Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

TWITTER: Tony Bemis @Bemis_Tony
FACEBOOK: Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Bemis family want death investigation reopened
PETITION: Reopen death investigation of Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2012, Tony and Sue Bemis received the news no parent wants to hear. Their son, Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis had died by suicide. As they struggled to make sense of their loss, things didn’t add up. Seven years later, they still have questions about what exactly did happen to their son.” –CPO John Keith Bemis, Crimelines True Crime Podcast (December 22, 2019)

Related Links:
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (website)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Facebook)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Luminary
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Radio Public
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PodBean
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podchaser
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)
Five Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘The Line Goes Dead’ on ID: Army Spouse Diane Pelkey Reported Missing in Colorado, Found Dead (November 30, 2016)

When the severed head of a wife and mother is found, Lt. Joe Kenda uses forensics and interrogation to find both her body and her killer. Then… a young man’s murder looks like a robbery gone wrong until Kenda learns the odd reason he’s living there. -The Line Goes Dead, Homicide Hunter (S6,E13)

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:
The Line Goes Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S6,E13)
The Line Goes Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Line Goes Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Line Goes Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Army Spouse Diane Pelkey Reported Missing; Fort Carson Soldier Michael Pelkey Convicted of Murder at Court Martial, Sentenced to Life in Prison (October 8, 1993)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)

John Keith Bemis

CPO John Keith Bemis, U.S. Navy

Navy CPO John Keith Bemis, 30, was found fatally shot in his Spring Valley, California residence on August 7, 2012. Keith enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2000 and was an air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic assigned to the U.S.S. Independence docked in San Diego, California. Although the exact time of death is unknown, Keith was found dead on Tuesday morning, August 7th, by Navy co-workers and the Sheriff’s Department. Keith was found in his bedroom lying on his back in full uniform wearing a motorcycle helmet with a single intraoral gunshot wound. Keith’s death was quickly ruled a suicide but Keith’s parents, Tony and Sue Bemis, who never believed Keith died by suicide, want Keith’s death to be reopened and investigated as a homicide. They have conducted their own investigation and have determined the evidence simply doesn’t add up. Keith was a happy and healthy young man with a stellar military career; he was a suicide prevention advocate for the Navy; there were no medical or mental health issues or stressors noted in Keith’s naval medical records; and he did not leave a note. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (Lemon Grove) were tasked with investigating and documenting the incident and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy. Photos were taken at the scene and at autopsy.

Tony and Sue Bemis elicited the help of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner (AFME) because they wanted a second autopsy conducted. Now both the San Diego County Medical Examiner and the AFME had ruled the cause of death suicide. After the family received a copy of the autopsy reports and photos, they began to notice upon closer examination that there were words like “gay” and “fag” written on Keith’s body. They found other oddities like numbers and words written on Keith’s body and on items in the bedroom where he was found. They found markings consistent with writing on the back of Keith’s neck. They observed two bullet holes in the ceiling; only one bullet was recovered. And were surprised by the damage caused to the motorcycle helmet where the bullet that killed their son apparently exited. They learned Keith was last seen on August 6 around 9 p.m. and suspect Keith was met with foul play shortly after returning home. Neighbors told the family he parked his truck in handicap parking (which he normally would not do) upon returning home. Neighbors also reported hearing a loud thud. After the family examined the evidence known to them (and to police), they found enough compelling evidence to warrant concern. Keith didn’t have any of the associated risk factors with suicide. But Keith did have a recent break up with a woman he had dated off and on for three years.

Keith met his ex-girlfriend in Tijuana and the relationship dynamics and reasons why they broke up are unknown. Those who interacted with Keith prior to his death did not observe any depression associated with the break-up. In the days following the break-up Keith celebrated an upcoming promotion on Sunday August 5, 2012; he spoke with family during a party at his condominium. He had recently purchased some new t-shirts and none of his electronic communications prior to the incident indicated any kind of unusual behavior. Unfortunately, Keith’s computer was of no use; the hard drive was wiped. Some mystery could have been alleviated with gun shot residue (GSR) testing of Keith’s hands but this testing was not conducted by either the San Diego County or Armed Forces medical examiners. The family tested Keith’s three guns for forensic evidence (including the gun allegedly used to take his own life) and no blood, blowback, or remains were found on any of Keith’s guns. The family wants homicide investigators to explore the various motives and theories because they know Keith didn’t die by his own hand. They can’t have peace until there is justice for their son. And none of us are safe if we turn the other way and ignore what quite possibly could be a homicide. Keith was concerned about a missing key to his place. Was a known offender able to gain access with the missing key? Nothing appeared to be stolen from Keith’s residence. Was it a personal crime?

If Keith’s death was a homicide, then a killer roams free. And because of this, we need to make death and missing persons investigations a priority. Every death investigation should be a homicide investigation initially until evidence proves otherwise. And we should always use gun shot residue testing to confirm suicide by gun. We should conduct a victimology, interview family and friends, and look at the totality of the evidence before making premature determinations that control the future of an investigation. The interviews, electronic records, and necessary forensic testing speak for the victim. We should take a look at all the possible theories. Some theories in this case include but are not limited to: ex-girlfriend angry Keith broke off with her, feels rejected, wants revenge; mistaken identity, intruder meant to target roommate; the missing house key was used to enter residence, intruder known; roommate was in Navy, maybe Keith suspected illegal activity and co-workers wanted him to remain silent; was this a national security incident or an act of terrorism? Tony and Sue Bemis created a website in Keith’s name. They are determined to find out what happened to their son because the evidence collected doesn’t support a suicide ruling. Take a look at the evidence for yourself and make your own determination. The more eyes on the case, the better. Please sign the petition, follow Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis on Facebook, and for tips, please contact Tony and Sue by e-mail.

Sources: Tony & Sue Bemis, Unsolved Mysteries, Attached Documents

The Official Unsolved Mysteries:

CPO John “Keith” Bemis’ death was declared a suicide in August 2012, but the evidence doesn’t add up and his parents need your help. -Unsolved Mysteries (February 27, 2015)

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Report (August 7, 2012):

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Report (Download PDF)

Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Report (August 17, 2012):

Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Report (Download PDF)

San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Report (September 28, 2012):

San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Report (Download PDF)

Able Legal Investigations Summary Report (January 12, 2014):

Able Legal Investigations Summary Report (Download PDF)

Ryan Forensic DNA Consulting Report (September 2, 2014):

Ryan Forensic DNA Consulting Report (Download PDF)

DNA Diagnostics Center Forensic Report (October 27, 2017):

DNA Diagnostics Center Forensic Report (Download PDF)

Related Links:
John Keith Bemis | Obituary
John Keith Bemis | Dignity Memorial
John Keith Bemis | Legacy.com
Together We Served – Keith Bemis, ENC
In Memoriam: Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis
CPO John Keith Bemis (website)
Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis (Facebook)
Reopen death investigation of CPO John Keith Bemis (petition)
Unanswered Questions in the Death of Keith Bemis
Family wants Navy to take another look at son’s death
CPO John Keith Bemis Dropbox Link
CPO Keith Bemis (Unsolved Mysteries)
CPO Keith Bemis – Unsolved Mysteries (website)
Keith Bemis | Unsolved Mysteries Wiki
Armed Forces Medical Examiner Office
Armed Forces Medical Examiner 3
San Diego Medical Examiner Office 1
San Diego County Medical Examiner 3
Lemon Grove Sheriff Department Reports
Reasons why we believe Keith was murdered
Decommissioned USS Independence arrives in Texas
What Causes Rigor Mortis?
What Are The 4 Postmortem Stages Of Death?
How Long Does It Take for Rigor Mortis to Set In?
6 weird things that happen after you die

