Military Murder Podcast Premiered First Three Episodes on Veteran’s Day: Stephen Schap, Russell Williams, and Timothy Hennis (November 11, 2019)

The Military Murder Podcast dropped their first three episodes on Veteran’s Day. The podcasts featured the homicide cases of Army Sgt. Stephen Schap, Canadian RAF Colonel Russell Williams, and Army MSG Timothy Hennis (currently on military death row with three other servicemembers). The Military Murder Podcast is the first of it’s kind and we are pleased that a true crime podcaster chose this particular subject. MJFA tracks homicide committed by active duty service members, their families, and veterans. It’s our belief if they are capable of murder, they are also capable of rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, physical assault, animal abuse, and other felony crimes. It is our hope that the military will track these red flag crimes in a more efficient manner with civilian authorities so we can prevent the homicide from occurring and warn civilians of the dangers that lurk when a service member is discharged instead of prosecuted. Check out the Military Murder Podcast on your favorite podcast app. We love the Stitcher app because we can organize all our favorite podcasts in one place. And the Military Murder Podcast is definitely one of our favorites.

0. Introducing Military Murder Podcast

Ep1. MURDER: The Decapitation of an Army Specialist by a Fellow Soldier

Ep2. MURDER (x’s 2): Tweed Creeper-RAF Colonel Russell Williams Kills 2 Women (Including One of His Troops)

Ep3. MURDER (x’s 3): The Eastburn Family Murders & The 3 Trials of Timothy Hennis

Related Links:
Military Murder Podcast (website)
Russell Williams Case | The Canadian Encyclopedia
Army Sgt. Stephen Schap Murdered Wife’s Lover Spc. Gregory Glover in Germany; Convening Authority Sentenced to 45 Years in Prison (December 7, 1993)
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Mother’s Day Murders’ on ID: Timothy Hennis on Military Death Row for Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (October 8, 2012)
Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

Investigation Discovery Published ‘The Missing Pieces: The Staircase’: The True Crime Story of Michael & Kathleen Peterson (June 18, 2018)

In 2001, Kathleen Peterson’s body was found at the foot of a staircase in her home. The Missing Pieces looks at the nagging questions surrounding her death, dissecting a frantic 911 call, a potentially killer owl, and a blood-soaked stairwell. -The Staircase, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
The Missing Pieces: The Staircase | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Vet Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)

Death’s Door Podcast Featured the Case of Military Death Row Inmate Army MSG Timothy Hennis (September 14, 2017)

“Timothy Hennis was sentenced to death for the murders of Katie Eastburn and her two daughters, Erin and Kara Eastburn. Katie was a military wife who lived on the Fort Bragg base with her husband and three daughters. This case takes a look at how important it is to follow investigatory protocol and how double jeopardy is actually interpreted in the legal system in a case that spans over two decades. Tune in to find out how this case unfolds, and where it stands today.” –The Case of Timothy Hennis, Death’s Door Podcast (September 14, 2017)

Related Links:
Three Trials for Murder
The Double Jeopardy Case Of Tim Hennis
Death’s Door Podcast (website)
Death’s Door Podcast (Facebook)
Death’s Door Podcast (Twitter)
The Case of Timothy Hennis | Death’s Door Podcast | Stitcher
The Case of Timothy Hennis | Death’s Door Podcast | PlayerFM
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn in NC (April 15, 2010)
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Mother’s Day Murders’ on ID: Timothy Hennis on Military Death Row for Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (October 8, 2012)
Military Murder Podcast Premiered First Three Episodes on Veteran’s Day: Stephen Schap, Russell Williams, and Timothy Hennis (November 11, 2019)
Seven Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Tim Hennis murder trials surround double jeopardy issue
Resuming federal executions unlikely to affect military death row

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

US Army

John Bennett, US Army (Austria)

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

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-10-51-12-pm

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

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

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-2-19-23-pm

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

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

hasan_nidal

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

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

111114_r21541r21542_g2048-320-240-30181538

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

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

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

screen-shot-2016-09-24-at-10-52-44-pm

Dwight Loving, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Army Soldier Dwight Loving Murdered First of Two Cab Drivers; Sentenced to Death by Military Courts But Commuted in 2017 by President Obama, Re-sentenced to Life, No Parole (December 12, 1988)

image

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

Air Force SrA Andrew Witt Sentenced to Death for the Pre-Meditated Murders of Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek; 13 Years Later, Military Court Re-sentenced Witt to Life In Prison, No Parole (October 13, 2005)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘#1 Suspect’ on ID: Lt. Joe Kenda Investigates Murder of Military Retiree Frank Kovaleski in Colorado (October 21, 2014)

