September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2016)

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BM Devon Faulkner, US Navy

Sept. 22, 2016 DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Devon Faulkner, 24, NCD, Mediterranean Sea, USS Wasp

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WO Travis Tamayo, US Army

Sept. 18, 2016 DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Travis Tamayo, 32, NCD, United Arab Emirates, Fort Gordon, Georgia

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1st Lt. Jeffrey Cooper, US Army

Sept. 11, 2016 DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeffrey Cooper, 25, NCD, Kuwait, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Lee Russo and David Russo (September 30, 2016)


Preview: Susan Russo was a Navy wife who ran a tight ship. But she had a secret life, and devised a way to profit off her husband’s substantial military life insurance. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery featured yet another military spouse who murdered because they were motivated by greed, selfishness, and sociopathic tendencies. While Navy sailor David Russo was at work at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, his wife was getting high on meth with her secret lover. Susan Russo didn’t like that David controlled the purse strings because he might find out that she was blowing their cash on drugs. Then one day a military advisor stopped by the house to advise them of their financial affairs and Susan learned that her husband David was worth more dead then he was alive. He had a grand total of 1 million dollars worth of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance and other insurance policies on himself. Susan saw her way out of domestic boredom and hatched up a plan with two of her drug addicted buddies, Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris. She offered them $100 to kill her husband and promised them more later after she got her hands on the life insurance payout.

Susan Russo

Susan Russo, US Navy spouse

On July 14, 1994, the trio striked. While David lay sleeping in his bed, the two men entered the marital home with Susan’s assistance, walked into David’s bedroom, and shot him one time in the back of the head. They then drove the body to a remote location so they could torch David and the car in an effort to destroy evidence. This plan would never come to fruition because they ran out of gas and then didn’t have enough gas to torch the car. When military personnel stopped by David’s home to see why he hadn’t showed up to work, Susan told them she didn’t know where he was and asked if she would still get his paycheck that week. Eventually David’s car and body was discovered by a local farmer. Of course investigators looked to the spouse first to determine what may have happened to David. Susan told investigators during the interview that they would find no evidence of wrong doing which of course intrigued them to probe further.

Susan Russo was a self proclaimed clean freak and cleaner by trade and was confident she had covered her tracks. But she did not account for the microscopic blood spatter on the headboard of the bed or the spent bullet casing located in the bedroom. Police charged Susan Russo and her two friends with the murder of her husband David Russo. Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris were both convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1996, Susan Russo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Investigators described Susan as an evil, psychopathic person who manipulated her two drug addicted friends with the promises of money for more drugs. She didn’t care about David whatsoever, she only saw David as a way to cash in.

Source: Deadly Women ‘Cash In’

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.


The stakes are high and the chips are down when these Deadly Women decide to “Cash In.” -Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
Susan Russo | The Injustice System
Killer sentenced “to slow death” gets life for murder of her husband
The PEOPLE v. Susan Lee RUSSO, Defendant and Appellant (2000)
People of California v. Susan Russo (2001)
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
Woman convicted of husband’s murder has sentence reduced by Gov. Brown, could get parole
Sisters demand mom stay in prison after pardon from orchestrating husband’s 1994 murder
Parole Board Grants Parole to Murderer Susan Lee Russo | County of Fresno
Fresno County killer gets parole after more than 20 years
Fresno County killer, sentenced to life without parole, granted parole
Woman convicted of murdering her husband is granted parole
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Drop LWOP! | Newsletter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Jerry Brown Getting Ready to Release Psychopath Killer from Prison
Vidak and Other Legislators Urge Governor Brown NOT to Release Convicted Murderer Susan Lee Russo
Gov. Jerry Brown decides against parole for woman dubbed a ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
Governor denies parole for California husband killer
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David Russo for the Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 14, 1994)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Navy Wife and Mom With Secret Life Devises Plan To Have Husband Killed For Insurance Money | Investigation Discovery
Perfect Wife Plots To Have Husband Killed For Money | Investigation Discovery
Cash In | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (YouTube: S10, E6)
Petition: Keep Susan Russo Behind Bars

Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961

US Army

John Bennett, US Army (Austria)

A look at the last U.S. soldier executed by the military (1961)

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Timothy Hennis, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Retired Army Sgt. Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Murders of Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Children Cara & Erin at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)

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Ronald Gray, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Ronald Gray, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Rape & Murder of Army Private Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)

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Dwight Loving, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

