48 Hours Premiered ‘The Evidence Room’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes behind the scenes with a defense team and cutting edge forensic animators as they strategize to defend a woman accused of murder. CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith investigates in a special two-hour edition of “48 Hours” airing Saturday, Dec. 23 starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Honoring the victim: Robert McKernan.

Related Links:
Sneak peek: The Evidence Room | 48 Hours
“It was the last time he was going to hurt me” | 48 Hours
Colleen McKernan reaches plea deal, avoids third murder trial
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)

10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, US Army

Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, US Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, US Air Force

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)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, US Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, US Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, US Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, US Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, US Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, US Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, US Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, US Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

48 Hours Premiered ‘A Brother’s Mission’ on CBS: Claudia Hoerig Stands Accused of Gunning Down Husband Karl & Fleeing to Brazil (November 25, 2017)

48 Hours:

After “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty tracks down the accused killer of a decorated military pilot in Brazil, the woman is extradited to the United States . Will the pilot’s family get justice?

To get justice for his death, Karl Hoerig’s family in the United States must first navigate the Brazilian criminal justice system, which may keep his suspected murderer from facing extradition. -48 Hours

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio, 13th District) has appealed to three U.S. Presidents to try and help Major Karl Hoerig’s family get justice for the U.S. Air Force veteran’s murder. “48 Hours” Erin Moriarty talks to the congressman about his push to have Claudia Hoerig extradited to the United States to stand trial. -48 Hours

In The News:

The family of a murdered military hero is embroiled in an international fight for justice. Karl Hoerig was killed in his Ohio home in March 2007. His family immediately suspected his wife, Claudia, but she boarded a flight to her native Brazil hours after her husband’s death. U.S. investigators charged Claudia with murder, but more than 10 years later, the Hoerig family is still seeking justice. -CBS This Morning (November 24, 2017)

A military hero found shot to death in his home in Ohio and his wife abruptly returns to her native Brazil. Now his brother is on a mission to track down a suspected killer. -CBS New York (November 24, 2017)

48 Hours reporter explains what Claudia Hoerig’s been doing in Brazil -WKBN27 (January 18, 2018)

More than 11 years have passed as the family of Karl Hoerig waited for his accused killer to be brought to justice. -WKBN27 (January 18, 2018)

A Brazilian fugitive accused of murdering her husband is back on U.S. soil to face justice, thanks in part to “48 Hours.” Karl Hoerig was a major in the Air Force reserve. He was shot and killed in his own home in March 2007. The main suspect was his wife, but she flew back to her native Brazil shortly after Hoerig’s death. -CBS This Morning (January 23, 2018)

Honoring the victim: Karl Hoerig, US Air Force Reserve

Related Links:
“48 Hours” Preview: A Brother’s Mission
Sneak peek: A Brother’s Mission | 48 Hours
How does Brazilian punishment fit the crime? | 48 Hours
Congressman supports Ohio family’s 10-year quest for justice | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” travels to Brazil with family seeking justice for military pilot
Brazilian fugitive charged with murder of American husband
48 Hours reporter explains what Claudia Hoerig’s been doing in Brazil
Erin Moriarty’s investigation into the life of Claudia Hoerig
Newton Falls murder case gains national attention again on 48 Hours
Fugitive jailed: A timeline in the fight to bring Claudia Hoerig to justice
‘Bingo! We got her back:’ Newton Falls thrilled to see Hoerig trial
Claudia Hoerig to make first court appearance
Bond set at $10 million for murder defendant Claudia Hoerig
Air Force Reservist Karl Hoerig Murdered at Home; Suspect & Spouse Claudia Fled to Brazil to Avoid Extradition; 10 Years Later Back in US to Face Charges (2007)

Air Force Reserve Captain Jamie Brunette Committed Suicide After What Parents Allege May Have Been an Unreported Sexual Assault in Afghanistan (2015)

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Captain Jamie Brunette, US Air Force

Captain Jamie Brunette, 30, US Air Force, was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in her car on February 9, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. Tampa police found her in the parking lot of a Harbour Island cafe near her apartment slumped over in the back seat of a locked vehicle. She purchased the hand gun six months earlier. According to friends and family, Jamie didn’t speak much about her time in Afghanistan but her parents believe she may have suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after a sexual assault while deployed to Afghanistan. The issue sheds light on whether or not military members feel comfortable reporting crimes and asking for help for the aftermath. According to one MacDill Air Force Base official, they actively encourage airman to reach out for help and assured they would not lose their careers. They also reminded airman that reaching out for help early will help prevent the Post Traumatic Stress from getting worse and in the end help save their military career.

