Murder By Numbers Premiered ‘Friend of the Devil’ on ID: Itzcoatl Ocampo Accused of Murdering Six Homeless Men, Dies in Jail (September 4, 2018)

Within a month, four men in Orange County are brutally stabbed by a mysterious man. No one makes a connection to a gruesome double murder of a mother and son two months earlier except the man sitting in prison for killing his own family. -Friend of the Devil, Murder By Numbers (S2, E4)

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Ex-Marine
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: October 25, 2011 – January 13, 2012
Date of arrest: January 13, 2012
Date of birth: 1988
Victims profile: Raquel Estrada (53) and Juan Herrera (34) / James McGillivray (53) / Lloyd “Jim” Middaugh (42) / Paulus Smit (57) / John Barry (64)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Orange County, California, USA
Status: In prison awaiting trial [Suicide]
via Itzcoatl Ocampo | Murderpedia

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.

In the News:

A serial killer is terrorizing the homeless community in Orange County, California. -CNN (January 10, 2012)

OC transients warned about serial killer -TheRealHomelessOCRM (January 18, 2012)

Itzcoatl Ocampo, the 23 year old Iraq War Veteran accused of fatally stabbing four homeless men in a serial killing spree in Orange County is behind bars, and the District Attorney is now characterizing him as a brazen, vicious killer who enjoyed getting media attention. -Garden Grove TV3 (January 19, 2012)

Friends of John Berry, the alleged victim of accused serial kill Itzcoatl Ocampo, braved a steady rain to remember the homeless man. Dozens of marchers took the one-mile route along the Santa Ana River Trail where Berry often stayed. Marisol Gonzalez reports on the impact John Berry had on his community. -Garden Grove TV3 (January 21, 2012)

Investigators with a multi-agency task force announced on Thursday that accused serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo is being investigated in the murder of Juan Herrera and his mother Raquel in their Yorba Linda home last October. The two were stabbed to death according to Lt. Julian Harvey with the Homeless Homicide Task Force. Harvey also confirmed Ocampo is “associated” with a man already in custody for the two murders. He is Eder Giovanni Herrera – brother and son to the victims. Ocampo is accused of planning, stalking and then killing four homeless men during December 2011 and Janurary 2012. -Garden Grove TV3 (February 3, 2012)

The Anaheim Police Department, the OC Rescue Mission and the Vineyard Christian Fellowship joined together for a community event in the wake of serial killings that terrorized North Orange County. With a suspect now in custody, volunteers want to mobilize the community to help the Homeless. Marisol Gonzalez has the story plus an update on new charges leveled against accused serial killer Itzcoatl Ocampo. -Garden Grove TV3 (February 4, 2012)

Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo, 23, held in the deaths of four homeless men, will be arraigned March 16 in the case involving the stabbing deaths of a classmate’s brother and mother. -Orange County Register (February 6, 2012)

Itzcoatl Ocampo is heard from beyond the grave. He explains to an investigator what made him kill. -CBS Los Angeles (May 1, 2014)

Itzcoatl Ocampo, the suspect in a brutal string of slayings of four homeless men had his arraignment delayed until Feb. 17. After the court appearance, Ocampo’s attorney spoke with reporters. -Orange County Register (September 1, 2015)

