PA PA - Joy Hibbs, 36, Bristol Township, 19 April 1991

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by SunnieRN, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN Active Member

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    This article was mentioned in another thread, due to the circumstances surrounding Joy;s death. She was stabbed and then her body was set on fire.

    Apparently, her son, who discovered her body, came home from school, tried to enter the house and black smoke billowed out the door.

    Joy's husband was ruled out, as he had been at work, where fellow construction workers validated that he was working. Here is the article this information comes from:

    http://www.phillyburbs.com/news/cri...cle_d768484e-3e8d-5e6f-b66b-929c93906330.html

    snip:

    In an hour, David Hibbs learned his mother was dead. In two days, he found out someone strangled and stabbed her before setting fire to their Bristol Township home.
    Joy Hibbs, 36, died in her son's bedroom - one of his computer's cords wrapped around her neck. Her killing, which occurred 20 years ago this month, remains unsolved.

    For years, the case has been cold, stymied from the beginning by a charred and waterlogged crime scene, police said. The closest the cops came to a suspect was a pot dealer who knew Joy Hibbs and her husband, according to retired Bristol Township Detective Lieutenant Richard Bilson. An alibi and the lack of hard evidence ended their pursuit of the man, Bilson said.
    But David Hibbs is far from satisfied with the efforts of Bristol Township police. He wants to know what happened to the evidence, which according to 1991 news accounts included a flannel shirt, possibly stained with blood, which had been tossed into a closet and didn't belong to his father.


    Charlie Hibbs worked construction; Joy at the front desk of Dr. Leon Cattolico's medical practice in Bensalem. The doctor said he hired her on the spot.
    "Everybody in the office loved her," said Dr. Cattolico, who now lives in Arizona. "So did the patients. When this happened, it was just dreadful. It hurt my office staff and my family."

    Guilt consumed her son. She died in his room. He thought he did something wrong, like leave his computer on too long, causing her to die trying to extinguish the blaze.
    But an autopsy the following day revealed that Joy Hibbs was strangled and stabbed five times - in the neck, back, stomach and abdomen. Smoke from the fire never entered her lungs.

    <modsnip>


    There is more information in the article, but unfortunately no leads. I am hoping some of you wonderful Websleuthers can find more information on this case!
     
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  3. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN Active Member

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    http://articles.philly.com/1991-07-22/news/25783501_1_bilson-license-plate-neighbors

    snip:

    The murder of Joy Hibbs, 36, on a narrow street of trim homes and neat lawns in the Croydon Acres section of Bristol Township, Bucks County, has baffled police, who say they have no suspect, no motive and no clues.

    The slaying occurred on a warm, sunny Friday between noon and 1 p.m.

    Several of her neighbors on Spencer Drive, where the houses are only 12 to 15 feet apart, were home that day with doors and windows open.

    A few were outside and within yards of the death struggle.

    Yet none of them heard or saw any sign of the violence inside.

    The last people to see her before the killer may have been two men from Bensalem Baptist Church, who visited that morning to talk and pray with her on an evangelizing visit.

    Detective Lt. Richard Bilson said the Bristol Township police were stymied. His five-inch-thick file on the case offers few clues.

    "It's unusual when you don't have something to go on," he said.

    The only thing out of the ordinary that two neighbors saw that day was a car they didn't recognize parked three feet from the curb in front of Hibbs' house: a 1980s-model, dark-blue Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

    Bilson said they did not notice the license plate of the car, which was seen at 12:30 and gone by 1 p.m.

    "I can't even say for sure the car was involved in the case. All I know is it didn't belong to anyone who lived on the street. But chances are whoever drove the car had something to do with it."

    And:

    Although three months have passed since Joy Hibbs was killed, the neighborhood is still filled with fear.

    "My daughter-in-law was in the back yard playing with the dogs, and she didn't hear anything. Not a sound," said Rose Craft, 55, who lives next door to the Hibbs house. "That's one of the things that makes it so scary. Somebody got in and out so quickly and killed her without making a sound."
     
  4. SunnieRN

    SunnieRN Active Member

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  5. Unsolved

    Unsolved New Member

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    There was an article about this case in the Huffington Post today (3/26/14). I hope I'm allowed to post the link to it:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/joy-hibbs-murder_n_4991710.html

    In reading the article I wonder about the pot dealer who wouldn't take a polygraph, because he complained of a "torn nerve in my shoulder".

