Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Thrill Kill: The Murder of Kimberly Cates

Christopher Gribble

 

Christopher Gribble
Christopher Gribble
Christopher Gribble served as Spader's second in command. While Spader slaughtered Kim Cates from one side of the bed with his machete, Gribble is accused of standing at the other side of the bed repeatedly slashing Jaimie Cates with a knife. Gribble, like Spader, was also a former Boy Scout, and before he became entangled with Spader's murderous obsession Gribble had considered joining the Marines. Gribble's military ambitions were surely borne out of considerations other than honor and country, though. Photographs of Gribble posing with his "favorite" knife abound on the Internet. In many of these Gribble sports a braggart's grin as he looks into his computer camera while wearing oversized headphones.

Although Gribble's trial was not scheduled to begin until February 2011, in early December 2010 Gribble surprised the court by pleading not guilty by reason of insanity but admitting to the crimes. If the jury decides that Gribble was, indeed, sane at the time of the attacks he will likely be sentenced to life without parole. If, however, the jury finds that his sanity was compromised, Judge Abramson would be forced to hold a hearing on whether or not Gribble is a danger to society. According to the Associated Press, if the judge ruled that he was a danger to society — which seems consistent with the facts of the case — Gribble would be sentenced to "a secure psychiatric ward of the New Hampshire State Prison He would then be entitled to have a review of his threat to society every five years."

Christopher Gribble
Christopher Gribble
Insanity may be a heavy lift for Gribble's lawyers to prove. According to WMUR New Hampshire, "In his statement to police, Gribble said he had wanted to kill someone for a long time and was disappointed he didn't feel any emotion following the Cates killing. He told police that he and the others planned on burglarizing the home and killing anyone who might be there, just for fun." Though this does seem to indicate a psychopathic disregard for human life, Gribble's methodical actions seem to speak otherwise. When the home invaders approached the house they attempted to gain entry through two different paths. First, they shattered a downstairs window. Second, they removed the plastic side support of an air-conditioner so that Spader could make his way through the house and open the door for his co-assailants. Gribble both smashed the basement glass and removed the piece of the air-conditioner that allowed Spader to enter the house.

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