Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Z_CNHI News Service

October 22, 2013

Indiana man on trial for first of three murders

NEW ALBANY, Ind. — Accused killer William Clyde Gibson III described how he murdered a 75-year-old woman, mutilated her body, then went to have a drink at a local bar, according to a videotaped interview shown during the the first day of his trial.

The interview depicts a gruesome murder and a man struggling with his demons leading to the killing of Christine Whitis, a longtime friend of Gibson's late mother. Gibson's trial began Monday in a Floyd County, Ind., court. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Gibson is also charged in the murders of Stephanie Kirk, 35, and Karen Hodella, 45, for which he is scheduled for separate trials.

Prosecutor Keith Henderson told a jury that Gibson, 56, lured Whitis to his New Albany home on April 18, 2012, on the pretense he was grieving the death of his mother three months earlier. He sexually assaulted Whitis before killing her, Henderson said.

The next day he mutilated her body then took her minivan to eat lunch at a Hooters restaurant. One of his sisters came by the house, discovered Whitis' body in the garage, and called police.

The trial, which is expected to last two weeks, started with jurors watching more than an hour of a video recording of a police interview with Gibson. In the recording Gibson admits to murdering Whitis, dragging her to the garage and mutilating her body before going for a drink at a local bar. A friend later came by his house for drinks, unaware of the murder or of Whitis' body.

During opening remarks, the prosecutor described Whitis as an active, vibrant widow who was close to her son and grandchildren. “She is loved, and she loved,” Henderson said.

Kirk, who went missing in March 2012, was found buried in Gibson's backyard eight days after Whitis' body was discovered. Hodella, a Florida woman, was visiting the area when she went missing a decade earlier.  Her body was discovered in a wooded area near the Ohio River in January 2003.

Gary Popp writes for the News and Tribune in Jeffersonville, Ind.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Z_CNHI News Service
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Another stumble begs questions about Notre Dame

    Notre Dame's vaunted reputation for formidable athletics and serious academics is again sullied by a cheating scandal. Maybe the high standards of the Fighting Irish are just too good to be true.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ice bucket challenge trending up

    Internet trends are a dime a dozen these days. Everything from Tebowing to planking to the cinnamon challenge can cause a wave of social media activity that can last for weeks before fizzling out.

    August 19, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Debate filled with 'hate' gives Hamas a pass

    Political invective is dialed to the max, and everyone who disagrees is a "hater." But the hate police, who are so eager to cast labels, are ignoring the real wells of contempt in the Middle East.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg OU player's suspension shows pitfalls of addressing sexual assault on campus

    The University of Oklahoma's leading tackler is suspended for the season - or maybe not. Frank Shannon is still practicing with the Sooners amid a court battle over whether OU can discipline him after a sexual assault investigation. The tough issue of addressing assault on campus isn't just OU's problem.

    August 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can 6 seconds launch a career? A generation of Vine stars sure hopes so.

    A year ago, Shawn Mendes filmed himself singing a tentative acoustic cover of the Justin Bieber song "As Long as You Love Me" and put the results on Vine. He wasn't expecting much response. "I didn't really want anything to happen; I just kind of wanted to see what people would think," says Mendes, 16. "I posted that first Vine and woke up the next morning with 10,000 followers. That was pretty cool."

    August 14, 2014

  • Freshman.jpg 8 crucial tips for college freshmen

    With school starting back up around the country, no one has a bigger deer-in-the-headlights look than college freshmen.

    August 14, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Water Bottles Recalled for Safety Researcher Testing On-Field Concussion Scanners
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller