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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Oxygen Premieres ‘Notorious: Kristen Gilbert’ on Snapped (2018)


Notorious: Kristen Gilbert (Snapped)

Related Links:

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Kristen Gilbert

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (April 2018)

April 2018

Missing:
Patrick F. Carnes, Nevada (2011) | Missing Veterans
Mother Joins Search for Navy Officer Son Who Vanished on Way to Submarine Based in Connecticut
Federal agencies get involved with search for missing Martinsville man

Cold Cases:
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (April 17, 2017)

Reward Offered:
$11K offered in hunt for Marine accused of killing detective’s daughter
Former Marine wanted for murder believed to be in Mexico, manhunt underway
Authorities ask for public’s help in locating ex-Marine fugitive

Petitions:
Advocate for review and reform of injustice in the Military

Announcements:
Veterans legal clinic scheduled in Killeen
Save Our Heroes Sends Letter of Concern to Joint Regional Correctional Facility Leavenworth, Re Violation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

Legislation:
This Gunnery Sergeant’s job destroyed his body to the point of retirement
Diagnosed With Leukemia, This Officer Was One Year From Retirement

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Investigation Discovery Premieres ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)


‘Reversal of Fortune’ | An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase

Michael Peterson appears to have it all – a doting wife, a loving family and a successful literary career – but, that all changes on December 9, 2001, when Michael’s wife, Kathleen, is found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in their home in Durham, North Carolina. Michael claims it was a tragic accident. Investigators, however, fear something far more sinister is at play and direct their attention to him. Did Michael Peterson murder his wife? Investigation Discovery (ID) delves into one of the most fascinating cases in criminal history in AN AMERICAN MURDER MYSTERY: THE STAIRCASE. Premiering Sunday, April 8 at 10/9c, the three-part special event provides a unique and comprehensive look at the death of Kathleen Peterson, exploring the shocking theories, critical evidence and surprising secrets that thrust this case into the national spotlight.

Read more here.

Related Links:

 

What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (2018)

