Army Sgt. Joseph Stifter Died of Wounds Suffered When Armored HMMWV was Involved in Roll-over Accident in Iraq (2016)

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Sgt. Joseph Stifter, US Army

Army Sgt. Joseph Stifter, 30, of Glendale, California, died of wounds suffered when his armored HMMWV was involved in a roll-over accident on January 28, 2016 at Al Asad Airbase, Al Anbar Province, Iraq. Sgt. Stifter was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 1st Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. At the time of the press release, the incident was under investigation.

Related Links:
Obituary: Joseph Francis Stifter
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
Fort Riley Soldier Dies in Iraq
Fort Riley Soldier Killed
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Fort Riley soldier dies during Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq
Soldier from Glendale killed in crash while serving in Iraq
Glendale Soldier Killed In Rollover Accident In Iraq
Soldier From Glendale Killed in Rollover Crash at Iraq Airbase
Flags at half-staff to honor Army soldier from Glendale killed in Iraq
Community mourns the death of Sgt. Joseph Stifter
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Nearly five years after Petraeus scandal, bad decisions still resonate
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Tribute To Our Fallen Soldiers – US Army Sgt. Joseph F. Stifter, 30, of Glendale, California
Enduring Heroes to Honor Local Fallen Soldiers with a Monument in Pasadena
Families will honor Pasadena soldiers’ sacrifice at ‘Enduring Heroes’ monument unveiling
It’s Time to Honor, It’s Time to Remember: Enduring Heroes


Sgt. Joseph F. Stifter, US Army

Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery Features ‘Code of Dishonor’


There are thousands of victims. All members of the American Air Force. How far will they go to stop a covert war against women? -Vanity Fair Confidential

Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery featured ‘Code of Dishonor’ which was an investigation of the issue of sexual assault in the military. They highlighted the US Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal back in 2003 and the more recent case of Myah Bilton-Smith, who was also a victim of sexual assault while serving in the United States Air Force. The show revealed that sexual assault can happen to anyone including officers and enlisted.

Related Links:
Code of Dishonor, Vanity Fair
Code of Dishonor Post-Script
Hidden Sexual Assault In The Military: Code Of Dishonor
Conduct Unbecoming
Former cadet talks about rape
`Expect rape,’ ex-cadet says she was warned
More Cadets Speaking Out About Assaults
Former cadets say rapes at academy ended dreams
Defense to investigate cadets’ rape allegations
Ex-Brass Deny Ignoring Victims
Demotion in air academy sex scandal / Air Force general loses one star before retirement
Ex-Superintendent of Air Force Academy Is Demoted in Wake of Rape Scandal
Air Force leadership blamed for sex scandal
Senate to hear female victims of Air Force academy sexual assaults
Interview with Beth Davis, former US Air Force Academy cadet
Air Force Sex Scandal Gets Hotter
Sexual Assault and Violence Against Women in the Military and at the Academies
C-SPAN: Sexual Misconduct in the Military (June 27, 2006)
Albuquerque Reporter Was A ‘Beautiful Girl Inside and Out’
Vanity Fair Confidential ‘Code of Dishonor’ (YouTube)

Air Force TSgt Zechariah Casagranda Stabbed to Death in Parking Lot in Louisiana; Benjamin Shaw Found Not Guilty of Second Degree Murder (2016)

zechariah-casagranda

TSgt Zechariah Casagranda, US Air Force

TSgt Zechariah Casagranda, Barksdale Air Force Base, US Air Force, was murdered in the rear parking lot of the Rockin Rodeo in Bossier City, Louisiana at 2:00 a.m. on January 24, 2016. The 34 year old airman was stabbed during an altercation involving two groups of men at the night club. Bossier City Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit detectives arrested 21 year old Benjamin William Shaw of Killeen, Texas in connection with the fatal stabbing. Shaw is facing a charge of second degree murder. Shaw posted $500,000 bond and was released to the custody of his parents in Naples, Maine.

Louisiana authorities made Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department in Maine aware of the case and they were asked to periodically check in on Shaw. But other local officials are concerned that they were not notified and are not sure why he was allowed to travel to Maine. According to WMTW, Shaw can’t leave Cumberland County, except to meet with his attorney or for court appearances. He has to surrender his passport, can’t have firearms or weapons, and can’t have contact with the victim’s family. Shaw must also report to the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office weekly.

