The Perfect Murder Premiered ‘Whidbey Island Mystery’ on Investigation Discovery: Peggy Sue Thomas Manipulated Jim Huden to Kill Russel Douglas (August 30, 2018)

ID Go: After Christmas in 2003, on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State, Russel Douglas is found shot in the head, in his car along a deserted road. It’s the start of a case that will take a decade to solve, and leave many with lingering questions. -Whidbey Island Mystery, The Perfect Murder (S5, E6)

Russel Douglas was found dead in his car on Whidbey Island in Washington on December 26, 2003. It turns out Navy veteran Peggy Sue Thomas lured him to his death. Both Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden conspired to murder Russel Douglas for revenge. Investigators suspect that the duo committed the murder for Peggy’s friend Brenna, who alleged abuse, but there was never enough evidence to charge Brenna Douglas with any crimes. Jim Huden was convicted and sentenced to eighty years in prison. Peggy Thomas agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence. Thomas was sentenced to four years for her role in the murder. Peggy Thomas continues to deny any involvement in the murder and claims she didn’t know that her boyfriend at the time was going to kill Douglas (despite being the last to text him shortly before he was murdered). Peggy Thomas was released from prison in 2016.

In the News:

From pageants to famous husband to prison, murder suspect allowed to visit NM. -KRQE (October 7, 2011)

48 Hours:

How did a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case? -48 Hours

The true-crime author of over two dozen New York Times bestsellers tells “48 Hours” she couldn’t help but write about the Russel Douglas case. -48 Hours

Gail O’Neil shares memories of her son, Russel Douglas, who was murdered on Sept. 26, 2003, on Whidbey Island, Wash. -48 Hours

Jim Huden’s former band mates talk to “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant about what it was like to find out their one-time lead guitarist was accused of murder. -48 Hours

Detectives allege Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas lured Russel Douglas to his death by asking to drop off a present for Russel’s wife, Brenna. Both Jim and Peggy claim the present was delivered to Russel days before the murder. When investigators surprise their suspects with simultaneous separate interrogations, they discover discrepancies. Do you think Jim and Peggy are making up a story to throw off investigators? -48 Hours

Oxygen:

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Sue Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples

Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen

Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples (S8, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: On tiny Whidbey Island, Washington, beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas seems to be a perfect wife and mother. But when her best friend’s husband is shot to death, Peggy finds herself on center stage of a murder investigation. -If Looks Could Kill, Beauty Queen Murders (S1, E5)

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:
Peggy Sue Thomas: Drop-Dead Gorgeous
Documents show victim’s wife is suspect in murder
Washington jury says ‘guilty’ in Russel Douglas murder
Former Washington beauty queen pleads guilty to lesser charge in murder case
Ex-beauty queen gets 4-year sentence in killing
Ex-beauty queen sentenced for role in Whidbey Island murder
48 Hours: Tracing a fugitive killer’s footsteps in Mexico
Man lured to his death by beauty queen and wannabe rockstar on Boxing Day
‘I’m giving up four years of my life for something I didn’t do’: Ex-beauty queen jailed for helping her lover carry out 2003 murder claims she is an innocent ‘victim’
Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder
Peggy Thomas, Jim Huden: ‘Snapped Killer Couples’ Details Whidbey Island Murder Case Involving Sultry Beauty Queen and Rock Star Lover
Murder of Russel Douglas by Jim Huden spotlighted on The Perfect Murder
Pageants to Famous Husband to Prison
Snapped: Killer Couples ‘Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden’
Sneak Peek: Dangerous Beauty | 48 Hours
Why Ann Rule was intrigued with the Russel Douglas murder case | 48 Hours
Remembering Russel Douglas | 48 Hours
Band mates open up about rocker, murder suspect | 48 Hours
Suspects surprised with simultaneous, separate interrogations | 48 Hours
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Preview – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen
Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden | Snapped: Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8, E4)
If Looks Could Kill | Beauty Queen Murders | Investigation Discovery (S1, E5)
Whidbey Island Mystery | The Perfect Murder | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

American Monster Premiered ‘Watch Your Back’ on Investigation Discovery: Michelle Paet Pleaded Guilty to Conspiring to Murder Husband Nathan Paet (August 19, 2018)

ID Go: US Air Force sergeant Nathan Paet and his family appear to live a blissfully normal life – as these never-before-aired home videos attest. But blind greed would bring about the destruction of this loving family. -Watch Your Back, American Monster (S3, E6)

Air Force service member Nathan Paet was shot and killed after opening his garage door as he was leaving for work on December 1st, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nathan and Michelle Paet were both from Guam, were high school sweethearts, and had four beautiful children together. Nathan was an assistant NCOIC for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The couple were struggling financially after they bought a new home in Las Vegas so Nathan volunteered for a six-month deployment to Iraq and Michelle got a part-time job. Upon Nathan’s return to Nevada, he treated his family to an extra special Christmas. And Nathan’s brother Eric Paet paid him a special visit. Eric said the last time he saw his brother, he could sense something wasn’t right. Eric observed that Nathan and Michelle didn’t appear to be getting along and the couple were struggling to pay the bills. As Eric and his wife were leaving, they sensed Nathan wanted to tell them something, but he didn’t.

On December 1, 2010, Michelle called 911 to get help for Nathan who had been shot in the neck and couldn’t talk but was still alive. Unfortunately, despite the doctor’s best efforts, Nathan died at the hospital. Police wasted no time hunting for Nathan’s killer because this wasn’t something they were used to in the Mountain’s Edge suburb. A witness observed a man speed away in a black Cadillac on the day in question. When Michelle Paet was interviewed, she admitted to knowing someone who owned a black Cadillac and his name was Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a police record but nothing violent. When Rodriguez was questioned, he admitted to having a casual affair with Michelle but nothing sexual. His alibi at the time of the murder was that he was sleeping with a woman he met at a Wal-Mart. He even offered up a video of the encounter. Police went to the motel he claimed he was at and they indeed found him on the security camera footage. In the meantime, Michael’s alibi, the woman he claimed to be with, saw the media coverage and decided to go to the police.

Michael’s alibi told police that Jessica Austin asked her to be an alibi for Corry Hawkins and Michael Rodriguez. She was supposed to say she was with them all day. The alibi claimed when the pair got back from murdering Nathan Paet, Jessica burned their clothes in the fire place. The police also learned that Michael worked with Michelle Paet. While the Nellis AFB community was honoring Nathan, the Las Vegas Police Department were turning up the heat on Michelle. She finally admitted to having a sexual relationship with Michael Rodriguez. And at this point, detectives suspected that Michelle was involved with Nathan’s murder. Michelle admitted that Nathan suspected her of having an affair and she was afraid Nathan would leave her. She didn’t want to leave the marriage empty handed. Michelle and Michael started discussing ways to kill her husband so they could cash out on the life insurance proceeds. The day of the murder, Michelle texted Michael as Nathan was running out the door. She set up the ambush that lead to Nathan’s death. Hours after he was dead, Michelle texted Michael a smiley face.

Michelle Paet was arrested on suspicion of murder. The district attorney theorized Michael Rodriguez and Corry Hawkins lied in wait for Nathan to leave for work. The plan was to kidnap Nathan at gunpoint, drive him out to the desert, kill him and leave him. As soon as Nathan opened up the garage door, he was confronted and refused to cooperate so Rodriguez shot him and fled the scene. Nathan immediately went inside his home thinking he was running away from danger but instead he was running right into it. On December 7, 2010, Michael Rodriguez was arrested for the murder of Nathan Paet. Rodriguez was found guilty of first degree murder, Corry Hawkins pleaded guilty to first degree murder, and Jessica Austin was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Michelle Paet was the cold, calculating and cunning planner. She wanted to take the $650,000, go to Guam with her children, and live like a queen. To avoid the death penalty, Michelle Paet pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Source: ‘Watch Your Back’ American Monster

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.

In the News:

Michelle Paet sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to plotting her husband’s death with her ex-lover, Michael Rodriguez, who was also found guilty last week of gunning down Nathan Paet. -PNC News

Michelle Paet had pleaded guilty to murdering her husband to avoid the death penalty. -PNC News

Corry Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of Nellis airman Nathan Paet, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. -Las Vegas Review-Journal

Oxygen:

A happy military family kept walls up that were soon to be knocked down. Did Michelle’s husband bring his fate upon himself, or was she behind the whole thing? -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Those involved with the case give their input on the verdict and Michelle’s future. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle Fleck details all the ways Michelle Paet plotted to “get rid” of her late husband, Nathan. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle’s sister, Melissa, speaks fondly of Michelle. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

An Air Force sergeant is gunned down in his garage revealing an elaborate conspiracy with an unlikely mastermind. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Related Links:
In Memory Of Nathan Paet | Facebook
Wife of Nellis airman arrested in husband’s death
Wife of Murdered Iraq War Vet Arrested in Las Vegas Shooting Death
Ex-con found guilty in Vegas slaying of US airman from Guam
Ex-convict found guilty in Las Vegas murder, conspiracy plot with wife of US airman
Cheating widow sobs as she pleads guilty to setting up the shooting murder of her airman husband who was left bleeding to death in front of their four children
Wife plotted with lover to kill airman husband so she could claim life insurance
Woman gets life in prison without parole in death of husband, a Nellis airman
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
Man gets life in prison without parole for slaying of Nellis airman
No parole for defendant in slaying of U.S. airman from Guam
Vegas mom gets life in prison for life insurance death of husband
Wife of Slain Airman Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty
Paet Sentenced to Life in Murder-For-Hire of Husband
Woman sentenced to life for killing airman husband
Man gets life without parole for murder of Nellis airman
Snapped: Sneak Peek – Did Michelle Do It? (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: After The Verdict – Michelle Paet (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Prosecutor Michelle Fleck (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Kind Words for Michelle (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (S21, E8)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (July 2018)

July 2018

Missing:
‘I’m alive and I love you’: Parents of missing Navy sailor get a text from his phone two days after he disappeared
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Rogest Cain | Unsolved Mysteries
Disappeared: Disabled Army Veteran Joseph Weber IV Missing from San Francisco, California Since November 24, 2014

Cold Cases:
10 Unsolved Military Cases
Cold Case: Army Veteran Kanika Powell Shot Several Times at Doorway of Maryland Home, No Known Suspects At This Time (2008)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Reward Offered:
FBI, Army offering $20K for info in murder of soldier’s wife on Georgia base

Petitions:
Petition for (400) Amerasians Still Left Behind in Vietnam

Continue reading

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Dead Men Tell No Tales’ on Investigation Discovery: Mark Tatum Ambushed Neighbor David Allen in Louisville, Kentucky Home (July 28, 2018)

ID Go: A man who is meticulous about his lawn runs into conflict with a new neighbor who doesn’t have the same priorities. The feud between the two men viciously escalates, ultimately ending in an episode of shocking violence. -Dead Men Tell No Tales, Fear Thy Neighbor (S5, E9)

Mark Tatum fatally shot his neighbor and Army veteran David Allen, 67, on June 1, 2012 in Louisville, Kentucky after a long, protracted neighborhood battle. Tatum shot through the windows of Allen’s home and then shot him fatally while he was fleeing to safety in his backyard. Tatum used a silencer so the shots went unnoticed until David’s wife Sue returned home and found her husband lying dead in the backyard. Considering the pair’s long standing feud, Mark Tatum was immediately a suspect. Police found weapons and ammunition in his home and located Mark at a friend’s house, arrested him, and charged him with murder. Prosecutors believed that Mark acted with the intent to kill. Four years after shooting and killing David Allen, Mark went to trial and was found guilty of his murder in 2016. Mark Tatum was sentenced to 35 years in prison and has to serve at least 20 years in prison before he is eligible for parole. David’s wife Sue moved to California to be with family after her husband was murdered. David Allen met his wife Sue while serving in Korea with the U.S. Army.

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:
Obituary: David Thomas Allen, Louisville, Kentucky (June 1, 2012)
Man charged with murder, victim identified
New details released in connection with Gagel Avenue slaying
Man indicted after allegedly killing neighbor
Mark Tatum trial expected to begin
Man accused of killing neighbor to appear in court
Testimony to resume for man accused of killing neighbor after feud
Sentencing for man who fatally shot Gagel Avenue neighbor delayed
Louisville man headed to prison 4 years after shooting neighbor
Louisville man headed to prison 4 years after shooting neighbor
Mark Tatum v. Commonwealth of Kentucky (2016)
Watch! Fear Thy Neighbor “Dead Men Tell No Tales” Season 5 Episode 9 Full Episode
Sneek Peak: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Fear Thy Neighbor (Facebook)
Fear Thy Neighbor | 28 Jul 2018 | Season 5 Ep.09 “Dead Men Tell No Tales” Full HD
Dead Men Tell No Tales | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E9)
Dead Men Tell No Tales | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Watch Fear Thy Neighbor | Season 5 Episode 9 | SheKnows

Deadly Power Premiered ‘Lackland Military Scandal’ on Oxygen: Virginia Messick Recounts Experience in Air Force Basic Training (July 23, 2018)

When 19-year-old Virginia joined the U.S. Air Force, a superior officer’s sexual abuse turned her lifelong dream into a daily nightmare. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

When Sergeant Walker began harassing Virginia, his powerful military rank kept her from speaking out against his appalling behavior. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Sergeant Walker isolated Virginia and assaulted her in an Air Force dorm room. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia fought for justice not just for herself, but also for nine other victims who suffered Walker’s abuse. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia experienced PTSD from the sexual abuse she suffered at Lackland Air Force Base. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Virginia explains the extreme intensity of Air Force basic training. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Colonel Don Christensen left the Air Force after 23 years to dedicate his career to eradicating sexual assault in the military. -Lackland Military Scandal, Oxygen (S1, E1)

Related Links:
Deadly Power: Preview – An Air Force Academy Nightmare (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – The Abuse Escalates (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – Trapped By A Predator (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Preview – Virginia’s Day In Court (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Virginia’s Lasting Trauma (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Surviving Basic Training (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen
Deadly Power: Bonus Clip – Fighting For Change (Season 1, Episode 1) | Oxygen

Snapped Premiered ‘Ashley Schutt’ on Oxygen: Wife Convicted of Premeditated Murder of Husband Gregg Schutt, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 22, 2018)

Full Episode: When a woman covered in blood shows up on her neighbor’s doorstep, Georgia police commence a home invasion investigation that leads them to uncover more twists than they could have ever imagined. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

On July 25, 2009 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Ashley Schutt called the police and told them a black man raped her and killed her husband Gregg Schutt. Gregg was a described by friends and family as a gentle giant and very sweet mannered. Gregg met Ashley at his place of employment; she was a customer. Ashley was described as quiet, timid, withdrawn, and scared to talk. But for some reason, Gregg drew Ashley out of her shell and they started dating. And in the spring of 2000, Ashley and Gregg decided to get married. Ashley graduated from high school and the two got married within a week of her graduation. Gregg wanted to provide for his family so he decided to enlist in the Army in the winter of 2001. After graduating basic, he went to San Antonio for training as a veterinary tech. He loved his job and Ashley liked being an Army wife. Over the next few years, his job would take them all over the world. They were stationed in Nebraska, Kansas, and Japan. Gregg did really well in the military and was looking forward to a great future in the military. But then Ashley’s health took a turn for the worse.

Ashley was diagnosed with diabetes and it was hard to control so she had to take insulin shots. She also gained a significant amount of weight and was having problems with her heart. She was literally on the verge of having a heart attack. Ashley’s was sent to Hawaii for specialized care and the doctors were concerned about her long term medical well-being. They thought she would be better off if she stayed in the United States where she could get treatment. Ashley moved to Atlanta, Georgia in July 2004 and after Gregg was discharged from the Army in December 2004, he moved to Atlanta to be with Ashley. The couple used their savings and purchased a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. But Gregg struggled to find steady civilian work and Ashley’s medical bills were piling up. Gregg was depressed because he couldn’t provide for his family the way he wanted to. In order to make ends meet, the couple rented out one of their rooms to a young woman named Deidre. The rent money helped stabilize their money problems. Then in 2008, Gregg found work at a nearby veterinary clinic and a few months later Gregg received a small inheritance after his grandmother passed.

The money came just in time for Ashley because doctors said she needed radical weight loss surgery to solve some of her healthcare issues. Gregg didn’t hesitate to pay for the surgery and Ashley lost a lot of weight. Ashley literally transformed and was half the size she was before. She felt more confident and outgoing. Over the next several months, Ashley and Gregg’s life appeared to improve. Gregg still loved his job and Ashley’s health finally stabilized. After Ashley found a steady job at a call center, the pair was ready for their roommate to move out. They saved some more money and Ashley was ready to have a child. But on July 25, 2009, Gregg was murdered. When police arrived, they found Ashley covered in blood. She was able to give a brief statement but it appeared she had just gone through a traumatic event. Ashley told the police the attack began shortly after 3 a.m. and the suspect was an unknown black male. She said Gregg told her someone was in the house. And then a black male entered their bedroom and immediately started stabbing Gregg. Ashley also said the man raped her and made her watch as he killed her husband.

The police’s primary concern was Ashley’s safety and medical status. While Ashley was being treated, police intensified their search for the attacker and examined the crime scene. Gregg was stabbed multiple times and beat in the head with a hammer. His wrists and throat were also cut. This was a prolonged, sustained attack on him and his body was in horrible condition. There was a lot about the crime scene that didn’t make sense. There was no ransacking of drawers or evidence that anyone was looking for anything of value. The entire room was also drenched in water. They found the cell phones hidden in the microwave so if Gregg did escape, he wouldn’t be able to find his cell phone. This was not a normal crime for this particular neighborhood. There were no witnesses to the events and nobody saw anything unusual. Meanwhile, Ashley’s condition improved and she wanted to amend her initial statement. This time, she said there were two black men who entered the home. The two men were wearing yellow hoodies and grabbed knives from the kitchen. Gregg started fighting with the guys to protect Ashley.

Ashley began to provide more detail in her second statement. She said two black men stormed the house and brutally murdered her husband and raped her. She claimed the two black men used Gregg’s sex toys to rape her and they kept stabbing Gregg while they were raping her. She said the attackers asked Gregg how he wanted to die. Then they made her fill a bucket of water and forced her to dump it down Greg’s throat in an attempt to drown him. Ashley says after hours of painful torture, they decided to finish Gregg off with a claw hammer. Ashley said she had to witness Gregg die and described in detail what she observed as he was dying. She thought they were going to kill her next but they spared her life because they didn’t murder women. The police had to ask themselves why were Ashley and Gregg targeted to begin with? They know crime can happen anywhere but it didn’t make sense why the suspects chose this house, this time of day, and this family to terrorize. The detectives know they always have to consider alternative theories because if you get stuck on one theory and don’t give possibility to the others, you may be doing an injustice.

Police theorized this crime could have been drug-related if they were looking for cash and it also could have been some marital strife where an outside party is involved. Detectives started looking into Gregg and Ashley’s inner circle to see if they could find some leads. They started with the roommate and found out the roommate did drugs but Gregg and Ashley weren’t happy about having drugs in their home. Ashley and Gregg together decided Deidre needed to move out and Deidre wasn’t happy about it. She felt betrayed because her and Ashley were friends. Deidre admitted leaving the house on bad terms but after a few months Deidre and Ashley made up and became friends again. Deidre told detectives if they were looking for answers, they needed to look at Gregg. She said Gregg was physically and verbally abusive to Ashley when she was living with them. He was also very aggressive and impatient. Detectives checked the records to see if there were any domestic disputes on file but found no documented physical abuse. Although fear of the abuser and what it will do to the family often prevents victims from reporting.

When police spoke to Ashley’s parents, they confirmed there was trouble in the relationship from the beginning. They said Gregg was controlling and didn’t want Ashley to do her hair or make up or even leave the house. They said Ashley told them he said she was fat and ugly and no one wanted her. As the years went on, the abuse seemed to get worse. Ashley was having frequent suspicious “accidents” and they felt a lot of her health problems were because of Gregg. They said she lost hair because of the stress and gained the weight because of the way he treated her. According to Ashley’s parents, two weeks before Gregg died, Ashley said she wanted to leave Gregg but was afraid of what he would to do her. Ashley claimed Gregg told her if she tried to leave, he would slit her throat before she cleared the garage door. Ashley’s dad told her to call a divorce attorney and make sure she didn’t say anything to him. Ashley’s dad didn’t want her to pay the price because he wasn’t sure what that price may be. The police had to ponder was Gregg’s death a result of Ashley’s growing fear of Gregg and this somehow pushed her over the edge.

Ashley told one of her friends that she was definitely afraid and felt like she couldn’t leave. The detectives knew from experience that married couples sometimes don’t get along and there was a good possibility that Ashley was the suspect. Less than 24 hours after Greg was found dead, the detective’s focus was beginning to change. Ashley was changing her story, there was no forced entrance, the doors were locked from the inside, the crime scene was confined to the master bedroom, and there were no valuables taken. The crime scene didn’t match the story. They also found wedding bands and a torn picture of the couple on the floor. They thought maybe they found their motive so they went to the hospital and met with the trauma nurse who treated Ashley. Here they learned that there was no trauma and Ashley wasn’t raped. The detectives wanted to meet with Ashley again and this time she admitted her initial statements were fabricated. She told the detectives she was a battered wife and she killed Gregg. She said after she returned home from work, he was going to hit her and she told him if you hit me, this is going to be the last time.

Ashley said she threw her rings on the floor and started packing her bags. She said Gregg came at her with a knife in hand so she grabbed a claw hammer sitting on the dresser and fought back. She said she hit him on the head until he dropped the knife. She then grabbed the knife and ran, and when he came at her, she accidently stabbed him. She then admitted after years of pent of rage, she lost control and stabbed him multiple times. Now police were tasked with investigating if this was a justified act of self defense. They checked the cellphone records to see if they could learn more. They learned that moments before the attack, Gregg was online with one of his friends. The friend said Gregg told him Ashley was home so he had to go. Everything appeared normal. Gregg’s friend also said if anyone was abusive, it was Ashley. He said after Ashley lost her weight, she was pushy and overbearing with Gregg. She also controlled his time and what he was allowed to do. Greg’s friend said she was not a very pleasant person. The police theorized boredom rather than abuse may be what was driving her away from Gregg.

The police learned that Ashley had been dating Gregg since high school. They thought maybe she wanted to start over with her new body and be single. Honestly, the cops were not sure what the real motive was. When the autopsy results were released, it showed that Gregg didn’t have any defensive wounds, therefore Gregg was most likely asleep at the time of the attack. Gregg also had a high dose of Ambien in his system but Ashley was the one with the prescription, not Gregg. Police theorized that after Gregg passed out, she killed him while he was most vulnerable and unable to defend himself. The autopsy results revealed that Gregg was stabbed almost 40 times and beaten about the head with a hammer. The police now had evidence of a premeditated attack and as a result, Ashley was charged with first degree murder. News of the arrest was polarizing. Some knew immediately she did it. Her parents weren’t shocked by the news but didn’t believe she was guilty of murder. On April 25, 2011, Ashley Schutt’s trial for the death of her husband in 2009 started in a Gwinnett County courtroom. Ashley was facing life in prison.

In their opening statements, prosecutors asserted after Ashley’s life changing weight loss surgery, she yearned to start a new life without Gregg. But instead of filing for divorce, Ashley drugged him and killed him to be free of him forever. Ashley testified in her own defense and said she was a battered wife who killed in self defense. She said she went through years of hell with a controlling and domineering man who would rather see her dead than leave him. On cross examination, prosecutors asked Ashley about the sleeping pills found in Gregg’s system and the lack of defensive wounds. Ashley’s demeanor began to change while she was on the stand and all of a sudden she was snapping back. The jury agreed that Ashley killed Gregg with cold hearted premeditation and she was found guilty on all counts. Ashley Schutt received a life sentence with parole after thirty years. She was also given an additional 35 years for aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and false statements. As of 2018, Ashley’s appeal for a new trial has been denied twice. She is currently appealing her case to the Georgia Superior Court for the third and final time.

Source: ‘Ashley Schutt’ Snapped

Ashley and Gregg Schutt shared a seemingly happy life until a brutal murder exposed the dark underside of their relationship. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Gwinnett police officers describe the events of July 25, 2009, when Gregg Schutt was found dead in his own home. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

During interrogation, murder suspect Ashley Schutt claimed that her late husband Greg was an abusive spouse. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Related Links:
Murder in Georgia: Former Sterling woman’s trial begins
Journals, friends paint marital contrasts in Schutt murder trial
Mother: Daughter was emotional mess from marriage
Lawrenceville woman convicted in husband’s murder
Life sentence for Sterling native
Ashley Schutt v. State of Georgia (2013)
Wife’s murder conviction upheld
Life sentence upheld against woman who stabbed husband 38 times while he slept
Snapped: Preview – Secrets And Lies (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – A Horrendous Crime (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Interrogating Ashley (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Ashley Schutt | Snapped | Oxygen (S23, E27)
Watch Ashley Schutt on Snapped (Oxygen)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘This Bullet’s For You’ on Investigation Discovery: Bruce Schunk Entered Keith Lewandowski’s Florida Home & Executed Him (July 14, 2018)

ID Go: A couple from Michigan realizes a long held dream when they relocate to Florida, but their life in the sun is destroyed when they get into a fatal conflict with their neighbor. -This Bullet’s for You, Fear Thy Neighbor (S5, E7)

