48 Hours Premiered ‘Hunted’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes inside the mind of a serial rapist hunting his victims while two detectives were hunting him. Correspondent Maureen Maher investigates Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

On August 11, 2008, Marc Patrick O’Leary raped an eighteen year old at knife point in Lynnwood, Washington. The 18 year old woman reported the rape to her local police department but they accused her of lying and she was charged with false reporting. In 2011, Marc O’Leary was arrested in Colorado for rape and consequently admitted to raping several women in Washington and Colorado. DNA, digital evidence, and O’Leary’s vehicle linked him physically to several rapes. Read more here.

Related Links:
An Unbelievable Story of Rape
“48 Hours” preview: Hunted
Sneak peek: Hunted | 48 Hours
Covering the unbearable | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” investigates the hunt for a serial rapist
Netflix series to tell story of rapist Marc O’Leary
Netflix series to tell story of rapist Marc O’Leary (2)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)

Fort Carson Army Officer Aaron Lucas Sentenced to 20 Years to Life for Child Sex Crimes, Accused of Preying on Children in Military Uniform (2012)

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Aaron Lucas, US Army

“Our daughter was taught to trust the uniform.” -Retired Chief Navy Petty Officer

DNA evidence linked Army officer 1st Lt. Aaron Lucas to a string of child sex crimes in three states: Colorado, Alabama, and Texas. Aaron Lucas was a 4th Infantry Division Army artillery officer stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. He is married with two children. According to reports, Lucas had a glowing resume and received countless awards including the Bronze Star after a deployment to Afghanistan. On October 23, 2012 Aaron Lucas was arrested by Colorado civilian authorities and accused of indecent exposure, kidnapping, and rape of children during the 2009-2012 time frame. He was also accused of committing child sex crimes in Alabama in 2007 and Texas in 2009. 1st Lt. Lucas was charged with 20 counts of sexual abuse in Colorado. It appears that Lucas preyed on and targeted children in the nearby communities while stationed at Fort Carson. Some he kidnapped and raped. Investigators also noted that Lucas was linked to 11 attempted abductions in Colorado and all the crime appeared to cease when he was deployed to Afghanistan. Victim testimony revealed that Lucas attacked most of his victims while in military uniform. Aaron Lucas has an identical twin brother Brian whose DNA is a near identical match to his. Therefore Aaron attempted to use the ‘evil twin defense’ and blamed the crimes on his brother who was also accused of committing his own list of crimes. Although investigators concluded that there was no evidence uncovered to link Brian Lucas to the crimes as he wasn’t even in the same states where the crimes occurred. In November 2013, Aaron Lucas dropped the ‘evil twin defense’ and pleaded guilty to the crimes prior to the trial because he loved his family and didn’t want to put them through it. He also begged the judge to get him treatment. The defense noted that it is difficult to argue someone else committed the crimes when you can’t put the person at the scene of the crime. Prosecutors argued that treatment does not work for someone who repeatedly and deliberately makes the decision to prey on children. Aaron Lucas was sentenced to 20 years to life. In his defense, Aaron’s father claims his son is a hero and that combat stress prompted the crimes. According to his father, Lucas is also a victim of sexual assault. In other news, Brian Lucas was convicted of sodomy and sexual abuse charges in February 2015 in Alabama.

Related Links:
Fort Carson Investigates Possible Sexual Assaults
Prosecutor: DNA evidence links soldier to Colo., Ala. assaults
Soldier arrested on sex charges possibly connected to AL crime
Decorated Army Officer Faces Child Sex Charges
Fort Carson GI held on sex assault, child luring charges
Madison Co. sheriff’s investigators working with Colorado authorities in Army officer sexual abuse case
Army officer charged with more than 20 counts of sexual abuse in Colorado to be investigated in Madison County
Authorities: DNA connects suspect to Texarkana kidnapping cold case
DNA evidence links 2007 Madison sexual assualt case to soldier in Colorado
Warrant sought in local assault case
Fort Carson investigates ‘several’ soldiers in sexual assaults of girls
Sex assault suspect: My evil twin did it!
Sex-assault suspect blaming twin brother for attacks
Army Officer blames sex crimes on twin brother
Army officer is blaming DNA match in assaults on his twin brother
Suspect Blames Twin for Sexual Assaults: DNA Evidence Implicates Army Lt. and Brother
Bronze Star Army officer accused of ‘trying to abduct and sexually assault young girls’ will claim his TWIN was behind attacks
Aaron Lucas Accuses Twin Brother of Sexual Assaults He is Charged With
Sibling DNA Twist in Serial Rape Trial
Is a Decorated Soldier Being Tried for His Twin’s Sex Crimes?
Judge: Suspect Allowed To Blame Identical Twin In Sexual Assault Case
Judge: Sex assault suspect allowed to blame twin
Judge allows Colorado soldier’s defense of citing twin as potential suspect
Judge allows “Evil Twin” Defense In Rape Cases!
Judge allows Colorado soldier’s defense of citing twin as potential suspect
Accused rapist allowed to raise identical twin defense at trial
Army sex assault suspect is allowed to blame twin
Judge: Sex assault suspect allowed to blame twin
Army Officer To Use Identical Twin In Defense Of Sexual Assault Charges
Army Officer Uses Evil Twin Defense In Sexual Assault Case
Twin Brother Of Aaron Lucas Arrested On Sexual Abuse Charges
Twin Brother of Aaron Lucas, Brian Arrested on Sexual Abuse Charges
Twin Brother of Aaron Lucas, Brian, Arrested Again For Sexual Abuse
‘Evil twin’ defense dropped, Fort Carson officer to plead guilty to sex assault
Army officer drops ‘evil twin’ defense, pleads guilty to sex assaults
Army Officer Drops ‘Twin Defense’ for Sexual Assault
Man pleads guilty to assaults, won’t blame twin
Man pleads guilty to assaults, won’t blame twin
Army officer who blamed twin for sexual assaults pleads guilty
Aaron Gregory Lucas, Army Officer Who Blamed Twin For Sexual Assaults, Pleads Guilty
Army officer Aaron Lucas who blamed twin for sexual assaults pleads guilty
Colorado soldier who named twin as sex crimes suspect pleads guilty
Hero ex-Army officer who tried to blame his twin for string of sex attacks on children is jailed for 20 years – as twin is held for the SAME offenses
Former Army officer sentenced to 20 years in prison for child sex assaults after admitting his twin didn’t do it
Ex-Army officer gets 20 years in child-sex cases
Ex-Army officer gets 20 years in child-sex cases
Former Fort Carson soldier sentenced for sex crimes
How do you convict an identical twin of rape? A new DNA test hopes to clarify evidence
Lucas parents say sexual abuse turned their son into child rapist
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

Navy Petty Officer Amanda Snell Murdered by Marine Jorge Torrez in Barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Virginia (2009)

Amanda Snell, US Navy (2009)

Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell, US Navy

Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell, 20, US Navy, was found dead in her room at the barracks at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall in Virginia on July 13, 2009. Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) had jurisdiction of her case. They conducted an initial investigation yet the case went nowhere because NCIS investigators confided in the murderer and were divided on whether the death was a homicide, suicide, or accidental. As a result, the DNA lab testing was not considered a priority because the autopsy was considered undetermined, not a homicide. Four years and four civilian victims later, former U.S. Marine Jorge Avila Torrez was indicted for Amanda’s murder, found guilty by a federal court, and sentenced to death in 2014.

Torrez lived on the same co-ed floor as Amanda Snell in Keith Hall barracks on the base. On the night of July 12, 2009, he entered her room, she screamed, and he strangled her in an effort to silence her. His crimes were sexually motivated. He jammed Amanda into her locker and put a pillow case over her head in an effort to fool investigators into thinking she had suffocated. After she was found dead on the federal base, NCIS began their investigation. They interviewed multiple people in the barracks and initiated a forensic examination of Amanda’s room. They claim they sent the evidence to the military DNA lab testing facility to determine if any DNA was present. In the meantime, Torrez offered to help with the investigation and NCIS accepted his offer. They asked him to spread a rumor around the barracks that they had a witness who saw someone enter her room that night.

During the stalled NCIS investigation, Torrez attacked four other civilian women in Arlington, Virginia in 2010. Three of them escaped his attempted abduction but one of them was abducted, raped, strangled, and left for dead in the woods. Torrez thought he killed her but she lived. Because all four victims reported the crimes, the Arlington Police Department was able to make the connection with the four cases. Thanks to the due diligence of two Arlington police officers, detectives were able to find out who owned the light colored SUV. These two police officers had observed on shift that the driver of this SUV was acting suspiciously and called in his license plate number to determine if he had any outstanding warrants. They learned Torrez was an active duty Marine living at Keith Hall Barracks on the the Navy base. The Arlington Police detectives had to coordinate with NCIS to gain access to the base so they could arrest him and search his room and vehicle. Jorge Torrez was jailed while he awaited trial.

While Torrez was awaiting trail, he asked some inmates to help him find a hit man to silence the three witnesses that would be testifying against him. One of the inmates he confided in was a confidential informant. After the informant reported the troubling conversations with authorities, he was asked to wear a wire to record future conversations. It was at this time that Jorge Torrez not only admitted his intentions to kill the three victims who were going to testify against him at his trial but he also revealed that he murdered Amanda Jean Snell at the Navy base. Meanwhile, the Arlington Police Department entered the DNA from the victim who was raped into CODIS, a national DNA database, and got a hit to two murders of children in Zion, Illinois where Torrez was from. When NCIS finally tested and compared the DNA on the sheets in Amanda’s room, this forensic evidence linked Torrez to Amanda’s murder as well. The Marine Corps dishonorably discharged him from the military.

NCIS bungled this investigation from the beginning. The investigators could not agree on whether Amanda Snell was murdered, committed suicide, or died accidentally. Because her autopsy report was “undetermined” and her death was not ruled a homicide, it did not have priority in the military DNA testing lab. Apparently an undetermined death and rape and sexual assault DNA is not given a high priority in military labs. When in fact, if all suspicious deaths and sex crimes were given higher priority, we could prevent further victimization and homicides. It was not until they learned of the four other victims in Arlington, Virginia and the two murders of children in Zion, Illinois that they expedited the testing of the DNA found in Amanda Snell’s room. We do not know if it is procedure for NCIS to compare DNA evidence of military members accused of crimes to the national DNA database. If they had tested the DNA earlier and entered the DNA into CODIS, they would have got a hit to the two murders in Illinois.

In the initial stages of the investigation, the NCIS agents investigated multiple people in the barracks. Jorge Torrez offered to be a confidential informant of sorts to help them with the investigation. They accepted. They asked him to spread a rumor that they had a witness who saw someone enter her room that night. They wanted to ferret out the killer by spreading panic. Quite often investigators will say they have evidence they don’t have in an attempt to cause stress and elicit confessions. Now they were not able to call anyone’s bluff. They in effect blew any chances of an effective investigation by telling the actual killer that they had nothing. It’s troubling that they did not see the red flag when Torrez offered to inject himself into the investigation. Murder suspects have been known to do this and befriend the victim’s family and friends in an attempt to stay apprised of what police know.

Lastly if sexual assault, rape, and undetermined causes of death were given higher priority in the NCIS DNA testing labs then maybe we could have prevented four other women from becoming victims of sex crimes and attempted murder. NCIS admits that the DNA was not given priority because it was not a homicide. Had NCIS made the DNA a higher priority and compared the results of the testing in CODIS, the national DNA database, they would have got a match to the DNA in Zion, Illinois. As a result of this match, they would have been able to triangulate the connection between Torrez in the barracks and where he was from in Zion, Illinois. They could have got a “commanders search warrant” to conduct a forensic examination of his room. There they would have found evidence of criminal intent like the collection of porn images they found on his computer that included fantasies about rape and suffocation of women. DNA from sexual assault and rape should be given the highest priority in the military DNA lab testing facilities to prevent an escalation of violent crimes to homicide both in the military and in our civilian communities. All DNA profiles tested in the military should be immediately entered in CODIS.

Eight months after Jorge Avila Torrez was arrested by the Arlington Police Department, he was found guilty and sentenced to five life terms and 168 years in prison for the attacks on three of the four civilian women from Arlington, Virginia. Four years later, he was found guilty and sentenced to death by the federal courts for the murder of Amanda Jean Snell on the US Navy base in Arlington, Virginia. In an unexpected plot twist Illinois authorities learned the man they convicted for the murders of Krystal Tobias (9) and Laura Hobbs (8) was innocent. Authorities released Jerry Hobbs, the father of one of the children, from jail in 2010 and vowed to try Torrez for a sexual assault of one child and the murder of both children from Zion, Illinois. Illinois authorities charged Torrez with the crimes in 2015 and are expected to go to trial some time in 2016. Jorge Torrez is currently sitting on death row.

Read more: NCIS Bungles the Amanda Snell Investigation by Confiding in Murderer & Neglecting to Compare DNA Evidence Found at the Crime Scene

Related Links:
Marine strangled Navy petty officer in 2009, feds say
Ex-Marine linked to girls’ murders charged in death of Navy officer Amanda Snell
Zion Man Charged In Woman’s Virginia Death
Former Marine Charged With 2009 Murder At Henderson Hall
‘I know someone set me up’
Predator in the Ranks: Inside a Real-Life NCIS Murder Case
Jorge Torrez Convicted in Killing of Amanda Jean Snell
Former Marine Could Face Death Penalty
Ex-Marine sentenced to death for the violent, sexually motivated murder of fellow service member
Ex-Marine sentenced to die for female sailor’s slaying
Ex-Marine Guilty of Murder, Could Face Execution
Former Marine convicted of first-degree murder in death penalty case
Former Corporal Sentenced To Death In Barracks Murder (DOJ)
Mom on death penalty for Torrez: ‘I only wish I could do it myself’
Torrez sentenced to death in sailor’s murder
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez formally sentenced to death by federal judge
Official wants closure in Zion murders, no matter the cost
Jurors convict Zion man in Va. sailor killing, to hear evidence in slayings of 2 girls
Convicted killer Torrez pleads not guilty in Zion slayings
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez strangled Navy Petty Officer Amanda Jean Snell to death; Sentenced to death
Judge won’t bar evidence of other crimes allegedly committed by defendant in death-penalty case
Ex-Marine Jorge Torrez won’t contest death penalty for murder of Navy sailor
USA v Jorge Avila Torrez, Notice of Intent to Seek Sentence of Death
Man charged in murder of two Zion girls not expected to face trial this year
10 years after 2 girls killed in Zion, families still await justice
Defendant in Zion double murder accuses young victim’s dad
Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall “Capital Predator”


In the shadow of the nation’s capital, a mysterious death on a Marine base confounds the NCIS — was it an accident, or was it a homicide? It won’t be long before police are hunting a violent sexual predator whose trail leads right back to the base. -Discovery ID

Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)

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Marc Patrick O’Leary (US Army)

On August 11, 2008, Marc Patrick O’Leary raped an eighteen year old at knife point in Lynnwood, Washington. The 18 year old woman reported the rape to her local police department but they accused her of lying and she was charged with false reporting. In 2011, Marc O’Leary was arrested in Colorado for rape and consequently admitted to raping several women in Washington and Colorado. DNA, digital evidence, and O’Leary’s vehicle linked him physically to several rapes. As it turns out, there was evidence on a camera corroborating the 18 year old’s report of rape in 2008 in Washington. Investigators would learn that the Lynnwood, Washington police didn’t believe the alleged victim of rape and she was indeed found guilty of false reporting and fined $500. The victim sued the City of Lynnwood who refunded her $500 fine and settled out of court for $150,000. Marc O’Leary pleaded guilty to rape and was sentenced to over 300 years in prison. ProPublica covered the story and highlighted the dangers of mishandling rape cases and not using the FBI database created to help catch repeat offenders. ProPublica won a Pulitzer prize for their coverage of “An Unbelievable Story of Rape” with The Marshall Project. Maureen Maher of 48 Hours also did an investigation titled the “Hunted” and she went inside the mind of a serial rapist who was hunting his victims while two detectives were hunting him.

Cops can be protective about their cases, fearing that information could be leaked that would jeopardize their investigations. They often don’t know about, or fail to use, an FBI database created years ago to help catch repeat offenders. Between one-fourth to two-thirds of rapists are serial attackers, studies show. -ProPublica

Related Links:
Golden Police Department Arrest Affidavit for Marc O’Leary
Lakewood Man Accused Of Being Masked Rapist
Pictures in Accused Rapist’s Camera Provide Chilling Evidence Against Him
Victim of accused serial rapist was charged with false reporting
Disturbing Details Emerge In Suspected Serial Rapist Case
Affidavit: Colorado rape suspect believed he was member of secret society, could have sex with anyone
Serial rapist pleads guilty, faces life in Colorado prison
Photos lead to charge of rape against former Mountlake Terrace man
Colorado man charged in local 2008 rapes
Accused Colorado serial rapist charged in Kirkland attack
‘I went and threw up,’ says girlfriend of serial rapist
327 ½ years to life Prison Sentence for Serial Rapist
Marc O’Leary, serial rapist who felt entitled to assault anyone he wanted, gets 327 years
Suspect in Lynnwood rape sentenced to 325 years for Colorado crimes
Marc O’Leary Sentenced To Over 300 Years For Rapes In Colorado, Washington
Convicted rapist pleads guilty to rapes in Lynnwood, Kirkland
Serial Rapist Given Multiple Life Sentences — Rocky Mountain RCFL Recovered Critical Digital Evidence
Serial rapist serving life sentence gets 40 more years for raping Kirkland woman
In tracking down a serial rapist, two detectives help 18-year-old victim prove she wasn’t lying
No One Believed This Girl Was Telling the Truth About Being Raped Until They Found Pictures on Her Rapist’s Camera
Woman Sues City of Lynnwood Charging Cops Refused to Believe She Had Been Raped
Woman suing police after she was fined $500 for making up rape it turns out was TRUE and committed by serial attacker
Rape victim called a liar by authorities
Lynnwood settles with rape victim for $150K
Lynnwood to pay rape victim $150,000 in false-claim suit
Rape Victim Gets $150,000 After Police Accuse Her Of Lying
An Unbelievable Story of Rape
How We Reported ‘An Unbelievable Story of Rape’
Why was a rape victim interrogated as a crime suspect?
How A Colorado Rape Investigation Highlights Good Police Work
This Bone-Chilling Story Shows How 1 Serial Rapist Almost Got Away With His Crimes
A story about the dangers of not believing rape victims wins Pulitzer Prize
Lynnwood woman’s story highlights mishandling of rape cases
Inside the Year’s Most Unbelievable Story Of Rape
’48 Hours’ To Feature Investigation Into Colorado Serial Rapist

Videos:
48 Hours Premiered ‘Hunted’ on CBS (2017)
48 Hours “Hunted”
“48 Hours” preview: Hunted
“48 Hours” investigates the hunt for a serial rapist


“48 Hours” goes inside the mind of a serial rapist hunting his victims while two detectives were hunting him. -48 Hours

College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (2008)

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Brianna Denison (Reno, Nevada)

Brianna Denison, 19, was abducted by former Marine James Biela in Reno, Nevada on January 20th, 2008. She was subsequently found raped and murdered. According to Joe Biela, James Biela once wore the uniform of a Marine but was kicked out of the service. James Biela was convicted of raping and strangling Brianna and sentenced to death in 2010. Brianna’s family fought for ‘Brianna’s Law’ in Nevada and it passed:

The bill mandates a DNA cheek-swab whenever a person is booked for a felony arrest. If the arrest is deemed legitimate, the DNA would be cross-referenced with DNA from other crime scenes to see if the arrestee was involved. The proposal is named after Brianna Denison who was raped and murdered by James Biela in Reno in 2008. Proponents believe such a law may have saved Denison because Biela had a prior felony arrest. –Fox 5 Vegas

Related Links:
Bring Bri Justice
Who is James Biela?
Reno Police Hunt for Serial Rapist
Biela had trouble with women, law
Details emerge about suspect in Brianna Denison murder
Police Arrest Suspect in Sex Assault Slaying of Reno Teen Brianna Denison
Pregnant Rape Victim Forgives James Biela In Court
James Biela’s Ex-Girlfriend Carleen Harmon Testifies in Murder Case of Brianna Denison
Lab Investigator Testifies About Denison Crime Scene in James Biela Trial
Nevada man convicted of raping, strangling college student
Serial Rapist Found Guilty of Rape and Murder of Nevada Coed
Brianna Denison Murder Verdict: James Biela Found Guilty of Killing, Raping College Student
Brianna Denison’s Murderer Gets Four Life Sentences for Sexual Assault, Kidnapping
Brianna Denison’s Killer, James Biela, Gets Death; Mom Says “He Messed With the Wrong Family”
Moms of murdered daughters push for Nevada DNA bill
Brianna’s Law officially becomes Nevada state law
Death row inmate seeks new trial in Brianna Denison killing
James Biela petitions court for retrial in rape, murder of 19-year-old Brianna Denison
Biela won’t get a new trial in Denison murder case
Reno man denied new trial in rape, murder near university


When a young college student is abducted from a friend’s home in the middle of the night, the city of Reno lives in fear of who might be next. Dogged investigation leads detectives to a serial rapist who’s just escalated to murder. -Unusual Suspects

Air Force Veteran John Ray Murdered in Georgia Home; 9 Years Later, Torico Jackson Convicted & Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2004)

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John Ray, US Air Force Veteran

Related Links:
Brutal Atlanta murder case reopened after 7 years
Atlanta police seek help to solve ‘cold case’ murder of gay man
Atlanta man charged in 7-year-old gay murder
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Atlanta Man Torico Jackson indicted in 7-year-old murder case
APD has solved 16 cold cases this year
7-year-old Atlanta murder cold case closed; suspect already in prison
Man gets 2 life sentences for 2004 death
Man convicted, sentenced in Georgia cold case slaying
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Man convicted, sentenced in Ga. cold case slaying
Conviction in the ‘Cold Case’ Murder of Fulton Paralegal
Gruesome murder of Air Force veteran John Ray and 9yr wait for justice profiled on Detective
Message From the Grave | Detective | Investigation Discovery
Message From the Grave | Detective | Investigation Discovery (2)
Message From the Grave | Dead of Night | Investigation Discovery
Cold Case: John E. Ray murder 5/16/2004 Atlanta, GA *Torico Jackson convicted, sentenced to 2 consecutive terms of LWOP*


32 year-old paralegal John Ray had everything going for him: great career, a loving family and friends. When his body is found in his Atlanta home in 2004, detectives are stumped. Years later, a hidden message from the victim himself may solve this crime. -Dead of Night

Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn Convicted of the Cold Case Murder of Carol Hutto in Florida; Sentenced to Life, Possibility of Parole After 25 Years (2000)

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P.O. James Kuenn, US Navy

Navy Petty Officer James Kuenn, 40, was found guilty on February 9, 2000 for the first-degree murder of his teen girlfriend Carol Hutto on December 13, 1976 in Largo, Florida. Carol Hutto’s half-brother found her dead in a pond in the neighborhood; she was weighed down with cement blocks. An autopsy revealed Carol was hit and strangled, lost consciousness, and then thrown in the water alive. Initially, police suspected Carol’s half-brother committed the crime but they did not have enough evidence to charge him so the case went unsolved for nearly two decades. Then in 1994, two Largo Police Department investigators reopened the cold case.

The detective’s determination to find the killer led them to a former Largo resident who by then was an eleven year Navy veteran stationed at U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut. In 1996, DNA testing was making it’s way into police departments across the country so the investigators submitted several unknown hairs to the FBI lab. But they needed a sample of Kuenn’s DNA to see if it was a match. Investigator’s obtained a search warrant to get the DNA via a blood sample and used the interrogation to elicit a confession while they waited for the results. Since Kuenn was active duty Navy, detectives brought in the Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) in Mayport, Florida to assist with the interrogation.

On July 15, 1998, the NCIS used the interrogation to push Kuenn into a confession. Investigators had no physical evidence linking Kuenn to the scene but that didn’t stop them from bluffing and hoping Kuenn would cave. Kuenn eventually admitted to investigators that the whole thing was an accident and he brought Carol to the lake to cover up the crime. Kuenn claimed that Carol tripped and fell and became unconscious so he took off her clothes to make it look like someone else did it. Despite Kuenn’s tears, detectives believed he was lying because Carol’s injuries did not come from an accidental trip and fall; they came from blunt force trauma and strangulation. Kuenn was charged with murder, convicted, and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for twenty-five years.

