48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Trail of Fire’ on CBS: Holley Wimunc, Domestic Violence, and the Holley Lynn James Act (June 26, 2018)


Friends searching for a missing Army nurse find her apartment smoldering and no sign of their friend. Can NCIS agents find her? -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS


The apartment of a missing Army nurse was found smoldering. This was the season finale of “48 Hours: NCIS” and producer Jonathan Leach joined CBS News to discuss the episode. -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS

Holley Lynn James Wimunc 2

Lt. Holley Lynn James, US Army

Fort Bragg Army nurse, Lt Holley (Lynn James) Wimunc, 24, was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc on July 9, 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After Holley didn’t show up to work, her friends went looking for her. They found her apartment had been set on fire but Holley was nowhere to be found. Three days later authorities discovered Holley’s mutilated remains in a shallow grave outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her body had been chopped up with an axe and burned repeatedly in an effort to try and destroy evidence. John Wimunc also started her apartment on fire in an effort to hide evidence with no regard for any of the nineteen other families in the apartment building. Holley’s father Jesse James shared that she planned on divorcing John Wimunc after putting up with the domestic abuse for over seven months. It would be the day after she told John that she was leaving him that she would go missing. Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. An accomplice, Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, was charged with being an accessory after the fact of a felony, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. John Wimunc plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison. Kyle Alden plead guilty and was sentenced to 44 to 62 months in prison. Jesse James worked with Representative Bruce Braley on legislation that would improve conditions for both domestic violence and sexual assault victims in the military. The Holley Lynn James Act (H.R. 1517) was introduced to the 112th Congress in 2011 but did not pass.

“I didn’t know much about domestic violence. But the thought that he would murder Holley is a thought that never occurred to me. I wish it had occurred to me. I wish for one moment I would have thought maybe he’ll kill Holley or murder Holley. My reaction would have been so different. I didn’t know about domestic violence.” -Jesse James (Holley’s father)

MJFA Link:
Army Nurse Lt. Holley Lynn James Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce; John Wimunc Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 9, 2008)
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Trail of Fire,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app for iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  


Authorities in North Carolina have charged the husband of a Fort Bragg Army nurse with murder after the woman’s remains were found in a brush fire three days after she went missing. -AP (July 14, 2008)


The husband of an Army nurse who worked in the maternity ward at Fort Bragg’s hospital was charged Monday with murder in her death, a day after her body was discovered by authorities. -AP (July 14, 2008)


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


Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc

Related Links:
Obituary: Lt Holley Lynn James
Second Missing Ft. Bragg Soldier Is Divorcing Husband
Evidence to be preserved in case of slain Army nurse
Authorities suspect charred remains could be Fort Bragg nurse
Fort Bragg nurse sought protection from Marine husband after gun incident
Apartment complex denies access to slain soldier’s family
Slain soldier’s brother retrieves belongings from apartment
Autopsy: Army nurse was shot, buried
Funeral set for Army nurse Holley Wimunc
Vigil planned for slain Army nurse
Fort Bragg hosts memorial service for slain nurse
Wimunc’s father: Daughter ‘never met a stranger’
Family, attorney: Marine charged in wife’s death is innocent
Marine’s parents: Claims of violence against wife ‘unfounded’
Husband, 2nd man arrested in slaying of Bragg-based soldier
2 Marines charged in nurse’s death due in NC court
Marine charged in wife’s death
Marine charged in death of Army nurse wife
Husband charged with murdering soldier wife
Missing Nurse’s Marine Husband Charged With Murder
Dead Army nurse’s husband charged with murder
Camp Lejeune husband charged with the murder of his Fort Bragg wife
Soldier’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marines appear in court in Army nurse’s death
Marines charged in slaying appear in court
Marines indicted in Army nurse’s slaying
Death penalty sought in Army nurse’s slaying
NC to seek death penalty in killing of Army wife from Dubuque
Wimunc Faces Death Penalty
Plea deal reached in Marine murder case
Camp Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to killing wife
Second Marine pleads guilty in Army nurse’s death
Marine Pleads Guilty in Army Wife’s Murder
Slain Army nurse’s dad in war against domestic violence
Death on the Home Front
The Fort Bragg Murders
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’
When a Military Nurse Fails to Show Up for Work, Worried Friends Rush to Her Apartment Only to Find her Home Burned & Their Friend Missing
Did a Missing Army Nurse Fall Prey to a Serial Killer Targeting Military Women?
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Video Links:
AP Top Stories: Holley Wimunc
Dead Army Nurse’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marine Charged in Army Wife’s Death
Holley James we miss you
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 1 | CBS News
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 2 | CBS News
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act
Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc
Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Trail of Fire
“48 Hours: NCIS: Trail of Fire” preview

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Roommate from Hell’ on Investigation Discovery: Jeffrey Wheatley (December 15, 2013)


