A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Continue reading

Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris Premiered ‘Down by the River’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Helicopter Pilot & Serial Killer Robert Lee Yates, Jr. Sentenced to Death (June 4, 2018)

ID Go: Tony Harris pieces together the 1990 case of three prostitutes killed in Spokane, Washington, and discovers a pattern of murders connected by twenty-two caliber bullets, a killing spree that shocked a city and a suspect with a stunning new identity. -Down by the River, Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris (2018)

In the News:

12 Terrifying Facts about Robert Lee Yates – The Most Deranged Killer

Melissa speaks with the daughters of Robert Lee Yates Jr, who murdered at least 13 people in Washington State. (2015)

Robert Lee Yates Jr’s family members share their memories of the serial killer. (2015)

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates will be learning Thursday whether or not his death penalty conviction for the murders of two women near Tacoma will be overturned by the Washington State Supreme Court. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2007)

In a majority opinion the Washington State Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates and upheld his death sentence for the murders of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. (2007)

Attorneys for convicted Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates have filed their application for a stay of his execution which is scheduled for later this month. (2008)

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates has been transferred from death row in Walla Walla to Pierce County where he will be in court Friday as Judge John McCarthy signs his death warrant. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2008)

Kathy Lloyd feared that Robert Yates would live longer than her. He killed her sister, Shawn McLenahan. Now a Tacoma judge will sign Yates’ death warrant, and Lloyd is hoping Yates will die soon. KXLY4’s Sally Showman reports. (2008)

Back in the mid 1990’s when Robert Yates was stalking Spokane prostitutes another serial killer was making regular visits to the city. A new book reveals the “Happy Face Killer” often traveled to Spokane where the long haul trucker would spend time with his children. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2010)

Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates is claiming he had ineffective legal counsel in his latest appeal of his death sentence for the killings of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. KXLY4’s Melissa Luck reports. (2013)

On August 26, 1997, the half-naked body of prostitute Heather Hernandez, 20 was found in an empty lot in Spokane Washington. The same day, the decomposed corpse of prostitute Jennifer Joseph, 16, was discovered in an alfalfa field. Both women had been shot in the head. The day after Christmas, four more women were found with plastic bags tied over their heads, the gruesome signature of a killer who had sexually violated each one of them, after they had died. Police had only one good lead, a driver in a white Corvette who picked up prostitutes on the street. When the killer is finally arrested he turns out to be a devoted husband, a father of five, a National Guard helicopter pilot and a Desert Storm veteran. Not since the Green River Killer had the Pacific Northwest been so terrorized by so savage a serial killer. Robert Lee Yates Jr. is charged for 13 murders. Edgar Award-Winning Author Burl Barer discusses BODY COUNT: The Terrifying True Story of the Spokane Serial Killer. (2013)

Related Links:
Down by the River | Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris | ID
Family Snapshot | American Monster | Investigation Discovery
Monster in Spokane | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery
Spokane Serial Killer: Robert Lee Yates | Monster in My Family | AETV
These Home Videos Of The Yates Family Are A Prelude To Terrifying Trauma That Would Come
12 Terrifying Facts about Robert Lee Yates – The Most Deranged Killer
Monster in My Family: Robert Lee Yates Jr’s Daughters Speak Out
Monster in My Family: Yates Family Home Movies
Supreme Court to rule on Serial Killer’s appeal (2007)
Supreme Court upholds Yates death sentence (2007)
Spokane Serial Killer files for stay of execution (2008)
Judge to sign serial killer’s death warrant (2008)
Yates’ death still won’t bring closure to sister of victim (2008)
Daughter’s book sheds new insight into “Happy Face Killer” (2010)
Serial killer Robert Yates claims ineffective counsel in latest death penalty appeal (2013)
Most Shocking Murders : The Spokane Serial Killer (2013)
Watch Spokane Serial Killer: Robert Lee Yates – Monster in My Family | LMN
American Monster takes a look at Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates
Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates murdered at least 13 people – Tony Harris recounts the investigation

Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961

US Army

John Bennett, US Army (Austria)

A look at the last U.S. soldier executed by the military (1961)

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Ronald Gray, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Ronald Gray, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Rape & Murder of Army Private Laura Vickery-Clay & Civilian Kimberly Ruggles (1986)

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Hasan Akbar, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Sergeant Hasan Akbar, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for a Grenade & Rifle Attack on Fellow Soldiers in Kuwait Resulting in Two Deaths & Several Injuries (2003)

