Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

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Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

TWITTER: Tony Bemis @Bemis_Tony
FACEBOOK: Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Bemis family want death investigation reopened
PETITION: Reopen death investigation of Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2012, Tony and Sue Bemis received the news no parent wants to hear. Their son, Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis had died by suicide. As they struggled to make sense of their loss, things didn’t add up. Seven years later, they still have questions about what exactly did happen to their son.” –CPO John Keith Bemis, Crimelines True Crime Podcast (December 22, 2019)

Related Links:
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (website)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Facebook)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Luminary
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Radio Public
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PodBean
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podchaser
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)
Five Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

Seven Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

Crime Junkie Podcast:

Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast:

Crimelines True Crime Podcast w/ Death’s Door Podcast Featured the Last Military Execution of Army Private John Bennett in 1961 (April 22, 2018)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

Death’s Door Podcast:

Death’s Door Podcast Featured the Case of Military Death Row Inmate Army MSG Timothy Hennis (September 14, 2017)

Military Murder True Crime Podcast:

Military Murder Podcast Premiered First Three Episodes on Veteran’s Day: Stephen Schap, Russell Williams, and Timothy Hennis (November 11, 2019)

Murderific True Crime Podcast:

Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)

The Generation Why Podcast:

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Mysterious Death of Air Force Colonel Philip Shue: Accident, Suicide or Murder? (November 4, 2018)

The Vanished Podcast:

The Vanished Podcast Featured the Mysterious Missing Persons Case of Army Pvt. Dakota Lee Stump at Fort Hood in Texas (December 15, 2017)

Murderific True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (December 8, 2019)

Kamisha Block Murderific Podcast

Clear here for Shonta Block’s call for action.

TWITTER: Shonta Block @ShontaBlock
FACEBOOK: Corruption without justice in the military
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Block family want congressional hearings
PETITION: Justice for Kamisha Block commanding officers are not above the law.
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2007, Kamisha Block was killed by friendly fire while serving in Iraq – or that was what her family was told. Her family uncovered several lies by the U.S. Army and ultimately learned that Kamisha was murdered. Why did the military lie to the Block family? This is a story about domestic abuse, murder, a military cover-up, and the relentless pursuit of justice by the Block family.” –Kamisha Block, Murderific True Crime Podcast (December 8, 2019)

UPDATE: Army reopens case of 2007 murder-suicide that was originally called ‘friendly fire’ (Stars and Stripes, April 19, 2019)

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Murderific True Crime Podcast (website)
Murderific True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
Kamisha Block | Murderific Podcast | Shonta Block Facebook Post
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | website
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | PodBean
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Podbay
Kamisha Block | Murderific True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (2007)
Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Died in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Military Murder of Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Baghdad, Iraq (October 20, 2019)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)

15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System

Soldier’s Girl (Showtime):

New Army recruit Barry Winchell is assigned to a base in Tennessee. One night out to a local bar hosting a drag show. Calpernia Addams an in-transition transsexual drag queen, fascinates Barry, and they strike up a relationship. -Soldier’s Girl, Showtime (January 20, 2003)

Showtime Entertainment Released ‘Soldier’s Girl’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell

In the Valley of Elah (Warner Bros):

“In the Valley of Elah” tells the story of a war veteran (Tommy Lee Jones), his wife (Susan Sarandon) and the search for their son, a soldier who recently returned from Iraq but has mysteriously gone missing, and the police detective (Charlize Theron) who helps in the investigation. -Warner Bros. (September 14, 2007)

Warner Bros. Premiered ‘In the Valley of Elah’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Benning Army Spc. Richard T. Davis

The Tillman Story (The Weinstein Company):

Pat Tillman never thought of himself as a hero. His choice to leave a multimillion-dollar football contract and join the military wasn’t done for any reason other than he felt it was the right thing to do. The fact that the military manipulated his tragic death in the line of duty into a propaganda tool is unfathomable and thoroughly explored in Amir Bar-Lev’s riveting and enraging documentary. -The Tillman Story (August 20, 2010)

