Gary Hirte Murders Glenn Kopitske

Gary Hirte was a seventeen year old teen killer from Wisconsin who was convicted of the murder of Glenn Kopitske

According to court documents Gary Hirte wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone and thought that he could commit the perfect murder. Hirte would park his vehicle and walk over to the home of Glenn Kopitske who he would fatally shoot wit a shotgun before leaving the home

Gary Hirte would be arrested, tried to tell the jury that Glenn Kopitske had made a pass at him and this resulted in him killing him, the jury would convict him of murder and he was sentenced to life in prison

Gary Hirte Now

gary hirte today
Name: HIRTE, GARY M Birth Year: 1986
Status:  INCARCERATED  Sub-Status:  Institution:  Waupun Correctional Institution

Gary Hirte Case

A former high school honors student and Eagle Scout was sentenced today to spend at least the next 32 years in prison for what authorities call a cold-blooded thrill killing. But shortly before he was sentenced, the 19-year-old said he “can’t feel guilty” for killing a man in disgust after a homosexual encounter.

“There’s no reason I should be held accountable for this. That’s just the way I feel. I can’t change that,” Gary Hirte told ABC News’ Cynthia McFadden in his first interview about the August 2003 slaying of Glenn Kopitske.

Hirte’s arrest and subsequent murder trial made national headlines because he seemed like such an unlikely suspect. Just 17 years old at the time of the killing, Hirte was a straight-A student and a track, football and wrestling star at his high school in the small town of Weyauwaga, Wis. The victim was a 37-year-old substitute teacher who was found shot and stabbed to death in his own home.

Hirte eventually admitted he killed Kopitske, but asserted that he was out of his mind at the time — driven into a murderous rage after having a homosexual encounter with the older man.

Prosecutors say Hirte committed murder just to see if he could get away with it.

“I really believe in my heart that Gary Hirte had seemingly accomplished everything and he thought he would do the most outrageous [thing], the event that would really make people go ‘Wow, I don’t believe it,'” said Winnebago County District Attorney Bill Lennon.

Hirte pleaded guilty in October to first-degree intentional homicide, but then claimed insanity, so the case went to a jury trial early this year. Hirte said a homosexual encounter with Kopitske sent him into a murderous rage that left him incapable of knowing right from wrong, but a jury rejected that defense.

He was sentenced today to a mandatory life prison term, but the judge said he could be eligible for parole after 32 years. With time served, Hirte will be at least 50 before can leave prison.

Hirte told McFadden he couldn’t feel any remorse over the crime because the person who killed Kopitske was “another me.”

Gary Hirte News

Gary Hirte, a high school scholar, star athlete and Eagle Scout whose name seemed to be in the local paper all the time, is accused of committing murder — not for money, or revenge, but just to see if he could get away with it.

The Weyauwega-Fremont High senior was charged last month in an arrest that was met with shock and disbelief in this small town of 1,800, where Hirte has long been the golden boy. He was accused of killing 37-year-old Glenn Kopitske.

“He wanted to see if he could do this. It was like a challenge for him,” sheriff’s Capt. Steve Verwiel said. “I would attribute it to arrogance.”

Hirte, 18, told friends about the crime, but none of them took him seriously, authorities said. Finally, five months after the slaying, a girl he once dated went to police because she feared he would commit suicide out of remorse.

Accused of stalking and killing
Hirte apparently sought out and stalked Kopitske, a substitute teacher who ran unsuccessfully for state Assembly in 2000, authorities said. Verwiel would not say if the two knew each other.

opitske was found dead Aug. 2 in his rural house outside Weyauwega. He had been shot in the head, stabbed twice in the back and once in the heart.

The arrest has shaken this community about 90 miles north of Madison, tucked between farm fields and home to a cheese production company, a plastic bag producer and a sawmill.

Hirte was the city’s first Eagle Scout in 20 years. He was an honor student and a 6-foot-4, 270-pound member of the track, wrestling and football teams, and has a steady 14-year-old girlfriend. Readers of the town’s weekly paper knew all about his achievements.

“This kid had everything going for him,” Mayor Howard Quimby said. “He can do anything he sets his mind to.”

Quimby, who knows Hirte’s family and worked with him on his Boy Scout merit badges, said he does not believe Hirte killed to see if he could outsmart investigators, adding, “I don’t think anybody in town can believe the situation.”

Defense moves for dismissal
Hirte’s attorneys asked to have the case dismissed Tuesday. Defense attorney Gerald Boyle said Hirte claims he was not involved in the murder. Hirte pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday.

Paul Mayou, who owns the Dairy Queen in Waupaca where Hirte worked weekends for 2½ years, said that when he first heard about Hirte’s arrest, he thought it had to be a hunting accident or maybe an auto wreck. Mayou said he is keeping Hirte’s job open for him.

“We’re standing by him based on what we know about him,” he said.

Mayou said Hirte was polite and quiet, got along with everyone, and despite being one of the football team’s best players, never bragged. “He had a level head and didn’t think too much of himself,” Mayou said.

Gary Hirte had been jailed on $200,000 bail, but Judge Bruce Schmidt on Thursday granted a prosecution request to increase bail to $400,000. Prosecutors expressed fear that he could harm witnesses and said he and his current girlfriend discussed committing suicide together.

For five months, investigators had been stumped by the slaying. Police didn’t look at Hirte as a suspect until a friend, Olivia Thoma, came forward Jan. 1, worried Hirte might harm himself, Verwiel said.

A shocking ‘biggest secret’
According to a police report, Gary Hirte told Thoma about the crime at a county fair a few weeks after the slaying when they agreed to disclose their biggest secrets. She did not take him seriously.

Police recorded a Jan. 28 call between Thoma and Hirte when he described crime details that were not public, Verwiel said. Hirte “stated that one of the reasons that he killed the male individual was to see if he could get away with it,” investigators said in court papers.

Gary Hirte also allegedly told his friend Eric Wenzelow. The two young men had visited Kopitske’s house in July, before the slaying, and Wenzelow thought they were looking for deer, authorities said.

Gary Hirte later told Wenzelow he drove his father’s car to the house, found Kopitske naked and killed him, authorities said.

Police took Hirte into custody at school Jan. 29 and searched his house. His parents “were in disbelief and we had to explain to them exactly why we were there,” Verwiel said.

Police found the dead man’s keys in Hirte’s room and two shotguns in the basement.

Kopitske lived alone and wanted to get into acting and comedy, said his mother. “He was kind of a loner and a little bit different, eccentric, and that made him a target,” Shirley Kopitske said

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