Provo’s son jailed in US for savage murder of lover
An American crime scene investigator expressed her deep love for an Irishman just days before he beat and stabbed her to death, it was revealed as he was sentenced to at least 29 years in prison.
Gary McGurk pleaded guilty in a New York court room to the manslaughter of Michelle Lee and was sentenced to between 29 and 37 years in prison.
The 24-year-old is the son of a one-time member of the East Tyrone brigade of the IRA who served a prison term following a botched bombing attempt.
He expressed his remorse at killing Miss Lee but gave no reason why he carried out the brutal act.
McGurk had been extorting money from the young New York Police Department CSI employee by lying that he was suffering from advanced cancer.
A student at New York University’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice, McGurk was also seeing another woman when he killed Lee in April 2009.
Yet, in a journal entry written just days before she died, Lee wrote about how brave McGurk was in dealing with the cancer and how much she loved him.
McGurk beat the 24-year-old four times on the head with a hammer, and then stabbed her in the neck before burning the body with an iron.
He left her on the bed, the knife sticking out of her neck, at her apartment in the Sunnyside district of Queens in New York.
Prosecutors have speculated that McGurk became enraged after Lee refused to give him any more money. She had given him thousands of dollars after he claimed to be suffering from cancer and had no health insurance.
But McGurk this week did not help the family to understand why he killed the young woman, even after her sister pleaded with him to explain why he carried out the senseless crime.
McGurk, who spent his early years in Co Monaghan, emigrated with his parents, Aiden and Caroline, to New York in the 1990s.