10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, US Army

Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, US Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, US Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, US Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, US Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, US Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, US Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, US Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, US Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, US Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, US Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Vicious Vixens’ on Investigation Discovery; Virginia Reardon & Billie Joe McGinnis Killed Their Navy Son’s Wife (August 16, 2013)

ID Go: Cross these deadly vixens at your own risk. An English beauty spars with her boyfriend, a middle-aged woman sacrifices lives for money, and a couple of game players lure an innocent man into a deadly trap: these women will certainly fight to the death. -Vicious Vixens, Deadly Women (S7, E5)

Virginia Reardon, 55, and Billie Joe McGinnis, 52, pushed Navy spouse and roommate Deanna Hubbard Wild, 20, off a 400 foot cliff at Big Sur in California on April 2, 1987. Deanna was living with her husband’s parents while he was at sea with the U.S. Navy. The motive was life insurance and Virginia had a string of insurance claims she cashed in on including Deanna’s death. The couple lured Deanna to the location under the guise of sight seeing, drugged her at lunch, and then it appears Billi Joe pushed her off the cliff. In the meantime, Virginia Reardon is taking pictures the entire time; investigators theorized she wanted a trophy of the homicide. After Deanna’s mother, Bobbie Roberts, found out her daughter was dead, she questioned the accidental ruling. She hired her own private investigator and attorney and they learned that Virginia Reardon had purchased a $35,000 life insurance policy the day before Deanna’s death. Reardon and McGinnis were arrested in 1989 for the murder of Deanna Wild. In 1991, Billi Joe McGinnis was charged with first degree murder but died from complications from pneumonia before his trial started. Virginia was charged and convicted on March 2, 1992 of first degree murder for financial gain. She was sentenced to life in prison, no parole. Virginia Reardon died while serving out her sentence on June 25, 2011.

Name: Virginia Reardon, Billie Joe McGinnis
Occupation: Reardon was a Retired Hospital Worker; McGinnis-Unknown
Pathology: Conspiracy, Premeditated Murder, First Degree Murder
Dates: April 2, 1987
Location: Big Sur, California (Central Coast)
Motive: Greed, Financial Gain, Life Insurance Money
Victims: Deanna Hubbard Wild (son’s wife)
M.O.: Purchased Life Insurance Policy, Pushed off Cliff Next Day, Claimed Accident
Conviction: Reardon Sentenced to Life, No Parole
Status: McGinnis Dead in 1991, Reardon Dead in 2011
Appearance: Financial Downfall (Forensic Files), Vicious Vixens (Deadly Women)

Full Episode: A beautiful, vibrant young woman fell to her death from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Initially, investigators thought it was just a terrible accident. But after a closer forensic examination of photographs taken at the scene, police had a very different story of what had happened. -The Financial Downfall, Forensic Files (S9, E12)

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:
Deana Jalynn Hubbard Wild (1967-1987) | Find A Grave
Billie Joe McGinnis | Find A Grave
Virginia Rearden McGinnis | Radford University
Murder Suspect Dies Night Before the Trial: Chula Vista man had been in jail for two years. He was accused, along with his ex-wife, of killing a housemate to collect on an insurance policy
Murder Suspect Dies on Eve of Jury Selection in His Trial
Prosecutor Says Woman Plotted to Murder for Money
Woman Convicted of Forcing Son’s Girlfriend Off Cliff
Jury Finds Woman Guilty of Murder for Insurance
Woman Sentenced to Life for Murdering Son’s Girlfriend
`Death Benefit’ Fleshes Out Trail Of Female Serial Killer
Killer Feels No Guilt
Insurance Scam Victim (Deana Wild)
Virginia Rearden Mcginnis infamous California inmate dead at 74
Virginia Rearden Mcginnis infamous California inmate dead at 74
Deana Wild Murdered at Big Sur for the Insurance Money
Death Benefit and Justice for Annie are based on the same true story
The Encyclopedia of Female Murderers | R | Murderpedia
Justice for Annie: A Moment of Truth Movie (1996 TV Movie)
Season 7 | Deadlywomen Wiki
Keller on the Loose: Murder Most Vile Volume 7
Death Benefit: A Lawyer Uncovers a Twenty-Year Pattern of Seduction, Arson, and Murder
“Torchered” Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists
Bad Men Do what Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior
Death benefit: a lawyer uncovers a twenty-year pattern of seduction, arson, and murder
Vicious Vixens | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S7, E5)
Forensic Files – The Financial Downfall | FilmRise (S9, E12)
Virginia Reardon & Billie Joe McGinnis Pushed Deanna Wild Off Cliff at Big Sur, California; Reardon Sentenced to Life, Died in 2011; McGinnis Died in 1991 Before Trial (April 2, 1987)

Virginia Reardon & Billie Joe McGinnis Pushed Deanna Wild Off Cliff at Big Sur, California; Reardon Sentenced to Life, Died in 2011; McGinnis Died in 1991 Before Trial (April 2, 1987)

Full Episode: A beautiful, vibrant young woman fell to her death from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Initially, investigators thought it was just a terrible accident. But after a closer forensic examination of photographs taken at the scene, police had a very different story of what had happened. -The Financial Downfall, Forensic Files (S9, E12)

Virginia Reardon, 55, and Billie Joe McGinnis, 52, pushed Navy spouse and roommate Deanna Hubbard Wild, 20, off a 400 foot cliff at Big Sur in California on April 2, 1987. Deanna was living with her husband’s parents while he was at sea with the U.S. Navy. The motive was life insurance and Virginia had a string of insurance claims she cashed in on including Deanna’s death. The couple lured Deanna to the location under the guise of sight seeing, drugged her at lunch, and then it appears Billi Joe pushed her off the cliff. In the meantime, Virginia Reardon is taking pictures the entire time; investigators theorized she wanted a trophy of the homicide. After Deanna’s mother, Bobbie Roberts, found out her daughter was dead, she questioned the accidental ruling. She hired her own private investigator and attorney and they learned that Virginia Reardon had purchased a $35,000 life insurance policy the day before Deanna’s death. Reardon and McGinnis were arrested in 1989 for the murder of Deanna Wild. In 1991, Billi Joe McGinnis was charged with first degree murder but died from complications from pneumonia before his trial started. Virginia was charged and convicted on March 2, 1992 of first degree murder for financial gain. She was sentenced to life in prison, no parole. Virginia Reardon died while serving out her sentence on June 25, 2011.

Deanna Wild

Deanna Hubbard Wild, California

Name: Virginia Reardon, Billie Joe McGinnis
Occupation: Reardon was a Retired Hospital Worker; McGinnis-Unknown
Pathology: Conspiracy, Premeditated Murder, First Degree Murder
Dates: April 2, 1987
Location: Big Sur, California (Central Coast)
Motive: Greed, Financial Gain, Life Insurance Money
Victims: Deanna Hubbard Wild (son’s wife)
M.O.: Purchased Life Insurance Policy, Pushed off Cliff Next Day, Claimed Accident
Conviction: Reardon Sentenced to Life, No Parole
Status: McGinnis Dead in 1991, Reardon Dead in 2011
Appearance: Financial Downfall (Forensic Files), Vicious Vixens (Deadly Women)

ID Go: Cross these deadly vixens at your own risk. An English beauty spars with her boyfriend, a middle-aged woman sacrifices lives for money, and a couple of game players lure an innocent man into a deadly trap: these women will certainly fight to the death. -Vicious Vixens, Deadly Women (S7, 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:
Deana Jalynn Hubbard Wild (1967-1987) | Find A Grave
Billie Joe McGinnis | Find A Grave
Virginia Rearden McGinnis | Radford University
Murder Suspect Dies Night Before the Trial: Chula Vista man had been in jail for two years. He was accused, along with his ex-wife, of killing a housemate to collect on an insurance policy
Murder Suspect Dies on Eve of Jury Selection in His Trial
Prosecutor Says Woman Plotted to Murder for Money
Woman Convicted of Forcing Son’s Girlfriend Off Cliff
Jury Finds Woman Guilty of Murder for Insurance
Woman Sentenced to Life for Murdering Son’s Girlfriend
`Death Benefit’ Fleshes Out Trail Of Female Serial Killer
Killer Feels No Guilt
Insurance Scam Victim (Deana Wild)
Virginia Rearden Mcginnis infamous California inmate dead at 74
Virginia Rearden Mcginnis infamous California inmate dead at 74
Deana Wild Murdered at Big Sur for the Insurance Money
Death Benefit and Justice for Annie are based on the same true story
The Encyclopedia of Female Murderers | R | Murderpedia
Justice for Annie: A Moment of Truth Movie (1996 TV Movie)
Season 7 | Deadlywomen Wiki
Keller on the Loose: Murder Most Vile Volume 7
Death Benefit: A Lawyer Uncovers a Twenty-Year Pattern of Seduction, Arson, and Murder
“Torchered” Minds: Case Histories of Notorious Serial Arsonists
Bad Men Do what Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates the Darker Side of Human Behavior
Death benefit: a lawyer uncovers a twenty-year pattern of seduction, arson, and murder
Vicious Vixens | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S7, E5)
Forensic Files – The Financial Downfall | FilmRise (S9, E12)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Vicious Vixens’ on Investigation Discovery; Virginia Reardon & Billie Joe McGinnis Killed Their Navy Son’s Wife (August 16, 2013)

Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

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Spc. Darlene Krashoc, US Army

Information provided by The Gazette:

The victim: Darlene Krashoc, 20, a soldier at Fort Carson who worked as a mechanic at the Army post.

The Crime: Two Colorado Springs police officers on routine patrol spotted a partially nude woman laying in the parking lot behind the Korean Restaurant, a nightclub formerly at 2710 S. Academy Blvd., around 5:20 a.m. on March 17, 1987. An autopsy determined that Krashoc had been strangled with a coat hanger and leather thongs after being severely beaten, bitten, sexually assaulted. She may also have been thrown from a moving vehicle.

