It was the early hours of October 4, 2009 when Milford, New Hampshire Police Sgt. Kevin Furlong was called to the scene of a Mont Vernon home where a possible robbery and assault was believed to have occurred. What he found there that night that will haunt him for the rest of his life.
Breaking through the front door of the home, he found young Jamie Cates suffering from multiple stab wounds, including to the face. She looked up at him and said, “They killed my mommy.” Jamie, who had narrowly escaped her own tragic fate by playing dead on the floor, was carried out by Furlong before he returned to the residence to search for other victims and possible perpetrators.
It didn’t take long for Furlong to find Kimberly Cates dead in her bedroom. Like Jamie, she had multiple stab wounds on her body. That afternoon, police would receive a phone call and began narrowing in on possible suspects behind the heinous murder scene.
Four teenage boys: Steven Spader, Christopher Gribble, Quinn Glover and William Marks were named by another teen who claimed Spader and Glover had visited his home and told him fully detailed accounts of what had occurred at the Cates’ home. The teen also claimed that the boys had shown him two knives, which may have been the murder weapons.
Police caught up with both Spader and Gribble that evening at Spader’s home. Another boy, Autumn Savoy had been with the boys at Spader’s house as well. Savoy initially claimed that both Spader and Gribble had been with him that night, but later recanted his story. He admitted that he had assisted the boys in discarding evidence taken from the scene.
The following day the boys were questioned by a school police officer after receiving reports that the teens had threatened another boy at school. Glover admitted to being at the house the night prior, but refused to answer any other questions until he had an attorney present.
Marks agreed to answer the police’s questions. He described how the boys were able to gain entry to the home through the basement window. Believing the home was empty, they proceeded to steal things from the home when they heard a woman’s voice call out. Moments later Marks claimed that he heard the woman again, saying something to the effect of, “You don’t have to do this.” Marks said he entered into the bedroom several minutes later and saw both the young girl and the woman, who both appeared to have been slashed and stabbed multiple times.
All four boys and Savoy were arrested in connection to the attack on October 6. Gribble later told investigators that if he would have known that young Jamie Cates had survived the attack he would have killed her. He also told officers coldly that he had wanted to kill someone for a long time.
Though Gribble described Spader as the ring leader, he took great pride in describing the crime when it was time for him to take the stand. He described his expertise in stabbing and attacking his victims, ensuring that Kimberly Cates met a swift, but grisly end. He later described himself as a sociopath.
Gribble and Spader were sentenced to life in prison, while their three other accomplices including the teen who assisted them in disposing of evidence after the attack also received sentences.
Since Gribble and Spader were both minors at the time of their sentencing, both were granted sentence rehearings. Spader told the courts that he did not wish to receive a reduction in his sentencing, describing himself as, “the most sick and twisted person you will ever meet.”