Who Killed North Dakota College Student Mindy Morgenstern? 'Dateline' Looks at the Case
On Sept. 13, 2006, in North Dakota, Valley City State University student Mindy Morgenstern was found murdered in her off-campus residence in the city of New Salem.
One week after Mindy’s passing, her neighbor Moe Gibbs was arrested and charged with her murder. He was later sentenced to life without parole in 2007.
Now, Dateline is set to examine Mindy’s case in a forthcoming episode. Here's what to know about the tragic death of the young student.
Mindy Morgenstern was said to be an “outgoing, caring" college student.
Mindy Morgenstern was the daughter of Larry and Eunice Morgenstern.
She was a 22-year-old senior at Valley City State University in Valley City, N.D., when she was murdered.
Mindy's friends described her as “caring, outgoing, and compassionate,” as seen in the trailer for Dateline’s special Who Killed Mindy Morgenstern?
Where is Moe Gibbs now? He was found guilty in the murder of Mindy Morganstern in November 2007.
Mindy's friends found her violently murdered in her apartment, with her cause of death later being determined as asphyxiation and deep cuts to her neck.
After investigators combed through the scene and Mindy’s body was examined, they found that the DNA under her fingernails matched that of her neighbor Moe Gibbs, a corrections officer who lived in her apartment complex.
Making matters worse, Gibbs’s DNA also matched a cold sexual assault case in the neighboring city of Fargo that occurred two years before Mindy’s murder.
Law enforcement later arrested him once all the evidence was analyzed. However, he denied being the culprit.
The Grand Forks Herald shared that after Gibbs’s arrest, some female inmates at Barnes County Jail accused him of assaulting them from May to September 2006, while he worked at the facility. Gibbs was later charged with six felony counts of sexual assault regarding five female inmates.
As a result, Gibbs was sentenced to 12 years for the now-solved Fargo rape and 15 years for the assaults, after taking a plea deal. The sexual assault prison sentence was ruled to be served concurrently.
As for Mindy’s murder, Gibbs's July 2007 trial resulted with a hung jury. However, Gibbs was later found guilty of murder after his second trial in October 2007. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
Prosecutors argued in court that Gibbs likely attempted to assault Mindy and ended up murdering her because he didn’t get his way.
The Dateline special is set to feature interviews from former North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent Mark Sayler, prosecutor Jonathan Byers, and friends and family of Mindy Morgenstern.
We'd like to give the friends and family of Mindy Morgenstern our deepest condolences.