48 Hours Premiered ‘Rodney Alcala: The Killing Game’ on CBS (2018)


A photographer who was on “The Dating Game” became one of the nation’s deadliest serial killers. Eight years after “48 Hours”‘ first report, new victims emerge. Correspondent Peter Van Sant has the latest Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10/9c on CBS.

Rodney Alcala was born in San Antonio, Texas in 1943. His father abandoned the family when he was young. At 17, Alcala enlisted in the Army but there were problems, allegations of sexual misconduct, a nervous breakdown…the Army discharged him. “The military realized in 1963 that they had him, that he was a sexual deviant.” -Stefano Braccini, Former Cold Case Detective, NYPD (48 Hours)

Related Links:
Sneak peek: Rodney Alcala – The Killing Game
Former FBI profiler on the psychology of a sexual serial killer
48 Hours Mystery: The Killing Game (2010)
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala TV Gameshow Appearance
Rodney Alcala: On the trail of a serial killer
Serial Killer Rodney Alcala’s Photos Released: Can You ID Any Of These Women?
Judge Cries During Sentencing of Serial Killer Rodney Alcala
The Horrifying Story Of Rodney Alcala, The Serial Killer Who Won ‘The Dating Game’ During His Murder Spree
Decades-old photo links serial killer Rodney Alcala to yet another slaying, this one in Wyoming, prosecutors say
How a Serial Killer and Rapist Ended up on The Dating Game — and Was Chosen by the Girl
Flashback: Serial Killer Appears on ‘The Dating Game’ Mid-Spree
Rodney Alcala The Dating Game Killer: A Psychological Profile
The Haunting Photography of a Serial Killer
Rodney Alcala: The Killing Game (CBS Website)

Evil Lives Here Premiered ‘She Made Me Do It’ on Investigation Discovery: Teenager Eric Witte Kills Abusive Father Paul Witte for Mother Hilma Marie Witte (January 9, 2017)

Preview: Growing up, Eric Witte’s father taught him to protect his family. But when his father became increasingly violent, Eric realised that his father was the evil his family needed protection from. -She Made Me Do It, Evil Lives Here (S2, E2)

Eric Witte was 15 years old when he shot and killed his father Paul Witte while he lay sleeping on the couch. His mother Hilma had been poisoning him for years but her plan was not working so she elicited the help of her oldest son Eric to kill him. Although Eric has good memories of his father, he also has scars from the regular physical abuse he received if he made the slightest mistake. It wasn’t hard to convince Eric to kill his father so he could make the physical abuse stop. Eric and his mother Hilma were able to convince the police that it was an accident and they all went about their lives. Then Eric noticed that Hilma was poisoning his grandmother Elaine Witt as well.

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Eric Witte, US Navy

Eric wanted no part in her murderous plans so he joined the US Navy to escape his mother’s relentless pressure to kill. Eric thought that if he left, she would have no one to kill Elaine. But Hilma pressured her youngest son John to kill Elaine instead. John shot her with a crossbow and then they dismembered her body and put it in a refrigerator. Elaine and John then asked Eric to come home from the Navy to help them deal with the body. Eric wanted no part in his mother’s plan and left to go back to San Diego, California where he was stationed. Unbeknownst to him, his mother put his grandmother’s dismembered body in his vehicle and he didn’t notice until it was too late. He panicked and brought the body to California and put it in a storage locker.

It wasn’t long before other’s demanded to know where Elaine was. Hilma panicked and drove from Indiana to California to seek out Eric’s help. Eric left with his family and went Absent Without Leave (AWOL) so they could figure it out together. Eric was taught as a child to always protect his family and it was natural for him to do it again. In a bizarre twist, Hilma was arrested for forging Elaine’s signature on a social security check she stole from her. It was this arrest and investigation that led to the stories behind both murders. John and Eric admitted to investigators that their mother manipulated and pressured them to kill their father and grandmother. Hilma Witte was convicted and sentenced to 90 years in prison for murder. John and Eric Witte were given 20 and five year sentences for their roles and were released in 1996.

Source: She Made Me Do It, Evil Lives Here

Full Episode: Hilma Marie Witte Documentary – Female Killers | Mommy’s Little Helpers | Deadly Women (S6, E15)

The mother-son relationship is a dynamic one. Mothers are role models, teaching self-worth, respect, and the value of healthy relationships. But these Deadly Women teach their sons to hate and kill when they enlist the support of ‘Mommy’s Little Helpers’. -Mommy’s Little Helpers, Deadly Women (S6, E15)

“As a boy, Eric Witte’s father taught him to protect his family. But as his father grows increasingly violent, Eric realizes that he is the evil his family needs protection from.” -She Made Me Do It, Evil Lives Here (S2, E2)

