Fort Campbell Army Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Sentenced to Life in Prison After Pleading Guilty to the Pre-Meditated Murder of Ex-Wife Pfc. Shadow McClaine (March 1, 2019)

Jamal Williams-McCray 2

Jamal Williams-McCray, U.S. Army

Crime Watch Daily spoke with the parents of missing Army soldier Shadow McClaine. Shadow disappeared from Fort Campbell, Kentucky on September 2, 2016. Shadow’s parents were concerned her life may be in danger prior to her disappearance. They shared that someone cut her vehicle break lines on base and Shadow posted a picture of it on social media. They also said she reported the incident to her Chain of Command but felt dismissed. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducted an investigation and reported two soldiers were being held as person of interests and the case was under investigation.

On November 29, 2016, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Spc. Charles Robinson were charged with conspiracy, premeditated murder, and kidnapping under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). On January 23, 2017, the remains of Pfc. Shadow McClaine were discovered off the I-24 highway near Exit 19 in Kentucky. It was confirmed that Shadow was in fact a victim of kidnapping and homicide. A year after Shadow went missing in September 2017, Spc. Charles Robinson pleaded guilty to murder. He claimed he helped Shadow’s estranged husband Williams-McCray kidnap and murder her. On March 1, 2019, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray was sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to premeditated murder.

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Pfc. Shadow McClaine, US Army

Learn more: JUSTICE FOR SHADOW MCCLAINE

In the News:

Private First Class Soldier Shadow McClaine has mysteriously gone missing and theories are swirling on what happened to her and why. Now, new details could help them. -True Crime Daily (October 24, 2016)

Shadow McClaine, a young soldier, mysteriously disappears — some say she left, while others say someone was out to get her. -True Crime Daily (October 24, 2016)

Two soldiers were taken into custody in connection to the case of missing female soldier, Shadow Branice McClaine. -News Channel 5 (October 25, 2015)

Shadow McClaine, 25, has been missing for nearly two months after disappearing from Fort Campbell. -CBS Sacramento (October 26, 2016)

Some thought Shadow McClaine was running away from her problems. But it now appears she was the victim of something sinister. -True Crime Daily (December 6, 2016)

Missing Yuba City soldier’s body found in Tennessee. -KCRA News (January 25, 2017)

First Class Private Shadow McClaine’s body was discovered earlier this week and investigators arrested two fellow soldiers. -CBS Sacramento (January 28, 2017)

The body of Shadow McClaine, a soldier who was murdered near Fort Campbell in Tennessee, was returned to her family in Yuba City Friday evening. -KCRA News (February 3, 2017)

Shadow McClaine’s remains touched down at the Sacramento International Airport Friday night greeted by dozens of local service men and women along with her grieving family. -CBS Sacramento (February 3, 2017)

A look at the scene as Shadow McClaine came home on Friday. -CBS Sacramento (February 4, 2017)

Missing soldier Shadow McClaine’s body has been found. Crime Watch Daily talks to McClaine’s mother London Wegrzyn, who says that her daughter had a fraught relationship with ex-husband Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray. Specialist Charles Robinson and Williams-McCray were charged with her murder. Crime Watch Daily also speaks to McClaine’s friend Trystan Harding about what happened to McClaine. -True Crime Daily (March 9, 2017)

Family and friends came together for a vigil to honor a murdered Fort Campbell soldier. -News Channel 5 (April 11, 2017)

Private First Class Shadow McClaine was found dead 2,000 miles away from her home, allegedly at the hands of two men who will face premeditated murder, kidnapping and conspiracy charges. -CBS Sacramento (April 11, 2017)

Army specialist Charles Robinson says he slashed Shadow McClain’s throat, then broke her neck to make sure she was dead. He says McClaine’s ex-husband, Jamal Williams-McCray hired him to murder her. -True Crime Daily (October 3, 2017)

Two years ago this week, the body of Shadow McClaine was discovered in Robertson County along Interstate 24. -News Channel 5 (January 23, 2019)