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Major Nidal Hasan, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Major Nidal Hasan, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for Opening Fire & Killing 12 Unarmed Soldiers and 1 DoD Employee at Fort Hood, Texas (2009)

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Timothy Hennis, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina)

Retired Army Sgt. Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Murders of Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Children Cara & Erin at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)

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Dwight Loving, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas)

Army Soldier Dwight Loving Murdered First of Two Cab Drivers; Sentenced to Death by Military Courts But Commuted in 2017 by President Obama, Re-sentenced to Life, No Parole (December 12, 1988)

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SrA Andrew Witt, US Air Force (Robins AFB, Georgia)

Air Force SrA Andrew Witt Sentenced to Death for the Pre-Meditated Murders of Jamie & Andy Schliepsiek; 13 Years Later, Military Court Re-sentenced Witt to Life In Prison, No Parole (October 13, 2005)

Osama El-Atari, One-Time Informant Who Got Marine Jorge Torrez to Confess to 3 Murders Including Amanda Snell, Found Dead in Vehicle; Three Suspects Arrested for Murder (February 16, 2016)

“A Virginia man found murdered in Maryland over the weekend was an informant who successfully got a Marine to confess to three murders in prison. Osama El-Atari had been reported missing by his family…Two days later, El Atari was found dead inside his truck…In August of 2010, the feds wanted to see if El-Atari could get Jorge Torrez, a Marine, to confess on tape to the murder of Amanda Jean Snell, a sailor who was found murdered in Fort Myer. El-Atari and Torrez were in the same cellblock in Arlington County Jail. The two talked for hours with El-Atari getting Torrez to admit to the vicious crime…El-Atari was also able to get Torrez to admit to the 2005 killing of two little girls in his hometown of Zion, Illinois. It is a crime in which a suspect had already confessed. Also, DNA evidence pointed to Torrez.” Read more from Fox 5 DC here.

Related Links:
Slain Va. man was one-time informant who got Marine to confess to murders
Admitted bank scammer who turned into jailhouse informant in terror, murder cases found slain in truck on Maryland street
VA Man Convicted of Scamming Banks for Millions Found Dead in MD
Police arrest 2 in slaying of freed jailhouse informant
Arrests made in murder of informant who got Marine to confess to murders
Third man arrested in Leesburg bank scammer’s death
Third man arrested in death of scam artist turned informant
3rd Suspect Arrested for Convicted Loudoun Restauranteur’s Murder
Robbery Cited as Motive in El-Atari Homicide
The King of Ashburn: The life and murder of a con man
Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell Murdered by Marine Jorge Torrez in Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia; Sentenced to Death by Federal Judge (July 13, 2009)

Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Mother’s Day Murders’ on ID: Timothy Hennis on Military Death Row for Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (October 8, 2012)

While on death row, Tim Hennis received an anonymous letter confessing to the murders. The note didn’t produce any leads. -CNN (July 17, 2014)

The star witness in Tim Hennis’ trial had doubts about whether Hennis committed the murders. -CNN (July 17, 2014)

A man tried three times for his life but is he a killer? Find out! Death Row Stories. -CNN (September 5, 2014)

The brutal murder of a U.S. Army wife and her two young daughters. One year later, a mountain of circumstantial evidence sent U.S. Army sergeant Timothy Hennis to death row for the crime, but the case later took a unique turn in legal history. -Timothy Hennis, Death Row Stories (S1,E7)

Victims:

Katie & Children

Kathryn Eastburn, Cara Eastburn, and Erin Eastburn

Related Links:
Death Row Stories: Hennis Trailer | CNN
I did the crime…you’re doin’ the time | CNN
Death penalty case’s ‘Perry Mason moment’ | CNN
Timothy Hennis | Death Row Stories | CNN (S1,E7)
Four U.S. Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
A Military Jury Delivered a Guilty Verdict in a Death Penalty Trial to Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis for the Triple Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn (April 8, 2010)
In 3rd Trial, Retired Army MSG Timothy Hennis Sentenced to Death by Military Court Martial for the Murders of Kathryn, Cara & Erin Eastburn at Fort Bragg (April 15, 2010)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Mother’s Day Murders | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (website)
Mother’s Day Murders | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Eastburn Family Murders | True Crime Brewery Podcast
3 People on Death Row Who May Be Innocent Part 2