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:
Double Murder: A Family Affair?
Woman Charged in Crossbow Death Appears in Shooting Case
Family Plot Police Say Wife Had Sons Kill Husband, Mom-in-law
Mother Told Me To Murder Grandmother, Boy Tells Jury
Hilma Witte v State of Indiana (1987)
Hilma Witte v State of Indiana (1990)
Woman convicted for role in murders seeks early release
Murder conspirator to remain in prison
Witte Denied Modified Sentence
A teenage boy murders his father
This Day in History: Paul Witte murder 9/1/1981 Michigan City, IN
‘Deadly Woman’: Mother Manipulated Sons Into Killing Their Family Members
Hilma Marie Witte Documentary | Female Killers (YouTube)
‘Mommy’s Little Helpers’ | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S6, E15)
Eric Witte | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery UK
She Made Me Do It | Evil Lives Here | Investigation Discovery (S2, E2)
Eric Witte Manipulated by Mother Hilma Marie Witte to Murder Abusive Father at Age Fifteen; Joined Navy to Prevent Grandmother Elaine Witte from Dying (September 1, 1981)

Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers During Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas (2016)

micah-johnson-102

Micah Johnson, US Army Reserve

Micah Johnson, a US Army Reserve veteran, is accused of gunning down and murdering five Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter Event on July 7, 2016. This is considered one of the deadliest attacks on police officers since September 11, 2001. He was eventually killed in a stand off with police. In recent media reports we learned that Micah Johnson deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014. He was accused of sexual harassment while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2014. He was accused of stalking and stealing women’s underwear as well. The victim sought a protection order and told superiors he needed mental health treatment. The protection order was granted and the Commanding officer recommended an Other Than Honorable discharge and sent him home early from his deployment to Afghanistan. Johnson’s military attorney stated that this kind of punishment is unusual for an isolated incident of sexual harassment. As part of a tentative agreement, it was recommended that Johnson receive a general discharge which saves the Army time and resources needed to discharge soldiers under Other Than Honorable conditions. Instead he was eventually released from the Army with a honorable discharge in April 2015.

As a result of his actions while serving, he was not investigated and prosecuted but instead sent back home from overseas and discharged from the US Army Reserves honorably. Although we have limited information in which to base conclusions, at first glance this looks like a case of escalation of predatory behavior that starts with sexual harassment, progresses to stalking, then the individual gets brazen and starts breaking and entering to steal his victims belongings. It would only be a matter of time before the individual escalated to sexual assault, rape and then murder. It’s too early to make a definitive conclusion as we are still waiting for information to come in because this story is developing. But one thing we do know is that the US Army Reserves took the easy way out, booted Micah Johnson from the military to protect it’s service members, and unleashed him on society with no warning or records. This case is another reason why we need the military to investigate and process each and every case through the legal system so we at least have a fighting chance at prevention and escalation of crimes. If the military can’t handle or afford to investigate and prosecute each case to determine the soldier’s danger to society, then maybe they should hand over the investigation and prosecution of crimes to the civilians. This isn’t the first case they let slip through the cracks and it certainly won’t be the last.

Why wasn’t the deaths of five Dallas Police Officers enough to warrant an investigation of the way the Army handles crime? Instead the conversation was stifled in the media. The following is a list of questions sent to the Army Times and other media outlets to help them help us find answers.

• What were his behaviors prior to being reported?

• What evidence did the Commander have to grant a protection order?

• Why was the protection order for her home as well?

• Why was he sent back home from Afghanistan?

• Why did the deployed Commander recommend sexual harassment with other than honorable discharge?

• Does the Commander understand the difference between sexual harassment and escalation of a violent criminal? (sex harassment, stalking, stealing victims belongings, sexual assault, rape, murder)

• Did the deployed Commander do any follow up with Army or Army Reserves?

• Where was he sent after leaving Afghanistan?

• Did he process through Fort Hood and was anyone informed of his status?

• Why and when was he assigned an attorney? (usually not necessary for sex harassment)

• Why no follow up on what happened in Afghanistan?

• Why no punishment whatsoever for sex harassment charge, protection order?

• Why no investigation of circumstances to determine if this individual was a danger to fellow soldiers in the US?

• Why no investigation of circumstances to determine if this individual was a danger to society?

• Why only a recommendation for other than honorable discharge?

• Why no concern that this individual may harm others in the community?

• Why no concern for records and informing local community of potential danger?

• Why did Micah Johnson end up getting discharged with a honorable discharge?

• Why is media reporting that the attorney and victim cannot speak to the media?

• Do you have the money to process soldiers through the legal system?

• If you don’t have the money, why not refer the case to the civilian authorities to help you determine if this person is a danger to society?

• Why no follow up with local police after victim got a military protection order?

• Where did the victim live? On base? Off base? Was protection order coordinated between deployed commander and commander in the states?

• Where did Micah Johnson live? On base? Were others informed of the protection order and reasons why?

• Why did it take so long to discharge Micah Johnson from the military after he was sent home from Afghanistan?

• Did he continue to go to work until he was discharged?

• Did he have any other victims or accusations while serving?

• Do you keep records of reports of sex crimes if the allegation cannot be substantiated because it’s a “he said, she said” crime?

• What triggers an investigation by CID? Where are they located?

• Do you investigate if the crime is considered sex harassment?

• Why sex harassment when stalking, stealing panties, protection order, and early return home from Afghanistan?