When Jeffrey Wheatley moves to Stockton, California he sees it as a second chance. His friend Drew offers him a room in a house that he shares with Valerie Nessler. But soon, the house will be the setting of the most brutal murder the town has ever seen. -A Stranger in My Home, Investigation Discovery

Coast Guard veteran Jeffrey Wheatley was discovered dead in what appeared to be a house fire in his Stockton, California home on April 7, 2010. After a closer examination, investigators learned that Jeffrey was shot, stabbed, and burned alive. The motive appeared to be revenge. Roommate Valerie Nessler claims Jeffrey admitted to killing someone in 1994 which was the same year her friend Robert Turner’s brother was murdered. Valerie Nessler was found guilty of arson and first degree murder for her role and sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Robert Turner was found guilty of arson and first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. And Allen Periman was found guilty of second degree murder for his role in the homicide.

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:
Arrest in slaying, burning of corpse
Woman guilty of roommate murder
‘This is what I have left of my brother’
People v. Periman (2014)
People v. Turner (2015)
About the Show | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery
A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
‘Roommate from Hell’ | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
‘Roommate from Hell’ | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)

Army Spouse Billi Jo Smallwood Convicted of Arson that Killed Her 2 Children Samuel Fagan & Rebekah Smallwood; Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison (June 28, 2012)


True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Related Links:
Samuel Fagan (1997-2007)
Rebekah Smallwood (2004-2007)
Rebekah Josephine Smallwood | Sept. 6, 2003-May 29, 2007
Murderpedia: Billi Jo Smallwood
Fatal Fire At Fort Campbell Ruled Arson
Georgia woman allegedly kills her 2 kids in arson meant to kill husband
Army wife accused in arson that killed her 2 kids
Army wife accused in arson that killed her kids
Army Wife Accused in Arson That Killed Her 2 Kids
Murder-for-insurance failed, prosecutor says
Insurance motive cited in fire that killed 2 kids
Gainesville soldiers wife pleads not guilty to setting fire that killed 2 kids
Woman guilty in fiery deaths of her 2 children
Smallwood guilty of setting fire to Fort Campbell residence
Army Wife Convicted of Setting Fatal Fire
Mother convicted of setting fire that killed her children
Army wife found guilty of setting fire to home killing kids aged 9 and 2 in blaze ‘set for husband’
Mom Gets 25 Years in Base Arson That Killed 2 Kids
Mom Gets 25 Years For Arson That Killed Two Of Her Children
Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire
Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire
Fort Campbell Woman Sentenced 25 Years for Fatal Fire
Woman who set fire to home, killed two children gets 25 years
Army wife who killed her children after setting fire to her home to try to kill her husband for his $440,000 life insurance policy is sentenced to 25 years
Judge shows leniency for woman convicted of killing children
Judge shows leniency for woman convicted of killing children
USA PLAINTIFF v. BILLI JO SMALLWOOD DEFENDANT (memo opinion & order)
United States of America v Billi Jo Smallwood (2012)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for Military Survivor and Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones – The Ballad of Billi Jo
The Ballad of Billi-Jo | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID Web
The Ballad of Billi-Jo | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID YouTube


When a house fire takes the lives of Wayne and Billi Jo Smallwood’s two young children, everyone on the Fort Campbell military base is grief-stricken for them. But when it turns out the fire was intentionally set – grief turns to outrage. -True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Army Nurse Lt. Holley Lynn James Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce; John Wimunc Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 9, 2008)


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

Holley Lynn James Wimunc 2

Lt. Holley Lynn James, US Army

Fort Bragg Army nurse, Lt Holley (Lynn James) Wimunc, 24, was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc on July 9, 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After Holley didn’t show up to work, her friends went looking for her. They found her apartment had been set on fire but Holley was nowhere to be found. Three days later authorities discovered Holley’s mutilated remains in a shallow grave outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her body had been chopped up with an axe and burned repeatedly in an effort to try and destroy evidence. John Wimunc also started her apartment on fire in an effort to hide evidence with no regard for any of the nineteen other families in the apartment building. Holley’s father Jesse James shared that she planned on divorcing John Wimunc after putting up with the domestic abuse for over seven months. It would be the day after she told John that she was leaving him that she would go missing. Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. An accomplice, Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, was charged with being an accessory after the fact of a felony, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. John Wimunc plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison. Kyle Alden plead guilty and was sentenced to 44 to 62 months in prison. Jesse James worked with Representative Bruce Braley on legislation that would improve conditions for both domestic violence and sexual assault victims in the military. The Holley Lynn James Act (H.R. 1517) was introduced to the 112th Congress in 2011 but did not pass.

