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


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

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

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


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


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


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


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

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

Norman Early III Lured to Married Lover’s Home to “Pay Him a Lesson”; Three Former Marines Sentenced in the California Robbery & Beating Case (2015)

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“I knew what my fate was. I was going to be murdered.” -Norman Early III

On the morning of September 20, 2015, Diana Reyes lured Norman Early III into her home so her husband and his friends could “pay him a lesson” for an alleged affair Early had with Reyes while her husband was deployed overseas with the US Marine Corps. Early claims that he thought she was separated and getting a divorce. He even stated that he loved her and although they were involved romantically, he never slept with her. Reyes on the other hand sat in a room in the house and listened to him being beat by her husband and his Marine buddies. Norman Early sustained an orbital fracture, his eye was bruised and swollen shut, and he had numerous contusions to his head and body. Marines Sergio Medina, Rodrigo Sanchez, and Leonardo Ortiz were initially charged with several felonies, including attempted murder, kidnapping, and torture. The attempted murder and kidnapping charges were dismissed during the preliminary hearing. Their lawyers accepted a plea deal for first-degree robbery. Lance Cpl. Sergio Medina was sentenced to 6 years in prison. Lance Cpl. Rodrigo Sanchez and Lance Cpl. Leonardo Ortiz were sentenced to 3 years in prison. Military officials said all three were discharged from the Marine Corps.

Related Links:
Dad: 3 marines kidnap, assault son after alleged affair
Reports: U.S. Marines beat, choked man over alleged affair
Court documents show suspect confessed to beating, robbing victim
Kidnapping, attempted murder charges against Marines dismissed
Three former U.S. Marines take plea deal in beating case
Former U.S. Marines sentenced to prison in beating case
3 Former Marines Sentenced To Prison In Beating Case
Marine veterans sentenced for brutally beating man who had an affair with one of their wives
Three former Marines sentenced for brutal beating of man who had an affair with one of their wives
Three Marines sentenced for beating man who had affair with Marine’s wife while deployed

Navy PO 2nd Class Dmitry Chepusov Found Strangled to Death in Germany; Air Force SSgt Sean Oliver Found Guilty, Sentenced to Life (2013)

SSgt Sean Oliver, US Air Force, was found guilty of strangling Navy Petty Officer Dmitry Chepusov after a night of drinking on December 14th , 2013 in Kaiserslautern, Germany. The two were colleagues at the American Forces Network (AFN) at Ramstein Air Force Base. SSgt Oliver was charged with pre-meditated murder. The military prosecutors were considering the death penalty but the German authorities withheld evidence in an effort to get the death penalty off the table in this case. SSgt Oliver was found guilty of the murder of Dmitry Chepusov by the military courts and sentenced to life with parole. Military prosecutors believed the motive for the murder was to silence Dmitry Chepusov who found out about an affair that SSgt Oliver was having with his wife.

Related Links:
Air Force staff sgt. stands trial Monday on murder charge
More charges in sailor’s death in Germany
Germans withholding evidence in AFN murder case pending death penalty decision
For Germans, death penalty is concern in U.S. airman’s murder trial
Article 32 begins Friday for airman charged in strangling death of sailor
Airman pleads not guilty to premeditated murder in Chepusov’s death
Chilling New Details Emerge In Killing Of Navy Broadcaster
Soldier Gets 6 Months for False Testimony in AFN Murder
Air Force Staff Sergeant Found Guilty in AFN Murder
Air Force Staff Sgt. found guilty of murder
Oliver sentenced to life with parole for killing of AFN broadcaster
Air Force Staff Sergeant Sentenced to Life With Parole in AFN Murder
Life with possibility of parole in AFN Europe murder
Love Triangle Results in Murder on Air Base
US Air Force Court of Criminal Appeals, SSgt Sean Oliver (2014)

Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)

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Dana Mackay, Army Spouse, Virginia

Army spouse Dana Mackay, 42, was found murdered in her Williamsburg home in Virginia on July 27, 2013. The intruders entered Dana’s home and snuck into her bedroom in the middle of the night; she was bludgeoned to death by a blunt instrument in the midst of sleeping. She died from multiple blunt force trauma. A concerned neighbor found Dana nude on the floor next to her bed; there was blood everywhere. Initially investigators thought the homicide occurred after a sexual assault. But after further investigation, authorities would learn that Dana’s husband, John Mackay, 45, and his lover, Nicole Houchin, 37, planned the murder because Dana didn’t want a divorce. John admitted to investigators that he wanted a divorce from Dana but she refused and threatened to report his affair to his commanding officer if he didn’t stop. John was a Staff Sergeant (SSG) stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia and adultery was a crime punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). John did not want to risk his long standing career and apparently wanted to be with Nicole Houchin, not Dana.

John and Nicole elicited the help of Nicole’s Army husband, Nace Houchin, 35, who was also stationed at Fort Eustis, and Gregory Crawford who worked with John and Nicole at an Auto-Zone store in Williamsburg, Virginia. John Mackay promised both Nace Houchin and Gregory Crawford twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) if they would kill Dana. Did John expect a hefty pay-out from a life insurance plan on his wife? Did John promise to pay the deadly duo as soon as the money hit his bank account? John wanted the easy way out so he could be with Nicole. Dana Mackay didn’t want a divorce from John; she wanted to save the four year marriage. And although Dana innocently threatened to report John’s adulterous affair to his commander, how was she to know that it would be a motive for murder? John Mackay wanted to save his career and be with his new girlfriend. John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, and Nace Houchin confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to first degree murder. All three were sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Crawford confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with three years suspended (17).