President Barack Obama commuted Dwight Loving’s Death Sentence Before Leaving Office in 2017, Sentenced to Life in Prison with No Parole (1988)

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Hasan Akbar, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Sergeant Hasan Akbar, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for a Grenade & Rifle Attack on Fellow Soldiers in Kuwait Resulting in Two Deaths & Several Injuries (2003)

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Andrew Witt, US Air Force (Robins AFB, Georgia)

SrA Andrew Witt Sentenced to Death for Murders of Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek at Robins Air Force Base; Military Appeals Court Grants New Sentencing Hearing in July 2016 (2004)

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Major Nidal Hasan, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Major Nidal Hasan, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for Opening Fire & Killing 12 Unarmed Soldiers and 1 DoD Employee at Fort Hood, Texas (2009)

Navy Sailor BM Devon Faulkner Died of a Non Combat Related Injury While Underway on USS Wasp in Mediterranean Sea (2016)

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BM Devon Faulkner, US Navy (photo courtesy http://www.militarytimes.com)

Navy Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Devon Faulkner died of a non combat related injury while underway on September 20, 2016. Devon Faulkner was supporting Operation Odyssey Lightning on behalf of the USS Wasp (LHD 1) forward deployed in the central Mediterranean Sea. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
Department of Defense Identifies Navy Casualty
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Sailor aboard locally based ship dies overseas
Navy Sailor dies while deployed on Norfolk-based USS Wasp
US Navy sailor from NC dies during Mediterranean operation
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Injured USS Wasp sailor dies while underway in Mediterranean Sea
Department of Defense identifies Raleigh, NC Navy casualty
U.S. Navy member dies of non-combat-related injury in Libya

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cling ‘Til Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Vegas Bray and Victor Saucedo (September 17, 2016)


Preview: A young Navy recruit falls for a fellow officer, but becomes overwhelmed by jealousy when she learns he is friendly with the mother of his child. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Victor Saucedo served as a damage controlman in the US Navy and was stationed at Naval Base San Diego in California. The ambitious Victor left the Navy in 2012 and began working on a college degree in law enforcement. He wanted to do well so he could provide for his four year old son. He had lots of friends, a loving family, and was an all around great guy. Victor met Vegas Bray, who was also in the Navy, at the Naval Base in San Diego; they remained friends even after she was discharged. Victor reconnected with the popular, well liked twenty-two year old Vegas at the gym; they both liked to work out. Victor was smitten initially and the two began a serious relationship in March 2011. Victor and Vegas spent a lot of time together.

Then Vegas realized she had to share Victor with his child, an ex-girlfriend, and all his friends. Vegas was especially jealous of the mother of his child because she had to be the only person in Victor’s life. Her jealousy was brewing because of her immature personality and stunted emotional development. Vegas Bray was both abandoned and abused, and as a result had a difficult time with men. Vegas tried to use sex to control Victor. If Victor went out with his friends, Vegas would show up and ask him to leave. This behavior embarrassed Victor and he may have lost his friends but he was never going to give up on his son. Vegas accused Victor of spending all his time with his son. Victor didn’t hide the fact that his boy came first and broke up with Vegas in March 2012. Although they still hooked up even after the break-up.

Vegas had a rough childhood. Her mother abandoned her when she was twelve; she didn’t know who her father was. But she was pretty, smart, and well liked. She was described as nice by those who grew up with her. She grew up in the heavily populated military community in San Diego and as a result was inspired to join the enlisted ranks in the Navy after high school graduation in 2007. She worked as a Machinist at Naval Base San Diego. But Vegas didn’t like it. She was not adjusting well to the rules and regulations and applied for an early discharge. The discharge application was approved and she was administratively discharged from the Navy in 2010. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do so she began working as a cocktail waitress. She met Victor in 2011 and he broke up with her in 2012.

Instead of moving on, Vegas started pulling childish pranks. She sat outside his home, followed him, threw eggs at his car, keyed his car, punctured his tires, threw paint at his door, and threatened to kill him. Victor moved to a new apartment within the complex to escape the escalating abuse. He even considered moving back to Chicago, Illinois but didn’t want to leave his son behind. He had a feeling Vegas would kill him. After she found out where he lived, Vegas broke a window at the new place. Victor didn’t want any confrontations with her. And even after all this, he still wanted to be friends. He went to the police once to report the stalking behavior and the threats to his life but he didn’t feel like he was taken seriously. He also chased Vegas down after she threw a bottle through his car window. He then called the police but declined to press charges hoping the warning would do the trick.

