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


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

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

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.


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


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


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


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

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

Oxygen Premiered ‘Killing Versace: The Hunt for a Serial Killer’ (2018)


“Killing Versace: The Hunt For A Serial Killer” re-examines the infamous manhunt for Cunanan through new and revisited expert insider interviews. Watch new episodes of Killing Versace, premiering February 11th at 7/6c, only on Oxygen.

1) Jeffrey Trail was [Andrew] Cunanan’s friend.

According to Newsweek, Cunanan told friends in April 1997 he was headed to Minneapolis “to visit an old friend with whom he had unfinished business.” The old friend was Trail, who had previously been a naval officer. Vanity Fair reports Cunanan described Trail as his best and “my brother.”

CBS News reported Trail was a Gulf War veteran and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Friends called him “an upbeat, fun-loving, compassionate man.” Trail’s father told The Washington Post in July 1997, “Jeff was the kind of guy who was always trying to help people out… He went out of his way to be helpful to people.”

Read more from Harpers Bazaar here.

Related Links:
Five Lives Cut Short (1997)
Friends Remember Cunanan Victim (1997)
First Killing May Offer Clues to Four Others (1997)
Killing Versace: Hunt For a Serial Killer | Oxygen
The Gianni Versace Case, Explained – Very Real | Oxygen
Killing Versace: The Hunt for a Serial Killer – Premiering February 11th at 7/6c | Oxygen
Inside look at the Gianni Versace murder | ABC News
American Crime Story Season 2: The Assassination of Gianni Versace Trailer (HD)
Andrew Cunanan, the Versace Killer | The Crime Network
A Look Back at the Murder of Gianni Versace, 20 Years Later | Inside Edition
Versace’s murderer Andrew Cunanan kills his first two victims
Why Did Andrew Cunanan Go on a Killing Spree? American Crime Story Explores His Motives
Who Were Jeffrey Trail and David Madson? American Crime Story Explores Andrew Cunanan’s First Victims
Who Were Jeffrey Trail And David Madson, Andrew Cunanan’s First Victims?
Who Was Jeffrey Trail? ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace’ Explores Andrew Cunanan’s Alarming Fixation On Him
Who Is Jeff Trail In ‘The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’?
Versace: Watch Jeff Trail’s Real-Life Interview About Being Gay in the Military
‘American Crime Story’: Watch Jeff Trail’s Real ’48 Hours’ Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Interview (Video)

International Men’s Day: FIVE Female Killers who Murdered Male Soldiers and Veterans (November 19, 2017)

Full Episode: Dark Secrets are the stock-in-trade of Deadly Women -Dark Secrets, Deadly Women (S2, E4)

‘Black Widow’ Judy Buenoano Executed by the State of Florida for Three Homicides; First Woman to Die by Death Penalty in Florida Since 1848 (March 30, 1998)

Full Episode: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. An army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for the Marital Home & Life Insurance, Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death for First Degree Murder & Executed in Georgia (1997)

Full Episode: An Army Major lay lifeless in his bed, shot twice at close range while sleeping next to his wife. Investigators would soon uncover an intricately planned murder plot involving sex parties, adultery and coercion. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

Army Major David Shannon Murdered by Wife Joan & her Daughter Elizabeth for the Life Insurance; Joan Shannon Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2002)

Full Episode: Marriage is a lifelong commitment of love, and wedding vows. ‘To have and to hold; for better, for worse; until death do us part’. But for these monstrous wives, it was only the vow of ‘death do us part’ they upheld. -To Love and To Murder, Deadly Women (S5, E5)

Maryland Army National Guardsman Charles ‘CJ’ Lewis Murdered Before Deployment to Iraq for Life Insurance; Teresa Lewis Sentenced to Death (2002)

Full Episode: These women burn madly with anger so deep they’ll kill to satisfy it. What makes them turn on the ones they love? Find out as we explore for a lover’s revenge. -Lover’s Revenge, Deadly Women (S5, E17)

Army Veteran Gregg Whitmore and Girlfriend Karen Cummings Stabbed to Death in Home; Ex-Wife Shana Parkinson Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison (2004)

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.

