On trial for the 1989 murder of one African-American, a skinhead was accused yesterday of stalking another black person he allegedly wanted to kill in the Brandywine Creek area near Wilmington.
The murder was averted when he realized his target was white, an ex-girlfriend testified yesterday.
During cross-examination, the 39-year-old Newark, Del., woman revealed defendant Thomas Gibison's alleged attempt to murder again so that he could earn from fellow skinheads a blood-red teardrop in his spider tattoo, which was a trophy from the first murder.
The ex-girlfriend testified before Common Pleas Judge M. Teresa Sarmina that Gibison, 38, thad old her he had killed a black man in North Philadelphia to earn his spider tattoo in 1989.
The woman said that he later wanted to add red teardrops to the web - one for each person killed.
Gibison's attorney, Michael Ferrell, was trying to discredit the woman's testimony by reading a series of graphic sexual letters - she called them his client's "sick fantasies" - that she sent him.
As she grew feisty challenging Farrell for "putting words in my mouth," she revealed the second murder attempt and another shocking accusation.
"This man wanted me to help kidnap, rape, torture and kill women," said the woman. "How can you believe a man like that?"
Farrell called one letter "extortion" because she had demanded $7,000 and other items, and had threatened to otherwise go to the authorities. She testified that she had wanted the $7,000 for the car payments she had made on a green car that Gibison had promised to her but had put in the names of him and his mother.
Under Farrell's relentless questioning, she admitted she had been hospitalized in a mental-health, drug-and-alcohol facility more than 10 times as a result of nightmares, breakdowns and drug abuse after Gibison allegedly handcuffed and brutally raped her with objects.
Gibison taped the alleged rape, then threatened to kill her if authorities found it, she said.
Farrell questioned that a rape would take place in the house while Gibison's mother was home.
"That woman used to sit in the bathroom and listen to us having sex," she retorted. "Something's not right with him and his mother."
Because of the alleged assault, the Daily News is withholding her name.
Her testimony of the 1989 murder, however, was bolstered by another ex-girlfriend of the defendant from William Penn High School in Newark, Del.
The two women, who dated Gibison four years apart, did not know each other before they testified before a grand jury in August 2006.
Jennifer Kaczmarczyk, 38, testified that she first saw Gibison's web tatoo before her senior prom on a cold day. "His coat was irritating the web and he took his coat off," she said.
"He told me he was driving aimlessly and a man was walking between two parked cars and he shot him in the head and he collapsed," she testified.
Until then, Kaczmarczyk knew him to be a "blue-collar" skinhead, one who has his own style of dress and music but who is not racist.
During her senior prom, she said, he had gotten into an argument with a red-haired guy. Gibison "had taken off his jacket, rolled up his sleeve, and was pointing at his tattoo, saying: 'Do you know what this means?' "
Seventeen years later, two federal agents wanted to talk with her. In a coffee shop, they met and wanted to talk about Gibison.
"I was visibly shaken. I didn't know what I wanted to discuss," Kaczmarczyk testified. "It was a bad part of my life."
"He beat the hell out of me," she told prosecutor Roger King.
The meeting lasted less than 15 minutes, but when FBI agent Scott Duffy and Terry Mortimer, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, called again, she agreed to meet them at her house.
"I just started talking," she said, adding that Gibison's reading list included Hitler's Mein Kampf and other white-supremacist literature.
Kaczmarczyk lived with Gibison briefly, ending the two-year relationship because the "violence was getting worse. It was scary.
"He had a few weapons," she said. "He put a gun to my head one time - a short gun, a revolver."