Christine Gibbins Tilghman

48 Years Old
May 4, 1942 to April 8, 1991

My mother, Christine G. Tilghman, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas was 48 years old when she was murdered. She was my best friend. She was a grandmother, mother, daughter, sister and friend. She was a bookkeeper by trade, disabled at the time of her death. She enjoyed reading, movies, playing games, crossword puzzles, mysteries and family. She never met a stranger, loved people, was generous to a fault and loved God. Her favorite color was green, she loved spring, hated winter. She had a desire to write a novel. She read Ellery Queen, Alfred Hitchcock, and loved Perry Mason and Rockford Files. She was a real mystery fan.

She was a kind, gentle woman whose laugh will be heard now only in memories. The world has lost more than they will ever know. Under “unconditional love” in the dictionary you’ll find her picture.

In December 1990, David R. Mitchell, an employee for AAA Appliance Co. delivered a dishwasher to Christine G. Tilghman. He found out that she was 48, a recent widow and by paying in cash, he knew she had a little money. He was a con man. He flattered her, asked her out and made himself familiar with family activities, but avoided being with her in family company.

In April 1991, David Mitchell conspired with Marvin Tyrone Johnson, an acquaintance, to rob and kill her. Even with the grandkids there, he was instructed to kill them all. She was lured to a remote spot on the highway, between two cemeteries, and ambushed. David and his partner Marvin shot her five times, destroying her face and head. They pulled her out of her vehicle and dumped her partially clothed body in a ditch where she was found 6 hours later by a passerby on his way to work. They took her life, her insurance money, her purse and her 1986 S-10 Blazer. Marvin was found in Memphis, TN in possession of her Blazer. A SWAT team took him into custody when he refused to surrender. He received second degree murder and served 7 years of a 15 year sentence, even though he was a habitual offender. David Mitchell fled before trial and subpoenas were sent out. His whereabouts are unknown. He was never charged. He was an informant for White County Sheriff’s Office. Justice has yet to be served.

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