Amber's Parents Divided on Gardner Interview

The murdered teen's father was "appalled." Her mother was left wanting more.

By Michelle Wayland and Mari Payton
|  Friday, Apr 30, 2010  |  Updated 1:21 PM PDT
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John Albert Gardner III

NBCSanDiego

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The parents of murdered teen Amber Dubois gave a strong but divided reaction to the words of her admitted killer, John Gardner.

Amber's father says he doesn't care what Gardner has to say.

"His apology, or mere thoughts, are appalling," said Moe Dubois."The airing of this monster's words will undoubtedly cause our families additional pain."

He’s talking about an extensive interview with John Gardner that aired on a local news outlet on Thursday.

“I refuse to listen to the interview. I don't care to hear his voice at this time,” he said.

Amber’s mother watched the interview, hoping to find answers, but said it left her with more questions and the desire to see him face to face.

“I have 20 questions I want answers for,” said Carrie McGonigle. Her main question, “Why? Why Amber?”

During the interview, Gardner claimed he did not stalk 14-year-old Amber Dubois or 17-year-old Chelsea King, but rather, the teens were victims of opportunity.

“I think he said I wasn’t laying in wait for them, I didn't target them,” McGonigle said.

Gardner said he led authorities to Amber's shallow grave because he "felt bad." He said the guilt ate him up, but he couldn't stop himself.

McGonigle said she believes Gardner is looking to get sympathy, but she isn't buying it. When asked if there were any more victims, Gardner laughed and said, "good try."

“He made a lot of off the wall comments,” she said.

Gardner also stated he was willing to go to death row for the rape and murder of both girls and that the plea deal that kept him from possible execution was not his idea, but his attorneys.

“He says that on the tape, that he wanted the death penalty... as soon as he was arrested, he confessed to his defense about Amber,” McGonigle said.

McGonigle said listening to Gardner was extremely difficult and left her with even more questions.

“We want answers, we want closure, we want to know,” she said.

McGonigle said she called the jail on Wednesday and requested to see Gardner. She did not hear back.

Meantime, the Escondido City Attorney's Office says it will not release any police documents related to Amber’s murder -- limiting the public's ability to examine how law enforcement handled the case, the North County Times reported.
   
City officials cited a state bylaw, which notes that local police agencies are not "required" to disclose investigative documents.
   
However, a deputy city attorney says once Gardner is sentenced on May 14, his office might consider public records requests in a different light.

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