Date: July 4, 2012
Victim: Keith Lewandowski, 46, contractor
Offender: Bruce Schunk, 65, security guard, former military mechanic (veteran)
Location: Clearwater, Florida
Circumstances: Bruce Schunk moved to Florida to be near his sister, Bruce loved his dog Sweeney and always walked his dog, this community meant the world to Bruce, Sandra and Keith moved to Florida from Michigan, the newcomers fit right in with the community, Rudy Derrazo also lived in the community, Bruce broke his phone and Sandra & Keith gave him one to use, Bruce was trying to be a good neighbor and replaced a battery in Sandra’s car, Bruce and Sandra said he didn’t know what he was doing and the fix made the car worse, they didn’t want to be stuck with the bill and asked Bruce to pay for it but he refused, if Keith couldn’t get his money back, he was going to take the cell phone he gave Bruce, Keith called the phone, heard it in Bruce’s residence and went in and took the phone, Bruce discovered his home was broken into, he had to replace a couple broken windows, he was upset and it put him on edge, he knew who did it and confronted Keith, Keith said it was his phone and he took it, someone slashed the tires on Bruce’s new car, Bruce said he was harassed every time he took his dog for a walk, Keith would stand on his porch and bully Bruce, one neighbor said Keith was a nasty individual, Bruce didn’t want to live like this and offered a truce, Rudy and Keith were not interested, Keith made a sign saying all are welcome except Bruce, Bruce was humiliated, Keith & Rudy bullied and intimidated Bruce, Bruce put up his own sign that read “breaking and entering is a felony in Florida,” Bruce also put up some other signs like “Keith sucks,” it was a very public war of words, the neighbors didn’t like the signs and the town asked them to take them down, they didn’t hang out or talk, they didn’t acknowledge each other but Keith continued to verbally bully Bruce when he took his dog for a walk, Bruce felt like Keith was unstable, one day, Keith confronted Bruce on the street and told him to stay away from his family, neighbors called the police because they were physically fighting, the police couldn’t do anything because they were both in the wrong, the police separated them, Bruce told the cops a serious pattern was developing, neighbors agreed they should be separated, this was a conflict with no end that continued to escalate, Keith and Rudy were at war with Bruce, Bruce felt isolated, the vandalism at Bruce’s home continued, Bruce was afraid and broke down in tears over the situation when he called the police, Keith and Rudy denied doing anything to Bruce’s property, cops told Bruce next time he called, he was getting arrested, Bruce had guns strategically located in his home, Bruce shot his gun into the air on his property, the neighbors were horrified, Susan called 911 this time and reported that Bruce was shooting his gun, it was Bruce’s warning to the neighborhood, don’t mess with him, cops showed up and Bruce denied it, the police took all his guns because it appeared to be a sign of provocation, Bruce stood in the middle of the street and threw bullets at Keith and Susan’s house, Bruce told Keith he was saving one bullet for him, Keith wanted to buy a gun but Susan told him to let it go, the community waited in fear, Bruce was walking Sweeney one day when Keith and Rudy drove towards Bruce like they were going to run him down, Bruce was upset that they almost ran his dog over, Bruce had reached a point of no return, other neighbors admitted they wouldn’t put up with it as long as Bruce did, Bruce bought a new gun, mentally he had had enough, Keith and Susan were relaxing at their home, Bruce went to their home with a gun in hand, opened their unlocked door, and walked into their home, Susan threatened to call the police, Bruce pointed the firearm at Susan, Keith stepped in between Susan and Bruce, Bruce shot Keith between the eyes and let Susan live but he left her shocked and traumatized, Bruce wasn’t done yet, he wanted to settle the score with Rudy too, he went to Rudy’s house, shot in the locked door but Rudy wasn’t there, Bruce was glad he wasn’t home that day, Bruce went home, called 911, and placed the weapon on the ground, he admitted to killing Keith and said he felt terrible about what happened, Bruce asked the police to arrest him, Bruce was arrested, neighbors didn’t condone what Bruce did but they had empathy for Bruce, you can only push someone so far before they reach a breaking point, Rudy died of a heart attack not long after the shooting, Susan moved out of the neighborhood, police are not sure what set Bruce off on July 4th
Disposition: Faced with a lengthy trial, Bruce Schunk pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison

Source: ‘This Bullet’s For You’ Fear Thy Neighbor, 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:
Obituary: Keith Lewandowski (1965-2012)
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Charge Report
Clearwater man charged with murder
1st-degree murder charges in Schunk killing
Op-Ed: Neighbor feuds in a world of uncertainty
Detectives: Feud between neighbors at Pinellas mobile home park ends in death
Deputies: Man shot in the face, killed by allegedly drunk neighbor
Man Guns Down Neighbor in Front of Wife, Deputies Say
Police: Man killed protecting wife from shooter
Clearwater man pleads guilty in neighbor’s slaying
Clearwater man gets 40 years in prison for killing neighbor
This Bullet’s For You | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E7)

