The Perfect Murder Premiered ‘Whidbey Island Mystery’ on Investigation Discovery: Peggy Sue Thomas Manipulated Jim Huden to Kill Russel Douglas (August 30, 2018)

ID Go: After Christmas in 2003, on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State, Russel Douglas is found shot in the head, in his car along a deserted road. It’s the start of a case that will take a decade to solve, and leave many with lingering questions. -Whidbey Island Mystery, The Perfect Murder (S5, E6)

Russel Douglas was found dead in his car on Whidbey Island in Washington on December 26, 2003. It turns out Navy veteran Peggy Sue Thomas lured him to his death. Both Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden conspired to murder Russel Douglas for revenge. Investigators suspect that the duo committed the murder for Peggy’s friend Brenna, who alleged abuse, but there was never enough evidence to charge Brenna Douglas with any crimes. Jim Huden was convicted and sentenced to eighty years in prison. Peggy Thomas agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence. Thomas was sentenced to four years for her role in the murder. Peggy Thomas continues to deny any involvement in the murder and claims she didn’t know that her boyfriend at the time was going to kill Douglas (despite being the last to text him shortly before he was murdered). Peggy Thomas was released from prison in 2016.

In the News:

From pageants to famous husband to prison, murder suspect allowed to visit NM. -KRQE (October 7, 2011)

48 Hours:

How did a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case? -48 Hours

The true-crime author of over two dozen New York Times bestsellers tells “48 Hours” she couldn’t help but write about the Russel Douglas case. -48 Hours

Gail O’Neil shares memories of her son, Russel Douglas, who was murdered on Sept. 26, 2003, on Whidbey Island, Wash. -48 Hours

Jim Huden’s former band mates talk to “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant about what it was like to find out their one-time lead guitarist was accused of murder. -48 Hours

Detectives allege Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas lured Russel Douglas to his death by asking to drop off a present for Russel’s wife, Brenna. Both Jim and Peggy claim the present was delivered to Russel days before the murder. When investigators surprise their suspects with simultaneous separate interrogations, they discover discrepancies. Do you think Jim and Peggy are making up a story to throw off investigators? -48 Hours

Oxygen:

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Sue Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples

Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen

Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples (S8, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: On tiny Whidbey Island, Washington, beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas seems to be a perfect wife and mother. But when her best friend’s husband is shot to death, Peggy finds herself on center stage of a murder investigation. -If Looks Could Kill, Beauty Queen Murders (S1, E5)

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:
Peggy Sue Thomas: Drop-Dead Gorgeous
Documents show victim’s wife is suspect in murder
Washington jury says ‘guilty’ in Russel Douglas murder
Former Washington beauty queen pleads guilty to lesser charge in murder case
Ex-beauty queen gets 4-year sentence in killing
Ex-beauty queen sentenced for role in Whidbey Island murder
48 Hours: Tracing a fugitive killer’s footsteps in Mexico
Man lured to his death by beauty queen and wannabe rockstar on Boxing Day
‘I’m giving up four years of my life for something I didn’t do’: Ex-beauty queen jailed for helping her lover carry out 2003 murder claims she is an innocent ‘victim’
Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder
Peggy Thomas, Jim Huden: ‘Snapped Killer Couples’ Details Whidbey Island Murder Case Involving Sultry Beauty Queen and Rock Star Lover
Murder of Russel Douglas by Jim Huden spotlighted on The Perfect Murder
Pageants to Famous Husband to Prison
Snapped: Killer Couples ‘Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden’
Sneak Peek: Dangerous Beauty | 48 Hours
Why Ann Rule was intrigued with the Russel Douglas murder case | 48 Hours
Remembering Russel Douglas | 48 Hours
Band mates open up about rocker, murder suspect | 48 Hours
Suspects surprised with simultaneous, separate interrogations | 48 Hours
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Preview – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen
Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden | Snapped: Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8, E4)
If Looks Could Kill | Beauty Queen Murders | Investigation Discovery (S1, E5)
Whidbey Island Mystery | The Perfect Murder | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

American Monster Premiered ‘Watch Your Back’ on Investigation Discovery: Michelle Paet Pleaded Guilty to Conspiring to Murder Husband Nathan Paet (August 19, 2018)

ID Go: US Air Force sergeant Nathan Paet and his family appear to live a blissfully normal life – as these never-before-aired home videos attest. But blind greed would bring about the destruction of this loving family. -Watch Your Back, American Monster (S3, E6)

Air Force service member Nathan Paet was shot and killed after opening his garage door as he was leaving for work on December 1st, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nathan and Michelle Paet were both from Guam, were high school sweethearts, and had four beautiful children together. Nathan was an assistant NCOIC for the Strike Aircraft Maintenance Supply section of the 757th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada. The couple were struggling financially after they bought a new home in Las Vegas so Nathan volunteered for a six-month deployment to Iraq and Michelle got a part-time job. Upon Nathan’s return to Nevada, he treated his family to an extra special Christmas. And Nathan’s brother Eric Paet paid him a special visit. Eric said the last time he saw his brother, he could sense something wasn’t right. Eric observed that Nathan and Michelle didn’t appear to be getting along and the couple were struggling to pay the bills. As Eric and his wife were leaving, they sensed Nathan wanted to tell them something, but he didn’t.

