CBS 48 Hours will take a look at the case of Marilyn Allen, a prostitute who was found dead in Lake O’Neill over 20 years ago. The CBS 48 Hours NCIS special episode: “To Catch A Killer,” is based on the agent who inspired the hit television show CBS NCIS: New Orleans. Tonight’s 48 Hours will give a detailed account of how the murder of Marilyn Allen was solved. It will also describe the elaborate sting operation that led to the capture of her killer several years later. Authorities say that Marilyn Allen’s killer was Roosevelt Gipson, a former Camp Pendleton Marine who was later convicted in her death. Today, he is free.
In 1992, a fisherman found the body of a half-naked black female in O’Neill Lake. The finding was reported to authorities, who later determined the woman’s identity through fingerprint records. The victim was Marilyn Allen, a 30-year-old mother and local prostitute.
NICS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) detectives knew that it would be hard to track down her killer. There was little evidence at the scene. However, it did appear that the crime might be sexual in nature. Marilyn Allen was found lying face up in the lake. She was wearing a bra, and her underwear were pulled down around her knees.
In the beginning of the investigation, it was difficult for medical examiners to pinpoint a cause of death. However, it was later determined that she had suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Semen was also found in her mouth.
To find out more about Marilyn Allen, they allowed her photo to circulate in the news. They found out that Allen was a mother of four children and had an estranged husband. In San Diego, California, she was thought to be a drifter and a transient who offered sexual services to help support herself.
Authorities say that Marilyn Allen’s family loved her very much. However, at times, it seemed that she would lose her way in life and have problems.
What made Marilyn Allen’s death particularly scandalous was that her body was dumped on base.
And although the NCIS had to have believed that somehow this murder had to be tied to a Marine, the case eventually went cold since they had no eyewitnesses, nor any leads.
NCIS investigators struck gold when a tip came in five years later.
According to 48 Hours’ coverage, a woman who had dated a man named Roosevelt Bernard Gipson told police that he actually confessed to her that he had killed a woman at Camp Pendleton when he was in the Marines.
When investigators heard the tip, they knew that it was the answer they had been looking for. The case was still open and unsolved. To capture Roosevelt Bernard Gipson, NCIS set up a sting operation, where they planted an undercover cop who befriended Gipson. By that time, Roosevelt Gipson had left California and was living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
According to 48 Hours, the cop, who was disguised as a maintenance man at Gipson’s job, gained his confidence since he believed that the undercover cop was actually a former Marine.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Roosevelt Gipson became enraged when Marilyn failed to perform oral sex on him to his desired pleasure. In retaliation, Gipson banged her head on the dashboard, choked her, and then dumped her body in the lake. What was more shocking was that he stated that he “got off” when he strangled her.
Eight years after the murder of Marilyn Allen, Roosevelt Gipson was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He has since been released and is living a normal and seemingly respectable life.
Broadway World offers the following description of the six-part 48 Hours series.
“Narrated by NCIS series star Rocky Carroll, 48 HOURS: NCIS is a six-part documentary series from the award-winning team at 48 HOURS that gives viewers unprecedented access to some of the biggest cases handled by the real Naval Criminal Investigative Service. The series explores the kinds of difficult cases that have inspired CBS Entertainment’s successful primetime series NCIS, the #1 drama on television.”
Watch the story of Marilyn Allen and Roosevelt Gipson on tonight’s special edition of CBS 48 Hours NCIS. It airs at 10/9 p.m. Central.
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