Valley of the Damned Premiered ‘Killer Confession’ on ID: Army Veteran Admits Murdering Lea Porter, Her Body is Still Missing (September 17, 2019)

When Lea Porter goes missing in Prison Valley her family turn detective to try and find her. Their investigation leads to a shocking discovery – the killer’s true identity. As the killer evades arrest, Lea’s brother devises a plan to make him confess. -Killer Confession, Valley of the Damned (S1,E3)

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:
Help Find Lea Porter | Facebook
Lea Chali Porter | The Charley Project
Remembering Lea Porter: The Photos You Need to See
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (S1,E3)
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killer Confession | Valley of the Damned | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Man accused of murder, sexual assault in teen’s disappearance
High school friend who pleaded in TV interview for return of missing girl, 19, arrested for her murder after admitting he killed her and hid body
Colorado man charged with sexually assaulting, killing, teenage friend
Murder victim’s stepfather: Suspect had ‘manifesto’ about capturing, killing a girl
Man pleads guilty to high school friend’s murder
Man pleads guilty to killing southern Colorado teen who disappeared
Lea Chali Porter’s Family Upset by Plea Deal With Her Killer, Christopher Waide
Man sentenced to 48 years for murder of missing Pueblo teen
Killer is in prison, but body of Fremont County teen has never been found
Colorado mom wants answers about daughter’s missing body
Killer’s criminal justice teacher speaks out about what convict may have learned in class
Convicted Killer Says He Admitted to Murder Because Tarot Cards Said Guilt ‘Would Destroy’ Him
20/20′: Criminology student confesses to murder of young Colorado woman
Murder of Lea Porter by Christopher Adam Waide featured on Valley of the Damned

Lea Porter Missing Colorado

Homicide Hunter: 20 Active Duty Military and Veteran Murder Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

A Killer Always Rings Twice (Season 1, Episode 3):

When 22 year-old Micki Filmore is found raped and murder in her apartment, detective Kenda focuses his investigation on her activities the previous night. Micki was seen dancing with a man who then paid a late night call to her door. -A Killer Always Rings Twice, Homicide Hunter (S1, E3)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘A Killer Always Rings Twice’ on ID: Lt. Joe Kenda Hunts for Serial Rapist & Killer Before He Strikes Again (November 8, 2011)

Secret Life (Season 1, Episode 5):

After Lourdes Riddle in found strangled to death in the trunk of her car, homicide detective Joe Kenda follows the trail through a twisting maze of military and cultural secrets. Just what was Lourdes doing behind her husband’s back? -Secret Life, Homicide Hunter (S1, E5)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Secret Life’ on ID: Fort Carson Soldier Strangled Lourdes Riddle to Silence Sextortion Threats (November 22, 2011)

I Now Pronounce You Dead (Season 2, Episode 1):

Mother of three Dianne Hood is shot to death by a masked gunman on her way home from a Lupus support meeting. Police initially assume it’s a robbery, but Lt. Joe Kenda uncovers a sordid web of lust and greed, revealing a killer no one ever expected. -I Now Pronounce You Dead, Homicide Hunter (S2, E1)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘I Now Pronounce You Dead’ on ID: Jennifer Reali Killed Lover’s Wife Dianne Hood in Colorado Springs (October 2, 2012)

A Gathering of Evil (Season 2, Episode 2):

Teen runaway Maggie Fetty is found strangled to death on a mountain road. An anonymous tipster blames Maggie’s best friend, but she accuses a mental patient with multiple personalities. Kenda must turn the suspects against each other to learn the truth. -A Gathering of Evil, Homicide Hunter (S2, E2)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘A Gathering of Evil’ on ID: Homeless Teen Maggie Fetty Found Murdered in Colorado Springs (October 9, 2012)

The Spy Who Killed Me (Season 2, Episode 4):

Housewife Elsie Jennes is found dead in the basement of her burning home. Lt Joe Kenda has no leads until Elsie’s son, William, turns up in a police station over 50 miles away, equipped with a suitcase, a pet yellow labrador, and a bizarre story to tell. -The Spy Who Killed Me, Homicide Hunter (S2, E4)

Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘The Spy Who Killed Me’ on ID: William Jennes II Shot & Killed Wife Elspeth ‘Elsie’ Jennes Over Finances (October 30, 2012)

Continue reading

Grave Mysteries Premiered ‘Murder Behind Closed Doors’ on ID: Ashley Melnyczok Found Murdered in Colorado Springs Home (February 25, 2019)