Related Links:
America’s Love-Hate Affair With Snipers
Army report: Grenade found in room of Dallas gunman in 2014
Army investigation found problems with soldier who became Dallas police killer
Dallas shooter called mentally unstable back in 2011 in Mesquite police report
Army launches internal review of Dallas shooter Micah Johnson’s military record
Who was Micah Johnson? A more complex picture emerges
‘I just wanted a piece of him’: College officers pushed through injuries in Dallas shooting
Military Snipers: Dallas Shooter NO “Sniper”
When Army career ended in disgrace, Dallas gunman was ostracized
During Army days, Dallas shooter was a mediocre marksman
‘Kind of goofy’: Friends recall Dallas gunman’s personality
Still No Explanation for Dallas Gunman’s Honorable Discharge
Dallas cop killer Micah Johnson was BLACKLISTED by black militant group two years ago after background check branded him ‘unfit for recruitment’
The Dallas Shooter Wanted To Stay In This Anti-Semitic Black Militant Group
Dallas Shooter Faced Sexual-Harassment Allegations in Army, Military Lawyer Says
Dallas cop shooter Micah Johnson was booted from Afghanistan amid sexual harassment accusations
The latest: President Obama orders flags lowered to half-staff
Officer killed in Dallas shootings had survived 3 tours in Iraq
Dallas Police shooting: Victims served in Navy & Marine Corps, suspect had been in Army
The Dallas Shooting Suspect Had Military Experience
Dallas Shooter Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Army
Dallas gunman studied ‘shoot and move’ tactics, black nationalism
Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Was Accused of Sexual Harassment During His Military Days
The female soldier who ‘pervert’ Dallas cop killer sexually harassed as colleague reveals murderer used to ‘steal girls’ panties’
Fellow soldier accused Dallas shooter of sexual harassment
Dallas police killer ‘sexually harassed woman soldier who warned he was unstable and pleaded for protection’
Dallas shooter stockpiled weapons and was accused of harassment
What we know about the suspected shooter in Dallas
‘Loner’ Dallas gunman had bomb materials and kept journal of combat tactics
Dallas gunman Micah Johnson honed tactics at local combat school
Dallas officers shot to death include newlywed, Iraq veteran
Neighbor recalls his conversation with the Dallas shooter
Meet the Remotec Andros Mark V-A1, the robot that killed the Dallas shooter
Dallas suspect taunted police during 2 hours of negotiation
Dallas sniper shooting: 5 police officers slain, suspect ID’d as Army vet Micah Johnson
Dallas police chief: Shooter seemed delusional, scrawled cryptic messages in blood
Micah Johnson, Dallas Cop-Killer, Was Black Militant and Army Veteran
Dallas cop killer suffered PTSD-like symptoms after Afghanistan
What Is PTSD? Micah Johnson Who Killed 5 Dallas Police Officers Showed Symptoms Of Disorder
The Army reservist who ambushed and killed 5 Dallas police officers showed signs of PTSD
Dallas shooter showed signs of PTSD when he returned from Afghanistan, VA records show
Soldier who killed 5 Dallas police officers showed PTSD symptoms, documents show
Dallas Cop Shooter Reportedly Displayed PTSD Symptoms After Afghanistan Tour
Dallas Shooter Showed PTSD Signs, But Little Was Done
Investigating impact of war on Dallas killer’s mental health
One year later: Signs of PTSD, mental illness; search for treatments
Dramatic Footage Shows Dallas Officer Shot
Dallas Shooter Micah Johnson Was Army Veteran & ‘Loner’
Micah Johnson, 25, Identified As Dallas Gunman Who Claimed To Be Army Vet
Dallas Sniper Micah Xavier Johnson Was Ex-Army Reservist
Former Army Dallas Shooter Not Trained Sniper
Dallas Shooter’s Weapons Removed by Army During Deployment
Cop Shooter Micah Johnson Booted From Army Tour For Sexual Harassment
Micah Xavier Johnson: what we know about the Dallas shooting gunman and his attack
Dallas Cop-Killer Micah Johnson Served as a Corporal in the Army Reserve
Micah Xavier Johnson: what we know about the Dallas shooting gunman and his attack
Dallas Shooter’s Family Says Military Service Changed Him
Parents of Dallas Gunman Micah Johnson: I Love My Son, I Hate What He Did
US Army opens investigation into Dallas shooters military service
Dallas Ambush Shooting: From Peaceful Protest to Chaos: Part 1
Dallas Officers Killed in Ambush Included a Father, Newlywed: Part 1
Dallas Police Chief David Brown Speaks at Dallas Shooting Memorial


As the funerals for the slain Dallas police officers continue, the investigation into the background and motive of Dallas shooter, Micah Johnson, continues. The US Army has opened an investigation into Johnson’s military service. Johnson reportedly spent six years in the Army Reserves and was accused of sexual harassment while serving. RT America’s Manuel Rapalo reports from Dallas, where police are also investigating claims that Johnson purchased an AK-47 off of Facebook for $600 before the shooting. -RT America

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Night of the Machete’ on Investigation Discovery: Veteran Twain Thomas Flipped Out on Camera After VA Cut Off Monthly Benefits (June 7, 2016)

ID Go: Two young couples in an Idaho apartment building walk on eggshells around a neighbor who can’t stand the one couple’s music and the other’s dog. Tensions keep rising between all parties until finally hell breaks loose and a violent rampage erupts. -Night of the Machete, Fear Thy Neighbor (S3, E10)

“Thomas Twain, an Idaho man with a machete, kicked down the door of home of Kaila Gearhart and James Cvengros and attempted to attack the couple. Upon hearing the shocking sounds of the door coming off its hinges, Cvengros ran the front room, screamed at Twain to leave, and ultimately shot the intruder.