Benjamin Shaw’s family hired a high-profiled attorney, Jose Baez, who also represented Casey Anthony in Florida. Shaw was found not guilty of second degree murder in June 2017.

Related Links:
Obituary: TSGT Zechariah Casagranda
Barksdale airman stabbed to death outside night club
Airman from Lingleville murdered in Louisiana
Identity released of airman killed in Bossier City stabbing
Technical Sergeant Zechariah Casagranda identified in fatal stabbing
Man arrested in fatal stabbing of Barksdale airman
Sheriff not notified Louisiana murder suspect living in Maine
Accused Louisiana killer out on bail in Maine
Louisiana murder suspect living in Naples with his parents
Sheriff slams Louisiana decision to let murder suspect return to Maine home
Man accused in Barksdale airman’s stabbing death plans to hire nationally-known attorney
Man accused in January stabbing death in court Tuesday
Grand jury indicts suspect in murder of Barksdale airman
High-profile attorney hired by family of alledged airman murderer
Murder trial begins in Bossier for Shaw case
Defense rests in Benjamin Shaw murder trial
Jury finds man accused of killing BAFB airman not guilty of second-degree murder
Not Guilty Verdict in Benjamin Shaw Murder Case

Fort Hood Army Major Troy Wayman Found Dead at Residence in Nolanville, Texas; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (2016)

Troy Wayman

Major Troy Wayman, US Army

Army Major Troy Wayman, 45, died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on January 16, 2016 at his residence in Nolanville, Texas. Major Wayman’s home of record is listed as Lincoln, Nebraska; he entered military service in the Nebraska Army National Guard in August 1989 as an Armor Cannon Crewman. Major Wayman was commissioned as a second lieutenant and entered active-duty military service in May 1998; he was assigned to the First Army Division West at Fort Hood since October 2014. Major Wayman served two tours in Saudi Arabia (including Desert Shield/Desert Storm), two tours in Iraq, and one tour in Kosovo. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated and on January 22, the Army Times reported Major Wayman’s death was ruled a suicide by the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, Texas.

Related Links:
Obituary: Major Troy Wayman
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Fort Hood: Army major dies of gunshot wound
Army major’s gunshot death near Fort Hood ruled a suicide
Fort Hood Death of Major Ruled Suicide
Experts worry high military suicide rates are ‘new normal’
Incident | Gun Violence Archive | Major Troy Wayman
Military Veteran Project: Army Major Troy Wayman
‘Shiite Giant’ Extends Its Reach
Interview with MAJ Troy Wayman | Operational Leadership Experiences
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Air Force Major John Gerrie Died from Non-Combat Related Incident at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar (2016)

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Major John Gerrie, US Air Force

Air Force Major John Gerrie, 42, of Nickerson, Kansas, died from a non-combat related incident on January 16, 2016 at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar. Major Gerrie was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 453rd Electronic Warfare Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland in Texas. The official cause of death is unknown.

Related Links:
Obituary: Major John David Gerrie
DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty
USAF Officer Dies in Qatar
Airman dies in Qatar
S.A. Based Airman Dies In Qatar
San Antonio-based airman dies in Qatar
Air Force officer dies in noncombat incident in Qatar
U.S. airman dies from ‘non-combat’ injures in Quatar
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US Air Force Officer Dead in Non-Combat Incident in Qatar
Air Force officer from Kansas dead in non-combat incident in Qatar
Tribute To Our Fallen Soldiers – US Air Force Maj. John D. Gerrie, 42, of Nickerson, Kansas


Maj. John D. Gerrie, US Air Force

Iraq Army Veteran Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti Gunned Down in Front of Home in Alabama; 4 Individuals Charged with Murder, 1 Found Not Guilty (2016)

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Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, US Army Veteran

Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, was shot to death outside his home in Hoover, Alabama while on his way to work in the early morning hours of January 5, 2016. Jonathan was an Army veteran who deployed to Iraq and was last stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. He was a husband to a ROTC candidate he met while training in the Army and the father of two small boys. Almost a year after the murder, media reports indicated that four individuals were charged with Mike Gilotti’s murder: Charleston Wells, Ahmad Johnson, De’ron Lucas, and Darrian Bryant. Charleston Wells was found not guilty of the homicide of Jonathan Gilotti on May 19, 2017. Wells pointed the finger at Ahmad Johnson who he claims was the trigger man and said he was sitting in a vehicle when the shooting occurred. A couple months later in July 2017, Wells was found guilty of 9 counts of breaking and entering a vehicle. The judge gave him 42 months of probation and said he must get GED, must serve 100 hours of community service, and must get a mental health assessment. Wells was also accused of an attempted murder charge with Ahmad Johnson that occurred in Fultondale, Alabama only days before the Gilotti murder. Instead Wells was found guilty of reckless endangerment in connection with the shooting in Fultondale. Wells’ sentencing is scheduled for January 2018. The details of the charges, trial, and sentencing of the three remaining individuals are unknown.

