Lincoln man accused of killing wife with Alzheimer’s dies in hospital | Crime and the Court

Tina McMenamin, an 18-year-old UNL freshman, was stabbed and sexually assaulted in her apartment on July 25, 1995.

Gregory Gabel, a mentally ill Lincoln man, was arrested in the murder and has always been the prime suspect, an investigator said, even after vital DNA evidence failed to link him to crime scene. Gabel has a computer-like memory for numbers and facts as well as a history of following women at businesses and public events, retirement investigator Rich Doetker said in 2005.

McMenamin was killed within minutes of her arrival at Godfather’s Pizza at 5:30 p.m. that night in 1995. Roommate Sarah Boginch found her friend in a pool of blood that night.

“The apartment was ransacked. I passed her bedroom a few times before I noticed her upstairs. My life changed after that. I tried to go back (to college), and I didn’t. can be completed”.

A strand of hair clutched in McMenamin’s hand led the police to Gabel. It matches his DNA, a one-of-a-kind chance. Substantial evidence also links Gabel to the apartment building. And a man matching Gabel’s description was seen fleeing the crime scene, Amberwood Apartments, 4600 Briarpark Drive.

That night, Gabel was in a block in Sonic Drive-In. He’s there every Tuesday night, cleaning in exchange for food. And Gabel previously had convictions for third-degree sexual assault and public indecency. The police arrested him a year after the crime.

But two years later, when another DNA test proved the hair wasn’t Gabel’s, he was released. However, that hair doesn’t necessarily belong to the killer, Doetker said. Investigators also cast doubt on the validity of the second DNA test, conducted in a laboratory in Pennsylvania.

“There are questions that arise: Is that the right hair? Is the hair the same?” he say.

Doetker added that murder charges have been dropped against Gabel in the hope that more evidence will be available to arrest him. Doetker added, if the case goes to trial and Gabel is innocent, he cannot be tried again if new evidence comes to light.

Mary Hepburn-O’Shea, who worked in mental health in Lincoln for decades and knew Gabel for many years, said in 2005 that the man had spent two years in prison for something that didn’t work. he does not.

Hepburn-O’Shea operates downtown OUR Homes, the city’s largest disability care provider, which also fosters people with mental illness. Gabel lives and works there. “He’s a weird kid,” she said. “He was never a violent child.”

At the time, Assistant Sheriff Jim Peschong, speaking in 2005, added that you cannot try a case based on personal beliefs and assumptions. Peschong said he personally believes there is a suspect in the crime, but he declined to name anyone.

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