The Idaho machete attacker survived the gunshot wound, and faces up to 15 years in prison for the home invasion. Idaho prosecutors claimed that Thomas Twain’s years of military service meant that he was a danger to the public.”

Read more here: Idaho Machete Attack: Veteran’s Military Service Used By Prosecutor In Attempt To Garner Longer Prison Term (The Inquisitr)

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:

Man with machete breaks into apartment; victims tell all. -KAKE News (January 15, 2015)

February 2014, Twain N Thomas was shot three times after he kicked in a neighbors door and came at the occupants with a machete. -Idaho State Journal (January 16, 2015)

Twain Thomas sentenced. -KIFI Local News 8 (January 16, 2015)

Interview with Bannock County Prosecutor and footage of Thomas being shot after knocking down neighbor’s door. -Idaho State Journal (January 16, 2015)

An attempted murder is caught on camera, along with a confession. CNN’s Brianna Keilar reports on the Idaho machete attack. -CNN (January 28, 2015)

Watch as a man with a machete hacks into a neighbor’s apartment – not realizing he brought a knife to a gun fight! -True Crime Daily (September 26, 2018)

Related Links:
Machete man smashes door in ‘Shining’ attack
Homeowner shoots machete wielding home invader
Man sentenced for attempted murder
Twain Thomas machete attack: man kicks down apartment door before being shot by homeowner
Dramatic Moment When Machete-Wielding Attacker Breaks Down Door
Man with a machete shot 3 times… and the entire thing was caught on video (VIDEO)
Video shows man use machete to hack through door, get shot by tenant
Terrifying moment machete attack man smashes through door like in horror film before being shot
Machete-wielding man chops through neighbor’s door before being shot: VIDEO
WATCH: Machete-wielding Idaho man tears through neighbor’s door before being shot
Machete-wielding Idaho man chops through apartment door before tenant shoots him to end ‘Shining’-style rampage (VIDEO)
Man Relives Bone-Chilling Moment When a Neighbor Kicked Through His Door and Came at Him With a Machete: ‘It Was Like ‘The Shining”
Machete-Wielding Suspect Shot As He Breaks Through Door In GRAPHIC VIDEO
Terrifying footage shows man kicking down apartment door wielding a MACHETE just moments before he is shot by the homeowner
Pocatello man who was shot while breaking into neighbors’ apartments to threaten them with machete is sentenced
Idaho man sentenced for attempted murder with machete
Man sentenced to 15 years for machete attack
State v. Twain N. Thomas (Idaho Ct. App. 2016)
Idaho Machete Attack: Veteran’s Military Service Used By Prosecutor In Attempt To Garner Longer Prison Term

Video Links:
Man with machete breaks into apartment; victims tell all
Machete wielding intruder shot on camera
Machete-wielding Idaho man breaks through door before tenant shoots him
‘The Shining’-esque machete attack caught on camera
Prosecutor discusses video of intruder shot on camera
Twain Thomas sentenced
He brought a machete to a gun fight
Night of the Machete | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S3, E10)

Army Veteran Jacques Garcia Shot and Killed Manuel Trejo in Austin, Texas Parking Lot; Garcia Arrested and Charged with First Degree Murder (2015)

Army veteran Jacques Garcia, 38, is accused of shooting and killing Manuel Trejo, 41, in a parking lot in Austin, Texas on March 28, 2015. Garcia has been charged with first degree felony murder and a third-degree felony of evading in a motor vehicle. Garcia’s bond for the murder charge was set at $250,000 and $20,000 for the evading arrest charge.

Anyone with any information about the shooting is asked to call the Homicide Tip Line at 512-477-3588 or Crime Stoppers at 512-472-TIPS or text “Tip 103” + your message to CRIMES.

Related Links:
Obituary: Manuel Trejo
Customer Shot Dead in Don Dario’s Parking Lot
Arrest made in homicide outside of Don Dario’s Cantina restaurant
Man charged with murder recently discharged from Army
Police: Suspect in fatal Southeast Austin shooting was Army veteran
Police charge man in fatal shooting outside restaurant
Man charged with murder recently discharged from Army
Man charged with murder in shooting outside restaurant
Police: Suspect in fatal Southeast Austin shooting was Army veteran
Family of man murdered at Don Dario’s speaks with FOX 7


Police say “it is clear that Garcia is well-trained in the safe use of firearms.” -KXAN

Retired Marine Stephanie Schroeder Fights for Servicemember’s Rights at the United Nation’s Geneva Conventions (November 11, 2014)

Stephanie Schroeder addressing the United Nations

Marine veteran Stephanie Schroeder addressing the United Nations (November 11, 2014)

Stephanie Schroeder is a retired United States Marine Corps veteran who was wrongfully discharged from service after reporting a felony crime to USMC authorities. As a result of reporting these crimes, she experienced retaliation from her peers and leadership and was subsequently given a honorable discharge but her DD 214 indicated that she was released from duty due to a personality disorder. Stephanie sought justice to right a wrong committed by her leadership. She was never given any testing to determine if she in fact had a personality disorder nor did she see any medical personnel who would have had an opportunity to diagnose her with a personality disorder. Through research and determination, Stephanie learned that other veterans who had reported sexual assault in the military had also experienced retaliation in one form or another after reporting the crime(s) to leadership. She vowed to not only fight for herself and the correction of her records but also to help prevent other service members from experiencing the same.

