Saturday, August 26, 2000

Scientist's widow defers to attorney

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer


        WEST CHESTER TWP. — The wife of a slain Procter & Gamble Co. scientist who had cooperated with police after her husband's death now insists that all questions go through a recently hired attorney.

        Township Police Capt. John Bruce said Paige Smith, widow of George Gibson, who was shot seven times in his Tylersville Road home in June, has told investigators all future questions must be directed to her attorney.

        Capt. Bruce described Ms. Smith's action, in light of her previous cooperation, as “a little confusing” but that is does not eliminate or elevate her among any suspects in the slaying.

        “She was so cooperative up to a point,” Capt. Bruce said Friday in expressing puzzlement over the hiring of Cincinnati attorney Martin Pinales by Ms. Smith.

        He said the investigation into Mr. Gibson's death continues and that “no one has been ruled out as a suspect.”

        He added that there were no immediate plans to submit any questions to Ms. Smith through Mr. Pinales.

        “We will keep doing what we've been doing — putting people and circumstances together,” said Capt. Bruce. “We're getting down to excluding the leads we have.”

        Both Ms. Smith and her attorney were unavailable to comment.

        Capt. Bruce said “the next elusive question is the motive ... there are several scenarios.”

        Ms. Smith's 47-year-old husband, a P&G scientist, died June 23 in their Butler County home while she was in upstate New York.

        Their two pet Bernese mountain dogs also had been shot to death.

        The violent nature of the shooting, and evidence from the home that investigators declined to discuss, have prompted West Chester Police to enlist the aid of specialists from the FBI's behavioral science unit.

        Capt. Bruce said he doubted neighbors near the home should be fearful in wake of the shooting.

        “We don't believe it was a random crime,” he said.

        Long-time neighbors share a similar view and said the crime isn't discussed much in the suburban neighborhood.

        West Chester Police ask that anyone with information regarding the shooting call 759-7272.


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