Related Links:
California police say they’ve caught killer
Suspect in Calif. homeless deaths a former Marine
Father of Itzcoatl Ocampo, suspected serial killer of Calif. homeless, was homeless
Father of Iraq war veteran who ‘killed four homeless men’ is HIMSELF homeless and lives out of a truck in a parking lot
California Homeless Killer Caught Thanks To ‘Donny,’ Heroic Father (VIDEO)
Accused Homeless Killer Was Covered in Blood and Not Mentally Ill, D.A. Says
Iraq veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo charged with homeless deaths
Iraq War veteran Itzcoatl Ocampo charged in serial killings of California homeless
Veteran Charged in Slayings of Four Homeless Men
Iraq war vet charged with first-degree murder in 4 homeless men’s deaths
Itzcoatl Ocampo, Iraq Vet, Charged With The First Degree Murder of Four Homeless Men
Suspect in CA killings returned from Iraq changed
Veteran charged with homeless murders: Hint of larger problem for US military?
2 more murder charges to be filed against suspected OC serial killer
2 new charges for suspect in Calif. homeless killings
Homeless Killer Suspect Accused of 2 More Murders
California homeless serial killer suspect to be tried in September
Transcript: Serial killer suspect stalked victims
‘I knew that I had the killer gene,’ accused Ocampo reveals in OC homeless killings case
Serial Killer’s Twisted Logic: Allegedly Murdered Homeless Victims as Community Service
‘It Had to Be Done,’ Says Admitted O.C. Serial Killer in Newly Released Video
DA to seek death penalty for homeless serial killer
Ex-Marine Accused of OC Homeless Killings Dies in Jail
Former US marine dies in prison awaiting trial for homeless murders
Ex-Marine charged in California homeless killings dies in hospital
California man charged in series of homeless slayings dies in cell before trial
Autopsy on Orange County inmate Itzcoatl Ocampo, suspect in homeless deaths, done but more tests needed
Itzcoatl Ocampo, accused in OC homeless killings, died in custody after swallowing Ajax
Lawyer: Ajax killed suspect in homeless slayings
Ex-Marine Accused Of Killing Homeless In California Dies In Hospital
Ex-Marine Charged In California Homeless Killings Dies In Hospital
Inmate’s Death Raises Questions About Treating PTSD in Jails
Funeral held for man suspected in homeless slayings
Itzcoatl “Izzy” Ocampo Says from the Grave That His Serial Killings of Homeless “Had to be Done:” Video
Natural born killer? Accused serial killer blames ‘kill gene’ for fatally stabbing six in California
How did an accused serial killer poison himself in jail?
Itzcoatl Ocampo | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Video Links:
Serial killer targets homeless men
OC transients warned about serial killer
Suspected Serial Killer Charged
Anaheim Community Healing in Wake of Serial Killings
Victim of Serial Killer Remembered
Anaheim Police Release Confession Tapes Of OC Serial Killer
Homeless slaying suspect reads Dr Seuss to little sister – 2012-01-16
Admitted Serial Killer explains why he killed homeless men
Attorney: Serial killings suspect was wrapped in ‘suicide blanket’
Admitted serial killer talks about why he kills
Suspect in serial homeless killings faces more charges
Is A Suspected Serial Killer Guilty of Earlier Crimes?
Izzy Ocampo Autopsy
Friend of the Devil | Murder By Numbers | Investigation Discovery (S2, E4)

August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (August 31, 2017)

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August Casualties Reports from September 11, 2001 to Present:

August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2002)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2003)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2004)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2006)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2009)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2010)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2011)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2012)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2013)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2014)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2015)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2016)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2017)

Total Non Combat Deaths in August from 2001 to Present: 152

    • Medical: 9 (6%)
    • Accidents: 9 (6%)
    • Vehicle Accidents: 26 (17%)
    • Helicopter Crashes: 58 (38%)
    • Non Combat Related Incidents: 45 (30%)
    • Unspecified Causes: 5 (3%)

Total Combat Deaths in August from 2001 to Present:

Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers 2001 to Present:

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

Total Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers 2001 to Present:

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2003 (22):

07/31/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: James Lambert III, 22, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/05/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Loyd, 44, NCD, Kuwait, Tennessee Army National Guard

08/05/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Farao Letufuga, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/06/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Zeferino Colunga, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

08/06/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Leonard Simmons, 33, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/07/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Duane Longstreth, 19, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/08/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Bush, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/08/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brandon Ramsey, 21, NCD, Iraq, Illinois Army National Guard

08/09/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Floyd Knighten Jr, 55, and Levi Kinchen, 21, NCDs, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

08/11/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Perry, 36, NCD, Iraq, California Army National Guard

08/12/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Richard Eaton Jr, 37, NCD, Iraq, Fort Meade, Maryland

08/12/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Daniel Parker, 18, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/14/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Kirchhoff, 31, NCD, Iraq, Iowa Army National Guard

08/20/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kenneth Harris, Jr, 23, NCD, Tennessee Army Reserve

08/21/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Adams, 20, NCD, Iraq, Baumholder, Germany

08/21/2003:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Kylan Jones-Huffman, 31, NCD, Iraq, I Marine Expeditionary Force