The NFL, the MilItary, and the Hijacking of Pat Tillman’s Story

The Wounded Platoon (Frontline PBS):

The Wounded Platoon

Since the Iraq War began, soldier arrests in the city of Colorado Springs have tripled. FRONTLINE tells the dark tale of the men of 3rd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st battalion of the 506th infantry, and how the war followed them home. It is a story of heroism, grief, vicious combat, depression, drugs, alcohol and brutal murder; an investigation into the Army’s mental health services; and a powerful portrait of what multiple tours and post-traumatic stress are doing to a generation of young American soldiers. –The Wounded Platoon (May 18, 2010)

Frontline PBS: The Wounded Platoon Documentary [Full Episode]

On the Dark Side of Al Doura (Maverick Media):

U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic. –On the Dark Side in Al Doura (2011)

On the Dark Side in Al Doura (Iraq): Documentary Gives You an Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the U.S. Army

The Invisible War (Cinedigm):

The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative documentary about one of our country’s most shameful and best kept secrets: the epidemic of rape within our US military. Today, a female soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire with the number of assaults in the last decade alone in the hundreds of thousands. -The Invisible War (June 22, 2012)

Military Rape Documentary Funded and Distributed by “Serial Predator” and Hollywood Movie Executive Harvey Weinstein

Women of War Documentary (Sundance Films):

Military Sexual Trauma or M.S.T. has been a fixture in the military for as long as human war has existed, and is still quite prevalent even in today’s modern military. This feature length documentary uncovers the origins and offers solutions to M.S.T. -Women of War Documentary (February 4, 2013)

Women of War Documentary, Phil Valentine [Full Episode]

The Frozen Ground (Grindstone):

“The Frozen Ground” is inspired by the incredible true story that follows Alaskan State Trooper Jack Halcombe (Nicolas Cage) as he sets out to end the murderous rampage of Robert Hansen (John Cusack), a serial killer who has gone unnoticed for 13 years. As the bodies of street girls start to pile up in Anchorage, fear strikes a chord with the public. -The Frozen Ground (August 23, 2013)

Serial Killer & Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Died of Natural Causes While Serving Out a Life Sentence in Alaska State Prison

The Silent Truth (Midtown Films):

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth Documentary (July 1, 2014)

‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq

The Kill Team (PBS Independent Lens):

The Kill Team looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers’ psyches through the lens of one highly personal and emotional story. Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted with the help of his father to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. But Winfield’s pleas went unheeded. Left on his own and with threats to his life, Private Winfield was himself drawn into the moral abyss, forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever. -The Kill Team, (July 25, 2014)

The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Reveals How the Military Justice System Operates in Response to Media Scandals

Gangs in the U.S. Army (A&E Television):

Sworn to protect us from every enemy, foreign and domestic, and every day the majority of soldiers do just that ! yet some units are being compromised and turn into street gangs. An FBI report recently showed an increased gang activity within US soldiers. -Gangs in the U.S. Army Documentary (2017)

Gangs in the Military: Armed and Dangerous Forces

Final Vision (Investigation Discovery):

The ID Original Movie, FINAL VISION tells the true story of Jeffrey MacDonald, a handsome, Ivy League-educated U.S. Army Green Beret doctor, who was convicted of brutally murdering his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night. -Final Vision, Investigation Discovery (December 10, 2017)

Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘Final Vision’: The True Crime Story of Former Army Captain Jeffrey MacDonald

The Kill Team (A24):

When a young US soldier in Afghanistan witnesses other recruits killing civilians under the direction of a sadistic sergeant, he begins to fear that the men he’s serving with might be the ones to kill him. -The Kill Team (October 25, 2019)

‘The Kill Team’ Movie Released: Based on the True Story of Army Whistleblower Adam Winfield

Leavenworth (STARZ):

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check tell the story of First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. Watch the Official Trailer for the upcoming STARZ Original Docuseries, Leavenworth, premiering October 20 on the STARZ App. (August 28, 2019)

STARZ Premiered ‘Leavenworth’: Docu-Series Examines Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance Afghanistan ‘War Crimes’ Case