Related Links:
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army, Family Seeks Tips
Shadow McClaine: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Missing Fort Campbell soldier failed to show in court
Family searches for missing Fort Campbell soldier
Family searches for missing Fort Campbell soldier
Fort Campbell soldier missing; officials find her car abandoned
Missing Fort Campbell soldier’s car found in downtown Nashville
Car of missing Fort Campbell soldier found in Nashville
Missing Fort Campbell soldier’s car found in downtown Nashville
Missing Ft. Campbell soldier’s vehicle found in downtown Nashville parking lot
Missing Fort Campbell soldier’s car found in downtown parking lot
Missing soldier’s car found in Nashville, friends not giving up
Car belonging to U.S. Army soldier missing for more than a week is found abandoned 70 miles from her base in Kentucky
New developments in search for missing Fort Campbell soldier
Army confirms investigation of missing soldier Shadow McClaine
Fort Campbell Military Police looking for missing woman
Army CID investigating disappearance of 101st Airborne soldier
Army CID Seeks Information on Missing Campbell Soldier
Mother of missing soldier says daughter wouldn’t ‘just go away’
Group plans vigil for missing Fort Campbell soldier
Community invited to candlelight vigil for missing soldier Shadow McClaine
Vigil held for missing Fort Campbell soldier
Questions and Rumors Swirl Around Disappearance of Fort Campbell Soldier Shadow McClaine
2 held in Ft. Campbell soldier’s disappearance
Two 101st Airborne Soldiers charged in disappearance of Pfc. Shadow McClaine
2 soldiers charged in murder of 101st soldier Shadow McClaine
2 charged with murder, kidnap of missing Ft. Campbell soldier
Two Soldiers Charged with Murder in Connection with Disappearance of Fellow Soldier Shadow McClaine
Charges preferred against 2 Fort Campbell soldiers in Shadow McClaine’s death
Ft. Campbell soldier missing from Kentucky
Two Fort Campbell Army soldiers charged with murder in case of missing private first class Shadow McClaine
Soldiers face murder, kidnapping charges in disappearance of Ft. Campbell soldier
Soldier Who Survived Tours in Afghanistan Allegedly Abducted and Murdered by Ex-Husband, Prosecutors Say
Army: Remains of missing Fort Campbell soldier have been found
Skeletal remains of missing soldier from Yuba City found in Tennessee
Skeletal remains of missing Northern California soldier found in Tennessee
Pretrial Hearing Ends for GIs Charged in Murder Case
Men accused of killing soldier to silence rape accusation
Army specialist pleads guilty in Fort Campbell soldier’s slaying
Soldier pleads guilty to role in murder of Shadow McClaine
Soldier pleads guilty in murder of soldier Shadow McClaine
Soldier Pleads Guilty to Murder of Shadow McClaine
Soldier pleads guilty to murder of Shadow McClaine
Shadow McClaine murder update: Soldier pleads guilty, implicates ex-husband
Shadow McClaine killing: Fort Campbell soldier gets 25 years for helping man kill ex-wife
Shadow McClaine: Ex-husband’s murder trial will be a death penalty case
Ex-husband facing death penalty for murder of Shadow McClaine asks to move trial
Ex-husband facing death penalty for murder of Shadow McClaine asks to move trial
Ex-husband admits he had soldier killed, helped hide her body
Ex-Husband Pleads Guilty in Female Soldier’s Slaying
Ex-husband pleads guilty in Fort Campbell soldier’s slaying
Ft. Campbell soldier sentenced to life in prison after admitting he had his ex-wife killed
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)
Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell; Ex-Husband Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray & Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder (September 2, 2016)

Video Links:
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army seeks tips
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army seeks tips (2)
Missing Yuba City soldier’s body found in Tennessee
2 Ft. Campbell Soldiers Named As Persons Of Interest In Missing Soldier Case
Fellow Soldiers Named As Persons Of Interest In Missing Yuba City Woman Case
Mom Of Soldier Who Died At Hands Of Fellow Soldiers Hopes For Death Penalty
Update: Ex-Husband, Second Man Charged with Soldier’s Murder
Slain soldier Shadow McClaine’s body returns to Yuba City
Murdered Soldier’s Body Returns Home To Yuba City Family
Murdered Soldier’s Body Returns Home
Vigil Held For Murdered Ft. Campbell Soldier Shadow McClaine
Ex-Husband, Second Man Charged with Soldier’s Murder
Missing Soldier’s Body Found
Family Remembers Murdered Yuba City Soldier As They Confront Suspects
Army Specialist Pleads Guilty to Shadow McClaine Murder
Vigil held for Shadow McClaine in Robertson County two years after her body was found

