[Nameplate] Overcast ~ 54°F  
High: 62°F ~ Low: 48°F
Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

Police stage reenactment of 1991 homicide

Friday, August 8, 2008

Jack Hacker rearranges flowers Friday at the base of the cross that marks the site where his 28-year old daughter Marsa Gipson was killed 17 years ago. Putnam County Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter and the Indiana State Police are looking for information about the persons responsible for throwing the 22-pound rock which went through the windshield of Gipson's car and killed her.
A 17-year-old Putnam County homicide case may be cold, but authorities have not stopped trying to solve it.

A small section of I-70 westbound west of Putnamville was closed temporarily late Friday morning as Indiana State Police, in conjunction with the Putnam County Prosecutor's Office, revisited the murder case of Marsa Gipson, 28, of Acadia, who was killed on Aug. 27, 1991.

On that day, at least one person threw two rocks from the Manhattan Road overpass of I-70 near mile-marker 33, breaking Gipson's windshield and she drove under the bridge and killing her on impact. The rock was thrown at 1:13 a.m.

According to Prosecutor Tim Bookwalter, there were eight cases of rocks being thrown from overpasses beginning in April 1991 -- one initial case in April, five in July and two in August, ending with Gipson's death. Of the eight cases that year, six occurred at the Manhattan overpass during the early morning hours.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Detective Rick Lang -- who was the chief investigator on the case of Jill Behrman, a 19-year-old Indiana University sophomore who was murdered in 2000 and whose murderer was not convicted until 2006 -- said that the reason for revisiting the case was because these cases are "just like going into battle -- we want one more bullet."

Lang said there is some new evidence in the case.

"There are several individuals we've been interested in since the beginning," he said.

In fact, the number of people of interest was later revealed to be around six.

During the press conference before the reenactment, Gipson's parents and surviving sister spoke with the media.

"August is a bad month for us," said Gipson's father Jack Hacker. "It was Marsa's birthday and also the month that she was taken from us."

Gipson's mother, Zella Hacker, told how someone has added a wooden cross to the back of the white cross they had initially placed at the sight of the overpass. She said that she thought it could have been someone that was involved in the case who had a guilty conscience.

"Hope (that the person will be caught) is all we can have," said Marsa's sister Lori.

Lori read a statement on behalf of the family as well. In it, she said how Marsa now has grandchildren by her two daughters who were 9 and 10 years old at the time of the accident. She also said how Marsa's 45th birthday would have only been days away.

The bulk of the statement was regarding how Gipson's family wished the person or people responsible would come forward.

Lori spoke of how the family and friends of the perpetrators shouldn't be protecting them. She ended by saying, "You still have your family members on earth; we don't get to talk to Marsa ever again."

There has also been a billboard erected on U.S. 231 about a mile north of U.S. 40.

Anyone providing information that leads to an arrest and conviction to the person or people responsible for Gipson's death is eligible to receive a $10,000 reward. Contact Indiana State Police at the Putnamville Post at (800) 225-8576 or Tim Bookwalter at 653-2427 with any information regarding this case.

Note: The nature of the Internet makes it impractical for our staff to review every comment. If you feel that a comment is offensive, please Login or Create an account first, and then you will be able to flag a comment as objectionable. Please also note that those who post comments on bannergraphic.com may do so using a screen name, which may or may not reflect a website user's actual name. Readers should be careful not to assign comments to real people who may have names similar to screen names. Refrain from obscenity in your comments, and to keep discussions civil, don't say anything in a way your grandmother would be ashamed to read.

One should not question information Tim Bookwater and the Indiana State Police reveal regarding Marsa Gipson's murder. One should question information both conceal such as the August 1997 arrest of Larry Eugene Williams for Marsa's murder. One may view many documents at www.govexposed.com. Perhaps Tim Bookwater will explain how he intends to advance prosecution while hiding exculpatory evidence.

-- Posted by Garry on Mon, Aug 11, 2008, at 4:03 PM

I am Marsa Gipson's sister, Lori Hacker. My parents and I sincerely appreciate your story. Your coverage and photos were excellent and we are hoping that your information will help bring those responsible to justice for Marsa and the three of us. Let those who know...tell...and become free in their hearts.

Thank you again!

-Lori Hacker.

-- Posted by hackerpackerbacker2yahoo.com on Tue, Aug 12, 2008, at 3:44 PM

On November 6, 2008, WTHR Channel 13 Eyewitness News investigates published a report revealing police refuse to answer questions regarding a documented arrest in Marsa Gipson's murder investigation. Since police refuse answering questions, how did Mr. Bookwalter expect to advance prosecution while knowing police refuse to answer questions?

-- Posted by Garry on Wed, Nov 19, 2008, at 12:34 PM

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: