Lois Gibson’s sketches have helped law enforcement identify 751 criminals and secure more than 1,000 convictions, earning her the title “The World’s Most Successful Forensic Artist” from “The Guinness Book of World Records.”
In a 36-year career, Gibson, 68, has been involved in many cases, including the Baby Grace case in which 2-year-old Riley Ann Sawyers was beaten to death in 2007 by her mother and stepfather. Her body was later found in Galveston Bay. Gibson was able to reconstruct Sawyers’ face and the sketch enabled the child’s grandmother to identify her.
Gibson also worked to help Galveston police by sketching a portrait of “Little Jacob,” the unidentified child whose body was found washed up on an island beach in October.
Gibson on Tuesday spoke at a gathering of the Sons of the Republic of Texas in La Marque. She talked about her decades-long career as a forensic artist and her recent work, including drawing the man that allegedly threatened adult film actress Stormy Daniels.
Daniels has alleged she had sex with President Trump in July 2006, a few months after first lady Melania Trump gave birth to Trump’s youngest son, Barron. Trump has denied the affair occurred, according to the White House.
Daniels, during an appearance on CBS’ “60 Minutes” earlier this year said a man approached her in a Las Vegas parking lot in 2011 and demanded she stay quiet about the alleged affair.
Daniels in April revealed a composite sketch, created by Gibson, of the man she claims threatened her in 2011 to stay silent about the alleged affair with Trump.
Of particular interest to the Sons of the Republic of Texas, an organization preserving Texas history and connecting people with their ancestral heritage, Gibson discussed her catalog of work, which included her period portrait of Texas Independence war hero Juan N. Seguín.
“I’ve done portraits on early Texans down to the bone,” she said. “The number one thing portrait artists do wrong is they make the nose too long and it messes up the face.”
Gibson decided to become a forensic artist after being assaulted and nearly killed when she was 21 and living in Los Angeles, Calif., she said.
She found an awakening in herself after the attack, she said.
“I needed that to happen,” she said. “There are people that are so bad, and I just want justice.”
Used in cases of missing people or even fugitives, age progressions and regressions are some of the various kinds of portraits Gibson draws, she said.
Aging or regressing a subject’s age is challenging work, Gibson said.
“In age progression, you have to make the skin go south,” she said. “But progressing babies is so hard.”
Sometimes drawing portraits from just a human skull makes the job haunting, Gibson said.
“It’s such a hard job,” she said. “It’s brutal down to the bone, but I’m going to do anything to get justice.”
If you know the right tips and drawing styles, it’s easy to create forensic portraits, Gibson said.
“I have techniques, and I teach people how to do this,” she said. “You just have to let people pick out a nose, lips and eyes.”
Gibson was tight-lipped about the details of the Stormy Daniels case, only saying that drawing the man who allegedly accosted her was an interesting experience.
“I liked her,” she said. “She was a nice girl. She should not have come forward, however. She’s going to be destroyed.”
The role of a forensic artist is vastly important and it needs to be utilized in crime cases in a greater capacity, Gibson said.
“I’m supposed to make the witness remember enough details to catch the bad guys,” she said. “I’m trying to speak on forensic art because it works. I’ve got it down to a science.”