08/23/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Stephen Scott, 21, and Vorn Mack, 19, NCDs, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/25/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Ronald Allen Jr, 22, NCD, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/25/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pablo Manzano, 19, NCD, Iraq, Bamberg, Germany

08/27/2003:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Anthony Sherman, 43, NCD, Kuwait, Pennsylvania Army Reserve

Non Combat Deaths of Male Soldiers in August 2004 (8):

07/30/2004:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Tommy Gray, 34, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/03/2004:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Gregory Ratzlaff, 36, NCD, Iraq, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, California

08/07/2004:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Potter, 22, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/21/2004:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Edward Reeder, 32, NCD, Iraq, Camp Pendleton, California

08/24/2004:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Donald Davis, 42, NCD, Iraq, Ohio Army Reserve

08/27/2004:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Luis Perez, 19, NCD, Iraq, Pennyslvania Army Reserve

08/27/2004:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Omead Razani, 19, NCD, Iraq, Camp Greaves, Korea

08/27/2004:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualtiy: Nickalous Aldrich, 21, NCD, Iraq, Camp Pendleton, California

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2005 (13):

07/30/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jason Scheuerman, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Benning, Georgia

08/02/2005:  DoD Identifies Navy Casualty: Thomas Hull, 41, NCD, Arabian Gulf, USS Princeton, San Diego, California

08/04/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Damian Garza, 19, and John Henderson Jr, 21, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Benning, Georgia

08/05/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brett Walden, 40, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/05/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Robert Derenda, 42, NCD, Iraq, New York Army Reserve

08/11/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeremy Chandler, 30, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/12/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Rusty Bell, 21, NCD, Iraq, Hunter Army Airfield, Georgia

08/15/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Thomas Strickland, 27, Joshua Dingler, 19, and Paul Saylor, 21, NCDs, Iraq, Georgia Army National Guard

08/21/2005:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Elden Arcand, 22, and Brian Morris, 38, NCDs, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2006 (8):

08/05/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Daniel Suplee, 39, NCD, Iraq, Florida Army National Guard

08/07/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Leroy Segura Jr, 23, NCD, Iraq, Fort Benning, Georgia

08/11/2006:  DoD Announces Army Casualties: Steven Mennemeyer, 26, and Jeffery Brown, 25, NCD, Iraq, Fort Riley, Kansas

08/24/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Ruben Villa Jr, 36, NCD, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait

08/29/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jeffrey Hansen, 31, NCD, Iraq, Nebraska Army National Guard

08/29/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Darry Benson, 46, NCD, Kuwait, North Carolina Army National Guard

08/30/2006:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Schneider, 23, NCD, Iraq, Wiesbaden, Germany

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2007 (30):

08/06/2007:  DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty: Joey Link, 29, NCD, Germany, Dyess Air Force Base, Texas

08/10/2007:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Reynold Armand, 21, NCD, Iraq, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

08/13/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Joan Duran, 24, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/13/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Alan Austin, 21, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/15/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Alicia Birchett, 29, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/16/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Christopher Johnson, 31, Jackie McFarlane Jr, 30, Sean Fisher, 29, Stanley Reynolds, 37, and Steven Jewell, 26, NCD, Iraq, Fort Wainwright, Alaska

08/20/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Fielder, 35, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/20/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Paul Norris, 30, and Kamisha Block, 20, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/22/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: George Libby, 23, NCD, Afghanistan, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

08/23/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Derek Dobogal, 26, Jason Paton, 25, Garrett McLead, 23, Jeremy Boufard, 21, Phillip Brodnick, 25, Joshua Harmon, 20, Nathan Hubbard, 21, Michael Hook, 25, Jessy Pollard, 22, and Tyler Seideman, 20, NCD, Iraq, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

08/23/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Corry Tyler, 29, Paul Flynn, 28, Matthew Tallman, 30, Rickey Bell, 21, NCD, Iraq, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

08/25/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Scott Carney, 37, NCD, Afghanistan, Iowa Army National Guard

08/25/2007:  DoD Identifies Army Casualties: Daniel Miller, 43, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Riley, Kansas

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2008 (13):

