The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Mysterious Death of Air Force Colonel Philip Shue: Accident, Suicide or Murder? (November 4, 2018)

“April 16, 2003. San Antonio, Texas. Colonel Michael Philip Shue said goodbye to his wife and was supposed to drive to Lackland Air Force Base where he worked. But he was seen driving erratically on the highway away from both his work and his home later on. The Colonel’s car then smashed into a tree, killing him. But he sustained injuries prior to the accident that suggested that he may have been the victim of a crime. Some of these injuries included: duct tape on his wrists and ankles, a six inch wound down the center of his chest and his nipples had been cut off. A world renowned medical examiner surprisingly deemed the Colonel’s death a suicide. After Col. Shue’s wife hired two other experts a different picture came into focus. One of abduction and torture. What exactly happened to Col. Shue? Was he suicidal? Or did someone want him dead? Can Justin & Aaron get to the bottom of this mystery?” –Death of Colonel Shue, The Generation Why Podcast (November 4, 2018)

Related Links:
Mishap or Murder?
The Curious Case Of Col. Shue
The Generation Why Podcast (website)
The Generation Why Podcast (Facebook)
The Generation Why Podcast (Twitter)
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast (website)
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Stitcher
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Poddmap
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Podtail
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | PlayerFM
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Chartable
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Spreaker
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Backtracks
Death of Colonel Shue | The Generation Why Podcast | Apple Podcasts
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Six Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
10 Unsolved Military Cases

Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)

“In 2010, statistics came out that 120 female U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq had died. Half of those deaths were reported to be non-combat related. 30 those non-combat related deaths were ruled suicides, but there is evidence to suggest many of them may have actually been murders. In this episode, we dive into the case of LaVena Johnson and other women of the U.S. military who died very suspicious deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom.” –Conspiracy: Women in the US Military, Crime Junkie Podcast (10/22/18)

Related Links:
10 Unsolved Military Cases
Crime Junkie Podcast (website)
Crime Junkie Podcast (Facebook)
Crime Junkie Podcast (Twitter)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (website)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (stitcher)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Bullhorn)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Podbay)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Player FM)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (Poddmap)
Conspiracy: Women in the US Military | Crime Junkie Podcast (RadioPublic)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
Army Pfc. Tina Priest Died From a Non-Combat Related Incident in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Suspects Rape & Murder (March 1, 2006)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
The Strange & Unexplained: ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Army Soldier Timothy Jurgens Passed Away While Stationed at Fort Hood, Texas; Family Reports Death by Suicide (July 30, 2018)

Timothy Jurgens

Timothy Jurgens, U.S. Army

Obituary: “Timothy James “TJ” Jurgens passed away July 30, 2018 in Fort Hood, Texas. TJ was born July 5, 1999 in Effingham, Illinois. He is survived by his parents Thad and Tommi Jurgens of Golconda, IL, his brothers Hunter (Katie) Jurgens of Jasper, Indiana, Lane Jurgens of Litchfield, IL and one sister Josie Jurgens of Golconda, IL. He is also survived by his grandparents Carol and John Sheehan of Teutopolis, IL, Tom and Tammy Logsdon of St. Elmo, IL, Greg and Elaine Lilly of Mode, IL, Paul and Doris McConkey of Brownstown, IL, great-grandparents Marilyn Logsdon of St. Elmo, Lydia Hemrich of Effingham. TJ was preceded in death by his grandfather Harold “Tubby” Jurgens, his uncle Louis Jurgens, great grandfather William “Bill” Logsdon, and great grandparents Arthur and Ruth Forbes. TJ was a 2017 graduate of Pope County High School, and enlisted in the US Army before graduation. He enjoyed music and drama club in high school, as he loved to make people laugh. No one laughed harder than him, he was a joy to all he encountered. TJ loved the Lord. He loved his family and his friends. He loved his church family and kept strong relationships with every church he participated in.”

Related Links:
Obituary: Timothy Jurgens, U.S. Army
Obituary: Timothy Jurgens, U.S. Army (The Vienna Times)
Obituary: Timothy Jurgens, U.S. Army (Metropolis Planet)
Obituary: Timothy Jurgens, U.S. Army (The Altamont News)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Salute to Fallen Foundation Honors Army Spc. Mason Webber; Vinton Today is First Publication to Honor & Acknowledge the Fort Hood Fallen (July 20, 2020)

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

April 2018

Missing:
Patrick F. Carnes, Nevada (2011) | Missing Veterans
Mother Joins Search for Navy Officer Son Who Vanished on Way to Submarine Based in Connecticut
Federal agencies get involved with search for missing Martinsville man

