The Perfect Murder Premiered ‘Whidbey Island Mystery’ on Investigation Discovery: Peggy Sue Thomas Manipulated Jim Huden to Kill Russel Douglas (August 30, 2018)

ID Go: After Christmas in 2003, on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State, Russel Douglas is found shot in the head, in his car along a deserted road. It’s the start of a case that will take a decade to solve, and leave many with lingering questions. -Whidbey Island Mystery, The Perfect Murder (S5, E6)

Russel Douglas was found dead in his car on Whidbey Island in Washington on December 26, 2003. It turns out Navy veteran Peggy Sue Thomas lured him to his death. Both Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden conspired to murder Russel Douglas for revenge. Investigators suspect that the duo committed the murder for Peggy’s friend Brenna, who alleged abuse, but there was never enough evidence to charge Brenna Douglas with any crimes. Jim Huden was convicted and sentenced to eighty years in prison. Peggy Thomas agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence. Thomas was sentenced to four years for her role in the murder. Peggy Thomas continues to deny any involvement in the murder and claims she didn’t know that her boyfriend at the time was going to kill Douglas (despite being the last to text him shortly before he was murdered). Peggy Thomas was released from prison in 2016.

In the News:

From pageants to famous husband to prison, murder suspect allowed to visit NM. -KRQE (October 7, 2011)

48 Hours:

How did a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case? -48 Hours

The true-crime author of over two dozen New York Times bestsellers tells “48 Hours” she couldn’t help but write about the Russel Douglas case. -48 Hours

Gail O’Neil shares memories of her son, Russel Douglas, who was murdered on Sept. 26, 2003, on Whidbey Island, Wash. -48 Hours

Jim Huden’s former band mates talk to “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant about what it was like to find out their one-time lead guitarist was accused of murder. -48 Hours

Detectives allege Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas lured Russel Douglas to his death by asking to drop off a present for Russel’s wife, Brenna. Both Jim and Peggy claim the present was delivered to Russel days before the murder. When investigators surprise their suspects with simultaneous separate interrogations, they discover discrepancies. Do you think Jim and Peggy are making up a story to throw off investigators? -48 Hours

Oxygen:

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Sue Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples

Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen

Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples (S8, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: On tiny Whidbey Island, Washington, beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas seems to be a perfect wife and mother. But when her best friend’s husband is shot to death, Peggy finds herself on center stage of a murder investigation. -If Looks Could Kill, Beauty Queen Murders (S1, E5)

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:
Peggy Sue Thomas: Drop-Dead Gorgeous
Documents show victim’s wife is suspect in murder
Washington jury says ‘guilty’ in Russel Douglas murder
Former Washington beauty queen pleads guilty to lesser charge in murder case
Ex-beauty queen gets 4-year sentence in killing
Ex-beauty queen sentenced for role in Whidbey Island murder
48 Hours: Tracing a fugitive killer’s footsteps in Mexico
Man lured to his death by beauty queen and wannabe rockstar on Boxing Day
‘I’m giving up four years of my life for something I didn’t do’: Ex-beauty queen jailed for helping her lover carry out 2003 murder claims she is an innocent ‘victim’
Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder
Peggy Thomas, Jim Huden: ‘Snapped Killer Couples’ Details Whidbey Island Murder Case Involving Sultry Beauty Queen and Rock Star Lover
Murder of Russel Douglas by Jim Huden spotlighted on The Perfect Murder
Pageants to Famous Husband to Prison
Snapped: Killer Couples ‘Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden’
Sneak Peek: Dangerous Beauty | 48 Hours
Why Ann Rule was intrigued with the Russel Douglas murder case | 48 Hours
Remembering Russel Douglas | 48 Hours
Band mates open up about rocker, murder suspect | 48 Hours
Suspects surprised with simultaneous, separate interrogations | 48 Hours
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Preview – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen
Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden | Snapped: Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8, E4)
If Looks Could Kill | Beauty Queen Murders | Investigation Discovery (S1, E5)
Whidbey Island Mystery | The Perfect Murder | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Led Police on High Speed Car Chase After Welfare Check Initiated; Died by Suicide During the Incident (October 12, 2017)