08/04/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Kevin Dickson, 21, NCD, Iraq, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/04/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Andre Mitchell, 25, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/04/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jennifer Cole, 34, NCD, Iraq, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/05/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Brian Miller, 37, NCD, Iraq, Indiana Army National Guard

08/06/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Timothy Hutton, 21, NCD, Iraq, Bamberg, Germany

08/06/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Ronald Schmidt, 18, NCD, Iraq, Kansas Army National Guard

08/07/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Errol James, 29, NCD, Afghanistan, Grafenwoehr, Germany

08/09/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Danny Maybin, 47, NCD, Kuwait, Fort McPherson, Georgia

08/11/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: John Mattox, 23, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Hood, Texas

08/19/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Janelle King, 23, NCD, Iraq, Fort Polk, Louisiana

08/19/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Jonathon Luscher, 20, NCD, Afghanistan, Pennsylvania Army National Guard

08/20/2008:  DoD Identifies Marine Casualty: Travis Stottlemyer, 20, NCD, Bahrain, Marine Corps Security Forces, Norfolk, Va

08/24/2008:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Paquet, 26, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Hood, Texas

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2009 (7):

08/05/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Keiffer Wilhelm, 19, NCD, Iraq, Fort Bliss, Texas

08/10/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Tara Smith, 33, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/10/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Swanson, 20, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Drum, New York

08/11/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Richard Walters Jr, 41, NCD, Kuwait, Fort Benning, Georgia

08/20/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Hastings, 23, NCD, Iraq, Fort Hood, Texas

08/20/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Paul Dumont, Jr, 23, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Eustis, Virginia

08/26/2009:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Darby Morin, 25, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Drum, New York

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2010 (0):

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2011 (35):

08/05/2011:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Barun Rai, 24, NCD, Afghanistan, Bamberg, Germany

08/06/2011:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Jinsu Lee, 34, NCD, Afghanistan, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

08/11/2011:  DOD Identifies 3 US Air Force Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash: John Brown, 33, Andrew Harvell, 26, and Daniel Zerbe, 28, NCDs, Afghanistan, Pope Field, North Carolina

08/11/2011:  DOD Identifies 5 US Army Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash: David Carter, 47, Bryan Nichols, 31, Patrick Hamburger, 30, Alexander Bennett, 24, and Spencer Duncan, 21, NCDs, Afghanistan, Army General Support Aviation Battalion

08/11/2011:  DOD Identifies 2 US Navy Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash: Jesse Pittman, 27, and Nicholas Spehar, 24, NCDs, Afghanistan, West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare

08/11/2011:  DOD Identifies 20 US Navy Service Members Killed In CH-47 Crash: Jonas Kelsall, 29, Louis Langlais, 44, Thomas Ratzlaff, 34, Kraig Vickers, 36, Brian Bill, 31, John Faas, 31, Kevin Houston, 35, Matthew Mason, 37, Stephen Mills, 35, Nicholas Hull, 30, Robert Reeves, 32, Heath Robinson, 34, Darrik Benson, 28, Christopher Campbell, 36, Jared Day, 28, John Douangdara, 26, Michael Strange, 25, Jon Tumilson, 35, Aaron Vaughn, 30, and Jason Workman, 32, NCDs, Afghanistan, East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare

08/15/2011:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Joe Cunningham, 27, NCD, Afghanistan, Oklahoma Army National Guard

08/17/2011:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Dennis Jensen, 21, NCD, Afghanistan, South Dakota Army National Guard

08/17/2011:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Joshua Seals, 21, NCD, Afghanistan, Oklahoma Army National Guard

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2012 (10):

08/20/2012:  DOD Identifies 1 Navy Casualty in Helicopter Crash: Sean Carson, 32, NCDs, Afghanistan, EOD, San Diego, California

08/20/2012:  DOD Identifies 2 Navy Casualties in Helicopter Crash: Patrick Feeks, 28, and David Warsen, 27, NCDs, Afghanistan, West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare

08/20/2012:  DOD Identifies 4 Army Casualties in Helicopter Crash: Brian Hornsby, 37, Suresh Krause, 29, Richard Essex, 23, and Luis Oliver Galbreath, NCDs, Afghanistan, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

08/21/2012:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: David V. Williams, 24, NCD, Afghanistan, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

08/26/2012:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Patricia Horne, 20, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/28/2012:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Jessica Wing, 42, NCD, Kuwait, Maine Army National Guard

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2013 (1):

08/20/2013:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Timothy Santos Jr, 29, NCD, Kuwait, Fort Bliss, Texas

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2014 (2):

08/04/2014:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Girard Gass Jr, 33, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/24/2014:  DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Mulalley, 26, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Hood, Texas

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2015 (0):

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2016 (2):

Aug. 6, 2016: DOD Identifies Air Force Casualty: Flando Jackson, 45, NCD, Qatar, Washington Air National Guard

Aug. 14, 2016: DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Wilbur, 36, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Carson, Colorado

Non Combat Deaths of Soldiers in August 2017 (1):

August 3, 2017: DoD Identifies Air Force Casualty: David Board, 49, NCD, Kuwait, West Virginia Air National Guard

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Love Leaves Town’ on Investigation Discovery: Carmen Montelongo Wanted Samuel Wiggins Money, Not Him (November 25, 2016)

ID Go: With hearts of stone, these Deadly Women give their men special send-offs when “Love Leaves Town.” -Love Leaves Town, Deadly Women (S10, E12)

Oxygen:

A mysterious disappearance leads police to a woman pushing a trash can full of body parts down the street. -Carmen Montelongo, Snapped (S16, E4)

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:
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E12)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (S16,E4)
Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (Amazon)
Army Veteran Samuel Wiggins Jr. Stabbed to Death by Girlfriend; Carmen Montelongo Found Guilty & Sentenced to 26 Years to Life in Prison (May 29, 2011)
Snapped Premiered ‘Carmen Montelongo’ on Oxygen: Gold Digger Kills & Dismembers Samuel Wiggins Jr., Drains Bank Accounts (September 27, 2015)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

A 2011 Documentary Gives You an Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the US Army: On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq


U.S. Army Ranger John Needham, who was awarded two purple hearts and three medals for heroism, wrote to military authorities in 2007 reporting war crimes that he witnessed being committed by his own command and fellow soldiers in Al Doura, Iraq. His charges were supported by atrocity photos which, in the public interest, are now released in this video. John paid a terrible price for his opposition to these acts. His story is tragic. –On the Dark Side in Al Doura

After watching the 2011 documentary ‘On the Dark Side in Al Doura’ which profiles the case of Army Private John Needham, one can clearly observe the similarities to ‘The Kill Team’ PBS documentary released in 2014. On the Dark Side in Al Doura interviewed Michael Needham, the father of John Needham, who was an Army whistleblower from Fort Carson, Colorado and reported witnessing war crimes and atrocities in Iraq; The Kill Team profiled Adam Winfield, an Army whistleblower from Fort Lewis, Washington who witnessed and tried to report the same war crimes and atrocities in Afghanistan. For the sake of preservation, both John Needham and Adam Winfield admitted feeling pressured to conform or risk their own lives if they didn’t. They both felt like they were being set up to die or participate in the war crimes. Both soldiers at times felt like suicide was their only way out because there was no safe place for them to report overseas nor could they escape the situation. If they made it out of the war zone alive, the return home didn’t fair well for them. The PBS documentary  ‘The Wounded Platoon’ released in 2010 reveals the impacts the wars overseas had on Fort Carson soldiers. After watching these three documentaries, it’s clear why our soldier’s combat experiences traumatized and changed some of them. They not only had to fight a credible threat on the battlefields but some were betrayed by the very team they depended on for their lives.

Michael Needham takes us through the series of events that occurred in the course of John’s short Army career. He shared how John was the fifth generation in the family to fight in a war. John volunteered to join the Army in the spring of 2006, went to Fort Benning, Georgia for training, and then got stationed at Fort Carson. John was an Army Ranger assigned to the 212th, 2nd Combat Team, 12th Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division. He was part of the infamous team known as the ‘Lethal Warriors’ which now appears to be disbanded. Part of his initiation into his new band of brothers was fighting other soldiers to determine where one fell in the pecking order. John held his own in the fights and was respected for his wins. According to John, the soldiers that didn’t fair so well in the fights were ‘smoked’ by leadership and peers, which ultimately forced them to leave, quit, or commit suicide. In October of 2006 John was deployed with his Fort Carson team to Al Doura, Iraq. His team was assigned to the Quarter Cav which was known for having some of the deadliest fights in the Iraq war.

John was a good soldier. He worked hard, saved lives in Iraq, and was awarded three medals for heroism and two Purple Hearts. John excelled as part of team, was brave, and his resilience was admirable. But during the course of John’s deployment, he witnessed war crimes and other atrocities committed by leadership and his fellow soldiers that affected his morale. John would also admit that initially he wasn’t quiet about it and when he did question superiors, he was told he didn’t have the right to question leadership. He didn’t dare report the war crimes via e-mail or telephone because he knew leadership could monitor everything. So for the sake of preservation and life’s sake, he did what he had to do to get by and stay alive. John would share that the Army was short of personnel so most of the soldiers got driven into the ground and deprived of sleep. After awhile John felt that he was forced into committing war atrocities that were illegal but feared if he didn’t do it, he would become a liability to the team and ultimately a casualty of his own people.

One night John was sent out on a mission with a Lieutenant (who did not commit war crimes yet remained silent). John thought this was unusual because they didn’t usually get sent out in pairs. They were ambushed by three shooters in the middle of the night who were determined to see them dead. When the shooting began, John pushed the Lieutenant to safety and kept the shooters at bay. He shot every round he had and when he was almost out of ammunition, he called the 212th for back-up on the radio but nobody answered him. Luckily another team was nearby who did answer him and was able to extract the soldiers from the situation and save their lives. It would be this incident that would break John’s spirit. He immediately suspected that he and the other soldier were sent on this mission to be killed. When he got back to the base, he began yelling “Why did you set us up?” And “If you want to kill me, kill me to my face!” But nobody acknowledged him so he went back to his tent where he decided that he would commit suicide. John was exhausted, irate, and he saw no way out. He didn’t want to live anymore. He felt that committing suicide was his only way out. John put a handgun to his head but just as he got ready to pull the trigger, his roommate dove and pushed the gun away from his head. The gun discharged and put a hole in the wall. Soldiers immediately began ascending upon the area. According to John, once leadership learned what happened, they held him down and beat him then locked him in captivity in a small room. The Battalion Commander was the one who kept John captive yet he didn’t press any formal charges.

John’s father Michael learned through John’s friends in Afghanistan that John was being held captive by the Battalion Commander. They were concerned about him. John’s family was already concerned about John’s earlier e-mails and posts on MySpace because it sounded like he had given up, which was not like him. With this information Michael Needham contacted Army commands, Fort Carson, Congressional leaders and the Army Inspector General (IG). He reports that the only office that took him seriously at the time was the IG. Michael was trying to save his son’s life. He told the IG that he didn’t want him to die. The IG’s office shared a list of rights for both John and Michael. And it was at this time Michael learned that he had third party rights and could intervene and act on John’s behalf. Michael was finally able to get in touch with the Battalion Commander only to learn that John was being treated like a criminal. The Battalion Commander informed Michael that John committed crimes and was being sent to prison in Kuwait. But Michael was able to intervene and get the Command to send him to medical instead. Medical determined that John was severely injured both physically and mentally. He had significant back injuries from the multiple explosions and blasts, shrapnel in his body, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Army medical in Iraq referred John to medical in Germany and from there he would be sent to Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the states. But not before the Battalion Commander would put up one more roadblock. Instead, Michael Needham won this battle and John was flown to Germany.

Eventually, John was sent to Ward 54 which is the psychiatric ward at Walter Reed. Michael shared that John appeared to like the psychiatric help he was getting. A month into John’s stay at Walter Reed, he was informed that the Iraq Battalion Commander contacted the 212th Command in Colorado and requested that John be sent back to Fort Carson where he was facing criminal charges including unlawful discharge of a weapon. They were making him go and sent armed guards to accompany him back to Fort Carson. Michael Needham tried to intervene with the 212th at Fort Carson but they said they couldn’t do anything because they had orders from the Battalion Commander. John was sent back to Fort Carson and the harassment he endured in Iraq continued with the 212th in Colorado. John shared that they mentally tortured him, banged on his barracks door, stole his things, and isolated him. It was at this time Michael elicited the help of a veteran advocate Andrew Pogany who went to the command in Colorado and held these people personally accountable. Andrew helps soldiers in John’s situation because he understands how important it is to intervene. John could not get the kind of help that he needed at Fort Carson. Michael shared that the soldiers could see a professional once a week if they were suicidal and once a month if they were not. John’s father wanted him transferred to a Naval Medical Center in San Diego for intensive treatment and so he could be closer to home. Andrew helped make that happen.

