2016 League City Officer of the Year
Detective G. Gonzales
Detective Gina Gonzales began her career in law enforcement in 1996 as a patrol officer at the University of Houston Clear Lake. In 1998, she was hired by the League City Police Department and worked as a patrol officer for several years. She has been a Detective in the Criminal Investigations Division for the past 15 years, working every type of crime. Detective Gonzales specializes in major crimes and cold cases. She is also the Latent Print Examiner for the Department. As a Latent Print Examiner, she is able to identify suspects through latents left at crime scenes. She has 20 years experience in law enforcement and holds a Master Peace Officer Certification. She is married to Lt. Gabe Gonzales (LCPD) and they have three girls.
On November 3, 1983, three bodies were discovered inside the Corvette Concepts shop by the business owner. The bodies were identified as Beth Wilburn (co-owner of the business), Thomas McGraw (Beth’s boyfriend), and James Oatis (an electrician hired to hang lights). Beth Wilburn had been stabbed 95 times and shot 4 times. Thomas McGraw was stabbed 15 times, with the stabbing instrument imbedded in his spine, and shot 7 times. James Oatis was shot 10 times. There were several theories of who was responsible for the triple murder in 1983 and the years that followed which included the co-owner and ex-boyfriend of Beth Wilburn as the prime suspect. There were also theories of drug hits as well, as McGraw had ties to large amounts of cocaine. Due to lack of evidence in the case, it remained unsolved.
Many detectives with the League City Police Department and FBI Agent Rennison have put countless hours of work into this case. In 2015 Detectives Gina Gonzales and Cory Beyer were approached by FBI Agent Richard Rennison about this case. The Detectives had just been assigned cold cases and agreed to start with the Corvette Concepts case. Detective Gonzales located thousands of documents from the case which were categorized and placed in sequential order. Each piece of evidence was looked at, photographed, and properly documented. Numerous items of evidence were sent off for DNA testing. Detectives Gonzales and Beyer decided to approach the case from a different angle. They began working the case from a Defense Attorney’s point of view and were able to show that there was no evidence to support the previous theories of the “drug involved hits” or the “scorned ex-lover”. They were able to disprove these theories and show, through an extensive timeline, that there was only one person who could have committed these murders.
The evidence and timeline pointed to Jesse Dean Kersh. Kersh was an employee at Corvette Concepts at the time of the murders. Detectives Gonzales and Beyer, and Agent Rennison spoke at great length with the Galveston County District Attorney’s Office about this case. Charges were accepted and on 01/26/16 Kersh was arrested for three counts of Murder. On 04/21/16 Detective Gonzales and Agent Rennison attended Grand Jury in which Kersh was indicted on three counts of Murder.
For her service and dedication beyond her duties, Detective Gonzales was presented a plaque and an award at the Alumni Annual Business Meeting on August 11th. To learn more about the League City Citizens Police Academy and the Alumni Association visit us at lccpaaa.org. This year’s program cosponsored by Awards of Distinction and Moody Gardens.
Thank you Detective Gonzales for all you do in keeping our community safe. We appreciate you!
Past LCPD Officers of the Years