American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)


In suburban California, an intruder brutally attacks and kills Joan Dawley. As the Dawley family grieves, it’s up to LAPD detectives to crack the case. Secret home movies uncover a shocking tale of deceit, and a monster lurking behind the scenes. -Stages of Grief, American Monster (Investigation Discovery)

Air Force retiree Dennis Dawley, 61, with the help of prostitute and mistress, Brandita Taliano, bludgeoned to death his wife Joan Dawley of 35 years for financial gain in Van Nuys, California. Joan wanted a divorce and Dennis and Brandita wanted her inheritance money. The 1991 case went cold for years until DNA technology under Joan’s fingernails yielded a match to Brandita Taliano. Both Dennis and Brandita were charged with murder, conspiracy & solicitation and faced the death penalty. On April 15, 1997, a California jury sentenced Dawley and Taliano to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The pair were spared the death penalty because they didn’t have any prior violent felony records and the jury heard the emotional pleas from Dawley’s daughters.

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.


There’s an old saying that a burden shared is a burden halved. But when people team up to commit murder, the weight of their guilt remains just as heavy. Investigators must rely on forensic science to capture partners in crime. -Partners in Crime, New Detectives (Season 5, Episode 2)


Preview: Brandita Taliano of Los Angeles, California wanted to live the high life. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery


Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Joan, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. -Female Killers (Deadly Women)


Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
Murder Suspects’ Trip Tipped Off Police : Slaying: Widower visited Las Vegas with mistress two days after his wife’s death. The pair are now charged in the killing. (1997)
American Monster: Meet Dennis Dawley – Air Force Vet, Golf Pro & Brutal Wife Killer
Man, 61, Testifies in Wife’s 1991 Slaying (1997)
Husband, Former Mistress Get Life in Wife’s Slaying (1997)
BRANDITA TALIANO, Plaintiff, v. D. L. JOHNSON, et al., Defendant. | United States District Court, E.D. California. | May 14, 2014
The New Detectives: Season 5 – Ep 2 “Partners in Crime”
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape | Deadly Women (S8, E10, ID)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday | Deadly Women
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Season 8, Episode 10)
Brandita Taliano Documentary | Female Killers (Deadly Women)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Season 3, Episode 1)
Psycho For Love: Dennis Dawley and his mistress, Brandita Taliano, killed his wife, Joan Dawley for the money
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano (Season 1: Ep. 2) (2013)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Mistress of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Linda Cowan Convinced Son Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan to Kill Woman Next Door (July 7, 2018)

ID Go: Two women living next to each other since childhood descend into bitter conflict when the ex husband of one starts seeing the other. Add property issues to this toxic mix and the result is an act of shocking violence that engulfs all. -Mistress of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery: S5, E6)

On December 18, 2009, Army veteran Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan shot at and injured his neighbor Christie Jackson in Burnet, Texas. Christie Jackson and Vinson’s mother, Linda Cowan, were engaged in a bitter three month feud between neighbors after Christie’s estranged husband Rudy started dating Linda. What started out as a disagreement between neighbors ended in someone getting shot. It is believed that Linda Cowan enlisted the help of her son Vinson to shoot and kill Christie Jackson and he obliged because he was protective of his mother. Vinson followed through and indeed shot Christie in the head through the window of her own home. Miraculously, despite the severe head wound, Christie lived, but will forever be affected by the ordeal. On the night in question, Christie was sleeping with both her daughters who also are forever changed by the experience.

One of Vinson’s friends, Thomas Pierson, who was aware of the plan to shoot Christie and be a look-out that night, informed the police of Linda and Vinson’s plans to shoot Christie in retaliation for all the trouble she caused her. The bottom line was Linda wanted Christie out of the picture. Linda Cowan was jealous that Rudy continued to see Christie and their children and angry because she assumed Christie called the City of Burnet to complain about her septic issues. Linda wanted revenge and she wanted to date Rudy despite his intentions to continue seeing Christie. In 2013, Linda Cowan was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And Vinson Thomas-Ward plead guilty to ten years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Christie’s mother sold the family home in Burnet.

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:
Burnet woman gets 15 years for her role in 2009 shooting (2013)
Burnet County man gets 10 years for 2009 shooting of woman (2013)
Linda Sue Cowan, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee (2015)
Mistress of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)