Sheila LaBarre Murdered Army Veteran Kenneth Countie at Epping, New Hampshire Farm; Sentenced to Life in Prison for Two Homicides (March 21, 2006)

Kenneth Countie

Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Countie, U.S. Army Veteran

Epping, New Hampshire police were looking for a young man reported missing by his family. They searched for him at his last known whereabouts at Sheila LaBarre’s farm in March 2006. During the search of the farm, they found a burn pit still smoldering on the property and what appeared to be human bone and flesh in the burn pit. But, wouldn’t know for sure until it was tested. This was the first clue that a crime had been committed on this property. Epping, NH is typically a quiet New England town, until Sheila LaBarre showed up. Sheila was incredibly confident and charming and caught the attention of wealthy doctor Wilfred ‘Bill’ LaBarre. He placed a lonely hearts ad in a newspaper and Sheila responded with topless photos of herself.

It wasn’t long before she moved from Alabama to Dr. LaBarre’s 100 plus acre horse farm in New Hampshire. After some digging, local reporter Kevin Flynn discovered Sheila was a demanding partner, she was a really mean person, and had an unnatural control over people. People in Dr. LaBarre’s life told him to ditch her but he just couldn’t. She took complete control over him and started asking for Power of Attorney and rewriting the will, eventually she was the executor. A few years later, the Doctor died of what the coroner called heart disease but Bill LaBarre’s family thinks Sheila used poison to speed up the process so she could get her hands on the farm, his Chiropractor business, and other properties he owned in New Hampshire. Despite never marrying Bill LaBarre, Sheila changed her name to his and inherited everything.

Soon Shiela started enticing young men to share the work at the farm, and her bed. Neighbors witnessed what they observed as badly beaten men walking up and down the road near the farm. District Attorney Kristen Wilson said the farm became a sadistic playground because it was isolated and with Sheila, it was always about control. Sheila took advantage of young men and men who were trusting and vulnerable. She went to a homeless shelter initially to find them. In February 2006, Sheila was on the prowl for a new victim, someone innocent and defenseless, someone like Army veteran Kenneth ‘Kenny’ Countie. Kenny’s mother shared that Kenny was indeed a kind and trusting soul. Unfortunately, he had a low IQ and a child like trust that led him into a deadly trap.

Kenny called Shiela about work on the farm and after a few phone calls, he was serious about her. Sheila promised more than just work to entice him and picked him up at his home in Massachusetts. Kenny moved to her New Hampshire farm and was never seen again. Sheila used her seductive qualities to attract her victims, then she isolated them, and then she began the psychological and physical torture. A few nights before 24-year-old Kenny died, Sheila took Kenny shopping at a local Wal-Mart and the employees were concerned. Kenny couldn’t walk, he had bruises all over his face, and his complexion was an odd shade of green. Sheila was making a ruckus at the store so they called the police department but Kenny didn’t ask the police for help when they arrived because he was under Sheila’s spell. After the encounter in the store, Kenny was never seen alive again.

Late one night, Sheila called the police to report that Kenny Countie was a “child molester” and a “pervert.” She seemed frantic and from what the police learned, she obsessively recorded everything she did. She played some tapes for the police over the phone. It sounded as if Kenny was being interrogated and vomiting. Of course, Sheila said he was faking the vomiting and again accused him of being a “pedophile.” The reality was Kenny wasn’t a pedophile or pervert but Sheila had to fantasize that the men she killed were pedophiles so she could justify the murder. Police investigated the situation the next day but didn’t realize Kenny was already dead. Prosecutors theorized that when Kenny finally stood up for himself, it most likely triggered Sheila into a homicidal rage. After police obtained a search warrant, they observed blood spatter and blood smears in the house but didn’t know who it belonged to until it was tested.

They would eventually learn that Sheila calmly sat on the night of March 21, 2006 and watched Kenny Countie burn after she stabbed him, dismembered him, and set his body on fire in her backyard on a mattress. Despite Sheila trying hard to destroy Kenny’s body, forensic evidence gave her away. Police compared the blood spatter found in the home and the bone and flesh found in the burn pit with DNA the U.S. Army had on file and it was a match. During the search of Sheila LaBarre’s property, the police also found a wallet in the septic tank that belonged to Michael Deloge, another young man who had fallen prey to Sheila. In June 2008, Sheila LaBarre was convicted of the pre-meditated murders of Michael Deloge and Kenneth Countie and is currently serving two life sentences in prison. Although prosecutors only had evidence to convict Shelia LaBarre of two murders, it is believed there are more.

In the News:

A Connecticut family is hoping to learn what happened to a loved one who used to live with Sheila LaBarre, the woman accused of killing and dismembering a man on her Epping farm. -WMUR-TV (May 31, 2007)

A woman charged with killing a man and incinerating his body admitted in court that the state has enough evidence to convict her of not one but two killings. -WMUR-TV (February 15, 2008)

The Sheila LaBarre trial got underway with a trip to LaBarre’s Epping farm and the Wal-Mart where Kenneth Countie was last seen alive. -WMUR-TV (February 15, 2008)

A woman charged with killing a man and incinerating his body admitted in court that the state has enough evidence to convict her of not one but two killings. -WMUR-TV (February 15, 2008)

The defense in the Sheila LaBarre trial made their opening statements. -WMUR-TV (May 19, 2008)

Sheila LaBarre appeards to roll her head back and laugh as tape recordings are played in court. -WMUR-TV (May 19, 2008)

Lynn Noojin, Sheila LaBarre’s sister, testified that that two suffered abuse at the hand of their father as they grew up. -WMUR-TV (May 19, 2008)

Sheila LaBarre is sentenced after being found Sane and Guilty in connection with the killings of Michael Deloge and Kenneth Countie. -WMUR-TV (June 27, 2008)

The state Supreme Court heard an appeal Wednesday from a woman convicted of killing two men on her Epping, N.H., farm. -WMUR-TV (January 13, 2010)

The mother of one of the victims of Sheila LaBarre is telling her son’s story, saying he was more than the pictures shown during the trial. -WMUR-TV (May 28, 2010)

The mother of one of Sheila LaBarre’s victims hand-delivered a petition to the state Attorney General’s Office on Friday accusing Epping police of “gross negligence” in how they handled the case. -WMUR-TV (August 31, 2012)

A decade after the arrest of Sheila LaBarre, those who worked the case said the memories are still with them. -WMUR-TV (March 31, 2016)

Arts & Entertainment:

Kevin Flynn discusses his book Wicked Intentions, an account of real-life serial murderer Sheila LaBarre. -MacmillanUSA (April 25, 2011)

14 :: Sheila LaBarre Part 1 :: w\ Kate from Ignorance Was Bliss (July 5, 2018)

How to spot women who are master manipulators so you don’t compromise your values, what you want and end up being manipulated, used, abused, taken advantage of and tossed aside after they are done with you. -Coach Corey Wayne (May 24, 2017)

Investigation Discovery:

Preview: This cougar uses her feminine wiles to get the attention of young men, breaks them down and leaves their remains. -Master Manipulators, Deadly Women (S4,E6)