Related Links:
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Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (2016)

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SSG Devin Schuette, US Army

SSG Devin Schuette, 35, U.S. Army, originally of Clovis, New Mexico, was found dead inside a car near the recreation area at Fort Hood on January 3, 2016. According to his family, he had been missing since New Year’s Day. SSG Schuette’s service with the Army began in April 1999 as an infantryman and he was serving as an Intelligence Analyst with the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood at the time of his death. He also served three overseas tours as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom; his deployments were from March 2003 to March 2004, November 2005 to October 2006 and June 2008 to June 2009. As of January 6, 2016, the Criminal Investigation Division was investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident. At the time of reporting, they did not suspect any foul play but were not ruling anything out as they moved forward with the investigation.

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Three weeks prior to his disappearance, Devin Schuette was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). On January 3, 2016, Devin was found dead on Liberty Hill road close to the paintball course at Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA) near Fort Hood. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the death a suicide.

Moments Leading Up to Disappearance

Tannie was asleep at her on post home at Fort Hood when she woke up to Devin yelling at their daughter. Devin was asking her if she wanted to go to a friend’s house but she didn’t want to leave the house. Tannie asked him what his problem was and why he was insistent on their daughter going to a friend’s house. At the same time, she realized their oldest daughter and youngest son were already at a friend’s house after Devin urged them to go. Devin went outside to cool down after the encounter and started loading some pallets in the back of his truck.

After Devin completed the task, he drove around to the back of the house and began unloading the pallets. Tannie was concerned that the pallets would leave rusty nails in the backyard where the kids played so she asked Devin to take them back to the carport area. Tannie helped Devin load the pallets back up and in the process threw a piece of wood that broke the front windshield on the passenger’s side of Devin’s truck. Devin returned to the carport and asked their daughter if she wanted to help him build a doghouse. She agreed to help him after her and Tannie got back from getting some coffee nearby on post.

When Tannie returned to the house, Devin was gone but her son was home. Her son told her that as he was walking home, he saw Devin pass by in his truck. He waved at him but said that it appeared Devin didn’t see him because he didn’t wave back. The family assumed he was looking for more wood to build the doghouse with. But after he was gone for awhile, the family started getting concerned. Tannie’s phone had broke so she asked the neighbor if she could use their phone to call Devin. Devin answered the phone and said he was driving around Copperas Cove…and then the line went dead.

Tannie asked to use her friend’s phone and then jumped in her car to go looking for Devin. After awhile, her friend asked Tannie if she would bring her phone back so she did and asked her friend to get in touch with her if Devin calls. But first, Tannie called the Fort Hood military police and they sent an officer out to her home. Tannie tried to convey to them that this is not typical of Devin because he always says he loves her before they hang up. And Devin hates ending calls abruptly. The Fort Hood military police told her she has to wait 24 hours before she could make an official missing person’s report.

Reported Missing to Fort Hood After 24 Hour Waiting Period

Tannie wasn’t going to waste anytime looking for Devin when she knew in her gut that something was wrong with the way their phone call ended. She quickly got on social media to ask her local community and Devin’s co-workers for help looking for him. Tannie’s mom and sister drove great distances to help search for him. Tannie drove to where their camper was stored at the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. She didn’t have a key because Devin had the only key but she knocked and looked for his truck. After the twenty-four hour waiting requirement, Tannie filed a formal missing person’s report with the Fort Hood military police. They pinged his phone and found the location of where the phone was last active rather quickly but nobody contacted Tannie until the following day.

Tannie received an e-mail from Devin’s NCO (boss) with the general location of where the phone was located on Sunday, January 3rd. The phone pinged in a fifteen mile radius located in the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. Devin went missing on Friday night, January 1st, Tannie made a formal missing person’s report to the Fort Hood military police on Saturday, January 2nd, and didn’t hear from anyone at Fort Hood until Sunday. Meanwhile, she and many other’s were frantically driving all over the place looking for Devin. U.S. Army W.T.F! moments shared the missing information and that’s when they saw a real social media response including search teams. As soon as they got the general location of where the phone pinged, the search teams began focusing on that area.