Stephanie Schroeder has been leading the way on military retaliation & personality disorder discharge reform for years. She participated in two federal lawsuits (Cioca v Rumsfeld & Klay v Panetta) that were dismissed because rape is incident to service. She advocates for both the Stop Act (Sexual Assault Training, Oversight, and Prevention Act) sponsored by Representative Jackie Speier and the Military Justice Improvement Act sponsored by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. She represented victims of military sexual assault at the United Nations at the Geneva Conventions in Switzerland. She continues to represent Cornell University, Service Women’s Action Network, & Equality Now as an advocate before the United Nations and monitors/advises on sexual assault & retaliation policy implementation in the military. She is a board member for the United States Human Rights Network (USHRN) and the International Mechanisms Coordinating Committee Board (ICMM).

Related Links:
Stephanie Schroeder, USMC Veteran (Facebook)
Cioca v Rumsfeld First Amended Complaint Jury Demand
Military’s newly aggressive rape prosecution has pitfalls
Military Rape Speech 15 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier
Stephanie Schroeder’s military sex assault claim leads to psych discharge
Rape victims say military labels them ‘crazy’
The Military Labeling Rape Survivors as “Crazy” to Get Rid of Them?
Military May Be Gaslighting Sexual Assault Victims
Employers Gone Wild: U.S. military banishes rape victims with damning psychiatric diagnoses
‘Personality Disorder’ Discharge, Frequent Solution in Rising Number of Military Sexual Assault Cases
U.S. military banishes rape victims with damning psychiatric diagnoses
Fear of Reprisal: The Quiet Accomplice in the Military’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic
Now That Women Are Cleared For Combat, How About A Rape-Free Workplace?
Cioca v Rumsfeld US Court of Appeals Decision
Fear of Reprisal: The Quiet Accomplice in the Military’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic
Former Marine to Speak at Geneva Convention Against Sexual Abuse
Ex-Marine to speak at Geneva Convention against sexual abuse
Local Marine to speak against sexual abuse at Geneva Convention
UN Committee to Review Cornell Law Report on Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military
Building a U.S. Movement to End Torture
Powerful Stories from Directly Impacted Individuals at CAT Review
BARELY LEGAL: Sexual Violence in the U.S. Military
Exclusive: Victims of military sexual assault appeal to human rights panel
I’m a Military Sexual Assault Survivor & the US apologized at the Torture Review
Military Sexual Assault: Reporting and Rape Culture
Advice for Veterans with Military Sexual Trauma Claims
New rules on narcotic painkillers cause grief for veterans and VA
Davidson County veteran, victim of sexual assault changing the face of today’s military
8 women Marines define themselves within and beyond the uniform

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Dirty Little Seacret’: Thrill Killers Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Two Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (May 28, 2010)

Full Episode: The couple spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, and then they simply vanished. Their clothes and personal items were still in the rented condo, their car was parked outside, and there were no signs of forced entry or foul play. A week later, police would get an unexpected lead from a robbery in progress, and the evidence they found helped them to solve a crime of unparalleled violence and brutality. -Dirty Little Seacret, Forensic Files (S13, E46)

Benjamin and Erika Sifrit murdered tourists Joshua Ford, 32, and Martha Crutchley, 51, on May 25, 2002 in Ocean City, Maryland. In 2003, Benjamin Sifrit was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the dismemberment of human bodies and his wife Erika was sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years for two homicides. Benjamin Sifrit was a Navy Seal who was dishonorably discharged shortly after marrying Erika.

Related Links:
Thrill Killers?
Remains May Be Vacationing Couple’s
Second murder deals blow to Boston family
Slaying Suspect Called ‘Ideal Kid’
Ocean City Murder Leaves Couple Dead, Questions Unanswered
State: Sifrit’s gun fired fatal shots
Witness Testifies in Tourist Slaying Case
Ex-Navy SEAL Convicted in Md. Murder
Man Guilty In 1 of 2 Slayings in Ocean City
Ex-Navy SEAL Sentenced in Dismemberment
Sifrit gets 38 years for tourist death
Judge calls Sifrit `butcher,’ gives him 38 years in prison
Woman gets life for killing tourists in O.C.
Sifrit gets life plus 20 years for murder
Altoona woman given life term plus 20 years for slaying of Virginia couple
Erika Sifrit Sentenced in Ocean City Killings
Erika Sifrit Seeks New Trial
Couple That Killed Maryland Tourists Discussed Eating Victim
Star Witness Recounts Evening With Suspects
Husband and wife sentenced for murder will divorce
Sifrit Double Murder Case Recalled 10 Years Later
Erika Sifrit cites lawyer failure, seeks new trial
Fed Judge Denies Erika Sifrit Appeal; Decision Likely Exhausts Challenges
Sifrit’s latest bid for new trial rejected
Thrill-kill couple caught after Hooters break-in
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 1 – Crime Watch Daily
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 2 – Crime Watch Daily
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 3 – Crime Watch Daily
Killer Couple Caught After Hooters Burglary Attempt – Crime Watch Daily
The Story Behind Ocean City’s Thrill Kill Couple – Crime Watch Daily
Erika Sifrit and Ben Sifrit Sentenced for Killing Couple
Cruel Death by M. William Phelps (Amazon.com)
Dirty Little Seacret | Forensic Files | Full Episode (S13, E47)
Dirty Little Secret | Forensic Files | S13, E47 (website)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Full Episode (S3, E9)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Season 3 | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon.com)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E8)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Erika Sifrit | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E11)
Erika Sifrit | List of Deadly Women episodes | Wikipedia
Erika Sifrit | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Lethal Lovers’ on Investigation Discovery: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Maryland Tourists Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley (October 15, 2009)

