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)

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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

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NATIONAL GUARD

Administrative:
National Guardsmen awaiting pay months after hurricanes

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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

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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

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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

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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)

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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)

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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

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)

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

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, US Army

Fort Hood Army soldier Pvt. Justin Lewis, 19, was shot and killed near a vacant lot in a neighborhood outside the post in Killeen, Texas on April 17, 2017. Justin was pronounced dead on April 18, 2017 by the coroner. Pvt. Lewis’ home of record is listed as Henderson, North Carolina and he entered active-duty service in August 2016. Pvt. Lewis was a cavalry scout assigned to 3rd Cavalry Regiment in Fort Hood, Texas. The circumstances surrounding the unsolved homicide are under investigation by the Killeen Police Department in Killeen, Texas. The point of contact for the investigation is Ofelia Miramontez, Public Information Officer, Killeen Police Department. Miramontez’s phone number is (254) 501-8941/8807 and her email is omiramontez@killeentexas.gov. Eight months later, the Killeen Police Department does not have any updates in the case according to Killeen Police spokeswoman Ofelia Miramontez. Justin’s Army buddy, Logan Duty, told the TDT news: “[Justin] was just gunned down in the middle of the night, and no one’s able to find out why. If I was there, and I was one of the detectives, I wouldn’t rest until I figured out why. … (Lewis) wanted to help others, willing to lay his life down defending someone. I haven’t met anyone who was dedicated to serving like him.”

“Pvt. Justin Lewis’ uncle, Jerry Lewis, said when you have a loved one go into the military, you deal with the fact you may lose them on the battlefield. They never imagined they would lose 19-year-old Justin on American soil, near a vacant lot in Killeen, Texas.” –11 ABC News

Related Links:
In loving memory of Justin Lewis
Pvt. Justin Antwan Lewis | Fallen Warriors
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Pvt. Justin Antwan Lewis
Fort Hood soldier found dead identified
Man found dead in Killeen identified by police
Fort Hood soldier shot dead Monday night in Killeen, Texas
Killeen homicide victim was Fort Hood soldier, Army says
Teen found dead near vacant lot in Killeen neighborhood identified
19-year-old Fort Hood soldier shot and killed in Killeen
Young soldier from NC shot and killed in Texas
Soldier from NC shot to death in Texas, officials say
Soldier from Henderson shot, killed in Texas, army base says
Family seeks answers after NC soldier slain in Texas
Family grieves loss of Henderson soldier, looks for answers
Friends remember Henderson man killed in Texas
School Remembers Soldier from Vance County Found Dead Near Fort Hood
Soldier’s death in Killeen weighs heavy on friend 8 months later
52 Deaths at Fort Hood Since January 2016 ~ 14 Since January 2017…Normal Or HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS?
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)
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV

Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Featured

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Objective: Provide support to families who have lost loved ones to non combat death, homicide, and suicide. Prevent non combat death, homicide and suicide by providing an expedited transfer option to whistleblowers and those who feel like their lives may be in danger.

This is a small sample of the many soldiers that have died of non combat deaths, homicide, and suicide. It was hard for me to choose which ones to feature. Given the amount of families who have questioned a ruling of suicide while their loved one was serving in the US military, it’s fair to say that some suicide rulings should have a second look to determine if a homicide was ruled out. It’s important to note that if the cause of death is determined to be suicide, then the military never has to investigate again.

Brief overview of need for expedited transfers for whistleblowers in general:

John Needham and Adam Winfield had a lot in common: they both claim to have witnessed war crimes, one in Iraq, the other in Afghanistan. They both wanted to report the war crimes but didn’t feel safe doing so. They both admitted to feeling like they were set up to die or participate in the war crimes. The only difference: John’s parents were able to get him out of Iraq after he started deteriorating mentally. Adam’s parents were not able to get him out of Afghanistan and he was charged with war crimes after he was set up to participate. On the Dark Side of Al Doura and the Kill Team Movie are must sees because they show the similarity in the cases and reveal how an expedited transfer option could have helped them & saved innocent civilian lives. I included a history of crime at the bases they were stationed at to demonstrate that the crime simply follows them overseas.

John Needham, Army (2008):
Retired Army Pvt John Needham Beat Girlfriend Jacqwelyn Villagomez to Death, Then Died of Overdose on Painkillers Awaiting Murder Trial
An Inside Look at Toxic Leadership in the US Army: On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq
On the Dark Side in Al Doura, Iraq on YouTube
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson

Adam Winfield, Army (2010):
Army Soldier Adam Winfield Tried to Report War Crimes But Instead was Charged with War Crimes as Part of ‘The Kill Team’
PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy
The Kill Team on Amazon Prime
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at JBLM

Would the expedited transfer option help prevent suicide or homicide in these cases?

Alyssa Peterson, Army (2003)

There were concerns that Alyssa committed suicide because she didn’t want to participate in war crimes like torture. Could her life have been saved if she felt like she had a way out? Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ruled out?

Gloria Davis, Denise Lannaman, & Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006)

Reports indicate Gloria Davis, Army (2006) committed suicide hours after she provided names and testimony to CID investigators regarding soldiers involved in a bribery scheme in Kuwait. She was a witness to the crimes and a witness for the prosecution. Did she commit suicide? Was homicide ever considered? How could this have been prevented? She was one of 3 people in the same logistics group in Kuwait tied to the bribery scheme investigation that committed suicide. Both Denise Lannaman, Army (2006) and Lt. Col. Marshall Gutierrez, Army (2006) deaths were ruled suicides by the Army as well. Were any of these cases investigated as homicides? Did anyone question why three soldiers from Kuwait tied to one investigation killed themselves?

Suzanne Swift, Army (2006)

Suzanne refused to redeploy for a third time for fear that she would be raped or assaulted this time. She went AWOL instead & was jailed. Could this have been prevented if she had a way out of Fort Lewis? She hadn’t been raped or assaulted yet. She was trying to prevent it given the isolation in Iraq. Does the expedited transfer apply to sexual harassment situations where the offender(s) are escalating? How could we have prevented this? If you look at the history of violent crime at JBLM and in Iraq, you can clearly see why Suzanne Swift was fearful for her life. She chose life and jail over rape and murder.

Genesia Gresham, Navy (2007)

Genesia and Anamarie Camacho were victims of homicide in Bahrain. Genesia was said to have been in a casual relationship with the shooter at one point. Were there red flags prior to the murder? Was the shooters behavior escalating? Does domestic violence, harassment, and stalking qualify for an expedited transfer? Could this have been prevented if Genesia had a way out when she realized she may have been in danger? The killer was never jail but instead institutionalized for mental health issues.

Jennifer Valdivia, Navy (2007)

Jennifer was at the center of command investigation of abuse of prisoners in Bahrain. It was reported that she did not want to participate in war crimes yet was belittled, harassed, and abused by a supervisor if she didn’t do what he asked. If she had a way out, could this suicide have been prevented? Was it a suicide? Was it ever investigated as a homicide?

Kelsey Anderson, USAF (2011)

The Anderson family reported that Kelsey’s health deteriorated after she learned that she could not transfer or get out of the military while stationed at Andersen Air Force Base in Guam. Why did she want a transfer? Why did she want to get out of the military all of a sudden? Did something happen to make Kelsey feel the need to get out of Guam as quickly as possible? Her death was ruled a suicide. Could this have been prevented if she was allowed to transfer? The Air Force took her gun privileges away shortly after she got to Guam because of mental health concerns. They gave it back to her a month before she died.

Danny Chen, Army (2011)

Danny was being hazed and bullied by fellow soldiers in Afghanistan. Could his death have been prevented if he had a way out of this situation? Does the expedited transfer apply to scenarios where an individual is being hazed, harassed, and physically assaulted? Did Danny fear murder? How could this have been prevented so Danny didn’t feel like suicide was the only way out?

Ciara Durkin, Mass Army National Guard (2007)

Ciara found discrepancies in the finance office in Afghanistan & feared that she made enemies. She asked her family to investigate if anything happened to her while she was overseas. Could we have saved Ciara’s life if once she realized that crimes may have been committed, she could leave and then safely report? Ciara was a witness to crime yet had to remain in the setting. Do expedited transfers apply to those who want to report crimes yet cannot do so safely in an isolated location?

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I researched the non combat deaths of female soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas. I was alarmed by what I learned. It appears that close to 30% of the deaths of female soldiers in Iraq alone are from homicide, suicide, or unknown causes. I am working on doing the same research for male soldiers but have been overwhelmed with the number of non combat deaths of male soldiers. I am starting with 2010 to 2016. Then will focus energy on 2001 to 2010.

Non Combat Death of Female Soldiers:
Iraq
Afghanistan
Other Areas

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There are many cold cases in the military. The Army has the most cold cases. This list is a small sample of the cold cases in the military. Each case has the same theme. The families feel like they can’t get cooperation from the military to figure out what happened to their loved one. The families are devastated by the loss and traumatized further by the indifference, lack of support, and bureaucracy. If the homicide occurred on a base, they have nowhere to turn but the military because of federal jurisdiction issues. Most civilian cold case investigators ask for other investigators to take a look at cases to give them a fresh set of eyes. New investigators can add additional expertise to help find answers and give families closure. Two must see documentaries highlighting some of the major issues with investigations in the military are The Tillman Story (Pat Tillman) and The Silent Truth (LaVena Johnson).

Cold Cases:
Darlene Krashoc, Army (1987)
Gorden Hess, Army (1998)
Col Philip Shue (2003)
Lavena Johnson, Army (2005)
Nonnie Dotson, USAF (2006)
Tina Priest, Army (2006)
Kamisha Block, Army (2007)
Benjamin Griego, Army NG (2007)
Seteria Brown, Army (2008)
Stacy Dryden, USMC (2008)
Blanca Luna, USAF (2008)
Keisha Morgan, Army (2008)
Cherie Morton, Navy (2008)
BG Thomas Tinsley, USAF (2008)
Anton Phillips, Army (2009)
Amy Seyboth-Tirador (2009)
Katherine Morris, Army Spouse (2012)
Sean Wells, Army (2013)
Virginia Caballero, Army (2014)
Devin Schuette, Army (2016)
Justin Lewis, Army (2017)

Cases Solved by NCIS Cold Case Squad:
Lt Verle Hartley, Navy (1982)
Andrew Muns, Navy (1968)

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Other Areas of Concern:
David Dickson, US Army (1984) Tracking criminal behavior world wide
Kathleen Lipscomb, USAF spouse (1986) Jurisdiction Issues
Walter Smith, USMC (2006) Use of PTSD defense/stigma
Maria Lauterbach, USMC (2007) Expedited Transfer Policy
Jennifer Cole, Army (2008) Accountability/Investigations
Holley Wimunc, US Army (2008) Domestic Violence/Military Role
Morganne McBeth, Army (2010) Sentencing/Negligent Homicide
Mikayla Bragg, Army (2011) Mental Health/Suicide/Personnel Records
Kelli Bordeaux, Army (2012) Sex offender registry/Army role
Michelle Miller, Army (2013) Accountability of those in positions of power
Shadow McClaine, Army (2016) DV & attempted murder prior to homicide
Cati Blauvelt, US Army spouse (2016) DV/Accountability/Fugitives
Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers (2016)
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the SGLI
5 Service Members Currently on Military Death Row at Leavenworth
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts

History of Homicide/Suicide on Military Bases:
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at US Military Bases

Recommendations:

  • Expand expedited transfer policy to include whistleblowers (war crimes, hazing, stalking, sex harassment, witnesses to crimes) in an effort to prevent homicide and suicide
  • Creation of cold case squads in the Army & Air Force to investigate homicide & suicide rulings
  • Centralized location for families to call to initiate an investigation of suicide ruling or cold cases, with mental health component
  • Official way to dispute findings of military investigators/medical examiners, ability to request a second independent investigation

The Feres Doctrine prevents soldiers from suing the Armed Forces for injuries incurred in the line of duty but families can sue the government in an effort to hold them accountable. Although lawyers and lengthy court battles are costly and re-traumatizing for the families. They shouldn’t have to sue the the government to get answers. They shouldn’t have to submit a FOIA request to find out how their loved one passed. Therefore it only seems fair that we give families the answers and support they need when they lose a loved one who is serving in the US military.

We need centralized databases so that records of criminal activity can be more readily tracked to prevent a violent criminal from escalating to homicide. The military is considered one team now and their criminal activity impacts service members in all branches and civilians in the US and other countries. Given the transient population and jurisdiction issues, it only makes sense to utilize the existing FBI national database in an effort to connect crimes committed on bases, overseas, deployed locations, and in the civilian jurisdictions here in the US. The overall goal is to prevent multiple victims and homicide.