homicide-cases

  1. Fort Carson Army Spc. Tracy Spencer Sentenced to Life in Prison for Double Rape & Murder of Army Veteran Micki Filmore & Colorado Springs Nurse Barbara Kramer (1986)
  2. Army Soldier Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Rape & Murder of Army Pvt. Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)
  3. Army Pvt Rosa Martinez Murdered at Fort Dix by National Guardsman Jose Aponte After She Resisted His Sexual Advances (1987)
  4. Army Soldier Dwight Loving Robbed & Murdered Cab Driver; Sentenced to Death by Military But Commuted by President Obama, Sentenced to Life (1988)
  5. Army Soldier Erin Tynan Raped & Strangled by Fellow Fort Irwin Soldier Christopher Geier, Geier Guilty of Murder, Murder-For-Hire & Attempted Murder (1990)
  6. Air Force Sgt. Joseph Snodgrass Hired Hitmen to Kill Wife in Philippines for $400,000 Life Insurance Payout; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1991)
  7. Army Spouse Melinda Stewart, Army Sgt. Daniel Stewart, Jill Yousaf & Army Soldier James Catlin Conspired & Murdered Homeless Teen Maggie Fetty (1991)
  8. Phonthip Ott Discovered Dead in California River; Coast Guard Spouse Dennis Ott Convicted of Murder & Sentenced to Life in Prison (1992)
  9. Fort Carson Army Soldier Michael Pelkey Convicted by Military Court Martial of Murdering Wife Diane; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1993)
  10. Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)
  11. Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn Convicted of the Cold Case Murder of Carol Hutto in Florida; Sentenced to Life, Possibility of Parole After 25 Years (2000)
  12. Air Force Capt. Frank ‘Marty’ Theer Murdered by Wife Michelle & Army SSG John Diamond in North Carolina; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison (2000)
  13. Fort Bliss Army Commander Capt. Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger & His Brother Rodney for Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  14. Air Force SSgt Shelby Orelup Murdered by an Airman She Dated Briefly, SSgt Phillip Arindain Sentenced to Life in Prison (2003)
  15. Army Soldiers Jeremy Meyers & Christopher Baber Found Guilty of Murdering Jeremy’s Wife Jessica for the Life Insurance Policy (2003)
  16. Air Force Airman Andy Schliepsiek & Wife Jamie Stabbed to Death at Robins Air Force Base, Andrew Witt Found Guilty of First Degree Murder (2004)
  17. Marine Corps Reservist Rosendo Rodriguez III Murdered Summer Baldwin and Unborn Child; Sentenced to Death in Texas for Two Capital Murders (2005)
  18. Navy Seabee Rebecca Braswell Conspired with Fellow Navy Seabees to Kill Ex-Husband & Navy Veteran John Marmo, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2006)
  19. Army Sgt 1st Class Donald Gower Conspired & Offered to Pay Others to Murder his Estranged Wife Hidi Gower for the Life Insurance (2007)
  20. Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child were Murdered; Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2007)
  21. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (2008)
  22. Fort Bragg Army Nurse Lt Holley Wimunc Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce, John Wimunc Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  23. Army Sgt. Christina Smith Murdered by Army Husband Richard Smith & Accomplice Matthew Kvapil, Both Fort Bragg Soldiers Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  24. Marine Sgt. Jan Pietrzak & Spouse Quiana Murdered by Four Active Duty Marines (2008)
  25. Disabled Teen Judilianna Lawrence Lured on MySpace by Army Soldier; Robert Marko Sentenced to Life in Prison for Rape & Murder (2008)
  26. Army Soldier Ashley Barnes Stabbed to Death by Estranged Husband; Fort Campbell Army Soldier Khaleefa Lambert Sentenced to Life in Prison (2009)
  27. Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell Murdered by Marine Jorge Torrez in Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia (2009)
  28. Navy Master Chief John Bench Murdered Son & Attempted to Murder Wife & Daughter in Japan, Then Killed Self in Motorcycle Crash (2009)
  29. Army Major Nidal Hasan Sentenced to Death by Military Court for Opening Fire & Killing 12 Unarmed Soldiers & 1 DoD Employee at Fort Hood, Texas (2009)
  30. Pregnant Samira Watkins Found Dead in Bayou Grande in Florida; Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life (2009)
  31. Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)
  32. Air Force Reservist Travis McGraw Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Life Insurance Policy; Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2011)
  33. Army Soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2012)
  34. Air Force A1C James Thomas Sentenced to 32 Years for Murder of SrA Clinton Reeves (2012)
  35. Marine Corps Spouse Brittany Killgore Held Captive, Tortured, Raped, and Murdered After Refusing Sex; 3 BDSM Cult Members Sentenced to Life (2012)
  36. Robert Chiaravalotti, US Army, Sentenced to Life Without Parole by Military Judge After Killing Wife & Raping Step Daughter (2012)
  37. Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
  38. Baby Found Dead on Side of Highway; Air Force SrA Matthew Theurer Plead Guilty to Involuntary Manslaughter, Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison (2013)
  39. Marine Nathaniel Cosby Convicted of the Second Degree Murder of Ivanice Harris in Hawaii; Sentenced to Life in Prison by Military Courts (2013)
  40. Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)
  41. Army Soldier Jeremiah Hill Convicted in Fatal Stabbing of Fellow Soldier Tevin Geike in 2013, Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison
  42. Navy PO 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov Found Strangled to Death in Germany; Air Force SSgt Sean Oliver Found Guilty, Sentenced to Life (2013)
  43. Nathaniel Ulroan, US Army, Gets Life in Death of Son (2014)
  44. Camp Pendleton Marine Christopher Lee Convicted of Pre-Meditated Murder of Pregnant Lover Erin Corwin; Sentenced to Life in Prison (2014)
  45. Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
  46. Marine Joseph Pemberton Found Guilty by Philippines Court for Murder of Filipina Sex Worker Jennifer Laude; Sentenced to 6-12 Years (2014)
  47. Fort Meade Army Soldier Caleb Barnes Stabbed Cheryl Silvonek to Death; Plead Guilty to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2015)
  48. Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathan Nelson Found Guilty of Murdering Ashley Melnyczok; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison Without Parole (2015)
  49. Air Force SSgt Steven Williams Pleaded No Contest to the Second Degree Murder of his USAF Veteran Ex-Wife Tricia Todd in Florida (2016)
  50. Fort Carson Army Soldier Branden Harms Pleaded Guilty to Child Abuse Resulting in Death; Faced 40-48 Years in Prison at Sentencing (2016)

Awaiting Trial:

  1. Army Sgt Michael Walker Allegedly Conspired to Murder Wife with Prostitute for Insurance Money; Awaiting Murder Trial in Hawaii Civilian Court (2014)
  2. Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Plead Guilty & Army Sgt Maliek Kearney Awaiting Trial (2015)
  3. Army Soldier Jeanie (Vengen) Ditty & Boyfriend Accused of Killing Daughter; Both Charged with Murder in North Carolina (2015)
  4. Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (2016)
  5. Spc. Marquez Brown & Pvt. Malika Jackson Were Found Murdered in Georgia Home; Army Soldiers Sgt. Shaquille Craig & Spc. Phillip Thompson, Jr. Charged with Murder (2017)

Oxygen Premiered ‘Snapped: Joanna McElrath’ (2018)


Rob McElrath was in his pajamas, left his badge, and his gun was missing. This was not normal for Rob. -Snapped, Oxygen

