to reach Dennis-Gianakos for comment were not successful.
Significant events in AnneMarie Camp murder case
January: Michael Gianakos is found tied up at a Moorhead motel where he is employed. He claims he was robbed, but later admits to stealing money and staging the robbery to cover the crime. After telling police his girlfriend at the time — Jamie Dennis — was involved, he later changes his story. AnneMarie Camp tells police she babysat for Dennis on the day of the motel incident.
February: Gianakos and Dennis are married. Camp is one of two witnesses to sign the marriage certificate. Later, the couple is charged in Clay County District Court with the motel theft.
May: Camp is murdered at an abandoned farmstead near Sabin. Her body is discovered by a farmer.
Summer: Gianakos pleads guilty to the motel theft. He is sentenced to 60 days in jail and fined $1,000.
January: Jury convicts Dennis-Gianakos of aiding motel theft.
October: Clay County grand jury indicts Gianakos and Dennis-Gianakos in state court on first-degree murder charges in Camp's death.
May: Jury finds Gianakos guilty of murder. Dennis-Gianakos, who pleaded guilty to murder, testifies against her husband.
June: Judge sentences Dennis-Gianakos to 25 years in prison. With good behavior, she could be released after serving 16½ years. Gianakos is sentenced to life in prison.
May: State Supreme Court overturns Gianakos's murder conviction, ruling that his wife should not have been allowed to testify against him. He is returned to Clay County Jail and held in lieu of $1 million bond set by judge.
April: Gianakos' second trial begins in Bismarck's U.S. District Court. Dennis-Gianakos tells jury she watched her husband shoot Camp in the head.
May: A jury of 10 women and two men deliberate 16 hours before finding Gianakos guilty of kidnapping resulting Camp's death.
July: Gianakos is sentenced to life in prison without parole.