On December 1, 2010, Michelle called 911 to get help for Nathan who had been shot in the neck and couldn’t talk but was still alive. Unfortunately, despite the doctor’s best efforts, Nathan died at the hospital. Police wasted no time hunting for Nathan’s killer because this wasn’t something they were used to in the Mountain’s Edge suburb. A witness observed a man speed away in a black Cadillac on the day in question. When Michelle Paet was interviewed, she admitted to knowing someone who owned a black Cadillac and his name was Michael Rodriguez. Rodriguez had a police record but nothing violent. When Rodriguez was questioned, he admitted to having a casual affair with Michelle but nothing sexual. His alibi at the time of the murder was that he was sleeping with a woman he met at a Wal-Mart. He even offered up a video of the encounter. Police went to the motel he claimed he was at and they indeed found him on the security camera footage. In the meantime, Michael’s alibi, the woman he claimed to be with, saw the media coverage and decided to go to the police.

Michael’s alibi told police that Jessica Austin asked her to be an alibi for Corry Hawkins and Michael Rodriguez. She was supposed to say she was with them all day. The alibi claimed when the pair got back from murdering Nathan Paet, Jessica burned their clothes in the fire place. The police also learned that Michael worked with Michelle Paet. While the Nellis AFB community was honoring Nathan, the Las Vegas Police Department were turning up the heat on Michelle. She finally admitted to having a sexual relationship with Michael Rodriguez. And at this point, detectives suspected that Michelle was involved with Nathan’s murder. Michelle admitted that Nathan suspected her of having an affair and she was afraid Nathan would leave her. She didn’t want to leave the marriage empty handed. Michelle and Michael started discussing ways to kill her husband so they could cash out on the life insurance proceeds. The day of the murder, Michelle texted Michael as Nathan was running out the door. She set up the ambush that lead to Nathan’s death. Hours after he was dead, Michelle texted Michael a smiley face.

Michelle Paet was arrested on suspicion of murder. The district attorney theorized Michael Rodriguez and Corry Hawkins lied in wait for Nathan to leave for work. The plan was to kidnap Nathan at gunpoint, drive him out to the desert, kill him and leave him. As soon as Nathan opened up the garage door, he was confronted and refused to cooperate so Rodriguez shot him and fled the scene. Nathan immediately went inside his home thinking he was running away from danger but instead he was running right into it. On December 7, 2010, Michael Rodriguez was arrested for the murder of Nathan Paet. Rodriguez was found guilty of first degree murder, Corry Hawkins pleaded guilty to first degree murder, and Jessica Austin was found guilty of conspiracy to commit murder. Michelle Paet was the cold, calculating and cunning planner. She wanted to take the $650,000, go to Guam with her children, and live like a queen. To avoid the death penalty, Michelle Paet pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Source: ‘Watch Your Back’ American Monster

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

In the News:

Michelle Paet sobbed in court as she pleaded guilty to plotting her husband’s death with her ex-lover, Michael Rodriguez, who was also found guilty last week of gunning down Nathan Paet. -PNC News

Michelle Paet had pleaded guilty to murdering her husband to avoid the death penalty. -PNC News

Corry Hawkins, who pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the slaying of Nellis airman Nathan Paet, was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. -Las Vegas Review-Journal

Oxygen:

A happy military family kept walls up that were soon to be knocked down. Did Michelle’s husband bring his fate upon himself, or was she behind the whole thing? -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Those involved with the case give their input on the verdict and Michelle’s future. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle Fleck details all the ways Michelle Paet plotted to “get rid” of her late husband, Nathan. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Michelle’s sister, Melissa, speaks fondly of Michelle. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

An Air Force sergeant is gunned down in his garage revealing an elaborate conspiracy with an unlikely mastermind. -Michelle Paet, Snapped

