Thirty years after the murder of Alice Gibson, her family still has questions — many of them unanswerable. All cause the family pain.
Bessie Mayfield, Gibson’s mother, didn’t know what to tell one of her children who asked what she thought Gibson would be doing if she were alive.
Gibson, 19, was found strangled to death Jan. 1, 1988, at a Wichita nightclub. She was a Topeka High School graduate who played basketball for the Trojans, then attended Wichita State University.
Leroy Seek, a former Wichita State University football player, was arrested. A jury later found him not guilty.
“I don’t have no answers, no answers, no answers,” Mayfield said. “It hurts me.”
Jennifer Gibson, Alice’s younger sister, said she believes Alice would have achieved greatness and made a difference.
“I just loved her zeal and drive,” she said, adding her sister wasn’t one to settle for the status quo.
Jennifer Gibson also has questions. To the person or people responsible for her sister’s death, she asked, “How do you function? Is their life broken too now? What made you do this? What right did you have?”
Alice’s death has caused decades of pain.
“My whole being has just been shattered. I don’t live. I exist,” Mayfield said, adding that she doesn’t know what she would do without her faith in God.
Jennifer Gibson especially laments Alice’s absence during holidays and other events, such as the birth of her children.
“I’ve had many milestones in life that she was just supposed to be there and share with me,” she said.
The family also still has questions for law enforcement. They believe police won’t look into leads the family has sent them. They also wonder whether a box of Alice’s belongings — evidence from the night she was killed — returned to Mayfield by authorities a few years ago through UPS could reveal answers or contain DNA evidence.
Mayfield said she hasn’t opened the box, and Jennifer Gibson said they would send it back to authorities if it might help.
“I would give anything to have anyone take a second look,” Gibson said.
Wichita Police Department officer Charley Davidson said the agency considered the case closed when Seek was acquitted.
With so many unanswered questions, the new year doesn’t come with a sense of renewal for Alice Gibson’s family. Jennifer Gibson said she has never attended a New Year’s Eve celebration.
“I can’t bring myself to be happy knowing those are the seconds, knowing those were the moments someone was taking her life’s blood,” Gibson said.