Cold Case Killer in Sunnyvale Convicted

Gary Swierski claims to have acted in self-defense

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Gary Swierski was arrested in February last year and testified that he had killed his wife in self-defense when she attacked him with a knife.

    Gary Swierski, 51, of Sunnyvale was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of his wife seven years after she went missing, by a jury in Santa Clara County  Superior Court this week.

    Gary Swierski strangled and buried his wife in the Santa Cruz Mountains and she was not found until three years after she went missing in 2005, when her skull was found by hikers in Castle Rock State Park.

    She was not identified until 2010, when the newly created Santa Clara County District Attourney's Cold Case Unit used a DNA profile and dental records to identify her.

    In February 2011, the defendant's daughter from his first wife confessed to police that she had helped her father dispose of the body and could no longer live with the guilt, according to the police.

    Gary Swierski was arrested in February last year and testified that he had killed his wife in self-defense when she attacked him with a knife, according to police.

    He faces 25-years-to-life in prison when sentenced Aug. 27.

    Deputy District Attorney Matt Braker, who prosecuted the case said "Justice was served yesterday and the community is safer for two reasons, one, the courage of Eva Swierski to come forward and tell the truth to law enforcement about the murder of her step-mother; and two, the professionalism and tenacity of Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety."