CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — As this murder case reaches 36 years unsolved, investigators with CCPD's Homicide Unit are reaching out to the community once again for information.
On Sunday, December 15, 1985, officers were sent to the 4800 block of Sweet Brian Circle. There, officers found that husband and wife, 33-year-old Gary Gene Gillette and 24-year-old Stephanie Gillette, had been murdered in their home as they slept.
Decades later, their loved ones, including Gary's daughters, still feel the sadness that surrounds the murder, especially because it was never solved.
"I was terrified to leave the house, I was scared to do anything, and every time I would close my eyes, that's all I saw, was my dad's face," Candice Curtis, the youngest of the Gillette daughters, said.
"I'm scared again, but instead of just being scared, and just feeling like a victim, I'm mad, like I want to know," Kristie, the middle daughter, said.
It was the most wonderful time of the year, December 13th, 1985. Shae, 14, Kristie 11, and Candice, 9, were about to go to their father Gary and stepmother Stephanie's home to decorate.
"I loved going over to dad's house Like I always got to sit and brush Stephanie's hair, and I learned how to french braid on her hair," Kristie said.
"She's just absolutely beautiful, she was, inside and out, her personality," Candice added.
Shae, the oldest daughter, said she hoped to go out with her friends that night but, it was her dad's turn to watch the girls. However, they got a call from Gary, the last time the daughters would hear from him.
"Said, 'hey listen, we had some Christmas parties pop up, don't think we're gonna be able to make it tonight, we'll come to get you tomorrow,'" Shae recalled the conversation with her dad.
The next day, December 14th, the daughters anxiously awaited a call from either Gary or Stephanie, but they never called. Shae, who was headed to a movie in Corpus Christi with her friends, stopped by the house to see if they were home.
"When I noticed all the lights in the house, everybody that was with me, just walking around the house, the garage door was wide open," Shae said.
Shae said she had a clear view from the window she was looking into, of the whole house, but what she didn't see, was Stephanie and Gary.
Shae returned home to Portland that evening. As she went over the Harbor Bridge, a gruesome scene of blood and violence flashed through her head.
"Something in my stomach told me right there that something wasn't, I mean besides the scene itself, something wasn't right," she said.
On December 15th, Shae and her mother, Debbie, went back to Corpus Christi to swing by the house off of Sweet Briar Circle near Everhart Road and Snowgoose Lane.
It was a horrific scene: cop cars, first responders, bystanders, and news vehicles swarmed Gary and Stephanie's home. They would soon learn the couple had been stabbed to death in their bedroom.
Eventually, Shae and Debbie returned to Kristie and Candice in Portland to deliver the news.
"My mom walks into the like doorway of the kitchen, and she lifts her sunglasses, and her face is just like tear stains, blotchy, swollen, and I'm like 'he's dead isn't' he?' and she was like 'yeah' and that's- I just knew,'" Kristie said.
Autopsy results reported the couple had multiple stab wounds to their bodies from a knife and hatchet.
On December 17th, the beloved couple was laid to rest. The daughters, Gary's ex-wife Debbie and family members continued to mourn the loss as police began an investigation that would last decades.
You can read the full narrative here on our website.
Today is the 36th anniversary of the deaths of Gary and Stephanie Gillette. Although this case remains unsolved, it is not closed and we want to give their family some closure.
If you know who is responsible, or have any additional information about this case, please contact Detective David Perez (361-886-2676) or Detective Eddie Alvarado (361-886-2866.)
You may also call Crime Stoppers at 361-888-TIPS or submit the information online at https://www.p3tips.com/TipForm.aspx?ID=343&C=&T=. The information you provide to Crime Stoppers is anonymous and if the information leads to an arrest, it could earn you a cash reward.
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