Michael began to understand the impacts the war had on his son after John got back to California. John couldn’t handle driving above 35 mph, was suspicious of trash on the side of the road, and was easily startled by loud noises. He could not function in public and suffered with what is known as flashbacks. The Naval Medical Center in San Diego recommended that John get surgery on his back right away. They warned him that he could become paralyzed if he didn’t get the surgery. In the meantime Johns father spoke candidly with one of the Navy doctors about the treatment John received both in Iraq and at Fort Carson. He reiterated that he was concerned about his well being and asked him to help him find a way to prevent John from being sent back to Fort Carson, Colorado. Michael Needham feared that if John got sent back to Fort Carson that he would not return. This doctor agreed to help John. And Andrew Pogany recommended that John report the war crimes to the Army in an effort to protect John from being complicit and implicated in the future. John reported to the Army that he witnessed both leadership and peers killing innocent Iraqi civilians during the October 2006 to October 2007 timeframe in and around Al Doura. It wasn’t long after John made the report that all the charges against him were dropped and Fort Carson gave the necessary approval to transfer him to Balboa Naval Command. John went in front of the medical board and was medically retired for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and back injuries. He was discharged honorably from the Army. The Army investigated John’s claims but concluded that no war crimes were committed.

Michael and John won a lot of battles with the US Army but soon they would lose the war. Just days after John was discharged from the Army, he would be accused of beating his new girlfriend to death with his bare hands. John Needham was charged with the murder of Jacqwelyn Villagomez and jailed for ten months until his family raised enough money to get him out on bail. John was not given treatment while jailed so the family was motivated to get him out so he could get the treatment he needed. John did in fact follow through with getting treatment and he learned a lot about himself in the process. He spent some time on camera talking about how the combat stress and the betrayal from his team impacted him. He talked about how he didn’t realize the significant impacts from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. John recognized how PTSD and TBI did in fact play a role in his fight or flight response mechanisms and that it may be because these conditions went untreated that he disocciated, snapped and beat his girlfriend to death. The two were in a heated argument after Jacqwelyn attacked one of John’s female friends. Both of them were volatile but unfortunately there were no witnesses to the event as John’s friend was outside the home calling the police to report Jacqwelyn. While John was awaiting trial, he went to Arizona to get another surgery and visit with his mom. On February 19, 2010 following treatment at the Department of Veterans Affairs, John would be found dead in his room from an overdose on painkillers. The cause of death at autopsy was considered undetermined and it is unclear if John accidentally overdosed or committed suicide.

Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, M.D. (Ret.), a former top military psychiatrist who until recently was a consultant to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told us: “[TBI ]most sensitively affects executive functioning, that part of the brain that we use for judgment and we use for decision making … when we are in situations of intense emotion. So if a person is affected neurologically … they don’t have the controls that they had before. … They can’t think as clearly. …They are really vulnerable to just reacting, overreacting, particularly maybe doing something that they had done when they’d been in combat.” –The Wounded Platoon

As a parent, Michael Needham has questions for the Army. Why don’t they even recognize the problem? Why don’t they take care of the soldiers? And why did they leave his son John Needham behind? The documentary ‘On the Dark Side in Al Doura’ concludes with the reminder that since the Patriot Act was passed and Dick Cheney declared that we needed to go into the shadows, the definition of torture has been blurred. The Abu Ghraib prisoner torture and abuse scandal erupted under the Bush administration in 2003 but no war crimes have been investigated under President Barack Obama’s administration. If the rule of law has been lost, what do we have? Our military personnel have a responsibility to abide by the rules established by the Geneva Conventions. John Needham and Adam Winfield both reported witnessing innocent civilians murdered by their fellow leadership and peers in Iraq and Afghanistan. They both also shared the impact the crimes had on their mental health and morale. They wished they could have reported the crimes to someone who would have listened and understood that their lives were in danger. We can learn a lot from John Needham and Adam Winfield; they have experienced what it’s like to be a whistleblower in the US Army. They have clearly illustrated what toxic leadership in the Army looks like and how whistleblowers in the US military have nowhere to turn.

