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William Clyde GIBSON III





Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Sadist - Rapist - Mutilation
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: October 10, 2002 / March 27, 2012 / April 19, 2012
Date of arrest: April 2012
Date of birth: October 10, 1957
Victims profile: Karen Hodella, 44 / Stephanie Kirk, 35 / Christine Whitis, 75
Method of murder: Strangulation - Stabbing with knife
Location: Floyd County, Indiana, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 26, 2013. Sentenced to 65 years in prison on April 17, 2014. Sentenced to death on August 15, 2014
photo gallery

Southern Indiana serial killer gets 2nd death sentence

Baylee Pulliam -

August 15, 2014

Serial killer William Clyde Gibson was condemned Friday to die for the murder of Stephanie Kirk, whose body was buried in his New Albany, Ind., backyard.

Gibson gave short, one-word answers to Floyd Superior Court Judge Susan Orth’s questions, and turned in his chair as she detailed the brutal murder: how Kirk died after Gibson put his “hands in front of her throat” to strangle her, according to his own confession.

Death was the “only appropriate sentence,” Orth said in her nearly 30-page sentencing order.

It was the second death penalty for Gibson, who also was condemned last fall in the murder of family friend Christine Whitis.

Although Gibson can appeal, the sentence came as a relief to members of Kirk’s family in attendance Friday.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” said Tony Kirk, her father. “There was a little weight lifted. I’ve been waiting two years to hear that.”

Gibson, 56, had pleaded guilty to killing Kirk after jury selection in the case began, leading Orth to hear testimony this month on whether he should be sentenced to die.

Kirk’s body was found in April 2012, just days after police found Whitis’ mutilated body in his garage.

Police said during testimony that Kirk’s back had been broken. Both Kirk, 35, and Whitis, 75, were sexually assaulted after they were killed, police said.

Gibson also has been sentenced to 65 years in prison after pleading guilty to the 2002 murder of Florida beautician Karen Hodella, whose remains were found in Clarksville along the Ohio River.

Orth on Friday set Gibson’s initial execution date for Kirk’s murder as Aug. 15, 2015.

Orth had previously set a tentative execution date of Nov. 26 for Gibson in Whitis’ murder, though both dates could change because of automatic appeals.

Death penalty cases go directly to the Indiana Supreme Court for review, Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said.

In arguing against the second death sentence, defense attorney Patrick Biggs had cited Gibson’s history of alcoholism and bipolar disorder, and his “remorseful” confession.

But if Gibson was remorseful, “the judge didn’t see it,” Henderson said following the sentencing. He cited a tattoo Gibson received in prison: “Death Row X3,” printed in large letters across the back of his head.

“We can’t make someone be sorry,” Henderson said. “But what we can do is hold them accountable, and that’s what we did.”


William Clyde Gibson pleads guilty in third murder

June 3, 2014

Twice convicted murderer William Clyde Gibson pleaded guilty to a third murder Tuesday, abruptly ending jury selection for his capital trial in the slaying of Stephanie Kirk.

The plea came after Gibson, his defense lawyers, prosecutors and Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth and staff members spent 12 hours Monday in an Evansville courtroom choosing jurors for Gibson’s trial that was supposed to start June 16.

Instead, Gibson told his lawyers early Tuesday he wanted to plead guilty, waving his right to trial by jury. Orth will hear evidence July 28 before deciding on his penalty and sentence.

“I was surprised,” Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said in a phone interview as he was returning from Vanderburgh County. “Why he decided at this point to plead guilty, I can’t say.”

But “I’m pleased for the family, and I’m pleased for the community that they don’t have to go through a trial,” he said.

Messages left for Gibson defense lawyer Andrew Adams were not returned Tuesday afternoon.

If Gibson’s case concludes as expected next month, it would mark the final resolution of three bizarre, disturbing homicides that came to light just over two years ago. It began after police discovered the strangled, mutilated body of 75-year-old Clarksville resident Christine Whitis, a family friend, in Gibson’s garage in 2012.

They later dug up Gibson’s yard to recover the body of Kirk, 35, a Charlestown woman who disappeared March 25, 2012. Henderson filed death penalty charges in both women’s deaths, and a felony murder charge after Gibson admitted to fatally stabbing Karen Hodella of Port Orange, Fla. in October 2002.

