Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

Brief overview of need for expedited transfers for whistleblowers in general:

John Needham and Adam Winfield had a lot in common: they both claim to have witnessed war crimes, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. They both wanted to report the war crimes but didn’t feel safe doing so. They both admitted to feeling like they were set up to die or participate in the war crimes. The only difference: John’s parents were able to get him out of Iraq after he started deteriorating mentally. Adam’s parents were not able to get him out of Afghanistan and he was charged with war crimes after he was set up to participate. On the Dark Side of Al Doura and the Kill Team Movie are must sees because they show the similarity in the cases and reveal how an expedited transfer option could have helped them & saved innocent civilian lives. I included a history of crime at the bases they were stationed at to demonstrate that the crime simply follows them overseas.

John Needham, Army (2008):
Retired Army Pvt John Needham Beat Girlfriend Jacqwelyn Villagomez to Death, Then Died of Overdose on Painkillers Awaiting Murder Trial
An Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the US Army: On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq
On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq on YouTube
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson

Adam Winfield, Army (2010):
Army Soldier Adam Winfield Tried to Report War Crimes But Instead was Charged with War Crimes as Part of ‘The Kill Team’
PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy
The Kill Team on Amazon Prime
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at JBLM

Would the expedited transfer option help prevent suicide or homicide in these cases?

Alyssa Peterson, Army (2003)

There were concerns that Alyssa committed suicide because she didn’t want to participate in war crimes like torture. Could her life have been saved if she felt like she had a way out? Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ruled out?

Gloria Davis, Denise Lannaman, & Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006)

Reports indicate Gloria Davis, Army (2006) committed suicide hours after she provided names and testimony to CID investigators regarding soldiers involved in a bribery scheme in Kuwait. She was a witness to the crimes and a witness for the prosecution. Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ever considered? How could this have been prevented? She was one of 3 people in the same logistics group in Kuwait tied to the bribery scheme investigation that committed suicide. Both Denise Lannaman, Army (2006) and Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006) deaths were ruled suicides by the Army as well. Were any of these cases investigated as homicides? Did anyone question why three soldiers from Kuwait tied to one investigation killed themselves?

Suzanne Swift, Army (2006)

Suzanne refused to redeploy for a third time for fear that she would be raped or assaulted this time. She went AWOL instead & was jailed. Could this have been prevented if she had a way out of Fort Lewis? She hadn’t been raped or assaulted yet. She was trying to prevent it given the isolation in Iraq. Does the expedited transfer apply to sexual harassment situations where the offender(s) are escalating? How could we have prevented this? If you look at the history of violent crime at JBLM and in Iraq, you can clearly see why Suzanne Swift was fearful for her life. She chose life and jail over rape and murder.

Genesia Gresham, Navy (2007)

Genesia and Anamarie Camacho were victims of homicide in Bahrain. Genesia was said to have been in a casual relationship with the shooter at one point. Were there red flags prior to the murder? Was the shooters behavior escalating? Does domestic violence, harassment, and stalking qualify for an expedited transfer? Could this have been prevented if Genesia had a way out when she realized she may have been in danger? The killer was never jail but instead institutionalized for mental health issues.

Jennifer Valdivia, Navy (2007)

Jennifer was at the center of command investigation of abuse of prisoners in Bahrain. It was reported that she did not want to participate in war crimes yet was belittled, harassed, and abused by a supervisor if she didn’t do what he asked. If she had a way out, could this suicide have been prevented? Was it a suicide? Was it ever investigated as a homicide?

Kelsey Anderson, USAF (2011)

The Anderson family reported that Kelsey’s health deteriorated after she learned that she could not transfer or get out of the military while stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Why did she want a transfer? Why did she want to get out of the military all of a sudden? Did something happen to make Kelsey feel the need to get out of Guam as quickly as possible? Her death was ruled a suicide. Could this have been prevented if she was allowed to transfer? The Air Force took her gun privileges away shortly after she got to Guam because of mental health concerns. They gave it back to her a month before she died.

Danny Chen, Army (2011)

Danny was being hazed and bullied by fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Could his death have been prevented if he had a way out of this situation? Does the expedited transfer apply to scenarios where an individual is being hazed, harassed, and physically assaulted? Did Danny fear murder? How could this have been prevented so Danny didn’t feel like suicide was the only way out?

Ciara Durkin, Mass Army National Guard (2007)

Ciara found discrepancies in the finance office in Afghanistan & feared that she made enemies. She asked her family to investigate if anything happened to her while she was overseas. Could we have saved Ciara’s life if once she realized that crimes may have been committed, she could leave and then safely report? Ciara was a witness to crime yet had to remain in the setting. Do expedited transfers apply to those who want to report crimes yet cannot do so safely in an isolated location?

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I researched the non combat deaths of female soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. I was alarmed by what I learned. It appears that close to 30% of the deaths of female soldiers in Iraq alone are from homicide, suicide, or unknown causes. I am working on doing the same research for male soldiers but have been overwhelmed with the number of non combat deaths of male soldiers. I am starting with 2010 to 2016. Then will focus energy on 2001 to 2010.