Deadly Women Premiered ‘For the Money Honey’ on Investigation Discovery: Kelly Gissendaner & Lover Murdered Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner (September 26, 2014)

Full Episode: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. An army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Army veteran Doug Gissendaner was murdered by his wife Kelly and her lover Gregory Owen in Auburn, Georgia on February 7, 1997. Doug met his wife Kelly in 1989 in Georgia. Kelly was a party girl and had already been married for six months and divorced when she met Doug. She had a child from her previous marriage and Doug welcomed the child with open arms. Within two months, they were married and then Kelly got pregnant. Doug loved being a father, husband, and family man. Then Doug joined the Army and got stationed overseas in Germany. While Doug was away, Kelly resorted to her old ways and started partying at the clubs on base. Kelly loved being on base with soldiers since the military base was a ready supply of men. It was reported that Kelly was so promiscuous on base that eventually she was asked to leave and her and the children were sent back to the United States. In 1991, Doug returned home from his enlistment in the Army. He decided to forgive his wife and they reunited. Shortly after the reunification, Doug learned that Kelly was pregnant with someone else’s child. He was disappointed to say the least as he wanted to keep his family together. Divorce was inevitable. But after three years of being alone, Doug was desperate to be with his family again. The couple remarried and moved in together. Doug put up with Kelly so he could be a family man and provider to the children. Kelly wanted a house so Doug bought her one. What Doug didn’t realize is that Kelly was having an affair with 25 year old Gregory Owen. Kelly approached Owen about three months prior to the murder and asked him to get rid of Doug. Owen didn’t take her seriously initially and suggested she simply divorce him.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-26-20-pm

Doug Gissendaner, US Army Veteran

On the day of the murder, Kelly drove Owen to her residence in Auburn where he would wait for Doug with a knife and a nightstick that she provided to him. Kelly went out drinking with her friends to establish an alibi. Owen ambushed Doug when he got home and forced him into his own vehicle. He then took him to a remote wooded area where he forced him on his knees, hit him on the head from behind with the nightstick, and stabbed him in the neck ten times. Owen paged Kelly after he was done. Kelly showed up to the crime scene, demanded to see the body, and used gasoline, an accelerant, to set Doug’s car on fire. Kelly Gissendaner reported Doug missing to the police the following day. Investigators suspected Kelly immediately because they believed she was not being truthful. They found Doug’s body eleven days later. Kelly eventually admitted to police that she was having an affair with Gregory Owen and this tip led investigators to the man who would eventually confess to the murder of Doug Gissendaner. Owen was tormented with guilt and felt manipulated and used. As a result, Owen testified at Kelly’s trial that she wanted to cash in on an insurance policy and become the outright owner of the marital home. In exchange for his testimony, Gregory Owen was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty-five years. Kelly Gissendaner maintained her innocence but was found guilty of malice murder and sentenced to death in 1998. She lived her prison life in solitary confinement and was executed by the State of Georgia on September 30th, 2015. Kelly Gissendaner wanted things her way no matter the cost and conveniently had her husband killed after he bought her a house.

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. A middle-aged woman used looks to prey on elderly gentleman; an army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad; and a serial wife cooks up meals to die for. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

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:
Find-A-Grave: Douglas Morgan Gissendaner
Family: Kelly Gissendaner’s murdered husband ‘is the true victim’
Gissendaner v State of Georgia 2000
Kelly Gissendaner execution postponed indefinitely
Sentence upheld against only woman on Georgia’s death row
Georgia’s only female death row inmate to be executed
Only woman on Ga. death row denied clemency, set for execution
Georgia woman’s execution postponed because drugs appeared ‘cloudy’
Kelly Gissendaner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Former Ga. chief justice regrets vote in Gissendaner case
WATCH: Kelly Gissendaner’s 1997 Interview on the Search for Her Husband
Kelly Gissendaner Death Unfair? Boyfriend Gregory Owen Did the Murders, Gets Parole in Eight Years
Georgia Executes Kelly Gissendaner, Renewing Questions About Death Penalty
Kelly Renee Gissendaner got her lover, Gregory Bruce Owen, to kill her husband Doug for the insurance money; She is now on death row
Execution Date Set for Kelly Renee Gissendaner, Convicted of Husband’s Murder
Georgia to execute its first female prisoner in 70 years
Kelly Gissendaner First Woman Executed in Georgia in 70 Years
Children of woman on Ga. death row plead for her life to be spared
Family split over whether Kelly Gissendaner should die tonight
Kelly Gissendaner Left Message for Kids Before Execution Was Postponed
Ga.’s female death row inmate’s last meal request
Georgia death row inmate requests 2 whoppers and more for last meal
Georgia Woman Kelly Gissendaner Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Execution
Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner executed after failed appeals
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner after Supreme Court denies stay requests
Kelly Gissendaner Executed in Georgia After Courts Deny Stay Requests
Kelly Gissendaner executed for planning husband’s murder as man who killed him escapes death sentence
She sang Amazing Grace then the drugs took hold and she stuttered into silence: As the state of Georgia executes its first woman for 70 years, a chilling dispatch from inside the chamber
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner, despite plea from Pope Francis
Detective recounts how he put Kelly Gissendaner on death row
The Premeditated Murder of Kelly Gissendaner
Justice has different meanings for Kelly Gissendaner’s family
Profile of Husband Killer Kelly Gissendaner
First We’ll Kill My Husband by Lyn Riddle (Amazon)
Review of First We’ll Kill My Husband
Kelly Renee Gissendaner Documentary – Female Killers | Deadly Women (S8, E11)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E11)
Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for Marital Home & Life Insurance; Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death & in 2015 Executed in Georgia (February 7, 1997)

Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)

US Army

In 1999, the television program 60 Minutes reported on the hidden War at Home in the U.S. military. They reported that at the time of airing, Pentagon records showed that 58,000 military spouses were victims of domestic violence and that rate was three times higher than the civilian population rate. The overall concerns were that the military justice system was a system that routinely failed to punish even the most violent and abusive servicemen. As a result, it often left an abused spouse alone without protection to fight a secret war. 60 Minutes highlighted the cases of three Fort Campbell soldiers who were charged with killing their wives or girlfriends (Bill Coffin, Dane Zafari, Tracy Leonard) and one Navy spouse who was a victim of domestic violence.

One of the cases singled out was that of Fort Campbell Sergeant Bill Coffin who murdered his ex-fiance Ronnie Spence after a civilian judge granted her an emergency protection order. In December 1997, Sgt. Coffin murdered Ronnie in front of their baby daughter in a shared home near Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Sgt. Coffin shot her twice through the trailer, entered the home and then shot her in the face and through the heart. While Ronnie was lying dead on the floor, Sgt. Coffin emptied the gun into her. Several weeks before the shooting, court records showed that Sgt. Coffin had repeatedly threatened to kill Ronnie and his superior officers at Fort Campbell knew about the threats.

I think they should have confined him to that army base. They should have gotten him some help. They should have stopped him, they should have intervened. They did nothing. -Kathy Spence (mother)

60 Minutes interviewed Kentucky Judge Peter MacDonald who stated that domestic violence cases involving Fort Campbell soldiers routinely showed up in his courtroom. He said that Army commanders regularly ignored court orders issued to protect the abused spouses. Judge MacDonald issued the emergency protective order requiring Sgt. Bill Coffin to stay away from Ronnie Spence. Sgt. Coffin instead shot and killed her. According to 60 Minutes, Sgt. Coffin pleaded guilty to domestic violence and other charges, and was sentenced. Judge MacDonald felt the readiness of the troops was more important than the protection of the battered and abused spouses.

In an in depth investigation, 60 Minutes learned that the Army’s domestic violence guide for commanders listed a number of things that could have been done in Sgt. Bill Coffin’s case but were not. The guide included restricting an abuser to the barracks or assigning them to the quarters of a superior. They also learned that the military spends millions yearly on a Family Advocacy program designed to treat and prevent domestic violence. But Sherry Arnold, a licensed clinical social worker, who helped run the program for the Marines in Camp Pendleton in California, said the Commanders have preconceived notions. She often witnessed victim blaming, minimization, a hands off approach, an ‘it’s a family matter’ attitude, and indifference to the seriousness of the situation and escalating violence.

Robert Clark, the commanding general of Fort Campbell, Ky., where several particularly violent incidents have occurred, said the military does a good job handling domestic violence cases. But Peter MacDonald, chief district court judge in Kentucky with jurisdiction over Fort Campbell, said the Army routinely ignores his court orders designed to protect abused spouses. “They have no conception of what’s going on in domestic violence.” –Deseret News

After the public learned of the scandalous way the U.S. military handles felony crimes like domestic violence, rape, and stalking, the Pentagon was ordered by Congress to investigate domestic violence in the armed forces. Congress recommended stronger protections for battered spouses and stiffer penalties for the servicemen who abuse them. In 2000, Major Joanne P.T. Eldridge suggested a proposal to add anti-stalking provisions to Article 134 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Since 1999 and long before this, domestic violence has continued to be an on-going serious invisible issue in the military. Both military spouses and service members are victims of domestic abuse. The year 60 Minutes aired the ‘The War at Home’ programming, Fort Campbell soldier Barry Winchell was murdered because a couple soldiers suspected he might be gay. Barry’s murder prompted the lift of the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