Full Episode: Psychopathic killers lurk in society, mostly acting alone. Sometimes fate brings them into contact with another person who shares their cold power to kill. Apart they are dangerous, together they form teams that commit murders beyond our comparison. Erika Sifrit goes to Ocean City with her husband, giving an innocent couple an invitation back to their condo to be murdered. -Lethal Lovers, Deadly Women (S3, E9)

Benjamin and Erika Sifrit murdered tourists Joshua Ford, 32, and Martha Crutchley, 51, on May 25, 2002 in Ocean City, Maryland. In 2003, Benjamin Sifrit was sentenced to 38 years in prison for the dismemberment of human bodies and his wife Erika was sentenced to life in prison plus twenty years for two homicides. Benjamin Sifrit was a Navy Seal who was dishonorably discharged shortly after marrying Erika.

Related Links:
Remains May Be Vacationing Couple’s
Slaying Suspect Called ‘Ideal Kid’
Ex-Navy SEAL Sentenced in Dismemberment
Judge calls Sifrit `butcher,’ gives him 38 years in prison
Sifrit gets life plus 20 years for murder
Altoona woman given life term plus 20 years for slaying of Virginia couple
Erika Sifrit Sentenced in Ocean City Killings
Couple That Killed Maryland Tourists Discussed Eating Victim
Husband and wife sentenced for murder will divorce
Erika Sifrit cites lawyer failure, seeks new trial
Fed Judge Denies Erika Sifrit Appeal; Decision Likely Exhausts Challenges
Thrill-kill couple caught after Hooters break-in
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 1 – Crime Watch Daily
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 2 – Crime Watch Daily
Ocean City’s ‘Thrill Kill’ Couple – Pt. 3 – Crime Watch Daily
Killer Couple Caught After Hooters Burglary Attempt – Crime Watch Daily
The Story Behind Ocean City’s Thrill Kill Couple – Crime Watch Daily
Erika Sifrit and Ben Sifrit Sentenced for Killing Couple
Cruel Death by M. William Phelps (Amazon.com)
Dirty Little Seacret | Forensic Files | Full Episode (S13, E47)
Dirty Little Secret | Forensic Files | S13, E47 (website)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Full Episode (S3, E9)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Season 3 | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon.com)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E8)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Erika Sifrit | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E11)
Erika Sifrit | List of Deadly Women episodes | Wikipedia
Erika Sifrit | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Forensic Files Premiered ‘Dirty Little Seacret’: Thrill Killers Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Two Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (May 28, 2010)

Army Veteran Nicholas Michael Jean Murdered Susana De Jesus After a Carjacking; Discharged From Military Two Weeks Prior for Violence Issues (2009)

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Susana De Jesus and Nicholas Michael Jean, US Army Veteran

The murder of Tina Davila was the start of a scourge of violence in Houston, Texas. On April 16, 2008, Tina Davila, a mother to five children. was out running errands with her four month old daughter. She made a quick stop at the cellphone store. After exiting her vehicle, two guys pulled up beside her and one of them jumped out and ran up behind her. A struggle ensued for Tina’s car keys because Tina immediately went into mother mode and began worrying about her baby she left in the car. The assailant was able to take the keys away from her so Tina ran after him in an attempt to get her keys back. It was at this time she was stabbed and the assailant changed plans and took off in the car he came in.

Tina stumbled to the front desk of the cellphone store and asked the employees to get her baby from the car. The employees got her baby for her and laid the baby next to her mother on the floor. The cellphone store employees called 911 and Tina was rushed to the hospital. The family was notified and arrived at the hospital only to learn that Tina had died; they also learned from media reports that she was stabbed during an attempted carjacking. Tina’s family was devastated. Fortunately, there was an eye witness who was able to provide a good description of the attacker and driver of the car. They were both described as Hispanic males and a composite sketch was created. A $10,000 reward was offered for any information leading to an arrest.

Meanwhile, the Houston police learn that there was a robbery at a beer store four hours before Tina was stabbed. Both the store and the parking lot had surveillance cameras and a witness identified two Hispanic males in the aggravated robbery. The witness also provided a license plate number and police learned the car was registered to Stacy Bailey. She reported her car stolen the day before the robbery of the store and the stabbing of Tina Davila. Stacy also described the two assailants as Hispanic males. Police were able to determine that this was the same car used in the aggravated robbery and homicide. The police fed leads to the media in an attempt to get more tips but they got no new information and the cases went unsolved.