Non Combat Death of Female Soldiers:
Iraq
Afghanistan
Other Areas

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There are many cold cases in the military. The Army has the most cold cases. This list is a small sample of the cold cases in the military. Each case has the same theme. The families feel like they can’t get cooperation from the military to figure out what happened to their loved one. The families are devastated by the loss and traumatized further by the indifference, lack of support, and bureaucracy. If the homicide occurred on a base, they have nowhere to turn but the military because of federal jurisdiction issues. Most civilian cold case investigators ask for other investigators to take a look at cases to give them a fresh set of eyes. New investigators can add additional expertise to help find answers and give families closure. Two must see documentaries highlighting some of the major issues with investigations in the military are The Tillman Story (Pat Tillman) and The Silent Truth (LaVena Johnson).

Cold Cases:
Gorden Hess, Army (1998)
Col Philip Shue (2003)
Lavena Johnson, Army (2005)
Tina Priest, Army (2006)
Kamisha Block, Army (2007)
Stacy Dryden, USMC (2008)
Blanca Luna, USAF (2008)
Keisha Morgan, Army (2008)
Cherie Morton, Navy (2008)
BG Thomas Tinsley, USAF (2008)
Anton Phillips, Army (2009)
Amy Seyboth-Tirador (2009)
Sean Wells, Army (2013)
Virginia Caballero, Army (2014)

Cases Solved by NCIS Cold Case Squad:
Lt Verle Hartley, Navy (1982)
Andrew Muns, Navy (1968)

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Other Areas of Concern:
David Dickson, US Army (1984) Tracking criminal behavior world wide
Kathleen Lipscomb, USAF spouse (1986) Jurisdiction Issues
Walter Smith, USMC (2006) Use of PTSD defense/stigma
Maria Lauterbach, USMC (2007) Expedited Transfer Policy
Jennifer Cole, Army (2008) Accountability/Investigations
Holley Wimunc, US Army (2008) Domestic Violence/Military Role
Morganne McBeth, Army (2010) Sentencing/Negligent Homicide
Mikayla Bragg, Army (2011) Mental Health/Suicide/Personnel Records
Kelli Bordeaux, Army (2012) Sex offender registry/Army role
Michelle Miller, Army (2013) Accountability of those in positions of power
Shadow McClaine, Army (2016) DV & attempted murder prior to homicide
Cati Blauvelt, US Army spouse (2016) DV/Accountability/Fugitives
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the SGLI
Army Vet Micah Johnson Responsible for Dallas Police Officer Shootings
6 Service Members Currently on Military Death Row at Leavenworth
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts

History of Homicide/Suicide on Military Bases:
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at US Military Bases

Recommendations:

  • Expand expedited transfer policy to include whistleblowers (war crimes, hazing, stalking, sex harassment, witnesses to crimes) in an effort to prevent homicide and suicide
  • Creation of cold case squads in the Army & Air Force to investigate homicide & suicide rulings
  • Centralized location for families to call to initiate an investigation of suicide ruling or cold cases, with mental health component
  • Official way to dispute findings of military investigators/medical examiners, ability to request a second independent investigation

The Feres Doctrine prevents soldiers and families from suing the Armed Forces to hold them accountable financially in an effort to force change. Therefore it only seems fair that we give families the support they need when they lose a loved one who is serving in the US military.

We need centralized databases so that records of criminal activity can be more readily tracked to prevent a violent criminal from escalating to homicide. The military is considered one team now and their criminal activity impacts service members in all branches and civilians in the US and other countries. Given the transient population and jurisdiction issues, it only makes sense to utilize the existing FBI national database in an effort to connect crimes committed on bases, overseas, deployed locations, and in the civilian jurisdictions here in the US. The overall goal is to prevent multiple victims and homicide.

Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at United States Military Bases

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*Research not complete.

My experiences as a victim of crime in the United States military inspired me to do the work I do today as a military justice policy analyst. Not only did I witness first hand how a predator operates but I witnessed multiple predator types in real time while serving my country. If these people committed these acts of crimes at work in the civilian world, they would have been in jail or I would have been rich after taking my employer to civil court. Well maybe not because the deck is stacked against the accuser but we do in fact have a civilian justice system that allows us to hold others accountable, while it simultaneously protects the due process rights of the accused. This cannot be said of the military justice system. There is no guarantee a military Commander will do anything with a crime report let alone process the felony crime effectively. We do not want a justice system where one man or woman decides whether to do nothing, give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime, or railroad the accused or accuser. We do want a justice system where we can hold our employer accountable without roadblocks from the Pentagon, Congress, and the Feres Doctrine. We cannot effectively tackle the violent crime issue in the military until the victims of crimes, like sexual assault and domestic violence, feel safe enough to report. Crime victims have expressed that they do not want to report crimes to a Commander for fear of retaliation. The Department of Defense admitted that of those of who did report the crime, 62% perceived that they faced retaliation. If service members felt safe enough to report, it could help us prevent homicide, suicide, and non combat death.

