Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

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  1. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
  2. Navy Veteran Richard Uffelman & Two Children Opened Fire and Killed Neighbors Michael and Florence Phillips in Maine, Richard Sentenced to Life in Prison (1989)
  3. Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (1994)
  4. Navy Wife Dina Kichler Raped & Murdered in Mayport, Florida by John Brewer Shortly After her Husband Deployed for Six Months on USS Forestall (1990)
  5. Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force, Hired Hitmen to Murder Wife Julie at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for the $400,000 Life Insurance Payout (1991)
  6. Fort Bliss Army Commander Captain Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger and His Brother Rodney for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  7. A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal
  8. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (1991)
  9. Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi Double Crossed & Murdered by Husband Eddie who Came Up with a Better Plan Yielding him $700,000 in Life Insurance (1996)
  10. Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Poisoned with Animal Medications by Veterinarian Wife, Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (2005)

48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (2017)


In the more than 20 years since the murder of a 21-year-old woman outside her home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, there have been a number of men investigated in connection with the case — but the crime remains unsolved. Members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office share details with “48 Hours”‘ Erin Moriarty.

If you have information about Amy Gellert’s murder contact:
Brevard County Homicide Unit E-mail: majorcrimes@bcso.us
Call Central Florida CrimeLine: 1-800-423-TIPS

“[A tipster] overheard Dominic’s girlfriend [Julie Flounder] saying that he was possibly involved with that homicide.” Investigators then learned Kanuika had stolen a car and left the area the day after Amy’s murder. He later moved back to Pennsylvania where investigators tracked him down. “Dominic puts himself at the scene.” Kanuika claimed that he was coming back from work when he drove pass Amy’s house. “He actually stops, pulls over, and walks up to see what was going on…His story didn’t check out. He didn’t work that night…He was given a polygraph and he failed it…Dominic was in Marine Corps boot camp…and one of the things he had to do was fight with a knife.” Dominic Kanuika was [now] serving time for drug possession and robbery. -48 Hours

Related Links:
48 Hours Preview: Who Killed Amy Gellert?
48 Hours preview: Who Killed Amy Gellert? | MSN
Preview: “48 Hours” Cold Case: Who killed Amy Gellert?
Sneak peek: “48 Hours” Cold Case: Who killed Amy Gellert?
A conversation with Amy Gellert’s killer | 48 Hours
A look at possible suspects in Amy Gellert’s murder | 48 Hours
Retired detective still haunted by Gellert cold case | 48 Hours
Help catch Amy Gellert’s killer | 48 Hours
“48 Hours”: Spring break cold case
Who Killed Amy Gellert? | 48 Hours (website)
“48 Hours” cold case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?
48 Hours: Who killed Amy Gellert? | Crimesider
Who Killed Amy Gellert? Help cops solve a 23-year-old cold case
23 Years After a Fla. Woman Was Fatally Stabbed in Her Driveway, Can These Clues Crack the Case?
Who killed Amy Gellert? More than 20 years after student, 21, died protecting parents from masked knifeman, police admit they are no closer to an arrest
Torres: ’48 Hours’ brings in tips in Cocoa Beach cold case
’48 Hours’ generates 100 tips in Brevard case
Cold Case: Amy Gellert Fatally Stabbed Outside Florida Home; AWOL Marine Dominic Kanuika an Alleged Suspect in the Case, $5000 Reward (1994)

US Army Veteran Brandin Penza Stabbed 74 Times in Colorado Springs Parking Lot by Stranger; Kevin Gooley Sentenced to 32 Years in Prison (1994)


A popular army vet is found bleeding to death on the cold asphalt of a shadowy parking lot -his chest littered with too many knife wounds to count. A gruesome clue leads Kenda’s team to an unlikely killer whose motive for murder is as heartless. -Investigation Discovery 

Recently discharged Army veteran Brandin Penza was found stabbed to death in a Colorado Springs, Colorado parking lot on September 23, 1994. Apparently Brandin was on his way home when he was attacked. Detective Lt. Joe Kenda of the Colorado Springs Police Department was assigned to investigate the homicide. Lt. Kenda turned to Brandin’s friends first to learn more about him. He learned from his roommates that he had got out of the Army two weeks earlier and was only staying with friends temporarily until he moved back to Kansas to be with his girlfriend. Brandin was figuring out what he wanted to do next. He had a large group of friends in the military that he considered his family. They spent a lot of time together barbecuing and having fun. He was described as a happy-go-lucky guy who would give anyone the shirt off his back. They couldn’t think of anyone who had a motive to hurt him. His roommates informed Lt. Kenda that Brandin told them he was going out to the Rodeo Night Club. Lt. Kenda had very little evidence to work with so he turned to Brandin because his body tells a story.

Lt. Kenda discovered that Brandin Penza was stabbed 74 times. Kenda also deduced, based on where the stab wounds were located, that the killer was probably left handed. Only 10% of the world is left-handed. Kenda then ordered a K-9 unit to the scene of the crime to see if they could get a scent on their killer. Dogs can track the existence of a subject and where they may have gone. The K-9 and handler proceed about one hundred yards and then stop. It was a dead end. Kenda continues the investigation into the daylight which offers up more evidence. They found a tear drop of blood which helped them determine which way the person was going. Kenda and the team follow the trail of blood all the way to the door of one of the nearby apartments. Blood smears were present outside and inside the building and on the door where the apartment was located. They knocked on the door to find out who was behind it and they got no response. As they were about to kick the door, it opened and a scared kid in his underwear was standing there with his hands up. His name was Kevin Gooley, 21, and he was covered in blood and had injuries consistent with a knife attack. Kevin Gooley’s injuries suggested to Lt. Kenda that he was Brandin Penza’s killer.

