Serial killer suspect’s weird NZ accent
A tattoo artist and twice convicted rapist who unexpectedly confessed to the murders of seven people in three US states, claims he is from New Zealand and speaks with a Kiwi accent, police say.
Nicholas Brent Gibson, 32, was nabbed on a subway train in Manhattan on May 5 after transit police recognised his heavily-inked face from a wanted photograph sent to their iPhones.
Gibson had been on the run since the body of his flatmate Erik Stocker was found after neighbours reported a bad smell coming from his Miami Beach, Florida apartment on April 30.
Mr Stocker, a 77-year-old retired stockbroker, had been stabbed, slashed and mutilated with a Samurai sword. He is believed to have taken the younger man in after a stint in jail left him homeless.
When officers brought Gibson in for questioning, the interview took a dark and unexpected turn - even for a man whose horrifying criminal history began with a rape conviction at the tender age of 13.
Not only did he allegedly confess to Mr Stockton's murder, he went on to give details of six more killings he says he committed over the past 20 years - starting from the age of 12.
Bizarrely, Gibson also claims to be a New Zealander, with several witnesses telling investigators he appeared to speak with an accent.
One of them was a mental health nurse who took Gibson into her home in 2016 after he was treated at a mental health facility in South Florida.
"He said all kinds of crazy stuff, I have no idea if any of it was true, I think I had a lucky escape getting rid of him so quickly," she told the Daily Mail.
The nurse said Gibson told her he was from New Zealand and spoke with a Kiwi accent. She kicked him out days later after police informed her he was a registered sex offender.
It is unclear what landed him in the facility, but news.com.au understands his mental health spiralled after he split up with his longterm girlfriend Stephanie, with whom he has a daughter, in 2016.
Stephanie died in 2017. There is no suggestion Gibson killed her and Facebook posts seen by news.com.au from her friends and family hint drugs may have been involved.
THE CRIMES GIBSON HAS CONFESSED TO
According to US media, Gibson has told police from the New York and Miami Beach police departments his victims include a homeless man, a female tourist and a child with special needs.
Investigators in three states are now scouring their cold case files in a desperate bid to match details he has provided with unsolved murders spanning two decades.
Gibson claims his first kill was a homeless African-American man he bashed to death with a brick in Atlanta in 1999 at the age of 12.
He says the murder took place in the woods near his former home in the suburb of Kennesaw.
Gibson alleges his second murder took place in the same area a year later when he threw a child with special needs into a river.
Later that year, aged just 13, he was convicted of rape and sentenced to seven years in the Illinois Youth Center in Harrisburg, Illinois.
He allegedly told detectives that after his release he killed a Russian man in Tampa Bay, Florida before going on to murder an African-American man he smoked cannabis with in Compton, California.
Gibson says the next to die was a woman he attacked and drowned in Biscayne Bay, Florida in 2015.
While he mentioned no names, the case has chilling similarities to mysterious and unsolved death of Finnish tourist Essi Puhakka whose body was found floating in Biscayne Bay on February 6, 2015.
A post-mortem examination carried out by the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner was unable to establish a cause of death but found evidence she had been involved in a struggle, the Miami New Times reported.
In a 10-page report, the forensic pathologist noted no injuries were found on Ms Puhakka's head and neck, there were possible defensive injuries and signs of a struggle elsewhere on her body.
"All of the fingernails are irregularly broken," the report said. "Dark red material is under the left first and third fingernails."
There were also abrasions on her right calf and left thigh. And while fluid was present in her lungs, the victim did not die from drowning.
The New York Post reports that Gibson was in prison in Georgia at the time of Ms Puhakka's death, forcing detectives to look at other drownings in the Biscayne Bay area.
Investigations by New York police and their counterparts in Florida, California and Georgia are continuing.