The year after 60 minutes aired, civilian spouse Michelle Theer conspired with her lover, Army Ranger John Diamond, to kill her husband Air Force Captain Frank Theer for the life insurance money. In 2002, four wives were slain in six weeks at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. They were Teresa Nieves, Jennifer Wright, Andrea Floyd, and Marilyn Griffin. In 2008, Army Lt. Holley Wimunc was abused, stalked, and murdered by her Marine husband. In 2011, Holley’s father advocated for H.R. 1517 sponsored by Representative Bruce Braley. This law was aimed at protecting both domestic violence and sexual assault victims. This law would have required the removal of Commanders from the investigation and prosecution of felony crimes. The Holley Lynn James Act and any subsequent legislation, like the Military Justice Improvement Act, suggesting the removal of the Commander from the processing of felony crimes have been unsuccessful.


Rep. Bruce Braley introduces the Holley Lynn James Act — a bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military get justice. The bill is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Rep. Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service. 

Related Links:
60 Minutes: “The War at Home” (transcript)
Spouse Abuse A Military Problem
Domestic Abuse Reported Higher in Military
Domestic violence in military higher than U.S. average
Stalking and the Military: A Proposal to Add An Anti-Stalking Provision to Article 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice (2000)

Air Force Retiree Dennis Dawley & Mistress Brandita Taliano Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole for the 1991 Bludgeoning Death of Joan Dawley in California (April 15, 1997)

Full Episode: Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. In 1993, when Joan receives an inheritance and makes plans to divorce, Dennis, fearing financial ruin, enlists his lover to help murder his wife. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

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

Investigation Discovery:

Full Episode: There’s an old saying that a burden shared is a burden halved. But when people team up to commit murder, the weight of their guilt remains just as heavy. Investigators must rely on forensic science to capture partners in crime. -Partners in Crime, New Detectives (S5, E2)

Preview: Brandita Taliano of Los Angeles, California wanted to live the high life. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

ID Go: Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

ID Go: In suburban California, an intruder brutally attacks and kills Joan Dawley. As the Dawley family grieves, it’s up to LAPD detectives to crack the case. Secret home movies uncover a shocking tale of deceit, and a monster lurking behind the scenes. -Stages of Grief, American Monster (S3, E1)

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:
Murder Suspects’ Trip Tipped Off Police : Slaying: Widower visited Las Vegas with mistress two days after his wife’s death. The pair are now charged in the killing. (1997)
American Monster: Meet Dennis Dawley – Air Force Vet, Golf Pro & Brutal Wife Killer
Man, 61, Testifies in Wife’s 1991 Slaying (1997)
Husband, Former Mistress Get Life in Wife’s Slaying (1997)
BRANDITA TALIANO, Plaintiff, v. D. L. JOHNSON, et al., Defendant. | United States District Court, E.D. California. | May 14, 2014
The New Detectives: Season 5 – Ep 2 “Partners in Crime”
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape | Deadly Women (S8, E10)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday | Deadly Women
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E10)
Brandita Taliano Documentary | Female Killers (Deadly Women)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)
Psycho For Love: Dennis Dawley and his mistress, Brandita Taliano, killed his wife, Joan Dawley for the money
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano (Season 1: Ep. 2) (2013)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)

Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for Marital Home & Life Insurance; Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death & in 2015 Executed in Georgia (February 7, 1997)

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-8-26-20-pm

Doug Gissendaner, US Army Veteran

Army veteran Doug Gissendaner was murdered by his wife Kelly and her lover Gregory Owen in Auburn, Georgia on February 7, 1997. Doug met his wife Kelly in 1989 in Georgia. Kelly was a party girl and had already been married for six months and divorced when she met Doug. She had a child from her previous marriage and Doug welcomed the child with open arms. Within two months, they were married and then Kelly got pregnant. Doug loved being a father, husband, and family man. Then Doug joined the Army and got stationed overseas in Germany. While Doug was away, Kelly resorted to her old ways and started partying at the clubs on base. Kelly loved being on base with soldiers since the military base was a ready supply of men. It was reported that Kelly was so promiscuous on base that eventually she was asked to leave and her and the children were sent back to the United States. In 1991, Doug returned home from his enlistment in the Army. He decided to forgive his wife and they reunited. Shortly after the reunification, Doug learned that Kelly was pregnant with someone else’s child. He was disappointed to say the least as he wanted to keep his family together. Divorce was inevitable. But after three years of being alone, Doug was desperate to be with his family again. The couple remarried and moved in together. Doug put up with Kelly so he could be a family man and provider to the children. Kelly wanted a house so Doug bought her one. What Doug didn’t realize is that Kelly was having an affair with 25 year old Gregory Owen. Kelly approached Owen about three months prior to the murder and asked him to get rid of Doug. Owen didn’t take her seriously initially and suggested she simply divorce him.

