Man convicted in murder of Rebekah Gay commits suicide in prison - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Man convicted in murder of Rebekah Gay commits suicide in prison

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(08/28/13) - Michigan Department of Corrections Spokesman Russ Marlan confirms John White is dead after committing suicide in prison, Wednesday morning.

White, convicted in the Isabella County murder of 24-year-old Rebekah Gay last Halloween, was serving his sentence in Ionia.  He was less than six months into his up to 85 year prison term.

White, a former pastor, pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Gay's strangling death. White confessed it was part of a sexual fantasy.

White had dated Gay's mother.

"It's like a coward way out," said Gay's friend Teresa Fisher.  "I think it's one of those catch 22s.  You don't want him to be alive, but it's not going to bring Rebekah back."

Fisher says she and her family, her younger brother was dating Gay and was about to propose, have been talking, texting and crying all day.

White, 56, was found dead in his cell about 4:17 a.m., according to a release from the Michigan Reformatory - the prison where White was housed.

"Preliminary investigation, by the Michigan State Police, indicates prisoner White died of asphyxiation by suicide. Every attempt by Correctional staff, health care professionals and emergency medical technicians, to revive Mr. White were unsuccessful," the release reads. 

White was pronounced dead at 4:38 a.m.

"What I want to know if why did he kill himself? Was it out of guilt?  Or was it because life was so tough in prison," asked Fisher.

"I hope this gives a little bit of closure to Rebekah's family and friends," said friend Michelle Anderson Earl.  "Now he will get his true punishment!"

Investigators have said White, who has a history of violence with women, beat Gay over the head with a rubber mallet and strangled her with a large zip tie before dumping her body near Mt. Pleasant in Broomfield Township.

Fisher says Gay's son Conway is now four years old.

"The treasure we've had is they still allow my family to see Conway," Fisher said.  "Rebekah's family is still allowing us to remain in his life and that's what's making us heal.  We get to love him and love Rebekah thru him."

With the one year anniversary of Gay's death coming up, Fisher said at least they'll have peace knowing White is not thinking about her and he's not here.


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