Sgt Tracy Birkman, US Army, Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Owesat, Iraq (2008)

Tracy Birkman

Sgt Tracy Birkman, US Army

Sgt Tracy Renee Birkman, US Army, died from non combat related injuries in Owesat, Iraq on January 25, 2008. Sgt. Birkman was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 626th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation. Sgt. Birkman’s cause of non combat death is unknown.

Birkman’s father, Jerald Griffith, a Vietnam War veteran, said he was angry with military officials for releasing information about his daughter’s death and with the news media for its portrayal of soldiers such as himself. “I didn’t want it released. I am so [furious] about all this I can just scream,” said Griffith, also of New Castle. “I hate the media with just an unmitigated passion. You . . . lied about me when I was in Vietnam.” He said his daughter was on her third deployment.” She’s over there in a war we shouldn’t even be involved in, on her third tour,” Griffith said. –The Washington Post

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Sgt. Tracy Renee Birkman
Sgt. Tracy R. Birkman, The Fort Campbell Courier
Soldier From the Roanoke Area, a Mother of 3, Is Killed

College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (2008)

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Brianna Denison (Reno, Nevada)

Brianna Denison, 19, was abducted by former Marine James Biela in Reno, Nevada on January 20th, 2008. She was subsequently found raped and murdered. According to Joe Biela, James Biela once wore the uniform of a Marine but was kicked out of the service. James Biela was convicted of raping and strangling Brianna and sentenced to death in 2010. Brianna’s family fought for ‘Brianna’s Law’ in Nevada and it passed:

The bill mandates a DNA cheek-swab whenever a person is booked for a felony arrest. If the arrest is deemed legitimate, the DNA would be cross-referenced with DNA from other crime scenes to see if the arrestee was involved. The proposal is named after Brianna Denison who was raped and murdered by James Biela in Reno in 2008. Proponents believe such a law may have saved Denison because Biela had a prior felony arrest. –Fox 5 Vegas

Related Links:
Bring Bri Justice
Who is James Biela?
Reno Police Hunt for Serial Rapist
Biela had trouble with women, law
Details emerge about suspect in Brianna Denison murder
Police Arrest Suspect in Sex Assault Slaying of Reno Teen Brianna Denison
Pregnant Rape Victim Forgives James Biela In Court
James Biela’s Ex-Girlfriend Carleen Harmon Testifies in Murder Case of Brianna Denison
Lab Investigator Testifies About Denison Crime Scene in James Biela Trial
Nevada man convicted of raping, strangling college student
Serial Rapist Found Guilty of Rape and Murder of Nevada Coed
Brianna Denison Murder Verdict: James Biela Found Guilty of Killing, Raping College Student
Brianna Denison’s Murderer Gets Four Life Sentences for Sexual Assault, Kidnapping
Brianna Denison’s Killer, James Biela, Gets Death; Mom Says “He Messed With the Wrong Family”
Moms of murdered daughters push for Nevada DNA bill
Brianna’s Law officially becomes Nevada state law
Death row inmate seeks new trial in Brianna Denison killing
James Biela petitions court for retrial in rape, murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison
Biela won’t get a new trial in Denison murder case
Reno man denied new trial in rape, murder near university


When a young college student is abducted from a friend’s home in the middle of the night, the city of Reno lives in fear of who might be next. Dogged investigation leads detectives to a serial rapist who’s just escalated to murder. -Unusual Suspects