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:
Ex-husband: Suspect asked him to murder chiropractor
Family: State looking at autopsy report in horse farm murder case
Murder suspect found in Revere
Jurors watch LaBarre stroke rabbit in police interview tape while denying grisly events
LaBarre not insane when she killed 2, psychologist testifies
N.H. woman who killed 2 boyfriends sane, jury says
Woman found guilty of killing 2 boyfriends
New Hampshire jury says Sheila LaBarre was sane; sentenced to life in prison
The STATE of New Hampshire v. Sheila K. LABARRE (2010)
High court upholds Sheila LaBarre’s convictions
N.H. Court Upholds LaBarre’s Murder Convictions
Countie’s mother starts petition for justice
Sheila LaBarre case: Mother wants justice for her murdered son
Human toes found near Sheila LaBarre’s Epping horse farm may lead to new homicide probe
Mystery toes may be sole link to torture killer Sheila LaBarre’s latest victim: Cops (VIDEO)
Sheila LaBarre property could be a tough sell
Murderer Sheila LaBarre’s farm auctioned for $600K
10 years later, prosecutor reflects on Sheila LaBarre case
Remembering Sheila LaBarre case, 10 years later
Gold-digger turned gravedigger lures men to their deaths in small New England town
Wicked Intentions: The Sheila LaBarre Murders | Facebook
Killer Cougar : The True Story of Serial Killer Sheila LaBarre (book)
When Cougars Attack | Pretty Bad Girls | Justice Network
Deadly Women: Sheila LaBarre sentenced to two sentences of LWOP for the murders of Michael Deloge and Kenneth Countie
NH’s Rich History Includes These Murderers
Serial is over but here are seven true-crime stories to fill the gap
Dear Sheila | Episode 10 | Criminal Podcast
Sheila LaBarre by Kyle is haunted | Anchor Podcast
Burn Farm: Michael Benson 03/23 by True Murder Podcast
14 :: Sheila LaBarre Part 1 | Voice of the Victim Podcast
15 :: Sheila LaBarre Part 2 | Voice of the Victim Podcast
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Master Manipulators’ on Investigation Discovery: Everything You Need to Know About Killer Sheila LaBarre (September 16, 2010)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Video Links:
Searching For Sheila’s Missing Man
LaBarre Admits State Can Convict Of Two Killings
LaBarre Undergoes Third Psychiatric Evaluation
Sheila LaBarre Trial Begins With Trip To Wal-Mart, Farm
Jury Visits Wal-Mart, Farm On Day One Of LaBarre Trial
Part 1: Video Shows Interior Of Sheila LaBarre’s House
Part 2: Video Shows Interior Of Sheila LaBarre’s House
Part 3: Video Shows Interior Of Sheila LaBarre’s House
Part 4: Video Shows Interior Of Sheila LaBarre’s House
Part 5: Video Shows Interior Of Sheila LaBarre’s House
Prosecutors Make Opening Statements In LaBarre Trial
LaBarre Appears To Laugh As Recordings Are Played
Court Ends Early As LaBarre Has Reaction To Tapes
Rogers: LaBarre’s Conversations Had A Pedophilia Theme
Rogers: LaBarre’s Ideas “Outlandish”
Psychiatrist Explains “Rabbit Or Pedophile” Comment
Rogers On Progression Of Deteriorating Mental State
LaBarre’s Defense Makes Openings Statements
LaBarre’s Sister Testifies About Father’s Abuse
Sister Describes LaBarre’s Stay At Hospital
Noojin: LaBarre Thought She Was Reincarnated Witch
Sheila LaBarre Sentenced
Mother Says Countie Was Always Smiling
Lawyers Say Police Violated LaBarre’s Privacy
LaBarre victim’s mother accuses of police of negligence
Sheila LaBarre’s Farm Auctioned Off
Remembering Sheila LaBarre case, 10 years later
Serial Killer Sheila Labarre’s House – Farmhand’s Nightmare
Serial Killer Sheila Labarre, House of Horror Now
Book Trailer for “Wicked Intentions”
Kevin Flynn on Wicked Intentions, the story of Sheila LaBarre
Wicked Intentions: The Sheila LaBarre Murders by Kevin Flynn— (A True Story)
Red Flags – Coach Corey Wayne
Master Manipulators – Coach Corey Wayne
Deadly Women – Cougar Seduces, Tortures and Kills Men (Preview)
Master Manipulators | Shiela LaBarre | Female Killers (S4, E6)
Master Manipulators | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Master Manipulators | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Killing Farm | Killer Instinct | Amazon (S1,E4)