“Kuenn recalled the fateful night when he and Carol met at the house under construction. They kissed but the young woman was reluctant to have sex with him. As she struggled, her screams rang out through the foggy night air. Kuenn, under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, hit her with a 2 by 4 to quiet her. He then dumped her in the pond, where she drowned, according to the autopsy.” –Tampa Bay Times

Related Links:
Teenager Murdered
Family and friends mourn murdered girl
Police stymied in Hutto murder case
Two Men Now Sought In Murder Of Carol Hutto
Unsolved Homicides Leave Legacy Of Pain
Sailor charged in 1976 death, jailed without bail
Sailor admits killing friend
After 24 years, he’s found guilty
Man Sentenced to Life in 1976 Slaying
Jury rejects accidental death claim, convicts man for 1976 murder
The victim’s mother lectures the killer, sentenced to life
TV show to look at ’76 Largo murder
TV show to detail search for killer
Police work of Jackson native to be featured on Investigation Discovery’s ‘Swamp Murders’
The Carol Hutto Case
Cold Case Files: Carol’s Diary | A&E
Swamp Murders: We Miss You Darling
Cold Case Files: Carol’s Diary


16-year-old Carol Hutto is a dependable friend, daughter and sister. She’s a good student, loves wrestling and hanging out with friends. So when she misses her curfew one evening, her mother knows something awful has happened. -Swamp Murders

 

Army Soldier Erin Tynan was Raped & Strangled by Fellow Fort Irwin Soldier Christopher Geier in California, Geier Also Found Guilty of Murder-For-Hire & Attempted Murder (1990)

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Erin Tynan, US Army

Army Soldier Erin Tynan, 21, was found dead on November 15, 1990 in her off base apartment in Barstow, California. Erin Tynan was an active duty military police officer stationed at the Fort Irwin National Training Center. She had already spent a couple years in Germany and after her enlistment was up, she was going to use her GI Bill to go back to school and get a degree in forensic social work. After she didn’t show up to work, the Army asked the Barstow Police Department to check in on her because they were concerned about a respiratory medical condition she had been diagnosed with in Germany. The Barstow Police Department went to Erin’s home and found her dead at the scene.

Barstow PD detectives determined that Erin had been the victim of a surprise sexual attack and murder. They deduced that whoever killed Erin was someone that she knew and the person was able to gain access inside her apartment and overpower her. The autopsy confirmed that Erin was assaulted, forcibly raped, strangled, and stabbed in the neck post mortem. Investigators believed that the precision stab wound in the back of the neck was the work of someone who served in the military and wanted to make sure she was dead. They first turned to Erin’s last known boyfriend William Jones. He had recently been discharged from the Army and left the day before but there was tension because the six month relationship ended. Jones informed investigators that he had left Erin with a 22 pistol for protection but she was planning on selling the gun to another Army soldier because it jammed. They did not locate the gun in Erin’s apartment and believed the killer stole the gun. Jones was eventually ruled out because his DNA did not match the DNA found at the crime scene and he was in fact physically placed in Illinois at the time of the murder. The next person they turned to was a lead they got from the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID). CID learned that another soldier by the name of Eugene Knox was in possession of a 22 pistol and had been acting erratically. The Barstow PD spoke with Knox and learned that he had been dating Erin. No one knew the two were seeing one another. Investigators determined that Knox could not have been the killer because he was out in the field on the night of the murder.

A couple years later, evidence from an attempted murder of a young mother in Louisiana was linked to evidence in a murder case in California. The young mother had been shot in the face once with a 22 pistol but her life was spared when the gun jammed the second time the killer pulled the trigger. The murder victim, Curtis Dean, had also been stabbed in the neck in the same precise way that Erin Tynan was stabbed in the neck. The suspect in the murder of Curtis Dean was an Army soldier at Fort Irwin, Christopher Geier. Army CID immediately recognized the similarity in the knife wounds found on both Curtis Dean and Erin Tynan. They contacted the Barstow PD to inform them of what they had learned. Geier admitted to investigators that he was hired to murder Curtis Dean but did not admit to the rape and murder of Erin Tynan when confronted. But it didn’t matter because in the meantime forensic testing revealed the gun used to shoot the young mother in Louisiana who survived matched the 22 pistol missing from Erin’s apartment. And the British Commando knife Geier admitted using on Curtis Dean was consistent with the knife used on Erin Tynan. Hair samples and DNA evidence collected from the rape also matched Geier. The prosecutor determine based on evidence collected at the scene that Geier knew that Erin Tynan would be alone and vulnerable that night. He also knew that her boyfriend Billy Jones was gone. He used the ruse to buy the pistol to gain access into her apartment with one thing in mind: he wanted a sexual encounter with her. After she resisted and rejected him, he raped and strangled her.