Ready for War (Showtime):

Andrew Renzi sheds light on the lives of three of the estimated thousands of immigrants who volunteer for service in the American military, yet find themselves deported from the US once their tours of duty are over. -Ready for War, Showtime (November 22, 2019)

The ultimate threat for deported U.S. veterans? Drug cartels, new documentary says

Snapped Premiered ‘Hazelynn Stomps’ on Oxygen: Army Veteran Jerry Stomps Remains Found in Garbage Can on Oregon Property (November 17, 2019)

After a woman reports that she and her husband were attacked by a pair of assailants, authorities in Oregon launch an investigation into the crime and unravel a complex scheme. -Hazelynn Stomps, Snapped (S26,E13)

Related Links:
Gerald Ervin “Jerry” Stomps
Hazelynn Stomps | Snapped | Oxygen (S26,E13)
Hazelynn Stomps | Snapped | Oxygen (Prime Video)
Oregon woman wanted for killing husband found dead
Witness in Corbett woman’s murder trial commits suicide
Broken pelvis foiled plan by Hazelynn Stomps, prosecutor says
Stomps found guilty of 2009 murder of husband
Jury finds Hazelynn Stomps guilty in death of her husband, Jerry Stomps
Family members beg Hazelynn Stomps to tell the truth, condemn her for killing Jerry Stomps at her sentencing
Hazelynn Stomps to serve 25 years to life in prison for murdering husband
Son to killer Stomps: ‘You are a monster’
Episode 10: Where Is Jerry? | Murder in the Rain Podcast
10 Disturbingly Sneaky Female Murderers Who Nearly Got Away

Military Murder Podcast Premiered First Three Episodes on Veteran’s Day: Stephen Schap, Russell Williams, and Timothy Hennis (November 11, 2019)

The Military Murder Podcast dropped their first three episodes on Veteran’s Day. The podcasts featured the homicide cases of Army Sgt. Stephen Schap, Canadian RAF Colonel Russell Williams, and Army MSG Timothy Hennis (currently on military death row with three other servicemembers). The Military Murder Podcast is the first of it’s kind and we are pleased that a true crime podcaster chose this particular subject. MJFA tracks homicide committed by active duty service members, their families, and veterans. It’s our belief if they are capable of murder, they are also capable of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, physical assault, animal abuse, and other felony crimes. It is our hope that the military will track these red flag crimes in a more efficient manner with civilian authorities so we can prevent the homicide from occurring and warn civilians of the dangers that lurk when a service member is discharged instead of prosecuted. Check out the Military Murder Podcast on your favorite podcast app. We love the Stitcher app because we can organize all our favorite podcasts in one place. And the Military Murder Podcast is definitely one of our favorites.

0. Introducing Military Murder Podcast

Ep1. MURDER: The Decapitation of an Army Specialist by a Fellow Soldier

Ep2. MURDER (x’s 2): Tweed Creeper-RAF Colonel Russell Williams Kills 2 Women (Including One of His Troops)

Ep3. MURDER (x’s 3): The Eastburn Family Murders & The 3 Trials of Timothy Hennis

Related Links:
Military Murder Podcast (website)
Russell Williams Case | The Canadian Encyclopedia
Army Sgt. Stephen Schap Murdered Wife’s Lover Spc. Gregory Glover in Germany; Convening Authority Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison (December 7, 1993)
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Mother’s Day Murders’ on ID: Timothy Hennis on Military Death Row for Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (October 8, 2012)
Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

The Object of Murder Premiered ‘Beauty for Ashes’ on Investigation Discovery: Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanishes in Florida (November 7, 2019)

In 2016, 33-year-old Tricia Todd was reported missing after failing to pick up her daughter from a babysitter. As her family hoped and prayed, investigators found her online journal that revealed the true horror of what had happened. -Beauty for Ashes, The Object of Murder (S1,E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 1)
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 2)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 1)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 2)
How her journal helped solve her own murder
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (website)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanished in Florida; Air Force SSgt Steven Williams Pleaded No Contest to Murder, Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison (April 26, 2016)