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)

American Monster Premiered ‘Watch Your Back’ on Investigation Discovery: Michelle Paet Pleaded Guilty to Conspiring to Murder Husband Nathan Paet (August 19, 2018)

ID Go: US Air Force sergeant Nathan Paet and his family appear to live a blissfully normal life – as these never-before-aired home videos attest. But blind greed would bring about the destruction of this loving family. -Watch Your Back, American Monster (S3, E6)

Air Force service member Nathan Paet was shot and killed after opening his garage door as he was leaving for work on December 1st, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nathan and Michelle Paet were both from Guam, were high school sweethearts, and had four beautiful children together. Nathan was an assistant NCOIC for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The couple were struggling financially after they bought a new home in Las Vegas so Nathan volunteered for a six-month deployment to Iraq and Michelle got a part-time job. Upon Nathan’s return to Nevada, he treated his family to an extra special Christmas. And Nathan’s brother Eric Paet paid him a special visit. Eric said the last time he saw his brother, he could sense something wasn’t right. Eric observed that Nathan and Michelle didn’t appear to be getting along and the couple were struggling to pay the bills. As Eric and his wife were leaving, they sensed Nathan wanted to tell them something, but he didn’t.

On December 1, 2010, Michelle called 911 to get help for Nathan who had been shot in the neck and couldn’t talk but was still alive. Unfortunately, despite the doctor’s best efforts, Nathan died at the hospital. Police wasted no time hunting for Nathan’s killer because this wasn’t something they were used to in the Mountain’s Edge suburb. A witness observed a man speed away in a black Cadillac on the day in question. When Michelle Paet was interviewed, she admitted to knowing someone who owned a black Cadillac and his name was Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a police record but nothing violent. When Rodriguez was questioned, he admitted to having a casual affair with Michelle but nothing sexual. His alibi at the time of the murder was that he was sleeping with a woman he met at a Wal-Mart. He even offered up a video of the encounter. Police went to the motel he claimed he was at and they indeed found him on the security camera footage. In the meantime, Michael’s alibi, the woman he claimed to be with, saw the media coverage and decided to go to the police.

Michael’s alibi told police that Jessica Austin asked her to be an alibi for Corry Hawkins and Michael Rodriguez. She was supposed to say she was with them all day. The alibi claimed when the pair got back from murdering Nathan Paet, Jessica burned their clothes in the fire place. The police also learned that Michael worked with Michelle Paet. While the Nellis AFB community was honoring Nathan, the Las Vegas Police Department were turning up the heat on Michelle. She finally admitted to having a sexual relationship with Michael Rodriguez. And at this point, detectives suspected that Michelle was involved with Nathan’s murder. Michelle admitted that Nathan suspected her of having an affair and she was afraid Nathan would leave her. She didn’t want to leave the marriage empty handed. Michelle and Michael started discussing ways to kill her husband so they could cash out on the life insurance proceeds. The day of the murder, Michelle texted Michael as Nathan was running out the door. She set up the ambush that lead to Nathan’s death. Hours after he was dead, Michelle texted Michael a smiley face.

Michelle Paet was arrested on suspicion of murder. The district attorney theorized Michael Rodriguez and Corry Hawkins lied in wait for Nathan to leave for work. The plan was to kidnap Nathan at gunpoint, drive him out to the desert, kill him and leave him. As soon as Nathan opened up the garage door, he was confronted and refused to cooperate so Rodriguez shot him and fled the scene. Nathan immediately went inside his home thinking he was running away from danger but instead he was running right into it. On December 7, 2010, Michael Rodriguez was arrested for the murder of Nathan Paet. Rodriguez was found guilty of first degree murder, Corry Hawkins pleaded guilty to first degree murder, and Jessica Austin was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Michelle Paet was the cold, calculating and cunning planner. She wanted to take the $650,000, go to Guam with her children, and live like a queen. To avoid the death penalty, Michelle Paet pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Source: ‘Watch Your Back’ American Monster

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.

In the News:

Michelle Paet sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to plotting her husband’s death with her ex-lover, Michael Rodriguez, who was also found guilty last week of gunning down Nathan Paet. -PNC News

Michelle Paet had pleaded guilty to murdering her husband to avoid the death penalty. -PNC News

Corry Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of Nellis airman Nathan Paet, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. -Las Vegas Review-Journal

Oxygen:

A happy military family kept walls up that were soon to be knocked down. Did Michelle’s husband bring his fate upon himself, or was she behind the whole thing? -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Those involved with the case give their input on the verdict and Michelle’s future. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle Fleck details all the ways Michelle Paet plotted to “get rid” of her late husband, Nathan. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle’s sister, Melissa, speaks fondly of Michelle. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

An Air Force sergeant is gunned down in his garage revealing an elaborate conspiracy with an unlikely mastermind. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Related Links:
In Memory Of Nathan Paet | Facebook
Wife of Nellis airman arrested in husband’s death
Wife of Murdered Iraq War Vet Arrested in Las Vegas Shooting Death
Ex-con found guilty in Vegas slaying of US airman from Guam
Ex-convict found guilty in Las Vegas murder, conspiracy plot with wife of US airman
Cheating widow sobs as she pleads guilty to setting up the shooting murder of her airman husband who was left bleeding to death in front of their four children
Wife plotted with lover to kill airman husband so she could claim life insurance
Woman gets life in prison without parole in death of husband, a Nellis airman
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
Man gets life in prison without parole for slaying of Nellis airman
No parole for defendant in slaying of U.S. airman from Guam
Vegas mom gets life in prison for life insurance death of husband
Wife of Slain Airman Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty
Paet Sentenced to Life in Murder-For-Hire of Husband
Woman sentenced to life for killing airman husband
Man gets life without parole for murder of Nellis airman
Snapped: Sneak Peek – Did Michelle Do It? (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: After The Verdict – Michelle Paet (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Prosecutor Michelle Fleck (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Kind Words for Michelle (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (S21, E8)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Mistress of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Linda Cowan Convinced Son Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan to Kill Woman Next Door (July 7, 2018)

ID Go: Two women living next to each other since childhood descend into bitter conflict when the ex husband of one starts seeing the other. Add property issues to this toxic mix and the result is an act of shocking violence that engulfs all. -Mistress of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery: S5, E6)

On December 18, 2009, Army veteran Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan shot at and injured his neighbor Christie Jackson in Burnet, Texas. Christie Jackson and Vinson’s mother, Linda Cowan, were engaged in a bitter three month feud between neighbors after Christie’s estranged husband Rudy started dating Linda. What started out as a disagreement between neighbors ended in someone getting shot. It is believed that Linda Cowan enlisted the help of her son Vinson to shoot and kill Christie Jackson and he obliged because he was protective of his mother. Vinson followed through and indeed shot Christie in the head through the window of her own home. Miraculously, despite the severe head wound, Christie lived, but will forever be affected by the ordeal. On the night in question, Christie was sleeping with both her daughters who also are forever changed by the experience.

One of Vinson’s friends, Thomas Pierson, who was aware of the plan to shoot Christie and be a look-out that night, informed the police of Linda and Vinson’s plans to shoot Christie in retaliation for all the trouble she caused her. The bottom line was Linda wanted Christie out of the picture. Linda Cowan was jealous that Rudy continued to see Christie and their children and angry because she assumed Christie called the City of Burnet to complain about her septic issues. Linda wanted revenge and she wanted to date Rudy despite his intentions to continue seeing Christie. In 2013, Linda Cowan was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And Vinson Thomas-Ward plead guilty to ten years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Christie’s mother sold the family home in Burnet.

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:
Burnet woman gets 15 years for her role in 2009 shooting (2013)
Burnet County man gets 10 years for 2009 shooting of woman (2013)
Linda Sue Cowan, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee (2015)
Mistress of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

Primal Instinct Premiered ‘Catfish Killer’ on Investigation Discovery: Jenelle, Barbara & Marvin Potter Serving Two Life Sentences for Facebook Murders (July 5, 2018)

ID Go: In a small Tennessee town, Jenelle Potter has few friends. When her attraction to one of them isn’t mutual, she is ostracized and feels threatened. Then a shadowy figure guides her family into a dark plot with a twisted ending no one saw coming. -Catfish Killer, Primal Instinct (S1, E4)

Date: January 31, 2012
Victims: Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne
Offenders: Jenelle Potter, Barbara Potter, Marvin Potter, Marine Corp veteran
Location: Mountain City, Tennessee
Circumstances: Jenelle Potter catfished her parents Barbara and Marvin and led them to believe she was in danger, she posed as a CIA agent and manipulated Marvin Potter to kill Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne after they unfriended her on Facebook
Disposition: Jenelle and Barbara Potter were convicted of conspiracy to commit murder and given two life sentences; Marvin Potter plead guilty to murder and was given two life sentences

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.

In the News:

Part 1: Living at home with her parents, Jenelle Potter spent most of her adult life on social media. -ABC News

Part 2: A friend found Bille Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne dead with single gunshot wounds to their faces. -ABC News

5 Dark & Twisted Catfish Stories. -FactFaction

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: A young couple is found murdered, execution style, their infant still alive in the mother’s arms. As police investigate, the story takes a shocking turn when the admitted shooter claims this was a sanctioned hit ordered by a rogue CIA agent. -To Pretty to Live, Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)

USA Network:

In Tennessee, a family is driven to despair when their daughter Jenelle becomes the target of social media bullying. When two of Jenelle’s tormentors are found dead, the police uncover a bizarre web of assumed identities and mental manipulation. -The Sinner

Oxygen:

Jenelle Potter’s attorney, her sister, and others discuss the case after the verdict. -Killer Post, Oxygen

Jenelle Potter claimed that her Facebook account was hacked. -Criminal Confessions, Oxygen

Podcasts:

A young mother is shot to death while she clutches her 7-month old baby. Her husband lies executed in the next room. This isn’t the story of a Hollywood drama, but the tragic end to an average Tennessee working class family. Billie Jean Hayworth and her husband Billy Payne were going about their normal weekday morning routine when they were senselessly and violently murdered. The events that led to that morning are inexplicable, fueled by the petty ignorance of a woman who used social media to manipulate and hurt people. We’re taking a look at the catfishing murders of East Tennessee in this episode of True Crime Brewery: Unfriended. Settle in for a twisted tale of senseless murder, jealousy, and cruelty beyond what most of us could ever imagine. -True Crime Brewery