If we think about violent crime committed by military personnel compared to violent crime statistics in the United States (reference above graph), at first glance it appears the military has a homicide ‘issue’ among the ranks. Please see the below links for a sample of crime on some of the U.S. military bases. All military bases worldwide will eventually be included in this research. And the research for sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and physical assault specifically has not been conducted yet either. Because the research is far from being complete, it is too early to make any assumptions so I will put the data in one place and let you come to your own conclusions. But if military crime mirrors civilian crime statistics, one can deduce that if the military has a lot of homicide, there is even more rape. Currently the number one concern in the military is a Commander’s ability to give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime. A Commander can bypass the courts martial process simply by punishing and/or discharging the accused with a preponderance of the evidence. This does nothing to protect our military personnel and the civilians who live near our bases in America and worldwide. Predators do not discriminate. They are just as likely to harm civilians as they are military personnel. They know their rights and they know that jurisdiction issues and lack of communication among law enforcement agencies will help prolong getting caught. We need to be one step ahead.

We can’t get real violent crime numbers for the military bases unless we include those who died of non combat deaths while they were deployed. Veterans Noonie Fortin and Ann Wright inspired me to initially look into the non combat deaths of female soldiers overseas because they observed the unusually high number of female soldiers who died of non combat deaths during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their chief concern was that although the military labels a non combat death as a suicide, there are suspicions that some female soldiers were murdered, like LaVena Johnson, Amy Tirador, and Ciara Durkin. I did the research on every single female soldier who died from non combat deaths overseas and their concerns are valid. My research on non combat deaths in Iraq alone revealed that roughly 30% of female soldiers died as a result of homicide, suicide, and other unknown causes. I am working on collecting the data for male soldiers who died from non combat related injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. I started with 2010 so we can get the most recent cases but I will go back to September 11, 2001 in the next phase of data collection. The first male soldier non combat death case I found in 2010 was an unsolved homicide. His name was SSG Anton Phillips and he was stabbed to death in Afghanistan. Further research in this area has uncovered that non combat deaths of male soldiers are just as prevalent.

Learn more:
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Violent Crime at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (US Army)
Violent Crime at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits
Rep Nikki Tsongas & Rep Mike Turner Host Educational Caucus: Improving Treatment Resources for Male Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
An Open Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives in Support of the Military Justice Improvement Act
Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth

What happened to LaVena Lynn Johnson and so many others speaks to a Pentagon culture which more closely resembles a rogue government–than a legitimate branch serving under civilian control. It is highly telling that this family, along with the Tillman family each had to have a documentary film made JUST TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE TRUTH OF PENTAGON COVER-UPS. I urge everyone to view this important documentary–before the local military recruiter mandated under No Child Left Behind–‘friends’ their child at school. God forbid, they could wind up coming home in a body bag–like LaVena. –Truthout

Learn more:
The Silent Truth on YouTube
The Silent Truth on Amazon Video
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Autopsy Report Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
The Silent Truth Documentary aka The LaVena Johnson Murder Cover-Up
What Really Happened to Pat Tillman?
Pat Tillman: The US Army Murder Scandal

Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

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October 1, 2016

U.S. House of Representatives
United States Senate
Washington, DC

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a letter of support for Save Our Heroes. We recognized immediately that Save Our Heroes and victims of crimes both want similar changes in the military justice system. Save Our Heroes is asking for three specific legislative/policy changes to restore fundamental fairness in the military justice system:

1. Remove all Commanders authority from decision-making in the legal system.
2. The number of panel members should be increased to 12 for General Courts Martial.
3. Any conviction at Courts Martial shall require a unanimous verdict.

These requests by Save Our Heroes are similar to the overall changes that victims of crimes in the military have lobbied for, specifically that Commanders be removed from the reporting and decision-making process because of fear of bias, lack of investigative training, and the power to discharge and/or punish with the stroke of a pen. Save Our Heroes is requesting the same changes because ultimately both the victims and accused are looking for a military justice system that mirrors the civilian justice system while respecting the need of the Commanding Officer to ensure discipline is maintained within their command. We want a justice system where crimes are reported to legal authorities and not a Commander who is an authority figure with the power to impact your entire life. We want a justice system where crimes will be investigated thoroughly by unbiased military criminal investigative organizations looking for the truth. We want a justice system that provides the same constitutional rights as those provided in the civilian justice system. Save Our Heroes is specifically asking for changes that are commonplace in the civilian justice system, like a jury of twelve of our peers and a unanimous verdict. Our military deserves no less.

Victims of crimes in the military are asking for a military justice system that provides due process for the accuser and the accused. Crime victims want the ability to go to trial based on an independent prosecutor’s decision to charge because there was sufficient evidence to move forward with a case. Crime victims want those people who level false accusations, and engage in other abuses of the process, to be held accountable. While we recognize that false reports represent a small percentage of total reports (between 2-8 percent based on Bureau of Justice Statistics data), those who do falsely accuse are hurting the real victims of these crimes and should be held accountable through the same impartial military justice system. Both the accusers and the accused are asking for due process, which is best accomplished by a system that mirrors the civilian justice system. Currently, Commanders have control of the process when the accused, accuser, defense attorneys, and prosecutors should have control over the process.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Norris, Military Justice for All
Stephanie Schroeder, US Human Rights Network & UN Board Member
Brian Lewis, Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma

Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

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*This research is not complete.

Fort Campbell is a United States Army installation located astride the Kentucky-Tennessee border between Hopkinsville, Kentucky, and Clarksville, Tennessee. Fort Campbell is home to the 101st Airborne Division and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. The fort is named in honor of Union Army Brigadier General William Bowen Campbell, the last Whig Governor of Tennessee. -Wikipedia

Dhaifal Ali, US Army (2016): Accidental Drowning

Seth Brabant, US Army veteran (2016): Homicide Victim

Jeffrey Cooper, US Army (2016): Non Combat Death, Kuwait

MarStratton Gordon, US Army (2016): Homicide Victim

Kyle Heade, US Army (2016): Charged with Theft/Attempted Homicide

Zachary James-Earl Ponder, US Army (2016): Charged with Homicide

Matthew Lewellen, US Army (2016): Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan

Shadow McClaine, US Army (2016): Body Missing, Homicide

Kevin McEnroe, US Army (2016): Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan

James Moriarty, US Army (2016): Ambushed at Military Base in Jordan

Marcus Rogers, US Army (2016): Failing to Follow Military Orders

Deashawn Thomas, US Army (2016): Homicide/Suicide

Katelyn Thomas, US Army spouse (2016): Homicide Victim

Zackery Alexander, US Army (2015): Charged with Homicide

Joseph Bankston, US Army dependent (2015): Homicide Victim

Liperial Easterling, US Army (2015): Homicide Victim

Terrence Harwell, US Army (2015): Homicide Victim

Cornell Hurley Jr, US Army (2015): Homicide

Kevin Rodriguez, US Army (2015): Preventable Training Accident Death

Chelcee Sine-Garza, US Army (2015): Attempted Homicide Victim

Annely Turner, US Army spouse (2015): Attempted Homicide

Malcolm Turner, US Army (2015): Attempted Homicide

David Wi, US Army (2015): Charged with Homicide

Christian Martin (2014): Mishandling Classified Info/Simple Assault

Robbie Knight, US Army (2012): Homicide

Frederic Moses, US Army (2012): Homicide Victim

Jeremy Priddy, Civilian (2012): Homicide Victim

Nery Ruiz, US Army (2012): Sexual Abuse/Sodomy of Child

Benjamin Schweitzer, US Army (2012): Reckless Homicide

Michael Korolevich, US Army (2011): Homicide

Kathleen McGee, US Army spouse (2011): Homicide Victim

Linzi Jenks, US Army spouse (2010): Homicide Victim

Robert Jenks III, US Army (2010): Homicide

Ashley Barnes, US Army (2009): Homicide Victim

Khaleefa Lambert, US Army (2009): Homicide

Tracy Birkman, US Army (2008): Non Combat Death, Iraq

Jennifer Cole, US Army (2008): Negligent Homicide, Iraq

Brent Burke, US Army (2007): Homicide

Tracy Burke, US Army spouse (2007): Homicide Victim

Karen Comer, US Army family (2007): Homicide Victim

Steven Green, US Army (2006): Rape/Homicide of Iraqi Civilian

LaVena Johnson, US Army (2005): Death Ruled Suicide, Iraq

Hasan Akbar, US Army (2003): Homicide/Death Sentence

Barry Winchell, US Army (1999): Homicide Victim

Laura Cecere, US Army (1996): Homicide Victim

Max Roybal, US Army spouse (1996): Acquitted of Homicide

David Housler Jr, US Army (1994): Homicide Conviction Overturned

Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas

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*Research not complete. (Includes Lackland AFB, Randolph AFB, Kelly AFB, Fort Sam Houston, Camp Bullis, & Camp Stanley)

“On Jan. 31, 2010, the 502nd ABW took over responsibility as the host unit at Lackland and Randolph. On that day, the 12th Mission Support Group at Randolph inactivated and the 902nd Mission Support Group activated in its place. Meanwhile, the 37th Mission Support Group at Lackland inactivated and the 802nd Mission Support Group activated in its place. At Fort Sam Houston, the wing assumed IOC on April 30, 2010, when the 502nd Mission Support Group (502 MSG) activated. The 502nd MSG also provided installation support for Camp Bullis in northwestern Bexar County. The US Army Garrison at Fort Sam Houston remained active alongside the 502nd MSG until JBSA achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) on 1 October 2010. At FOC, the Garrison inactivated and the Army civilian employees transferred to the Air Force.  On Dec. 4, 2013, in a transformation ceremony held at JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, the 502nd, 802nd and 902nd Mission Support Groups inactivated and became respectively the 502nd Force Support Group; the 502nd Installation Support Group; and the 502nd Security Forces and Logistics Support Group.” –502nd Air Base Wing

Gabriel Gutierrez, US Marine Corps (1972): Unsolved Homicide

Robert Ownby, US Army Reserve (1984): Suicide

William Lipscomb, US Air Force (1986): Rape, Homicide

Robert Eric Duncan, US Air Force (1990): Accused of Abduction, Murder of Child

Micah Schindler, US Air Force (1999): Homicide

Jeremiah Mattysse, US Army (2000): AWOL, Accused of Espionage

Philip Shue, US Air Force (2003): Unsolved Homicide

Christopher Barton, US Air Force (2004): Accused of Attempted Sex Assault of Child