Like Hodella, Kirk had met Gibson at a tavern. The woman had gone to see a friend, then headed to the Uptown Bar on Vincennes Street in New Albany, where she’d mentioned plans to see a guy she’d met the night before to go motorcycle riding.

Worried when his daughter didn’t return home, Kirk’s father Tony dialed her cellphone and got no answer. She never was heard from again. Police said Gibson had sexually assaulted and strangled Kirk before burying her body.

Hodella’s murder was just as violent. He admitted stabbing the beautician multiple times and carrying her body in his pickup before dumping it beside the Ohio River. Hodella’s death had gone unsolved until Gibson confessed after his arrest in April 2012.

A bizarre twist surfaced two months later, when Gibson wrote to a Courier-Journal reporter from the Floyd County jail, saying he’d accept the death penalty in the slayings because “after all I am guilty.” That prompted the judge to impose a protective order prohibiting the defendant from having contact with law enforcement and the media to prevent him from incriminating himself.

Gibson was given the death penalty for Whitis’ murder and scheduled for execution Nov. 26, but the date was expected to be set aside based on automatic appeals. This spring, the 56-year-old man was sentenced to 65 years in Hodella’s murder after he agreed to a plea deal.

Gibson has remained mostly silent during the proceedings, except to say at the Whitis sentencing that he thought getting death was fair — “I deserve what I’m getting. It ain’t no big deal.”

Henderson said he’s satisfied that seeking death in the two cases was the right thing to do. But ending the prosecutions now “is good for the (Kirk) family and the community.”


Indiana man gets 65-year sentence in 2002 killing

April 17, 2014

A southern Indiana man already facing the death penalty has been sentenced to 65 years in prison for a Florida woman's 2002 slaying.

A Floyd County judge sentenced 56-year-old William Clyde Gibson III on Thursday for the October 2002 murder of Karen Sue Hodella. Gibson pleaded guilty in March to killing the Port Orange, Fla., woman, whose body was found in early 2003 in Clarksville near the Ohio River.

Gibson was sentenced to death in November after jurors convicted him of killing his mother's best friend, 75-year-old Christine Whitis, during a 2012 attack in New Albany.

He's scheduled to stand trial in June in the murder of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk. The Charlestown woman's remains were found buried in Gibson's backyard days after his arrest in Whitis' death.


Convicted Murderer Changes Plea in 2nd Capital Murder Case

March 20, 2014

Convicted killer William Clyde Gibson has changed the plea from not guilty to guilty, in his 2nd of 3 capital cases. He now admits to having killed Karen Hodella in October 2002.

In court, he also sported conspicuous new ink. Already on Indiana's death row for his conviction last year in the murder of his mother's best friend Christine Whitis, Gibson will be formally sentenced next month to the maximum non-death-penalty term in Indiana, 65 years. Gibson has a new tattoo, "Death Row X 3," on the back of his head.

Henderson says the judge has already acted, ordering he not be given haircuts between now and June, the start of his 3rd case's trial. That's due to the concern that the tattoo could prejudice a jury. Henderson also plans to address with Indiana's Corrections Department just how such a tattoo could be allowed to be done on an inmate on death row. The Department stated in an email it doesn't have a photo of the new tattoo, but if any inmate is found to have gotten a new one while in custody, he gets a conduct violation.

Penalties for such violations can include loss of privileges including any good time credits. The June trial will be for Gibson's alleged murder of 35-year-old Stephanie Kirk, whose body was found buried in his yard.


Execution set in brutal southern Indiana killing

November 26, 2013

A judge in Floyd County sentenced convicted murderer William Clyde Gibson to death and set a tentative date of Nov. 26, 2014 for his execution Tuesday morning.

Gibson said after Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth announced his execution date that “I deserve what I’m getting. It ain’t no big deal.”

He asked that the court dispense quickly with his next two murder trials. “It’s my right,” Gibson told Orth.

In the recently concluded capital murder case, Gibson was accused of strangling and sexually assaulting Clarksville resident Christine Whitis, a family friend and grandmother who’d come to his New Albany home to comfort Gibson following his mother’s death.

Investigators testified during last month’s trial that the brutality of the 2012 slaying stunned them. Evidence presented in court showed that Gibson strangled Whitis, and broke her ribs and lower spine before cutting off her breast with a kitchen knife and placing it in the glove compartment of the woman’s van.