Related Links:
Snapped: Joanna McElrath | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – Joanna McElrath (Season 23, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – Is Alan Working Today? (Season 23, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Joanna was Evil (Season 23, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Remembering Rob (Season 23, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – A Loving Community (Season 23, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Joanna McElrath Sentenced to Prison Term of 25 to Life
Lassen woman sentenced to 25 years to life for murder of police-officer husband
James Pleads Guilty to McElrath Slaying: Facing 25 Years to Life in Prison

MJFA Honors Cassie Jaye, Director of The Red Pill Movie, on International Women’s Day


The Red Pill, A Cassie Jaye Documentary

About the Film: When feminist filmmaker Cassie Jaye sets out to document the mysterious and polarizing world of the Men’s Rights Movement, she begins to question her own beliefs. Jaye had only heard about the Men’s Rights Movement as being a misogynist hate-group aiming to turn back the clock on women’s rights, but when she spends a year filming the leaders and followers within the movement, she learns the various ways men are disadvantaged and discriminated against. The Red Pill challenges the audience to pull back the veil, question societal norms, and expose themselves to an alternate perspective on gender equality, power and privilege.

Learn more about Cassie Jaye & The Red Pill Movie here.

Related Links:
11 Sign of Sneaky Sociopath
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for Military Survivor and Life Insurance Benefits (2016)
Are More Male’s Victims of Violent Crime in the US than Females? (2017)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (2017)
78 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 71 Stateside Deaths, 37 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)

Military Policy Concerns

  • Males are victims of crimes and perpetrators of crimes
  • Males are victims of exploitation, sexual abuse, domestic violence, attempted homicide, homicide, physical assault, hazing and bullying
  • Males are the perpetrators of most crimes committed in the military
  • What percentage of males has post traumatic stress?
  • What percentage of males is considered a domestic abuser?
  • Need to differentiate between disassociation/abuse & escalation in violence
  • More then half of victims of sexual assault are male, they are not reporting.
  • 1 Active Duty suicide a day, most cases not attributed to serving in combat zone.
  • High rates of domestic abuse, alcohol use, assault, & getting into trouble.
  • Males guilty of domestic violence, child abuse, physical assault, sexual assault
  • Majority of perpetrators are males, although women are perpetrators too
  • Both male & female perpetrators exhibit signs of narcissism, sociopathy
  • Perpetrators do not discriminate, they target the most vulnerable male or female
  • Perpetrators are targeting males because male dominated career, opportunist
  • Male on male crime tends to be more violent, victim may have been threatened
  • The stereotype that perpetrators are always male is false, female perpetrators tend to be more sociopathic, manufacture evidence, create narrative, and elicit the help of others to commit the crimes usually because of financial motive
  • Financial benefits, medical benefits, & life insurance make solders vulnerable, targeted by sociopaths for financial gain, mostly males in Army targeted
  • Domestic abuse perpetrated by female spouses minimized, false accusations common
  • Fear of losing security of steady paycheck if anyone reports abuse to command
  • Red flags missed because the abused do not want to report, violence escalates to a point of no return (careers ended, someone gets hurt or dies)
  • Males fear reporting to command, perpetrators may be higher ranking, exploitation
  • Commanders are single investigators, may not realize being manipulated by sociopath who is out to get revenge because the other party rejected them
  • Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a common motive for murder, mostly males targeted, soldiers motivated to get married quickly for financial benefits
  • Males think they can’t become a victim of crime, anyone can whether violent criminal or manipulative spouse exploiting soldier financially, target when alone
  • If abusive spouse lives on federal military base, no one has jurisdiction over them, can’t court martial or NJP, soldier held responsible for behavior of family
  • Where can soldiers turn to for help to safely end a marriage? Are they provided with an attorney? Do they have to pay out of pocket? Command’s involvement?
  • Who is tracking behaviors/red flags of both perpetrators & those with PTSD?
  • What services are offered to assist a soldier with PTSD? Is it a career ender?
  • Is toxic leadership responsible for soldiers choosing suicide? Betrayal?
  • How do Commander’s hold military spouse accountable for domestic abuse?
  • How do Commander’s hold soldier accountable for escalating domestic abuse?
  • Is it possible that male soldiers do not report because don’t want to be seen as weak?

