William Clyde Gibson sentenced to 65 years in prison - WDRB 41 Louisville News

William Clyde Gibson sentenced to 65 years in prison

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A killer has received 65 years in prison on top of the death penalty.

It's a definitive move that ensures that an accused killer will never be free again -- and there's still one more case to go.

It's a story of murder by the numbers. Police say Karen Hodella is the first person William Clyde Gibson killed: a 44-year-old Florida woman, found stabbed to death near the Ohio River in Clarksville, Ind.

Thursday, 14 years after the crime, Gibson learned the punishment: 65 years in prison. No probation. No parole. He must serve the time if he's alive

"This has been a meticulous process," said Floyd County Prosecutor Keith Henderson. "Sometimes it seems slow, but I believe we're doing it the way it needs to be done and getting justification for the victims and putting him away properly."

It's Gibson's second conviction. Last summer, a jury sentenced him to death for mutilating and murdering Christine Whitis. Investigators found the 75-year-old woman's remains in the garage of his New Albany home.

"He is a plague on society, and I am glad he is going to go away," said Mike Whitis, Christine Whitis' son, in an interview from Oct. 2013.

That leaves only one more trial, for the murder of Stephanie Kirk. The 35-year-old Charlestown woman was found buried in Gibson's backyard.

The state is pairing down 500 potential jurors from Vanderburgh County to the 12 who will decide if he should die for this crime.

"So we're on track to try that case in June," Henderson said.

No matter how the cases end, one question remains, as Karen Hodella's daughter told us last year.

"Why? I want to know," Michelle Ruckerm, Hodella's oldest daughter said in Oct. 2013. "I don't know anything. I have no closure.

But Gibson was silent Thursday, holding the answer for himself.

In a story of murder by the numbers, there are no happy endings.

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