Police tracked down the 56-year-old Gibson at the wheel of Whitis’ van at Walmart on Grant Line Road in New Albany, a half mile from the crime scene. Gibson’s sister had found Whitis’ body dumped beside some garbage bags inside his garage and called police.

Under Indiana law, the death sentence also is automatically appealed to the Indiana Supreme Court. Two additional appeals involving post-conviction review and federal habeas corpus review of constitutional rights also are provided unless a defendant decides to forgo them.

In Indiana, executions are performed with lethal injections.

After reading his sentence at the conclusion of a brief hearing, Orth appeared to choke up as she said, “Mr. Gibson, may God have mercy on your soul.”

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said after the proceeding that Gibson clearly has no remorse for the crimes and deserves what he’s getting. The man’s request for a fast and speedy trial means that the court likely will need to schedule a date within the next six months for his second trial in Kirk’s death.

Gibson faces a second death penalty murder of Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, whose body was found buried in Gibson’s yard after Whitis’ corpse was discovered. A third case, a non-capital murder charge, centers on Karen Hodella, a 44-year-old Florida woman whom Gibson admitted stabbing to death in late 2002.

A jury from Dearborn County was transported to New Albany last month to ensure Gibson received a fair trial from people who weren’t exposed to pre-trial publicity about the crimes. Dearborn jurors returned the death penalty after deliberating just 17 minutes on an initial guilt phase of the trial.


William Clyde Gibson found guilty of murder

Jury deliberated for 17 minutes

October 26, 2013

NEW ALBANY, Ind. —After five days of graphic testimony, a jury in New Albany found William Clyde Gibson guilty of the murder of Christine Whitis.

Whitis was killed in April 2012.

In closing arguments, the prosecution showed graphic pictures to say that Gibson coldly, brutally and intentionally killed Whitis for sexual pleasure and to steal money.

The defense said Gibson was a drunk who was in mourning for his mother, and just wanted to have sex with Whitis, not kill her.

"If there was ever a case relevant for the death penalty to be filed, it would be this one," said Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson.

The week's testimony provided a gruesome timetable of events.

Gibson, who had recently lost his mother, called 74-year-old Christine Whitis, who was a friend of Gibson's mother, saying he needed someone to talk to.

She went to the house, where authorities said she was tortured, bound with duct tape, sexually assaulted, her back broken and had one of her breasts cut off with a kitchen knife.

Gibson's defense team said he never meant to kill the woman, but was acting under the influence of marijuana and alcohol.

Prosecutors called it a planned act, labeling it one of the most gruesome cases they've ever tried.

"(It's) very disturbing, very gruesome, very difficult," said Henderson.

It was difficult, too, for family members, who left the courtroom in tears. One simply said justice was served.

"I think it's at least some sense of relief for the victim's family to be able to see 12 independent people reach a verdict of guilty," said Henderson. "I think that's some sense of relief for them. But again, our work is not done, we have the second phase on Monday, and we look forward to that."

Even before closings, both sides argued what charges the jury should even consider.

"I argued that the words from the defendant's own statement, that he 'flipped out,' or something to that effect," said Henderson.

In addition to murder, the defense wanted to add voluntary manslaughter.

Lead defense attorney J. Patrick Biggs claimed that Gibson testified that he flew in a blind rage when Whitis stopped his sexual advances.

"Their argument was that that was sudden heat. Our case law in Indiana says that's not sudden heat. That has to be fighting words that would provoke a reasonable person, and in this case, I don't think those words would provoke a reasonable person when they're asked to stop because, 'What would your mother think?'" said Henderson.

The judge denied the voluntary manslaughter charge.

The defense called only one witness, Detective Ken Fudge with the New Albany Police Department.

He was questioned about the garbage bags, chainsaw and other tools in Gibson's garage where family found Whitis' body. The defense tried to discredit the state's belief Gibson had plans of disposing of Whitis' body.

"We believe by the placement of the bags, near the body of Whitis as well as the location of the chainsaw, that suggests evidence he was going to dispose of the body," said Henderson.

After 25 minutes, the defense rested its case.

"I'm confident that there is sufficient evidence that the jury will come back guilty," said Henderson.

The jury deliberated for 17 minutes before coming back with the guilty verdict.

The penalty phase will begin at 9 a.m. Monday. Henderson said that could take two or three days. Gibson is facing the death penalty.

This is first trial of three for Gibson. He is also charged in the killings of Karen Hodella and Stephanie Kirk.

Those trials are expected to begin next year.


William Clyde Gibson murder prosecution rests, closing arguments expected Friday

October 25, 2013

Prosecutors rested their case Thursday in the William Clyde Gibson’s capital murder trial and the closing arguments in the gruesome case could be made as early as Friday afternoon.

Defense attorney Patrick Biggs told Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth that he expects to be done calling witnesses by noon Friday and Orth told attorneys to be prepared to deliver their closing arguments to the jury shortly afterward.

Jurors and family members of murder victim Christine Whitis watched in horror Thursday morning as Dr. Amy Burrows-Beckham, the forensic pathologist at the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s office who performed Whitis’ autopsy, described graphic photos displaying her many injuries.

Whitis, 75, of Clarksville, had been a close friend of Gibson’s mother, who died the previous January. Now, Gibson is standing trial for her murder, one of three women he is accused of killing in Southern Indiana.

Burrows-Beckham, who has conducted several thousand autopsies, determined hemorrhages in her neck muscles and fractures of a bone in her neck showed Whitis had been strangled. She likely died about 24 hours before Gibson’s sister found her body in the Gibson family garage on April 19, 2012.

She also pointed out photos that illustrated swelling, scrapes and bruises on her face, as well as cuts, scrapes, bruises and what she believed to be a bite mark on Whitis’ genital area. The latter injuries could only have been caused by sexual assault, likely while Whitis was alive, Burrows-Beckham said.

It’s the first of several thousand autopsies Burrows-Beckham has done where she has seen an open wound where a person’s breast had been amputated, an injury she believes was caused by a sharp object, such as a knife, either as Whitis was dying or after she died.

Whitis’ lower spine was fractured and she had fractured ribs, which Burrows-Beckham said could only be caused by great force.

Swelling on Whitis’ scalp indicates blunt force, possibly from her head hitting the concrete floor of the garage, Burrows-Beckham said.

Jurors also heard from Robert Getrost, a neighbor who testified he had no idea Whitis’ body was in Gibson’s garage when he drank whiskey in Gibson’s living room on the night of April 18, 2012.

Prosecutors also called two Hooters waitresses who testified that Gibson sat at the Clarksville restaurant for four hours the following afternoon.

The final prosecution witness was Mike Whitis, the only child of the murder victim, who got choked up as Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson handed him his mother’s purse and asked him to confirm it was hers.

Mike Whitis, a childhood friend of Gibson, described his mother as a kind woman who had a strong commitment to family and friends. He said she would always stand up for the underdog, which he believes led her to answer Gibson’s call.

“She always felt like Clyde especially needed a little help,” he said, adding she “didn't think he got a fair shake in life.”

Besides Whitis’ murder, Gibson is charged in the slayings of Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, and Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, Fla.

Kirk’s body was unearthed in his backyard in the days after he was arrested. Hodella was stabbed to death in 2002, and her body was found near the Ohio River in Clarksville.

Investigators said Kirk had been sexually assaulted.


Arguments begin Monday in William Clyde Gibson's first capital murder trial in Floyd County

October 21, 2013

Opening arguments are expected to begin in Floyd County Monday in the first of two capital murder trials scheduled for triple-murder suspect William Clyde Gibson.

The 12-person jury and five alternates from Dearborn County are being sequestered in New Albany during the trial, which is expected to last two to three weeks.

In the first trial, Gibson is charged with slaying family friend Christine Whitis, 75, of Clarksville, whose strangled and mutilated body was found in Gibson’s garage in New Albany.

For the death penalty to be imposed under Indiana law, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that at least one aggravating circumstance — other crimes like rape, burglary and arson — occurred during the killing.

Prosecutors will argue in the Whitis case that the aggravating circumstances are dismemberment and sexual assault.

George Streib, Gibson’s lead public defender, said last month during a pre-trial hearing that dismemberment should be dismissed as a possible aggravating circumstance because it isn’t well defined under state law and case law mainly deals with murders where the body parts are removed for disposal.

Steven Owen, Floyd County’s chief deputy prosecutor, told Floyd Circuit Judge Susan Orth that evidence presented will show Gibson, 55, cut off one of Whitis’ breasts and intended to dispose of at least some of her body parts, because her body was found lying next to a chain saw and a roll of plastic bags.