Charles Neddo, US Air Force (2004): Murder-Suicide

Robert Torres Reid, US Air Force Reserve (2004): Victim of Homicide

Barry Brown, US Air Force (2005): Attempted Murder

Rico Robinson, US Army (2005): Suicide

Nonnie Dotson, US Air Force (2006): Missing

Nils Andersson, US Army (2007): Suicide

Larry Flores, US Army (2008): Suicide

Patrick Henderson, US Army (2008): Suicide

Jaynie Askew, US Army (2009): Suicide

Michael Fontana, US Air Force (2009): Acquitted of 3 Homicides

Ryan Gartner, US Army (2011): Non Combat Death, Afghanistan

Kevin Shipp, Former CIA Agent (2011): Accused military of poisoning family

Steven Williams, US Air Force (2011): Cardiac Dysrhythmia

Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal (2011): Adultery, Unprofessional Relationships, Sexual Assault, Rape

Cody Hooks, US Air Force (2013): Murder-Suicide

Juan Jose Pena, US Navy (2013): Charged with Sexual Assault

Jaime Rodriguez, US Air Force (2013): Aggravated Sexual Assault

Alvin Roundtree, US Army (2013): Plotted to Kill Wife

Kimberly Epperson, US Army (2014): Sexual Assault of Son

Terron Moore, US Air Force (2014): Collapsed After Run, Sickle Cell Trait

Ian Morgan, US Army (2014): Accidental Death

Craig Perry, US Air Force (2014): Relieved of Command, Blames Toxic Leadership

Ana Espinal, US Air Force (2015): Suicide

Michael Keltz, US Air Force (2015): Career Derailed-Inappropriate Comment

Emily Riley, US Air Force (2015): Suicide

Kelani Thomas, US Air Force (2015): Heart Failure

Steven Bellino, US Air Force (2016): Murder-Suicide

Josue Delgado, US Army Reserve (2016): Charged with Sexual Abuse of Child

Cristina Silvers, US Air Force (2016): Unknown

Kenneth Sturgill, US Air Force (2016): Died During Training

Ryan Sweeney, US Air Force (2016): Suicide

Anthony Quesinberry, US Army (2016): Sexual Exploitation of Minors

Related Links:
Man’s body found on Camp Bullis
From a War Zone to Stateside Nightmare
Why Are Army Recruiters Killing Themselves?
Army Recruiter Suicides Prompt Investigations
Army to stop recruiting for 1 day after Houston suicides
Army creates suicide prevention board
Lawmakers probe Army recruiter suicides
Cornyn calls for hearings on Army recruiter suicides
Army completes recruiter suicide investigation
Hell in the Houston Recruiting Battalion, Texas
Porn hunted down at Randolph
The Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal, Texas (2011)

‘A Clue From the Grave’ by Irene Pence Unveils the Investigation of USAF MSgt William Lipscomb Accused of Murdering Wife Kathleen Lipscomb in 1986

image1-4‘A Clue from the Grave’ by Irene Pence is a fascinating look into the investigation of US Air Force wife Kathleen Lipscomb’s murder in San Antonio, Texas in 1986. Her husband MSgt William Lipscomb, who was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base as a Military Training Instructor, would eventually be accused of her murder and stand trial at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia in 1989. This book shows the difficulties the detectives face when it comes to investigating crimes perpetrated by a transient military member.

If not for the persistence of Kathleen’s mom Nadine and her sister Darlene, Bill Lipscomb almost got away with murder. Kathleen’s family did not want to believe that Kathleen’s estranged husband committed this crime but nonetheless wanted to find out who killed Kathleen. Kathleen was found battered and nude on the side of the road outside the city limits of San Antonio. It appeared that she had been raped and murdered elsewhere and her body was dumped at this location. As a result, the Bexar County Sheriff’s Department had jurisdiction of the investigation of Kathleen’s murder. The book revealed that Air Force leadership was not aware that Bill Lipscomb was even considered a suspect by the local Sheriff’s Department. In the meantime, Bill Lipscomb requested a humanitarian transfer to Langley Air Force Base, Virginia so that he would be near his parents who would help him care for Kathleen and Bill’s two children.

After the investigation stalled at the Sheriff’s Department and it looked like no one would be held accountable for Kathleen’s death, Nadine and Darlene decided to hire two private investigators to find out who killed Kathleen. The private investigators carefully went through the list of suspects to rule people out but they could not rule out Bill Lipscomb after what they discovered. These investigators learned that Bill had plenty of motive to kill Kathleen including the fact that Kathleen threatened to turn Bill and his Air Force colleagues in to Air Force leadership for their role in a WAPS test promotion cheating scandal. Bill also wanted custody of the two children so Kathleen used her knowledge of this cheating scandal as leverage in the divorce proceedings so she could keep custody of the two children. In addition, Bill Lipscomb had over $300,000 worth of life insurance on Kathleen, one policy was purchased after Kathleen decided to divorce him. Coincidentally, Kathleen was murdered just days before the final divorce proceedings. Nadine and Darlene began suspecting Bill more and more as time went on because of statements made by Bill and Kathleen’s children and the controlling behavior he exhibited after Kathleen died.

