ProPublica Published ‘Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy’ (February 6, 2019)

This is footage from the deck of the USS Fitzgerald, a U.S. Navy destroyer, of the moments immediately after it was struck by cargo ship MV ACX Crystal, in the South China Sea around 1:30 a.m. on June 17, 2017. The picture goes dark for a second as the Crystal hits, then the Fitz is knocked into a 360-degree rotation. 7 sailors died. Our investigation found that the collision was preventable. Read the investigation here -ProPublica

ProPublica:
Part I: Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by its Own Navy
Part II: Years of Warnings, Then Death & Disaster: How the Navy Failed Its Sailors
In Navy Disasters, Neglect, Mistakes, and 17 Lost Sailors (Snapshot of Sailors)
How We Investigated the Navy’s Twin Disasters in the Pacific
Senate Committee Grills Navy Official Over 2017 Collisions, Seeking Data to Prove Conditions Have Changed
Exclusive: Footage of USS Fitzgerald After Collision w/ ACX Crystal (YouTube)

USS Fitzgerald Casualties (June 17, 2017):
Shingo Douglass, 25
Noe Hernandez, 26
Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25
Xavier Martin, 24
Gary Rehm Jr., 37
Dakota Rigsby, 19
Carlos Victor Sibayan, 23

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

USS John McCain Casualties (August 21, 2017):
Kevin Bushell, 26
Dustin Doyon, 26
Jacob Drake, 21
Timothy Eckels, 23
Charles Findley, 31
John Hoagland, 20
Corey Ingram, 28
Abraham Lopez, 39
Logan Palmer, 23
Kenneth Smith, 22

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In the News:

An investigation with our reporting partners at ProPublica into the 2017 collisions of U.S.S. Fitzgerald and U.S.S. McCain suggest that the Navy had ignored warnings, and postponed critical training and repairs before those deadly accidents. -NBC News

A ProPublica investigation revealed new details into two separate collisions of the U.S.S. Fitzgerald and John S. McCain that led to the deaths of 17 sailors. Robert Faturechi was one of the authors of the investigation, and joined CBSN to discuss their findings. -CBS News

Related Links:
Investigation Into Fatal Navy Collisions Reveals Failures In Repairs And Training
Investigation reveals new details about two 2017 naval ship crashes
The seven sailors who died in USS Fitzgerald collision
10 Who Served at Sea: The Sailors Who Went Missing in the Navy Collision
USS Fitzgerald Victims: Photos to Remember the Sailors’ Lives
ACX Crystal: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Bryce Benson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
USS Fitzgerald officer pleads guilty to role in deadly collision
Former USS John S. McCain commander pleads guilty in plea deal, will retire
Defense team: Navy brass made it impossible for former Fitzgerald skipper to get fair trial
No dismissal in court-martial of USS Fitzgerald commander
Fitzgerald, McCain collisions: Are the right people being held to account?
On This Day: Seven Sailors Died After the U.S. Navy Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Collided with the Container Ship ACX Crystal Off the Coast of Japan (June 17, 2017)

Timeline: Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler and Army Vet Scott Weinhold Reported Missing at Belton Lake on Fort Hood; After Search Launched, Both Recovered in Water (January 21, 2019)

Belton Lake 2

Belton Lake, Fort Hood, Texas (Photo: Hunter Davis, KXXV)

Fort Hood History:

Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)

Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Unexpectedly Found Dead on Post 3 Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (November 3, 2016)

Army Spc. Darius Cooper Swept Away in Floodwater Crossing at Fort Hood; Body Never Recovered, Military Board Ruled Deceased 2 Months Later (April 11, 2017)

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2019)

Family Support:

The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Bring Scott Weinhold Home on Facebook

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Fundraiser

“Until my son is found, there is no limit to the resources that should be brought. And if that means you have to go over the same area three times, go over the area three times.” -Jennifer Florin (Scott Weinhold’s mother)

Timeline of Events:

Who contacted Fort Hood to inform them of the three missing soldiers who were fishing on Belton Lake? Did they have cell phones? Is their any service in the area? Were their cell phones lost and/or damaged when the canoes capsized? Did authorities find the cell phones? Did the soldier who escaped to safety have a working cell phone. Were the numbers pinged?

January 21, 2019: 

Three men were reported missing in the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area (BLORA). One unidentified Fort Hood soldier was found alive; Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler was found dead in 10 feet of water near shore; and Army veteran Scott Weinhold is still missing, search underway. Fort Hood and the Texas Game Wardens took the lead on the search for Scott. According to Hunter Davis of KXXV, three people went fishing at Belton Lake in two canoes. An unnamed soldier claimed he tipped his canoe and Scott Weinhold and Sgt. Kelton Sphaler tipped their canoes in an attempt to help him. The unnamed soldier was able to swim to safety.

January 22, 2019 (Day 1):

Scott Weinhold 1

Army veteran Scott Weinhold currently missing. Last known location is at Belton Lake, Fort Hood, Texas

Diving team recovers body after canoe accident on Lake Belton (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

“The Morgan’s Point Resort dive team recovered a body [Sgt. Kelton Sphaler] from 10 feet of water at 2 p.m. Tuesday…The body was found on the opposite shore from Sparta Valley Park on Lake Belton…Bernstein [Bell County Game Warden] also said a capsized canoe was located at that bank, and the body was nearby. Sphaler and Scott Weinhold, a Fort Hood veteran, were missing after their canoes overturned on Lake Belton Monday night, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife officials. Another soldier managed to swim back to shore. The three had taken two motorized canoes to Lake Belton…One of the canoes turned over, and during the attempt to save it, the other also capsized.” -KCEN TV

Search crews find belongings of missing man at Belton Lake (KXXV CenTex | 25 ABC | @KXXVNewsNow)

“Weinhold’s family says search teams found his jacket, shoes and tackle box on land Thursday. His wife was called to the area to identify the belongings and she says they belonged to Weinhold. Crews will search the area on land on Friday. They will bring out fresh tracking dogs to help…Weinhold, 25, recently completed four years of military service, stationed in Central Texas. Officials are still searching for his body.” -KXXV CenTex

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 22, 2019)

According to the Fort Hood Fallen, family search teams found Scott’s belongings and Scott’s father was able to identify his belongings on site as part of the search team. First they found his tackle box and about 20 minutes later, they found his coat with the sleeves inside out. The Fort Hood Fallen also learned that a man in the Coast Guard and his wife volunteered to help look for Scott but were turned away by authorities who threatened to arrest them if they violated their directive.

January 23, 2019 (Day 2):

Fort Hood Professionals

Fort Hood retweeted Texas Game Warden on Twitter with note on January 23, 2019.

“Continue search for missing boater on Lake Belton; due to wind and water conditions request all volunteers stay off the lake for safety. Lake access at some boat ramps may be closed. The public is reminded land access to the search area is restricted to authorized personnel only.” @TexasGameWarden

“ATTENTION – Those private citizens who are trying to assist in the search for a missing person around Lake Belton, you can help the most by staying at home. You heart is in the right place, but please let the professionals do their job.” @FortHood

Search continues for 25-year-old Scott Weinhold [Picture] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Update: Hunter Davis KXXV Live on Facebook [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

The search continues tonight for 25-year-old Scott Weinhold [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Search continues on Lake Belton for missing soldier (CenTexProud.com)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (KENS 5 | @KENS5)

#Missing Scott Weinhold, Lake Belton, Belton, TX. 1/21/19 (Texas LostNMissing Facebook)

January 24, 2019 (Day 3):

Kelton Sphaler

Sgt. Kelton Sphaler, US Army

Fort Hood officials release condolence statement for 69th ADA Soldier lost in boating incident (Fort Hood Press Center)

“The three individuals were apparently in motorized canoes which overturned at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Monday while out on the lake. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has led the search and rescue which located two of the three missing boaters from the incident on Lake Belton. They were assisted by several local, state and federal agencies – including Fort Hood emergency services units and are continuing to search for the third boater involved in the incident.” -Fort Hood Press Center

(Editor’s Note: These version of events are what has been reported by the unnamed soldier who was able to swim to safety. His version of events are not confirmed or corroborated.)

Fort Hood Officials identify the man who died on Belton Lake (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood releases statement on soldier lost in boating incident (CenTexProud.com)

“Today, Jennifer Florin says family and friends took part in the search for the first time, searching the area where emergency crews found the body of his friend with their canoe. ‘We had several canines from our agency and we had a couple first responders check on land – where we found shoes, life jackets….and we searched and searched and didn’t find any footprints, anything like that. That would tell us he’s on land,’ Campos explains. Now they think he is in the water somewhere and are now using a tail fish mechanism to find him.” -CenTexProud.com

Fort Hood releases info on soldier who died in Belton Lake boating accident (Killeen Daily Herald | @KDHNews)

Fort Hood sergeant dies in boating accident on Texas lake (Stars And Stripes | @StarsAndStripes)

Scott Weinhold’s mother says crews found his jacket, tackle box and shoes on land (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood asks citizens to stop assisting in search for missing man; ‘let the professionals do their job’ (Central Texas News Now | 25 ABC | KXXV | @KXXVNewsNow)

Fort Hood ask citizens to stop looking for missing Lake Belton man (Missing Persons of America | @JerrieDean)

Search for boater who went missing on Lake Belton continues. -KCEN TV

Search for boater who went missing on Lake Belton continues (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for missing boater; soldier identified (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

Search teams continue search for soldier missing since Lake Belton canoe accident (MSN.com | @MSN)

Search ongoing for missing man at Belton Lake (Killeen Daily Herald | @KDHNews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 24, 2019)

“Please keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. While we absorb the shock of yet another Hood death, especially one where there are conflicting stories, let us not for one second forget veteran Scott Weinhold who, as of now, is still missing.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 25, 2019 (Day 5):

Fort Hood identifies soldier lost in boating incident (Army Times | @ArmyTimes)

Day 4 of the search for Scott Weinhold (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Search continues around Lake Belton for missing boater. -KCENTV

Search continues around Lake Belton for missing boater (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV

Missing boater’s items discovered during search (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Reports: Man from NH is missing in Texas. -WMUR TV

Reports: Man from NH is missing in Texas (WMUR TV YouTube | @WMUR9)

Search continues for missing boater; soldier identified (WMUR 9 | @WMUR9)

Search is on for former NH man in Texas lake following canoeing accident (New Hampshire Union Leader | @UnionLeader)

Parks and Wildlife Dive Team Joins the Search for Scott Weinhold (US 105 New Country | @US105fm)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 25, 2019)

“As you go thru today and the coming days, we ask that you keep Scott Weinhold, who is still missing from the boating accident on Belton Lake, his family, the family of Sgt Kelton Sphaler and all their friends and brothers/sisters in arms at Ft Hood as they navigate this continued search and grief. We also ask for your prayers for Ft Hoods continued cooperation in this VERY important search.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 26, 2019 (Day 5):

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Fundraiser (Facebook)

Family & friends have set up a go fund me (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Funeral arrangements set for soldier found Lake Belton (KWTX | @KWTX)

Funeral arrangements made for Fort Hood SSG killed after Lake Belton canoe accident (KCEN TV | @KCENNews)

Funeral set for Fort Hood SSG. killed after accident on Lake Belton (KENS 5 San Antonio | @KENS5)

January 27, 2019 (Day 6):

SSgt. Kelton Sphaler passed away on January 22, 2019 (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 27, 2019)

“Scott Weinhold is still missing from the fatal boating accident this week, that claimed one Ft Hood Soldiers life. Scott, a native on New Hampshire, served in the Army is an Eagle Scout and a volunteer Fireman. His family has been adamant about making sure their continued access is granted and that they are involved in the search in Belton Lake and in the surrounding area on Ft Hood Property.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 28, 2019 (Day 7):

Funeral arrangements announced for Fort Hood soldier (CenTexProud.com)

Lake Belton fisherman still missing Monday (Temple Daily News | @TDTNews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 28, 2019)

“The Facebook portion of this research, support and advocacy mission started in October of 2016 with a Ft Hood missing soldier. Since then, we have not been as impacted by a missing warrior or his family as much we are right now. Over 1700 of you have joined us in this mission. You are our partners. We know your heart and your power…Tonite and every night until Scott Weinhold is found or returns home safely, our admins will join with his family friends to keep a light on to guide his way. We ask that you join us in doing so and pray to whatever powerful source you hold dear for justice and Scott’s safe return.” -Fort Hood Fallen

January 29, 2019 (Day 8):

Agencies continue search for missing fisherman (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Fake Facebook profile pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)

Fake Facebook account pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Fake Facebook account pretends to help family of man who went missing on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

January 30, 2019 (Day 9):

Drowned Fort Hood soldier mourned at funeral (Temple Daily Telegram | @TDTNews)

Funeral services held Wednesday for Fort Hood soldier who died on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Funeral services held Wednesday for Fort Hood soldier who died on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for Scott Weinhold on Lake Belton. -KCEN TV

Search continues for Scott Weinhold on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)

Search continues for missing Lake Belton boater. -KCEN TV

Search continues for missing Lake Belton boater (KCEN TV YouTube | @KCENTV)
Morgan’s Point Resort dive team now searching for missing Fort Hood soldier (CenTexProud.com)

January 31, 2019 (Day 10):

Scott Weinhold Missing

The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook created this profile picture to assist the family with awareness efforts. Bring Scott Weinhold Home.

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (January 31, 2019)

Keep a Light on to Guide Him Home [Photo] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Bring Scott Weinhold Home Facebook Page

Game Warden says full staff searches pulled back, authorities still looking for Scott Weinhold (Game-Warden.org)

February 1, 2019 (Day 11)

Jennifer Florin & Scott Weinhold

Jennifer Florin of New Hampshire and her son Army veteran Scott Weinhold of Fort Hood, Texas. (Photo: KXXV)

Interview with Jennifer Florin 1 [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Interview with Jennifer Florin 2 [Video] (Hunter Davis, KXXV | @HunterDavisKXXV)

Weekend searches for missing fisherman planned; mother raises questions about incident (Temple Daily Telegram | @tdtnews)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 1, 2019)

“The mission, and the only mission here at Ft Hood Fallen is to advocate for and support our countries warriors and their families at Ft Hood. There will never be another mission. We do not provide formal counseling or formal investigative services. We are always open to having as many partners in this mission of honor as possible to include civilian, law enforcement, first responders, military and governmental resources. These soldiers, first and foremost belong to their families and ultimately to this country and to it’s people. We welcome anyone who feels the same. God Bless our Best.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 2, 2019 (Day 12):

Scott Weinhold 3

Army veteran Scott Weinhold has been missing since January 21, 2019. (Photo: Jennifer Florin)

Day 12 of Scott Weinhold Missing – Update from Mother (Jennifer Florin | Facebook)

“Day 12 begins today. Each day that I wake up, I pray that today is the day that we find you. I pray that someone searching is given the guidance to locate you and bring you back to us. The search continues and I will continue to dig and get answers today! When the moments hit me, that I just can’t breathe, take another step or make another call to dig further, somehow I receive some strength! We will find you!” -Jennifer Florin, Facebook

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 2, 2019)

Keep a Light on to Guide him home!! Please light a candle or keep a light on for Scott Weinhold until he is found. Here is an additional way to help. #BringScottHome

February 3, 2019 (Day 13)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 3, 2019)

“For over a week, the family and authorities have been searching and while the governmental resources are being cut back, the family will not stop. There has been SIGNIFICANT activity by a private rescue dog in Belton Lake. The family needs a PRIVATE and QUALIFIED search diver IMMEDIATELY to dive for what may be their Warrior. PLEASE NOTE: Large Rescue organizations have been contacted and have offered and CANNOT participate if not invited by Wardens and/or Ft Hood which they have REFUSED to request. If you have any PRIVATE contacts or are certified yourself, please message us here immediately.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 4, 2019 (Day 14)

Belton Lake Map

Map of Belton Lake (photo: Fort Hood Fallen)

Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 4, 2019)

“Please talk about and share Scott’s story. Many people are still not aware. It only takes one witness who has seen anything suspicious or out of the ordinary to make a difference. Little details add up to recovery!! So please talk!!! Keep Scott in your conversations in the towns and communities around Belton Lake and definitely within a 35 miles radius.” -Fort Hood Fallen

February 5, 2019 (Day 15)

Scott Weinhold’s body recovered on Lake Belton (KCEN TV)

Scott Weinhold’s body recovered on Lake Belton (KCEN TV YouTube)
Body found in search for man who drowned in area lake (KWTX)
Body of missing fisherman, an Army veteran, located after 15 days (Killeen Daily Herald)
Body found on Lake Belton identified as Scott Weinhold (KCEN TV | @KCENTV)
Authorities confirm body found in Belton Lake is missing veteran (KXXV)
Body Found in Search for Ft. Hood Soldier at Lake Belton (KTEM)
Body Found At Belton Lake Is That Of Missing Soldier (Patch.com)
Body Found At Belton Lake Is That Of Missing Soldier (MSN.com)
Fort Hood soldier killed in boating incident laid to rest (Killeen Daily Herald)
Fort Hood Fallen Facebook Post (February 4, 2019)

“Words will never adequately express our humble feelings of being entrusted with this family nor will words ever be able to convey our most sincere condolences for their immense loss. A wonderful and selfless man is gone but we will never forget. Rest Easy Scott. Till Valhalla.” -The Ft Hood Fallen

Scott Weinhold Never Forgotten

(photo: The Ft. Hood Fallen)

People Magazine Investigates Premiered ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ on Investigation Discovery: Air Force SrA Troy Graves Serving Life Sentence for Rape & Homicide (November 12, 2018)

ID Go: In 1998, a gifted Philadelphia graduate student is found murdered in her bed. The hunt for her killer forces police to reevaluate a series of unsolved crimes, turning the city upside down. Will her killer be caught or will he strike again? -Terror in Philadelphia, People Magazine Investigates (S3, E2)

Date of Arrest: April 23, 2002
Offender: Troy Graves, 29, US Air Force service member
Victims: Shannon Schieber, 23, University of Pennsylvania student (rape/homicide), multiple rape victims in Pennsylvania & Colorado
Circumstances: Shannon Schieber was enrolled as a Phd. student at the Wharton School of Business, on May 7, 1998, Shannon was studying for exams when a neighbor heard what sounded like cries for help, he called 911 to report that his neighbor was asking for help, the police arrived but no one answered the door and the neighbor backed off his statement, they searched the property and the neighbor said it could have been outside so they left, Shannon’s brother showed up the next day and Shannon didn’t answer the door, the neighbor told her brother what he heard the night before, they broke into the apartment and found Shannon naked on her bed, Shannon was strangled to death and it appeared she tried to fight off her attacker, police found DNA at the scene, DNA ruled out those close to Shannon, Shannon’s parents were outraged that the man who killed their daughter was in the apartment when the police knocked on her door, but the police did their job right and by the book, a few days before the murder, Shannon reported being followed home one night, she was scared, so police started investigating the stranger angle, perhaps this is a serial rapist, they look into sex crimes in the area, they want to match the DNA to other sex crimes in the area, in February 1999, they got a DNA match, 2 other sexual assaults had occurred but they were coded as misdemeanors, the assaults occurred just a few blocks from Shannon’s apartment, in June and July 1997, two more sexual assaults were connected to the offender bringing the total to 5, the PPD coded these sexual assaults as misdemeanors as well, they downgraded the offenses because it lessoned the load for the police, and made the arrest rate look better than it was, Shannon’s case helped enact change in Philadelphia, if they had investigated these cases, everyone would have known there was a serial rapist, Shannon would not be dead if she knew what was going on, the DNA still didn’t have a match to the offender, in 1997, a sketch was drawn from the recollections of the first victim, they got a new composite, this offender would enter the home, hold the victim down on the bed, rape them or make them perform oral sex, it was about control and domination for this guy and he was also somewhat of a romantic, once they acquiesced, he would treat them like a date, he would get comfortable with the victims, they determined he was a light skinned black male based on information he shared with one victim about his life growing up with bi-racial parents, he was dubbed the Center City rapist, in August 1999, no other cases were reported since Shannon’s murder, the case went cold, the police got a bulletin in 2001 from Fort Collins, Colorado, the offenders modus operandi sounded familiar to the Philadelphia PD, on June 13, 2001, one victim was home when she was attacked from behind and raped, after she acquiesced, the rapist became gentle as if he was a boyfriend, after he left, she called 911, she was his third victim in Fort Collins, they were all blitz attacked, FC police were investigating a serial rapist, a fourth & fifth rapes were reported, he made a mistake and left behind a ball cap at the fifth victims home, Fort Collins DNA was matched to the rapes in Philadelphia, PPD gave FCPD the composite drawing, police received a letter in the mail from the suspect, he was taunting them, in the fall of 2001, the attacks in Fort Collins stopped, meanwhile the PPD started focusing on cross referencing names of suspects with the two geographic locations, they got a match for Air Force service member Troy Graves, he was in Philadelphia, Fort Collins, and now at Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 2002, the police had the new suspect in their sites, the police learned that Troy was also investigated by the Office of Special Investigations, it was over charges of harassing a female colleague, the charges were dropped but there was still something suspicious there, Graves has a clean criminal record and no finger prints on file, the case was circumstantial, they reached out to Graves to come to the police department and do an interview, Troy Graves and his wife showed up to the Fort Collins PD, the police immediately separated the couple, his wife admitted that he had insomnia and went for walks and drives at night and that honestly she thought he was having an affair, meanwhile Troy denied knowing anything about the crimes, the police confronted him about the rapes in Fort Collins, he denied being arrested for any sex crimes, he denied being investigated by the Air Force, he did not want to provide his fingerprints but a warrant was issued to compel him, the fingerprints were a match, Troy Graves was arrested and booked into custody, this case changed the PPD policies on sexual assault to include how evidence is handled and how the victims are treated and interviewed
Disposition: Troy Graves feared a trial would not go in his favor in Fort Collins, Colorado, he pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole; Pennsylvania wanted to seek the death penalty but Shannon’s family did not want that because Shannon wouldn’t have wanted that, Graves entered into a plea agreement and got life in prison plus sixty years