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Victor Saucedo, US Navy Veteran

Vegas told Victor she was going to move into the same apartment complex as him and Victor agreed to be a co-signer on the new apartment. Vegas went to Victor’s place on October 15, 2012 to talk about the co-signing arrangement. Vegas and Victor drank and talked all evening; they had a good time and ended up sleeping together. The next morning, Vegas wanted to go to breakfast but Victor did not. Vegas felt used and taken advantage of; she was angry. What Victor thought was a casual night with an ex meant something completely different to Vegas. This night made her feel closer to Victor, more possessive, and got her hopes up that something would rekindle. Once Victor realized his mistake, it was too late. Because of her abandonment issues, she felt rejected. She was truly devastated by this experience and her rage kicked into overdrive.

Vegas was obsessed with Victor and wanted to know why he broke up with her. On October 16, 2012, Vegas went to Victor’s home in Imperial Beach and confronted him. He reiterated that it was over. She shot him six times at close range. Then when he was down, she coldly pointed the gun at his head and fired rapidly three more times. Police would learn that she left him a message on his answering machine begging him not to leave her. She went to his apartment with a plan after he didn’t call her back, she murdered him in cold blood. Once he was dead, she called the police to report that she found Victor dead with his gun lying next to him. Vegas implied that Victor committed suicide.

After detectives observed the crime scene, they found Victor lying in the hallway with a gun at his side. He had been shot multiple times in the face, head, and upper body; a suicide was not possible. The police felt that referring to Victor’s death as a suicide was preposterous; they quickly deduced this was a homicide. But Vegas’ child-like mind failed to see the absurdity of the statement. Vegas voluntarily went to the police station and told investigators that she couldn’t remember what happened because she blacked out. During the interview, Vegas told investigators that Victor broke up with her on the phone and unfriended her Facebook. Although she had other plans, she turned around on the highway and went to Victor’s home to confront him, what the hell?

Vegas Bray said she didn’t plan on going back to Victor’s house. She said she didn’t remember anything and blacked out but remembered her ears were ringing. She also admitted that the black outs began in childhood. She said she was sexually abused as a child and when she reported it to her mother, she wasn’t believed. She did see a psychiatrist to work on her depression and her disability, post traumatic stress disorder. She also admitted that the 38 caliber revolver was hers. Others described Vegas as unstable; she had quick temper and flew off at the handle. Witnesses confirmed she was jealous of the ex-girlfriend and would often cause scenes. They said one time she even held a gun to Victor’s face and this is when he left her. He didn’t want anymore drama unfortunately leaving her only heightened the drama.

Vegas Bray was arrested later that day and charged with the murder of Victor Saucedo. It took two years to declare Vegas mentally fit to stand trial. The jury would learn that Victor was shot nine times with hollow point bullets meant to do maximum damage. And they learned that a 38 caliber revolver only held six bullets so Vegas had to reload the gun before shooting Victor three more times. This fact also matched testimony by witnesses who said they heard 5-6 gunshots, silence, then three more shots. The defense brought up Vegas’ difficult upbringing with her abusive, neglectful mother but the jury decided it didn’t excuse taking a life. In 2016, Vegas Bray was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to fifty years to life in prison. Vegas Bray was an unstable, jealous ex with a gun who killed Victor Saucedo because she couldn’t control him.

“Never have sex with a crazy ex.” -Profiler Candice DeLong, Deadly Women

Source: Deadly Women ‘Cling ‘Til Death’


These Deadly Women won’t let their men go… they “Cling ‘Til Death.” | Investigation Discovery