Related Links:
Lieutenant US Air Force Jamie Brunette and Sergeant US Army Thomas Penkal
Tampa reservist’s suicide brings home tragedy
Suicide of Florida soldier recently returned from Afghanistan leads to questions of whether she was sexually assaulted overseas
Family of Afghanistan Veteran: She Committed Suicide Due To Unreported Sexual Assault
Air Force captain, 30, shoots herself dead ‘after being sexually assaulted in Afghanistan’
Jamie Brunette’s Suicide: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Friends Grapple with Suicide of Woman, 30, Who May Have Suffered from PTSD
Family believe sexual assault led to Air Force Reserve Captain Jamie Brunette’s suicide
Sexually assaulted former Air Force captain Jamie Brunette driven to suicide, family say
Captain Jamie Brunette Suicide: Mystery Surrounds Soldier Found Dead in Car – What Happened?
#22toZero: Captain Jamie Brunette and “The Moment”
Air Force veteran’s suicide sheds light on female soldiers and PTSD

Air Force Reservist Travis McGraw Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Life Insurance Policy; Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2011)

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Vanessa Mintz and Travis McGraw

On February 19, 2011, Vanessa Mintz was found shot and killed at her family owned mountain Lodge in Saluda, North Carolina. After police conducted a thorough investigation they learned that a shell casing at the scene of the crime matched a gun owned by Travis McGraw, a police officer in the Air Force Reserve. They also learned that Travis was in love with a woman by the name of Mary-Beth who gave him an ultimatum. Mary-Beth asked Travis to choose her or Vanessa and get back to her once he decided. Less then 48 hours later, Vanessa was dead. It is believed that Travis killed Vanessa for the $100,000 military life insurance policy. At trial, the public learned that Travis asked his Air Force Commander about the life insurance policy within twelve hours of Vanessa’s death. Travis was found guilty by a jury of his peers and sentenced to life without parole. Travis McGraw appealed his conviction but it was denied.

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

Related Links:
Text messages lead authorities to suspect in murder of Saluda woman
Husband charged with murder in slaying of NC Realtor
McGraw Backs Out of Plea Agreement
Former Police Officer Rejects Plea Deal In Wife’s Polk County Killing
Travis McGraw Guilty Plea Withdrawn on Friday
McGraw found guilty of first-degree murder
McGraw sentenced to life in murder of wife
McGraw Murder Appeal Hearing Set for Wednesday
McGraw Murder Conviction Appeal Denied
McGraw murder conviction appeal denied | Life Insurance Fraud
’48 Hours’ report on Mintz murder airs Saturday
“48 Hours” Investigates the Mysteries Behind a Missing Daughter & a Murdered Mom in a Saturday Night Double Feature
The Ultimatum | 48 Hours [Video]
Mary Beth Fisher on Travis McGraw’s reaction to his wife’s murder
Vanessa Mintz’ commitment to her community
The Ultimatum: A crucial clue and shocking secret revealed in the hunt for a North Carolina mother’s killer [Video]
Vanessa Mintz, Travis McGraw: CBS’ 48 Hours Features Hendersonville, North Carolina Murder Case
Local “48 Hours” Case Update


Two daughters are determined to find their mother’s killer.
Will the investigation expose hidden secrets? -48 Hours

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

SrA Blanca Luna, US Air Force (2008)

SrA Blanca Luna, US Air Force Reserve

On March 7, 2008, SrA Blanca A. Luna, 27, US Air Force Reserve, was found unresponsive and with injuries consistent with a stab wound in her billeting room at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas three days prior to graduating and heading back home. She was discovered with a knife in the back of her neck according to the death certificate and no pants or underwear and dried fluid near her groin according to the autopsy. She was taken to a local hospital in Wichita Falls where she died shortly thereafter. She was an Air Force Reservist on temporary duty at Sheppard AFB attending a technical training course for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC).  She was a Marine from 1997 to 2002 and then became a Reservist in 2007 at the 434rd Civil Engineer Squadron, Grissom Air Reserve Base in Indiana. She loved the military. She was living in the Chicago, Illinois area and studying Graphic Design.