Notable Quotes: “We have to change the system but not put people to death.” -Vicki Schieber (Shannon’s mom)

Source: ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ People Magazine Investigates

Shannon Schiebercredit: Courtesy Schieber Family

Shannon Schieber (Photo: People Magazine Investigates)

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:
U. student killed in Center City
Family, friend mourn Schieber’s death
Grief, Questions After Student is Slain
DNA tests clear ex-boyfriend in Schieber murder
Airman arrested in sexual assaults
Center City rapist suspect arrested
Suspected Serial Rapist Arrested
Colo. airman arrested on sex charges suspected as Center City Rapist
Colorado Suspect Is Believed Tied to Other Attacks
Airman trained at VAFB arrested in Colorado sex assaults
Airman’s DNA Linked to Slain Md. Woman
Officials: DNA Evidence Links Colorado Man to Philly Rapes, Murder
Airman Awaits Hearing in Rape Case
Troy Graves: I did it… and ‘I’m sorry’
Serial rapist says he’s sorry
Remorseful airman admits murder, rapes
Admitted serial rapist now will face a charge of murder
USAF content with civilian prosecution of Graves
Serial rapist pleads guilty in Colorado
Graves Pleads Guilty In Philadelphia Rapes, Murder
Victims speak out; Graves gets life
Colorado: Life Sentence For Airman
Airman gets life sentence in string of sexual assaults
A baffling case: The women who loved Troy Graves
The story of Shannon Schieber
Why two mothers back death penalty repeal
A Place of Peace | Bethesda Magazine
Death Penalty Vs. Life: An Issue Of Closure Vs. Peace
Victim’s family moves “from pain to peace”
Investigating rape in Philadelphia: how one city’s crisis stands to help others
Woman advocates repeal of death penalty as part of unconditional pro-life policy
What are Fort Collins’ most infamous moments?
Rape is Rape, Isn’t It? | ProPublica
Rape is Rape, Isn’t It? | The Marshall Project
The Annual Ritual Shaping How the Philadelphia Police Department Handles Rape, Abuse Cases
How one woman changed the way Philly police handle rape
Why is the death penalty discussed in religious terms?
How do you fix a broken system? One U.S. city offers a model for handling sex-assault cases
How a Business Student’s Dying Cries of ‘Help Me’ Eventually Led to a Serial Rapist
Death penalty: Parents of murder victim oppose killer’s execution
Mom of Wharton Student Found Raped, Murdered in 1998 Still Wonders: ‘How Could Somebody Do That?’
Troy Graves | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (S3, E2)
All Charged Up | Forensic Files | FilmRise

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Continue reading

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (May 2018)

May 2018

Missing:
Family pleads for missing soldier battling PTSD to come home
Vets group calls for ‘CAMO Alert’
What really happened to Middlebrook’s Sgt. Gene Shultz?
Missing: Michael VanZandt (Hermosa Beach Police Department – 310-318-0308)
Missing in Hermosa Beach: What happened to Mike VanZandt?
He Left to Go to the Bathroom and Never Came Back: Where is Michael Vanzandt?
Missing: Trevor Nichols (US Army), New York
Soldier receives orders to Fort Riley, goes AWOL
Disappeared: Air Force Veteran Michael Vanzandt Vanishes During a Night Out with Friends in Hermosa Beach, California (March 5, 2016)
Jean-Marc Faubert has been missing since the early morning of Friday, May 25th

Cold Cases:
Georgia Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
No arrests made 3 years after soldier’s murder
New Hampshire unsolved case file: David and Deborah Carreau
Warwick murder case still unsolved, reward offered 5 years later
Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Petitions:
Presidential Pardon Petition | Free Lt. Clint Lorance
Fire Iron River, Michigan City Manager David Thayer For Firing Police Chief Laura Frizzo!

Continue reading

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (January 2018)

January 2018

Missing:
Authorities seek information in Marine recruit’s disappearance
Investigators scour woods in case of missing Marine recruit
Aunt of Missing Marine Recruit Makes Emotional Plea for Nephew’s Safe Return
Family: It’s out of character for missing national guardsman to disappear
Help find service dog stolen from KY veteran
Theodore Jost Missing Veteran
Clarence Moore Missing Active Duty Military
Special agent’s disappearance doesn’t make sense
Where are “The Springfield Three”? Women Disappeared Without a Trace in 1992
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

Cold Cases:
10 Unsolved Military Cases | Military Justice for All
Army National Guard Capt. Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox, CID Ruled Suicide Despite 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)
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)
Cold Case: Army Veteran Kanika Powell Shot Several Times at Doorway of Maryland Home, No Known Suspects At This Time (2008)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)
Family of Man Murdered in LR New Year’s Day 2016 Seeking Public’s Help in Finding His Killer

Fugitive on the Run:
New Security Footage in Search For ‘Armed and Dangerous’ Fugitive Army Recruiter
Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
US Marshals release new images of man wanted for 2017 double murder

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

ACTIVE DUTY

Overseas Deaths:
US Army soldier dies at base in Kosovo
Islamic State group offshoot claims attack on US soldiers in Niger
SPC Zachary C. Moore Memorial
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Javion Sullivan, 24, Ft. Hood
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Mihail Golin, 34, Ft. Lee
Family: Soldier with ties to Simpsonville killed in Iraq
Fort Hood soldier who died in Iraq remembered by family
US servicemember killed in fighting in eastern Afghanistan
DoD identifies Green Beret killed in New Year’s Day attack in Afghanistan
First Navy Jack flies at Pearl Harbor to honor sailors killed in collisions
Body of Turlock soldier who died in Iraq returns home

Stateside Deaths:
Three young men killed after late-night crash in St. Lucie remembered by family, neighbors
Cause of Death Determined in Lakeside Car Fire
Marine Dies in Parachute Accident in Arizona
Fort Hood identifies soldier found unresponsive at off-post residence
Soldier killed, 5 injured when military vehicles crash
2016 Hornet Crash Involved Commander of Top Gun, Investigation Shows
Two soldiers killed in Apache crash at Fort Irwin
In Memory Of U.S. Army SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Freedom Isn’t Free
Airman assigned to Shaw AFB found dead at off-base home
Fort Riley soldier found dead off post
Shaw AFB airman who was found deceased identified as crew chief
Mosque vandal commits suicide a day after sentencing
Two teens, both Army Reservists, killed while pushing stalled vehicle off Jefferson County road
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in San Diego had plans to join law enforcement
Dakota Lee Stump (EP 104) | The Vanished Podcast
Honor sought for US soldier who died in Bronx fire rescue
2 killed in Bellevue when tow truck crashes into stopped cars, police say
Ohio to require overpass fencing after sandbag causes deadly crash
19-year-old airman, Papillion man killed in 3-vehicle crash

Homicide Cases:
Court denies appeal in airman stabbing murder conviction
Body of Calif. woman identified two decades later
DNA hit solves 1992 murder-mystery
18-year-old Marine who was fatally stabbed at Camp Pendleton buried Monday, as investigation continues
Judge rules on bail conditions for triple homicide suspect
Family of murdered Army sergeant make an appeal to you
Funeral Monday for Janesville Marine murdered at Camp Pendleton
Ex-Marine Found Guilty of Killing Two UCSD Medical Students In Drunk Driving Crash
Procession held for Camp Pendleton Marine stabbed to death on base
“We do this to honor him:” Body of murdered Rock County Marine returns to Wisconsin
How homicide charges for two skippers will shake up the entire Navy
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
2nd man charged in slaying of Army sergeant is ordered held on no bail
Family mourns Marine stabbed to death at Camp Pendleton
2nd man charged with Omaha slaying of visiting soldier
More Murder-Suicide Details Disclosed
McKernan could serve 3 1/2 years under plea deal
American sailor freed from Belgian custody as Pentagon takes over homicide probe
Navy filing homicide charges against 2 ship commanders
Navy filing homicide charges against officers in ship collisions that killed 17
Funeral held for murdered Army Staff Sergeant Kyle LeFlore
Man accused of shooting Army sergeant admitted to the crime, prosecutor says
Police: Witness to murder-suicide involving Navy officer struck gunman with SUV
Pregnant woman killed by stray bullet identified as Air Force wife
Soldier Found Guilty, Sentenced in Murder of Good Samaritan Marine
US Marine killed in stabbing at Camp Pendleton’s School of Infantry
Suspects wanted in Texas couple’s ambush, murder during home robbery
Man convicted in fatal shooting of Good Samaritan at Arlington Walgreens in 2016
3 Men Accused of Brutally Slaying Texas Couple Execution-Style Held Without Bond
Raised by a Serial Killer: Edward Edwards’ Daughter Shares Guilt and Shame After Turning Him In
Fate of Marine charged with murder for fatal crash in hands of jury
‘With Excrutiating Sadness’ Father Confirms Marine Son Killed in Camp Pendleton Stabbing
2nd man charged in slaying of Army sergeant is ordered held on no bail
Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder
Fort Bragg investigates dead body found on post
Document: Ft. Bliss soldier accused of killing man claims he has PTSD
Court documents detail moments leading up to death of man near Hueco Tanks
Fort Bliss soldier accused of killing man in front of shocked witnesses
Navy servicewoman allegedly killed by ex-boyfriend in Lake Forest had made video about domestic violence
Staff sergeant shot, killed while visiting family in Nebraska
Arrests Made in Fatal Stabbing of Camp Pendleton Marine
Suspects in Gaslamp Quarter Stabbing of US Marine Have History of Predatory Attacks: Prosecutor
Claire Vanlandingham & Ryan Zike: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Omaha gunfire claims the life of a soldier on a visit home
Men who stabbed Marine to death targeted him because he appeared to be easy target
Green Beret indicted for murder (1994)