“I didn’t know much about domestic violence. But the thought that he would murder Holley is a thought that never occurred to me. I wish it had occurred to me. I wish for one moment I would have thought maybe he’ll kill Holley or murder Holley. My reaction would have been so different. I didn’t know about domestic violence.” -Jesse James (Holley’s father)


Friends searching for a missing Army nurse find her apartment smoldering and no sign of their friend. Can NCIS agents find her? -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS


The apartment of a missing Army nurse was found smoldering. This was the season finale of “48 Hours: NCIS” and producer Jonathan Leach joined CBS News to discuss the episode. -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Trail of Fire,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app for iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  

Related Links:
Obituary: Lt Holley Lynn James
Second Missing Ft. Bragg Soldier Is Divorcing Husband
Evidence to be preserved in case of slain Army nurse
Authorities suspect charred remains could be Fort Bragg nurse
Fort Bragg nurse sought protection from Marine husband after gun incident
Apartment complex denies access to slain soldier’s family
Slain soldier’s brother retrieves belongings from apartment
Autopsy: Army nurse was shot, buried
Funeral set for Army nurse Holley Wimunc
Vigil planned for slain Army nurse
Fort Bragg hosts memorial service for slain nurse
Wimunc’s father: Daughter ‘never met a stranger’
Family, attorney: Marine charged in wife’s death is innocent
Marine’s parents: Claims of violence against wife ‘unfounded’
Husband, 2nd man arrested in slaying of Bragg-based soldier
2 Marines charged in nurse’s death due in NC court
Marine charged in wife’s death
Marine charged in death of Army nurse wife
Husband charged with murdering soldier wife
Missing Nurse’s Marine Husband Charged With Murder
Dead Army nurse’s husband charged with murder
Camp Lejeune husband charged with the murder of his Fort Bragg wife
Soldier’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marines appear in court in Army nurse’s death
Marines charged in slaying appear in court
Marines indicted in Army nurse’s slaying
Death penalty sought in Army nurse’s slaying
NC to seek death penalty in killing of Army wife from Dubuque
Wimunc Faces Death Penalty
Plea deal reached in Marine murder case
Camp Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to killing wife
Second Marine pleads guilty in Army nurse’s death
Marine Pleads Guilty in Army Wife’s Murder
Slain Army nurse’s dad in war against domestic violence
Death on the Home Front
The Fort Bragg Murders
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’
When a Military Nurse Fails to Show Up for Work, Worried Friends Rush to Her Apartment Only to Find her Home Burned & Their Friend Missing
Did a Missing Army Nurse Fall Prey to a Serial Killer Targeting Military Women?
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Video Links:
AP Top Stories: Holley Wimunc
Dead Army Nurse’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marine Charged in Army Wife’s Death
Holley James we miss you
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 1 | CBS News
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 2 | CBS News
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act
Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc
Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Trail of Fire
“48 Hours: NCIS: Trail of Fire” preview

Samuel Fagan and Rebekah Smallwood Died as a Result of a House Fire at Fort Campbell; Mother & Army Spouse Billi Jo Smallwood Accused of Arson (May 29, 2007)


True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Related Links:
Samuel Fagan (1997-2007)
Rebekah Smallwood (2004-2007)
Rebekah Josephine Smallwood | Sept. 6, 2003-May 29, 2007
Murderpedia: Billi Jo Smallwood
Fatal Fire At Fort Campbell Ruled Arson
Georgia woman allegedly kills her 2 kids in arson meant to kill husband
Army wife accused in arson that killed her 2 kids
Army wife accused in arson that killed her kids
Army Wife Accused in Arson That Killed Her 2 Kids
Murder-for-insurance failed, prosecutor says
Insurance motive cited in fire that killed 2 kids
Gainesville soldiers wife pleads not guilty to setting fire that killed 2 kids
Woman guilty in fiery deaths of her 2 children
Smallwood guilty of setting fire to Fort Campbell residence
Army Wife Convicted of Setting Fatal Fire
Mother convicted of setting fire that killed her children
Army wife found guilty of setting fire to home killing kids aged 9 and 2 in blaze ‘set for husband’
Mom Gets 25 Years in Base Arson That Killed 2 Kids
Mom Gets 25 Years For Arson That Killed Two Of Her Children
Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire
Woman sentenced to 25 years for setting fatal fire
Fort Campbell Woman Sentenced 25 Years for Fatal Fire
Woman who set fire to home, killed two children gets 25 years
Army wife who killed her children after setting fire to her home to try to kill her husband for his $440,000 life insurance policy is sentenced to 25 years
Judge shows leniency for woman convicted of killing children
Judge shows leniency for woman convicted of killing children
USA PLAINTIFF v. BILLI JO SMALLWOOD DEFENDANT (memo opinion & order)
United States of America v Billi Jo Smallwood (2012)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for Military Survivor and Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones – The Ballad of Billi Jo
The Ballad of Billi-Jo | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID Web
The Ballad of Billi-Jo | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID YouTube


When a house fire takes the lives of Wayne and Billi Jo Smallwood’s two young children, everyone on the Fort Campbell military base is grief-stricken for them. But when it turns out the fire was intentionally set – grief turns to outrage. -True Crime with Aphrodite Jones