When a mother is killed, Lt Joe Kenda wonders if it’s a robbery gone wrong, until a slew of hateful messages surface. Then, patrols discover a body on a roadway after an evident hit-and-run, but the victim’s true cause of death turns the case on its head. -#1 Suspect, Homicide Hunter (S4,E9)

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

Related Links:
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E9)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Military Retiree Frank Kovaleski Found Dead in Middle of Street; Mike Murphy Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Murder (September 3, 1985)
Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Air Force spouse Kathryn Eastburn was found brutally raped and murdered on May 9, 1985 in her Fayetteville, North Carolina home. Two of her three children, Cara and Erin, were also murdered in the same vicious way. All three were stabbed and their throats were slashed. Kathryn and her three children were home alone while Gary Eastburn was on temporary duty at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama. The youngest daughter Jana was found dehydrated but otherwise unharmed. The crime occurred six miles from the location of where Jeffrey MacDonald was accused of killing his wife and two children at Fort Bragg. Army Sergeant Timothy Hennis was a suspect from the beginning because he had visited the Eastburn home a couple days earlier to buy the family dog.

Kathryn placed a dog for sale ad in the local post paper. Investigators sent out a press release looking for the person who bought the dog. In the meantime, a neighbor reported seeing someone leaving the Eastburn residence at the time in question. The neighbor provided details for a composite drawing; the suspect drove a white Chevy Chevette. At the urging of his wife, Hennis contacted the police station and investigators were stunned at how much he looked like the composite drawing. He also drove a white Chevy Chevette. In a background check, they found that Hennis had three convictions for writing bad checks. This was significant because the perpetrator stole Kathryn’s ATM card and used it on one occasion. Another witness identified Hennis as the person who used the ATM at the time in question.

In 1986, the State of North Carolina tried Hennis for the triple murders. Hennis was found guilty and sentenced to death. But he appealed and was found not guilty in the second death penalty trial. After his ‘exoneration’ Hennis was the subject of a book and an ABC made for television movie “Innocent Victims”. Meanwhile, against lawyers advice, Hennis enlisted in the Army again for two more tours, worked his way up to E-8, and retired as a MSG outside of Fort Lewis, Washington. Cold case investigators took a second look at the cold case and because of the advances in DNA technology, they retrieved a vaginal swab from the rape kit test and submitted it to the lab. DNA evidence linked Timothy Hennis to Kathryn Eastburn.The State of North Carolina prosecutors could not charge Hennis a third time because he was found ‘not guilty’ of the triple homicides in the second death penalty trial.

The Double Jeopardy Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides: “[N]or shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb…” [wikipedia]. The civilians couldn’t try him in State court but the Army could because of federal jurisdiction; Hennis was an Army retiree therefore still under their jurisdiction. As a result, Hennis was activated and order to report to Fort Bragg for his third death penalty trial. The defense attempted to justify the DNA match to consensual sex but it contradicted his original testimony. The defense also called into question the ethics of the lab who made the DNA match. A military jury found Timothy Hennis guilty of three counts of murder and sentenced him to death. He awaits his execution date at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.

Source: Unusual Suspects ‘Mother’s Day Murders’


In 1985, a young military wife and two of her three little girls are viciously murdered in their home. In a twisted case filled with unusual suspects, the man who gets convicted goes free. But nothing is what it seems. -Discovery ID

MJFA Links:
Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Daughters Cara & Erin Found Murdered in Fayetteville, NC Home; Youngest Toddler Jana Discovered Unharmed (May 9, 1985)
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn in Fayetteville, NC (April 15, 2010)
Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)

Related Links:

1986
Death sentence sought
Jury in Hennis trial visits area where murder victims lived
Hennis Receives Death Sentence

1988
STATE of North Carolina v. Timothy Baily HENNIS

1989
Triple murder retrial to start
Witness firm on identification of murder suspect
Witness shaky on identifying Hennis

1996
Reversal of ‘Victims’: Made-for-TV Justice
ABC explores ex-city man’s prison plight MUG: Hennis BOX: On TV “Innocent Victims” airs at 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday on ABC, Rochester cable channels 5 and 6

2007
GI cleared in 1989 faces murder court-martial
Accusations follow ex-soldier
Expert links soldier to 1985 killings
DNA hearing wraps up
Acquitted of murder, he now faces Army justice
Ex-soldier faces trial in decades-old deaths
Army to try soldier who was acquitted of 1985 slayings

