The Washington Times: Top Marine Gen. James Amos Accused of Interfering in Sex Assault, Desecration Cases (July 28, 2013)

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Gen. James Amos, U.S. Marine Corps

“A military judge did something extraordinary last summer when he ordered the Marine Corps‘ top officer to submit sworn statements in a sexual assault case. The answers from the commandant, Gen. James F. Amos, have some in Marine legal circles wondering whether he told the full truth. Gen. Amos, a Joint Chiefs of Staff member, faces charges from defense attorneys that his words and actions have unleashed a wave of unlawful command influence over jurors who venerate the commandant.” Read more from The Washington Times here.

Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (July 27, 2013)

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Dana Mackay, Army Spouse, Virginia

Army spouse Dana Mackay, 42, was found murdered in her Williamsburg home in Virginia on July 27, 2013. The intruders entered Dana’s home and snuck into her bedroom in the middle of the night; she was bludgeoned to death by a blunt instrument in the midst of sleeping. She died from multiple blunt force trauma. A concerned neighbor found Dana nude on the floor next to her bed; there was blood everywhere. Initially investigators thought the homicide occurred after a sexual assault. But after further investigation, authorities would learn that Dana’s husband, John Mackay, 45, and his lover, Nicole Houchin, 37, planned the murder because Dana didn’t want a divorce. John admitted to investigators that he wanted a divorce from Dana but she refused and threatened to report his affair to his commanding officer if he didn’t stop. John was a Staff Sergeant (SSG) stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia and adultery was a crime punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). John did not want to risk his long standing career and apparently wanted to be with Nicole Houchin, not Dana.

John and Nicole elicited the help of Nicole’s Army husband, Nace Houchin, 35, who was also stationed at Fort Eustis, and Gregory Crawford who worked with John and Nicole at an Auto-Zone store in Williamsburg, Virginia. John Mackay promised both Nace Houchin and Gregory Crawford twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) if they would kill Dana. Did John expect a hefty pay-out from a life insurance plan on his wife? Did John promise to pay the deadly duo as soon as the money hit his bank account? John wanted the easy way out so he could be with Nicole. Dana Mackay didn’t want a divorce from John; she wanted to save the four year marriage. And although Dana innocently threatened to report John’s adulterous affair to his commander, how was she to know that it would be a motive for murder? John Mackay wanted to save his career and be with his new girlfriend. John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, and Nace Houchin confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to first degree murder. All three were sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Crawford confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with three years suspended (17).

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John Mackay, Nicole Houchin (Top); Nace Houchin, Gregory Crawford (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of WAVY.com

Investigation Discovery:

Dana MacKay is found viciously beaten to death while her husband is out of town. One suspect comes to mind: a woman who’s been stalking Dana for the last month. But it will take a cellphone with X-rated text messages to unravel this mystery. -Sick and Twisted, Married with Secrets (S2,E8)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the 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. Download the ID Go app and binge away. 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 $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

Related Links:
Justice for Dana
Woman, 42, found dead inside Williamsburg home
Va. sergeant confesses to Army wife’s murder plot
Staff sergeant didn’t think military mistress would murder wife
Fort Eustis soldier confesses to plotting with mistress to murder wife
Williamsburg man, girlfriend arrested in wife’s death
New details released in deadly love triangle case
Full jailhouse interview with husband charged in wife’s murder
Third person charged in Williamsburg woman’s death
Fourth suspect arrested in murder-for-hire case
Cheating Wife Hires Own Husband To Kill Her Lover’s Spouse
Dates set for Patterson murder trial in Virginia
Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder
Ex-soldier Nace Houchin pleads guilty to 2013 slaying of Dana Mackay
Three plead guilty in JCC murder-for-hire plot
Third Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-For-Hire Scheme
Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-for-Hire Scheme
Four sentenced in murder for hire plot
4 sentenced in James City County murder-for-hire case
Four sentenced in JCC murder-for-hire of Dana Mackay
Analysis of a murder suspect
Trial Tracker with Pat LaLama: Seven Deadly Sins Edition
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples (Oxygen)
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples, Season 6 (Amazon)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on web)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on YouTube)

Amber Lowery’s Remains Identified; Husband & Army Veteran Michael Lowery Found Guilty of First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 23, 2013)

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Amber Lowery, US Army Veteran Spouse

Amber Lowery, 34, went missing on July 23, 2013. Her brother reported her missing on July 24th. Days later on July 31st, human remains were found on the Lowery property; they were later identified as Amber Lowery. As a result, Army veteran Michael Lowery, 34, was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. Amber’s siblings described Mike Lowery as a controlling individual who received counseling for anger management, was “kicked out” of the Army for drug use and insubordination, and was fired from several jobs because of the abuse of his wife while on the job. A Texas jury found Lowery guilty of murdering Amber, dismembering her body, placing her remains in a pile, and burning them. Michael Lowery was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder.