Initially everyone focused on searching the left side of the road within that 15 mile radius in BLORA. At 4 pm that same day, Tannie headed back to the Hobby Lobby where she met up with others and they headed to the K-Mart parking lot where there was a huge tent set up as a command post. There were a lot of people there when she arrived and she wasn’t sure if they were all civilians or if some of them were soldiers too. At the tent there was a map with grids. Each pair of searchers was assigned a grid. After they got done searching the left side, they searched the right side of the road. As Tannie was searching, she passed Liberty Hill road, a road that goes to the paintball course at BLORA. Tannie thought about going down Liberty Hill road but something stopped her and she decided not to. Then about five miles outside of the post, Tannie pulled over and parked her car when they saw a man with a flashlight walking down the road.

The man approached them while Tannie was talking to an embedded reporter who wanted to do a story about her missing husband. So Tannie’s mom and sister went to go talk to him. They returned to Tannie and reported the man was very drunk and he said he was looking for a friend’s truck. The pair also observed blood on his clothing and blood spatter on his face. They informed Tannie while she was giving the reporter a brief so she stopped what she was doing and called 911. They wanted to go after him and confront him but were scared and freaked out. Tannie and her family observed him walking away towards a truck with a flat bed trailer on it. When they took off, they were hauling ass.

Eventually the game warden and military police showed up. Tannie and her family shared their observations about the drunk man with blood on him. The police started looking in the area and eventually a game warden did in fact find this mysterious man. The game warden told Tannie the man was a cattle rancher and the blood on his face was from a cut above his eye. The blood had dripped down on his face. Fort Hood uses land for training owned by the Texas Cattle Rancher’s Association therefore this provided the man with an excuse for why he was near the post. Tannie felt like they missed an opportunity to investigate by giving him a reason to be there (negated a means) and made an excuse for the blood spatter (ignored important forensic evidence). They could have at the very least taken a picture as evidence given the fact they were searching for a missing soldier.

Devin Schuette Found Near Paintball Course at BLORA

Tannie reports that she found out Devin was deceased after a man from her church called her while she was on her way to the location with his Commander. This man from church and another male volunteer she didn’t know found Devin deceased in his truck on Liberty Hill road off a little dirt road to the left. It was the first dirt road on the left. He was found about 100 yards from Liberty Hill road which is where the BLORA paintball course is located. Tannie immediately began to wonder what Devin was doing there. Why was he down that road to begin with? Was he by himself?

The Commander may have found out about Devin when she did because he wasn’t the one to tell her. When they arrived at the location, the military police started directing each other to silence their radios as the Commander was approaching them. Tannie wanted to go see Devin but the military police wouldn’t let her see him or go near the truck. Instead, the military police detained Tannie and began questioning her. They asked her, her mom, and sister if they saw anything, did they see him in the truck, did they touch the crime scene? Tannie felt like the investigators were treating them like criminals.

After the interrogation, Tannie started walking towards Liberty Hill road where Devin’s Commander was waiting for her. Her vehicle was parked on the side of the dirt road where Devin was found. She was held at gun point and asked to stop as an ambulance was arriving with their lights and sirens on. They were arriving on the scene and driving towards Devin. Tannie was startled and traumatized, and if seeing her husband wasn’t allowed, she wanted to get back home to comfort her children. They unfortunately learned their dad was found deceased on social media. Tannie observed that the Army CID and coroner didn’t show up until after she left the scene.

Tannie was sleeping with her children when she heard a knock at the door at 1 a.m. on Monday, January 4th. She answered the door and it was Devin’s First Sergeant and an Army Chaplain there to inform her that Devin was officially ruled deceased by the coroner. Tannie admits that she went off on Devin’s First Sergeant because while everyone was on leave, Devin talked to him about his medical issues including Post Traumatic Stress. Not long after they left, two military police showed up to get an official statement from Tannie and Tannie said no because she just found out her husband died. She told them they could come back tomorrow.