On the day of the murder, Kelly drove Owen to her residence in Auburn where he would wait for Doug with a knife and a nightstick that she provided to him. Kelly went out drinking with her friends to establish an alibi. Owen ambushed Doug when he got home and forced him into his own vehicle. He then took him to a remote wooded area where he forced him on his knees, hit him on the head from behind with the nightstick, and stabbed him in the neck ten times. Owen paged Kelly after he was done. Kelly showed up to the crime scene, demanded to see the body, and used gasoline, an accelerant, to set Doug’s car on fire. Kelly Gissendaner reported Doug missing to the police the following day. Investigators suspected Kelly immediately because they believed she was not being truthful. They found Doug’s body eleven days later. Kelly eventually admitted to police that she was having an affair with Gregory Owen and this tip led investigators to the man who would eventually confess to the murder of Doug Gissendaner. Owen was tormented with guilt and felt manipulated and used. As a result, Owen testified at Kelly’s trial that she wanted to cash in on an insurance policy and become the outright owner of the marital home. In exchange for his testimony, Gregory Owen was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty-five years. Kelly Gissendaner maintained her innocence but was found guilty of malice murder and sentenced to death in 1998. She lived her prison life in solitary confinement and was executed by the State of Georgia on September 30th, 2015. Kelly Gissendaner wanted things her way no matter the cost and conveniently had her husband killed after he bought her a house.

Investigation Discovery:

Full Episode: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. An army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

ID Go: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. A middle-aged woman used looks to prey on elderly gentleman; an army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad; and a serial wife cooks up meals to die for. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Related Links:
Find-A-Grave: Douglas Morgan Gissendaner
Family: Kelly Gissendaner’s murdered husband ‘is the true victim’
Gissendaner v State of Georgia 2000
Kelly Gissendaner execution postponed indefinitely
Sentence upheld against only woman on Georgia’s death row
Georgia’s only female death row inmate to be executed
Only woman on Ga. death row denied clemency, set for execution
Georgia woman’s execution postponed because drugs appeared ‘cloudy’
Kelly Gissendaner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Former Ga. chief justice regrets vote in Gissendaner case
WATCH: Kelly Gissendaner’s 1997 Interview on the Search for Her Husband
Kelly Gissendaner Death Unfair? Boyfriend Gregory Owen Did the Murders, Gets Parole in Eight Years
Georgia Executes Kelly Gissendaner, Renewing Questions About Death Penalty
Kelly Renee Gissendaner got her lover, Gregory Bruce Owen, to kill her husband Doug for the insurance money; She is now on death row
Execution Date Set for Kelly Renee Gissendaner, Convicted of Husband’s Murder
Georgia to execute its first female prisoner in 70 years
Kelly Gissendaner First Woman Executed in Georgia in 70 Years
Children of woman on Ga. death row plead for her life to be spared
Family split over whether Kelly Gissendaner should die tonight
Kelly Gissendaner Left Message for Kids Before Execution Was Postponed
Ga.’s female death row inmate’s last meal request
Georgia death row inmate requests 2 whoppers and more for last meal
Georgia Woman Kelly Gissendaner Sings ‘Amazing Grace’ During Execution
Georgia inmate Kelly Gissendaner executed after failed appeals
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner after Supreme Court denies stay requests
Kelly Gissendaner Executed in Georgia After Courts Deny Stay Requests
Kelly Gissendaner executed for planning husband’s murder as man who killed him escapes death sentence
She sang Amazing Grace then the drugs took hold and she stuttered into silence: As the state of Georgia executes its first woman for 70 years, a chilling dispatch from inside the chamber
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner, despite plea from Pope Francis
Detective recounts how he put Kelly Gissendaner on death row
The Premeditated Murder of Kelly Gissendaner
Justice has different meanings for Kelly Gissendaner’s family
Profile of Husband Killer Kelly Gissendaner
First We’ll Kill My Husband by Lyn Riddle (Amazon)
Review of First We’ll Kill My Husband
Kelly Renee Gissendaner Documentary – Female Killers | Deadly Women (S8, E11)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E11)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘For the Money Honey’ on Investigation Discovery: Kelly Gissendaner & Lover Murdered Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner (September 26, 2014)