Sex Crimes Cases:
Coast Guard rape conviction overturned after court’s scathing attack on women-packed jury
Man sentenced to 20 years for child molestation
Air Force Academy cadet accused of sexual assault found not guilty
Navy recruiter suspected of using position to lure sex-abuse victims
Ex-Air Force policeman who raped four women at gun point sentenced to prison
Airman sentenced for sexually abusing young pregnant teen runaway on base
Academy Scandal Exposes Air Force’s Continuing Struggle With Sexual Assault
Former death row inmate, Army Sergeant accused of sex trafficking
Man previously on Delaware’s death row indicted in Hawaii

Other Crime Cases:
Airman, son of Army 1SG charged with injuring 5-year-old during a hit and run
Man pleads guilty in border smuggling case involving former Fort Hood soldiers
Army hospital employees under investigation for misconduct
Marine charged in ‘military training’ child abuse
Military romance scammers steal U.S. soldiers’ photos — and money — from lonely people
Soldier who was hunting charged after N.C. woman was struck by a bullet while in truck with baby
Clarksville Mongols gang members no strangers to police
First military trial in Navy’s ‘Fat Leonard’ scandal results in guilty plea in Norfolk
Motorcyclists held at gun point after trying to sneak in USAF base for second time
Security Forces airman arrested for kidnapping, spotted at squadron holiday party

Absent Without Leave (AWOL) Cases:
Military Desertion is Issue in Border Agent’s Murder Case
Asking for help to find double homicide suspect
Soldier who found fame executing Nazis died his own mysterious death

Military Explosives:
Anti-personnel mine found near Fountain Creek was real
Police: Hand grenade disarmed after being found in trash
$10,000 reward offered for info about military explosives discovered in Pine

Wrongful Conviction Cases:
Bill would give Norfolk Four $3.5M for wrongful rape, murder convictions
Former Marine Sniper Punished in Scandal Wins Again in Court
Dennis Maher: How DNA Freed a Wrongfully Convicted Army Sergeant After 19 Years

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

NATIONAL GUARD

Stateside Deaths:
Florida National Guard identifies soldier killed in military vehicle crash
2 soldiers die after SUV stalls on Missouri roadway
Indiana National Guard soldier dies at Fort Hood
Army releasing few details on National Guard soldier who died at Fort Hood
Second Republican Lawmaker Commits Suicide Following Sexual Abuse Allegations In Less than a Month

Felony Crime:
Couple was paid for recruiting soldiers, but they committed fraud, jury finds
Fairbanks man gets 20 years for 2016 rape

Administrative:
Former official claims sex discrimination, lies, obstruction at Oregon military agency in $4 million suit
Shutdown cancels North Carolina National Guard training
Eric Greitens Should Have Known Better
Allegations against Missouri governor raise legal risks
Sheena Chestnut, Eric Greitens’ Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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

VETERANS

Deaths:
Cause of fatal SW Wichita fire determined
Man who died in Lansing house fire was U.S. Air Force veteran
Gun used in Yakima veteran’s suicide among those confiscated, sold
This Marine Veteran Just Died of Cancer at 36. Here’s Why He Fought Assisted Suicide.
Military Suicide Awareness | SGT Jordan Roberts, 27, USMC, November 14, 2017
A Tacoma veteran died waiting for heart surgery from the VA. His family has sued

Homicide Cases:
3 sentenced to prison for their part in killing of Army veteran
Former Marine accused of murder-for-hire plot released on bail
Ex-soldier sentenced to life in prison for murder of Denver transit guard
Murder suspect held on $5 million bond, victim’s family seeks answers in Delaware shooting
Ex-soldier gets life in prison without parole for slaying Denver transit guard
Funeral services held for paramedic, Army veteran, killed by husband
Victims in Bella Vista suspected murder-suicide identified
Family says murder victim was killed for defending his daughter
Attorney seeks to bar border agent’s military records from trial in teen’s shooting
Crime History: Versace-Killer Andrew Cunanan’s 1997 Murder Spree
Deputy US marshal, an Army veteran, killed while serving Pennsylvania warrant
Man convicted in Kane County murder 20 years ago now on trial for armed robbery
Deputies Down-Colorado story
Officials: SCI-Somerset inmate killed his cellmate
Colorado Gunman Live-Streamed Shooting of Sheriff Deputies
Suspect charged with murder in San Bernardino deputy’s death ‘needs to spend the rest of his life in prison,’ DA says
Police: Former School Principal and Her Mom Died of Gunshot Wounds
Alonzo Leron Smith, Who Fatally Punched California Police Officer, Charged With Murder
Suspect identified in fatal shooting of deputy

Other Crime Cases:
Army Vet Shot by Police at VA Clinic Faces Charges
Dear thieves, give back the Silver Star you stole from a dying Kansas veteran
Former Pilot Sentenced to Life in Prison for Traveling to Philippines to Buy, Rape Young Girls
See the First Image of Sarah Palin’s Battered Husband Todd After Son Track’s Alleged Attack

Wrongful Conviction Cases:
Blackwater: Black-listed and betrayed
Man wrongfully convicted of Simi double-murder plans to work with veterans

Veterans Affairs Issues:
DoD and VA Partner with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to Focus on Reducing Suicide
VA criticized over eye care for vets in rural areas
Fired combat veteran sues McDonald, alleging discrimination
DoD and VA Release Online Tool to Assist Veterans with Discharge Upgrade Process
Police: Oregon man shot by VA officer had come to clinic for appointment
What You Think About Veterans Is Likely Wrong
Man Shot at Oregon Veterans Clinic During Altercation
Inmates, dogs help veterans reintegrate into civilian life
The Obstacles Facing VA In Its Fight To End Veteran Homelessness
Army veteran found dead in freezing cold parking lot after release from VA hospital
Army vet with scalpel left in body after surgery sues VA
New England vet claims surgeon left scalpel inside his body for 4 years
VA secretary apologizes for surgery that left scalpel in Army veteran for years
VA Facilities Now Offer Same-day Care for Urgent Primary and Mental Health-care Needs
New Hampshire House Approved Marijuana Legalization Bill
New Trump order focused on preventing suicide among new vets
New Trump Executive Order Takes Aim At America’s Veteran Suicide Crisis
Reality Check: Veterans Have Lost Faith in A Failing VA System
Unarmed Kansas Man killed by SWAT Team After Getting ‘Swatted’ By Call of Duty Player
If You’re A Vet In California, Here’s How The New Marijuana Laws May Affect You
Explainer: What is “Swatting?” Prank Calls to SWAT Teams are on the Rise
VA Caught Denying Care To Sicker Vets To Get Better Performance Ratings
Attorney General Sessions ends federal policy that let legal pot flourish
VA says Justice Department crackdown on marijuana won’t hit veterans
VA firings spiked after Trump signed the new accountability law last year

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

Mental Health:
Show Your Mind Who’s Boss
“You have value. It’s there.” | Korey Shaffer
Seeking Justice or Enhancing a Victimized Identity?
5 Things Not to Say to Someone Who’s Suicidal — and What to Say Instead
A Letter to Parents Surviving a Child’s Suicide
Is Mental Illness Physical or Mental?
Honoring Our Fallen Police, Firefighters, Military
11 Signs of a Sneaky Sociopath
The Catch-22 of Dealing With a Narcissist
How To Spot Sociopath Women
3 Surprising Ways Heartbreak Impacts Your Brain

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

MILITARY JUSTICE REFORM

Felony Crime:
Freed Felon Chelsea Manning to Run For Senate
Military Sexual Trauma Survivors Speak Out At Pentagon
Pentagon officials endorse demonstration against military sexual assault
Veterans Who Have Faced Sexual Assault Ask: Where Is Our #MeToo Moment?
“Where’s Our Reckonin?” | Military Women Gather Outside Pentagon in #MeToo Protest

International Incidents:
Pentagon investigating video that appears to show a service member opening fire on a civilian

Accountability:
Military Morale Sacrificed as Pawn in Shutdown Political Game
Surface Fleet Commander to Resign After Reported Firing Recommendation
Army general now ‘special assistant’ after ‘sweetheart’ comment to female staffer
So the military is doing its job, but not getting paid. And Congress is not doing its job, but getting paid? #SchumerShutdown via Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children

Other Injustices:
Pico Rivera Student Who Recorded Teacher’s Anti-Military Rant Hopes to Serve in Marine
Secrecy and uncertainty surrounds Navy discipline for fatal ship collisions
This viral video caught a California high school teacher’s ugly rant about military recruiters
CA Teacher Caught on Tape: US Military Members ‘The Lowest of the Low’
Air Force supplying drinking water after water well contamination detected near former Texas base
Sgt. Joshua Berry, 2009 Terrorist Attack, Fort Hood | Judicial Watch
Report: Navy sailor found hiding on ship had financial problems
Missing sailor who hid on USS Shiloh was found filthy, carrying Peeps candy, report says
Navy Missed Signs Of ‘Clear Instability’ In Days Before Shiloh Sailor Went MIA

Military Policy:
John Kelly says California teacher caught on video bashing troops ‘ought to go to hell’
Social media becoming powerful tool for Fayetteville police
Marine Col. drugged, robbed in Colombia; now being forced to retire
Air Force technical sergeant removed for racially charged video rant
The Conversation #MeToo Needs to Have
USAF TSgt removed from charge after online rant, base under investigation
Second Lady Karen Pence Advocates for Art Therapy to Help Fort Hood Soldiers
Geraldine Lovely: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
The Innocence Deniers
USAF NCO under investigation for saying only her black subordinates are disrespectful
Why Revoking Obama’s Sex Assault Letter Won’t End Campus Witch Hunts
US soldiers are revealing sensitive and dangerous information by jogging
Army pays $4 million to families for murders committed by WA soldier
New PTSD study shows recovery for Fort Hood soldiers in just two weeks
Navy tells families when they can identify a sailor who has died on social media in latest handbook
AFRICOM investigates images depicting Niger ambush that killed four US soldiers
#MeToo Excesses | Opinion | The Harvard Crimson
Why Does Our Justice System Fight So Hard to Keep Innocent People Behind Bars?
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit
This Is How Mass Incarceration Happens
Nonprofit steps in to aid military death benefits during shutdown
How To Avoid Getting Duped By A Stripper
Troops Just Want Congress to Stop Political Budget Games: Dunford
Feds say slaying by outlaw biker gang happened at Bumpus Mills cemetery
6 signs she is more in love with your contract than you
#MeToo and the Military
Why don’t more people serve? The US is launching a commission to find out
Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim
S.2870 – Military Retaliation Prevention Act (2015-2016)
McKernan jurors: What if Colleen and Rob’s roles were reversed?
‘Til Death Do Them Part: A Husband Pushed Off a Cliff, a Wife Drowns and Other Newlywed Homicides
Condoleezza Rice on #MeToo: ‘Let’s not turn women into snowflakes’
Rape Victims’ Reactions Misunderstood by Law Enforcement
DOJ to help police dive deep into numbers
This young man is transgender, and ready to enlist Jan. 1
Rape Kits in America: Battling the Backlog-on-Backlog in SAKI
Dakota’s Law by Warriors Aftermath & Recovery (Dakota Stump)
Publicly, We Say #MeToo. Privately, We Have Misgivings.
‘Believe the Victim’ Investigations Reveal a Callous Disregard for the Truth
Proposal Would Create Alerts for ‘Critically Missing’ Adults

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

MILITARY JUSTICE FOR ALL

Publications:
Honoring the Victims of Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales, US Marine Corps, in California and Illinois (1986-1996)
Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
74 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Army Major Chester Barrett Murdered By Estranged Wife Lisbeth & Step-Son for Military Survivor Benefits; Both Sentenced to Prison 35+ Years Later (1977)
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (July 14, 1994)
AWOL Army Pvt. Dannie Boy Edwards’ Bones Found Near Ohio Cemetery on April 13, 1997; Ed Edwards Guilty of Murder for SGLI; Sentenced to Death (April 13, 1996)
Army Soldier Gary Prokop Murdered by Wife Tyshee Manik & Childhood Friends for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (June 25, 1998)
Fort Bragg Army SSG John Diamond Convicted of Murder of Air Force Capt. Marty Theer; Military Court Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2001)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)
Pregnant Samira Watkins Found Dead in Bayou Grande in Florida; Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Convicted of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life (2009)
Evidence Reveals U.S. Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Investigators Claim ‘Double Suicide’ (2013)
Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)
Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)
Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Found Dead on Post Three Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (2016)
Pvt. Wanya Bruns Died by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Nine Months After Joining Army; One of Many in 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood, Texas (2016)
The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq
Killeen PD: Army SSG Anthony Lovell Died of Injuries Sustained in Apparent Motorcycle Accident Along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas (2017)
Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (2017)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (November 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)
Sophie and Co | RT: Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim (2018)

On This Day:
100 Years After The Porvenir Massacre, Most Texans Still Haven’t Heard The Story
Today in History for Jan. 15
Johnson says U.S. should stay in Vietnam | History.com (January 12, 1966)
Andrew Muns Disappeared from USS Cacapon, Listed AWOL; 30 Plus Years Later, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder; Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty (January 17, 1968)
Explosion rocks USS Enterprise (January 14, 1969)
Cease-fire goes into effect (January 28, 1973) | History
President Carter pardons draft dodgers | History (1977)
Army Brigadier General Bobby Robinson Found Dead by Gunshot Wounds at Washington DC Home, Death Believed to be Suicide (January 14, 1985)
Saddleback College Student Robbin Brandley was Stabbed to Death by Camp Pendleton Marine Andrew Urdiales in California (January 18, 1986)
Civilian Kimberly Ruggles Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (January 6, 1987)
The Persian Gulf War begins (January 16, 1991)
Army OTS Candidate Lisa Gaudenzi Disappeared from Virginia Home; 15 Years Later, Spouse Lawrence Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 26, 1995)
Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn Convicted of the Cold Case Murder of Carol Hutto in Florida; Sentenced to Life, Possibility of Parole After 25 Years (February 9, 2000)
The US Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal, Colorado (2003)
Army Sgt. Keicia Hines Struck by a Vehicle on Mosul Airfield in Iraq; No Updates on Outcome of DoD Investigation (January 14, 2004)
Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Drugged by Wife; Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 15, 2005)
Army Pfc. Suzanne Swift Went AWOL from Fort Lewis; She Refused to Deploy for Third Time with Superiors She Accused of Sexual Harassment (January 15, 2006)
Army Soldier Katherine ‘Kat’ Singleton Died in Iraq; Department of Defense Did Not Publish Press Release Notifying Public of Death (January 18, 2006)
MA1 Jennifer Valdivia, US Navy, Died in a Non Combat Related Incident in Bahrain, NCIS Ruled Death Suicide by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning (January 16, 2007)
Marine Veteran Joseph Kerekes & Navy Veteran Harlow Cuadra Murdered Bryan Kocis in Pennsylvania Home; Sentenced to Life in Prison (January 24, 2007)
College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (January 20, 2008)
Sgt Tracy Birkman, US Army, Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Owesat, Iraq (January 25, 2008)
Iraq War Army Veteran Benjamin Barnes Found Dead in Mount Rainier National Park; Suspect in Death of Park Ranger Margaret Anderson (January 2, 2012)
Army Soldier Sgt. Brandy Fonteneaux Found Murdered in Fort Carson Barracks; Sgt. Vincinte Jackson Sentenced to Life, No Parole (January 9, 2012)
Fort Bragg Army Soldier Joshua Eisenhauer Shot at Police & Firefighters During 4-Hour Standoff at Fayetteville Home (January 13, 2012)
Shannon O’Roark Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (January 13, 2012)
Iraq War Army Veteran Steven Russell Jr. Convicted of the Capital Murder of Girlfriend Joy Owen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (January 27, 2012)
US Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Air Force Defends Handling of Sex Scandal (January 24, 2013)
JBLM Army Soldier Shawn Woods Died Saving a Woman Stabbed in Back by Boyfriend; Chase Devyver Sentenced to 31 Years in Prison (January 19, 2014)
Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)
Iraq Army Veteran Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti Gunned Down in Front of Home in Alabama; 4 Individuals Charged with Murder, 1 Found Not Guilty (January 5, 2016)
Air Force Major John Gerrie Died from Non-Combat Related Incident at Al Udeid Air Base, Qatar (January 16, 2016)
Fort Hood Army Major Troy Wayman Found Dead at Residence in Nolanville, Texas; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (January 16, 2016)
Air Force TSgt Zechariah Casagranda Stabbed to Death in Parking Lot in Louisiana; Benjamin Shaw Found Not Guilty of Second Degree Murder (January 24, 2016)
Vanity Fair Confidential on Investigation Discovery Features ‘Code of Dishonor’ (January 25, 2016)
Army Sgt. Joseph Stifter Died of Wounds Suffered When Armored HMMWV was Involved in Roll-over Accident in Iraq (January 28, 2016)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (January 23, 2017)
Fort Hood Army Pfc. Kai Yancey, Died After Complications From a Short Illness on New Year’s Day at Scott & White Hospital in Temple, Texas (January 1, 2017)
Fort Hood Army Pfc. Randal Anderson Died from Gunshot Wound in Killeen; No Updates on Outcome of Investigation & Cause of Death Ruling (January 2, 2017)
Florida airport shooting suspect Esteban Santiago formally charged with murder (January 6, 2017)
Army Spc. Barron Von Reichelt Died From Injuries Suffered in an Automobile Accident on South Range Road at Fort Hood (January 7, 2017)
Army Sgt. Alex Taylor Found Unresponsive in Place of Duty at Fort Hood; No Updates on Outcome of Investigation & Cause of Death Ruling (January 11, 2017)
Army Spc. Zackary Partin Found Dead in Barracks at Fort Hood in Texas; Had Plans to Discharge in a Few Months & Become Full-Time Firefighter (January 12, 2017)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (January 23, 2017)
Shaw AFB SSgt. Zachary Townsend Found Deceased at Off-base Residence Near Columbia, South Carolina; No Foul Play Suspected (January 15, 2018)

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

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Featured in Television Episode, Movie, Documentary, Theatre:
No Means Yes | Deadly Women Quick Hits
“48 Hours: NCIS” | Body of Evidence
Tyshee Prokop Documentary | Female Killers
‘The 15:17 Train to Paris’ Cast on Who They Would’ve Chosen to Play Themselves
Megan Leavey Movie Trailer
Cold Case Files: Carols Diary (With Bill Kurtis)
Realistic Patriotism Makes ‘12 Strong’ A War Movie Worth Watching
Watch Our Interview With the Real Heroes of ‘The 15:17 to Paris’
BSF Exclusive Sneak Peek: National Geographic’s Chain of Command
The Ultimate Pledge | Bride Killa | Investigation Discovery
‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story’: Who is Andrew Cunanan?
My Father, The Serial Killer | People Magazine Investigates (ID Web)
Afghan War Documentary ‘Trauma’ Does Justice To The Difficult Job Of Combat Medic
‘12 Strong’ Isn’t The Afghan War Movie We Deserve, But It’s The One We Want
The Perfect Suspect (Investigation Discovery): Lisa Gaudenzi, US Army
Forbidden: Dying for Love (Investigation Discovery): Adam Arndt & Michelle Miller
‘A Few Good Men’ Comes to Cotuit Center for the Arts
Evil Lives Here (Investigation Discovery): Bobby Joe Long, Army Veteran

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

MISCELLANEOUS
Army announces deployments for about 10,000 soldiers
Elevator maintenance worker found dead at William Beaumont’s 9th floor
US: American soldier wounded in Afghan attack
Top 10: Mariah Woods disappears
Married to a Monster: Ex-wife discusses serial killer who raped, killed 10 women
After 15 years, father finds peace in knowing truth about his murdered daughter
Oprah as commander in chief? Here’s what she had to say about the Iraq War
Okinawa-Based Marine Honored for Heroism after Harrowing Water Rescue
Gen. Mark Welsh sounds alarm on undermanned Air Force (2015)
Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Martin Luther King Day | Military Justice for All
Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate in Maryland
Ex-wife says lawmaker who killed himself molested 2 girls, including relative
Dog Found Tied To Tree With Note Has Been Adopted By Army Specialist
Surprise for an Army Veteran | Purple Heart Homes
Thank you for your service to all generations of veterans
NFL rejects Super Bowl ad from veterans group that asks players to stand during anthem
California Names Mountain after Marine Who Died in Combat
Preston Sharp: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Related Links:
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (November 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (January 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (February 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (March 2018)

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)

January 2018 copy

Missing:
Conversation with Fred Murray – Part 1
Marine recruiting office closed, sealed amid search for missing recruit
Robert Lee Boddie, Sr. | Fox 5 Atlanta
Special agent’s disappearance doesn’t make sense
Disappeared: Disabled Army Veteran Joseph Weber IV Missing Since 11/24/14

Cold Cases:
10 Unsolved Military Cases
Cold Case: SSG Anton Phillips, US Army, Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

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

ACTIVE DUTY

Stateside Deaths:
Fort Riley NCO Kevin Johnson found dead at his home
Authorities investigate after airman found dead at Altus Air Force Base
Mountain Home Air Force Base identifies Airman found dead
Air Force investigating death of airman found in dorm
Heslam: Christmas event held in honor of ‘role model’ fallen soldier
Soldier home for holidays died saving lives in Bronx inferno
Army National Guardsman rescued others before dying in NYC fire

Overseas Deaths:
I Am Nathan
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: David Brabander, 24
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Avadon Chaves, 20
Report: American Soldier Found Dead In Niger Fought To The Death, Was Never Captured
‘This is not closure’: Navy families want answers on McCain, Fitzgerald deaths
Why is the DOD Obscuring the Cause of Death of Thomas J. Boyle, Jr.?
Fort Bliss Soldier Dies in Non-Combat Incident in Iraq
Turlock soldier dies in Iraq
DoD Identifies Soldier Killed In Iraq
Troops Who Died Defending our Freedom (2017)

Homicide Cases:
Couple killed in murder-suicide identified
Marine found not guilty in teen’s death
Man charged in 2004 murder of Army captain
Sailor From USS Nimitz Involved in Apparent Murder-Suicide
Raleigh police investigate the shooting death of local soldier
Soldier’s death in Killeen weighs heavy on friend 8 months later
Police arrest second suspect in Tacoma WA. killing of Westchester soldier Da’Quan Foster
Savannah man indicted for murder in 2004 soldier’s slaying
Husband confesses to hiding wife’s body in drum of acid
Timberville Man Pleads to Missing Woman’s Death
After 15 years, father finds peace in knowing truth about his murdered daughter
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in off-base fight

Sex Crimes Cases:
Military Court Case Uncovers Marine Sex Escapades At Air Station Miramar
Airman sentenced for on-base Christmas party sex crime involving subordinate
Sexual Assault in Military Isn’t Going Away as a Problem
Alaska Supreme Court: State wrong to deny records request

Other Crime Cases:
Sarah Palin’s Son Track Charged with Beating his Father, Called Cops “Peasants”
Ex-Marine recruit accused of planning Christmas attack was inspired by ISIS, FBI says
New York man accused of fabricating decorated Green Beret military career
SF Terror Plot Suspect Served at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton: Records
3 Army Vets Set Free After 25 Years In Prison For Crime They Say They Didn’t Commit
Burglary suspects caught stealing from father of fallen veteran
Sarah Palin’s Son, Track, Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges Again

Military Explosives:

Wrongly Convicted:
Former Soldiers Get Bail in Murder Case After 25 Years in Prison
3 Army Vets Set Free After 25 Years In Prison For Crime They Say They Didn’t Commit

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

NATIONAL GUARD

Administrative:
National Guardsmen awaiting pay months after hurricanes

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

VETERANS

Deaths:

Homicide Cases:
Double homicide tops 2017 crime stories
The Stacks: The Searing Story of How Murder Stalked a Tiny New York Town
Man Charged in Killings of 2 Girls Is Found Hanged in Cell
Suspected Remains of Army Captain and Her Dog Found in Shallow Grave Following Her Ex’s Arrest
Missing army vet found dead in shallow grave next to her dog
Army veteran charged with killing man over drugs near Baldwin Park
Madera police ask Christmas Day murder suspect to turn himself in, seek public’s help
Police say suspect who killed man on Christmas day is armed and dangerous
Suspected of Christmas Day murder, he was caught by police at a veterans hospital

Veterans Affairs Issues:
“Operation Deep Dive” to Examine Veteran Suicide Causes and Factors
V.A. Issues New Medical Marijuana Policy For Military Veterans
VA knowingly hired doctors with past malpractice claims, discipline for poor care
White House VA Hotline Now Fully Staffed and Operational Around the Clock to Serve Nation’s Veterans
Agency adds new positions to help Maine veterans transition from jail
Congress approves emergency funding for VA Choice, prevents delays of veterans’ care
79-year-old veteran who lived in the NJ woods for a decade has come home
VA Doctors Are Now Cleared To Talk About Medical Marijuana With Patients
Trump Signs Bill Opening VA To More Investigations
There’s something missing from research on veteran suicides
Buchanan Backs Bill to Study Painkillers’ Roll in Vet Suicides
Veteran still fighting…for medical care for those who served
Trying To Upgrade Your Discharge? The VA Has An App For That Now
Having Trouble With The VA? You Might Consider Calling Congress
Man threatening to jump from Vincent Thomas Bridge finally comes down
Veteran’s Stolen Dog Located On Christmas Eve
Utah couple’s relentless pursuit to end veteran suicide: ‘If it’s not us — then who?’
Volusia man arrested, accused of running fake veterans charity, authorities say
Woman wants service error on father’s gravestone fixed
Fort Gibson Veteran’s Service Dog Denied Access On Plane
VA Harassment Victims Share Their Stories

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

Mental Health:
5 Things Everyone Gets Wrong About Anxiety
Is More CBD Better? The Science Behind CBD Dosing for Anxiety and Other Conditions
Why Don’t We See Men’s Pain? | Tom Golden #RPRF
10 Symptoms of PTSD Everyone Should Know
Army Reserve unit reaffirms values through speaker’s story
Depression among veterans can escalate during holiday season
‘It’s hard having someone deployed’ at Christmas
The day I rescued my human from herself
New in 2018: New mental health programs seek to ease strain on airmen, families
Some survivors are offered help, some deal alone with pain of military suicide

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

MILITARY JUSTICE REFORM

Felony Crime:
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Air Force Academy unveils plan to rebuild scandal-ridden sexual assault office
She was late just once to her job at Hill Air Force Base. So when the 75-year-old didn’t show up last week, her co-workers began to worry.
Shuttle bus driver charged with killing colleague at former Walter Reed says he was defending himself

International Incidents:
Okinawa assault victim’s family sues former Marines convicted in 2008 attack
Marine Corps Blames Human Error For Helicopter Window That Fell Near Crowded Elementary School
Okinawa governor wants all US aircraft grounded after window fell near schoolchildren
British police confirm incident at RAF Mildenhall not terrorist-related; lockdown lifted
Shots fired in ‘disturbance’ at UK base used by US Air Force
South Koreans complain about stray rounds, noise from live-fire range

Accountability:
FBI investigates after 70-year-old widow duped out of $225K
Army general’s promotion pulled after calling congressional staffer ‘sweetheart’
Naval Officer Who Lost Job Over Anti-War Sentiments, Hate Group Activity Reinstated
Marine Three-Star Admonished in Fallout from Colonel’s Child-Abuse Case
Federal judge to rule on admissibility of statements in Fort Gordon bid-rigging conspiracy
Ex-Marine commandant guilty of unlawful command influence in infamous urine desecration case

Other Injustices:
How Peter Mims spent a week hiding in a warship’s engine room
Deported ex-Marine wins case to return to US from Mexico
Marines Crack Down On ‘Cruel, Abusive’ Hazing At Camp Pendleton
Transgender troops can enlist, over Trump’s demand for a ban
Mold at Al Udeid Air Base Was Preventable: IG Report
Green card holders can join the Army Reserve again — after a wait

Military Policy:
#AlToo?
Investigations
#MeToo run amok
I Didn’t Know | Angry Staff Officer
I, Too, Am Thinking About Me, Too
Meet the Women Worried About #MeToo
Senator Al Franken’s Resignation
Franken Urged to Reverse his Resignation
Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers
House member offices paid $342k in settlements over 4 years
Drawing a Line on Sexual Harassment
Cities Sue DoD over Gun-Check System Failures
Cities sue Defense Dept. over gun-check system failures
The Air Force Is Terrible At Reporting Its Criminals. The Other Branches Are Even Worse
U.S. Air Force unveils criminal reporting reforms in wake of Texas shooting
Unwinding bureaucracy: Start of 2018 to see major Pentagon reform
FULL LIST: Democratic Lawmakers Call for Al Franken to Resign
Trent Franks: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Convicted Man Asks For Court-Ordered Marine Service
Dear #MeToo, I’d like to introduce you to #MikePenceRules
Rolling Stone Settles Last Remaining Lawsuit Over UVA Rape Story
Lawsuit: Oberlin College sexual assault hearing process rigged, 100% conviction rate
Criminologist and FBI to Journalists: Stop Naming Mass Murderers
IG: Mishandling of sexual harassment complaints at Justice Department a ‘systemic’ problem
The US Military Has Always Been A Social Experiment
New in 2018: Services to focus on excess training, education requirements
Pentagon Leaders Looking to Make a Culture Shift Within the Military
Fifth of Fort Hood soldiers begin new year overseas
In 2018, Let’s Fight for Due Process
Propensity Evidence on Appeal

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

MILITARY JUSTICE FOR ALL:

Publications:
Military Rape Documentary Funded and Distributed by Serial Predator and Hollywood Movie Executive Harvey Weinstein
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Dishonorably Discharged Army Veteran Robert Cox is a Person of Interest in the Disappearance of ‘The Springfield Three’ (June 7, 1992)
Keana Barnes Shot & Killed Air Force Sgt. Perry ‘P.J.’ Jennings in Louisiana; Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for 2 Homicides (2003)
Iraq Army Veteran Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti Gunned Down in Front of Home in Alabama; 4 Individuals Charged with Murder, 1 Found Not Guilty (2016)
Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (2017)
Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (2017)

On This Day:
Navy Wife Dina Kichler Raped & Murdered in Mayport, Florida by John Brewer Shortly After her Husband Deployed for Six Months on USS Forestall (December 3, 1990)
US Marine Lindell Mitchell Murdered in Home on Christmas Day; Kimberly Andrews Sentenced to 26 Years to Life in Prison (December 25, 1991)
Adrianne Jones Murdered by Air Force Academy Cadet David Graham and Naval Academy Cadet Diane Zamora; Motive Was Jealousy (December 4, 1995)
Leeds, England Police Officer Ian Broadhurst Gunned Down by Dishonorably Discharged Marine and Fugitive David Bieber During Routine Traffic Stop (December 26, 2003)
Navy Vet Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden Murdered Russel Douglas of Washington; Both Convicted, Huden Sentenced to 80 Years & Thomas Got 4 Years in Prison (December 26, 2003)
Former Air Force Reservist Michelle Theer Convicted of First Degree Murder of Husband Marty Theer for the Insurance Policy; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 3, 2004)
Navy Reservist Paul Berkley Murdered by Wife Monique in North Carolina while Home on Leave from Middle East, SGLI was the Motive (December 18, 2005)
Sandra Grant, 23, US Navy, Died of Natural Causes While Aboard the USS Eisenhower in Support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (December 31, 2006)
Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach and Unborn Child were Murdered; Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (December 15, 2007)
SSG Anton Phillips, US Army, Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (December 31, 2009)
Navy Lt CDR Fred Trayers Stabbed to Death in California by Wife Jennifer Who was Angered by Infidelity with Fellow Navy Doctor (December 4, 2010)
Vietnam Veteran Francis Patrick Fleming, US Navy, Targeted & Stabbed to Death By Brenda Nicholas & Charles Jungbluth for $60,000 Coin Collection (December 8, 2011)
Spc Mikayla Bragg Died of a Non Combat Death in Afghanistan, Army Ruled Suicide & Report Calls for Continuity of Healthcare in Deployed Locations (December 21, 2011)
Fort Hood Army Soldier Michael Bailey II Allegedly Committed Suicide, Family Petitions Military and Killeen PD to Investigate Death as Murder (December 29, 2011)
Air Force Captain William DuBois Died When F-16 Aircraft Crashed in Jordan; USAF Accident Investigation Board Ruled Rapid Descent Caused Crash (December 1, 2014)
Wrongful Conviction: Fort Hood Army Soldier Thomas Chestnut’s Guilty Verdict was Overturned by the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals (December 14, 2016)
Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)
Army Veteran Fernando Duarte Fatally Shot in Florida Casino Parking Lot, Prosecutors Drop Murder Charges Against Two Men who Proved Self Defense (December 25, 2016)

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

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Featured in Television Episode, Movie, Documentary, Theatre:
Sneak peek: Murder by Design | 48 Hours
The Final Fall – Part 1 | Village of the Damned (Investigation Discovery)
Murder and dismemberment of cheerleaders Jennifer Bolduc and Sarah Hajney on Village of the Damned
Leading True-Crime Network Investigation Discovery Lifts The Veil On Mysterious Tragedies In A Small Town, ‘Village Of The Damned’
5 Things to Know About the Jeffrey MacDonald Case | Investigation Discovery
Final Vision | Investigation Discovery (Jeffrey MacDonald, US Army)
Duty, Honor And Murder | Diane Zamora Case | Crime Documentary
Nat Geo’s Iraq War Series: Gritty, Authentic, And Army-Approved
Body of War Documentary | The Real News
Filmmakers Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro Premiere the ‘Body of War’ Documentary Featuring Anti-War Activist & Disabled Army Vet Tomas Young (2007)
The Perfect Suspect (Investigation Discovery | GI Gone: Lisa Gaudenzi, US Army (1)
The Perfect Suspect (Investigation Discovery | GI Gone: Lisa Gaudenzi, US Army (2)
The 15:17 to Paris | Clint Eastwood (1)
The 15:17 to Paris | Clint Eastwood (2)

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

MISCELLANEOUS:
The Top 10 Military Stories of 2017
We Asked You For The Biggest Military Stories Of 2017. Here Are The Top 21
Soldiers Honored for Saving Lives After Afghan Suicide Bombing
Veteran Helps Bring Ex-Iraq Military Interpreter, Family to US
2 Fort Carson brigades tapped for Afghanistan deployment
They went to lunch at the Ki-Be market and ended up foiling a murder plot
Jesse Ventura Takes His Last Shots At ‘American Liar’ Chris Kyle As He Drops Lawsuit
JBLM soldier jumped from pickup truck to help rescue passengers in train crash
Iraq War Veteran Reveals ‘Hostage’-Like Sexual Relationship With Disgraced NBC Host Matt Lauer
Ohio teens charged with murder after sandbag thrown from bridge hits car, kills passenger

Related Links:
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (November 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (December 2017)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (January 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (February 2018)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (March 2018)

Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)

King copy

Jennifer Norris, USAF Retired (medical), Onyx, Senator Angus King (Maine), Stephanie Brewer, USMC Retired (medical), and Chinook | December 13, 2017

Military justice policy analyst Jennifer Norris was invited to speak in the Gold Room at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington D.C. on December 12, 2017. The veterans organization she accompanied provided her with fifteen minutes to present and she chose to speak about the current troubling status of the Fort Hood Army post near Killeen, Texas. She also shared the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers. Marine veteran Stephanie Brewer was in attendance and assisted Jennifer with the presentation of the material. Stephanie created a powerpoint presentation to help the audience see these soldier’s faces and remind them that they matter and their families love them. After the presentation, they visited Senator John McCain’s office (Chair, Senate Armed Services Committee), Representative Mac Thornberry’s Office (Chair, House Armed Services Committee), Senator Ted Cruz’s Office (supports the Military Justice Improvement Act), Senator Susan Collin’s Office (supports the MJIA), and finally Senator Angus King’s Office (who has consistently voted against the MJIA). While attending a constituent’s coffee event at Senator King’s office, these veterans inquired about the status of the retaliation law’s promised by Senator Claire McCaskill’s office. The response:

I wanted to follow up on our meeting yesterday by forwarding some information about efforts to prevent retaliation against servicemembers who report crimes.

The first important step is gathering data on retaliation so that leadership can best figure out how to address the issue. The DOD includes statistics on retaliation in its annual reports on sexual assault and reporting. They recently changed the way that they gather the data so that they can get a more accurate picture of which servicemembers experience the type of behavior that qualifies legally as retaliation under the UCMJ. As I mentioned yesterday, the data doesn’t go back very far- the DOD has only been collecting this information for a year. As the database grows, so will the DOD’s understanding of the real scope and nature of the problem. This should help target solutions.

A number of lawmakers are really committed to addressing this problem, as well. Senator McCaskill from Missouri introduced a bill last year that aimed to prevent military retaliation. Senator King cosponsored the bill. A summary is available here.

The bill didn’t move out of committee, so Senator McCaskill or another member might try to reintroduce it later. Another possibility is that next year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could include similar language.

-Senator Angus King’s Office

These veterans were successful at setting up times to meet with defense fellows at Thornberry, Collins, and King’s offices. They also stopped into Senator McCain’s office to get the scheduling contact information for him because he consistently does not get back to one. They gave the same Fort Hood presentation to the defense fellows as the one they gave in the Gold Room except this time they had more time to discuss each individual. If it was up to these veterans, they would sit there all day and talk about every single soldier because all their lives matter. Overall, they report the active duty fellows they met with were receptive. They illustrated that the common theme with the four soldiers discussed is involvement in the military justice system in one way or another. The following presentation helps you get an understanding of the issues at bases nationwide by telling you the stories of four Fort Hood soldiers and their experiences in the last couple of years. All had mental health issues and three are dead. The other soldier is in federal prison for eighteen months for a threatening phone call he made to Fort Hood. This incident occurred after he was exonerated of a crime and released from a military prison yet stonewalled and dismissed when he asked about his backpay.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood

Last time I was in DC in September 2016, I provided my Senator with military policy recommendations that would benefit families who doubt a cause of death ruling. I highlighted a need for compassionate care for families, independent investigations, and cold case squads in the Army and the Air Force, much like the NCIS Cold Case Squad. Sadly it appears the military has a history of ruling what looks like a homicide as a suicide. One of the most publicized examples is that of Pfc. LaVena Johnson. The Army ruled LaVena’s death a suicide but an independent autopsy revealed she was raped and murdered. To this day, the Army will not cooperate with the family of LaVena Johnson who has begged them to find their daughter’s killer. The alarming stateside death rate at Fort Hood alone only strengthens the resolve to continue asking for mental health and criminal justice reform in the military.

73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

73 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 6 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 2 suicides
  • 67 stateside deaths to include 34 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 21 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

6 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks, Afghanistan; 2 non combat deaths, Iraq & Korea

10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform); 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan); 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan); 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq); 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

67 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty); 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide); 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)


A Fort Hood soldier spoke candidly about what they say the reality of living on the Texas military base is like. (2014) –CNN

13 found dead on post

01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide); 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center); 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court); 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks); 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence); 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID); 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post); 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post); 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide); 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel); 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room); 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence); 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)

21 found dead off post

01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide); 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence); 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide); 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen); 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen); 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail); 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple); 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas); 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen); 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas); 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence); 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana); 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off post residence, Killeen); 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen); 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen); 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas); 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove); 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia); 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen); 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)

11 died in training accidents

06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident); 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident); 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident); 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness); 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness); 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas); 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood); 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen); 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD); 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier); 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen); 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter); 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene); 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law); 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

4 died unexpectedly

04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park); 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield); 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa); 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, US Army

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (October 12, 2017)

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 at the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Family contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Alva was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on MSG Gwinn who was located in his car. MSG Gwinn then lead police on a high speed car chase after they attempted to approach him. MSG Gwinn’s home of record is listed as Richwood, West Virginia. He entered active-duty military service in September 1999 as a combat engineer and was assigned to 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012.

According to reports, Alva fled on foot after the high speed chase with police. He shot at the police at least once and they fired back but in the end he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. In June 2016, Alva Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged with the aggravated sexual assault of a 12 year old girl in 2012. Alva was scheduled to go to trial for the aggravated sexual assault charge in November 2017. Alva Gwinn had served in the Army for twelve years and was a highly decorated combat veteran known for being a perfectionist. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served in the US Army.

Areas of Concern:

  • In October 2017, the Fort Hood chain of command asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘wellness check’ on Alva Gwinn; family reported he was suffering what appeared to be a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal
  • The police located Alva in his car but he took off when approached and then lead the police on a high speed car chase that ended with Alva fatally shooting himself
  • How can we prevent a ‘wellness check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why the high speed car chase?
  • Alva was facing an aggravated sexual assault trial in November 2017
  • Whether guilty or innocent, this is a tragic end for a man accused of a crime
  • What does the Army do with the accused who are awaiting criminal trial?
  • Is Fort Hood responsible for the mental health of those accused of crimes?

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

Screen Shot 2017-12-22 at 3.50.35 PM

Pfc. Thomas Chestnut, US Army

Wrongful Conviction: Fort Hood Army Soldier Thomas Chestnut’s Guilty Verdict was Overturned by the US Army Court of Criminal Appeals (December 14, 2016)

Fort Hood Army soldier Thomas Chestnut, 28, was freed from a Kansas military prison on December 23, 2016 after an appellate court overturned a guilty verdict on December 14, 2016. The Army Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the conviction finding evidence in the case as “factually insufficient.” The case stems from an accusation by a third party of a sexual assault of a man in August 2012 at Fort Sam Houston near San Antonio, Texas. Chestnut was charged and found guilty by a military jury on one count of sexual assault and found not guilty of one specification of assault consummated by a battery. Chestnut testified that the encounter with the other soldier was consensual and the third party was trying to deflect attention from himself. Chestnut was sentenced on July 2, 2014 to three years in prison at Fort Leavenworth, a reduction in rank to private, and forfeiture of all pay. After Thomas Chestnut was exonerated, he was entitled to back pay and an honorable discharge from the military when he completed his time in service. Thomas was honorably discharged from the Army in January 2017 but had not yet been able to get his back pay. Thomas shared his thoughts on his wrongful conviction and his two and a half year imprisonment in mostly solitary confinement for a crime he didn’t commit.

“How could I respect the authority of such a corrupt system and such a corrupt institution? Not after what they did to me, to us, as I am not alone in this you see. Hundreds of my fellow veterans have also been falsely accused and forced into prison. Obviously, the military leadership lacks the maturity and ethics to handle sexual assault cases in a balanced adult way. They should not have authority in these matters.” via Save Our Heroes

Thomas Chestnut spent 2 1/2 years in prison where he was placed in solitary confinement and allegedly abused by prison guards. Thomas admits the prejudiced military justice system, corruption, and prison experience traumatized him. He most likely suffers from a form of institutional abuse. In December 2016, the appeals court overturned his conviction, he was cleared of all charges, released from prison, and promised back pay. Thomas stated: “I have nothing. No place of my own, no car, and little money. The Army has no plan for someone with a case overturned, so I’ve been more or less thrown out on the street.” Thomas Chestnut most likely has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after the betrayal by the military justice system and the abuse he endured in prison marked as a man who rapes other men. In February 2017, Chestnut attempted to get his back pay from the Army as he had nothing, no job, no place to live, no means to take care of himself. The Army didn’t help him or give him the answers he deserved when it came to his backpay.

At this point, Thomas most likely had a post traumatic stress meltdown simply from having to deal with the same institution that wrongfully convicted him of a crime. After he didn’t get the answers he deserved regarding his back pay, he got angry and threatened to harm individuals at Fort Hood. As a result, Chestnut was arrested by FBI agents and charged with making threats to kill individuals at Fort Hood. Thomas has been in federal custody ever since he made the threats and now the life that he may have had a second chance at was taken away from him again. Obviously, Thomas shouldn’t have threatened to kill individuals at Ft Hood but the backpay issue and the fact he has PTSD should have been a mitigating factor in this case. For example, the state of destitution he was in and his legitimate need for money to sustain and take care of himself most likely triggered his post traumatic stress symptoms. He was desperate and the Army’s indifference and stonewalling most likely caused an already emotionally fragile man to disassociate and lash out. If he was within the state’s jurisdiction, chances are he would have access to a veteran’s court that would fight to give him another chance. Instead, Thomas Chestnut is in federal prison for 18 months for one threatening phone call.

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

SPC-Moore-235x300

Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

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

briles

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, US Army

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (December 24, 2016)

Army Private Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, was found unresponsive in her vehicle at Fort Hood housing in Texas on Christmas eve, December 24, 2016. Private Fontenot Briles is from Kaplin, Louisiana and joined the Army in February 2015. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic. She deployed to Kuwait shortly after completing Advanced Individual Training (AIT). She returned stateside early in December 2015 after she was injured in the line of duty. In November 2016, she was assigned to the Warrior Transition Unit at Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center. Pvt. Fontenot Briles was going to be discharged from the Army in February 2017 and had plans to attend dental hygienist school. Family report that Pvt. Fontenot Briles cause of death was determined a homicide by the Army but the Bell County coroner’s office made a suicide determination. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) ruled the cause of death as suicide.

Background:

Paige joined the U.S. Army in February 2015 & was permanently assigned to Fort Hood as a wheeled vehicle mechanic after Advanced Individual Training (AIT). Paige shared with her family that she was raped by her recruiter before she went to Fort Jackson for basic training but she did not report the incident. Shortly after arriving to Fort Hood, Paige was deployed to Kuwait in October 2015. Although she returned home early in December 2015 after being found unresponsive under a vehicle. She was injured in the line of duty and the only thing she shared with her family was that she “saw things no one should ever have to see.”

Paige met and married another soldier she hadn’t known that long in January 2016 upon her return home from Kuwait. According to Army CID, they learned that the marriage was contractual and the two did in fact share a home up until recently. When Paige met her husband, she had already experienced multiple traumas from the rape and her experience in Kuwait; she was vulnerable. After a few months of marriage, Paige got pregnant but her “husband” did not want a child and convinced her to get an abortion in August 2016. It was at this point, Paige had a mental health breakdown and was hospitalized for 28 days. She was eventually transferred to the Warrior Transition Unit (WTU) in November 2016.

image1The WTU allowed Paige to escape the unhealthy arrangement she was trapped in with her contractual husband and she was starting to feel better after being free of him for a couple months. Family reports that Paige decided to get out of the military, move back in with her sister and parents, and pursue an education as a dental hygienist. Paige was expected to discharge in February 2017. Paige put in leave to go home for Christmas in December 2016 but it was denied. Paige took a picture of herself on SnapChat and sent it to her contacts on Christmas Eve. She wrote “here’s to another Christmas alone.” And the Army wants us to believe that 30 minutes later, Paige would be dead by her own hand.

On the night in question, Paige drove to a friend’s house on post. She was house sitting for them while they were out of town. About an hour later, Paige was found unresponsive in the driver’s seat in her vehicle in the parking lot outside her friend’s home. She had been stabbed. Initially the Army investigated the death as a homicide but in December 2017, the family was informed that the cause of death was ruled a suicide. Less than two years in the Army and Paige was gone. She told her parents she was raped, she saw things in Kuwait no one should ever see, and that she was in an unhealthy relationship with a man she was trying to escape. Paige had been through hell in her short time in the Army but she had hope. She knew she was returning to Louisiana to a loving family and a sister who was her best friend. She didn’t feel so trapped that suicide was the only way out.

Paige had a second chance at life in just a couple months when she was going to be discharged. Paige’s parents want their daughter’s case investigated as a homicide. They provided the Army CID with a person of interest. They had interaction and negative experiences with the person of interest. They shared their first hand interactions (witness testimony) and their concerns with CID but felt their experiences and observations were dismissed. They know their daughter was not suicidal because she was due to get out of the Army in February 2017 and she had plans. When questioned if the Army CID ever investigated the person of interest, Paige’s family responded with “the Army CID never investigated any persons of interest.” As a matter of fact, the Army discharged the soldier these parents suspected was the person of interest.

What happens when the Army discharges a soldier who may be a person of interest? They in effect give up jurisdiction of the soldier once they become a civilian unless they are retired. The soldier who was considered a ‘person of interest’ by the family was discharged for disciplinary reasons. Enter across state line jurisdictional issues and the Federal Bureau of Investigation who appears to want to steer clear of cases on military bases. The parents report that initially Paige’s stabbing death was investigated as a homicide yet in the end, despite the autopsy, forensics, suspicious circumstances in her life, and the parents testimony, Paige’s death was ruled a suicide by the Army CID. Once a death is ruled a suicide, the investigation is over and the US Army never has to investigate again.

How does the family get justice for Paige?

Source: Teri Fontenot (Paige Briles’ mom)

Related Links:
Army Veteran Tomas Young Dies at 34; Shot & Paralyzed on Black Sunday in 2004 on Peace Keeping Mission with Fort Hood in Sadr City, Iraq (2014)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

On This Day: Seven Sailors Died After the U.S. Navy Destroyer USS Fitzgerald Collided with the Container Ship ACX Crystal Off the Coast of Japan (June 17, 2017)

Shingo Douglass

Shingo Douglass, 25, U.S. Navy

Noe Hernandez

Noe Hernandez, 26, U.S. Navy

Ngoc Truong Huynh

Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, U.S. Navy

Xavier Martin

Xavier Martin, 24, U.S. Navy

Gary Rehm Jr

Gary Rehm Jr., 37, U.S. Navy

Dakota Rigsby

Dakota Rigsby, 19, U.S. Navy

Carlos Victor Sibayan

Carlos Victor Sibayan, 23, U.S. Navy

ProPublica:
Part I: Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by its Own Navy
Part II: Years of Warnings, Then Death & Disaster: How the Navy Failed Its Sailors
In Navy Disasters, Neglect, Mistakes, and 17 Lost Sailors (Snapshot of Sailors)
How We Investigated the Navy’s Twin Disasters in the Pacific
Senate Committee Grills Navy Official Over 2017 Collisions, Seeking Data to Prove Conditions Have Changed
Exclusive: Footage of USS Fitzgerald After Collision w/ ACX Crystal (YouTube)
ProPublica Published ‘Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy’ (February 6, 2019)