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John Mackay, Nicole Houchin (Top); Nace Houchin, Gregory Crawford (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of WAVY.com

Related Links:
Justice for Dana
Woman, 42, found dead inside Williamsburg home
Va. sergeant confesses to Army wife’s murder plot
Staff sergeant didn’t think military mistress would murder wife
Fort Eustis soldier confesses to plotting with mistress to murder wife
Williamsburg man, girlfriend arrested in wife’s death
New details released in deadly love triangle case
Full jailhouse interview with husband charged in wife’s murder
Third person charged in Williamsburg woman’s death
Fourth suspect arrested in murder-for-hire case
Cheating Wife Hires Own Husband To Kill Her Lover’s Spouse
Dates set for Patterson murder trial in Virginia
Fort Eustis soldier, mistress plead guilty to wife’s 2013 murder
Ex-soldier Nace Houchin pleads guilty to 2013 slaying of Dana Mackay
Three plead guilty in JCC murder-for-hire plot
Third Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-For-Hire Scheme
Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-for-Hire Scheme
Four sentenced in murder for hire plot
4 sentenced in James City County murder-for-hire case
Four sentenced in JCC murder-for-hire of Dana Mackay
Analysis of a murder suspect
Trial Tracker with Pat LaLama: Seven Deadly Sins Edition
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples (Oxygen)
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples, Season 6 (Amazon)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on web)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on YouTube)


Dana MacKay is found viciously beaten to death while her husband is out of town. One suspect comes to mind: a woman who’s been stalking Dana for the last month. But it will take a cellphone with X-rated text messages to unravel this mystery. -Married with Secrets

Shannon O’Roark Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (2012)

On January 13, 2012, Shannon O’Roark of Texas drove 250 miles to Missouri to kill her estranged husband’s mistress fourty-six year old Dr. Irina Puscariu. Shannon O’Roark Griffin was an aeronautical engineer who worked for NASA training astronauts until she experienced a seizure that put her on definite sick leave. Shannon’s husband was a Colonel in the Air Force who decided he wasn’t ready to retire. Shannon and Col. Roscoe Griffin had been living separately for quite some time and discussed divorce but it appeared Shannon did not want a divorce after twenty years of marriage. Meanwhile, Col. Griffin lost a fellow service member to suicide and it devastated him. He began seeing Dr. Irina Puscariu, a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, for help. The professional relationship evolved into a romantic relationship, which is strictly forbidden in the world of psychiatry. Dr. Puscariu put her own career at risk when she chose to date Col. Griffin. Shannon found out thru social media that her husband was seeing Dr. Puscariu when he posted a picture with Irina on Facebook. Col. Griffin also changed his relationship status to “it’s complicated” which to Shannon was rejection, and rejection was the trigger. Col. Roscoe Griffin had no idea what was in store for him when someone is dumped and dangerous.

Shannon may have felt like the post meant the last twenty years were horrible and now I am going to replace you. Shannon asked Col. Griffin to go to a counseling appointment with her one last time in an effort to save the relationship. It would be here she would learn her husband of twenty years loved Dr. Puscariu and wanted to continue to see her. After this counseling session is when Shannon decided to go to Missouri and kill Dr. Puscariu. She wanted to protect what was hers at all costs. She wanted to obliterate Dr. Puscariu from her life so the problem would go away. She drove 250 miles to Irina’ home in Missouri and shot and killed her four times in front of her own mother, the last shot was to her face. Shannon then fled the scene back to Texas and was held in custody until she could be extradited back to Missouri for a murder charge. Shannon plead guilty to second degree murder to avoid a trial. She was sentenced to twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for armed criminal action. Investigators noted that before this incident Shannon had zero criminal history or violent behavior, she didn’t even have a speeding ticket. But when she got rejected by her husband Col. Roscoe Griffin, it would be jealousy and revenge that would drive her to murder the woman who stole her life.

Related Links:
Woman Accused of Killing Husband’s Mistress
Former NASA employee accused of killing alleged mistress
Former JSC worker accused of killing husband’s mistress
Report: Former JSC employee accused of killing husband’s alleged mistress
Anger, sorrow after wife of Air Force colonel accused of murder
Texas woman held in Wichita on suspicion of shooting husband’s mistress
Woman Waives Extradition In Psychiatrist’s Slaying
Woman accused of murdering a Gladstone psychiatrist extradited back to Missouri
Police: Woman charged in death of Gladstone psychiatrist
Woman charged with killing Gladstone psychiatrist brought to Clay County
Granbury Woman Charged in Death of Psychiatrist Having Affair With Her Husband
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Texas woman charged in death of Missouri psychiatrist
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu
Jaded Wife Shoots Husband’s Mistress in the Face, Charged with Murder
Former NASA trainer ‘drives 250 miles to shoot dead her husband’s mistress’
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Woman charged with killing psychiatrist to appear in court Monday
Judge denies Shannon O’Roark Griffin lower bond, mental evaluation
Plea entered in murder case
Wife Kills Mistress of Husband after Marriage Counseling Session
Wife of Air Force colonel sentenced for shooting husband’s alleged girlfriend
Woman who drove from Texas to Mo. to kill husband’s lover sentenced to 20 years
Former NASA employee gets 20 years in Gladstone slaying
Another NASA Love Triangle?
The Malignant Divorce: Has NASA Gone Postal?
Understandable Revenge is No Defence

Videos:
Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous”
Kansas Murder Scene Video
Accused killer back in Clay County
Gladstone Slaying Suspect Returns To Missouri
Woman Charged In Gladstone Slaying To Return To Missouri
Ex-NASA employee charged with killing husband’s mistress
Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu


Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous” (Investigation Discovery)