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (February 2018)

January 2018 copy 2

Reward Offered:
Reward offered in case of service dog found shot, dumped at train tracks

*************************************************

ACTIVE DUTY

Stateside Deaths:
Army Ranger died during free-fall training in January
CMC facing court-martial committed suicide, police say
Altus airman killed in bicycle accident
Special Forces soldier dies in motorcycle crash outside Fort Bragg
Virginia Beach sailor killed in crash had “high aspirations” for a better life in America
Airman from Vandenberg Air Force Base killed in early-morning crash
Air Force identifies airman killed after being run over by bus
Identity revealed of airman killed near Vandenberg; donations being solicited for services
Young Army soldier found dead in parking lot from apparent suicide
Army: Paratrooper, 19, found dead in North Carolina
Army Ranger killed in accidental shooting at training facility has been identified
Officials ID Army Ranger who died at Oregon training facility
Soldier commits suicide after Army wives bullied her, told her she should die
Marine from Riverside who served multiple deployments killed in car crash
Death of 82nd Airborne Paratrooper in Fayetteville under investigation
Shooting death of Army Ranger at Camp Rilea prompts investigation
Soldier dies in accidental shooting at Oregon’s Camp Rilea
Soldier dies in shooting at Oregon’s Camp Rilea

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48 Hours Premiered ‘Rodney Alcala: The Killing Game’ on CBS (2018)


A photographer who was on “The Dating Game” became one of the nation’s deadliest serial killers. Eight years after “48 Hours”‘ first report, new victims emerge. Correspondent Peter Van Sant has the latest Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10/9c on CBS.

Rodney Alcala was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1943. His father abandoned the family when he was young. At 17, Alcala enlisted in the Army but there were problems, allegations of sexual misconduct, a nervous breakdown…the Army discharged him. “The military realized in 1963 that they had him, that he was a sexual deviant.” -Stefano Braccini, Former Cold Case Detective, NYPD (48 Hours)

Related Links:
Sneak peek: Rodney Alcala – The Killing Game
Former FBI profiler on the psychology of a sexual serial killer
48 Hours Mystery: The Killing Game (2010)
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala TV Gameshow Appearance
Rodney Alcala: On the trail of a serial killer
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala’s Photos Released: Can You ID Any Of These Women?
Judge Cries During Sentencing of Serial Killer Rodney Alcala
The Horrifying Story Of Rodney Alcala, The Serial Killer Who Won ‘The Dating Game’ During His Murder Spree
Decades-old photo links serial killer Rodney Alcala to yet another slaying, this one in Wyoming, prosecutors say
How a Serial Killer and Rapist Ended up on The Dating Game — and Was Chosen by the Girl
Flashback: Serial Killer Appears on ‘The Dating Game’ Mid-Spree
Rodney Alcala The Dating Game Killer: A Psychological Profile
The Haunting Photography of a Serial Killer
Rodney Alcala: The Killing Game (CBS Website)

Oxygen Premiered ‘Killing Versace: The Hunt for a Serial Killer’ (2018)


“Killing Versace: The Hunt For A Serial Killer” re-examines the infamous manhunt for Cunanan through new and revisited expert insider interviews. Watch new episodes of Killing Versace, premiering February 11th at 7/6c, only on Oxygen.

1) Jeffrey Trail was [Andrew] Cunanan’s friend.

According to Newsweek, Cunanan told friends in April 1997 he was headed to Minneapolis “to visit an old friend with whom he had unfinished business.” The old friend was Trail, who had previously been a naval officer. Vanity Fair reports Cunanan described Trail as his best and “my brother.”

CBS News reported Trail was a Gulf War veteran and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Friends called him “an upbeat, fun-loving, compassionate man.” Trail’s father told The Washington Post in July 1997, “Jeff was the kind of guy who was always trying to help people out… He went out of his way to be helpful to people.”

Read more from Harpers Bazaar here.

Related Links:
Five Lives Cut Short (1997)
Friends Remember Cunanan Victim (1997)
First Killing May Offer Clues to Four Others (1997)
Killing Versace: Hunt For a Serial Killer | Oxygen
The Gianni Versace Case, Explained – Very Real | Oxygen
Killing Versace: The Hunt for a Serial Killer – Premiering February 11th at 7/6c | Oxygen
Inside look at the Gianni Versace murder | ABC News
American Crime Story Season 2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace Trailer (HD)
Andrew Cunanan, the Versace Killer | The Crime Network
A Look Back at the Murder of Gianni Versace, 20 Years Later | Inside Edition
Versace’s murderer Andrew Cunanan kills his first two victims
Why Did Andrew Cunanan Go on a Killing Spree? American Crime Story Explores His Motives
Who Were Jeffrey Trail and David Madson? American Crime Story Explores Andrew Cunanan’s First Victims
Who Were Jeffrey Trail And David Madson, Andrew Cunanan’s First Victims?
Who Was Jeffrey Trail? ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace’ Explores Andrew Cunanan’s Alarming Fixation On Him
Who Is Jeff Trail In ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’?
Versace: Watch Jeff Trail’s Real-Life Interview About Being Gay in the Military
‘American Crime Story’: Watch Jeff Trail’s Real ’48 Hours’ Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Interview (Video)