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:
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‘Fly Guy’ Victor Saucedo Remembered at Candlelight Vigil
Friends remember local sailor killed in Imperial Beach
Family, friends say shooting victim was stalked
Ex-Girlfriend Arrested in IB Homicide Case
Woman accused of gunning down ex-boyfriend in Imperial Beach
Woman accused of killing ex-lover in court: Vegas Bray suspected in death of Victor Saucedo
Woman Charged with 1st Degree Murder After Man Is Shot
Murder suspect: ‘I was never jealous’
Vegas Bray Pleads Not Guilty to Shooting Ex-Boyfriend
Imperial Beach Murder Suspect’s Facebook Page Can’t Help
Prosecutors: Woman harassed ex-boyfriend before killing him
Family: Sheriff Failed to Protect Ex-Sailor From Shooting Death
Homicide Charge On Hold: Vegas Bray Headed to Mental Hospital
Woman accused of killing ex-boyfriend determined to be mentally competent to stand trial
Trial set for suspected boyfriend killer
Trial Date Set For Woman Who Shot Ex-boyfriend Nine Times, San Diego
January Trial Set for Vegas Bray in Navy ‘Fatal Attraction’ Case
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Former Navy sailor found guilty of murdering ex-boyfriend
Fatal attraction case ends in woman’s conviction
Ex-Girlfriend Said to Have Stalked, Harassed Ex-Boyfriend, Convicted in His Murder
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Long term for stalker who shot boyfriend to death
Woman who shot ex-boyfriend to death sentenced
Woman Who Stalked, Murdered Ex-Boyfriend Gets 50 Years
Woman Who Stalked, Killed Ex-Boyfriend Gets 50 Years to Life in Prison
Woman who stalked and shot her ex-boyfriend 9 times claimed his death was suicide
Ex-Lover Jealousy Turns Lethal: The Vegas Bray Story
Woman accused of killing ex-lover in court: Vegas Bray suspected in death of Victor Saucedo
Woman accused in fatal shooting of ex-boyfriend appears in court
Woman accused of killing ex-lover in court: Vegas Bray suspected in death of Victor Saucedo
Mental competency hearing set for woman accused of murder
Guilty verdict in fatal attraction case
Snapped: Vegas Bray | Oxygen
Snapped: Vegas Bray Calls 911 | Oxygen
Snapped: Vegas Bray Interrogation | Oxygen
Snapped: Stalking is Dangerous
Navy Veteran Victor Saucedo Shot and Killed in Home by Ex-Girlfriend; Navy Veteran Vegas Bray Sentenced to 50 Years to Life in Prison (October 16, 2012)
Ex-Lover Jealousy Turns Lethal: The Vegas Bray Story | Deadly Women
Cling ‘Til Death | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)

Fort Hood Army Pvt. Nathan Berg Died of a Gunshot Wound in Killeen, Texas (2016)

US Army

Pvt. Nathan Berg, US Army

Army Pvt. Nathan Berg, 20, died of an apparent gunshot wound in Killeen, Texas on September 17, 2016. Pvt. Berg’s home of record is listed as Bellevue, Nebraska and he entered military service in May 2016. Pvt. Berg was a combat engineer assigned to the Reception Detachment, United States Army Garrison at Fort Hood. According to a Fort Hood press release, the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation by the Killeen Police Department. The circumstances surrounding his death and official cause of death are unknown.

Related Links:
Obituary: Berg, Nathan J. PVT US Army
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier
Fort Hood soldier dies from gunshot wound
Fort Hood releases name of soldier found dead in Killeen
Fort Hood: Army identifies soldier who died from gunshot wound
Soldier found dead in Texas identified as Bellevue native
Soldier from Bellevue, stationed at Ft. Hood, found dead of gunshot wound
Bellevue Soldier Death Investigation
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Army Warrant Officer Travis Tamayo Died of a Non Combat Related Incident in United Arab Emirates (2016)

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Warrant Officer Travis Tamayo, US Army

Army Warrant Officer Travis Tamayo died of a non combat related incident in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on September 16, 2016. WO Tamayo was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the 202nd Military Intelligence Battalion in Fort Gordon, Georgia. According to the Department of Defense press release, the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
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Brownsville native, proud military member dies at age 32
DoD: Soldier dies in non-combat related incident in UAE
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U.S. Army intelligence soldier supporting OIR dies in United Arab Emirates
US Anti-Daesh Operation Serviceman Dies in UAE in Non-Combat-Related Incident

Army 2nd Lt. Andrew Hunt Found Unresponsive at Fort Hood, Texas Residence (2016)

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2nd Lt. Andrew Hunt, US Army

2nd Lt. Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army, was found unresponsive at his Fort Hood residence  and shortly after was pronounced dead at the Texas installation’s medical center on September 13, 2016. 2nd Lt. Hunt was assigned as the Assistant Squadron S3 to the HHT, 6th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood for one month before he died. The Army Criminal Investigation Division reported the circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation. The circumstances surrounding his death and official cause of death are unknown.