The Fort Hood Investigation of Devin Schuette

The next day, a Casualty Assistance Officer (CAO) came to her home as did the Army CID investigators. CID questioned her and she gave them the same story she gave the military police the night before. During the questioning, they accused Tannie of being hostile because Tannie told them they didn’t do everything they could to find Devin and they weren’t doing their job. A couple days later, CID called Tannie into their office to read Devin’s suicide note. Tannie questioned the note in the presence of military personnel and observed that it did not look like Devin’s handwriting. The lettering on this note was enlarged but Devin didn’t write big like that.

Eight months later, Tannie would receive the Army CID investigation package and find a different letter that was on different paper (green military issued notebook paper) and did contain handwriting similar to Devin, unlike the first one she read. The investigation report revealed even more inconsistencies and things that didn’t add up. For example, the investigation package said there were beer cans located in Devin’s truck but the Army did not include the beer cans when they returned Devin’s truck (these beer cans could have valuable evidence on them). Where are they? The investigation package did not include the autopsy report. Where is the autopsy report? It is unknown if a toxicology report was done to confirm if there was a blood alcohol level in Devin’s system.

Devin was taking medication at the time of his disappearance. He was taking effexor, gabapentin, and hydrocodone for the pain from a spinal infusion surgery. Tannie observed another discrepancy when she read in the investigation package that Devin’s medication levels were appropriate given the dosage, but Devin missed a couple days before he died. Tannie believes Devin died on Sunday, January 3rd, shortly before the volunteers found him. One of the volunteers tested Devin for a pulse and observed that he was still warm to the touch. This meant to Tannie that rigor mortis most likely hadn’t set in yet because it takes upwards of twelve hours. Tannie also shared that she learned a stiff body will begin to relax after about 48-72 hours of rigor mortis. Was an official time of death ever determined?

Tannie Schuette Feeling Betrayed by the System

Tannie reflected on her experience with Fort Hood. What concerned her the most is that Devin’s command was never planning on searching for him. Their plan was to consider him Absent without Leave (AWOL) if he didn’t show up to work on Monday, January 4th. The volunteers who found Devin gave her a description of what they witnessed at the scene. One was prior military and he too was questioned by the Army CID about what he witnessed. Tannie spoke to him after his interview with CID and he shared that Devin had blood coming from both legs and blood coming from his left forearm. Tannie also learned that Devin looked out of it.

Tannie was told that Devin died from asphyxiation so why was there blood everywhere? There was blood on Devin. There was blood on a blanket. And there was blood in the seat of the driver’s side of his truck. She also learned that the truck was still running and the heat was on full blast. Tannie theorizes that the blood on Devin’s forearm could be defensive wounds from protecting himself from an attacker. Tannie also thinks that a laceration on the back of his hand is consistent with defensive wounds. The blood droplets on Devin’s face could be consistent with head trauma from a knife. Tannie read in the investigation report that Devin had nine ‘self-inflicted’ stab wounds but none of them were life-threatening.

Devin’s truck was eventually returned to Tannie. She observed knife cuts on the door panel on the driver’s side and on the left shoulder area of the passenger seat. Of course Army CID denies her theories because they apparently investigated the scene as a suicide, not a homicide. This is evidenced by the fact that the Army left the truck sitting out in the elements until they returned it to Tannie. Therefore, what is considered valuable evidence to Tannie wasn’t safeguarded while in their custody. Tannie also noted that before Devin began working with the pallets, he had chopped up vegetables for a new beer can chicken recipe he wanted to try on Friday night. All the prep work was done but they were out of propane. Maybe Devin went to the camper to get propane. A propane tank was found in the cab of the truck so Tannie thought maybe he went to their camper to get the propane tank.

Tannie learned that a bloody blanket and a sewage pipe hose from the camper was also in Devin’s truck. Tannie knew about the sewage pipe hose in the bed of Devin’s truck. Tannie would also learn that in addition to the stab wounds on Devin, he allegedly hooked the sewage pipe hose from the tailpipe of his truck to the opening in the back window of the truck. The opening around the pipe in the back window was sealed with the bloody blanket. In addition to the hose running from the tailpipe to the back window, they found the propane tank sitting in the cab of the truck with the nozzle wide open. The emergency line had been cut allowing the propane gas to escape. Devin knew the propane tanks at the camper were low on fuel.