27 year-old Ashley Melnyczok is a single mother. Her daughter is her life’s joy. In June 2015, Ashley is murdered in her Colorado Springs home. While hunting for clues, police hunt down a cast of dangerous characters and uncover a heinous plot. -Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries (S2,E3)

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:
Murder of Ashley Melnyczok by Joseph Kimsey and Jonathon Nelson — Grave Mysteries spotlights the case
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (website)
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)
Ashley Melnyczok Found Murdered in Colorado Home; Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathon Nelson Sentenced to Life in Prison (June 3, 2015)
What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (March 23, 2018)
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Head in the Oven’ on ID: Former Marine Stopped Taking Meds, Unraveled & Murdered Brett Smith (June 16, 2018)

Two neighboring bachelors start out as friends. Harmless banter turns into threats eventually igniting an escalating war. The violence ends with a murder so shocking it is almost beyond belief. -Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery (S5,E3)

Brett Smith was found murdered in his home on October 3, 2008 in North Canton, Ohio. Brett was found with a knife in his chest and dismembered; his head was found burning in the oven of his own home. It didn’t take long for police to determine that Brett’s neighbor, William Perry, was the suspect in the case. William Perry served in the Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm and was suffering from what sounds like Post Traumatic Stress. He was taking medications because he saw a lot of terrible things but he didn’t want to talk about it; the medications helped mitigate flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms like lack of concentration that interfered with daily living. William and Brett were both fixing up their homes, helping each other out, and sharing tools.

At some point, William became jealous of Brett’s home improvement efforts and all the help he appeared to get from his family. William was struggling financially to fix up his place and this bothered William because he wanted a nice place for his children when they came to visit him. William and Brett tried to make the relationship work but the two had an on again and off again kind of relationship. Brett couldn’t drink because he took medication for epilepsy and he was uncomfortable around William after he had a few drinks of alcohol. The two got confrontational when William was drinking and Brett tried to confront William about vandalism on his property including slashed tires and an oil spill that cost William thousands of dollars to remedy. Brett’s mom Judy was getting concerned and wanted him to move out of there because the fighting was escalating.

William Perry was stressed. His girlfriend Susanna Lockard shared that he owed child support and if he didn’t pay it, he was going to jail. At the same time, William decided to stop taking his medication. He said they made him feel foggy and he wanted a clear head. Susanna was concerned he would get depressed or downward spiral. And then one day, William and Brett got into an altercation in the yard and William lost control and started beating Brett with a board. The neighbors thought William was a “psycho” after this encounter and so did Brett. The neighbors were really concerned that this situation was escalating and getting dangerous. Brett reported William to the North Canton Police Department but there was no evidence of the physical encounter so there was nothing the police could do. They told him to stay away from him. Brett was confused about why William hated him so much; he didn’t know what he was doing wrong.

Susanna was leaving the home for the night so William could spend some time with his kids. When she arrived to pick up some clothes, she found William home and he didn’t look well. She learned his plans with his children had been cancelled and he was upset. William was brandishing a gun in front of his girlfriend and her daughter while asking them to leave. William was living with his girlfriend but he broke up with her and kicked her out and never explained why. Later that night, the neighbors noticed William on Brent’s porch and they were arguing. When Brett’s mom showed up to his place the next day, she got no answer and smelled smoke. Brett’s mom turned to a friend and asked him to break into Brett’s house because she was concerned. The living room was in disarray, the contents of Brett’s wallet were strewn about, and there was also paint spilled everywhere. They found Brett in the bathroom laying on the floor with a knife in his chest. He had been strangled and beheaded. The police processed the home and found paint mixed with blood everywhere.

When the police opened the oven, they found Brett’s head burning inside. Brett’s mom had a very hard time accepting her son was dead and that he had been murdered in this way. William Perry was a suspect right away. There was no doubt that William had done this and he tried to cover up the crime. Initially, William was arrested for vandalism, a felony crime, and sent to jail. While there, he wrote a letter to a friend admitting to killing Brett. He said the night he killed Brett, it started with words and escalated to physical fighting. He spent the night trying to clean up the scene and attempted to dismember Brett but gave up after he cut off his head. He tried to erase all signs that he was in Brett’s house. He was charged with murder and faced the death penalty but it never went to trial. In October 2009, William Perry made a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. The prosecutor had no rational explanation for why he did this.

“It could have been anything, anything could have triggered it. It could have been trauma, it could have been something from childhood, it could be not seeing your kids as much as you want, it could just be all the pressures building up and it just sets a chain reaction.” -Susanna Lockard (Brett’s girlfriend)

Source: Head in the Oven, Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

A neighbor describes finding the grisly remains of Brett Smith, who had been beheaded in his North Canton mobile home. -CantonRep.com

Employees of LA Office Solutions in North Canton, Ohio, tell how they felt threatened during an encounter with William D. Perry, a suspect in the beheading of Brett W. Smith, a week before Smith’s death. -CantonRep.com

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:
Raw 911 Call: Mother Finds Sons Beheaded Body
Lake alum found murdered
Police say beheading suspect is neighbor
Neighbor suspected in N. Canton beheading case
Neighbor is ‘prime suspect’ in North Canton beheading case
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Neighbor indicted in grisly slaying
Justice: Ohio Man Indicted In Neighbor’s Beheading
Ohio man pleads not guilty in neighbor beheading
Man admits he killed, beheaded his neighbor
North Canton man pleads guilty in beheading of neighbor at mobile home park
North Canton man admits beheading neighbor, avoids death penalty
William Perry v. Terry Tibbals, Warden (2013)
Brett Smith was murdered by his neighbor William Perry who then cut off his head and burned it in an oven – Fear Thy Neighbor
Neighbor finds beheaded man
A close encounter with beheading suspect
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5,E3)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 25 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Married with Secrets Premiered ‘She Loves Me Not’ on ID: Army Spouse Joan Shannon’s Adultery Leads to Coercion & Murder (December 15, 2017)

When Special Forces Major David Shannon is fatally shot in his family home, investigators wonder if his job made him a target. But a deeper inspection of his personal life reveals sordid secrets… possibly leading to his murder. -She Loves Me Not, Married with Secrets (S2,E3)

Preview: Joan wants to kill her husband, and her daughter may be the perfect hitman. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

An Army Major lay lifeless in his bed, shot twice at close range while sleeping next to his wife. Investigators would soon uncover an intricately planned murder plot involving sex parties, adultery and coercion. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

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:
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
She Loves Me Not | Married with Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Sex Helps Wife Plan Murder | Scorned – Love Kills (Preview)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (website)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Major David Shannon Fatally Shot by Step Daughter While Sleeping; Wife Joan Guilty of Conspiracy, Sentenced to Life, No Parole (July 23, 2002)
Scorned, Love Kills Premiered ‘Behind the Picket Fence’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spouse Joan Shannon Finds the Perfect Hitman (January 21, 2012)
Scorned, Love Kills: 7 Military & Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Hysteria Lane’ on Investigation Discovery: Ronald Ragland Harassed, Gaslighted & Executed Army Vet Robert Mitchell (April 20, 2017)

ID Go: A couple who tragically lost their son are thrilled when a family with two boys moves in across the street. But the relationship soon sours, engulfing all of them in conflict, accusation, and finally a deadly shooting. Hysteria Lane, Fear Thy Neighbor (S4, E3)

Date: May 2, 2010
Victims: Robert Mitchell, Sr., 53, Army veteran, disabled and Robert Mitchell, Jr., 18
Offender: Ronald Ragland, 54, Truck Driver
Location: Brandywine, Maryland
Circumstances: Ronald Ragland lost his son to a drunk driving accident, Robert and Donna Mitchell moved in next door with their two sons, Robert Sr. is an Army veteran who served with distinction but was discharged due to an injury, the two families spent a lot of time together initially and regarded each other as good friends, as the Mitchell boys settle in, they make new friends and suddenly the neighborhood is full of kids, more kids means more noise, Ronald slept during the day so he could drive truck at night, Ronald yelled at the Mitchell boys, Robert tried to make Ronald understand they were just kids playing, one day the boys started skateboarding and the noise made Ronald angry again, Ragland grabbed one of the kids by the collar and was throwing him around like a rag doll, Robert Sr. confronted Ronald, Ronald was the type that would not be disrespected and he held a grudge, Robert Sr. told his kids to stay away from Ronald, Ronald wanted things his way in the Charm Court neighborhood, neighbors suspected Ronald may have been jealous of Robert and his two sons, it appeared he was trying to sabotage their life and make them feel his pain, once the boys become Seniors in high school, they had a lot of friends over and listened to music, Ronald would stand in his driveway & make demands of the neighbors, he dictated everything that went on in the neighborhood, Ronald called the police and complained about the neighbors, the Roberts family hadn’t done anything wrong, police asked Robert Sr. to help de-escalate the situation, there was a break-in at a neighbor’s home and someone called to complain that the Roberts kids were the one’s who broke into the home but there was no proof so the police moved on, this didn’t sit well with Ronald, Ronald tried to turn everyone against Robert Sr. and his family, he claimed they were bad for the neighborhood, neighbors admitted to feeling hatred towards the Mitchell family, the situation takes a toll on the Mitchells relationship, one night some unknown kids vandalized Ronald’s house, he didn’t see who did it but he thought he knew who was responsible, he now had a personal vendetta against the Mitchell boys, someone threw a rock through his window as well, Ronald called the cops to complain about the vandalism but the Mitchell boys denied vandalizing Ronald’s property, there was no proof the Mitchell boys committed the crimes, Ronald decided he had to fend for himself, he installed cameras around his property, Ronald sat in front of the different angles of the cameras and watched the neighborhood disintegrate, Ronald tried to gaslight Robert by giving him a hard time about the problems with his wife, Ronald purchased a gun and his hate continued to brew, Robert’s wife left the family and Ronald taunted the boys about their mother leaving them, Ronald was vindictive, one of the Mitchell brothers moved out, Rob Jr. stayed in the house with his dad, Ronald complained about all the cars showing up throughout the night, he suspected drug activity, Ronald called the police and Rob Jr. was arrested for possession of drugs, Rob Jr. smoked marijuana but he denied selling drugs, Rob Jr. told Ronald he wasn’t going anywhere after he returned home from the police department, the case was dropped, Ronald claimed he felt threatened by Rob Jr., Ronald taunted the family once again on May 2, 2010 and Rob Jr. walked towards Ronald gearing up for a fist fight, Ronald started firing his weapon at Rob Jr. in an attempt to execute him and then walked over to Robert Sr. sitting in his car and shot him at close range in his head, Ronald then walked back over to Rob Jr. who was injured but not dead and pointed the gun at him again but he was out of bullets, Ronald returned to his home to reload his gun, the neighbor helped Rob Jr. get into the house out of harm’s way, Ronald returned to the Mitchell home with his gun and taunted Rob Jr. to come back outside, he threatened that he was next, the police arrived just in time and arrested Ronald, Ronald claimed self defense and said Robert Sr. had a gun in his car, the police found a gun in Robert’s car, the neighbor told the police she saw Ronald carry the gun across the street and plant the gun in Robert’s car, the police determined the gun was inoperable and believed Ronald had been planning this for a long time, Ronald purposefully provoked the situation, it was cold blooded murder, Ronald executed Robert Sr. and tried to execute Robert Jr., the Mitchell’s family home went into foreclosure
Disposition: Ronald Ragland was convicted of second degree murder, attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, and use of a handgun in a violent crime in March 2013, Ragland sentenced to 40 years in prison, appealed in 2015

Robert Mitchell

Robert D. Mitchell, Sr. (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: ‘Hysteria Lane’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

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:
Obituary: Robert D. Mitchell
Victim identified in fatal Capitol Heights shooting Sunday
Police Make Quick Arrest in Homicide on Charm Court
Brandywine man is charged with killing neighbor
Two men convicted of murder in Prince George’s County
Two men convicted for Prince George’s shooting deaths
Ronald Ragland v State of Maryland | Court of Special Appeals (September 24, 2015)
Ragland v State of Maryland | Court of Special Appeals | PDF (September 24, 2015)
Ronald Ragland, Robert Mitchell: Neighbor Feud That Left Dad Dead, Son Injured On ‘Fear Thy Neighbor’ On ID
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S4, E3)
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

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

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)

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:
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)
Police Rule Roy Schutzler Death Suspicious; Daniel Vandecar Not Involved, Rosemary Vandecar Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (February 8, 2010)
Investigation Reveals Retired Marine Daniel Vandecar Not Involved in Schutzler Homicide

I’d Kill For You Premiered ‘First to Die’ on ID: Contentious Child Custody Case Leads to Shocking Murder of Navy Veteran John Marmo (January 23, 2016)

A shotgun wedding leaves naval officers John Marmo and Rebecca Braswell in a troubled marriage with a baby. As the relationship crumbles, allegations of infidelity and abuse run rampant. A fierce custody battle pushes both sides in a deadly battle. -First to Die, I’d Kill for You (S3,E3) 

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:
Rebecca Braswell, John Marmo, Jr.: Investigation Discovery’s ‘I’d Kill for You’ Shocks with Story of Naval Seabees who Murdered Camarillo Man Over Child Custody
Prosecutor: Navy Petty Officer Rebecca Braswell Considered a Pure Sociopath
Navy Seabee Rebecca Braswell Conspired to Have Ex-Husband & Navy Veteran John Marmo Murdered; Sentenced to Life in Prison (December 1, 2006)
First to Die | I’d Kill for You | Investigation Discovery (S3,E3)
First to Die | I’d Kill for You | Investigation Discovery (website)
First to Die | I’d Kill for You | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)

Ashley Melnyczok Found Murdered in Colorado Home; Army Soldier Joseph Kimsey & Jonathon Nelson Sentenced to Life in Prison (June 3, 2015)

Ashley Melnyczok

Ashley Melnyczok, Colorado Springs, Colorado (photo: Investigation Discovery)

On June 3, 2015, Ashley Melnyczok was found stabbed to death in her Colorado Springs, Colorado apartment. She had been stabbed four times, twice in the neck and twice in the back; the killer also put a plastic bag over her head causing suffocation. Ashley was discovered by her friend who was initially considered a suspect but he was quickly ruled out. With no known suspects, detectives started doing a victimology to learn more about Ashley and her life. They learned that Ashely had a rocky relationship with the father of her daughter, Jason Connor, and had lost custody as a result of the tumultuous relationship. But Ashley was determined to get custody of her daughter and began to make positive changes to improve her life. She got a new waitressing job, a new apartment, and was determined to fight off depression in an effort to provide stability for her daughter. Jason was also ruled out as a suspect.

When investigators looked into Ashley’s criminal history, they found multiple domestic violence incidents and a pending domestic violence case against Joseph Kimsey. Kimsey, 23, was an Army soldier stationed at Fort Carson and according to Army leadership was nowhere to be found and considered Absent without Leave (AWOL). In the course of the investigation, investigators also learned that Ashley’s car was missing so they were on the hunt for it. And eventually, two individuals were pulled over in the stolen car. When police asked where they got the car, the pair claimed that Jonathon “JP” Nelson gave it to them. This was the same person a witness said answered Ashley’s door on June 1st. According to records, JP Nelson was dishonorably discharged from the Army a couple years earlier and had a pending criminal case; he was accused of hitting a female in the back of the head with a sledgehammer. JP was apprehended and arrested by police after trying to make entry into Ashley’s apartment with a large duffel bag.

While JP Nelson was in county jail, an inmate contacted detectives to inform them JP had confessed to the murder and said he didn’t do it alone. They knew the inmate was being truthful because he revealed a detail about the homicide that had been kept from the press. When pressed for a name, he could only provide them with a nickname “Pony Boy” so police set out to find out who Pony Boy was. About a month after the homicide, Ashley’s ex-boyfriend Joseph Kimsey was arrested for failure to appear in court. When interviewed, police learned that Kimsey was Pony Boy and that Nelson and Kimsey served in the Army together at Fort Carson. They were also both in county jail at the same time. JP Nelson bonded out on May 1st but he continued to stay in contact with Kimsey who was still in jail. The two of them initially schemed to rob Ashley to get money for Kimsey’s bond but Ashley didn’t take the bait.

Kimsey was released from county jail on June 1st. He made contact with Ashley and she agreed to meet with him at her new apartment, but he didn’t go alone. Once inside, Kimsey and JP Nelson demanded that Ashley open her safe but she refused so the pair attacked her. Ashley fought hard for her life and as a result it took two of them to kill her. The prosecution theorized that the bag was put over her head to keep her quiet. Both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were charged with first degree murder. A fingerprint in Ashley’s blood tied Jonathon Nelson directly to the murder. Investigators ascertained that JP returned to Ashley’s apartment two days later to dismember and dispose of Ashley’s body, instead he was spotted and arrested. In 2017, both Jonathon Nelson and Joseph Kimsey were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Source: Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: 27 year-old Ashley Melnyczok is a single mother. Her daughter is her life’s joy. In June 2015, Ashley is murdered in her Colorado Springs home. While hunting for clues, police hunt down a cast of dangerous characters and uncover a heinous plot. -Murder Behind Closed Doors, Grave Mysteries (S2,E3)

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:
Vehicle wanted in Colorado Springs homicide probe found; man arrested
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested after being found in car wanted in murder case
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Family Goat Helps Catch Fugitive; Fort Carson Confirms Suspect Is Soldier
Police make second arrest in northeastern Colorado Springs murder
AWOL soldier arrested in death of Colorado Springs woman
AWOL Fort Carson soldier arrested in ex-girlfriend’s death
Colorado Springs police arrest AWOL Fort Carson soldier as 2nd suspect in killing
AWOL Fort Carson Soldier Arrested in Death of Colorado Springs Woman
Two ordered to stand trial in stabbing death of Colorado Springs woman
Hearing in homicide of Colorado Springs woman focuses on involvement of man levied with upgraded murder charge
Verdict reached for Colorado Springs murder suspect
Man convicted in 2015 murder at Colorado Springs apartment complex
Ex-Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life without parole in escort slaying
Jury selection begins for man accused of killing Colorado Springs woman
Colorado Springs prostitute had a ‘horrible, horrible, death,’ prosecutor says
Cell-phone records help seal murder conviction against former Fort Carson soldier
Second man found guilty of 2015 Colorado Springs murder
Second man found guilty of 2015 murder in Colorado Springs
Former Fort Carson soldier gets life for fatal stabbing
Cell-phone records help seal murder conviction against former Fort Carson soldier
Murder of Ashley Melnyczok by Joseph Kimsey and Jonathon Nelson — Grave Mysteries spotlights the case
Vanessa Franzen as Detective Smith in Grave Mysteries, S2, “Murder Behind Closed Doors”
What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (March 23, 2018)
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)
Grave Mysteries Premiered ‘Murder Behind Closed Doors’ on ID: Ashley Melnyczok Found Murdered in Colorado Springs Home (February 25, 2019)
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (S2,E3)
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (website)
Murder Behind Closed Doors | Grave Mysteries | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Driveway of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: John Kenney Fatally Shot The Grimes Over Shared Driveway Dispute (April 27, 2015)

Preview: Neighbors go to war when an older man obssesses over the boundary lines of his property and won’t let his neighbors anywhere near it. -Driveway of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E3)

Korean War veteran John Kenney fatally shot and killed his neigbors Mel and Elizabeth Grimes on January 29, 2007 in Carmel Valley, California. In the beginning, the three were friends and Elizabeth even looked after John’s house when he was gone for months at a time. And the Grime’s dog used to visit John on his property. The two neighbors got along great although they were very different. John was neat and tidy and his yard wasn’t cluttered whatsoever. The Grimes home on the other hand was decorated in their own way. They collected some odd stuff but only John could see it. The problems began when John’s need for order kicked into overdrive and he began to assert himself. John started complaining about the dog digging holes and invasive plant species. John and the Grimes also had to share a driveway and the Grimes had to cross over a small piece of John’s property to get to their carport. The arrangement had worked for years until a shared bridge needed to be repaired.

John and the Grimes shared a road with a bridge in need of repair. Mel Grimes offered to fix it and told John he had a lot of people who owed him labor. John Kenney didn’t want to cut corners and told Mel he wanted everything to be built to code. And then a short time later, on his own, Kenney hired an engineer to draw up the plans. Afterwards, he handed a bill to the Grimes and expected them to pay half. The Grimes didn’t want to pay for half of the cost of the engineer because they felt they could have done it cheaper. John went to court and sued the Grimes for the portion of the bill they should pay for and the court ruled in John’s favor. John wasn’t the only one in disputes with the Grimes. Another neighbor complained about the Grimes using their land as a dumping ground too. This neighbor said the Grimes dumped invasive plant species on his property and the behavior didn’t stop until they were reported; the Grimes mostly complied with the city ordinances.

John Kenney started getting really upset about the Grime’s dog making a mess on his property. The dog was defecating on another neighbor’s property as well. Kenney’s obsession with order and the Grime’s chaos clashed once again and this time it was over the shared driveway. Kenney decided to draw a line in the sand and assert his property rights. He told the Grimes not to drive over his property anymore to get to their carport. The Grimes blew him off because it was a very small piece of land and the only way to get to their carport. In response, the Grimes put up no trespassing signs on their property facing John Kenney. He was the only one who could see the signs and Kenney thought they were trying to provoke him. The Grimes also blared loud music in their yard in what seemed to be another aggressive move. John turned to City Hall for help and started reporting the Grimes for out of code buildings on their land. They both reported each other for building without a permit.

According to the Mel and Elizabeth’s son, the couple wanted John Kenney to leave and Mel Grimes was the type to fight back and never back down to a bully. But some in the neighborhood felt the Grimes were the bullies. The shared driveway made things complicated between John Kenney and the Grimes. As a result, the issue went to court and this decision didn’t go in Mel Grimes way either. John Kenney planted a garden on the dirt patch in front of the Grimes’ carport to stake out his property. When Mel came home from work, he ran over the garden that blocked his access to his carport and destroyed it with his vehicle. John started taking pictures of Mel destroying the plants with his car. Elizabeth ran out and grabbed John Kenney’s camera which was attached to him with a lanyard. As a result, John slammed his head and was harmed in the process. John felt threatened by the Grimes and thought the neighbors wanted to kill him. The Grimes felt imprisoned in their own home.

Elizabeth & Mel Grimes

Elizabeth & Mel Grimes

This escalating feud was confusing to those on the outside. Some bystanders felt for John Kenney and some felt for the Grimes. No one ever imagined it would escalate the way it did. Elizabeth attempted to resolve the situation in her own way. She knew where John went to church and wrote to John’s pastor. But this did nothing to resolve the bitter disagreement and John fired back with a letter in response. Nothing ever came of this exchange either so Elizabeth went public. She went to John’s church and interrupted a bible study meeting he attended and asked them for prayer and resolution. She questioned how John could be at a bible study meeting and harass them at the same time. Elizabeth felt this was hypocrisy. Now John didn’t feel safe anywhere and filed a restraining order. The restraining order required that both parties turn in their guns. John did not tell the courts he had a gun; the Grimes turned in a decorative gun. Mel developed an irregular heartbeat due to the stress.

It was hard to avoid one another when John Kenney and the Grimes had to share a driveway. John Kenney wasn’t backing down either. On January 29, 2007, Kenney had a boulder delivered to stake out his property in front of the Grimes’ carport. This made it impossible for the Grimes to get to their carport. Kenney knew that rock would get a reaction out of Mel and he would blow a fuse. When Mel returned home from work, he began destroying the rock so he could gain access to his carport. Elizabeth called the police to resolve the situation and asked Mel not to touch the boulder because she wanted the police to handle it. Once John Kenney realized Mel Grimes was destroying the boulder, Kenney reached his boiling point and confronted the Grimes with a gun in hand. When police got to the scene, they found two gunshot victims. Mel Grimes was dead and Elizabeth Grimes was shot but still alive. Elizabeth told the police John Kenney was the one who shot them.

John Kenney was arrested for two homicides because Elizabeth died en route to the hospital. The neighbors were shocked that things escalated to this kind of violence. The tragedy created a split in the community. Kenney’s fellow church members couldn’t believe he committed first degree murder and supported his claims of self defense. John Kenney said he shot the Grimes because he was attacked with a sledge hammer first. But the forensic evidence and recorded 911 call said otherwise. While Elizabeth was on the phone with 911, John Kenney walked down his driveway with a loaded, concealed gun. When John Kenney reached the Grimes, he pushed Elizabeth out of the way and out of instinct Mel came to her rescue. It was at this time, Kenney pistol whipped Mel Grimes and then shot him. Mel Grimes’ DNA was found on the weapon and the head injuries on Mel were consistent with blows to the head. John Kenney didn’t stop there.

After shooting Mel Grimes, Kenney turned the gun on Elizabeth and shot her. The 911 recording captured the last words the Grimes said to each other as they lay on the ground with gunshot wounds. “I love you.” An investigation revealed that Elizabeth was shot while she was laying on the ground next to her husband. She attempted to protect herself and block the bullets with her arms. John was heard on the 911 recording saying “welcome to hell Elizabeth” before he shot her in the back. John Kenney went to trial and was found guilty of the first degree murder of Elizabeth Grimes and second degree murder of Mel Grimes. Kenney was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. What John Kenney didn’t know was Elizabeth and Mel Grimes had purchased a home in Hawaii and were planning to move. The Grimes’ family found solace with the fact that Elizabeth and Mel got to say I love you to one another before they died together.

Source: ‘Driveway of Death’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

John Kenney, the Carmel Valley man accused of killing two of his neighbors, is set to appear at a preliminary hearing. -KSBW Action News 8 (October 26, 2007)

A preliminary hearing has begun for Carmel Valley resident John Kenney, who is accused of killing neighbors Mel And Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (October 29, 2007)

KSWB reports on John Kenney, the Central Coast man ordered to stand trial for the murder of his neighbors and the fate of the couple’s dogs. -KSBW Action News 8 (December 21, 2007)

Prosecutors say they are seeking a new trial for perjury charges. -KSBW Action News 8 (March 21, 2008)

A 911 call was played out in court Wednesday in the case of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (April 3, 2008)

Almost 800 people have been summoned for jury duty, one of the largest jury pools for a trial in Monterey County. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 6, 2008)

Jury selection continued and the judge made a ruling that could give a glimpse into John Kenney’s mind. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 7, 2008)

The prosecutor in the John Kenny murder trial was removed from the case. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 16, 2008)

A new development is revealed in the case against John Kenney, the man accused of murdering his neighbors, Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 11, 2008)

The defense attorneys for John Kenney argued in court Wednesday about calling witnesses that would show Elisabeth Grimes had a propensity for aggressive behavior. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 13, 2008)

The jury for the trail of John Kenney was seated Wednesday afternoon and opening arguments were scheduled for Friday. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 20, 2008)

The jury in the trial of John Kenney visited the scene where Kenney is accused of killing Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 25, 2008)

A U.S. Army colonel testified on Tuesday as a character witness as the testimony phase of the John Kenney trial continued. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 26, 2008)

The deputy who failed to respond to John Kenney’s call for help testified Wednesday about what happened the day Mel and Elizabeth Grimes were shot. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 27, 2008)

The Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors took the stand Thursday in his own defense. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 28, 2008)

John Kenney took the stand for the second day in a row Friday and attempted to explain what happened the day Mel and Elizabeth Grimes were shot to death. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 29, 2008)

An attorney formerly employed by John Kenney testified that he suggested the boulder be placed as a barrier on the disputed land. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 2, 2008)

The brother of one of the victims shot and killed by John Kenney testified Wednesday in court. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 3, 2008)

The former security consultant hired by John Kenney testified that he told Kenney to stay inside his home when Mel Grimes came home from work. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 8, 2008)

The final witnesses were called by the defense Tuesday in the trial of John Kenney. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 9, 2008)

The jury received their instructions from the judge presiding over the trial of John Kenney on Wednesday. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 10, 2008)

Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday in the trial of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 11, 2008)

Closing arguments ended and jury deliberation began on Friday in the trial of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 12, 2008)

Jurors visited the scene on Monday where a Carmel Valley man is accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 15, 2008)

John Kenney was sentenced to life without parole on Monday for killing his former neighbors, Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (November 3, 2008)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: In the idyllic hills of Carmel Canyon, California, wealthy neighbors get into a dispute over everything from shared roads and bridges to upkeep of their respective properties. Anger finally boils over and the feud is resolved with fatal gunfire. -Driveway of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E3)

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:
Elizabeth Rosnack Grimes (1951-2007) | Find A Grave
Melvin Noble “Mel” Grimes, Jr (1948-2007) | Find A Grave
Neighbors’ feud turns tragic
Land dispute ends in death of popular couple
Straying over the property line isn’t always deadly, but it can be dangerous
John Kenney found guilty in Grimes killing
Life in prison for man who killed neighbor couple
Man who killed Carmel Valley neighbors in fight over boulder gets life in prison
Kenney gets life, won’t acknowledge guilt
Trouble on the Hill | Dateline NBC
John Kenney alleges errors in appealing conviction in Carmel Valley slayings
Conviction upheld in Carmel Valley double murder
Kenney’s conviction upheld in Carmel Valley murder case
Court of Appeal Upholds John Kenney’s Murder Conviction
Carmel Valley man’s murder conviction appeal denied
Simple Title Search Could Have Saved Two Lives
In the wake of a notorious and grisly murder, mediators have been trying to mend fences – and keep neighbors sane.
Bitter feud between neighbours over land ended in double shooting
10 Disturbing Cases of Neighbors from Hell
Where are they now?

Video Links:
Hearing Planned Following Carmel Valley Killings
Hearing Begins In Carmel Valley Slayings Case
Kenney To Stand Trial, And The Fate Of The Grimes’ Dogs
There Is A New Twist In The Murder Case Against John Kenney
911 Tapes Played During Kenney Hearing
Kenney Defense Portrays Victim As ‘Aggressive’
Jury Selected For Kenney Trial
Kenney Trial Jurors Visit Crime Scene
Army Col. Testifies On Kenney’s Behalf
John Kenny Murder Trial
Jury Selection Starts For The John Kenney Murder Trial
Day Two Of The John Kenny Trial
New Development In John Kenney Murder Case
Deputy Questioned About Kenney’s Civil Standby Request
Kenney Takes The Stand
Kenney Defends Actions To Jurors
Attorney: Kenney Advised To Place Boulder
Grimes’ Brother Testifies At Kenney Trial
Security Consultant Testifies During Kenney Trial
Final Witnesses Called In Kenney Trial
Jury Instructions Handed Out In Kenney Trial
Closing Arguments Wrap Up In Kenney Trial
Jury Begins Deliberations In Kenney Trial
Kenney Jurors Revisit Shooting Scene
Kenney Sentenced To Life Without Parole

Investigation Discovery:
Boundary Wars | Fear Thy Neighbor (Preview)
Driveway of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S2, E3)
Driveway of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Driveway of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery