Convicted Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales Died by Suicide in Prison; Found Guilty of 8 Murders in Illinois & California, Sentenced to Death (November 2, 2018)

Andrew Urdiales Mirror

Andrew Urdiales, U.S. Marine Corps [photo: Mirror]

Former Camp Pendleton Marine Andrew Urdiales died by suicide at San Quentin State Prison in California on November 2, 2018. His death came less than a month after he was sentenced to death for five murders of women in California. Urdiales also received a life sentence in Illinois for the murders of three other women. One of his victims Jennifer Asbenson got away in 1992 and was able to testify against him during his death penalty trial in California. Four of the murders were committed while he was an active duty Marine stationed at Camp Pendleton between 1986 and 1989. After Urdiales was discharged, he killed four more women in a two year span, one in California and three in Illinois, between 1995-1996.

Honoring the Victims:

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January 18, 1986: Robbin Brandley, 23, Saddleback CC, California
July 17, 1988: Julie McGhee, 30, Cathedral City, California
September 25, 1988: Mary Ann Wells, 31, San Diego, California
April 15, 1989: Tammie Erwin, 18, Palm Springs, California
March 11, 1995: Denise Maney, 32, Palm Springs, California
April 14, 1996: Laura Uylaki, 25, Chicago, Illinois
July 14, 1996: Cassandra Corum, 21, Pontiac, Illinois
August 2, 1996: Lynn Huber, 22, Chicago, Illinois

In the News:

A jury recommended the death penalty for former Marine and convicted serial killer Andrew Urdiales on Wednesday. -ABC 7 (June 13, 2018)

An Orange County Superior Court jury Wednesday recommended the death penalty for a former Marine and Chicago triple-murderer who was convicted last month of murdering five women in Southern California from 1986 to 1995. -CBS Los Angeles (June 13, 2018)

A survivor was overcome with emotion as she came face to face with the monster who abducted and tortured her…It happened when she missed her bus in Palm Springs, California and Andrew Urdiales offered her a ride. He drove her to a remote desert location where he tied her with rope and her bra. -Inside Edition (June 13, 2018)

News conference following the penalty phase verdict in the case of the People v. Andrew Urdiales case featuring surviving victim Jennifer Asbenson, Tammie Erwin’s father Charles Erwin, Mary Ann Wells’ son Steve Wells, and OCDA Senior Deputy District Attorneys Matt Murphy and Eric Scarbrough of the Homicide Unit. -Orange County DA (June 14, 2018)

Serial killer Andrew Urdiales, who was convicted of the first-degree murders of five Southern California women between 1986 and 1995, was sentenced to death Friday. -ABC 7 (October 5, 2018)

The murders occurred when Andrew Urdiales was stationed at various Marine Corps facilities in Southern California. -CBS Los Angeles (October 5, 2018)

A woman who was kidnapped by an eight-time serial killer shares why she believes her life was spared and she was able to escape. -Dr. Phil (March 7, 2019)

Cuomo speaks with Urdiales on the day he’s being sent to death row and tries to understand why this madman chose to kill multiple women in cold blood. Was he insane? Did he hate women? Were there clues in his childhood? -Inside Evil with Chris Cuomo, HLN (June 18, 2019)

Related Links:
Convicted Chicago serial killer Andrew Urdiales found guilty of 5 California murders
Andrew Urdiales case: Jury recommends death penalty for convicted serial killer
OC Jury Recommends Death For Ex-Marine Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales
California Kidnapping Survivor Details Brush With Alleged Serial Killer
News Conference – Andrew Urdiales death penalty verdict
Serial killer Andrew Urdiales sentenced to death in murders of 5 women in Southern California
Ex-Marine Serial Killer Who Slayed 5 SoCal Women Gets Death Penalty
Teen Girl & Young Woman Walking Back to Her Car at Night Among Serial Killer Marine’s 8 Victims: ‘Human Monster’
‘No Hard Feelings’: Serial killer understands being sentenced to death for sex slayings
Serial killer Andrew Urdiales dies of possible suicide on San Quentin’s death row
Serial killer Andrew Urdiales dies of possible suicide on San Quentin’s death row
‘Eyes of the devil’: Serial killer and mass murderer take own lives on death row
Serial killer Andrew Urdiales was a monster masquerading as a marine who nearly got away with murder
Serial killer and former Camp Pendleton Marine dies by suicide on death row
Ex-Marine Turned Notorious Serial Killer Commits Suicide On Death Row
Serial Killer and Former Camp Pendleton Marine Dies by Suicide on Death Row
2 serial killers found dead within hours on California’s death row
Two California death row inmates die less than 48 hours apart from apparent suicide
2 California death row inmates found dead inside their cells in possible suicides
2 death row inmates found dead in apparent suicides
Serial Killer Kills Himself After 3rd Death Sentence
Andrew Urdiales: Five Fast Facts You Need to Know
Jennifer Asbenson survived attack by serial killer Andrew Urdiales – People Magazine Investigates spotlights the case
How Woman Escaped The Grips Of An 8-Time Serial Killer
Final interview with convicted serial killer Andrew Urdiales
He admits to killing 8 women in cold blood. But don’t call him evil.
Honoring the Victims of Serial Killer and Former Marine Andrew Urdiales in California and Illinois (1986-1996)

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)

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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)