Related Links:
In Memory Of Nathan Paet | Facebook
Wife of Nellis airman arrested in husband’s death
Wife of Murdered Iraq War Vet Arrested in Las Vegas Shooting Death
Ex-con found guilty in Vegas slaying of US airman from Guam
Ex-convict found guilty in Las Vegas murder, conspiracy plot with wife of US airman
Cheating widow sobs as she pleads guilty to setting up the shooting murder of her airman husband who was left bleeding to death in front of their four children
Wife plotted with lover to kill airman husband so she could claim life insurance
Woman gets life in prison without parole in death of husband, a Nellis airman
Michelle Paet sentenced to life without parole for conspiring to kill her husband
Man gets life in prison without parole for slaying of Nellis airman
No parole for defendant in slaying of U.S. airman from Guam
Vegas mom gets life in prison for life insurance death of husband
Wife of Slain Airman Pleads Guilty to Avoid Death Penalty
Paet Sentenced to Life in Murder-For-Hire of Husband
Woman sentenced to life for killing airman husband
Man gets life without parole for murder of Nellis airman
Snapped: Sneak Peek – Did Michelle Do It? (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: After The Verdict – Michelle Paet (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Prosecutor Michelle Fleck (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Kind Words for Michelle (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (S21, E8)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Navy Husband David Russo Murdered for the Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)

Preview: Susan Russo was a Navy wife who ran a tight ship. But she had a secret life, and devised a way to profit off her husband’s substantial military life insurance. -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery featured yet another military spouse who murdered because they were motivated by greed, selfishness, and sociopathic tendencies. While Navy sailor David Russo was at work at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, his wife was getting high on meth with her secret lover. Susan Russo didn’t like that David controlled the purse strings because he might find out that she was blowing their cash on drugs. Then one day a military advisor stopped by the house to advise them of their financial affairs and Susan learned that her husband David was worth more dead then he was alive. He had a grand total of 1 million dollars worth of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance and other insurance policies on himself. Susan saw her way out of domestic boredom and hatched up a plan with two of her drug addicted buddies, Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris. She offered them $100 to kill her husband and promised them more later after she got her hands on the life insurance payout.

Susan Russo

Susan Russo, US Navy Spouse

On July 14, 1994, the trio striked. While David lay sleeping in his bed, the two men entered the marital home with Susan’s assistance, walked into David’s bedroom, and shot him one time in the back of the head. They then drove the body to a remote location so they could torch David and the car in an effort to destroy evidence. This plan would never come to fruition because they ran out of gas and then didn’t have enough gas to torch the car. When military personnel stopped by David’s home to see why he hadn’t showed up to work, Susan told them she didn’t know where he was and asked if she would still get his paycheck that week. Eventually David’s car and body was discovered by a local farmer. Of course investigators looked to the spouse first to determine what may have happened to David. Susan told investigators during the interview that they would find no evidence of wrong doing which of course intrigued them to probe further.

Susan Russo was a self proclaimed clean freak and cleaner by trade and was confident she had covered her tracks. But she did not account for the microscopic blood spatter on the headboard of the bed or the spent bullet casing located in the bedroom. Police charged Susan Russo and her two friends with the murder of her husband David Russo. Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris were both convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1996, Susan Russo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Investigators described Susan as an evil, psychopathic person who manipulated her two drug addicted friends with the promises of money for more drugs. She didn’t care about David whatsoever, she only saw David as a way to cash in.

Source: Deadly Women ‘Cash In’

ID Go: The stakes are high and the chips are down when these Deadly Women decide to “Cash In.” -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

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:
Susan Russo | The Injustice System
Killer sentenced “to slow death” gets life for murder of her husband
The PEOPLE v. Susan Lee RUSSO, Defendant and Appellant (2000)
People of California v. Susan Russo (2001)
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
Woman convicted of husband’s murder has sentence reduced by Gov. Brown, could get parole
Sisters demand mom stay in prison after pardon from orchestrating husband’s 1994 murder
Parole Board Grants Parole to Murderer Susan Lee Russo | County of Fresno
Fresno County killer gets parole after more than 20 years
Fresno County killer, sentenced to life without parole, granted parole
Woman convicted of murdering her husband is granted parole
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Drop LWOP! | Newsletter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Jerry Brown Getting Ready to Release Psychopath Killer from Prison
Vidak and Other Legislators Urge Governor Brown NOT to Release Convicted Murderer Susan Lee Russo
Gov. Jerry Brown decides against parole for woman dubbed a ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
Governor denies parole for California husband killer
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David Russo for the Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 14, 1994)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Navy Wife and Mom With Secret Life Devises Plan To Have Husband Killed For Insurance Money | Investigation Discovery
Perfect Wife Plots To Have Husband Killed For Money | Investigation Discovery
Cash In | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E6)
Petition: Keep Susan Russo Behind Bars

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Burn Neighbor, Burn’ on Investigation Discovery: In Retaliation, Andrew Sindriewicz Burned Down Two Family Homes (May 4, 2016)

ID Go: In peaceful Alden, New York, siblings who live in neighboring houses get into a conflict when their prodigal brother returns home. Soon, the family is at each other’s throats until their war finally comes to a shocking, fiery end. -Burn Neighbor, Burn, Fear Thy Neighbor (S3, E6)