Because this death occurred on a federal installation, the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) was the lead on the investigation. They initially labeled the death a “suspicious incident”. According to AFOSI, the FBI assisted with the investigation. The FBI processed the crime scene and collaborated with the ensuing Air Force investigation. The AFOSI referred to the death as a homicide in the media in the early stages of the investigation. Six months later they would be accused of leading the family to believe it was a suicide despite evidence suggesting otherwise. Six months after her death, no official determination was made as to the manner of death: homicide, suicide, or accident. Eventually, the family learned from the autopsy report that the official manner of death was considered “undetermined”. No suspects were ever identified.

“AFOSI has been the lead investigative agency since Airman Luna’s death. At AFOSI’s request, the FBI sent an evidence response team to process the scene immediately after Airman Luna was found, and the two agencies have continued to cooperate in the investigation. Agents have been assigned to the case on a full-time basis, and more than 350 interviews have been conducted at locations across the country. Findings have been reviewed by a diverse team of experts, including specialists in forensics, polygraph, computer investigation, behavioral psychology and forensic pathology…More than 200 DNA tests have been done.”

Two of Blanca’s friends who had visited her at the base noted that she had talked about problems with some airman in her classes. She felt that they resented her because of her rank and the fact that she was a woman in a leadership position. When Blanca’s body arrived in Chicago, the family observed bruises on Blanca’s face as if she had been punched or had fallen and scratches between her fingers that appeared to be defensive wounds. Luna’s family insists that she would never commit suicide and that the evidence does not support that suggestion. In October 2008, Gloria Barrios traveled to Texas from Chicago to get some answers, including the autopsy report, from the Air Force but she didn’t get anything except a tour of the base. Gloria had questions about the bruises, defensive wounds, and the fluid found near Blanca’s groin but never received any answers. Blanca’s mom feels that this is a cover-up.

The family believes that AFOSI did not investigate the crime with due diligence and was trying to lead them to believe Blanca committed suicide. They initially determined that it was a homicide and investigated it as a crime. This is problematic because instead of listing the death as an unsolved murder or cold case, it can be written off as a suicide and never investigated again. After Gloria’s visit to Sheppard AFB, the Air Force released a statement that said “deaths are investigated as homicides initially, but that nothing suggests that anyone on base is in danger.” This statement is troublesome because the murder occurred within the confines of a secure military base. One cannot get onto the base without military identification. It had to be someone affiliated with the base that either lives and/or works there. The Air Force cannot guarantee the base’s safety when they do not even know who committed the crime. Blanca’s mom wants answers from military officials, and she wants them to classify Luna’s death as a homicide and find the culprit. Was the DNA collected at the scene compared to the national DNA database (CODIS)? Five years later, still with no answers, Gloria Barrios was battling depression and hospitalized. Eight years later, the case is still considered “under investigation” and highlights the need for cold case squads in the military.

“My gut feeling is they are looking for a culprit outside of the base, but the murderer is on the base. They’re looking in the wrong place…I can’t express what I feel about these people. They’re [Air Force] treating me like dirt. They are driving me crazy. It’s like they’re playing with my mind, giving me bad information.” -Gloria Barrios (Blanca’s mom)

The incident is under investigation by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and the Sheppard AFB security forces squadron. Anyone with information regarding the case should call Sheppard Air Force Base security forces at (940) 676-2981 [or Sheppard AFOSI at (940) 676-1852].

Related Links:
Air Force identifies deceased Airman
Air Force Identifies Murdered Reservist
‘Suspicious’ death: Student airman with stab wound dies in hospital
Texas Air Force Reservist Found Stabbed to Death in Hotel
Indiana Air Force reservist found fatally stabbed in Texas
Indiana Airman found dead at base in Texas
Grissom Airman found dead in Texas
Military probes reservist’s slaying
Murder on the Base?
OSI continues to investigate March 7 death
Airman’s Mom Seeks Truth About Death
Mother of Murdered Female Airman To Request Meeting on Oct. 3 with Sheppard Air Force Base officials on Status of Investigation
Blanca Luna’s mother went to Texas but learned nothing about her daughter’s death on an air force base
Dead airman’s family unhappy about lack of progress in case
Family suspects cover-up in airman’s death on base
The Murder of Military Women Continues
Our Town: Gloria Barrios
Justice for Blanca Luna
5th Anniversary of Unsolved Murder on Sheppard Air Force Base
Find a Grave: Blanca Adriana Luna (1980 – 2008)

