48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Trail of Fire’ on CBS: Holley Wimunc, Domestic Violence, and the Holley Lynn James Act (June 26, 2018)


Friends searching for a missing Army nurse find her apartment smoldering and no sign of their friend. Can NCIS agents find her? -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS


The apartment of a missing Army nurse was found smoldering. This was the season finale of “48 Hours: NCIS” and producer Jonathan Leach joined CBS News to discuss the episode. -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS

Holley Lynn James Wimunc 2

Lt. Holley Lynn James, US Army

Fort Bragg Army nurse, Lt Holley (Lynn James) Wimunc, 24, was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc on July 9, 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After Holley didn’t show up to work, her friends went looking for her. They found her apartment had been set on fire but Holley was nowhere to be found. Three days later authorities discovered Holley’s mutilated remains in a shallow grave outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her body had been chopped up with an axe and burned repeatedly in an effort to try and destroy evidence. John Wimunc also started her apartment on fire in an effort to hide evidence with no regard for any of the nineteen other families in the apartment building. Holley’s father Jesse James shared that she planned on divorcing John Wimunc after putting up with the domestic abuse for over seven months. It would be the day after she told John that she was leaving him that she would go missing. Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. An accomplice, Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, was charged with being an accessory after the fact of a felony, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. John Wimunc plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison. Kyle Alden plead guilty and was sentenced to 44 to 62 months in prison. Jesse James worked with Representative Bruce Braley on legislation that would improve conditions for both domestic violence and sexual assault victims in the military. The Holley Lynn James Act (H.R. 1517) was introduced to the 112th Congress in 2011 but did not pass.

“I didn’t know much about domestic violence. But the thought that he would murder Holley is a thought that never occurred to me. I wish it had occurred to me. I wish for one moment I would have thought maybe he’ll kill Holley or murder Holley. My reaction would have been so different. I didn’t know about domestic violence.” -Jesse James (Holley’s father)

MJFA Link:
Army Nurse Lt. Holley Lynn James Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce; John Wimunc Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 9, 2008)
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Trail of Fire,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app for iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  


Authorities in North Carolina have charged the husband of a Fort Bragg Army nurse with murder after the woman’s remains were found in a brush fire three days after she went missing. -AP (July 14, 2008)


The husband of an Army nurse who worked in the maternity ward at Fort Bragg’s hospital was charged Monday with murder in her death, a day after her body was discovered by authorities. -AP (July 14, 2008)


Rep. Bruce Braley introduces the Holley Lynn James Act — a bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military get justice. The bill is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Rep. Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service.


Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc

Related Links:
Obituary: Lt Holley Lynn James
Second Missing Ft. Bragg Soldier Is Divorcing Husband
Evidence to be preserved in case of slain Army nurse
Authorities suspect charred remains could be Fort Bragg nurse
Fort Bragg nurse sought protection from Marine husband after gun incident
Apartment complex denies access to slain soldier’s family
Slain soldier’s brother retrieves belongings from apartment
Autopsy: Army nurse was shot, buried
Funeral set for Army nurse Holley Wimunc
Vigil planned for slain Army nurse
Fort Bragg hosts memorial service for slain nurse
Wimunc’s father: Daughter ‘never met a stranger’
Family, attorney: Marine charged in wife’s death is innocent
Marine’s parents: Claims of violence against wife ‘unfounded’
Husband, 2nd man arrested in slaying of Bragg-based soldier
2 Marines charged in nurse’s death due in NC court
Marine charged in wife’s death
Marine charged in death of Army nurse wife
Husband charged with murdering soldier wife
Missing Nurse’s Marine Husband Charged With Murder
Dead Army nurse’s husband charged with murder
Camp Lejeune husband charged with the murder of his Fort Bragg wife
Soldier’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marines appear in court in Army nurse’s death
Marines charged in slaying appear in court
Marines indicted in Army nurse’s slaying
Death penalty sought in Army nurse’s slaying
NC to seek death penalty in killing of Army wife from Dubuque
Wimunc Faces Death Penalty
Plea deal reached in Marine murder case
Camp Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to killing wife
Second Marine pleads guilty in Army nurse’s death
Marine Pleads Guilty in Army Wife’s Murder
Slain Army nurse’s dad in war against domestic violence
Death on the Home Front
The Fort Bragg Murders
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’
When a Military Nurse Fails to Show Up for Work, Worried Friends Rush to Her Apartment Only to Find her Home Burned & Their Friend Missing
Did a Missing Army Nurse Fall Prey to a Serial Killer Targeting Military Women?
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Video Links:
AP Top Stories: Holley Wimunc
Dead Army Nurse’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marine Charged in Army Wife’s Death
Holley James we miss you
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 1 | CBS News
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 2 | CBS News
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act
Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc
Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Trail of Fire
“48 Hours: NCIS: Trail of Fire” preview

Army Veteran Samuel Wiggins Jr. Stabbed to Death by Live-In Girlfriend; Carmen Montelongo Found Guilty & Sentenced to 26 Years to Life in Prison (May 29, 2011)

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Samuel Wiggins, Jr., US Army Veteran

Army Vietnam veteran Samuel Wiggins, Jr., 63, was found dead in Diamond Bar, California on May 29, 2011 after police found his body parts in a trash can. Carmen Montelongo (Montenegro) was caught red-handed by the police wheeling around a trash can with Samuel’s remains. Samuel met Carmen a couple years earlier. The family shared that Samuel waited 60 years for the right woman and Carmen would be the biggest mistake of his life. He was good to her from the beginning even offering to pay for her daughter’s college and a vehicle. Carmen started stealing from him immediately, taking little things. Samuel noticed but Carmen became angry when Samuel accused her. This was their first fight so Samuel forgave her and they continued the affair. And eventually Samuel asked Carmen to marry him. But Carmen continued to steal from him. Samuel caught her again and this time he finally had enough; he ended the relationship.

Samuel was last seen by relatives on May 1, 2011. The family became concerned and his nephew went looking for him at his house. Samuel’s nephew witnessed fine blood spray on the walls and doors of his home. Carmen had to think fast because she knew the police were going to be notified. Carmen panicked and started digging up Samuel’s remains in the backyard so she could move the body. Carmen was putting Samuel’s body parts in a trash can when some of her family members showed up to the house unannounced. She began offering to pay them to help her move the garbage bags. In the course of moving the garbage bags from the garden to the trash can, one of the bags came open and her family saw a body part. They refused to help, left, and called the police. When the police showed up, they found Carmen wheeling a trash can down the road and the stink of death was following her.

Court testimony revealed that Carmen snapped after Samuel decided to end the relationship and stabbed him to death. An autopsy revealed that Samuel was fatally stabbed twice in the chest and then Carmen stabbed him 22 more times in the back post mortem. Carmen had to get rid of the body so she dismembered Samuel with a chainsaw. She cut off his head, arms, and legs. She buried his head and arms in potted plants and buried the rest of his body (torso and legs) in the garden in the backyard. She gave the potted plants as a gift to her cousin. Then she immediately drained Samuel’s bank accounts and made it look like he was alive for over a month. The District Attorney declared that the motive for murder was financial gain. Carmen Montelongo was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 26 years to life in prison.

Oxygen Media:

Oxygen App: A mysterious disappearance leads police to a woman pushing a trash can full of body parts down the street. -Carmen Montelongo, Snapped (S16, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: With hearts of stone, these Deadly Women give their men special send-offs when “Love Leaves Town.” -Love Leaves Town, Deadly Women (S10, E12)

Related Links:
Man Found in Trash Can Likely Died of Multiple Stab Wounds
Authorities say woman stabbed Diamond Bar man to death before dismembering him
Nephew: Victim in dismemberment killing a `very loving man’
Human Remains Found In Trash Can Belong to Diamond Bar Man
Diamond Bar Home Suspected Scene of Trash Can Remains Murder
Kids of Woman Arrested with Body Parts Also Held
California trash can body suspect’s 2 kids arrested
Son and daughter of woman who wheeled around body parts in Ontario are arrested
Murder suspect is due in court
Woman in Trash-Can Murder Appears in Court
Murder victim’s remains found in trash can and flower pots
Carmen Montelongo, Grandmother Accused of Carting Body Parts in Trash Can, Allegedly Buried Other Remains in L.A. County
DA: Money possible motive in trash can body case
Woman: Dismemberment killing was revenge for rape
Hearing for grandmother accused of murder, dismemberment postponed
Carmen Montelongo to face jury in dismemberment in Ontario case
Ontario dismemberment suspect’s pretrial hearing pushed back
Judge grants mistrial in Ontario killing, dismembering case
Girlfriend sentenced for Calif. man’s ‘heinous’ stabbing death
Woman found with ex-boyfriend’s body parts convicted of murder
ONTARIO: Riverside woman sentenced in dismemberment murder
Carmen Montelongo, Woman Who Hid Boyfriend’s Body Parts In Flower Pots, Sentenced
Riverside Woman Who Stabbed Boyfriend 24 Times Then Dismembered Him Is Sentenced: DA
Woman sentenced to 26 years to life for stabbing boyfriend to death, dismembering his body and burying remains in potted plants
Prison for woman who dismembered boyfriend, hiding parts in potted plants
Carmen Montelongo, Samuel Wiggins: ‘Snapped’ Details Case of Boyfriend’s Dismembered Body Parts Found in Flower Pots, Trash
Police Confront Carmen Montenegro Toting Body in Trashcan
Love Leaves Town | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E12)
Watch Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (S16, E4)
Carmen Montelongo | Snapped | Oxygen (S16, E4)