Lt. Kenda asked for his signature and discovered he was left handed as well. They searched his apartment and found blood soaked cowboy boots under his bed. Lt. Kenda opened the dresser drawers and discovered they were not drawers, they were cabinets with an arsenal of weapons. Lt. Kenda arrested Kevin Gooley for the murder of Brandin Penza. Lt. Kenda interrogated Gooley to find out why he killed him. This type of stabbing usually accompanies a very close, personal relationship. Gooley claimed he didn’t even know him but ran into him on the way home after having a few drinks at the bar. He claimed he was approached by an individual (Brandin) who asked him for money and it caused him alarm. He claimed Brandin put his arm around him as if to suggest that he was hitting on him. Kenda was suspicious of his reasoning for the crime. Regardless of the reason, Gooley admitted to killing Brandin Penza. He claimed he freaked out but his claims of self defense were hallow. Most likely, Kevin Gooley had no reason why he stabbed Brandin. Lt. Kenda suspected that Gooley most likely had a psychotic episode. Facing a death sentence if convicted of murder, Kevin Gooley took a plea deal in exchange for a 32 year prison sentence.

Related Links:
Life is Random
Homicide Hunter ‘Bad Blood’
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado

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Kevin Gooley, Colorado

Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (1994)

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Susan Russo, US Navy Spouse

Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery featured yet another military spouse who murdered because they were motivated by greed, selfishness, and sociopathic tendencies. While Navy sailor David Russo was at work at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, his wife was getting high on meth with her secret lover. Susan didn’t like that David controlled the purse strings because he might find out that she was blowing their cash on drugs. Then one day a military advisor stopped by the house to advise them of their financial affairs and Susan learned that her husband David was worth more dead then he was alive. He had a grand total of 1 million dollars worth of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance and other insurance policies on himself. Susan saw her way out of domestic boredom and hatched up a plan with two of her drug addicted buddies, Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris. She offered them $100 to kill her husband and promised them more later after she got her hands on the life insurance payout. On July 14, 1994, the trio striked. While David lay sleeping in his bed, the two men entered the marital home with Susan’s assistance, walked into David’s bedroom, and shot him one time in the back of the head. They then drove the body to a remote location so they could torch David and the car in an effort to destroy evidence. This plan would never come to fruition because they ran out of gas and then didn’t have enough gas to torch the car. When military personnel stopped by David’s home to see why he hadn’t showed up to work, Susan told them she didn’t know where he was and asked if she would still get his paycheck that week. Eventually David’s car and body was discovered by a local farmer. Of course investigators looked to the spouse first to determine what may have happened to David. Susan told investigators during the interview that they would find no evidence of wrong doing which of course intrigued them to probe further. Susan Russo was a self proclaimed clean freak and cleaner by trade and was confident she had covered her tracks. But she did not account for the microscopic blood spatter on the headboard of the bed or the spent bullet casing located in the bedroom. Police charged Susan Russo and her two friends with the murder of her husband David Russo. Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris were both convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1996, Susan Russo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Investigators described Susan as an evil, psychopathic person who manipulated her two drug addicted friends with the promises of money for more drugs. She didn’t care about David whatsoever, she only saw David as a way to cash in.

Learn more: Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder

Related Links:
Killer sentenced “to slow death” gets life for murder of her husband
People of California v. Susan Russo (2001)
Navy Wife and Mom With Secret Life Devises Plan To Have Husband Killed For Insurance Money
Deadly Women: Cash In (YouTube)


The stakes are high and the chips are down when these Deadly Women decide to “Cash In.” -Discovery ID

Cold Case: Amy Gellert Fatally Stabbed Outside Florida Home; AWOL Marine Dominic Kanuika an Alleged Suspect in the Case, $5000 Reward (1994)

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On the evening of Sunday, March 20, 1994, Charlotte “Amy” Gellert was attacked by an intruder outside her residence in Cocoa Beach. She died as a result of her injuries. The intruder was described as a white male, early twenties, 5’07″ – 5’10″ tall, weighing between 165 to 185 pounds. Any persons providing information in reference to this case may be eligible for a reward up to $5,000.00. –Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

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Amy Gellert, Civilian, Florida

Related Links:
Twitter: @Justice_for_Amy
BCSO: Unsolved Homicide of Charlotte “Amy” Gellert
Who Killed Amy Gellert?
48 Hours: Who killed Amy Gellert?
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (2017)
Who killed Amy Gellert? More than 20 years after student, 21, died protecting parents from masked knifeman, police admit they are no closer to an arrest
Florida investigators hunt for unusual weapons in brutal 1994 attack, murder
Who Killed Amy Gellert? Help cops solve a 23-year-old cold case
A conversation with Amy Gellert’s killer
23 Years After a Fla. Woman Was Fatally Stabbed in Her Driveway, Can These Clues Crack the Case?
Torres: ’48 Hours’ brings in tips in Cocoa Beach cold case
Help catch Amy Gellert’s killer
Preview: “48 Hours” Cold Case: Who killed Amy Gellert?
Sneak peek: “48 Hours” Cold Case: Who killed Amy Gellert?
“48 Hours”: Spring break cold case
48 Hours Preview: Who Killed Amy Gellert?
A conversation with Amy Gellert’s killer
A look at possible suspects in Amy Gellert’s murder
Help catch Amy Gellert’s killer
Retired detective still haunted by Gellert cold case

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In the more than 20 years since the murder of a 21-year-old woman outside her home in Cocoa Beach, Florida, there have been a number of men investigated in connection with the case — but the crime remains unsolved. Members of the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office share details with “48 Hours”‘ Erin Moriarty.