Related Links:
Web of Death!
Accused Facebook killer has local ties
Stolen Valor Marine charged with double FACEBOOK murder in my hometown
Murdered over a Facebook snub: Dad guns down couple who deleted his daughter on social network
Tennessee father murders couple after pair had deleted his adult daughter as friend on Facebook, authorities say
Facebook “defriending” led to double murder, police say
Motive in double murder centers around de-friending on Facebook
Facebook Defriending Leads to Double Murder: Cops
What Does The Facebook Double Homicide Say About The Dark Side Of Social Media?
Murder investigation continues, court documents reveal tumultuous history
State closes in on Potter women
Tenn. father charged with murdering couple who”unfriended” daughter on Facebook
Woman posing as CIA agent convinces parents to kill Facebook friends
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Testimony begins in Facebook ‘unfriending’ murder trial
Witness for the prosecution: Woman testifies against mother, sister in ‘Facebook murders’ trial
‘I never wished them dead’: Weeping killer begs for forgiveness over elaborate ‘catfish’ where she posed as a male CIA agent and encouraged the murder of a young couple
East Tennessee jury convicts women in Facebook slayings
East Tenn. mom, daughter convicted in slaying over Facebook unfriending
Guilty on all counts in Potter double-murder trial
Mother, daughter serve 2 life sentences in Tenn. Facebook murders
TN women convicted in Facebook slayings want new trial
Potter women to serve two life sentences; third person pleads guilty to role in Facebook murders
Marvin Potter sentenced to two life sentences for double murder
Potter guilty on two counts of First Degree Murder
Court of Criminal Appeals grants stay of appeal for Jenelle Potter
State of Tennessee vs. Marvin Potter, Jr. (2016)
Prosecutor writes book on Mountain City Facebook murders
Facebook murders documented in true crime book written by prosecutor
Story of Mountain City Facebook murders reaches national audience in book, tv special
Mountain City slayings case gets new prosecutor, new judge, new court date
Lawyer’s book about ‘Facebook Murders’ earns censure from TN Supreme Court
Prosecutor Censured for Book About Facebook Slayings
TDOC employee accused of meddling with Facebook murders case
Prison guard fired for letter on behalf of women convicted in ‘Facebook murders’
Convicted Tennessee Woman Denies Wanting Couple Dead After Social Media Feud
How a Social Media Feud Led to the Murder of a Young Tennessee Couple
‘Too pretty to live’: How a woman convinced her parents and boyfriend to kill ‘Facebook bullies’
Woman Impersonates CIA Agent to Convince Boyfriend, Parents to Murder Couple
Evil daughter tricked parents into murder
Prosecutor Censured for Book About Facebook Slayings
Facebook De-Friending Results in Double Murder
The Catfishing Murders of East Tennessee: Woman Poses as Male CIA Operative
Couple Murdered for ‘Unfriending’ Woman On Facebook
Jenelle Potter: ABC ’20/20′ Takes Look At Facebook Murder Of Mountain City, Tennessee Couple Who Unfriended Woman
Social Media Feuds That Escalated To Offline Murders
6 Murderers That Posted Their Kills On Facebook

YouTube:
Defense attorneys for women at center of “Facebook murders” ask for new trial
Defense attorneys in “Facebook murders” say new evidence revealed in prosecutor’s book warrants new trial
TDOC employee accused of meddling with Facebook murders case
Sullivan County District Attorney taking over “Facebook murders” case
TN appeals court upholds Marvin Potter’s conviction in Facebook killings
Tennessee Woman Claims She’s Victim of Online Threats to Her Life
Young Couple Found Murdered With Baby Alive, Covered in Blood
Unfriended: The Catfish Murders of Billie Jean Hayworth and Billy Payne
Episode 23: Jenelle Potter | Moms and Murder | A Podcast
Episode 23: Jenelle Potter | Moms and Murder | A Podcast
Jenelle Potter | Sword and Scale Episode 62 | Podcast
10: Jenelle Potter and the Facebook of Lies and Creepy Carl’s Corpse | Darkest Corners Podcast
The Sinner | Famous Murders Bizarre Motives: Jenelle Potter | USA Network
Criminal Confessions: Was Jenelle Potter Hacked? – Preview (Season 2, Episode 1) | Oxygen
#killerpost: After the Verdict Episode 1 – Payne and Potter | Oxygen
To Pretty to Live | Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)
Catfish Killer | Primal Instinct | Investigation Discovery (S1, E4)
Catfish Killer | Primal Instinct | Investigation Discovery (website)
5 Dark & Twisted Catfish Stories

Murder Comes to Town Premiered ‘Hellfire in the Hollow’ on Investigation Discovery: Military Spouse Rose Goggins Murdered by In-Laws Sylvia & Steven Beersdorf Sr. (June 19, 2018)

When a 21-year-old mother doesn’t return from night classes and her car is found burned, investigators immediately suspect foul play. However no one is prepare for the web of lies that ultimately unfold due to her disappearance. -Murder Comes to Town, Investigation Discovery

Victim:
Rose Mary Marie Goggins, 21, was killed by her future in-laws on January 14, 2010 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Steven and Sylvia Beersdorf Sr. pleaded guilty to homicide, disposing of her body, and setting her car on fire. Rose’s fiancé, Steven Beersdorf Jr., was at Camp Shelby in Mississippi with the Tennessee Army National Guard preparing to ship off to Iraq. Authorities stated that although Beersdorf’s parents were guilty, Goggins’ fiance was not involved in her murder.

Defendants:
Sylvia Beersdorf, 43 – pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit first-degree murder; sentenced to 15 years in prison
Steven Beersdorf Sr., 46 – pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges; sentenced to life in prison

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:
From Missing Person to Murder Victim
Rose Goggins murder case: Remains found at future in-laws house are of female; DNA testing under way
More details released in killing of young Tennessee mom; 2 charged
Tennessee: Couple charged in death of son’s girlfriend
Tennessee couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Pleads Not Guilty In Woman’s Death
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Waives Rights To Preliminary Hearing
Rose Goggins murder: Grandparent suspects waive preliminary hearings
Couple face trial in slaying of daughter-in-law
Plea Deals Accepted In Future Relative’s Death
Couple plead guilty in death
Wayne Couple Pleads Guilty To Killing Grandson’s Mom
Rose Goggins Murder To Be Re-Lived When “True Crime” Pgrm. Airs In Fall
Homicide in the Heartland | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID (YouTube)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (Dailymotion)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
In Loving Memory of Rose Mary Marie Goggins (Facebook)

Ashley Melnyczok Found Fatally Stabbed in Colorado Home; AWOL Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathon Nelson Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (June 3, 2015)

Ashley Melnyczok

Ashley Melnyczok, Colorado Springs, Colorado (photo: Investigation Discovery)

On June 3, 2015, Ashley Melnyczok was found stabbed to death in her Colorado Springs, Colorado apartment. She had been stabbed four times, twice in the neck and twice in the back; the killer also put a plastic bag over her head causing suffocation. Ashley was discovered by her friend who was initially considered a suspect but he was quickly ruled out. With no known suspects, detectives started doing a victimology to learn more about Ashley and her life. They learned that Ashely had a rocky relationship with the father of her daughter, Jason Connor, and had lost custody as a result of the tumultuous relationship. But Ashley was determined to get custody of her daughter and began to make positive changes to improve her life. She got a new waitressing job, a new apartment, and was determined to fight off depression in an effort to provide stability for her daughter. Jason was also ruled out as a suspect.

When investigators looked into Ashley’s criminal history, they found multiple domestic violence incidents and a pending domestic violence case against Joseph Kimsey. Kimsey, 23, was an Army soldier stationed at Fort Carson and according to Army leadership was nowhere to be found and considered Absent without Leave (AWOL). In the course of the investigation, investigators also learned that Ashley’s car was missing so they were on the hunt for it. And eventually, two individuals were pulled over in the stolen car. When police asked where they got the car, the pair claimed that Jonathon “JP” Nelson gave it to them. This was the same person a witness said answered Ashley’s door on June 1st. According to records, JP Nelson was dishonorably discharged from the Army a couple years earlier and had a pending criminal case; he was accused of hitting a female in the back of the head with a sledgehammer. JP was apprehended and arrested by police after trying to make entry into Ashley’s apartment with a large duffel bag.

While JP Nelson was in county jail, an inmate contacted detectives to inform them JP had confessed to the murder and said he didn’t do it alone. They knew the inmate was being truthful because he revealed a detail about the homicide that had been kept from the press. When pressed for a name, he could only provide them with a nickname “Pony Boy” so police set out to find out who Pony Boy was. About a month after the homicide, Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Joseph Kimsey was arrested for failure to appear in court. When interviewed, police learned that Kimsey was Pony Boy and that Nelson and Kimsey served in the Army together at Fort Carson. They were also both in county jail at the same time. JP Nelson bonded out on May 1st but he continued to stay in contact with Kimsey who was still in jail. The two of them initially schemed to rob Ashley to get money for Kimsey’s bond but Ashley didn’t take the bait.