Cold Cases:
Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (April 17, 2017)

Reward Offered:
$11K offered in hunt for Marine accused of killing detective’s daughter
Former Marine wanted for murder believed to be in Mexico, manhunt underway
Authorities ask for public’s help in locating ex-Marine fugitive

Petitions:
Advocate for review and reform of injustice in the Military

Announcements:
Veterans legal clinic scheduled in Killeen
Save Our Heroes Sends Letter of Concern to Joint Regional Correctional Facility Leavenworth, Re Violation of the United Nations Human Rights Commission

Legislation:
This Gunnery Sergeant’s job destroyed his body to the point of retirement
Diagnosed With Leukemia, This Officer Was One Year From Retirement

Continue reading

Army Pvt. Nicole Burnham Found Unresponsive in Fort Carson Barracks; Death Ruled Suicide After Sexual Assault, Retaliation & a Three Month Expedited Transfer Delay (January 26, 2018)

Nicole Burnham Army

Pvt. Nicole Burnham, U.S. Army

Army Pvt. Nicole Burnham reported a sexual assault at Camp Casey in Korea on September 15, 2017. Four days later, she requested an expedited victim’s transfer (EVT) asking for reassignment back to the United States. Nicole’s Commander approved the request a few days later but it would be 82 days before the transfer occurred. In the meantime, Nicole Burnham shared the same barracks with her attacker. And there was no evidence to suggest the Army even addressed the fact that Nicole shared the same barracks as her attacker until an incident occurred three weeks later when he allegedly jumped out in front of her in an attempt to scare her. It was at this time, the Commander separated the two and put them in different barracks. In the weeks that followed, Nicole suffered verbal harassment and cyberbullying from within the ranks. She received comments from soldiers and their wives over social media calling her a “slut” and “deserving of rape.” Investigators claimed Nicole did not report the harassment to the Chain of Command but in a sworn statement a fellow soldier said most of the leadership was aware of the harassment yet turned a blind eye.

Nicole Burnham 5

Nicole Burnham Justification for Expedited Transfer (photo: KSTP-TV)

In October 2017, a tearful Nicole told her supervisor she couldn’t “take it” anymore and the supervisor believed she was eluding to suicidal ideation. She was referred to the Officer in Charge (OIC) who then handed her off to the Chaplain for counseling. But according to the A.R. 15-6 investigation, it doesn’t appear leadership in the Chain of Command was aware of what the supervisor believed was suicidal ideation. Nicole reported a sexual assault on September 15, 2017 and experienced three months of retaliation before Army leadership finally transferred her on December 12, 2017. In addition, KSTP reports Army leadership at Camp Casey failed to inform Fort Carson that Nicole was a victim of sexual assault (and harassment, bullying, & cyberbullying). Nicole should have been offered mental health care and compassion. Don Christiansen of Protect Our Defenders said in a statement that the Chain of Command was without a doubt responsible for the failures in Nicole’s case that ultimately lead to her ending her life. Nicole’s death triggered two investigations, one into the allegation of sexual assault that allegedly included Nicole being attacked by multiple men at Camp Casey and the other into the cyberbullying. Of course, the Army declined to comment until the investigation was completed. According to the family, Nicole’s main attacker was courtmartialed and agreed to a plea deal that forced him to leave the Army with a less than honorable discharge. The outcome of the cyberbullying investigation of military personnel and military spouses is unknown.

“It’s inconceivable that they let her languish in Korea. After all these failures, we had this tragic ending to her life.” -Don Christiansen, Protect Our Defenders (January 13, 2020)

Editor’s Note: The military wives who lived on a federal base overseas do not fall under the jurisdiction of the military Chain of Command. Civilians living on base fall under the federal jurisdiction of the FBI who at this point are reluctant to investigate anything but murder. The federal government uses a crisis oriented approach with military personnel and crimes on military bases as opposed to a homicide prevention approach. And in the case of reservations, there has been no justice for missing and murdered Native Americans. 

Nicole Burnham KSTP-TV Timeline

AR 15-6 Timeline of Events for Nicole Burnham (Source: KSTP-TV)

As a result of Nicole’s tragic and untimely death and the KSTP-TV investigation, Senator Amy Klobuchar and Representative Tom Emmer of Minnesota pushed the Army to take action and make changes to the expedited victims transfer policy. The pair asked the Army to track the time it takes to transfer victims of sex assault to another military base, citing the ‘unfortunate delays’ in the transfer of Pvt. Nicole Burnham. In response, the Secretary of the Army directed staff to update policies regarding the treatment of victims of sexual assault who request an off-base transfer. He asked that the Army update policies to mirror the timelines in the Department of Defense (DoD) policy. According to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, DoD policy states an EVT should occur within 30 days and Esper said the Army’s policies will now reflect that timeline. Nicole’s mother, Stacey Burnham, said 30 days is too long. She also said, “I cannot imagine being a victim, having your EVT approved but knowing you may still be there for another 30 days.” Stacey Burnham has called for more significant changes in the wake of her daughter’s death suggesting the timeline should be condensed even further. She runs a public Facebook page called Pooters Peeps in honor of her daughter.

Amy Klobuchar Letter

Letter from Amy Klobuchar & Tom Emmer to the Secretary of the Army (photo: KSTP-TV)

Sources: KSTP-TV, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Stacey Burnham

In the News:

A 21-year-old Fort Carson soldier who died after being found unresponsive on post last Friday was honored with a dignified transfer. -KOAA 5 (February 2, 2018)

Failing Nicole Burnham Tweet

Retweet on Twitter in honor of Pvt. Nicole Burnham.

Photos of Nicole Burnham:

Nicole Burnham 3

Nicole Burnham (photo: Pooters Peeps)

Nicole Burnham 2

Pvt. Nicole Burnham, U.S. Army (Image: Alex Wentz)

Pooters Peeps (Facebook):

Related Links:
Obituary: Nicole A Burnham of Andover, Minnesota | 1996 – 2018
Failing Private Burnham: How the Army Did Not Protect a Minnesota Soldier after a Sexual Assault
Dignified transfer performed for Fort Carson soldier who died on post
Soldier commits suicide after Army wives bullied her, told her she should die
Report: Soldier Kills Herself After Sexual Assault, Harassment, Cyberbullying
Failing Private Burnham | KSTP-TV | Facebook
5 Investigates “Making a Difference” | Midwestern Emmys
Veterans suicide prevention walk remembers Nicole Burnham
Letter to Secretary of Army from Amy Klobuchar & Tom Emmer
Klobuchar, Emmer look into Minnesota soldier’s sexual assault, suicide
Klobuchar, Emmer Push Army to Take Action after Minnesota Soldier’s Sexual Assault, Suicide
Army Secretary orders changes to policy after Minnesota soldier’s sexual assault, suicide
Army Secretary orders changes to policy after Minnesota soldier’s sexual assault, suicide
Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services Articles of Interest
The Murder of Pvt. Nicole Burnham – When Driven to Suicide, It’s Murder – Failure to Act Prudently Makes the United States Army an Accessory to Her Murder
HOR Oversight Subcommittee on National Security & Foreign Affairs Held a Hearing on Sexual Assault in the Military (July 31, 2008)
Lauterbach Case Prompts Policy Reforms for Victims of Sexual Assault in the Military (December 25, 2011)
Rep. Mike Turner Says New Military Legislation Closes a Loophole & Includes Domestic Violence Victims in the Expedited Transfer Policy Law (May 1, 2018)
Pooters Peeps on Facebook (A Public Page Dedicated to Nicole Burnham)

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)

“Death of LaVena Johnson. July 19, 2005. Balad, Iraq. Nineteen years of age and recently deployed to Iraq, LaVena Johnson had everything going for her. A great education, determination, goals, and a great family. In letters and calls to home, she seemed quite candid about conditions there, both the good and the bad, but was also looking forward to being home for Christmas. On July 19th, though, a grim discovery was made. LaVena was found in a contractor’s tent, dead from an apparent gunshot wound to her head. An aerosol can was used to burn printed emails from a recent boyfriend. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Upset over the recent breakup with her boyfriend she must have hit her breaking point. The first autopsy didn’t really find anything to question this as a suicide. The Johnson family had her exhumed and two additional autopsies would make some startling discoveries. LaVena Johnson had suffered a broken nose, loose teeth, a black eye, and chemical burns on her genitals just to name a few. The Johnson family never believed that LaVena would take her own life and despite the questions surrounding her death, no one seems to want to go beyond saying that this case is ‘inconclusive’. Join us for a difficult discussion of losing a loved one under mysterious circumstances, not getting answers from investigators, and the possible reasons for why LaVena Johnson died back in 2005 in Iraq.” –Death of LaVena Johnson, The Generation Why Podcast (November 19, 2017)

Related Links:
The Generation Why Podcast (website)
The Generation Why Podcast (Facebook)
The Generation Why Podcast (Twitter)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast (website)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Stitcher
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | RadioPublic
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PlayerFM
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PodBean
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | TopPodcast
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Poddmap
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Six Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
The Death of LaVena Johnson (Unsolved Mysteries)
10 Unsolved Military Cases

We Are the Mighty: ‘The 7 best military stories from the glory days of Unsolved Mysteries’ (October 31, 2017)

1. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 3, Episode 21 – Full Episode (Paul Whipkey, U.S. Army, California)

Sylvia and Edward Zakrzewski.png

Sylvia and Edward Zakrzewski, U.S. Air Force (photo via Unsolved Mysteries Wiki)

2. Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row (March 30, 2016)

(Could not find this Unsolved Mysteries episode anywhere!)

3. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 7, Episode 19 – Full Episode (Justin Burgwinkel, U.S. Army, California)

4. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 5, Episode 20 – Full Episode (Chad Langford, U.S. Army, Alabama)

5. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 3, Episode 13 – Full Episode (Mark Dennis, U.S. Navy, Vietnam)

6. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 15 – Full Episode (David Cox, U.S. Marine Corps, Massachusetts)

7. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 1 – Full Episode (Joe O’Brien & Kuwaiti Air Force fighter pilot Mohammed “Sammy” Mubarak, Iraq)

BONUS EPISODE:

8. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 4, Episode 11 – Full Episode (Jeffrey Digman, U.S. Marine Corps, California)

Related Links:
The 7 best military stories from the glory days of ‘Unsolved Mysteries’
7 Eerie Military Stories from Unsolved Mysteries That Still Haunt us
The Strange & Unexplained on YouTube published ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’ (August 15, 2018)
The Mysterious Disappearance of Paul Whipkey (Unsolved Mysteries)
Triple-Murder Suspect Surrenders After Seeing His Story on TV
Okaloosa County murderer to stay on death row
Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row
The Mysterious Disappearance of Justin Burgwinkel (Unsolved Mysteries)
The Mysterious Death of Chad Langford (Unsolved Mysteries)
Miamisburg man’s death in Vietnam, questioned for decades, now has closure
New England’s Unsolved: Who killed US Marine David Cox?
Joe O’Brien & Kuwaiti fighter pilot Mohammed Mubarak (Unsolved Mysteries Wiki)
The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Digman (Unsolved Mysteries)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S3, E21 – Full Episode (Paul Whipkey)
Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S7, E19 – Full Episode (Justin Bergwinkel)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S5, 20 – Full Episode (Chad Langford)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S3, E13 – Full Episode (Mark Dennis)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S8, E15 – Full Episode (David Cox)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 1 – Full Episode (Joe O’Brien)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 4, Episode 11 – Full Episode (Jeffrey Digman)

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

Master Sergeant Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, U.S. Army

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

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

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

Areas of Concern:

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

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

Army Veteran Shawn Bryce McVea Died by Suicide; Death Prompts Mom to Educate Others of Warning Signs After Deployment (September 4, 2017)

Shawn Bryce McVea KING 5

Shawn Bryce McVea, U.S. Army Veteran (Photo: Screenshot KING 5)

Suicide prompts mother to warn others. -KING 5 (November 29, 2018)

A military mom is trying to make a difference after her son killed himself after returning from deployment in Iraq. -KING 5 (November 29, 2018)

Related Links:
Shawn Bryce McVea | Find A Grave
Suicide prompts mother to warn others
Extended: Veteran’s suicide prompts mother to warn others
Veteran’s suicide prompts seminar for deploying JBLM airmen
Veteran’s Suicide Prompts Seminar for Deploying JBLM Airmen 2
Channeling grief into resiliency | The United States Army
Timeline of Veteran Suicides, Legislative Efforts, and Nationwide Negligence at the Department of Veterans Affairs

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Died by Suicide While on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; Delay in Medical Care Contributed to Death (August 2, 2017)

SPC-Moore-235x300

Spc. Zachary Moore, US Army

Spc. Zachary Moore, 23, of Virginia Beach, Virginia, was found unresponsive August 1, 2017 in his barracks room at Camp Hovey in South Korea. Spc. Moore was transported to St. Mary’s Hospital and pronounced deceased on August 2, 2017. Spc. Moore entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a signal support systems specialist. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood in Texas since July 2016. The circumstances surrounding the incident were investigated by the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) and the cause of death was ruled a suicide.

*****************************************

Was Zachary Moore’s Death Preventable?

In May 2017, Fort Hood announced they were deploying 3,500 troops to South Korea over the summer. Twenty-three (23) year old Zachary Moore was one of the soldiers deployed to South Korea. With full knowledge of Zachary’s recent mental health issues, the Chain of Command gave him a mental health waiver against his will, and most likely against medical advice, so they could deploy him to South Korea.