Related Links:
Amber Lowery (34) was allegedly murdered by her husband
‘I think he did it,’ says Rising Star murder suspect’s brother
Family of suspected murderer say Michael Lowery has ‘a dark soul’
Lowery capable of murder, according to brother
Missing former Kingman woman suffered in abusive marriage, authorities say
Lowery drove wife’s SUV to Rising Star and left it, lawmen allege
Lowery’s Remains Identified
Human Remains Found on Lowery Property
Human remains found in search for West Texas woman
Authorities Didn’t Inform Amber Lowery’s Family of Positively Identified Remains, Brother Speaks Out
Brownwood’s Air Evac reacts to new details in Amber Lowery’s case
Husband of missing former Kingmanite arrested for murder
Husband of missing Comanche County woman arrested on murder charge, held on $1 million bond
Michael Lowery Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life with No Chance for Parole
Lowery Murder Trial: Rising Star man receives life sentence for killing wife
Michael Lowery Found Guilty For The Murder of His Wife

Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas Cosponsored the Military Justice Improvement Act; Says Shouldn’t Have to Report Crime to Boss, Wants MJIA in Place If Daughters Join (July 16, 2013)

Sen. Ted Cruz Q&A in Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Sexual Assaults in the Military -Senator Ted Cruz (June 4, 2013)

Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Senate Coalition to End Military Sexual Assault -U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (July 16, 2013)

Sen. Ted Cruz Supports Sen. Gillibrand’s Push to Stop Sexual Assault in the Military -Senator Ted Cruz (July 16, 2013)

Sen. Ted Cruz Joins Sen. Gillibrand in Press Conference on Preventing Sexual Assault in the Military -Senator Ted Cruz (November 6, 2013)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand stops by to talk about what she’s doing to protect our soilders from military sexual assault. Find out why she’s getting support from both sides of the aisle and tune in to hear from a survivor. -Katie Couric (November 19, 2013)

Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks In Favor of Gillibrand Amendment to Combat Sexual Assault in the Military (November 20, 2013)

Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz joined the New York Democrat in support of taking the chain of command out of military sexual assault cases. -The Washington Examiner (February 18, 2014)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks out in support of a military sexual assault bill that was blocked in the Senate. -CNN (March 6, 2014)

Sen. Ted Cruz at MJIA Press Conference -Senator Ted Cruz (December 2, 2014)

[Full Video] Senator Gillibrand was joined by Senators Grassley, Blumenthal, Cruz and Wyden to discuss next steps in the effort to pass the Military Justice Improvement Act. -U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (June 16, 2015)

Sen. Ted Cruz at Military Justice Improvement Act Press Conference. -Senator Ted Cruz (June 16, 2015)

Ted Cruz speaks out on sexual assault in the military. -CNN (April 1, 2016)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is reaching across the aisle to prevent military officers from reaching into their subordinates’ pants. #passMJIA -Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (June 7, 2016)

Support the Military Justice Improvement Act, and help protect our privates’ privates. #PassMJIA -Full Frontal with Samantha Bee (June 7, 2016)

Related Links:
Ted Cruz | U.S. Senator for Texas
SASC Members & HASC Members (2019)
S.967 – Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 Cosponsors
S. 967: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2013 – U.S. Senate Voting Record (2014)
S. 1789: Military Justice Improvement Act of 2019 Reintroduced by Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas and Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York (June 13, 2019)
Townhall: Paul, Cruz Turn Military Sexual Assault into Bipartisan Issue
Press Release: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Praises Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz for Support of Military Sexual Assault Legislation
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Praises Senators Rand Paul, Ted Cruz for Support of Military Sexual Assault Legislation | Hawaii Reporter
GOP Senators Line Up With Democrats In Support Of Military Sexual Assault Bill
Unlikely Senate Allies Gillibrand, Paul and Cruz Take on Military Brass
Rand Paul, Ted Cruz Beef Up GOP Support for Military Sex-Assault Bill
Ted Cruz and Rand Paul Back Overhaul of How the Military Handles Sexual Assault
Two Republican Senators sign on to military sexual assault bill
Sens. Paul, Cruz Join Efforts to Reform Military Sexual Assault Management
Unlikely Allies Shake Up Military Sex Assault Debate
Paul, Cruz join Gillibrand on military sex-assault bill
Tea Party Joins Gillibrand’s Campaign Against Military Sexual Assault
Editorial: The military’s enemy within
Senator Gillibrand targets military law over sexual assault
Why is Obama AWOL on Gillibrand’s bill to curb military sexual assault?
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz lend GOP support to military sex assault bill
Why Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Really Want Their Names on the Military Sexual Assault Bill
Gillibrand’s Drive Challenges Senate Power Brokers on Military Sexual Assault Remedy
Reports Of Military Sexual Assaults Up 46 Percent — But Why?
Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Teams With Ted Cruz And Rand Paul To Reform Military Sex Assault Justice Cases
Senate showdown over military sexual assault bill
Gillibrand Sexual Assault Bill Headed to Vote
Gillibrand & Cruz: Stop sexual violence in the military
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand answers your questions on military sexual assault
Broken Senate Delays Military Sexual Assault Reform
Why Do Ted Cruz and Rand Paul Support Kirsten Gillibrand’s Sexual Assault Bill?
Was the Senate Right to Block Gillibrand’s Bill?
Senate Blocks Bill To Overhaul Military Sex Assault Prosecutions
Gillibrand bill on military sex assaults fails
Everything You Need To Know About The Military Sexual Assault Bill That Passed In The Senate
The Senate Thinks They’ve Done Enough to Stop Military Rape
Kirsten Gillibrand’s Sexual Assault Bill SNAFU
Military Sexual Assault Bill Months In The Making Fails In Senate
The Quest for Military Sexual Assault Reform
Gillibrand makes new push on military sex assault bill
Military sex assault reform bill revived
Bipartisan Push for Military to Improve Handling of Sex-Assault Cases
Senators renew push to change military’s handling of rape
Gillibrand Seeks Another Vote on Military’s Handling of Sexual Assault
Push to reform military justice system revived in Senate
Opinion | Military Sexual Assault Still Unresolved
Ted Cruz Was 25 Years Ahead Of His Time On Fighting Campus Rape
Senate Blocks Military Sexual Assault Legislation
Gillibrand determined to force change in military justice system, but it’s an uphill battle
Exploiting Sexual Assault in the Military
Ted Cruz makes personal link to military sexual assault reform
Cruz-supported military sexual assault reform fails in Senate
Senator renews drive to reform military sexual assault prosecutions
Cruz: We have an obligation to protect our servicemen and women
The Democratic Bill Even Ted Cruz and Rand Paul Support
The war in Congress over rape in the military, explained
Rand Paul and Ted Cruz Support Democrat’s Military Justice Reform Bill, to Liberal Host’s Surprise
Watch Samantha Bee Agree With Ted Cruz About the Military Justice Improvement Act
Sens. Cruz, Gillibrand Reintroduce Military Justice Improvement Act (2019)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand gains some GOP support on bill to combat sexual assault in military
Gillibrand reintroduces proposal to confront military sexual assault

Video Links:
Sen. Ted Cruz Q&A in Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing on Sexual Assaults in the Military
Gillibrand Leads Bipartisan Senate Coalition to End Military Sexual Assault
Sen. Ted Cruz Supports Sen. Gillibrand’s Push to Stop Sexual Assault in the Military
Sen. Ted Cruz Joins Sen. Gillibrand in Press Conference on Preventing Sexual Assault in the Military
Senator Kirsten’s Gillibrand’s Measure to Protect Our Soldiers From Sexual Assault
Sen. Ted Cruz Speaks In Favor of Gillibrand Amendment to Combat Sexual Assault in the Military
Gillibrand grabs crucial support for military sexual assault bill
Sen. Ted Cruz at MJIA Press Conference
Sen. Cruz: They didn’t sign up to be sexually assaulted
Military Justice Improvement Act Press Conference (6/16/2015)
Military Justice Improvement Act Press Conference
Sen. Ted Cruz at Military Justice Improvement Act Press Conference
Military Sexual Assault HRG-Cruz: Not Working
#passMJIA | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS
The “Ted Cruz Caress” Challenge | Full Frontal with Samantha Bee | TBS

‘Bath Salts,’ ‘Spice’ and U.S. Military: Are Service Members Abusing Synthetic Drugs? | National Geographic (July 9, 2013)

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“An undercover investigation for National Geographic explores the availability of powerful synthetic drugs, with names like “spice” and “bath salts,” and its popularity among members of the U.S. military. For the next installment of National Geographic’s “Inside: Secret America” series, which takes an in-depth look at how people can easily purchase synthetic drugs, investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller went undercover with a former Marine and a Marine on active duty in San Diego to local smoke shops as they purchased bath salts.” Read more from National Geographic here.