FLOYD COUNTY — History hangs on the walls of Gary Dunn’s Floyd County home. Old papers from New Albany’s past. Black and white photos of his ancestors. Framed antique wills listing items gone long ago.
But the labeled boxes stacked in the middle of his office chronicle a more recent saga, that of the investigation, trials and eventual acquittal of David Camm in the 2000 murder of his wife and two children in Georgetown. Camm, a former Indiana State Police trooper, served 13 years in prison after the convictions until jurors in his third trial found him not guilty.
For the two years immediately after Camm’s release, Dunn, who served as the defense attorney’s private investigator for Camm’s second trial, studied the contents of those boxes and roughly 100 CDs of interviews, depositions and other related documents. He incorporated both this research as well as his firsthand experience with the case into his recently released book “Their Bloody Lies & Persecution of David Camm Part 1”.
“This was a perfect storm of injustice and it was all man-made,” Dunn said. “And it was so unneeded.”
In this account, the retired FBI agent seeks to challenge the enduring accusations of Camm’s guilt by drawing on details and facts that led to his acquittal while questioning the integrity of the overall investigation.
“It was a labor of necessity to tell the story and to correct the story,” Dunn said. “For so long, too many people had it so wrong about so much. That’s not on them. That’s on the system that allowed this to happen.”
Dunn isn’t a stranger to chasing the truth.
After graduating from New Albany High School in 1965 and then Indiana University Bloomington with a B.S. in Education, the now 75-year-old obtained a commission in the U.S. Navy.
Following five years of service, Dunn applied to the FBI, but President Richard Nixon at the time had halted all federal hiring. A year later, in 1975, while in his first year of law school and recently elected to the New Albany City Council, the freeze was lifted. Dunn joined the federal investigative agency, stepping down from the council after having served less than 30 days to pursue his dream.
For 27 years, the New Albany native worked as an FBI Special Agent, living in 22 different residences and myriad states, with his wife Ginny by his side. Through that time, he investigated an assortment of cases including ones involving white collar crime, public corruption, theft, terrorism and murder. He retired from the Bureau in 2003, and, after missing the investigative aspect of his former job, became a private investigator.
“All we want to do is get the job done,” Dunn said. “That’s all I ever wanted to do.”
Dunn’s job in the 2006 retrial of Camm was to reinvestigate all aspects of the case. The seasoned law enforcement officer thought he knew about the specifics of the crime, mostly from media reports, before he started his work.
It turns out he didn’t know anything, he said.
Throughout his examination of the records, Dunn said he began to find evidence that Camm had been falsely accused and wrongfully convicted. So much so that he asked the defense attorney who hired him what she wasn’t disclosing.
She answered, “nothing”.
“It can’t be. I cannot accept the fact this is such a travesty of justice. I cannot believe that,” Dunn said, noting Camm’s arrest and conviction were by far the most egregious injustice he’s seen in his career.
“There are so many issues. You’ve got the issue of the lies, and of the bogus motives and then you’ve got, among other things, the usage of a cold-blooded murderer as a witness,” he said.
Charles Boney, Dunn explained, was the witness he referenced. Boney, who testified in Camm’s second trial and was named co-conspirator, is now serving a 225-year sentence for the murder of Camm’s family, the very crime in which Camm was initially imprisoned.
Despite the defense’s efforts, Camm’s second trial ended in conviction. Dunn, who attended every day of the trial, was sickened by the outcome. He continued to advocate for Camm’s innocence through various means, including a website that hosted his analysis of the evidence. A newer website, DavidCamm.com, stays true to that mission.
The Indiana Supreme Court, however, also overturned the second trial court’s conviction, and a third trial commenced. This jury found Camm not guilty of all charges on October 24, 2013.
Even with Camm released from prison, the former FBI agent felt a need to correct the inaccuracies that persisted after this acquittal. In his words, he couldn’t give up the ghosts.
“A narrative, political or otherwise, is more important than the truth to many,” Dunn said. “We can’t have that. That shouldn’t be.”
“Their Bloody Lies & Persecution of David Camm Part 1” covers mostly the investigation following the murders as well as the first trial. Dunn said he wanted to set up a firm foundation in order to tell the whole story in an accurate and honest way.
He anticipates that the second part of this retrospective will be published in summer of next year.
“You cannot believe, some of the things in here were more than astounding but what occurred after this, it’s even more so,” Dunn said.