In October 2016, Zachary had a mental health breakdown and went Absent without Leave (AWOL). After a successful intervention, Zachary was found and returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Zachary’s command then sent him to an emergency room where he was hospitalized and prescribed medication. After Zachary was discharged from the hospital, he continued to seek treatment for mental health issues. Six months later, Zachary was given a mental health waiver by his command to deploy to South Korea.

About a month after Zachary arrived at Camp Hovey in South Korea, his depression medication was changed. As a matter of fact, his depression medication was changed the day before he was found unresponsive in his barracks room. Zachary attempted to kill himself on August 1st, less than 24 hours after the medication change. It was Zachary who called his Command for help as there is no 911 on the base in South Korea. He was found unresponsive and finally transported to the hospital about 1 ½ to 2 hours later. He was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, listed as critical then stable, yet passed away on August 2, 2017.

Why did Zachary Moore go AWOL?

The Chain of Command contacted Jeanette to report Zachary hadn’t been seen since October 18, 2016. They also informed her they were not actively looking for him but would file AWOL status on October 20th. When asked if they filed a missing persons report, Jeanette claims they told her they did but she says she was lead to believe Zachary trashed his room, took his things, and left willingly. She immediately flew to Texas from Florida to find him.

Jeanette contacted the Killeen Police Department as soon as she got to Fort Hood and the local law enforcement found Zachary the same day she arrived. Over the phone, the Command told Jeanette they filed a missing persons report but she learned from the Killeen Police Department that they never did. The Killeen PD noticed recent activity on Facebook so they pinged Zach’s cell phone & found that he was in a remote area of a local state park.

Zachary attempted to flee initially but after negotiations, he surrendered and was returned to the police station where his mom was waiting. Jeanette could tell Zachary was mentally broken and he admitted to her that he wanted to hurt himself.  The Killeen PD found Zachary and he had a knife in his possession. Zachary was returned to the custody of his Chain of Command at Fort Hood. Shortly after Zachary informed his mom that his superiors told him to tell her to leave town and stop interfering.

Jeanette reports that Zachary never had any mental health issues prior to this and suspected that Zachary was “singled out by his command and harassed.”

Areas of Concern in Zachary Moore’s Case:

  • Zachary revealed he was harassed by his Chain of Command. For example, his leave papers to visit family before deploying were denied; he was denied permission to see the Fort Hood Inspector General officer; he was harassed during training exercises; he was given exhausting extra duties; and was accused of taking a radio which was later found on a military officer’s desk. Why was he denied the opportunity to speak to the IG officer?
  • Zachary was accused of trashing his room and taking his belongings when he went AWOL. Jeanette believes the circumstances surrounding the vandalism of his room and the theft of his property could be evidence of harassment.
  • During mental health treatment, Zachary was facing the consequences of going AWOL; Zachary was accused of trashing his own room; and Zachary was accused of stealing a secure radio? What are the additional mental health impacts of the way the Chain of Command uses the military justice system?
  • The circumstances of the mental health waiver and the justifications for sending Zachary to South Korea while he was undergoing treatment for mental health issues and medication management should be investigated.
  • The effects of the medication change in South Korea should be investigated. Is Command aware that some medications can cause serious negative reactions? (Some depression medication causes suicidal ideation.) Who monitors serious medication changes in deployed locations? Is it safe to deploy soldiers in the early phases of medication management for mental health issues?
  • Finally, the delay in the Command’s response to Zachary’s call for help in South Korea should be investigated. Why did it take so long to respond to Zachary and why did it take so long to get Zachary to the hospital? Did anyone attempt to administer help while waiting for the ambulance?
  • If the Command was the cause of the mental health break, where was Zachary supposed to turn? How do we hold the Chain of Command accountable? How do we prevent the Chain of Command from retaliating and using the military justice system or non judicial punishment as a weapon? What was the role of the Commander? What was the role of the Fort Hood Inspector General? How can we prevent a young soldier from feeling like the only way out of their situation is AWOL or suicide? How could we have prevented Zachary’s death?
  • Soldiers have come forward, given their stories to the family and have offered to testify about what Zachary was put through which may explain why he died. Were these soldiers questioned?

Source: Jeanette Nazario (Zachary Moore’s mom)

Related Links:
U.S. Army SPC Zachary Moore Funeral – 8/11/17
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Spc. Zachary Charles Moore
Spc. Zachary Moore, 1st Cavalry Division
Fort Hood soldier dies in South Korea
Fort Hood soldier dies in Korea
Fort Hood: Soldier found dead in barracks in South Korea identified
Soldier from VB dies after being found unresponsive in South Korea barrack
Virginia Beach soldier dies in South Korea
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Soldier deaths in South Korea put spotlight on US military suicide crisis