Date: June 3, 2009
Victims: Helena & David Ward, Raymond Sindriewicz, and Holly & Dale Earsing
Offender: Andrew Sindriewicz, 49, Marine Corps veteran, disabled, caretaker for mother
Location: Alden, New York
Circumstances: Brothers Raymond and Andrew didn’t get along as they got older, Raymond moved in next-door with his sister Helena due to failing health, Andrew started blasting heavy metal music in the garage and Raymond asked him to turn down the music, Andrew would turn it down initially but after Raymond left, he turned it back up, Andrew harbored grudges, sister Helena described Andrew as menacing, Andrew had a dark side, Raymond collected furniture that he restored & sold at local flea markets, Andrew didn’t like all the junk collecting on his sister’s property, Andrew trimmed a tree that dropped on Raymond’s furniture but he wouldn’t admit he did it on purpose, Andrew refused to turn down loud music, Andrew and Raymond got in a physical altercation because of the loud music, Andrew was accidentally cut by the skill saw, Andrew became distraught about their oldest sister who died, Andrew pointed a gun at his sister Helena one night, Andrew suffered with anxiety, Andrew wouldn’t leave the house because he was afraid Raymond would shoot him, Helena called the police for fear that Andrew would commit suicide, instead Andrew was charged with menacing behavior and possession of a deadly weapon, Helena felt bad that he was arrested and went to bat for him at court, the charges are dropped, but Andrew didn’t forgive her, their mother died in the spring of 2007, Raymond was cut out of the will, Raymond felt betrayed that he got nothing and believed that Andrew manipulated their mom, Andrew and sister Helena inherited their mom’s house but Andrew had no money to maintain the house, Andrew wanted his niece and her family to move into the house and help him pay the bills, Andrew turned the garage into his permanent home after they moved in, Andrew started getting annoyed with the children and their messes, Andrew played loud music day after day and wouldn’t turn it down as if he was torturing everyone, niece Holly called the police on Andrew who pretended to be asleep, Holly hoped the issue was settled but it was not, Andrew was very upset that she called the police, the kids got a new puppy but Andrew was not happy because they didn’t ask his permission first, Andrew got his own dog and gave the dog commands to bite their dog, he hoped his dog would kill their dog, Dale confronted Andrew and they got in a fight, Andrew resorted to underhanded tactics like removing the A/C unit from the window, Andrew stopped talking to Holly and Dale, everyone was walking on eggshells, Andrew blasted his music later and later into the night so Holly & Dale shut off his power one night, Andrew tried breaking into their home and they called the police but he couldn’t be charged because it wasn’t criminal in nature, it was a nuisance, there was nothing the police could do to help Holly and Dale, Helena obtained a court order on June 2, 2009 allowing her to sell their mother’s property without Andrew’s say, Andrew was not happy, when Helena returned home the next day, her house was on fire, Dale and Holly’s home was also on fire, both homes were permanently damaged, the family pet was trapped inside and died, the garage apartment also was engulfed in flames, authorities initiated a manhunt for Andrew, the presumed arsonist, after the fire was out, firefighters discovered Andrew’s body in his mother’s home, after an investigation, the family learned that Andrew was seen filling gas cans in town, he poured gasoline all over the properties and then he cut the gas lines, Andrew also purposefully killed the dog and himself in the house fire, neither house was salvageable
Disposition: Andrew Sindriewicz died in the housefire, ruled suicide

Related Links:
N.Y. family dispute ends with fiery death
Sibling dispute turns tragic, ending in arson and suicide Brother dies after setting fire to 2 homes
Fire rescue of man poses a puzzle
Burn Neighbor, Burn | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Burn Neighbor, Burn | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Welcome to Murder Street’ on Investigation Discovery: Bill Weissman Busted in Undercover Murder-for-Hire Sting Operation (May 19, 2014)

ID Go: An elite California Lakeside Community is rocked to its core when two well-to-do gentlemen go to war over an 18-inch property line discrepancy. One neighbor takes the dispute to new levels when he hires a hitman to permanently solve the problem. -Welcome to Murder Street, Fear Thy Neighbor (S1, E6)

Year: 2003
Murder-for-Hire Victim: Tom Wess, Jr.
Offender: William Weismann, Navy veteran, Retiree, 66 (assault charge on record, restraining orders, lost court case, someone trashed property, revenge)
Location: Lake of the Pines, Nevada County, California
Circumstances: Escalating property line dispute, attempted murder-for-hire
Disposition: Plea deal, 2 counts of solicitation to commit murder, sentenced to 5 years in prison (2004)

Related Links:
Hitman-hire suspect offers plea
Murder-for-hire jail time up in air
Plea reached in murder-for-hire
Murder-for-hire informant sues
Murder-for-hire target sues LOP
LOP sued over dock at center of hitman hire plot
Conspiring for Land
LOP murder for hire case resurrected on TV show
Bill Weismann | True Crime Stories
Welcome to Murder Street | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S1, E6)