Ten months later on February 2, 2009, as Susana De Jesus was leaving her place of employment with a co-worker, she was accosted by a masked gunman parked. He demanded that she get in her car and drive; Susana’s co-worker Karen Davis retreated in her own car where she remained until she felt safe. Karen called the police but could only provide a vague description of Susana’s car. While Susana was driving, the assailant demanded she go to a bank and was worried about her On-Star tracking system. Susana didn’t know if it was working and said she needed to call her boyfriend. He knew something was wrong because of her impersonal phone call.

Susana’s boyfriend called On-Star to find out whether or not they were able to track her but they couldn’t give out any information unless there was a missing person’s report. Susana’s boyfriend then went to her apartment and her car was not there. He was very worried now and went to the police station to file a missing person’s report. The car was tracked down in a parking lot but Susana and her abductor were gone. Police were concerned the assailant would cross state lines so the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was contacted to assist because they have more resources. These attacks were random and it illicited fear in the community.

The FBI learned that Susana’s debit card was used to purchase fuel and the gun left in Susana’s car was stolen the same day Susana was abducted. The woman who reported the gun stolen also reported the assailant tied her up, gagged her, and shoved her in a closet. She managed to get herself untied and escaped while the assailant was robbing her home. She ran to a neighbor’s home then called the police. The assailant was gone by the time the police arrived and only managed to steal the gun. These two crimes were now connected. The police wondered if Tina’s case was connected too. After three days, there was still no sign of Susana. Texas Equusearch was called in to help them find Susana. The search lasted for three weeks but came up empty.

Sabrina Piña was the third person accosted in a parking lot in the course of a couple years in Houston. In this case, she was taken but her car was left behind and there were no witnesses. Texas Equusearch was called again, this time to look for Sabrina. And then a $30,000 reward was offered for the resolution of Susana De Jesus and Sabrina Piña’s disappearances. Then two days after Sabrina’s abduction, someone found an unidentified woman’s body laying in a ditch. On February 2, 2009, Sabrina Piña was found with duct tape wrapped around her eyes and wrists, and she had been shot in the back of the head. Forensic scientists were able to extract a finger print from the duct tape that matched Theodore Schmidt. He was arrested. Police learned Schmidt knew Sabrina from college and had an unhealthy obsession with her. When she didn’t appear to recognize him in the parking lot, he got angry and kidnapped her. Schmidt was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life without parole.

A month after Sabrina Piña was found, another man contacted police to report an attempted abduction and murder. This assailant forced him into the trunk of his own car but when the gunman has trouble starting the car, the victim was able to escape. When the assailant realized he escaped, he began chasing him down and shooting at him but he made it to safety. The police responded and an intensified attempt to find this dangerous assailant was initiated. Police asked people in the surrounding area to stay in their homes and report any suspicious activity. Ten hours later, a woman called to report a person wearing a mask in a carport. The Police responded, apprehended the suspect, and learned it was Nicholas Michael Jean.

Jean’s behavioral problems in the U.S. Army also are likely to surface during the trial. He served at Fort Sill, Okla., for three months before being discharged two weeks prior to De Jesus’ murder because his supervisors found him “unfit for military service,” according to a military separation letter. Army records show Jean was accused of fighting with and threatening other soldiers in his platoon, trying to choke another serviceman, hitting another private in the face and abusing sick leave time. He had also been discharged from the U.S. Navy in 2006 for a serious offense of misconduct, court files show. –Houston Chronicle

Nicholas Jean was an Army veteran who was recently discharged for being unfit for military duty after only three months of service. According to the Army, he did not respect authority and punched an officer. Investigators questioned Nicholas who tried to stick with the story that he was only a driver for the gang. After a few hours, Detectives began to lose their patience and demanded that Jean tell them what happened because they knew he had information. At this point, they had tons of evidence and knew all these crimes were connected. In this case, two crimes remained unsolved: one was dead; one was missing. and perpetrators were still on the loose. They needed Jean to give up the names of those who were involved. Jean eventually told the detectives that ‘the group’ took Susana in a semi trailer and killed her. Jean led the police to Susana De Jesus’ body.

On March 10, 2009, police found the badly decomposed remains of Susana De Jesus in an abandoned semi trailer. Nicholas Jean admitted to murdering Susana within two hours of her abduction. Jean also admitted to killing Susana so he could give her vehicle to the girl he wanted to marry as a wedding present; she turned him down.  Jean was charged with capital murder and was facing the death penalty. But the jury spared his life and he was instead sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Wallace Ledet drove Jean to the abduction so he was apprehended too and charged with manslaughter. Ledet pleaded guilty and was sentenced to thirteen years in prison. Neither Ledet or Jean could be tied to Tina Davila’s murder.