“And the facts will show he tried to cut off her other breast,” Owen said.

Whitis was the best friend of Gibson’s mother, Jeraline Gibson, who died in January 2012.

Orth denied the defense’s motion to dismiss dismemberment as a possible aggravating circumstance, as well as motions to exclude autopsy photos and “gruesome and gory depictions of the crime scene ” — meaning the five men and seven women jurors are expected to hear and see many graphic details during the trial.

Gibson was arrested in April 2012 and charged in the slaying of Whitis, as well as Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, and Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, Fla.

Kirk’s body was unearthed in Gibson’s backyard. Hodella was stabbed to death in 2002, and her body was found near the Ohio River in Clarksville.

Investigators said both Whitis and Kirk also had been sexually assaulted.

Orth ordered the prosecution and its witnesses not to speak of the two other alleged murders during the trial over Whitis’ death without first petitioning the court outside the jury’s presence.


Accused murderer William Clyde Gibson competent for trial, psychologist agrees

September 24, 2012

Two specialists have told a Floyd County judge that they believe triple-murder suspect William Clyde Gibson III is competent to stand trial.

Psychologist Heather Henderson-Galligan submitted a report to Floyd Superior Judge Susan Orth last week that evidently agrees with the findings of a psychiatrist who also evaluated Gibson.

Reports by both Henderson-Galligan and psychiatrist Steven Shelton have been sealed in Gibson’s criminal file. But an online court docket shows both reached the same conclusion on Gibson’s competency.

He is charged with strangling family friend Christine Whitis, 75, of Clarksville, and leaving her mutilated body in the garage of his home in April.

Gibson also is accused of strangling Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, whose remains were found buried in his yard last spring. Prosecutors also allege that Gibson stabbed Karen Hodella, 44, of Port Orange, Fla., in October 2002. Her body was found three months later near the Ohio River in Clarksville.

Whitis’ murder trial has been set for Feb. 18.

Gibson has been in custody since his April arrest and is being held at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. Orth granted a request from Gibson’s public defenders for a protective order prohibiting him from having contact with law enforcement, the media and the public until he has undergone a mental evaluation and a competency hearing is held.

The restraining order was intended to prevent Gibson from saying things that would incriminate him. He previously said in a letter to The Courier-Journal that he is guilty of the killings and willing to admit it in court.

A pretrial hearing in Gibson’s case is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday to discuss a date for the competency hearing and a potential change of venue for the February trial.

Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson said after last’s week’s closed-door hearing that Orth is leaning toward selecting a jury in another county and bringing it to Floyd for the proceedings.

Neither of Gibson’s lawyers, George Streib and John Patrick Biggs, returned phone messages left at their offices Monday. Henderson also did not return a phone message to his office.

Under the law in Indiana and most states, a judge must determine if a defendant is mentally competent to stand trial. The legal standard is that the person must understand the proceedings and be able to assist lawyers with his defense.


Sex offender confesses to murder of three women in letter to newspaper... and says he expects death penalty

June 9, 2012

A man accused of killing three women told a local newspaper that he will accept the death penalty - adding, 'After all, I am guilty.'

William Clyde Gibson III, 54, of New Albany, Indiana, wrote in a letter to The Courier-Journal that he told the prosecuting attorney that he would plead guilty, 'just to save some more heartache.'

Gibson was arrested in April for strangling Stephanie Kirk, 35, and Christine Whitis, 75, along with the stabbing death of Karen Hodella, 44.

The convicted sex offender responded this week to the Courier-Journal's request for an interview with the letter.

He refused to sit down and discuss the case with the Louisville, Kentucky publication.

Gibson is currently being held at the Floyd County Jail in Indiana.

In his letter, Gibson told the reporter: 'I would be more than happy to write back to you any questions you may have for me.'

However, the accused murderer would only answer questions via mail, he went on to say.

Not guilty pleas have been entered on Gibson's behalf.

His attorney, chief Floyd County public defender J. Patrick Briggs, told the newspaper he intends to 'vigorously defend him.'

Gibson is charged with capital murder for the deaths of Ms Kirk and Ms Whitis. Both women were sexually assaulted and sodomized, police said.

In April, Police found the remains of Ms Kirk, of Charleston, Indiana, in the backyard of Gibson's home.

Ms Whitis, of Clarksville, Indiana was found mutiliated inside the man's garage.