The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq

Ninety-four US military women in the military have died in Iraq or during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). ‘The Silent Truth’ tells the story of one of these women, PFC LaVena Lynn Johnson, who was found dead on Balad Air Force Base in Iraq. The army claimed she shot herself with her own M16 rifle, but forensic evidence, obtained by the Johnson family through the Freedom of Information Act, brings the army’s findings into question. The Army refuses to re-open LaVena Johnson’s case, leaving the family in limbo. ‘The Silent Truth’ follows the Johnson’s pursuit of justice and truth for their daughter. -The Silent Truth

What happened to LaVena Lynn Johnson and so many others speaks to a Pentagon culture which more closely resembles a rogue government–than a legitimate branch serving under civilian control. It is highly telling that this family, along with the Tillman family each had to have a documentary film made JUST TO ALERT THE PUBLIC TO THE TRUTH OF PENTAGON COVER-UPS. I urge everyone to view this important documentary–before the local military recruiter mandated under No Child Left Behind–‘friends’ their child at school. God forbid, they could wind up coming home in a body bag–like LaVena. –Truthout

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, US Army

Learn more:
The Silent Truth on YouTube
The Silent Truth on Amazon Video
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Autopsy Report Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
The Silent Truth Documentary aka The LaVena Johnson Murder Cover-Up
What Really Happened to Pat Tillman?
Pat Tillman: The US Army Murder Scandal

Air Force Veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) Freed from Prison After Maria Ridulph Cold Case Homicide Conviction Overturned with New Evidence (2016)

Maria Ridulph, 7, disappeared on December 3, 1957 in Sycamore, Illinois. She was found stabbed to death a few months later. Air Force veteran John Tessier (aka Jack McCullough) of Seattle, Washington, 17 at the time, was convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and murder of Maria and sentenced to life in prison. It was the oldest cold case in the country to be solved but soon that victory would be lost and conviction overturned on appeal. A prosecutor found evidence that supported McCullough’s long-held alibi that he had been 40 miles away at the time of the disappearance. As a matter of fact, the former Captain was enlisting in the Air Force and left for active duty service a few days later. A certificate of innocence was issued and Jack McCullough was set free on April 15, 2016. Despite the past sexual abuse of minors allegations, which McCullough doesn’t deny, he wants to clear his name of the homicide. McCullough is suing the State of Illinois for wrongful conviction. The case remains unsolved to this day.

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Maria Ridulph, 7, Illinois

Related Links:
Jack McCullough: The Last Man Standing
48 Hours: Cold as Ice
Jack McCullough Case: A Timeline
Footsteps in the Snow: The Cold Case Murder of Maria Ridulph
Train ticket could solve 50-year Maria Ridulph murder mystery
Maria Ridulph Alleged Killer Arrested: How Cops Finally Found Jack McCullough
Man guilty of murder in 1957
Jack McCullough, 72, convicted in 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph, 7
Former cop convicted in 1957 murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl
McCullough gets life for 1957 killing of 7-year-old
Ex-police officer convicted in murder of 7-year-old Illinois girl ,Maria Ridulph, snatched from a small-town street corner 55 years ago
Oldest U.S. cold case closed in Illinois
The murder that became the oldest solved cold case in America
Illinois: People v. McCullough (2015)
Newly discovered evidence in one of the oldest unsolved crimes in U.S. history to ever make it to trial means a 76-year-old convicted and sentenced to life in the 1957 slaying of a 7-year-old Illinois girl has a chance to go free
Prosecutor moves to dismiss 1957 cold case murder conviction
Police eye new suspect over 1957 murder of seven-year-old girl after receiving an anonymous letter in the mail possibly naming her real killer
Illinois prosecutor: Wrong man convicted of 1957 murder of 7-year-old girl
Judge: I’m not ready to free ’57 cold case convict
Jack McCullough freed after conviction vacated in ’57 Sycamore murder
Prosecutor: Man wrongly convicted of 1957 cold-case murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case murder declared innocent
Schmack: Jack McCullough falsely convicted in 1957 Maria Ridulph murder
Man wrongfully convicted in 1957 cold case killing of Maria Ridulph, 7, ruled innocent
Jack McCullough Free After Judge Orders New Trial In 1957 Murder Of Maria Ridulph
Wrong Man Convicted of 1957 Murder in Illinois, Prosecutor Says
Seattle man wrongly convicted in 1957 child’s killing goes free
Schmack Posits McCullough’s Innocence
The Sad Tale Of Maria Ridulph’s Disappearance And The Trial Of Jack McCullough
The Bizarre Murder Of Maria Ridulph — Still Unsolved!
Police eye new suspect in 1957 abduction, murder of 7-year-old girl
Man wrongfully convicted in coldest murder case: ‘I want my name back’
Maria Ridulph A Tragic Case
BrainScratch: Maria Ridulph

Videos:
McCullough at the Seattle Police Department June 2011
Woman Explains Why She Turned Her Brother in for Murder — Dr. Phil
Sister, Stepdaughter of Convicted Murderer Square Off — Dr. Phil
Cold Case Prosecutor Explains Why Convicted Murderer Gave Him the “Creeps” — Dr. Phil
Dr. Phil Analyzes Convicted Murderer’s ‘Telling’ Body Language
Jack McCullough interview
Jack McCullough questioned at Seattle Police Department
Interview with Jack D. McCullough about the new book, PIGGYBACK
Cold-case conviction overturned
Jack McCullough Exonerated of Murder in 1957 cold case
Jack McCullough freed after conviction for 1957 murder vacated
Wrongfully convicted man walks free in murder cold case
Cold-Case Convict Grateful For New Freedom
Jack McCullough plans to sue for wrongful conviction
Jack McCullough: ‘I was self-raised’
Twists and turns never end in kidnapping case


Retired police officer Jack McCullough was convicted of murder in Illinois more than half a century after the crime. But he was released Friday after a prosecutor found he could not have done it. McCullough says he will sue the state for the suffering five years of imprisonment. “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty reports.

Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort

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Editor’s Note: The military needs to create cold case squads too.

FayObserver.com: Persistence is not its own reward. Sticking to it can be boring, frustrating or sometimes more like knocking your head against a pile of rocks. But when it pays off, it’s glorious.

That’s why we feel such respect, and even awe, for the men and women who chase “cold cases,” old crimes that resist solving – crimes that a lot of cops would just as soon let slip through the cracks and disappear.

Read more here.

Fort Bragg Military Police Officer Darrell Robinson Found Dead on Army Post, Official Cause of Death Unknown (2014)

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Darrell Robinson, US Army

Related Links:
MP soldier found dead at Fort Bragg
Soldier from San Angelo Found Dead at Fort Bragg
Fort Bragg soldier’s death Sunday under investigation
Bragg officials investigating military police officer’s death
Death Of Soldier With Military Dog Unit Under Investigation
Family mourns loss of soldier at Fort Bragg

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

Sean Wayne Wells, US Army (2013)

Sean Wells, US Army

Army Special Forces soldier Sean Wayne Wells was shot and killed in his home near Fort Bragg, North Carolina on October 7, 2013. According to the Fayetteville Observer, Sean was shot by two masked men who entered his home through an unlocked door. They forced Sean’s wife and child into another room. They left driving a white 2012 Toyota Camry. Investigators believe this murder was premeditated and not random. This homicide is under investigation by the Fayetteville Police Department. The family pleads for your help to find the two men who murdered Sean in cold blood. They believe this case is solvable. Got a tip? Crime Stoppers

Related Links:
Man Fatally Shot Inside Fayetteville Home was a Soldier
Family of Murdered Fort Bragg Soldier Appeals for Answers
Bragg soldier killed in Fayetteville home invasion; two sought
Fort Bragg soldier killed in shooting, two suspects on the run
Two men wanted for killing Fort Bragg soldier
Body of soldier slain in North Carolina arrives at Las Vegas airport
4 y/o son runs for help when Ft. Bragg Soldier killed in home invasion
Special Forces soldier shot, killed in home
Family of slain Fort Bragg soldier asks for help solving case

Fort Hood Army Soldier Michael Bailey II Allegedly Committed Suicide, Family Petitions Military and Killeen PD to Investigate Death as Murder (2011)

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Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II, US Army, died on December 29, 2011 from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound on December 23, 2011. He was assigned to 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas. Spc. Bailey deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from May 2011 to November 2011. At the time of the Army press release, the incident was under investigation. According to a family petition, they believe that there was more evidence supporting murder then suicide. They asked the Army and the Killeen Police Department to investigate the circumstances further as they believe that someone close to Spc. Bailey’s life had motive (life insurance) and this person was allegedly present at the location on the day of the shooting.

Related Links:
Death of a Fort Hood soldier: Spc. Michael Henry Bailey II
‘Black Jack’ troopers mourn loss of Soldier
Justice for Army Spec E4 Michael Henry Bailey
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)