    Did LE check this out and make sure it wasn't a stab wound in his shoulder instead?
     
  6. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    From the Huffington Post article: :(
    [​IMG]
    Angie, Joy and David Hibbs


    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/joy-hibbs-murder_n_4991710.html
     
  7. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    I won't criticize LE because what do I know? I wasn't there. But it is hard to believe this case is unsolved.

    Reasons:
    -- Neighbors at home; people working outdoors
    -- Brief window of time
    -- eyewitness description of a car at the home
    -- eyewitness account of a "garbage man" walking around to the back of the house

    Timeline:

    8:30 a.m. (approx.) -- Joy drives the kids to school, then cashes her paycheck at a local bank.

    9:53 a.m. -- Leaves the bank, and heads to grocery store.

    10:54 a.m. -- Leaves the store and drives home

    11:00 a.m. (approx.) -- Baptist minister and associate pay a visit to Joy at home. The leave "just before noon".

    Noon-1:00 p.m. -- Neighbor saw garbage man walk to the back of the house.

    12:30-1:00 p.m. -- Neighbor spots an 80's model, dark blue, Chevrolet Monte Carlo parked in front of the Hibbs home.

    1:00 p.m. -- David Hibbs arrives home from school, and finds the house on fire.
     
  8. jenniferrobin

    jenniferrobin New Member

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    Did they ever find the owner of the Monte Carlo?
     
  9. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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    Yes. That was Robert Adkins.. Apparently they did by some small amounts of pot together.

    This is so sad.
     
  10. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    That's uncertain. The neighbor adamantly denied Adkins' car was the same one seen at the house. Also, Adkins was out of town with his family at the time of the murder.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/joy-hibbs-murder_n_4991710.html

    Adkins did admit that he used to buy small amounts of marijuana for his own use, and the Adkins would sometimes give him money to purchase some for them, also.
     
  11. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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    Thanks bessie. It was also reported that a garbage man was seen going behind the house. but that it was not followed up on.
     
  12. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    I remember that case

    Its important to note this is all speculation based upon several articles about the crime, I apologize in advance for the long post

    Sadly this is another instance, of too little evidence, even if they were to develop a suspect, it seems they'd be hard pressed to prosecute, because of lack of evidence

    But also I have a hard time believing someone doesn't have more information about this crime

    No noise to me would indicate she was strangled, 1st, and it doesn't seem as if this was planned, since it was an electrical cord, I assume originated from within the residence itself. Now there were stab wounds to the victims neck, which could mean she was incapacitated and unable to make a sound , then strangled, .

    The stabbing, itself could have different meanings, though it sounds like she was most likely stabbed after she had been strangled, to unconsciousness, or to death. Its possible her killer did that to "finish her off" because she was still alive, its also possible it was done to make sure she was dead post strangulation.

    Which poses another interesting question, IF homicide WERE the motive, why didn't her killer bring a weapon (unless the knife was brought)

    What it does not appear is that it was done to "destroy her" as one would expect several deep penetrating mutilating wounds to the face , neck and chest, representing hatred.

    Now this is all based on the theory that she would've fought violently against an attacker, especially one that was stabbing her

    Another thing is the high lethality placement of the stab wounds, and the concentrated areas they are located in.. not spread over her body as if she was fighting with her attacker, (think Ron Goldman) more as if she was already incapacitated to some point

    The impression given by her husband is that she would've fought an attacker, so Id assume, if she had a struggle with an intruder per se' someone, would've heard something, though its entirely possible that they would not either.

    Which leads me (at least) to speculate, that her killer was most likely someone she knew or was familiar with. Someone she would let into the house , especially occurring in the middle of the day in broad daylight.

    It would be important to note where the weapon that caused the stab wounds originated from, for instance, was it from their own kitchen, or did her killer bring the weapon, and remove it as well.

    The use of 2 separate weapons is interesting, especially if the extension cord was from the residence itself , though it could indicate several possibilities,
    -inexperience
    -immaturity
    -lack of physical ability to kill the victim, by one method
    - morbid curiosity
    - it could also indicate the possibility of more than one killer

    Some reports say she was laying on the floor of the bedroom, some say the bed itself , this is a significant finding, especially since the coroner, states he believes she was not sexually assaulted ante or post mortem...though I'm unsure about the significance of the room she was found in, the fact she was found on the bed, could indicate some connection to the victim (personal etc..) it would be pertinent to note if they could determine if she was covered over by something for example a sheet or blanket (flannel shirt?) ... sometimes known as "undoing" when a killer feels remorse for what he/she has done, for any variety of reasons, most often because they knew them .