2008
3 capital murder trials to put Army in spotlight

2009
Army holds hearing for soldier charged in 1985 murders

2010
Judge Delays Murder Trial For Recalled Soldier
Rochester native accused in N.C. triple murder
Why ‘exonerated’ needs to be used sparingly
Federal judge: Hennis court-martial can proceed
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Soldier acquitted in 3 deaths faces military trial
Hennis court-martial begins at Fort Bragg
Twenty-five years later, third trial begins in triple slaying
Hennis Trial Underway
Army presents its case in trial over 1985 killings
Hennis jury shown clothes of victims
Army expert: DNA from scene matches NC soldier
Friends, family testify for convicted NC soldier
Family testifies in Hennis sentencing
Military jury finds Hennis guilty of murder
Jury considers death for Hennis
Soldier Gets Death Sentence in Military Court after Civil Acquittal
Ex-Lakewood resident gets death in 1985 slayings
Soldier gets death sentence in 1985 Fayetteville triple slaying
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder
For 2nd Time, Man Sentenced to Death for Murders
Prosecutor Emphasizes DNA in Hennis Closing
At 3rd Trial, Sergeant Guilty of 1985 Triple Murder
In 3rd Trial, Conviction in Murders From 1985
Military Jury Finds Hennis Guilty of Murder
Hennis found guilty of decades-old murders
Military Jury Convicts Soldier of Murder 20 Years After his Civilian Acquittal
Soldier’s family pleads for jury to spare his life
25 years later, widower recalls slain family
Father, daughter tell of pain 1985 triple murder caused
A murder conviction, but pain still felt
Tim Hennis case to be featured on 20/20

2011
NC soldier: SBI lab problems should mean new trial
Court-martial murder conviction appealed
Ex-Soldier Convicted Twice of Eastburn Triple Murder Appeals Again
Three Trials for Murder: In the name of justice, did the military sidestep double jeopardy?

2012
‘Unusual Suspects’: Military Man Convicted & Sentenced To Death Twice, Acquitted Once 
Court Rules Against Ex-Soldier in NC Triple Murder
Fort Bragg commander approves Timothy Hennis conviction, death sentence
An Execution Draws Closer
Timothy HENNIS, Petitioner–Appellant, v. Frank HEMLICK; Patrick Parrish, Colonel; Lloyd J. Austin, III, General; John McHugh, Honorable, Respondents–Appellees
Timothy Hennis v. Frank Hemlick et al. (US Court of Appeals)

2013
Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row

2014
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
Former Fort Bragg soldier again appeals conviction
Master sergeant on death row files new petition
What to Watch on Sunday: CNN’s ‘Death Row Stories’ looks at Hennis case in NC
Triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty
NC triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty

2015
10 Mysteries Resolved By Unbelievable Surprise Twists
CNN special with local attorney set for tonight
Timothy Hennis seeks relief in federal court; former Fort Bragg soldier questions Army’s jurisdiction in court-martial
Timothy Hennis case: Federal judge dismisses latest appeal
On military death row, execution is anything but guaranteed
Fair and Impartial? Military Jurisdiction and the Decision to Seek the Death Penalty
TIMOTHY B. HENNIS, Petitioner, v. ERICA NELSON, Commandant, USDB-Ft. Leavenworth, Respondent
Setting the Right Example: Removing the Military Death Penalty

2016
Eastburn Murders Expose a Loophole in the Law
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
Appeal by former Fort Bragg soldier who murdered mother and 2 daughters was rejected in military court
Timothy Hennis’ death sentence fits his gruesome crimes, court rules
Army CCA affirms death for Hennis
Army court upholds death sentence of former Bragg soldier
A look at the 6 inmates on US military death row

2017
Court-martialing retirees? ‘Fat Leonard’ cloud still looms for many current and former sailors
Hennis lawyers argue for more resources in murder appeal
Innocent Victims: The Horrific Eastburn Family Murders
The Eastburn Family Murders and The Three Trials of Staff Sergeant Tim Hennis
Army moves closer to first execution in 50 years; Ronald Gray on death row since 1988
Tim Hennis and the Eastburn Murders
Episode 3: The Case of Timothy Hennis | Death’s Door
The Many Trials of Tim Hennis
Episode 28: The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight Pod
028 The Eastburn Family Murders | In Sight: A True Crime Podcast
United States v. Timothy Hennis | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
US Appellee v. Timothy B. HENNIS, Master Sergeant, United States Army, Appellant | US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Death Penalty Information Center:
Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
Former Death Row Inmate Acquitted in One Court, Now Convicted in Another

