Iraq War Army Veteran Steven Russell Jr. Convicted of the Capital Murder of Girlfriend Joy Owen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2012)

Steven Russell

Steven Russell, Jr., US Army Veteran

Army veteran Steven Russell, Jr. was convicted of the capital murder of his girlfriend Joy Owen on January 27, 2012. Russell was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Prosecutors say Russell killed Joy because she tried to leave him. In the middle of the night on November 3, 2009, Russell cocked his gun and fired it four times at Owen with no apparent provocation. The North Little Rock Police Department found Joy Owen’s body around 4:30 a.m. In the course of the homicide investigation, police learned that Russell had received 5-years probation in Clark County, Arkansas for the second-degree domestic battery of another girlfriend in 2008. According to reports, the U.S. Army said Russell was a mechanic stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma and he enlisted in the Army in 2001; the year he left the Army was not available.

Steven Russell’s defense team admitted he killed Owen but blamed the shooting on post-traumatic stress disorder brought on by his war service in Iraq in 2003. The attorneys appealed the decision claiming he “had the dubious task of recovering bodies and equipment after they had come in contact with improvised explosive devices.” But the state Supreme Court disagreed with the defense saying the judge was confronted with conflicting forensic evaluations. While two mental health professionals “found that Russell lacked capacity as a result of mental disease or defect to conform his conduct to the requirements of the law or to appreciate the criminality of his conduct, the court also had before it (another doctor’s) opinion to the contrary.” The Supreme Court upheld a Pulaski County jury’s 2012 conviction of capital murder.

“You would have to believe [Owen] did something that reminded him of his Iraqi war experience … and I can’t make that jump. To me, it was too convenient, and there was too much purposeful action.” –Dr. Brad Diner, psychologist

Related Links:
Arkansas Iraq War vet gets life in prison for killing girlfriend
Joy Owens, former MP daughter, students talk about her slaying
Ark. court upholds veteran’s murder conviction
Arkansas Man Challenging Judge Barring Partner At Home

Sins and Secrets Premiered ‘Fayetteville’ on Investigation Discovery: Michelle Theer & John Diamond Left a Permanent Mark on Community (January 26, 2012)

In 2000, Michelle Theer was an Air Force wife in the military town of Fayetteville until a fatal shooting made her a widow. The investigation into her husband’s death led police to the door of an Army Ranger – taking orders from very unlikely accomplices. -Fayetteville, Sins and Secrets (S2,E3)

Sexy psychologist and doting Air Force wife Michelle begins a swinging affair with Army Sgt. Diamond while her husband, Captain Marty Theer, is away. But all’s fair in love and war, and Marty’s return will remind them that love is a battlefield. -Sergeant Swinger, Scorned: Love Kills (S4,E1)

Oxygen:

A frantic, distraught woman runs into a video rental store screaming that her husband has been shot. -Michelle Theer & John Diamond, Killer Couples

Killer Couples: S8 E5 Preview – Michelle Theer and John Diamond | Oxygen

Killer Couples: S8 E5 After the Verdict – Michelle Theer and John Diamond | Oxygen

Psychologist Debbie Layton-Tholl talks about her experience meeting with Michelle Theer. -Michelle Theer & John Diamond, Killer Couples

A lonely military wife and psychologist go searching for sex on the Internet with deadly results. -Michelle Theer & John Diamond, Killer Couples (S8,E5)

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:
Fayetteville | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
Fayetteville | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
Fayetteville | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Sergeant Swinger | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S4,E1)
Sergeant Swinger | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (website)
Sergeant Swinger | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Killer Couples: S8 E5 Sneak Peek – My Husband Has Been Shot! | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E5 Preview – Michelle Theer and John Diamond | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E5 After the Verdict – Michelle Theer and John Diamond | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E5 Bonus Clip – Michelle Was Villified by the Media | Oxygen
Michelle Theer & John Diamond | Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8,E5)
Michelle Theer & John Diamond | Killer Couples | Oxygen (Amazon)
Air Force Capt. Frank Theer Murdered by Unidentified Gunman; Wife Michelle & Army SSG John Diamond Sentenced to Life in Prison (December 17, 2000)
Army SSG John Diamond Convicted of Murder of Air Force Capt. Frank Theer; Military Court Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (August 28, 2001)
Former Air Force Reservist Michelle Theer Convicted of Murder of Husband Frank Theer; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 3, 2004)
Scorned, Love Kills Premiered ‘Sergeant Swinger’ on ID: Air Force Captain’s Murder Reveals Wife’s Evil Intent, Adultery & Greed (October 4, 2014)
Killer Couples Premiered ‘Michelle Theer & John Diamond’ on Oxygen: Affair Leads to Murder of Air Force Capt. Marty Theer (September 3, 2016)
Scorned, Love Kills: 6 Active Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Ice Cold Killers Premiered ‘Hunting Humans’ on ID: After Multiple Disappearances, Alaska Authorities on Hunt for Serial Killer (January 24, 2012)

Robert Hansen was a mild-mannered family man with a passion for hunting. A master at his trade, Hansen sought a more challenging prey – his fellow human. Hansen kidnapped women, set them loose in the Alaskan wilderness, and hunted them down for sport. -Hunting Humans, Ice Cold Killers (S1,E1)

Victims:
Andrea “Fish” Altiery (disappeared 12/2/81, unknown if body recovered)
Roxanne Easlund, 24 (disappeared 6/28/1980, unknown if body recovered)
Megan Emerick, 17 (suspected abduction on 7/7/73, body never recovered)
Angela Feddern, 24 (disappeared February 1983, body found)
DeLynn “Sugar” Frey (disappeared September 1983, body found)
Lisa “Betty” Futrell, 41 (disappeared 9/7/1980, body found)
Malai Larsen, 28 (disappeared June 1981, body found)
Paula Goulding (disappeared 4/25/83, body found)
Sue Luna, 23 (disappeared 5/16/82, body found)
Joanna Messina (disappeared 5/19/1989, body found)
Sherry Morrow, 23 (disappeared 11/17/81, body found)
Tamara Pederson, 20 (disappeared August 1982, body found)
Mary Kathleen Thill, 23 (suspected abduction on 7/5/75, body never recovered)
Cecelia “Beth” Van Zanten, 17 (suspected abduction on 12/22/71, body found)
Theresa Watson (disappeared 4/29/83, body found)
“Eklutna Annie” (real name unknown, disappeared 11/1979, body found)
Cindy Paulson (abducted & raped on 6/13/1983, escaped & survived)

List compliments of The Frozen Ground.

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:
Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hunting Humans | Ice Cold Killers | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Sentenced to 461 Years Plus Life in Prison, No Parole for Murders of Multiple Women in Alaska (February 28, 1984)
Serial Killer & Army Reserve Veteran Robert C. Hansen Died of Natural Causes While Serving Out a Life Sentence in Alaska State Prison (August 21, 2014)
Ice Cold Killers: Five Military & Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Scorned, Love Kills Premiered ‘Behind the Picket Fence’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spouse Joan Shannon Finds the Perfect Hitman (January 21, 2012)

Preview: Joan wants to kill her husband, and her daughter may be the perfect hitman. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

An Army Major lay lifeless in his bed, shot twice at close range while sleeping next to his wife. Investigators would soon uncover an intricately planned murder plot involving sex parties, adultery and coercion. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

When Special Forces Major David Shannon is fatally shot in his family home, investigators wonder if his job made him a target. But a deeper inspection of his personal life reveals sordid secrets… possibly leading to his murder. -She Loves Me Not, Married with Secrets (S2,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:
Sex Helps Wife Plan Murder | Scorned – Love Kills (Preview)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (website)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Major David Shannon Fatally Shot by Step Daughter While Sleeping; Wife Joan Guilty of Conspiracy, Sentenced to Life, No Parole (July 23, 2002)
Married with Secrets Premiered ‘She Loves Me Not’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spouse’s Adultery Leads to Coercion & Murder (December 15, 2017)
Scorned, Love Kills: 7 Military & Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