Kimsey was released from county jail on June 1st. He made contact with Ashley and she agreed to meet with him at her new apartment, but he didn’t go alone. Once inside, Kimsey and JP Nelson demanded that Ashley open her safe but she refused so the pair attacked her. Ashley fought hard for her life and as a result it took two of them to kill her. The prosecution theorized that the bag was put over her head to keep her quiet. Both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were charged with first degree murder. A fingerprint in Ashley’s blood tied Jonathon Nelson directly to the murder. Investigators ascertained that JP returned to Ashley’s apartment two days later to dismember and dispose of Ashley’s body, instead he was spotted and arrested. In 2017, both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Source: Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: 27 year-old Ashley Melnyczok is a single mother. Her daughter is her life’s joy. In June 2015, Ashley is murdered in her Colorado Springs home. While hunting for clues, police hunt down a cast of dangerous characters and uncover a heinous plot. -Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries (S2,E3)

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:
Vehicle wanted in Colorado Springs homicide probe found; man arrested
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested after being found in car wanted in murder case
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Family Goat Helps Catch Fugitive; Fort Carson Confirms Suspect Is Soldier
Police make second arrest in northeastern Colorado Springs murder
AWOL soldier arrested in death of Colorado Springs woman
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Colorado Springs police arrest AWOL Fort Carson soldier as 2nd suspect in killing
AWOL Fort Carson Soldier Arrested in Death of Colorado Springs Woman
Two ordered to stand trial in stabbing death of Colorado Springs woman
Hearing in homicide of Colorado Springs woman focuses on involvement of man levied with upgraded murder charge
Verdict reached for Colorado Springs murder suspect
Man convicted in 2015 murder at Colorado Springs apartment complex
Ex-Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life without parole in escort slaying
Jury selection begins for man accused of killing Colorado Springs woman
Colorado Springs prostitute had a ‘horrible, horrible, death,’ prosecutor says
Cell-phone records help seal murder conviction against former Fort Carson soldier
Second man found guilty of 2015 Colorado Springs murder
Second man found guilty of 2015 murder in Colorado Springs
Former Fort Carson soldier gets life for fatal stabbing
Cell-phone records help seal murder conviction against former Fort Carson soldier
Murder of Ashley Melnyczok by Joseph Kimsey and Jonathon Nelson — Grave Mysteries spotlights the case
Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
Vanessa Franzen as Detective Smith in Grave Mysteries, S2, “Murder Behind Closed Doors”
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)

Army Soldiers Johnny Herrera and Benjamin Cardwell, Army Veteran Todd Crow, and Daniel Francis Charged With Conspiracy to Commit Theft of Government Property (2015)

US Army Seal

Sgt. Johnny Herrera, US Army, SSgt. Benjamin Cardwell, US Army, and Todd Crow, US Army Veteran

Two Fort Carson Army soldiers, Sgt. Johnny Herrera, 29, and SSgt. Benjamin Cardwell, 41, and a former Army soldier Todd Crow, 34, were among four people charged in connection with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of military weapons, gear and robots, then selling them to a middle man Daniel Francis, 50, who sold them on eBay for a fraction of their worth. Sgt. Johnny Herrera, Staff Sgt. Benjamin Cardwell, Todd Crow, and Daniel Francis were all charged with conspiracy to commit theft of government property. If convicted of this crime, each defendant faces not more than five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine. All four defendants were scheduled to appear before the U.S. Magistrate Judge on April 21, 2015 for detention hearings.

Retired military leaders say the string of theft allegations raises serious concerns over how the post keeps track of weapons, including items deemed too sensitive to leave military control. “If that stuff wound up in the wrong hands, it could really hurt us,” said retired Army Lt. Gen. Ed Anderson, who heads the National Homeland Defense Foundation in Colorado Springs. –Colorado Gazette

Related Links:
Men stole, sold military robots and armor on eBay: FBI
4 arrested in scheme involving stolen Army property
Four Men Arrested in Scheme to Sell Stolen Material from Fort Carson
Inside Job: Military Equipment Allegedly Stolen By Soldiers Sold On eBay
Four Men Arrested In Scheme To Sell Stolen Material From Fort Carson
Colorado Springs man accused of selling stolen equipment from Fort Carson
Soldiers in Colorado Arrested for Stealing Weapons They Sold on Ebay
2 Active Soldiers Accused Of Major Thefts From Fort Carson
Fort Carson soldiers charged with stealing, selling weapons on eBay
Fort Carson soldiers arrested, accused of stealing military equipment to sell on Ebay
Latest theft case illustrates problem of missing equipment at Fort Carson
Army says keeping equipment on post a priority, will investigate Fort Carson thefts
Army says keeping equipment on post a priority, will investigate Fort Carson thefts
Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)