Video Links:
3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent Part 2
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Investigation Discovery)
20/20 on ID: Witness | Investigation Discovery
Death Row Stories: Hennis Trailer | CNN
I did the crime…you’re doin’ the time | Death Row Stories | CNN
Death penalty case’s ‘Perry Mason moment’ | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis Double Jeopardy | Death Row Stories | CNN
Timothy Hennis | Death Row Stories | Netflix
Innocent Victims | ABC Television Movie

Book:
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Google)
Innocent Victims: The True Story of the Eastburn Family Murders (Amazon)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Twisted Minds’ on ID: Sylvia Seegrist aka Ms. Rambo Went on Shooting Spree at Pennsylvania Mall (October 23, 2008)

HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo

To recap part one, Sylvia Seegrist was a resident of Springfield, Pennsylvania, a suburb about 10 miles outside the city… -Ms. Rambo, Twisted Philly 

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

Related Links:
Miss Rambo: The True Story of Spree Killer Sylvia Seegrist
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Sylvia Seegrist | Episode 51 | Misconduct, A True Crime Podcast
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 15: PART 2 – Ms. Rambo
Sylvia Seegrist Went on Shooting Spree at Shopping Mall Killing Recife Cosmen, Ernest Trout & Augusto Ferrara; Sentenced to Life in Prison (October 30, 1985)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Forensic Files Premiered ‘A Novel Idea’: Michael Peterson Convicted of Murdering Two Women for Life Insurance Money (December 13, 2006)

Full Episode: Emergency Dispatch in Durham, North Carolina received a frantic call from a man who said his wife had fallen down the stairs; she was unconscious but still breathing. When paramedics arrived, they could do little more than pronounce the woman dead. The number and volume of bloodstains at the scene was greater than usual. It was up to forensic scientists to find out why. -A Novel Idea, Forensic Files (S11,E22)

Editor’s Note: Full episodes of Forensic Files are available on a variety of media platforms. FilmRise Channel and Forensic Files Channel both feature full episodes of Forensic Files on YouTube. You can also find full episodes of Forensic Files on both Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. On Netflix, the seasons are grouped as collection 1-9. On Amazon Prime Video, you can find Season 1-10 here; Season 11; Season 12; Season 13; Season 14; Season 15; Season 16; Season 17; Season 18; Season 19; Season 20; and Season 21. Start bingeing and see for yourself why Forensic Files is such a hit!

Related Links:
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | IMDb
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | FilmRise (S11,E22)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Full Episodes (YouTube)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Netflix (Collection 2, E36)
A Novel Idea | Forensic Files | Amazon Prime Video (S11,E7)
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Veteran Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (June 8, 2018)
Forensic Files: 7 Active Duty Military and Veteran Homicide Cases

Sylvia Seegrist Went on Shooting Spree at Shopping Mall Killing Recife Cosmen, Ernest Trout & Augusto Ferrara; Sentenced to Life in Prison (October 30, 1985)

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 5.51.02 PM

Sylvia Seegrist, US Army Veteran

On October 30, 1985, Sylvia Seegrist, 25, dressed in Army fatigues and black boots, parked her car in front of the Springfield Mall in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, stepped out, and started shooting. She killed three people and injured seven more in the mass shooting before she was stopped by an on-looker in the mall who didn’t realize she was not in a Halloween costume. Killed in the incident was a young child and two men: Recife Cosmen, 2, Dr. Ernest Trout, 67, and Augusto Ferrara, 64. As a result, Seegrist was arrested and indicted for three first degree murders. Investigators would learn that Sylvia Seegrist was discharged from the military after a year of serving because she wasn’t “right in the head” according to Army officials. Sylvia’s mother shared that she tried to get help for her daughter and tried to get her to take medication, but no one would hear her pleas for help. Prior to and after her trial in 1986, Seegrist was held at a Pennsylvania State Hospital.

Sylvia downward spiraled after her discharge from the Army and used the military training she learned to kill innocent civilians. After Sylvia was found guilty of three first degree murders and given three life sentences, she was transferred to the women’s Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution where she still resides. The 1985 incident highlighted the fine line between an individual’s rights and the state’s authority to commit potentially dangerous people. Seegrist interviewed in 1991 said, “daily doses of anti-psychotic medication had curtailed her delusions, paranoia and explosive anger.” Why wasn’t the mental illness picked up by recruiting and instead only recognized after she joined the military? Sylvia Seegrist had paranoid schizophrenia which is a serious mental illness that requires the use of medication to manage symptomology. Sylvia Seegrist needed follow on treatment after her discharge from the Army in an effort to prevent a predictable downward spiral.

