In the days after her daughter's murder in 1995, Mary Dicke was approached by lots of people in Gibsonton who offered her comfort and help.
One of them, she said, was Jonathan "Rock" Lundin, a shrimper and a regular customer at her restaurant. Dicke would later recall that Lundin appeared outraged at the fatal stabbing of her daughter, 34-year-old Tina Marie Cribbs, last seen leaving a Gibsonton bar.
"I don't know how anybody could do that to a girl," Dicke remembered Lundin saying.
A year after Cribbs' murder, Lundin himself was charged with killing another Gibsonton woman who also was stabbed to death, 37-year-old Janet Ragland. Glen Rogers, a suspected serial killer who was captured driving Cribbs' car, has been charged with murdering Cribbs.
Similarities between the two killings _ and allegations that Lundin was at or near the motel where Cribbs' body was discovered _ were enough to pique the interest of Rogers' attorney Nick Sinardi. In a pretrial hearing for Rogers Wednesday, Sinardi said information from the Lundin case could be "highly important to Mr. Rogers in the preparation of his defense."
Sinardi also said the information "may boil down to nothing."
Loved ones of the two Gibsonton women sat shoulder to shoulder at Rogers' pretrial hearing Wednesday. Ragland's sister, Shirley Holland, who made the horrifying discovery of her sister's body in a mangrove swamp near the Alafia River, and Cribbs' mother have been supporting each other because of similarities in their cases.
Holland said she has learned that Lundin and Rogers knew each other through the carnival business.
Detectives say Rogers, 34, met Cribbs at the Showtown U.S.A. bar in November 1995. Her slashed body was later discovered at the Tampa 8 Inn on Columbus Drive, in the bathtub of a room registered to Rogers.
Rogers also was wanted in the murders of women in California, Mississippi and Louisiana.
In court Wednesday, Sinardi said he may have witnesses who can put Lundin at or near the Tampa 8 Inn or the Tropicana motel across the street around the time Cribbs was killed. He declined to name the potential witnesses.
In October 1996, a little more than a year after Cribbs' death, Ragland was last seen at James' Place, a bar within blocks of the Showtown U.S.A. Both bars are on U.S. 41 in Gibsonton.
Lyann Goudie, the prosecutor in Lundin's case, said Lundin "is not a suspect in any other murders in Hillsborough County that I am aware of." Lundin served seven years in Florida State Prison for sexual battery and was released in 1993.
Rogers' trial has been scheduled for April 28. Because of extensive publicity, including plans by Court TV to televise the case, Sinardi said he will ask Circuit Judge Diana Allen for a change of venue and to exclude cameras from the courtroom.