    The floor may indicate another, though the same conclusion could be drawn from any post mortem undoing ..

    in some aspects the fire itself could be seen as a method of "undoing"

    One article says nothing of value was taken, except possibly 70 dollars that could've been burned in the fire, which law enforcement didn't consider significant. Which leads the reader to believe this wasn't a robbery, or a burglary gone wrong. Unless of course 70 dollars wasn't enough for someone who wanted more money .

    The apparent lack of sexual assault itself is also interesting, though its entirely possible an assault did occur, or was "attempted" her body was too badly burned to make a conclusion, though the article states, her pants, were still buttoned. SO why if she wasn't a victim of sexual assault was she killed then?

    One possibility is that a sexual assault WAS the primary motive , however was thwarted, either physically, or verbally, which lead the attacker to kill the victim, where sexual assault was no longer desirable or possible from the killers point of view, this may explain WHY she was on the bed, (if she was) .

    Why would someone who didn't know her lay her on the bed ?.. unless she was killed there , to pose her ,? maybe, but more likely because there was an aspect of "caring, or association " if you will

    The timing is also another thing, she only had an hour or less, after the clergy people left the house for all this to occur, even if her killer was already in the house, he /she would have little time, to pull it off , and yet it was JUST before David got home , which seems odd to me .

    This could also explain why she wasn't sexually assaulted, though I don't think its the case, they knew they didn't have time to clean up the evidence .

    I have a hard time envisioning, a trash collector having the time to break in , strangle /stab someone to death, set the house on fire, then get right back to work on his route without any of their co workers, noticing SOMETHING.

    The Monte Carlo is a tantalizing piece of evidence, parked haphazardly, 3 feet from the curb, but right in front of the residence, as if whomever owned it didn't mind if it was seen, most likely either because the murder wasn't planned, or poorly planned. Yet it seemed her killer knew they had to be gone before her son arrived home.

    Did her killer know he would be home soon ? maybe, but he sure knew she was alone, which to me, at least indicates, prior knowledge, or knowledge gained through surveillance

    Other possible scenarios could be stalking, which wasn't as well known back in the early 90's, or even murder for hire
     
  13. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Oh and 1 more thing, I believe whoever was responsible for this killing, was interviewed by police already, and would've demonstrated odd behavior following the crime, such as altering their appearance, or even moving to another location

    I also believe someone knows who is responsible
     
  14. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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  15. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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  16. ScarlettScarpetta

    ScarlettScarpetta When the going gets tough, drink coffee

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  17. bessie

    bessie Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    You wrote a good analysis. The lack of sexual assault might be an indication the perp was impotent. That's not so very uncommon in this type of attack. In some cases, the stabbing is a substitute for the sex act.

    I don't find the stabbing/strangulation combination out of the ordinary. Stabbing/strangulation/burning, I believe is uncommon. I don't think we have a thread on Catherine Corkery, but her murder is one that comes to mind. The circumstances were different, though. Catherine was attacked while walking home from a party. Sexually assaulted, stabbed, strangled, set on fire, and left in a neighborhood backyard. That was in Dormont, PA, two years before Jill's murder.

    http://dormont-brookline.patch.com/...e/p/unsolved-cases-catherine-corkery-afd942dd

    ETA: We do have a thread for Catherine Corkery


    PA PA - Catherine Corkery, 22, Dormont, killed 22 July 1989 - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
     
  18. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Remember this is all speculative, because of the lack of evidence.

    AS ive said before unless the police are willing to open the books, and divulge all of their findings, I don't think this case will ever be solved without additional information, the crime scene presents a Mixed set of factors.

    If this was purely a case, of a sexually motivated attack by an offender with sexual dysfunction, I think you'd see some form of attempted sexual assault , though its very difficult to ascertain because the official ME report only states he "doesn't believe she was sexually assaulted" because her button was still fastened .

    If indeed it was, I think you'd see more evidence of a sexual assault, why re-dress her if you are only going to burn the place down, that takes more time, Why would you re-dress a victim, only to leave the cord around her neck . I also think you'd see some form of sexual substitution, such as insertational necrophilia, but that wasn't present either

    I don't believe the stabbing itself is indicative of sexual impotence, in cases I've seen where that was a factor it was usually focused, on the victims, sexual organs, not the chest/neck (back?)