Source: Twisted Minds, Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Twisted Philly Podcast:

HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo

To recap part one, Sylvia Seegrist was a resident of Springfield, Pennsylvania, a suburb about 10 miles outside the city… -Ms. Rambo, Twisted Philly 

Related Links:
Wikipedia: Sylvia Seegrist
2 Killed in Shopping Mall as Woman Fired on Crowd
Cousins Huddled to Protect Each Other as Woman Opened Fire
Shooting suspect said to be abusive
Sylvia Seegrist, the fatigue-clad woman who shot 10 people…
Mall Insurers Settle with Rampage Victims
She’s sorry she killed, but victims’ kin don’t want her freed Medicine curbs psychotic urges of woman who went on rampage
Middletown native, Springfield mall hero named as Coatesville police chief
Springfield Mall’s 1985 Shooter: Where is She Now?
Sylvia Seegrist went psycho and killed three innocent people at the Springfield, Pa., mall
Decades After Sylvia Seegrist, Mentally Ill People Are Still Murdering Innocents
Flashbacks To A Pennsylvania Mall Massacre In 1985
Coatesville Will Again Try To Hire Maj. John Laufer As Police Chief
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 1 of 2)
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 2 of 2)
The Anomaly of a Female Mass Shooter: San Bernardino Wife Joins Small Group of Shooters
Many factors make San Bernardino rare among mass shootings
‘Why is it men who commit mass shootings?’
Where’d They Get Their Guns?
Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder
Miss Rambo: The True Story of Spree Killer Sylvia Seegrist
Sylvia Seegrist | Episode 51 | Misconduct, A True Crime Podcast
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 15: PART 2 – Ms. Rambo
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Twisted Minds’ on ID: Sylvia Seegrist aka Ms. Rambo Went on Shooting Spree at Pennsylvania Mall (October 23, 2008)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Military Retiree Frank Kovaleski Found Dead in Middle of Street; Mike Murphy Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Murder (September 3, 1985)

When a mother is killed, Lt Joe Kenda wonders if it’s a robbery gone wrong, until a slew of hateful messages surface. Then, patrols discover a body on a roadway after an evident hit-and-run, but the victim’s true cause of death turns the case on its head. -#1 Suspect, Homicide Hunter (S4,E9)

Lt. Joe Kenda was asked to investigate a dead body in the street in the early morning hours of September 3, 1985 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. While on patrol, a police officer discovered the body in the middle of the street. The individual had been dragged by a vehicle for 20 to 30 feet. The coroner indicated that the wallet contained an ID. The dead man was 42-year-old Frances ‘Frank’ Kovaleski. He was a retired member of U.S. military. He lived in the general neighborhood. Police began canvassing the neighborhood but because this incident occurred in the middle of the night, no one saw or heard anything. Frank died of blunt force trauma and was stabbed twice; this was a homicide. No money was taken from Frank’s wallet so Kenda deduced Frank most likely was killed by someone he knew. Kenda went to Frank Kovaleski’s home and learned he had a roommate.

The roommate said Frank lived day to day, picked up odd jobs where he could, and fished a lot. He had a daughter in New York. The roommate said he hung out a lot with a guy named Mike Murphy. Mike was about 20 years younger than him. Officers were dispatched to Mike Murphy’s home and when they arrived, they found a car on the street with blood all over the side of it. Mike Murphy admitted it was his car and he was arrested. Kenda got a search warrant for Murphy’s home and interviewed his family. During an interrogation, Mike admitted knowing Frank but denied knowing anything about his death. But, Mike’s wife Sandra told investigators Mike was with Frank the night before he died. Mike’s mother Joyce said Mike got arrested for a DUI and was angry because Frank wouldn’t post a $40 bond to get him out of jail.

Investigators relayed this information to Lt. Kenda. Mike then confessed that he was with Frank but according to him, he was fine the last time he saw him. Based on the evidence, Kenda theorized the two probably went to a bar, got in a verbal altercation, and Mike stopped the car. Then Mike and Frank got out of the car and fought in the middle of the street. Mike probably wasn’t doing well during the fight so he stabbed Frank twice and left him still alive in the middle of the street. Mike got back into his car and and purposefully ran Frank over him, dragging him 20 to 30 feet and made sure he was dead. Mike Murphy was charged with first degree murder. Kenda noted that Mike Murphy never displayed remorse. Murphy was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder of Frances Kovaleski.

Source: #1 Suspect, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

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

Related Links:
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S4,E9)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
#1 Suspect | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘#1 Suspect’ on ID: Lt. Joe Kenda Investigates Murder of Military Retiree Frank Kovaleski in Colorado (October 21, 2014)
Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery