In the months after he mutilated the body of a Medford woman whom he denied killing, a Port Jefferson Station man told a Suffolk homicide detective he had been "so upset" about it, the detective testified Friday in State Supreme Court.
"He said he's not eating anymore or going to bars to pick up girls," said Det. Philip Frendo, testifying about his interrogation of Evans Ganthier after arresting him on Feb. 8, 2010. "He said he could just picture someone doing something like this to his sister."
The something Ganthier was referring to was cutting off all the fingertips and toes, both ears, nose, hair and two tattoos from the body of Rebecca Koster, whom he'd met in a bar, Frendo testified. Then Ganthier took the body on the ferry to Connecticut, where he set it on fire.
But he consistently denied stabbing Koster to death, insisting instead that she tripped over dumbbells in his garage and hit her head, Frendo said.
"He said he and his girlfriend were always tripping on stuff on the floor," Frendo said.
Frendo was testifying at a pretrial hearing to determine whether Ganthier's statements will be admissible at trial. Justice Richard Ambro will rule after the hearing concludes next week.
Ganthier was so upset that he couldn't enjoy himself with his girlfriend in Atlantic City and told her what he'd done, Frendo said.
"I told him I was surprised he would tell her," Frendo said, adding that Ganthier told him his girlfriend was upset.
"I said that's understandable," Frendo said. "She may feel she's next."
"That's exactly what she said," Ganthier replied, according to Frendo.
Ganthier later asked if he could meet Koster's family to apologize, but Frendo said Det. Susan Nolan suggested he write them a letter instead.
"After she passed away, I should have reacted the right way, but like a self-centered idiot, I panicked," he wrote in the letter, which police retained. "I sorry for all the things to her body."