CNN – Experts: Vets’ PTSD, violence a growing problem | VA Contradicts the Theory (2012)


Court documents show triple murder suspect, Roy Murry, an Iraq war veteran, suffered from post traumatic stress disorder, and now local veterans coping with PTSD are speaking out, wanting to clear the air that, just because you have it, it does not make you a threat to the community. -KXLY 4

“A man opens fire in a national park, killing a ranger who was attempting to stop him after he blew through a vehicle checkpoint. A second man is suspected in the stabbing deaths of four homeless men in Southern California.

Both men, U.S. military veterans, served in Iraq — and both, according to authorities and those who knew them, returned home changed men after their combat service.”

Read more from CNN here.

Shannon O’Roark Griffin Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress V.A. Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (January 13, 2012)

On January 13, 2012, Shannon O’Roark of Texas drove 250 miles to Missouri to kill her estranged husband’s mistress fourty-six year old Dr. Irina Puscariu. Shannon O’Roark Griffin was an aeronautical engineer who worked for NASA training astronauts until she experienced a seizure that put her on definite sick leave. Shannon’s husband was a Colonel in the Air Force who decided he wasn’t ready to retire. Shannon and Col. Roscoe Griffin had been living separately for quite some time and discussed divorce but it appeared Shannon did not want a divorce after twenty years of marriage. Meanwhile, Col. Griffin lost a fellow service member to suicide and it devastated him.

Col. Griffin began seeing Dr. Irina Puscariu, a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, for help. The professional relationship evolved into a romantic relationship, which is strictly forbidden in the world of psychiatry. Dr. Puscariu put her own career at risk when she chose to date Col. Griffin. Shannon found out thru social media that her husband was seeing Dr. Puscariu when he posted a picture with Irina on Facebook. Col. Griffin also changed his relationship status to “it’s complicated” which to Shannon was rejection, and rejection was the trigger. Col. Roscoe Griffin had no idea what was in store for him when someone is dumped and dangerous.

Shannon may have felt like the post meant the last twenty years were horrible and now I am going to replace you. Shannon asked Col. Griffin to go to a counseling appointment with her one last time in an effort to save the relationship. It would be here she would learn her husband of twenty years loved Dr. Puscariu and wanted to continue to see her. After this counseling session is when Shannon decided to go to Missouri and kill Dr. Puscariu. She wanted to obliterate Dr. Puscariu from her life so the problem would go away. She drove 250 miles to Irina’ home in Missouri and shot and killed her four times in front of her own mother, the last shot was to her face.

Shannon then fled the scene back to Texas and was held in custody until she could be extradited back to Missouri for a murder charge. Shannon plead guilty to second degree murder to avoid a trial. She was sentenced to twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for armed criminal action. Investigators noted that before this incident Shannon had zero criminal history or violent behavior, she didn’t even have a speeding ticket. But when she got rejected by her husband Col. Roscoe Griffin, it would be jealousy and revenge that would drive her to murder the woman who stole her life.

Source: Dumped and Dangerous, Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

A woman charged in the slaying of a Gladstone psychiatrist will be coming back to Missouri to face first-degree murder charges. -KMBC 9 (January 17, 2012)

Shannon O’Roark-Griffin, charged in the slaying of a Gladstone doctor, returns to Missouri for the first time since her arrest last week. -KMBC 9 (January 19, 2012)

A former NASA training specialist from Texas allegedly drove to Missouri and gunned down her husband’s mistress after he admitted in therapy that he was not willing to give up the affair. -HLN (December 3, 2012)

Investigation Discovery:

When their love life goes sour these Deadly Women take lethal revenge. They are “Dumped and Dangerous.” -Dumped and Dangerous, Deadly Women (S11,E13)

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:
Woman Accused of Killing Husband’s Mistress
Former NASA employee accused of killing alleged mistress
Former JSC worker accused of killing husband’s mistress
Report: Former JSC employee accused of killing husband’s alleged mistress
Anger, sorrow after wife of Air Force colonel accused of murder
Texas woman held in Wichita on suspicion of shooting husband’s mistress
Woman Waives Extradition In Psychiatrist’s Slaying
Woman accused of murdering a Gladstone psychiatrist extradited back to Missouri
Police: Woman charged in death of Gladstone psychiatrist
Woman charged with killing Gladstone psychiatrist brought to Clay County
Granbury Woman Charged in Death of Psychiatrist Having Affair With Her Husband
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Texas woman charged in death of Missouri psychiatrist
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu
Jaded Wife Shoots Husband’s Mistress in the Face, Charged with Murder
Former NASA trainer ‘drives 250 miles to shoot dead her husband’s mistress’
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Judge denies Shannon O’Roark Griffin lower bond, mental evaluation
Plea entered in murder case
Wife Kills Mistress of Husband after Marriage Counseling Session
Wife of Air Force colonel sentenced for shooting husband’s alleged girlfriend
Woman who drove from Texas to Mo. to kill husband’s lover sentenced to 20 years
Former NASA employee gets 20 years in Gladstone slaying
Another NASA Love Triangle?
The Malignant Divorce: Has NASA Gone Postal?
Understandable Revenge is No Defence
Kansas Murder Scene Video
Accused killer back in Clay County
Gladstone Slaying Suspect Returns To Missouri
Woman Charged In Gladstone Slaying To Return To Missouri
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu
Dumped and Dangerous | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S11,E13)
Dumped and Dangerous | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Dumped and Dangerous | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Dumped and Dangerous | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Dumped and Dangerous’ on ID: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Ended Husband’s Affair With a Gun (November 24, 2017)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Joshua Eisenhauer Shot at Police & Firefighters During 4-Hour Standoff at Fayetteville Home (2012)

US Army Seal

Army Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer was sentenced to 10 to 18 years in prison for shooting at police and firefighters from his apartment in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Related Links:
Bragg soldier charged after standoff at Fayetteville apartment
Former Fort Bragg soldier pleads not guilty in 2012 shooting; Joshua Eisenhauer says he suffered from PTSD when he shot at police, firefighters
Soldier accused in standoff appears in court
Police get help with vets who are ticking bombs
Veteran with PTSD, jailed on attempted murder charges, sues D.A.
Suicides, disputes spur probe of Bragg WTU
Soldier wants a military trial in off-base shooting
Past Friend Speaks Up About Serving with 1st Sgt. Joshua P. Eisenhauer
Parents: Soldier Thought He Was Firing At Afghans
Request the US Army to accept jurisdiction over Josh Eisenhauer’s case
PTSD, Searching for Treatment, Help Staff Sgt Joshua Eisenhauer
Soldier accused in firefight with police is prisoner to PTSD
The Military Doesn’t Always Want Jurisdiction When Prosecuting Service Members
Hearing set for Fort Bragg soldier who fired at police, firefighters in Fayetteville in 2012
Soldier who fired at police in 2012 to be sentenced
Lawyer: Army reneged on Eisenhauer plea deal in PTSD shooting case
Fort Bragg postpones discharge hearing for Staff Sgt. Joshua Eisenhauer
Fort Bragg Postpones Discharge Hearing for Accused Shooter
Army board deliberating over fate of Fort Bragg soldier, Joshua Eisenhauer
Fort Bragg Soldier Sentenced for Shooting at Police and Firefighters
Fort Bragg soldier with PTSD gets up to 18 years for flashback-sparked attack
Soldier convicted of shooting at police and firefighters now eligible for VA benefits
2 cases that rocked Fayetteville: New developments this week
Tragedy, Trauma Mark Fort Bragg Soldier’s Path to Prison