The investigation: Krashoc’s mother, Betty, last spoke with her daughter a week before her death. Krashoc had changed from a soldier ready to re-enlist to a frightened woman ready to go AWOL to get away from Fort Carson, but wouldn’t tell her mother why.

Colorado Springs Police Department considers a case to be cold if it remains unsolved for more than one year. If you have  information that would be of assistance in these investigations, please contact 719-444-7613, by e-mail at CSPDColdCase@springsgov.com or you may remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP (7867). –The Gazette

Thirty years after Krashoc’s body was found, Army Criminal Investigation Command are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can lead them to the man they believe killed Darlene Krashoc. If you have any information about the investigation or if the DNA prediction results resemble someone you know or knew at the time, you’re asked to contact your local CID office or CID headquarters in Virginia at (844) Army CID or (571) 305-4375. You can also email army.CID.crime.tips@mail.mil.

Related Links:
Justice for Darlene
Getting away with murder
THE COLD CASE FILES: Soldier strangled, 1987
Army CID Offers $10,000 Reward on 1987 Homicide Case Using State-of-the-Art Science
Army offers $10,000 reward to solve 30-year-old murder of Fort Carson soldier
Army investigators offer reward to solve a soldier’s 30-year-old murder
New technology, $10,000 reward aimed at finding Fort Carson soldier’s killer from 1987
Investigators Hope New DNA Phenotyping Leads to Answers on a Decades-Old Case
Army offers $10K reward in 1987 cold-case murder of 20-year-old female soldier; DNA profile released
Army investigators on hunt for killer decode DNA to sketch what suspect in 1987 slaying might look like
Army Offers $10,000 To Anyone Who Can Help Solve Fort Carson Murder
Army hopes $10K reward, DNA phenotype will help solve 1987 Colorado murder
Army releases sketches to catch killer in 1987 cold case
DNA used to make rendering of suspect in 1987 cold case
DNA samples used to reconstruct face of killer 30 years later
Reward Grows In 30-Year-Old Murder Case
25 cold cases in Colorado Springs
Colorado Cold Case Files: Darlene Krashoc
Is Sketching a Killer’s Face From DNA Science or a Scam?
Hypocritically Trained: Military Experience
Phenotyping Webtool Developed by Academics, Who Want ‘Full Disclosure’ of Limitations
Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

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Civilian Kimberly Ruggles Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (1987)

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Kimberly Ruggles, Civilian

On January 6, 1987, Army soldier Ronald Gray raped, sodomized, robbed, and murdered civilian Kimberly Ann Ruggles, 23, in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Kimberly, who was a taxi driver, was dispatched to pick up Ronald Gray at his residence. In the early morning hours of January 7th, Fort Bragg military police officers discovered Ruggles’ empty cab parked at the edge of the woods on post. They discovered Kimberly’s nude body a short distance away. She had been raped, sodomized, beaten, and stabbed seven times. Kimberly’s mouth was gagged with a cloth belt that matched pants found in Gray’s possession only hours earlier. Ronald Gray’s fingerprints were also on the interior door handle of Ruggles’ taxi and Ruggles’ fingerprints were found on money in Gray’s possession. In addition, Gray’s footprints were found at the scene of the crime. In 1988, Ronald Gray was found guilty by the military courts of the premeditated murders of Kimberly and Private Laura Lee Vickery-Clay, and the attempted premeditated murder of Private Mary Ann Lang Nameth. On April 12, 1988, Ronald Gray was sentenced to death, given a dishonorable discharge, total forfeitures, and a reduction to Private E-1. In 2008, President George Bush gave the final approval for the military execution of Ronald Gray. In December 2016, media reports indicated that the military is moving forward with the lethal injection execution of Ronald Gray.

Related Links:
Witness Links Victim, Gray to Drugs
Georgia soldier convicted of two murders
Soldier Gets Death Sentence for Raping, Killing 2 Women
United States, Appellee v. Ronald A. GRAY, U.S. Army, Appellant (1999)
Ronald Gray vs United States of America (2000)
Bush: Former Army cook’s crimes warrant execution
Bush OKs Execution for Army Private on Death Row
Hearing set for former Fort Bragg soldier convicted of rapes and murders
Soldier’s Denied Appeal May Pave Way for Death Sentence
Twenty-eight years later, Winter Garden man sees his daughter’s killer
Ft. Bragg Killer To Be Executed
Military to execute murderer and rapist Ronald Gray, a former soldier, after 8-year delay
US military to execute first inmate in over 50 years
Ronald Gray, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Rape & Murder of Army Private Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)
U.S. Military May Perform First Execution In Over 50 Years (YouTube)
Execution Date to Be Set for Former U.S. Army Soldier (YouTube)


According to CNN, the US military could soon execute someone for the first time since 1961. Ronald Gray, a former Army soldier, has been on military death row at Fort Leavenworth since 1988 when he was convicted of killing five women and raping several others in 1986 and 1987 while stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. A civilian court gave him eight life sentences, but a military court sentenced him to death. Last week, a judge ruled Gray’s stay in prison was no longer in effect and denied any further stays. Following the ruling, an execution date for Gray could be announced as soon as next month. –Wochit News