A Stranger in My Home: 5 Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Buried Secrets (Season 1, Episode 3):

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

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Buried Secrets’ on ID: Army Veteran Allan Kowalski Found Buried in Shallow Grave on Texas Property (October 27, 2013)

Roommate From Hell (Season 1, Episode 10):

When Jeffrey Wheatley moves to Stockton, California he sees it as a second chance. His friend Drew offers him a room in a house that he shares with Valerie Nessler. But soon, the house will be the setting of the most brutal murder the town has ever seen. -Roommate From Hell, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E10)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Roommate From Hell’ on ID: Jeffrey Wheatley Found Murdered in House Fire Because False Accusations (December 15, 2013)

Star-Crossed Murder (Season 2, Episode 1):

Air traffic controller Gene Thurnau moves to St-Petersburg, Florida to start over. He meets Jaye-Jaye, and soon they marry and begin building their dream home. But ghosts from Gene’s past bring unwanted tension and horror into their perfect home. -Star-Crossed Murder, A Stranger In My Home (S2,E1)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Star-Crossed Murder’ on ID: Air Force Veteran Gene Thurnau Murdered by Obsessed Co-Worker (December 11, 2014)

The Two-Faced Murder (Season 3, Episode 3):

An old man collapses in his bathroom, gasping for air. The caregiver tries to save him while her son calls for help in vain. This “accident” isn’t what it seems, though… and the true story reveals murder. -The Two-Faced Murder, A Stranger in My Home (S3,E3)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘The Two-Faced Murder’ on ID: Abusive Caregiver Rosemary Vandecar Convicted of Murder (February 26, 2016)

Shades of Jade (Season 3, Episode 8):

A lonely ex-military man meets up with a much younger beautiful woman, and together they fall in love. Or so they think. Until a deadly combination of greed, worry, and secrets leaves one dead and the other on the run… wanted for murder. -Shades of Jade, A Stranger in My Home (S3,E8)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Shades of Jade’ on ID: Nevada Escort Murders Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Because Greed (April 8, 2016)

BONUS STOLEN VALOR EPISODE:

Mickey Widmer and her boyfriend Darnell Mears move into a Minnesota trailer park looking for a fresh start, but after meeting Rick Taber, a reclusive neighbor, he grows too close for comfort. Good neighbors go bad; and bad neighbors spill blood. -Trailer Park Terror, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E2)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Trailer Park Terror’ on ID: Rick Taber Killed Next Door Neighbor Micky Widmer in Minnesota (October 20, 2013)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E3)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E10)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (S2,E1)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S3,E3)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S3,E8)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E2)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Rest in Peace’ on ID: Kenda Investigates Suspicious Death of Air Force Retiree Willy Jackson (September 25, 2019)

When an Air Force veteran dies unexpectedly, Kenda and his team must determine if it was a tragic accident or premeditated murder. But before long, they discover that their clean-cut victim had a secret life. -Rest in Peace, Homicide Hunter (S9,E5)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Rest in Peace | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S9,E5)
Rest in Peace | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Rest in Peace | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Rest in Peace | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Air Force Retiree Willy Jackson Found Dead in Colorado Springs Home; Wife Tony Jackson Confessed to Stabbing, DA Ruled Self-Defense (June 24, 1994)
Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Valley of the Damned Premiered ‘The Second Shot’ on ID: Brian Hood Used Lover & Army Spouse Jennifer Reali As Murder Weapon (September 24, 2019)

When Dianne Hood is gunned down outside a community center in Prison Valley, no one can understand why anyone would want to murder the well-liked housewife. The answer involves betrayal, greed and obsession, in an infamous love-triangle murder plot. -The Second Shot, Valley of the Damned (S1,E4)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
The Second Shot | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
The Second Shot | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Second Shot | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Spouse Jennifer Reali Shot & Killed Lover’s Wife; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Paroled in 2017 & Died of Cancer Three Months Later (September 12, 1990)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Under His Control’ on Investigation Discovery: Brian Hood Used Lover Jennifer Reali to Kill Wife (October 19, 2010)
Facing Evil with Candice DeLong Premiered ‘Love Before Life’ on Investigation Discovery: Jennifer Reali Fatally Shot Lover’s Wife in Colorado (November 26, 2010)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘I Now Pronounce You Dead’ on ID: Jennifer Reali Killed Lover’s Wife Dianne Hood in Colorado Springs (October 2, 2012)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Homicide Hunter: 15 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado

House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Hearings on Domestic Violence in the Military (September 18, 2019)

Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows -US House Armed Services Committee (September 18, 2019)

“We are here today because domestic violence has become a forgotten crisis in our military. It has been 15 years since a DOD task force analyzed domestic violence within the military, yet we have seen unsettling warning signs since. Within the last few months, DOD reports have highlighted concerning failures in our services’ domestic violence systems. The DOD has not responded urgently. Today, we will hear from three survivors of domestic violence in the military who are bravely coming forward to share their experiences in the hope that others may be helped. Because we lack data that is recent, plentiful, or granular, we must rely on survivors, advocates and experts to help us understand the unique challenges of dealing with this crisis within the military.” Read more from House Armed Services Committee Chairwoman Jackie Speier here.

Domestic Violence Survivors

Survivors of domestic violence with Rep. Jackie Speier (Photo: Rohini Hughes, NMFAO)

Panel 1:

Mr. Brian Clubb
Coordinator, Military & Veterans Advocacy Program
Battered Women’s Justice Project

Mr. David S. Lee
Director of Prevention Services
PreventConnect

Ms. Arlene Vassell
Vice President of Programs, Prevention & Social Change
National Resource Center on Domestic Violence

Mrs. Rohini Hughes
Survivor and Advocate
National Military Family Advocacy Organization

Ms. Kate Ranta
Survivor and Advocate

Ms. Leah Olszewski
Survivor and Advocate

Panel 2:

Mrs. A.T. Johnston
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community and Family Policy, Department of Defense

Mr. Kenneth Noyes
Associate Director, DOD Family Advocacy Program (Military Family Readiness Policy), Department of Defense

Related Links:
Congressional Testimony | National Center on Domestic & Sexual Violence
Domestic Violence in Military Families
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act
Law protecting military victims of sexual assault discussed
Woman claims Army is protecting abusive husband
Military Domestic Violence and Child Abuse | C-SPAN
Tillis Chairs Hearing on Domestic Violence and Child Abuse in the Military
Heinrich Questions Army Nominee On Domestic Violence Loophole
Senator Hirono Conducts Hearing on Military Domestic Violence
High risk of military domestic violence on the home front
Kirsten Gillibrand Pleads for Military to Review Sexual Abuse, Domestic Violence Allegation: ‘We Have Grave Concerns’ for Their Safety
The UCMJ May Get A Domestic Violence Update To Prevent The Next Texas Church Shooting
Sexual Assault in the Mililtary | C-SPAN
Military Not Following Own Rules for On-Base Domestic Violence Investigations
Supreme Court Refuses to Hear Case on Doctrine Preventing Military Medical Malpractice Lawsuits
A Unique Military Program Helps Sexual Assault Survivors. But Not All of Them.
Bill giving soldiers right to sue for medical malpractice passes House
Senators introduce bill that would allow service members to sue for medical malpractice
Bid to allow troops to sue for military medical malpractice hits Senate snag
Subcommittee on Military Personnel: Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows
Opening Statement Chairwoman Jackie Speier, Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows September 18, 2019

Shattered Families, Shattered Service: Taking Military Domestic Violence Out of the Shadows
Congresswoman Speier Holds First House Armed Services Committee Hearing on Domestic Violence in Over 15 Years
House Armed Services Committee tackling sexual assault in the military
Hearing On Military Domestic Violence | NPR
Lawmakers Hear Emotional Stories From ‘Forgotten Crisis’ Of Military Domestic Violence | NPR
Is military domestic violence a ‘forgotten crisis’? | Military Times
Abuse survivors calls domestic violence “black eye of our military” | Connecting Vets
Outreach Key in Addressing Domestic Violence | Department of Defense
Military domestic violence investigation launched | Enid News
Commands Protect Troops and Fail Families in Domestic Abuse Cases, Victims Say | Military.com
Federal Register :: Transitional Compensation (TC) for Abused Dependents

MJFA Research

Domestic violence is more likely to lead to homicide and leaving the abuser is by far the most dangerous time for victims.

People Magazine Published ‘A War at Home’: Five Military Spouses Slain in Six Weeks at Fort Bragg (August 12, 2002)

Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank (February 7, 2006)

“December 2, 2002, President Bush signed into law an act that makes domestic violence protective orders enforceable on military installations.”

LCpl Maria Lauterbach/Homicide (2007)

Maria Lauterbach Sexual Assault Hearing (2008) (this was sexual assault and interpersonal violence)

Defense STRONG Act passed (2011) (includes expedited transfer if sexually assaulted)

Jennifer Norris Testimony to HASC (2013) (includes testimony similar to domestic abuse)

Ban on Women in Combat Lifted (2013) (this happened the same day of HASC hearings and as a result it overshadowed the hearings)

Military Policy Recommendations (MJFA) (went to DC and visited congressional members, expansion of expedited transfer policy, independent investigations)

Washington DC Presentation on Fort Hood (MJFA) (went to DC and visited congressional members, status of forces at post with most recorded suicides)

History: The Military and Domestic Abuse (MJFA)

Military Justice Improvement Act (MJIA) (McCaskill was voted out and Arizona Senator Martha McSally & Senator Joni Ernst are standing in the way now)

Open Letter in support of the MJIA (independent investigations, disband convening authority powers)

NBC Washington: 62 Percent of Military Sex Assault Reports Result in Retaliation (May 18, 2015) (Retaliation is preventing our service members and military families from reporting felony crime)

Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery (Domestic violence is happening to men too, we see a higher prevalence of female crime because the military is 85% male att)

Rep Mike Turner Says New Military Legislation Closes a Loophole & Includes Domestic Violence Victims in the Expedited Transfer Policy (unclear what the status of this legislation is, could not find an update)

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)

*********************************************************

Recent DV/Homicides:

Samatha Field/Army Spouse (2018)

Abree Boykin/Army Spouse (2018)

Sgt. Brittany Silvers/Army (2018)

Debbie Forrest/Army Spouse (2019)

Staff Sgt Amy Colburn/Army (2019)

Sgt. Tyrone Hassel/Army (2019)

(this list does not include all victims by a long shot)

*********************************************************

DV/Homicide History:

Sgt. Bill Coffin (1997) > (Army’s inappropriate handling of DV/DA dates back to 1997)

30 Military Domestic Abuse>Homicide Cases

Non Combat Deaths/Females/Iraq

Non Combat Deaths/Females/Afghanistan

Non Combat Deaths/Females/Other Areas

Cases of Significance:

Kamisha Block (2007) (Murder-Suicide in Iraq, case reopened in 2019 to investigate negligence of Chain of Command)

Holley Wimunc (2008) > Holley Lynn James Act (similar to MJIA)

Recruit Michelle Miller (2013) > Michelle’s Law (similar to MJIA)

Dawn Giffa/Army Spouse (2015) > Lawsuit Against Army (Negligence at Fort Hood)

Pfc. Karlyn Ramirez (2015) > (abuse, child custody, homicide)

Pfc. Shadow McClaine (2016) > (abuse, divorce, homicide)

Pvt. Paige Briles (2016) > (abuse, pending divorce, suspected homicide)

Valley of the Damned Premiered ‘Killer Confession’ on ID: Army Veteran Admits Murdering Lea Porter, Her Body is Still Missing (September 17, 2019)

