Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Stake President Apparently Refused To Forward Christopher Gribble's Request For An LDS Mission Call, Advising Him To Resolve Conflicts First

Update March 25th 2011: Christopher Gribble found guilty of murder, sentenced to life without parole. Updated post HERE.

Update October 8th: You can now express your condolences to the Cates Family on the WeAreBetterThanThis website.

On October 7th, 2009, the Boston Herald reported that Christopher Gribble's stake president may have sensed something was amiss with Gribble, apparently refusing to forward Gribble's request for an LDS mission call to church headquarters in Salt Lake City, instead advising Gribble to resolve personal conflicts first.

A close friend of Gribble who desires to remain anonymous said Gribble complained of problems with his mother, and those conflicts prevented him from becoming a Mormon missionary. “I had been heavily encouraging him to go on a mission and he seemed to really want to, but his stake president (church leader) said he should clear up the problems he’d had at home first,” said the friend. “He had some bad experiences with his mother, and was upset with his father for not doing anything about it.” Nevertheless, other sources report that Gribble was still attending missionary prep classes in Lowell; young LDS men frequently attend missionary prep classes at a local LDS Institute of Religion prior to applying for a mission call. A student manual is available HERE.

Gribble’s anger problems irked his friends. He was described as having lived away from home for more than a year, returning recently to his parents. “He has had mental issues in the past involving mood swings and anger issues,” said the friend. “He could not have known what he was doing.”

But Gribble wasn't the only one of the four having problems. The other three youths, identified as 17-year-old Steven Spader, 18-year-old William Marks, and 17-year-old Quinn Glover, had been showing signs of being depressed, angry or lost in life as well. A Boston Globe story also paints a portrait of portrayed a group of angry and troubled teenagers who went from earning merit badges and starring in school plays to running wild as they lashed out at authority. Gribble and Spader are charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder, and conspiracy to commit murder; Marks and Glover are charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, and armed robbery. More details about the crime in my previous post.

The Globe reported that some described Gribble as a menacing figure who had suddenly changed from a well-mannered youth to a malcontent with a decided wild streak. “He got involved with some really not nice people", said Cecilia Long, 40, of Hudson N.H., whose two daughters knew Gribble. “He went from overly sheltered to having pretty much free access to alcohol and drugs and sadly went wild and slowly devolved into what my daughter referred to as a creeper." Friends said that Gribble often clashed with his parents, who have not spoken publicly since his arrest, and that he was enraged when they ordered him to move out of the house. One of Long’s daughters, Victoria, who met Gribble when they were 13, eventually broke off contact with him in frustration with his increasingly erratic behavior.

But Gribble had his good side. Amber Fox-McNeil, 44, knew Gribble well from church. Fox-McNeil said she saw Gribble at church two weeks ago, coming out of a service at the local ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Gribble, an ardent weightlifter who had recently completed a cadet training class in hope of joining the military, seemed upbeat and hopeful. McNeil further described Gribble, who had been good friends with Spader for many years, as friendly but filled with strong, sharp-edged opinions he was unafraid to share. Her daughter Kristi, 10, said she was fond of Gribble, who always made a point to hug her and give her a high-five.

The New Hampshire Union-Leader is reporting that a clerk at a store at the Pheasant Lane Mall that pays cash for gold said she bought necklaces and chains from Steven Spader and Christopher Gribble sometime on Sunday. They claimed they had got the gold at a yard sale. Gribble used his name and address to process the sale because Spader was underage. The clerk bought the rings and necklaces from the two for about $200.

WBZ-TV reports that over 600 people turned out for a candlelight vigil and procession held in Mont Vernon on October 7th. The surviving victim, eleven-year-old Jaime Cates, continues her recovery but is being permitted no visitors. Cates called 911 after the attack, possibly saving her life in the process. But it wasn't until Monday that law enforcement discovered the evidence leading to the apprehension of the four perps. There is also a somewhat cryptic story about a car being pulled out of a secluded boat ramp near the Nashua River on Monday October 5th; this may have been the source of more evidence.

So far, it appears that all four of these perps were simply "bad seed". Their parents are said to have done all they could within reason to raise them right.

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