On July 21, 1995, Christopher Adam Geier was sentenced to death for the first degree murder of Erin Tyner and Curtis Dean, and the attempted murder of the young mother in Louisiana. Investigators eventually learned that Geier’s Fort Irwin Tank Commander in the Army, Jeffrey Hunter, hired him to kill Curtis Dean. Army soldier Jeffrey Hunter was sentenced to life in prison.

Related Links:
Christopher Adam Geier v The People of the State of California (2007)
The People of the State of California v Christopher Adam Geier (2007)
On the Case with Paula Zahn: Blood and Betrayal (Investigation Discovery YouTube)
On the Case with Paula Zahn: Blood and Betrayal (Investigation Discovery Go)


The discovery of a beautiful military police officer murdered in her own home sends police on a twisted journey for answers. -Discovery ID

Timothy Hennis, US Army, Sentenced to Death by Military Court for the Murders of Air Force Spouse Kathryn Eastburn & Two of her Three Children (1985)

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Timothy Hennis, US Army

In 1985, a young military officer’s wife and two of her three little girls were viciously murdered in their home. Kathryn Eastburn was also raped. The crime occurred six miles from the location of where Jeffrey MacDonald was accused of killing his wife and two children on the base at Fort Bragg. US Army sergeant Timothy Hennis became a suspect from the beginning. In a background check, they found that he had 3 convictions for writing bad checks. Eventually he was tried and found guilty of the murders of Katie, Cara, and Erin Eastburn and sentenced to death by the civilian authorities in North Carolina. But he appealed and was found not guilty. After his acquittal, he joined the US Army again for two more tours, worked his way up to E-8, and retired as a MSgt from Fort Lewis, Washington. DNA evidence eventually linked Hennis to the crime of Air Force officer Gary Eastburn’s wife in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Civilian prosecutors could not charge Hennis due to double jeopardy; but the US military could. As a result, he was ordered back into service due to his retirement status. Hennis tried to claim consensual sex which contradicted original testimony. Seventeen years later, the military found him guilty of three counts of murder and he was sentenced to death. Hennis sits on death row at Leavenworth with three other service members: Ronald Gray, Hasan Akbar, and Nidal Hasan.

Related Links:
Death sentence sought
Jury in Hennis trial visits area where murder victims lived
Hennis Receives Death Sentence
Triple murder retrial to start
Witness firm on identification of murder suspect
Witness shaky on identifying Hennis
Expert links soldier to 1985 killings
Army holds hearing for soldier charged in 1985 murders
Ex-soldier faces trial in decades-old deaths
Federal judge: Hennis court-martial can proceed
Twenty-five years later, third trial begins in triple slaying
Hennis Trial Underway
Soldier sentenced to die for 1985 triple murder
For 2nd Time, Man Sentenced to Death for Murders
Prosecutor Emphasizes DNA in Hennis Closing
At 3rd Trial, Sergeant Guilty of 1985 Triple Murder
Military Jury Finds Hennis Guilty of Murder
Hennis found guilty of decades-old murders
Soldier’s family pleads for jury to spare his life
Hennis sentenced to death for 1985 Eastburn murders
Hennis sentenced to death for 1985 triple murder
Ex-Soldier Convicted Twice of Eastburn Triple Murder Appeals Again
25 years later, widower recalls slain family
Father, daughter tell of pain 1985 triple murder caused
Three Trials for Murder: In the name of justice, did the military sidestep double jeopardy?
‘Unusual Suspects’: Military Man Convicted & Sentenced To Death Twice, Acquitted Once 
Fort Bragg commander approves Timothy Hennis conviction, death sentence
An Execution Draws Closer
Triple murder suspect goes from guilty to innocent and back to guilty
Timothy Hennis seeks relief in federal court; former Fort Bragg soldier questions Army’s jurisdiction in court-martial
Timothy Hennis case: Federal judge dismisses latest appeal
Eastburn Murders Expose a Loophole in the Law
The Eastburn Family Murders and The Three Trials of Staff Sergeant Tim Hennis
TIMOTHY B. HENNIS, Petitioner, v. ERICA NELSON, Commandant, USDB-Ft. Leavenworth, Respondent
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Amazon Prime Video)
Unusual Suspects: Mother’s Day Murders (Investigation Discovery)


In 1985, a young military wife and two of her three little girls are viciously murdered in their home. In a twisted case filled with unusual suspects, the man who gets convicted goes free. But nothing is what it seems. -Discovery ID