Andrew graduated from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in 2011. He then was appointed to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he actively served as a Color Guard member, finishing as the Cadet Color Captain during his senior year. Andrew graduated and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on May 23, 2015 with a B.S. in English. After graduating, 2LT Hunt completed Armor Basic Officer Leadership Course (ABOLC), Army Reconnaissance Course (ARC), Bradley Leader Course (BLC), and Advanced Situational Awareness Training (ASA) at Ft. Benning, GA. Following these courses, 2LT Hunt was assigned to HHT, 6th Squadron, 9th US Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division and served as the Assistant Squadron S3. He earned an Army Achievement Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and the Army Service Ribbon. –Obituary

Related Links:
Obituary: 2LT Andrew Jefferson Hunt U.S. Army
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Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
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Army 1st Lt. Jeffrey Cooper Died of a Non Combat-Related Injury in Kuwait Supporting Operation Inherent Resolve (2016)

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1st Lt Jeffrey Cooper, US Army

1st Lt Jeffrey Cooper, US Army, died of a non combat related injury in Kuwait on September 10, 2016. 1st Lt Cooper was supporting Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation.

“Cooper was killed in a rollover vehicle accident while traveling from Camp Buehring in Kuwait to the Ali Al Salem Airfield.” -CBS News

Related Links:
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Nightmare Next Door Premiered ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’ on Investigation Discovery: Michael Severance and Wendi Davidson (September 9, 2016)


Preview: When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Air Force SSgt. Michael Severance was poisoned with animal medications by his veterinarian wife Wendi Davidson on January 15, 2005 in San Angelo, Texas. SSgt. Severance enlisted with the United States Air Force in 1998 and was a flying crew chief stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. He met Wendi at a local club and they hit it off right away. Shortly after meeting, she got pregnant with his child. Michael wanted to do the right thing so he eventually married Wendi and moved in with her in a small apartment attached to her new Veterinarian Clinic. He commuted 90 miles one way to the base where he worked. Michael was reported missing to the local police on January 16th after his wife Wendi informed Michael’s parents that she wouldn’t make the flight to Maine with him for a visit with their child because he was nowhere to be found. She cancelled the flights for all three of them. Michael’s parents also called the base to report him missing but Air Force leadership informed them that their hands were tied until he was considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL). After Michael’s leave was up 8 days later and he didn’t return to duty, he was officially considered AWOL. This prompted the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to join forces with the local civilian authorities. Wendi led all the investigators to believe that Mike had deserted the military. She claimed that he didn’t want to go back to Iraq and was thinking about heading to Canada. Michael, Wendi, and their child were planning a trip to visit his parents in Maine because Mike was scheduled to deploy to the Middle East after returning from the trip.

The San Angelo police department investigators visited Wendi at her veterinarian clinic on January 17, 2005. Wendi told them Mike had been drinking lately and was out all the time, but investigators observed that all of his personal belongings were still at their shared apartment. On January 18th, Wendi filed divorce papers and attempted to get a restraining order against Mike. Civilian investigators were suspicious of Wendi and believed that she was cold and calculating. They gave her a polygraph test but the results came back inconclusive. Once Mike’s leave was up and he was considered officially AWOL, AFOSI joined the San Angelo police department investigation. AFOSI doubted that Michael was a deserter and would just up and leave. In the meantime, the San Angelo police department put a GPS tracking device on Wendi’s car. They learned that on February 7th, Wendi traveled to a remote area owned by a friend of hers. Because investigators considered Wendi a person of interest, they traveled to the location where she had been and found a large retaining pond on the property. In March 2005, investigators were able to look at the search history on Wendi’s computer and learned that Wendi had done a search for ‘decomposition of bodies’ and ‘how to pass a lie detector test’. Investigator’s confronted Wendi but didn’t buy her story so they started turning up the heat. Wendi appeared to dismiss the investigators and then after the interview left the vet clinic in a hurry. She traveled back to her friend’s remote property but this time the police were there to make sure she wasn’t able to disturb a potential crime scene while they worked on obtaining a search warrant.

In the meantime, Wendi confided in her brother Marshall. She told him that she came home and found Mike dead. She said she was scared so she disposed of his body. But her brother didn’t buy her story either and reported her to the police. On March 6th, law enforcement searched the pond on her friend’s property and found Michael Severance’s body anchored down with cinder blocks. When they searched Wendi’s home and business, they found a knife, rope, drug log book, and bottles of medication. Wendi was arrested for the murder of Mike Severance and after 32 days behind bars, her parents raised the $500,000 bond to get her released. Investigators learned that they had only been married for four months when she murdered him. Wendi gave birth to her first child in October 2001. In December 2003, she met Michael and eventually got pregnant but Michael wasn’t ready to settle down or get married quite yet. And Wendi’s parents apparently didn’t like Mike and labeled him lazy and disrespectful; they did not want Wendi to marry him. In September 2004, Wendi gave birth to their son and they were quietly married twelve days later at the courthouse. Two weeks later, Wendi purchased a veterinarian clinic and Mike moved in with her, despite the commute 90 miles one way to work at the base. Shortly after moving in, Mike was sent to Airman Leadership School in Wichita Falls and then he got orders to go to the Middle East. Mike planned a vacation to Maine in January 2005 so his parents could meet his new wife and child, their grandchild, before he was deployed overseas. After Mike returned from Airman Leadership School shortly before their trip to Maine, he observed that Wendi was cold towards him and her mother made it clear that she didn’t like Mike and she didn’t want Wendi going to Maine.

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Michael Severance, US Air Force

The coroner was not able to determine if there was physical trauma to Mike’s body due to decomposition. But an autopsy revealed that Michael overdosed on drugs usually found in an animal clinic. They found Phenobarbital and B-Euthanasia in his system and he was stabbed 41 times after he was dead. Investigators learned from Wendi’s google searches that Mike was most likely stabbed post mortem so his body wouldn’t float to the surface in the pond. Wendi was arrested again on April 15th for evidence tampering after police learned she falsified log records at the animal clinic so she could justify taking the medication she used to kill her husband. Her bail was now $100,000 per tampering. In the meantime, her family arranged for her to have a privately administered polygraph. On May 24th, a grand jury indicted Wendi for murder and shortly after she was released on bond again. While awaiting trial, on August 20th, Wendi was arrested for child endangerment. One of her children got lost while looking for her; she was out at a night club. She spent another night in jail. In preparation for trial, prosecutors theorized that Wendi concocted her homicidal plan on January 14th. She asked Mike out to dinner on January 15th and then afterwards they went to a bar where they drank and danced. Upon return to their residence, prosecutors believe that Wendi mixed Phenobarbital in his drink. After he was unconscious, she plunged a syringe full of B-Euthanasia into his chest. Then she had to get rid of his body so she drove him out to the pond on her friend’s property and used fishing line to tie cinder blocks to his body. From google searches she learned that gases will make the body float so she went back to the retainer pond and stabbed him 41 times to release the gases; she attached more weight to his body.

Wendi Mae Davidson was looking at 9 to 99 years in prison so instead of going to trial, she plead ‘no contest’ which also left things open for appeal. Her lawyers argued the validity of the search warrants and believed that the GPS tracker was placed in an illegal manner; the resulting evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree. Wendi Davidson was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She also received an additional 10 years for evidence tampering. Investigators and prosecutors were somewhat baffled with the motive for this crime and because Wendi plead ‘no contest’, we may never know the real reason she murdered Mike. Authorities theorized that maybe Wendi was motivated to kill because Mike Severance wanted to leave her. They theorized that Wendi’s mother didn’t like Mike so instead of divorcing him, she killed him. They also theorized that Wendi and her family wanted custody of the child with no incident. It’s important to note that Michael’s family believes Wendi also wanted the $500,000 life insurance payout. This was an unusual case because Wendi never had any known predisposition or tendency for violence but Mike’s family believes that her mother specifically had something to do with Wendi committing the murder. The question remains why didn’t she just divorce him instead of killing him?

Wendi may have made this decision because control and financial motive is a common motive for murder. It was noted that Wendi met Mike at a bar and shortly thereafter became pregnant; he may have been targeted for exploitation. It was noted that Wendi was in debt after purchasing a new animal clinic providing the motive for financial gain. It was noted that the crime was premeditated as evidenced by her plan to steal the medications from her animal clinic used to kill Mike. It was noted that Mike was murdered only four months after marrying Wendi; was he a means to an end? It was noted that Wendi’s parents didn’t like Mike and their beliefs may have been the fuel to light the fire; she may have been manipulated because she didn’t want to defy or disappoint them, afraid of the consequences. It was noted by Mike’s family that Wendi was the recipient of the life insurance policy. It was noted that Wendi attempted to manipulate the investigation and make Mike out to be someone he was not; even going so far as to get a restraining order a couple days after she killed him. Wendi Davidson does appear to be cold and calculating. Wendi Davidson appears to be a sociopath; but she exercised her right to remain silent in another attempt to abuse the process, she knows how the system works. As a result, she is eligible for parole in April 2019; she will be 41 years old.

Source: Nightmare Next Door ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’

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.


When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

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