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Private John Needham, US Army

Related Links:
Dateline NBC Mystery: Private Needhams War
PBS Documentary: The Wounded Platoon
On the Dark Side in Al Doura: A Soldier in the Shadows
PBS Documentary: The Kill Team
The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy
Retired Army Pvt John Needham Beat his Girlfriend Jacqwelyn Villagomez to Death, Then Died of an Overdose on Painkillers Awaiting Murder Trial (2008)
Honoring Jacqwelyn Villagomez who Died at the Hands of Retired Army Private John Needham (2008)

Snapped Premiered ‘Carmen Montelongo’ on Oxygen: Gold Digger Kills & Dismembers Samuel Wiggins Jr., Drains Bank Accounts (September 27, 2015)

A mysterious disappearance leads police to a woman pushing a trash can full of body parts down the street. -Carmen Montelongo, Snapped (S16, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

With hearts of stone, these Deadly Women give their men special send-offs when “Love Leaves Town.” -Love Leaves Town, Deadly Women (S10, E12)

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:
Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (S16,E4)
Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (Amazon)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E12)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Army Veteran Samuel Wiggins Jr. Stabbed to Death by Girlfriend; Carmen Montelongo Found Guilty & Sentenced to 26 Years to Life in Prison (May 29, 2011)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Love Leaves Town’ on Investigation Discovery: Carmen Montelongo Wanted Samuel Wiggins Money, Not Him (November 25, 2016)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Good Fences Make Dead Neighbors’ on ID: Paul Tracey Created a Kill Zone & Fatally Shot Anthony Davis (May 4, 2015)

ID Go: Instead of a brand new start, a man’s move to Canyon Country, California, finds him locked in a bizarre and increasingly acrimonious eight year feud with his neighbor –that is finally resolved with blasts from a shotgun. -Good Fences Make Dead Neighbors, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E4)

Date: September 24, 2011
Homicide Victim: Anthony ‘Tony’ Davis, disabled, teacher
Offender: Lennie Paul Tracey, 51, Army veteran (self-described), disabled
Location: Santa Clarita, California
Circumstances: Escalating neighborhood dispute, Paul created a military kill zone on his property, Paul lured Tony and shot him twice, homicide, Paul stated he discharged weapon in anger, claimed he was an Army veteran (incriminated self), obsessed with what neighbors were up to, paranoid, video recording revealed premeditated murder
Disposition: Paul Tracey claimed self-defense, found guilty of first degree murder, sentenced to 50 years in prison for Tony’s homicide and 14 years in prison for threatening to kill Cindy Davis

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:
Anthony Davis, 51 [Update]
Canyon Country Man Murdered
Canyon Country Man Murdered Over Neighborhood Dispute
Man allegedly killed neighbor over years-long dispute in Santa Clarita
Man Killed Outside His Home, Neighbor Suspected
Man allegedly kills neighbor in dispute over lights
Kill Thy Neighbor: Canyon Country Man Murdered
Valley News: Neighbor Killing (San Fernando)
Neighbors’ feud over lights leads to murder charge
Wife of alleged murderer takes the stand
Canyon Country man found guilty of murder
Man convicted of killing neighbor in feud over lights
Canyon Country man guilty of killing neighbor after feud over lighting
Lennie Paul Tracey Convicted of Murdering Neighbor Anthony Jay Davis
Sentencing of Canyon Country Murderer Delayed
Canyon Country Shotgun Killer Gets 50 to Life
Canyon Country Man Receives 64 Years For Murder, Assault Charges
Anthony Davis’s neighbor Lennie Paul Tracey shot him twice with a shotgun after dispute escalated – Fear Thy Neighbor
Lennie Paul Tracey | True Crime Stories
Good Fences Make Dead Neighbors | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S2, E4)
Good Fences Make Dead Neighbors | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Good Fences Make Dead Neighbors | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery