A Stranger in My Home: 5 Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Buried Secrets (Season 1, Episode 3):

Al Kowalski is new to Hill Country, Texas. He plans to spend his early retirement hunting and fixing his vintage vehicles. Al welcomes meth-addicted mechanic Charlie Tidwell into his home to help with the cars, but Charlie has a different plan. -Buried Secrets, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E3)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Buried Secrets’ on ID: Army Veteran Allan Kowalski Found Buried in Shallow Grave on Texas Property (October 27, 2013)

Roommate From Hell (Season 1, Episode 10):

When Jeffrey Wheatley moves to Stockton, California he sees it as a second chance. His friend Drew offers him a room in a house that he shares with Valerie Nessler. But soon, the house will be the setting of the most brutal murder the town has ever seen. -Roommate From Hell, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E10)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Roommate From Hell’ on ID: Jeffrey Wheatley Found Murdered in House Fire Because False Accusations (December 15, 2013)

Star-Crossed Murder (Season 2, Episode 1):

Air traffic controller Gene Thurnau moves to St-Petersburg, Florida to start over. He meets Jaye-Jaye, and soon they marry and begin building their dream home. But ghosts from Gene’s past bring unwanted tension and horror into their perfect home. -Star-Crossed Murder, A Stranger In My Home (S2,E1)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Star-Crossed Murder’ on ID: Air Force Veteran Gene Thurnau Murdered by Obsessed Co-Worker (December 11, 2014)

The Two-Faced Murder (Season 3, Episode 3):

An old man collapses in his bathroom, gasping for air. The caregiver tries to save him while her son calls for help in vain. This “accident” isn’t what it seems, though… and the true story reveals murder. -The Two-Faced Murder, A Stranger in My Home (S3,E3)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘The Two-Faced Murder’ on ID: Abusive Caregiver Rosemary Vandecar Convicted of Murder (February 26, 2016)

Shades of Jade (Season 3, Episode 8):

A lonely ex-military man meets up with a much younger beautiful woman, and together they fall in love. Or so they think. Until a deadly combination of greed, worry, and secrets leaves one dead and the other on the run… wanted for murder. -Shades of Jade, A Stranger in My Home (S3,E8)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Shades of Jade’ on ID: Nevada Escort Murders Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Because Greed (April 8, 2016)

BONUS STOLEN VALOR EPISODE:

Mickey Widmer and her boyfriend Darnell Mears move into a Minnesota trailer park looking for a fresh start, but after meeting Rick Taber, a reclusive neighbor, he grows too close for comfort. Good neighbors go bad; and bad neighbors spill blood. -Trailer Park Terror, A Stranger in My Home (S1,E2)

A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Trailer Park Terror’ on ID: Rick Taber Killed Next Door Neighbor Micky Widmer in Minnesota (October 20, 2013)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E3)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Buried Secrets | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E10)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Roommate From Hell | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (S2,E1)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Star-Crossed Murder | A Stranger In My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S3,E3)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Two-Faced Murder | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S3,E8)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Shades of Jade | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (S1,E2)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (website)
Trailer Park Terror | A Stranger in My Home | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Night of the Machete’ on ID: Veteran Twain Thomas Flipped Out on Loud Neighbors 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)

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)

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:
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
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

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)
Night of the Machete | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Night of the Machete | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Pop Goes the Witness’ on ID: Fort Carson Army Officer Convicted of Attempted Murder of Wife (November 3, 2015)

When the lifeless body of Willie McCarty is found at the base of a staircase, neighbors direct Kenda to a mysterious truck spotted fleeing the scene. Then… Kenda must solve a bizarre case of poisoning at a busy downtown hospital. -Pop Goes the Witness, Homicide Hunter (S5,E10)

Lt Joe Kenda of Homicide Hunter featured another case where he was tasked with investigating what hospital officials suspected was an attempted murder. Upon arrival at the hospital, he was bombarded by the press because they heard the call for service over the scanner. The hospital was secure and police officers were on the scene. Upon an initial briefing, Lt Kenda discovered that a nurse suspected that someone had tampered with one of their patient’s IVs. Lt Kenda then interviewed Carol Taylor, the wife of an Army officer also present at the hospital with their two children.

Lt Kenda learned that Carol had broken her leg and had developed some blood clots. She was simply visiting with her husband and children when all of a sudden the alarm on the IV infusion machine went off. And somehow the IV had been pulled from her arm. Lt Kenda immediately began to suspect that someone was trying to kill her because it looked like someone had either tampered with or inserted something into the IV line. Because the crime lab was not proficient in the hospital’s medical equipment, they called in a hospital employee who was considered an expert. This person determined that someone had injected something into the line. The only other people in the room were her husband and children.

Lt Kenda started his next line of questioning with the husband. He learned that Lt Col Dennis Taylor served in the US Army for 27 years and was currently working as the Chief of Oral Surgery at the Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center in Aurora, Colorado. Lt Kenda observed that the doctor was unusually calm and appeared to be minimizing the event and brushing it off as a mistake. So then Lt Kenda went back to the wife and asked her if she thought that maybe her husband did this. The wife claimed she was fine and that everyone was making a big deal out of it and she just wanted it to go away. She claimed that they had a great marriage and life. Lt Joe Kenda had a hard time believing that her marriage was as perfect as she made it out to be and moved forward with the investigation because there was in fact liquid in the IV pump that was not supposed to be there.

Kenda reached out to a family friend who worked alongside the doctor over the years. He learned from Stan that the doctor had confided in him that Carol was verbally abusive, demeaning him, telling him he is pathetic, and even punched him. She also was upset about his drinking and knew that he had been having extra-marital affairs. Stan told Kenda that the doctor wanted to leave Carol but she had threatened to go to his commander and report him for the drinking and adultery (both considered UCMJ infractions and punishable under military law) if he left her. Carol enjoyed the privileges of being a military wife too much to lose them to divorce. He felt trapped in his current abusive marriage and was drinking more and having affairs as a way to cope with his current situation. In the civilian world, Carol would not be able to get away with threatening her husband because it is not illegal to drink and have affairs.

As it turns out, the results of the pump came back and they found Diazinon, which is a poison used to kill ants, spiders, cockroaches, etc. She would have been dead in a matter of minutes and would have been in excruciating pain, as the poison would have burned her from the inside out. As a result, Kenda arrested the doctor for attempted murder. During the arrest he found a plunged hypodermic in his pocket. The doctor told him he didn’t need an attorney and admitted his guilt. He told Kenda that earlier that morning while he was out shopping, the idea came to him that this was the only way out. Because he is a doctor, he knew how to do it. He inserted the poison and the alarm went off so he pulled the IV out of her arm for fear of arrest.

Instead of the civilians pressing forward with a case, the Army decided that they were going to court martial the doctor. They claimed they wanted to make an example of the disgraced colonel in front of a jury of his peers. He was sentenced to 18 months hard labor and he and his family were stripped of all Army privileges. And this may be why Carol Taylor protected her husband despite the fact that he just tried to kill her. Why would the Army doctor rather kill his wife then report the domestic violence to the commander? Why would the doctor feel that going to the commander was not an option and his only way out of this abusive situation was to murder his wife? Why was the doctor so intimidated by the threat of his wife reporting what would be considered minor infractions, even under UCMJ standards?

We need to evaluate why the doctor felt that he was not able to report the abuse and threatening to the Commander. Would he automatically be in trouble with military leadership if he admitted that he had been drinking and having affairs? Was he concerned about losing his career, his retirement, or facing disciplinary action? Why did he feel that he had to choose murder over reporting the threats and abuse to his commander? These are all things that we must ponder. We are seeing a pattern over and over. Our military men do not feel that reporting to the commander is an option when they are the victim of a crime. If that is the case, how can we help our military men, who find themselves the victim of threats, domestic violence, or sexual assault, report to a safe place? Right now, some would rather resort to murder then report the crimes to their commander. There must be a better way.

Source: Pop Goes the Witness, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Pop Goes the Witness | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S5,E10)
Pop Goes the Witness | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Pop Goes the Witness | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Pop Goes the Witness | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado
Only Way Out: Army Wife Threatens to Report Doctor to Commander if He Leaves Her
Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Second Best’ on ID: Dennis Dawley Elicits Help of Mistress Brandita Taliano to Murder Wife (September 19, 2014)

Preview: Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. In 1993, when Joan receives an inheritance and makes plans to divorce, Dennis, fearing financial ruin, enlists his lover to help murder his wife. -Second Best, Deadly Women (S8, E10)

Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Deadly Women (S8, E10)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Partners in Crime | The New Detectives (S5,E2)
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape (Preview)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday (Preview)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E10)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (website)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano | Amazon (S1,E2)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)
Air Force Retiree Dennis Dawley & Mistress Brandita Taliano Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole for the 1991 Murder of Joan Dawley (April 15, 1997)
American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Mr. Violence’ on ID: Ex-Marine Kicked Out for Violence Commits Murder in Colorado Springs (December 11, 2012)

29-year-old Chris Devoy is shot in cold blood outside a neighborhood bar. Faced with a trio of suspects, Kenda trusts his gut and makes a controversial decision. The case hits a dead end, but Kenda gets an unexpected tip that proves his instincts right. -Mr. Violence, Homicide Hunter (S2,E10)

Christopher Devoy Find A Grave

Christopher Devoy (Photo: Find A Grave)

In a random act of violence, ex-Marine James Shackelford decided to steal a Mitsubishi Eclipse outside a bar and ended up fatally shooting the driver of the car Christopher Devoy on May 31, 1996 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. James Shackelford was kicked out of the Marine Corps for punching a sergeant in the mouth. He turned to a life of crime robbing banks, stealing cars, and then eventually murder in the course of a robbery. Ultimately three individuals were held responsible for the murder of Christopher Devoy. James Shackelford was arrested for first degree murder. Jeffrey K. and Jeremy Kirby were convicted of murder and their combined sentences totaled more than fifty years behind bars. The ring leader of the murder got off with the lightest sentence. James Shackelford got sixteen years in prison. Shackelford never even got convicted of murder.

Source: Mr. Violence, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Christopher Paul Devoy | Find A Grave
Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda (Season 2), Mr. Violence (Preview)
Mr. Violence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2,E10)
Mr. Violence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Mr. Violence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Mr. Violence | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
The BEST Episodes of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda
Homicide Hunter: 10 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Deadly Possession’ on Investigation Discovery: Caroline Young Murdered Two Grandchildren for Revenge (November 11, 2011)

A grandmother caring for her grandchildren, a young girl in love with a boy, a mother protecting her son – are all consumed with intense love. But when that love is threatened, they find it too much to bear and take measures into their own hands. -Deadly Possession, Deadly Women (S5, E10)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Caroline Young Murdered Her Grandchildren for Revenge
Caroline Young | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S5, E10)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Deadly Possession | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Caroline Young Killed 2 Grandchildren After Losing Custody to Marine Recruiter Barrington Bruce; Sentenced to Death (June 18, 1993)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Under His Control’ on Investigation Discovery: Brian Hood Used Lover Jennifer Reali to Kill Wife (October 19, 2010)

Preview: She was broken down by every man who crossed her path, so when Jennifer’s lover told her that his wife had to die – Jennifer made sure she did. -Under His Control, Deadly Women (S4, E10)

Update:

Reali shot and killed her lover’s wife in 1990. -CBS Denver (April 6, 2018)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Jennifer Reali Dies After Being Released From Prison
Update: Jennifer Reali | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Preview)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S4, E10)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (S1, E3)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2, E1)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Army Spouse Jennifer Reali Shot & Killed Lover’s Wife; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Paroled in 2017 & Died of Cancer Three Months Later (September 12, 1990)
Facing Evil with Candice DeLong Premiered ‘Love Before Life’ on Investigation Discovery: Jennifer Reali Fatally Shot Lover’s Wife in Colorado (November 26, 2010)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘I Now Pronounce You Dead’ on ID: Jennifer Reali Killed Lover’s Wife Dianne Hood in Colorado Springs (October 2, 2012)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery