Army Veteran Allan Kowalski Found Buried in Shallow Grave on Texas Property; Charles Tidwell Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison for Murder (November 6, 2008)

Allan Kowalski

Allan Kowalski, U.S. Army Veteran (Photo: Bonnies Blog of Crime)

Army veteran Allan Kowalski, 51, was found buried in a shallow grave on his Ingram, Texas property on November 6, 2008. A routine traffic stop on October 22, 2008 lead police to learn of Al’s fate. Charlie Tidwell was pulled over by the police and presented with Al’s identification. The police found Al’s birth certificate, credit cards, and Tidwell was driving Al’s vehicle. Charlie Tidwell also forged Army 1st Lt. Al Kowalski’s active military ID by cutting out Al’s picture and inserting his own. As a result, Charlie Tidwell was arrested for failure to present an ID and an outstanding warrant. Initially, Charlie Tidwell told investigators Al was in Africa. The police were concerned about him because no one had seen or heard from Al since August 26 and his dog was still at his house. Al never went anywhere without his dog. Police visited Al’s house and it was ransacked, furniture had been stolen, and all of Al’s cars were gone.

They also found most of Al’s personal effects in trash bags. The police suspected a murder but now they had to find the body. They brought in a cadaver dog and the dog hit on a spot on the property; Al was buried in a shallow grave not far from the house. Charles Tidwell was charged with murder and after several interviews, Charlie admitted shooting Al but he claimed it was self-defense. An autopsy revealed Al was shot twice in the back of the head; authorities were unclear of motive. In the end, twelve people were indicted in the theft of Al’s property including Charlie’s wife Lisa. Lisa Rassi was sentenced to 10 years in prison for organized crime; Jeremiah McGregor was sentenced to 10 years in prison; and Wayne Christiansen was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In 2010, Charlie Tidwell was found guilty of murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Other individuals who were indicted are: Wayne Earl Christiansen, 35 and Jeremiah Jason McGregor, 31 (both charged with aggravated assault and organized crime). The rest have been charged with organized crime: Theresa Jo Bruffett, 43; Elizabeth D. Carmona, 43; Amanda Rassi Contreras, 20; Raymundo Daniel Contreras, 24; Andrea Helen Cooper, 25; Michael Rene Garcia, 25; Richard Alcorta Garza, 39; Silver Star Hernandez, 24; Danita Dee Horner, 20; Kelli Rae Lagrone, 52; John Centeno Moreno, Jr., 26; and Lisa Gale Rassi, 41. Charles Tidwell and Ricado Ricky Giovannetti are both being held on charges of murder, with a $500,000 bond, and of organized crime (theft) with another $100,000 bond. Hierholzer said that there are likely more charges to be filed on several defendants. –West Kerr Current (2008)

Investigation Discovery:

Al Kowalski is new to Hill Country, Texas. He plans to spend his early retirement hunting and fixing his vintage vehicles. Al welcomes meth-addicted mechanic Charlie Tidwell into his home to help with the cars, but Charlie has a different plan. -Buried Secrets, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E3)

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:
Man charged in death of retiree who befriended him
Man charged in death of retiree who befriended him
Man pleads guilty to 2008 Kerr County murder
Charles Tidwell admits to killing Ingram man
Second man charged in murder; 16 indicted in ‘bizarre’ case
Man accused of taking life, identification
Man gets 25 years for disposing of retiree’s body
Man gets 25 years for disposing of retiree’s body
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E3)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Buried Secrets’ on ID: Army Veteran Allan Kowalski Found Buried in Shallow Grave on Texas Property (October 27, 2013)

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