Air Force Reservist Karl Hoerig Murdered at Home; Suspect & Spouse Claudia Fled to Brazil to Avoid Extradition; 10 Years Later Back in US to Face Charges (March 12, 2007)

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Karl Hoerig, Air Force Reserve

48 Hours:

After “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty tracks down the accused killer of a decorated military pilot in Brazil, the woman is extradited to the United States . Will the pilot’s family get justice?

To get justice for his death, Karl Hoerig’s family in the United States must first navigate the Brazilian criminal justice system, which may keep his suspected murderer from facing extradition. -48 Hours

Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio, 13th District) has appealed to three U.S. Presidents to try and help Major Karl Hoerig’s family get justice for the U.S. Air Force veteran’s murder. “48 Hours” Erin Moriarty talks to the congressman about his push to have Claudia Hoerig extradited to the United States to stand trial. -48 Hours

The family of a murdered military hero is embroiled in an international fight for justice. Karl Hoerig was killed in his Ohio home in March 2007. His family immediately suspected his wife, Claudia, but she boarded a flight to her native Brazil hours after her husband’s death. U.S. investigators charged Claudia with murder, but more than 10 years later, the Hoerig family is still seeking justice. Erin Moriarty, who traveled to Brazil to track down Claudia, joins “CBS This Morning” to preview her “48 Hours” report.

Related Links:
Justice for Karl Hoerig | Congressman Tim Ryan
Justice For Major Karl Hoerig | Representative John A. Boccieri
Brazil Uncooperative in Extradition of Suspected Murderer
Brazil Uncooperative in Extradition of Suspected Murderer
Woman accused of killing her husband, and a congressman is pursuing justice
State representative pushes for stronger response to Brazilian murder suspect
Family of murdered veteran battles to bring his wife to justice
US congressman: Ohio fugitive arrested in her native Brazil
Nine years later, local family hoping for justice after murder suspect arrested in Brazil
Trump must call for return of Claudia Hoerig
Newton Falls murder case gains national attention again on 48 Hours
Sneak peek: A Brother’s Mission | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” Preview: A Brother’s Mission
Congressman supports Ohio family’s 10-year quest for justice
“48 Hours” travels to Brazil with family seeking justice for military pilot
How does Brazilian punishment fit the crime?
Brazilian fugitive charged with murder of American husband
Brazilian fugitive charged with murder of American husband
48 Hours reporter explains what Claudia Hoerig’s been doing in Brazil
Wife of Murdered Newton Falls Pilot Karl Hoerig Arrested in Brazil, May Finally Face Extradition
‘Bingo! We got her back:’ Newton Falls thrilled to see Hoerig trial
Karl Hoerig case update: A family’s decade-long quest to get justice for murdered veteran
CBS News This Morning spotlights Karl Hoerig murder case
Timeline: Efforts to extradite Claudia Hoerig for husband’s murder
Fugitive jailed: A timeline in the fight to bring Claudia Hoerig to justice
Karl Hoerig’s Air Force friends praise effort to bring accused killer to U.S.
Woman indicted in ’07 slaying of husband returned to US
Woman accused of murdering Air Force husband fled to Brazil in 2007, extradited back to Ohio
Newton Falls woman accused of killing husband 10 years ago extradited from Brazil, arrested
Woman accused of killing Air Force veteran husband, fleeing to Brazil now in Ohio jail
Brazilian Woman Back in NEO, Charged With Husband’s Murder
Senator O’Brien Praises Extradition Of Claudia Hoerig
Bond set at $10 million for decade-old murder case
Bond set for woman who fled to Brazil after Air Force Reserve husband’s slaying
Hoerig pleads not guilty to murder, bond set at $10,000,000
Woman accused in 2007 Trumbull County murder of husband pleads not guilty, held on $10 million bond
48 Hours Premiered ‘A Brother’s Mission’ on CBS (2017)
The Wife from Hell | MilitaryCorruption.com