Tannie’s head has been spinning with theories since the death of her husband. The crime scene description given to her by the volunteers, the CID investigative report, and the evidence she has personally witnessed and still has in her possession do not add up. The Army CID wants Tannie to believe that Devin committed suicide. Tannie is to believe that her husband who left the house to maybe get propane for dinner and was planning on building a doghouse, took off for a couple days and then killed himself. In the end, according to the investigative report, Devin stabbed himself nine times, ran a hose from his tailpipe through the back window of his truck, and put the propane tank he needed for his meal on wide open in an attempt to blow the truck up? If the blanket was bloody, does that mean it was used to seal the window after the self-inflicted stabbing was unsuccessful?

Why would Devin change his mind about dying by self inflicted stabbing and then hook up the sewage pipe so that he could die by carbon monoxide? Was there a blood trail outside the truck? How common is it to stab yourself while dying by carbon dioxide and propane fuel? Is it possible that he was wrapped up in the blanket during the course of a stabbing frenzy by a known or unknown attacker? Tannie believes all these discrepancies alone warrant an independent investigation and ultimately she wants her husband’s death investigated as a murder. It doesn’t add up with his plans for that evening with dinner and the doghouse. It doesn’t add up when you read through the reports and compare the narrative to the witnesses first hand testimony and the evidence found on Devin’s belongings and his vehicle.

Tannie Schuette Wants Truth & Justice for Her Husband Devin

Tannie believes her husband was murdered and she wants justice for Devin. She feels that he was most likely stabbed and knocked out with a head injury. She believes the attacker was most likely known to Devin because the nine stab wounds were overkill. In other stabbing cases, the attacker quickly realizes that sometimes it can take multiple stabs to kill someone. It is up close and personal. And in this case, if Devin was knocked out, this person could have easily set up the scene to look like a suicide to cover up a murder. As soon as Devin lost conscienceness yet still wasn’t dead after nine stab wounds, the attacker was most likely tired. If the attacker was someone on the post, they were most likely motivated by the fact that the Army wants to rule deaths on post as suicides. This is evidenced by the multiple suspicious deaths at Fort Hood over the last couple years starting with Devin Schuette.

If you do the research, you will learn that it is very rare for those who are suicidal to stab themselves let alone use carbon monoxide and propane fuel. You will find that if they do die by stabbing, there are multiple hesitation cuts and maybe even some cutting prior to the act itself. It takes great strength to stab yourself through the bones, muscle, and cartilage in the chest area in order to kill yourself. Multiple stab wounds are more likely to come from an attacker than inflicted on yourself. Defensive wounds help tell the story. Lastly, Devin was affected by an attempted suicide in the family. The whole family was affected by it and are thankful this family member is alive today. Devin knew the devastation it caused the family and that alone made him mindful of the aftermath of suicide.

A propane tank was recovered at the scene. Tannie doesn’t know if Devon fetched this propane tank from their camper. And if he did, he knew all their propane tanks were low on fuel so why use it as an alternative way to kill himself? What was the point of the propane tank in the suicide equation? Was the vehicle running, the heat on full blast and the propane tank on wide open an attempt to create an explosion? The Army CID said they finger printed the truck but found no good prints. None? Really, not even Devin and his family members as if the vehicle was wiped clean inside and out? How is that possible? Why would Devin wipe prints clean from the truck? What’s the motivation to wipe prints in a suicide? The Army CID told Tannie they didn’t fingerprint Devin’s phone. They said it was located under the passenger’s seat but in pictures it was on the passenger seat. The knife was also in the passenger seat in photos but Tannie says the Army CID told her the knife was in Devin’s hands. Tannie’s thinking “these people are supposed to be professionals?”

If Tannie can find this many holes and discrepancies in the investigation report and her conversations with Army CID versus what witnesses observed and physical evidence reveals, how good was this investigation to begin with? Was it simply investigated as a suicide and homicide was never even considered? Tannie believes the system is a vocabulary manipulation from the beginning to end. Tannie learned after connecting with other family members that she’s not the only one questioning suicide as the cause of death at Fort Hood but the investigators tell everyone the same thing. And to add insult to injury, some family members were not allowed to view the body at the funeral home. As a matter of fact, Devin’s body was guarded by Army personnel as well to prevent anyone from looking at the body. Tannie shared that the funeral director opened Devin’s casket for her late one night in what felt like a secretive mission. This is when she observed Devin was wrapped up like a mummy. No foul play suspected?

The Army’s Response is Always the Same

Tannie considered going to the media with her concerns but is afraid that again, the news agencies will create a narrative based on the Army’s version of events and not tell the whole story. She knows they only have so much space and in order for the reader to understand the totality of the circumstances, they need all the information, not a sixteenth of it wrapped up with canned responses from the public affairs office at Fort Hood. This is about finding the truth and justice for Devin not creating a narrative that continues to make the institution look like the authority on these issues. The families deserve a space to tell their truth.

Tannie lives with the memories of Devin hanging up pictures and settling into their home on post, Devin chopping up vegetables so he could make them a new recipe the night he disappeared, Devin wanting to build a doghouse with his kids, and Devin taking care of his health in an effort to get better and continue his career in the Army. Tannie has known Devin since she was twelve years old. They grew up together and were friends long before they started a relationship. As a matter of fact, Devin was best friend’s with Tannie’s oldest brother. Devin and Tannie were in a committed relationship for twelve years when he died. Tannie probably knows Devin better than anyone and ultimately she is the authority.

Tannie thinks Devin may have left the house to get propane at the camper. He was probably taking a ride to get some peace which may be why he wanted the kids to go play and visit with their friends. Devin went through an attempted suicide with Tannie’s family. The family member almost died but someone found him just in time. This family member was in the ICU for a month and Devin comforted his best friend and his wife through the ordeal. Tannie shared that Devin reached out to his command with his medical concerns right before Christmas leave. He talked to his First Sergeant for about an hour. What if he told him something that was a red flag? Did the First Sergeant now see him as a problem and no longer useful to the team?

So Many Unanswered Questions & Things That Don’t Add Up

Why did the Army CID clear out Devin’s phone so Tannie couldn’t see what happened in the days leading up to his death? Tannie knew Devin didn’t wipe his phone or delete things because he wasn’t very good with computers or the phone. They joked about how he referred to himself as a ‘dumb grunt’ who let the soldiers who are geniuses do that stuff. Devin didn’t even know how to erase history but the history was cleared. Tannie reports the Army CID has no desire to get a warrant to obtain the cell phone records that could tell a digital story. Did he chat with others? Did he make any phone calls? Was his phone active the entire time? Did at some point the battery die? Did he do any google searches?

All of these things are relevant to the investigation. As a matter of a fact, any conversations prior to his death could lead one to persons of interests and witnesses. Was he lured to Liberty Hill road? Was he supposed to meet someone? Where was he for two days? These are all logical questions when trying to figure out the victimology; their own words, thoughts, and behaviors tie into the investigation. Tannie feels defeated after realizing it appeared the Army didn’t want to do the work to find Devin or find out what happened to him. Most of the Army personnel involved in this case can’t even look at her and appear to get defensive when she questions them.

Tannie feels like the Army gives families just enough momentary satisfaction and then does something else to distract them. Tannie believes Army investigators create a narrative. She feels like Army personnel give them answers that will suppress any further questions. Some families want all the details to know how it fits together. It’s normal to want to know what happened to your loved one. It’s normal to want to see the body of your loved one. It’s inhumane to keep a family from seeing the body of their loved one even if they can’t have an open casket. Currently, the Army decides whether it is open casket or not, whether the family can see the body or not, and if questioned, will make sure there are Army personnel at the funeral home to ensure families don’t see the body. Why wasn’t a family member asked to identify the body?

Why Does the US Army Control the Funeral Arrangements?

Army CID told Tannie Devin’s body was too far gone therefore no open casket. But Tannie knew that wasn’t true given how quickly they found Devin after he died. Decomposition was not an issue at this time. She wondered “what are they hiding?” Who goes to those kinds of lengths to keep you from seeing the body of your loved one? Everyone was denied access to see Devin’s body. And anyone that did see his body was hauled into Army CID. Tannie wanted to see that her husband was in that casket. Even the funeral director questioned the Army’s decision to have a closed casket and no viewing of the body. He told Tannie there was nothing wrong with the body. They learned the request came from the Department of the Army in Washington DC.

Department of Army told the Army CID and the CAO it was to be a closed casket and that was that. Some families may not want the details and that’s okay. Both ways are okay but for a family that gets inconsistencies throughout the process, wanting to know the truth and getting justice for their loved one is paramount. Soldiers may have learned not to question the institution but by no means does a family member or a veteran have to accept their canned responses and narratives. Tannie wants Devin’s death investigated and the case solved if in fact this is a homicide. And after what she has learned from other families it appears suspicious that when a soldier admits to medical issues they then become a problem and die?

Tannie has every right to be concerned that anyone who admits to issues like Post Traumatic Stress may be picked on, isolated, can’t do anything right, hazed, belittled, and more. After awhile, the soldier may even start believing they are a piece of shit. What kind of response did Devin get when he told his Command about his medical issues? Tannie says none of the programs at Fort Hood are working and it’s all a big waste of money. She admits that she too sought the assistance of counselors at Fort Hood but they didn’t appear to deal well with her candidness and openness. She was processing the confusing death of her beloved husband, they sat there in silence not acknowledging the toxic environment they are a part of.

Areas of Concern:

  • Waiting to report that a soldier is missing, yet lists them AWOL
  • Family knows when there is a cause for concern
  • If piece of equipment goes missing, then lockdown
  • When child or elder goes missing, it’s taken seriously
  • If a soldier goes missing, consider serious especially if there if previously noted mental health diagnosis or concerns
  • If a soldier visits mental health, are they treated differently because of the visit and/or the diagnosis?
  • How many cases have we witnessed where a soldier has gone missing, but is considered AWOL, yet later show up dead?
  • Has anyone considered that it’s hurts a man’s pride to go AWOL because they are suffering from some kind of mental health breakdown?
  • Men, especially military men, are trained to think “I’m not supposed to be weak”
  • Spouse felt like CID investigation report did not reflect her account of what happened, report had lots of discrepancies, and she felt dismissed as if they were not even listening to her; they said photos in report blacked out Devin’s body to protect her
  • Do the Texas Rangers have jurisdiction of the land owned by the Cattle Rancher’s Association? If so, will they conduct an investigation alongside, not with, Fort Hood investigators?
  • Did the Commander coordinate with the military police located at the scene? If so, is it protocol to point a gun at a military spouse who just found out her husband was dead?
  • Why did Tannie’s children learn about their dad’s death on social media? How did this happen? How can we prevent it from happening again?
  • Why was the bloody handprint on Devin’s clothing not significant to investigators? Why was it not tested?
  • It appears they did no forensic testing at all. If so, why did they rule a suicide?
  • Tannie observed that the first note she was allowed to read in the presence of military personnel was not the same note found in official investigative report
  • Tannie observed the handwriting on the first suicide note did not look like Devin’s handwriting; the handwriting on the second suicide note did look like Devin’s but was ruled inconclusive
  • Tannie questioned the Army CID about the note found in the official investigative report because this one did look like Devin’s handwriting, unlike the first note she read a couple days after he died; she also observed the second note was on different paper and wanted to know how they could account for the discrepancies; Where is the original note? How do we get it released for forensic examination?
  • Tannie received pictures of the crime scene that were blacked out to protect her; she wants copies of the original pictures to help make an assessment between what the volunteers witnessed at the scene versus what the Army CID is telling her; again, why the inconsistencies?
  • Is it possible the truck’s heater was on full blast to affect decomposition rate?
  • Is it possible to create an explosion with a propane tank leak, carbon monoxide leak, a heater blasting on high, and a vehicle running? An explosion would destroy evidence?
  • Some families may benefit from doing a FOIA for medical records and all families should FOIA the investigation report for the cause of death ruling
  • Where is the autopsy report? The autopsy report should be included with every investigation package. Does the family have to make a separate FOIA request?
  • Why does the Army get to decide whether or not the family views the body of their loved one? Why does the Army get to decide if open casket or not?

Source: Tannie Schuette (Devin Schuette’s wife)

Related Links:
Obituary: SSG Devin L. Schuette
Man found dead at Fort Hood
Army IDs soldier found dead at Fort Hood
Soldier found dead at Fort Hood identified
Soldier found dead on Fort Hood identified
Soldier who was found dead at Fort Hood identified
Fort Hood officials ID soldier who was found dead at BLORA
New Mexico man found dead at Fort Hood
Fort Hood: Clovis soldier found dead
Soldier who died at Fort Hood was from Clovis
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier: Staff Sgt. Devin Lee Schuette
Staff Sgt. Devin L. Schuette, 35, of Fort Hood died Sunday, Jan. 3
Dead soldier identified as Clovis native; Investigation continues
Army continues investigation into death of Clovis soldier
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
From My Heart to Yours (YouTube)
Military Spouse and Widow Tannie Schuette Live Facebook (video)


“One of the most difficult situations I have ever faced in my life. Please share this video with everyone and anyone you can.” -Devin Schuette