Gibson is also charged with stabbing Ms Hodella to death in 2002. Her body was found near the Ohio River in Clarksville in January 2003.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in the case of Ms Hodella's murder.

During that time, Gibson had been arrested on drunken-driving charges after police spotted him driving Ms Whitis's car.

Gibson has a lengthy prison record.

The Courier-Journal reported he was sentenced to seven years in prison after pleading guilty to robbery and sexual abuse in a 1991 attack on a woman at a mall in downtown Louisville.

Court records show he fondled her and stole her purse after pushing her into a phone booth, and later he said he had been drinking and using cocaine.

Records also show he had arrests for assault, wanton endangerment and driving drunk.

In 1992, Gibson told a psychologist that 'it's hard to predict what I might do,' when he drinks heavily. But in 1999, a psychologist found Gibson was at 'low risk' for being arrested again as a sex offender.

The accused murderer also has been charged with being a habitual offender, listing convictions on 10 charges in eight cases between 1992 and 2007.

Gibson was discharged from the Army for bad conduct in 1979 and had spent a year in the military prison at Leavenworth, Kansas, The Courier-Journal reported.

His trial in the murder cases is set for August 27.


The trail of an accused murderer

Records show significant jail time for Gibson

May 11, 2012

Police are working on tracking the steps of a New Albany man, charged in two murders and connected to a third.

William Clyde Gibson III, 54, has been charged with the murders of 75-year-old Christine Whitis, of Clarksville, and 45-year-old Karen Hodella, whose family said she is from Florida and was visiting Jeffersonville at the time of her death. Whitis was found strangled in Gibson’s garage April 19. Hodella’s body was found in a wooded area near the Ohio River in January 2003. She had been missing since October 2002. The body of Stephanie Kirk, 35, of Charlestown, was found buried in Gibson’s backyard in the 800 block of Woodbourne Drive, in New Albany, on April 27. She had been missing since March 25. Prosecutor Keith Henderson has not yet filed charges against Gibson on the third victim.

“We’re trying to track his timeline at least for the last decade,” said Maj. Keith Whitlow, with the New Albany Police Department. “Things like employment and travels and anything like that that would put him in another location besides New Albany, Indiana, we’re looking at that.”

Gibson’s incarceration history in Indiana and Kentucky shows he spent a lot of time behind bars for various crimes, including sexual assault, auto theft, possession of stolen property and more. However, there are many weeks, months and, in some cases, years between charges. For example, Hodella went missing in October 2002. Gibson was free at that time, but was arrested on Nov. 1, 2002. His last arrest, prior to being arrested in connection to the murders, was on March 6, 2007. He was released on Sept. 8, 2009.

Police haven’t released any information on additional victims since Kirk’s body was found. However, Whitlow said they are still investigating.

“We’re going to make sure this thing is thoroughly investigated and if there is any more victims out there, we can discover them,” he said.

When asked if Gibson is being taken out of the jail to help in the investigation, he said he could not say. Floyd County Jail officials said they could not reveal if Gibson has been in the facility 24-7.

“We’re going to do everything morally, legally and ethically possible to investigate this case and determine if any other crimes have been committed,” Whitlow said.

He said the FBI is helping the department with that effort, by connecting them to a databank on missing persons and recovered remains. However, he said that the rumor that Gibson may be connected to Lauren Spierer, an Indiana University student who disappeared in June of 2011, is purely “media speculation.” He added that it would be remiss of the department to not investigate every lead and every missing person in proximity to where Gibson could have been.


Investigators have been seen at Gibson’s home, using technology to scan what could possibly be located underground. They have also been searching inside his home, loading many items, including a couch, end tables and more, to a large storage trailer, parked in the driveway. Until recently, an officer has been keeping watch on the property. On Thursday, citizens were seen crossing the police tape to take a closer look at the home and backyard.

“That was an unexpected event that people would actually start going onto the property,” Whitlow said. “We’re going to re-evaluate and possibly put someone out there to keep an eye out.”

Neighbor Susie Ledbetter said she can’t wait for police to be finished with the home, since so many people are making it a tourist location.

“It’s getting a little old,” she said.

She said Gibson was always friendly and would say hi, until around August 2011, when his mother was put in a nursing home. His mother died Jan. 18 of this year.

“He just quit talking to everybody and wouldn’t have anything to do with anybody around here,” she said.



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