It would be the private investigators that Kathleen’s family hired who convinced the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to get involved. Bill was no longer in the San Antonio area so no one but the AFOSI had jurisdiction over him. The crime was committed in Texas yet Bill had been conveniently transferred to Virginia. Thanks to the thorough work by the two private investigators, the AFOSI had probable cause to investigate Bill Lipscomb. The AFOSI used both their knowledge of the WAPS test cheating scandal and what they learned from the private investigators to begin their own investigations. They would learn from others involved in the cheating scandal that Bill did in fact cheat on his promotion testing which is how he was able to achieve the rank of MSgt so soon. They would also learn from Kathleen’s date book that she was fully aware of the cheating scandal and knew that Bill was having an affair with another Air Force member he worked with. It would be this date book that gave the investigators involved in the case a reason to suspect Bill Lipscomb of her murder. In the end this information would become ‘A Clue from the Grave’ that helped Kathleen solve her own murder.

Learn more: Air Force MSgt William Lipscomb Murdered his Wife Kathleen Lipscomb After She Threatened to Expose his WAPS Promotion Cheating Scam (1986)

Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

Fort Bragg Map

*Research Not Complete

Fort Bragg equips, trains, rapidly deploys, and sustains full spectrum forces supporting Combatant Commanders from a Community of Excellence where Soldiers, Families and Civilians thrive.

Iris Armstrong, US Army (2016)
Army investigating death of Fort Bragg soldier
Army: Fort Bragg soldier’s death investigated as a homicide
FBI offers $5K reward for man suspected of killing Fort Bragg soldier
Man found dead after police standoff was wanted for soldier’s Fort Bragg murder

Jeanie Ditty, US Army (2016)
Area Woman Charged in NC Child Death
Jeanie Ditty: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

David Penix, US Army (2016): Homicide Victim
Fort Bragg Man Charged with Murder in Fellow Soldier’s Death

Grant Shanaman, US Army (2016): Found Dead in Off Post Home

Johnathan Simpson, US Army (2016)
Fort Bragg soldier accused of raping fellow soldier

Ryan Walker, US Army (2016)
Fort Bragg Man Charged with Murder in Fellow Soldier’s Death

David Winchester, US Army (2016)Found Dead in Barracks

Javore Blackwell, Civilian (2015)
Second Arrest Made in Connection with Fort Bragg Soldier’s Murder
Second man charged in April homicide of Fort Bragg soldier

Joseph Carreiro, US Army (2015)
Westport soldier dies in Fort Bragg, cause of death unknown

Anthony Pantano, US Army (2015)
Soldier accused of causing Fort Bragg woman’s death found dead

Nicholas Roberts, US Army (2015)
82nd Airborne paratrooper killed at Fort Bragg, the latest in a series of military training deaths
Investigation: Loose Rucksack Contributed to Army Paratrooper’s Death

Joshua Wheeler, US Army (2015)
Fort Bragg soldier killed fighting ISIL remembered as ‘really respectful’

Robert Williams, Civilian (2015)
Second man charged in April homicide of Fort Bragg soldier

Adacia Bruton, US Army (2014)
Police make arrest in Fort Bragg soldier’s murder

Darrell Robinson, US Army (2014): Cause of Death Unknown

James Groth, US Army (2015)
Paratrooper dies during training at Fort Bragg

Cory Muzzy, US Army (2015)
Live-fire training accident changed Fort Bragg soldier’s life in a flash

Omar Velez-Pagan, US Army (2014): Homicide
Fort Bragg soldier to face court-martial in Panama slaying
Trial venue for military killing sparks outrage
Court-martial: Velez-Pagan found guilty of unpremeditated murder

Allen Thomas, US Army Veteran (2013): Homicide-Suicide
Murder-suicide leaves many searching for answers
911 calls: Neighbors tried to help couple slain in murder-suicide

Sean Wells, US Army (2013): Homicide Victim

Darron Wright, US Army (2013)
Iraq veteran, author killed in Bragg training exercise
Fort Bragg Colonel Killed in Parachute Malfunction Accident
Col. Darron Wright, Mesquite native, career Army officer who served in Iraq, dies at 45
How a jump turned fatal at Fort Bragg

Christopher Blackett, US Army (2012)
Two Fort Bragg Soldiers ‘Murdered 17-Year-Old They Played Basketball with Then Dumped his Body in Woods’

Kelli Bordeaux, US Army (2012): Homicide Victim

Sebastian Gamez, US Army (2012)
Two Fort Bragg Soldiers ‘Murdered 17-Year-Old They Played Basketball with Then Dumped his Body in Woods’

Joshua Eisenhauer, US Army (2012): Attempted Homicide

Nicholas Holbert, Civilian (2012): Homicide of Army Soldier

Giocondo Navek, Civilian (2012)
Gun used in doctor killing same as in N.C. death
Authorities probe link between dead woman in N.C. and two doctors killed in N.J.
Doc showed signs of instability before slayings

Wade Page, US Army Veteran (2012)
Police identify Army veteran as Wisconsin temple shooting gunman
Hate groups have uneasy history with military base

Jeffrey Sinclair, US Army (2012)
General charged with sex crimes
Aide says general in sex case threatened to kill her, family
Women say they sent nude photos to general

Seth Andrews, US Army (2011)
Enterprise woman killed in Fort Bragg murder-suicide

Kenneth Clark, US Army (2011)
NC Man Found Not Guilty in Soldier Shooting Death

Brandon Mims, US Army (2011)
Fort Bragg Soldier Accused in Murder Back in NC

Breon Smith, US Army (2011): Homicide Victim
Arrest made in murder of Fort Bragg soldier
NC man acquitted of shooting of Fort Bragg soldier