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Master Sergeant Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, 39, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on October 12, 2017 near the Williamson-Bell County line in Texas. Although the exact set of circumstances that led to MSG Gwinn taking his own life are unknown, the media reported that MSG Gwinn took his own life during an exchange of gunfire after leading the Killeen Police Department (KPD) on a high speed car chase. Prior to the incident, a concerned family member contacted the Fort Hood chain of command to report that Joe was experiencing a mental health breakdown and may be suicidal. The command contacted the military police who then asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘welfare check’ on MSG Gwinn. According to the KPD, MSG Gwinn was located in his car but took off when approached; they said MSG Gwinn then led police on a high speed car chase. According to reports, Alva fled on foot after pulling over, there was an exchange of gunfire with the KPD, and MSG Gwinn ended his life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. An officer involved shooting investigation was launched because gunfire was exchanged. Joe left behind two sons from a previous marriage and a wife and family who loved him very much. He is missed dearly.

On March 21, 2018, the media reported that a “Bell County Grand Jury reviewed the completed investigation done by the Texas Rangers and decided no indictment should be returned to the deputy in connection with the events leading to the death of a Fort Hood soldier.” MSG Gwinn’s home of record was listed as Richwood, West Virginia. MSG Gwinn served in the Army National Guard from 1996-1999 and then enlisted in the active-duty Army in September 1999 as a combat engineer. At the time of his death, MSG Gwinn was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 36th Engineer Brigade at Fort Hood since April 2012. MSG Gwinn served in the military for over twenty years and was eligible for retirement. When the media reported on the death of MSG Gwinn, they also mentioned a sexual assault accusation lodged against him in June 2016. They reported MSG Gwinn was scheduled to go to court in November 2017 as if they were implying there was a connection between the suicide and the court date scheduled the following month. One media source reported MSG Gwinn was a highly decorated combat veteran who was known for being a perfectionist and respected by his peers. MSG Gwinn deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of five times while he served with the U.S. Army.

Editor’s Note: The circumstances that led to MSG Gwinn’s suicide inspired us to include him in a Fort Hood status of forces presentation we prepared for congressional representatives in Washington D.C. We believe things could have been handled better and we hope authorities learn from this experience in an effort to prevent it from happening again. We also found it in poor taste that the media mired MSG Gwinn’s reputation at the time of his death with an accusation of which he had not been found guilty of.

Areas of Concern:

  • On October 12, 2017, family informed the chain of command that MSG Gwinn was experiencing a mental health breakdown & may be suicidal; at the request of the chain of command, the military police asked the Killeen Police Department to do a ‘welfare check’ on MSG Gwinn; according to the KPD, they located MSG Gwinn in his car but he took off when approached and then led them on a high speed car chase that ended with an exchange of gunfire and MSG Gwinn taking his own life
  • How can we prevent a ‘welfare check’ from turning into an officer involved shooting, suicide by cop or suicide? Why was the high speed car chase necessary?
  • According to media reports, in June 2016, MSG Gwinn was arrested, indicted and charged by civilian authorities with “aggravated sexual assault” of a 12-year-old girl in 2012; the accusations surfaced in the midst of a child support and child custody case; MSG Gwinn maintained his innocence but a potential trial loomed and his military career and child visitation rights were on hold; Joe loved his family
  • The accusations negatively impacted MSG Gwinn’s military career and ability to spend time with his two sons; this in turn negatively impacted his mental health; the stress of the child custody case & accusations took their toll; up until this point, MSG Gwinn had a stellar military career and had never been accused of any crimes
  • According to local media, Alva was facing a trial in November 2017 and they made a loose connection between a pending trial date and MSG Gwinn’s suicide
  • What prompted the media to mire MSG Gwinn’s memory with an accusation when they reported on his death? Is that fair when the accused can’t defend themselves?
  • 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?
  • What is the military’s policy on child visitation when a military member is accused of a crime against a child other than their own?

Related Links:
Obituary: Alva “Joe” Gwinn
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier (Ft Hood Press Center)
Fort Hood Fallen Warriors
Killeen man arrested for sexual assault of 12-year-old
Man arrested for aggravated sexual assault of a child
Fort Hood soldier arrested on aggravated sexual assault charge
Fort Hood soldier indicted in sexual assault case
Man who died in Thursday chase identified
Man in Bell County Chase was Fort Hood Soldier
Soldier who died in pursuit a decorated combat engineer
Soldier who led officers on Williamson Co. chase was facing sexual assault trial
Deputy in deadly Bell Co. chase was 12-year veteran, Williamson Co. sheriff’s office says
In the military, trusted officers became alleged assailants in sex crimes
Man who died after 2-county chase was facing child rape trial
Affidavit: Man in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of child
Ft. Hood Soldier leads police on high speed chase before killing himself
Authorities: Man shot after police chase in Bell County killed himself
Army master sergeant commits suicide during police shoot out after giving chase
Army MSG was facing charges of sexually assaulting 12 year old girl
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Man who took own life after WilCo pursuit was soldier facing child sex assault charge
One dead after officer-involved shooting in Bell County
Affidavit: Suspect in officer-involved shooting was charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child
Man who died during pursuit had court date for sexual assault of a child
Ft. Hood Soldier leads police on high speed chase before killing himself
No charges filed against Williamson County deputy in officer-involved shooting
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)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Love Leaves Town’ on ID: Katrina Bridges Shot Her Sleeping Boyfriend for the Life Insurance (November 25, 2016)

With hearts of stone, these Deadly Women give their men special send-offs when “Love Leaves Town.” A young mom prefers her vices to her boyfriend. -Love Leaves Town, Deadly Women (S10, E12)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E12)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Navy Veteran Christopher Ingraham Jr. Fatally Shot While Sleeping; Girlfriend Katrina Bridges Found Guilty, Sentenced to 47 Years (January 4, 2001)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanished in Florida; Air Force SSgt Steven Williams Pleaded No Contest to Murder, Sentenced to 35 Years in Prison (April 26, 2016)

Tricia Todd HuffPost

Tricia Todd, U.S. Air Force Veteran (Photo: HuffPost)

  • SSgt Steven Williams, 30, US Air Force, and USAF veteran Tricia Todd, 30, were married for 11 years and had one child
  • Williams and Todd divorced on February 2, 2016
  • Williams was stationed at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina
  • Tricia Todd lived in Hobe Sound, Florida with their only child
  • Williams traveled to Florida to visit their only child
  • Tricia vanished from Florida on April 26, 2016
  • Williams is accused in May 2016 of murdering Tricia Todd
  • Williams admitted to getting in an argument about finances & pushed Todd
  • Williams pleaded no contest to the second degree murder of Tricia Todd
  • Williams was sentenced to 35 years in prison if he led investigators to the body
  • Williams led investigators to her mutilated body in Florida
  • Williams could face additional federal penalties under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) as he was an active member of the armed forces at the time the crime was committed
  • According to The Object of Murder (Investigation Discovery), civilian prosecutors want the Air Force to try Williams in a military death penalty trial but the Air Force has not taken any action thus far

In the News:

Part 1: Tricia Todd’s life was filled with intense moments of both love and violence. She wrote in great detail about those moments on her online blog. -True Crime Daily (November 11, 2016)

Part 2: Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer -True Crime Daily (November 11, 2016)

Part 1: Tricia Todd divorced her husband Steven Williams after more than ten years of marriage. Before Tricia went missing, she wrote in an online journal about falling for another man, and that her husband had a dark side. She was later found dead. -True Crime Daily (March 30, 2017)

Part 2: Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer -True Crime Daily (March 30, 2017)

Tricia Todd’s life was filled with intense moments of both love and violence. She wrote in great detail about those moments on her blog. -True Crime Daily (November 16, 2018)

Investigation Discovery:

In 2016, 33-year-old Tricia Todd was reported missing after failing to pick up her daughter from a babysitter. As her family hoped and prayed, investigators found her online journal that revealed the true horror of what had happened. -Beauty for Ashes, The Object of Murder (S1,E1)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Video Links:
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 1)
Murdered Woman’s Journal Helps Catch Her Killer (Part 2)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 1)
Murdered Woman’s Diary Helps Catch Her Killer (Pt 2)
How her journal helped solve her own murder
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (S1,E1)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (website)
Beauty for Ashes | The Object of Murder | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Related Links:
Facebook: Search for Tricia Williams Todd
Florida detectives travel to NC to interview ex-husband of missing mom
SJAFB Airman Confesses To Killing Ex-Wife
Ex-Husband Arrested in Murder of Missing Air Force Vet Mom Tricia Todd
Airman charged with murder of missing Florida woman, his ex-wife
North Carolina airman charged with second-degree murder in death of ex-wife
Airman who killed ex-wife in Florida lived in Raleigh
Ex-husband killed missing Florida mom, search for body underway, sheriff says
Family of Murdered Air Force Vet Forgives the Ex-Husband Who Killed Her: ‘If You Allow Bitterness and Anger to Grow, It Eats You Alive’
Steven Williams’ jail records reveal threat; bizarre mattress incident while behind bars
Body of Air Force veteran killed by her ex-husband found in Florida; ex-husband pleads no contest
Tricia Todd death: Authorities find partial remains in container
Remains believed to be Fla. mom found in acid-filled barrel
Tricia Todd Update: Former Husband Charged with Cutting Up Her Remains
Florida sheriff says NC man used chainsaw to cut up ex-wife
Police Allege Air Force Sgt. Used Chainsaw to Cut Up Remains of Ex-Wife Air Force Veteran Who Had Been Missing Since April
Ex-husband ‘killed Air Force veteran mother and then disposed of her remains with a chainsaw’
Florida Man Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder of Ex-Wife Accepts Plea Deal
The Object of Murder Premiered ‘Beauty for Ashes’ on Investigation Discovery: Air Force Veteran Tricia Todd Vanishes in Florida (November 7, 2019)

Army Veteran Patricia MacCallum Murdered Husband Christopher for the Children, Social Security Benefits, and Life Insurance; Sentenced to Fifty Years in Oregon Prison (2012)

Chris-2

Christopher MacCallum (2012)

Christopher MacCallum was discovered dead at the bottom of a cliff in Oregon on November 20, 2012. Christopher was reported missing by his wife Patricia and her step-sister after disappearing while they were camping at the Applegate River campsite. Investigators could find no one who had motive to harm Christopher so they started digging into his relationship with Patricia. Christopher and Patricia met in 2008. Patricia joined the Army in January 2011 and five months later in December 2011, she was medically discharged. She moved back to Oregon with the children and left Christopher behind; he was waiting until the lease on their San Antonio, Texas apartment was up. It turns out they separated and reconciled a couple times throughout the course of their relationship. Christopher moved back in with Patricia again in September 2012 and she immediately began plotting his murder with her step-sister. Christopher was dead the next month. From all accounts, Christopher was a good man who loved his children and simply wanted to be with them.

Eventually Patricia MacCallum admitted to shooting Christopher multiple times while he lay asleep in his tent. Patricia’s step-sister Amber Lubbers admitted to assisting with the cover-up of the crime. Together they dumped his body off a cliff and told police that he had gone missing. Prosecutors revealed that the motive for the crime was the custody of the children, social security benefits, and life insurance. Patricia admitted to intentionally getting her husband drunk so that once he passed out, she could kill him when he was most defenseless. Christopher’s father Mike MacCallum shared that he believes that Christopher wanted to save the marriage to prevent the kids from going through a divorce and this desire turned out to be a fatal error. Patricia MacCallum was found guilty and sentenced to 50 years in prison. Amber Lubbers was charged as an accessory after the fact, found guilty, and sentenced to 16 months in prison. She served about half her sentence and was released early because of good behavior.

Related Links:
Obituary: Michael Christopher MacCallum
MacCallum’s Mother Speaks Out; Donations Accepted for Children
Oregon woman to be tried for husband’s murder
Prosecution: MacCallum did it for ‘money, kids and insurance’
Medford woman guilty of murder
Jury finds MacCallum guilty of murdering her husband
The Trial of Patricia MacCallum Convicted of Murdering her Husband, Michael Christopher MacCallum
Woman admits helping cover up murder
Woman sentenced as accomplice in camping trip killing of Medford man
Accomplice in Siskiyou County murder is freed early
Patricia MacCallum, Christopher MacCallum: ‘Snapped’ Spotlights Applegate Creek Campsite Murder of Oregon Husband Found Dead at Bottom of Cliff
Life Insurance Fraud is a Common Motive for Murder in the Military


Sheriffs show up to a campsite where Patricia MacCallum’s husband went missing. -Oxygen Media