When Lea Porter goes missing in Prison Valley her family turn detective to try and find her. Their investigation leads to a shocking discovery – the killer’s true identity. As the killer evades arrest, Lea’s brother devises a plan to make him confess. -Killer Confession, Valley of the Damned (S1,E3)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Help Find Lea Porter | Facebook
Lea Chali Porter | The Charley Project
Remembering Lea Porter: The Photos You Need to See
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (S1,E3)
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Man accused of murder, sexual assault in teen’s disappearance
High school friend who pleaded in TV interview for return of missing girl, 19, arrested for her murder after admitting he killed her and hid body
Colorado man charged with sexually assaulting, killing, teenage friend
Murder victim’s stepfather: Suspect had ‘manifesto’ about capturing, killing a girl
Man pleads guilty to high school friend’s murder
Man pleads guilty to killing southern Colorado teen who disappeared
Lea Chali Porter’s Family Upset by Plea Deal With Her Killer, Christopher Waide
Man sentenced to 48 years for murder of missing Pueblo teen
Killer is in prison, but body of Fremont County teen has never been found
Colorado mom wants answers about daughter’s missing body
Killer’s criminal justice teacher speaks out about what convict may have learned in class
Convicted Killer Says He Admitted to Murder Because Tarot Cards Said Guilt ‘Would Destroy’ Him
20/20′: Criminology student confesses to murder of young Colorado woman
Murder of Lea Porter by Christopher Adam Waide featured on Valley of the Damned

Lea Porter Missing Colorado

Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

A Killer Always Rings Twice (Season 1, Episode 3):

When 22 year-old Micki Filmore is found raped and murder in her apartment, detective Kenda focuses his investigation on her activities the previous night. Micki was seen dancing with a man who then paid a late night call to her door. -A Killer Always Rings Twice, Homicide Hunter (S1, E3)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘A Killer Always Rings Twice’ on ID: Lt. Joe Kenda Hunts for Serial Rapist & Killer Before He Strikes Again (November 8, 2011)

Secret Life (Season 1, Episode 5):

After Lourdes Riddle in found strangled to death in the trunk of her car, homicide detective Joe Kenda follows the trail through a twisting maze of military and cultural secrets. Just what was Lourdes doing behind her husband’s back? -Secret Life, Homicide Hunter (S1, E5)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Secret Life’ on ID: Fort Carson Soldier Strangled Lourdes Riddle to Silence Sextortion Threats (November 22, 2011)

I Now Pronounce You Dead (Season 2, Episode 1):

Mother of three Dianne Hood is shot to death by a masked gunman on her way home from a Lupus support meeting. Police initially assume it’s a robbery, but Lt. Joe Kenda uncovers a sordid web of lust and greed, revealing a killer no one ever expected. -I Now Pronounce You Dead, Homicide Hunter (S2, E1)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘I Now Pronounce You Dead’ on ID: Jennifer Reali Killed Lover’s Wife Dianne Hood in Colorado Springs (October 2, 2012)

A Gathering of Evil (Season 2, Episode 2):

Teen runaway Maggie Fetty is found strangled to death on a mountain road. An anonymous tipster blames Maggie’s best friend, but she accuses a mental patient with multiple personalities. Kenda must turn the suspects against each other to learn the truth. -A Gathering of Evil, Homicide Hunter (S2, E2)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘A Gathering of Evil’ on ID: Homeless Teen Maggie Fetty Found Murdered in Colorado Springs (October 9, 2012)

The Spy Who Killed Me (Season 2, Episode 4):

Housewife Elsie Jennes is found dead in the basement of her burning home. Lt Joe Kenda has no leads until Elsie’s son, William, turns up in a police station over 50 miles away, equipped with a suitcase, a pet yellow labrador, and a bizarre story to tell. -The Spy Who Killed Me, Homicide Hunter (S2, E4)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘The Spy Who Killed Me’ on ID: William Jennes II Shot & Killed Wife Elspeth ‘Elsie’ Jennes Over Finances (October 30, 2012)

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