Nicholas Bailey, US Army (2010): Homicide-Iraq

Mathew Golsteyn, US Army (2010)
In leaked report, Army alleges Green Beret confessed to murder

Morganne McBeth, US Army (2010): Non Combat Death-Homicide

Jacob Swanson, US Army (2009)
Fort Bragg Iraq war vet kills girlfriend, then himself

Kyle Alden, US Marine Corps (2008): Homicide of Army Soldier

Matthew Kvapil, US Army (2008): Homicide of Army Soldier

Edgar Patino, US Army (2008): Homicide of Army Soldier

Matthew Rhoads, US Army (2008): Cause of Death Unknown

Christina Smith, US Army (2008): Homicide Victim

Richard Smith, US Army (2008): Homicide of Wife

Megan Touma, US Army (2008): Homicide Victim

Holley Wimunc, US Army (2008): Homicide Victim

John Wimunc, US Marine Corps (2008): Homicide of Army Soldier

Michael Barbera, US Army (2007)
Army drops murder charges against soldier, Staten Island native Michael Barbera, over Iraqi boys’ deaths

Charles Robinson, US Army (2005)
Enemy explosive kills local soldier A bomb detonated Friday near a vehicle carrying Capt. Charles D. Robinson, 29, outside Orgun-e, Afghanistan

Jeffrey Toczylowski, US Army (2005)
Soldier’s last mail: If I die, no regret An Army captain wrote an e-mail to his family and friends just before his death in Iraq

James Valentine, US Army spouse (2005)
Bragg Soldier From Kentucky Killed in Murder-Suicide

Andrew Baddick, US Army (2003)
Pa. soldier in Iraq drowns in rescue try

Sherman Cooley, US Army (2002)
Arrest in Fort Bragg Gun Slay

Andrea Floyd, US Army Retired (2002): Homicide Victim

Brandon Floyd, US Army (2002): Homicide-Suicide

Cedric Griffin, US Army (2002)
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg

Jonathan Meadows, US Army (2002)
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer

Rigoberto Nieves, US Army (2002)
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer
Army’s Malaria Drug Linked To Three Fort Bragg Wife Killings

David Shannon, US Army (2002): Homicide Victim

Joan Shannon, US Army Spouse (2002): Homicide

William Wright, US Army (2002)
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer
Army’s Malaria Drug Linked To Three Fort Bragg Wife Killings

John Diamond, US Army (2000): Homicide of USAF Officer

Frank Theer, US Air Force (2000): Homicide Victim

Michelle Theer, US Air Force Spouse (2000): Homicide of USAF Husband

Forest Nelson, US Army (1999)
Ex-Army officer guilty of murder

James Burmeister, US Army (1995)
Ex-G.I. at Fort Bragg Is Convicted in Killing of 2 Blacks

William Kreutzer, US Army (1995)
Judge sets sentence for Bragg shooting spree

Randy Meadows, US Army (1995)
Ex-paratrooper Gets Probation For Role In Murders

Malcolm Wright, US Army (1995)
2nd Ex-soldier Is Sentenced To Life In Slaying Of 2 Blacks

Erwin Graves, US Army (1993)
A Ft. Bragg Summer Meant A Tragic End For A Young Soldier

Kimberly Ruggles, Civilian (1987): Rape & Homicide Victim

Ronald Gray, US Army (1986): Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence

Laura Vickery-Clay, US Army (1986): Rape & Homicide Victim

Cara Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent (1985): Homicide Victim

Erin Eastburn, US Air Force Dependent (1985): Homicide Victim

Kathryn Eastburn, US Air Force Spouse (1985): Homicide Victim

Timothy Hennis, US Army (1985): Rape & Homicide; Death Sentence

Alvin Williams, US Army (1980)
Parachute Rigger Faces Murder Rap
Parachute Rigger Cleared in Death

Jeffrey MacDonald, US Army (1970)
On-Scene Detective Identifies Cult Members Responsible for 1970 MacDonald ‘Green Beret’ Murders & Army/Police Complicity in Cover-up
Three Trials for Murder
The Fort Bragg murders: is Jeffrey MacDonald innocent?
Jeffrey MacDonald DNA: Army Doctor Convicted Of Killing Pregnant Wife, Kids Could Clear Name
Maybe Jeffrey MacDonald was innocent after all

Related Links:
A War at Home
The Fort Bragg Murders
4 Wives Slain In 6 Weeks At Fort Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings Stuns Ft. Bragg
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Army Instituting Broad Inquiry at Fort Bragg After 4 Killings
Base Crimes. The military has a domestic violence problem.
A History of Shootings at Military Installations in the U.S.
Fort Bragg, Page’s Army base had white supremacists
Fort Bragg soldier killed in skydiving accident

Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)

Map of Iraq

    • 111 US women died in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
    • 69 female soldiers considered Combat Death (63%)
    • 41 female soldiers considered Non-Combat Death (37%)
    • 1 civilian journalist from the Boston Globe died in a vehicle accident
    • Non-Combat Death: Homicide, Suicide, Unknown, Accidents, Medical
      • Combat: 69 (63%)
      • Homicide/Suicide/Unknown: 23 (21%)
      • Accidents: 12 (11%)
      • Medical: 6 (5%)
    • 36 of 41 Non-Combat Deaths are in Army (88%) 

