John Gardner admitted he killed and raped Amber Dubois, the Escondido teenager who disappeared in February 2009 and whose body was found near Pala more than a year later.
"Is he a monster? Of course. Did he ruin my life? Yes. Did he allow my family to have closure and be able to bury our daughter? Yeah, he did. So, I would actually thank him for giving us the closure, and I wouldn’t say anything else to him," Dubois told KGTV.
Gardner accepted a plea deal with the San Diego county district attorney’s office. He would plead guilty to raping and murdering Poway teenager Chelsea King, as well as Amber but would avoid the death penalty.
Gardner's attorneys would only agree to the deal if it meant life in prison without the possibility of parole. Chelsea’s parents Brent and Kelly King agreed, so Amber’s parents could have closure.
"I have to thank the King family for going the route they did or we wouldn't have the closure you know," said Amber’s mother Carrie McGonigle. "It put a lot of weight on them to say, give the Dubois family some closure."
McGonigle, who said she learned the details of the plea in a secret parking-lot meeting with the DA’s office, found Friday’s court appearance nearly unbearable.
"Rage, wanting to go up there and just kill him myself basically," McGonigle said. "It's a lot to handle.”
“Just looking at him and seeing that kind of person hurting our girls and killing them,” she said. “There's no words for it, the disgust."