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DNA Helps Solve 20-Year-Old Spokane Murder

patrick kevin gibson
(courtesy national sex offender registry website)

The statute of limitations on murder is… never. But before DNA testing many cases went unsolved.

That might have been the case in the 1992 shooting death of a Spokane Valley furniture store owner except this week the gunman was convicted after DNA taken from a fake beard found at the crime scene was a match to the suspect.

60-year-old Patrick Kevin Gibson was arrested in western Washington last fall in connection with the shooting death of Brian Cole on Nov. 7, 1992. Gibson reportedly threatened Cole’s wife — who was in a wheelchair — then shot the victim. The case had gone cold for 19 years until DNA from a fake beard led police to arrest Gibson. His trial was delayed because the original piece of DNA evidence from a hat from the scene had been re-used for an episode of “America’s Most Wanted,” potentially tainting the sample.

Gibson was not only described as a ‘serial robber,’ but was a registered sex offender as well. The case has been described as one of the most sensational criminal stories in Spokane’s recent history.

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