    In one report they state she was stabbed in the chest and neck another says she was stabbed in the back as well.

    It would be important to note if the penetrating wounds were concentrated, in a certain area, of her body or scattered .

    IF you see wounds all over that's often indicative , of struggle (think Ron Goldman) if they are concentrated, in high lethality areas of the body, that would indicate that either the victim was in a state of altered consciousness, restrained, or dead when she was stabbed, couple this with the husbands account that he stated his wife would fight fiercely if attacked .

    The presence, of both the cord around her neck and scattered stab wounds (if that's what they were ) may indicate she was stabbed 1st, during a struggle, not out of character for her according to her husband, in which the cord would most likely then be used to finisher her off .

    If they are concentrated over a small area then you have to assume she was restrained, out of it or dead already when they occurred

    Again all speculative given what we know .

    SO if it isn't a case of sexual homicide, what is it ?

    - Stalking? , usually there's a pretty distinct, period prior to an offense, where the victim , and most likely the victims family are aware of the threat , though it cant be ruled out because of her personality "everybody loved her ". It could be one of the hundreds of patients that come into that office every day and see her, it could be simply someone she was nice to ....But id think shed have an idea, or her husband would have an idea she was. There's also most likely be a history (Phone calls, letters etc..) of contact between her and the offender. NOW there may be, that we don't know of , but I don't think it is

    -Murder for hire ?, if that's the case, you need to ask WHO benefits from this individual being dead, did her husband take out a policy on her? as there a possibility he planned to benefit from the insurance claim? maybe it was more personal, did she know something she wasn't supposed to know, and was silenced ?.. who does the family think was responsible ?

    -Revenge?, possibly, did she spurn someone's advances, possibly she was an attractive woman, could she have been romantically involved with someone ?.. its always possible , perhaps if she was to infuriate some of the drug crowd, but id think that if that was going to happen it would've been done more professionally, gunshot etc...

    - Is it possible someone was in the house while she was out and was still there perhaps to burglarize the house, but was trapped while the church folk were there, perhaps hiding in her sons room, and was discovered ?..possibly

    Motive is difficult to find , we know she was well liked, we know she was out all day then came home had "visitors" then her son found the house on fire soon after . We know is that whomever did it had a very short period to do so that is IF she was alive when the church folk left, asking if someone knows if they're going to go to heaven when they die ..only to actually DIE a few minutes later, id call a very odd coincidence.

    I would like to know if the weapon used to cause the stab wounds, came from the house, or if they believe the killer brought it with him (or took it with him)

    Also how fast could a fire spread through the house, even with accelerants, ?...if the entire house was engulfed, it seems like that would take some time, I could be wrong .

    So why was her body found in her sons room?, was she chased in there while being assaulted,? that would makes sense then to burn down the room, after. Its also possible she was killed elsewhere in the house, and placed in her sons room, It could also be symbolic of something

    Unless more is released, all we can do is speculate

    I will say however that I don't believe this was a planned murder
     
  19. Angels_Not_Forgotten

    Angels_Not_Forgotten Anxiously Awaiting a WINNING NFL Season!

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    When I read the Huffington article, the first thought I had was maybe she wanted some more weed, but her usual dealer was out of town. Could she have called someone else? Met someone while doing the errand running?

    The other thing I thought a bit odd was the person who witnessed the garbage man going around back was adamant that he reported it to police. The LE giving the interview said it was news to him but maybe another detective working on the case may have heard it and he didn't. ( something like that, just paraphrasing. Mobile at the moment.)

    It just seems strange that someone would have that sort of information and everyone not know about it, or have it put in the file as looked into.

    So that makes me wonder, did this witness say something? Did he really see anything? Was the ball dropped in regards to this?

    I just found that bit off.

    Sent from my Nexus 5 using Tapatalk
     
  20. Kell1

    Kell1 Verified law enforcement

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    Its very possible the ball was dropped
     
  21. ilovemew

    ilovemew Thank you God for granting me the deepest desire o

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    It's odd to me that the son says the police know who did it and are just not following it up, than the police response is something about not having enough evidence/probable cause...seems like they BOTH know WHO they are talking about but aren't saying...? Or am I reading to much into this?

    It breaks my heart picturing this little boy coming home from school and finding that.

    It's also so weird about the church people asking if she were to die...and than it happens!
     

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