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2010
2 Jul 10: Spc Morganne McBeth, Army (homicide, stabbed by another soldier)
8 Mar 10: SSG Lakeshia Bailey, Army (vehicle rollover, accident)
21 Feb 10: CWO2 Billie Grinder, Tennessee Army National Guard (hard landing, family sued helicopter maker for faulty system that caused crash and settled)
10 Feb 10: Pfc Adriana Alvarez, Army (gunshot wound, under investigation)

2009
4 Nov 09: SSG Amy (Seyboth) Tirador, Army (gunshot wound, Army claimed suicide, family believes execution style murder, cold case)

2008
19 Oct 08: LCpl Stacy Dryden, USMC (fight with fellow soldier, homicide, cold case)
1 Sep 08: SSG Renee Deville, Army (injured in Iraq, died unexpectedly at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after graduating from NCO course)
14 Aug 08: Pvt Janelle King, Army (non combat related incident, under investigation)
2 Aug 08: Pfc Jennifer Cole, Army (gunshot wound to abdomen, negligent homicide)
17 Jul 08: TSgt Jackie Larsen, USAF (medical, natural causes)
9 May 08: Spc Mary Jaenichen, Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)
22 Feb 08: Spc Keisha Morgan, Army (death ruled accidental overdose, family suspects rape and murder, cold case)
25 Jan 08: Sgt Tracy Birkman, Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)

2007
20 Sep 07: Capt (Dr) Roselle M. Hoffmaster, Army (death ruled suicide)
7 Sep 07: Spc Marisol Heredia, Army (non-combat injuries, medical, severely burned, died in Texas from infection, under investigation)
16 Aug 07: Spc Kamisha J Block, Army (gunshot wound, homicide, workplace violence)
9 Aug 07: SSG Alicia Birchett, Army (vehicle ran over her while she was changing tire, under investigation)
7 Feb 07: Capt Jennifer Harris, USMC (helicopter crash, no sign that it involved hostile fire, under investigation)
28 Jan 07: Spc Carla Stewart, Army (wounds sustained when convoy vehicle rolled over)
20 Jan 07: CSM Marilyn Gabbard, Iowa Army National Guard (helicopter crash, might have been shot down, under investigation)

2006
12 Dec 06: Major Gloria Davis, Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
26 Nov 06: SSG Jeannette Dunn, Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)
4 Sep 06: Pfc Hannah McKinney, Army (struck by vehicle, family believes rape & murder)
8 Apr 06: L/Cpl Juana Arellano, USMC (wounds received supporting combat operations)
11 Mar 06: Pfc Amy Duerksen, Army (non-combat gunshot injury)
1 Mar 06: Pfc Tina Priest, Army (reported rape, died of non-combat gunshot wound to the chest, cold case)
7 Jan 06: 1LT Jaime Lynn (Krausse) Campbell, Alaska Army National Guard (helicopter crash)

2005
19 Jul 05: Pfc LaVena Johnson, Army (non-combat gunshot injury, death ruled suicide, family claims rape and murder based on autopsy evidence)
4 Mar 05: Spc Adriana N. Salem, Army (accident, military vehicle roll over)
1 Mar 05: Spc Lizbeth Robles, Army (injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident)
16 Feb 05: Spc Katrina Lani (Johnson) Bell, Army (accident, vehicle rollover)

2004
13 Dec 04: SSG Tina Time, Army Reserve (supply truck she was driving during a dust storm collided with another military vehicle)
4 Oct 04: SSG Gina Sparks, Army (died at Fort Polk, Louisiana from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound in Iraq)
6 Jun 04: Pfc Melissa Hobart, Army (medical, died after collapsing while on guard duty)
7 Mar 04: Capt Gussie Jones, Army (non-combat related cause, under investigation)
14 Jan 04: SSG Keicia Hines, Army (Army reports accidentally struck by a vehicle)

2003
8 Nov 03: SSG Linda Jimenez, Army (medical, fell running to keep up with friends, died of complications at Walter Reed after a blood clot formed, caused stroke)
1 Oct 03: Spc Tamarra Ramos, Army (medical, non-combat related injuries, cancer)
15 Sep 03: Spc Alyssa Peterson, Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
9 Jul 03: SSG Melissa Valles, Army (noncombat gunshot wound to abdomen)
8 May 03: CIVILIAN Elizabeth Neuffer, Boston Globe Journalist (automobile accident)

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Noonie Fortin: Killed in Iraq or in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Is There an Army Cover-Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?
U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?

Robert Craig Cox, US Army

Robert Craig Cox, US Army

The Springfield Three
Cox Receives Death For ’78 Fatal Beating
9 Years Later, A Murder Conviction Circumstantial Case Convicts Ex-soldier Of Beating Teen-age Girl
Man Awaiting Florida Execution Is Ordered Acquitted in ’79 Killing
Court Orders Innocent for ‘Soldier of the Year’
Three Missing Women: Ten Years Later – Part 1 of 5
Pokin Around: 3 missing women; here, then suddenly nowhere
Disappeared, Investigation Discovery
Clues to the Springfield Three
The Springfield Three: Sherrill Levitt