Then one day a high school principal called the Houston police to report a student thought her boyfriend may have been involved in Tina Davila’s murder. She named seventeen year old Kennedy Escoto. As a result, Escoto was arrested and admitted to his involvement but tried to pin everything on his passenger Timoteo Rios. Escoto also admitted they stole some beer in the morning and because they were getting low on gas, they needed another car; Tina was a victim of opportunity. Kennedy Escoto was convicted of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and sentenced to forty years. Timoteo Rios was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Related Links:
Obituary: Susana “Susy” De Jesus
Search for Susana DeJesus Changes Focus
Investigation into Woman’s Murder Continues
Suspect Arrested in Attempted Carjacking
De Jesus kidnapping suspect indicted on capital murder charge
Man Charged with Killing Kidnapped Woman
Recent attack in Pearland linked to Susana De Jesus’ abduction
Second Man Arrested in de Jesus Case
Second Suspect Arrested in Susana DeJesus Case
Police say Pearland woman was shot after abduction
Woman’s abduction, shooting death set up by relatives, jurors hear
Jean’s Mental Health in Question
Friends Remember Susana DeJesus One Year After Murder
Bringing Up Painful Memories
Pearland man pleads guilty to killing Houston woman
Sentencing phase of DeJesus murder trial begins
Army reject faces death penalty in fatal abduction in Pearland
Confessed Killer Nicholas-Michael Edwin Jean: Using A Cops Episode To Avoid The Death Penalty
Jury spares killer’s life in carjacking-slaying
Susana de Jesus’ killer gets life in prison without parole
Susana de Jesus’ killer gets life in prison without parole
Wallace Ledet, IV v. State of Texas (2010)


In April 2008, 39-year-old Houston native and mother of five, Tina Davila, runs errands with her 4 month old infant when she’s attacked in a parking lot. In the next year, a rash of similar crimes breaks out across the city. Are they related? -Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Twisted Minds’ on Investigation Discovery: Sylvia Seegrist aka Ms. Rambo (October 23, 2008)

HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo

To recap part one, Sylvia Seegrist was a resident of Springfield, Pennsylvania, a suburb about 10 miles outside the city… -Ms. Rambo, Twisted Philly 

On October 30, 1985, Sylvia Seegrist, 25, dressed in Army fatigues and black boots, parked her car in front of the Springfield Mall in a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, stepped out, and started shooting. She killed three people and injured seven more in the mass shooting before she was stopped by an on-looker in the mall who didn’t realize she was not in a Halloween costume. Killed in the incident was a young child and two men: Recife Cosmen, 2, Dr. Ernest Trout, 67, and Augusto Ferrara, 64. As a result, Seegrist was arrested and indicted for three first degree murders. Investigators would learn that Sylvia Seegrist was discharged from the military after a year of serving because she wasn’t “right in the head” according to Army officials. Sylvia’s mother shared that she tried to get help for her daughter and tried to get her to take medication, but no one would hear her pleas for help. Prior to and after her trial in 1986, Seegrist was held at a Pennsylvania State Hospital.

Sylvia downward spiraled after her discharge from the Army and used the military training she learned to kill innocent civilians. After Sylvia was found guilty of three first degree murders and given three life sentences, she was transferred to the women’s Pennsylvania State Correctional Institution where she still resides. The 1985 incident highlighted the fine line between an individual’s rights and the state’s authority to commit potentially dangerous people. Seegrist interviewed in 1991 said, “daily doses of anti-psychotic medication had curtailed her delusions, paranoia and explosive anger.” Why wasn’t the mental illness picked up by recruiting and instead only recognized after she joined the military? Sylvia Seegrist had paranoid schizophrenia which is a serious mental illness that requires the use of medication to manage symptomology. Sylvia Seegrist needed follow on treatment after her discharge from the Army in an effort to prevent a predictable downward spiral.

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:
Wikipedia: Sylvia Seegrist
2 Killed in Shopping Mall as Woman Fired on Crowd
Cousins Huddled to Protect Each Other as Woman Opened Fire
Shooting suspect said to be abusive
Sylvia Seegrist, the fatigue-clad woman who shot 10 people…
Mall Insurers Settle with Rampage Victims
She’s sorry she killed, but victims’ kin don’t want her freed Medicine curbs psychotic urges of woman who went on rampage
Middletown native, Springfield mall hero named as Coatesville police chief
Springfield Mall’s 1985 Shooter: Where is She Now?
Sylvia Seegrist went psycho and killed three innocent people at the Springfield, Pa., mall
Decades After Sylvia Seegrist, Mentally Ill People Are Still Murdering Innocents
Flashbacks To A Pennsylvania Mall Massacre In 1985
Coatesville Will Again Try To Hire Maj. John Laufer As Police Chief
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 1 of 2)
“I Didn’t Mean to Do It” (Part 2 of 2)
The Anomaly of a Female Mass Shooter: San Bernardino Wife Joins Small Group of Shooters
Many factors make San Bernardino rare among mass shootings
‘Why is it men who commit mass shootings?’
Where’d They Get Their Guns?
Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder
Miss Rambo: The True Story of Spree Killer Sylvia Seegrist
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Sylvia Seegrist | S2, E3 (website)
Twisted Minds | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery | S2, E3 (Amazon)
Sylvia Seegrist | Episode 51 | Misconduct, A True Crime Podcast
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 14: PART 1 – Ms. Rambo
HISTORY – Twisted Philly – Episode 15: PART 2 – Ms. Rambo
Army Veteran Sylvia Seegrist Went on Shooting Spree at Shopping Mall Killing Recife Cosmen, Ernest Trout and Augusto Ferrara; Sentenced to Life in Prison (October 30, 1985)