Snapped Premiered ‘Valerie Nessler’ on Oxygen: Coast Guard Veteran Jeff Wheatley Murdered in Case of Mistaken Revenge (November 3, 2019)

When a deadly rumor is stirred up among friends and acquaintances, it sets off an explosion of brutal violence so gruesome that not even a house fire can hide the truth. Who could have wanted Jeffrey Wheatley dead, and what was his roomate hiding? -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (October 31, 2019)

Wendy Fishburn, sister of Jeff Wheatley, says she “absolutely does not believe in closure” in regard to her brother’s murder. In 2010, Wheatley was shot, stabbed and set on fire after a man named Robert Turner became falsely convinced Wheatley had killed his older brother more than a decade prior. -Valerie Nessler, Snapped (November 4, 2019)

Related Links:
Valerie Nessler | Snapped – Oxygen
Man Shot, Stabbed And Set On Fire In A Drug-Fueled Case Of Mistaken Revenge
Coast Guard Veteran Jeffrey Wheatley Found Dead in House Fire; Valerie Nessler, Robert Turner & Allen Periman Found Guilty of Murder (April 7, 2010)
A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Roommate From Hell’ on ID: Jeffrey Wheatley Found Murdered in House Fire Because False Accusations (December 15, 2013)
A Stranger in My Home: 5 Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery
The Gruesome Murder of Jefferey Wheatley Shocks Investigators | Snapped Sneak Peek
Jeff Wheatley’s Brutal Stockton Murder Was A Case Of Mistaken Revenge | Snapped Bonus
Valerie Nessler | Snapped | Oxygen (S26,E11)

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)

Snapped Premiered ‘Crystal Mangum’ on Oxygen: Duke Lacrosse False Accuser Fatally Stabbed Boyfriend Reginald Daye, Sentenced to 14-18 Years in Prison (October 7, 2018)

For sale: One of the most notorious citizens of Durham, North Carolina finds herself under scrutiny after her boyfriend is stabbed. -Crystal Mangum, Snapped (S24, E7)

Date: April 3, 2011
Victim: Reginald Daye, 46, professional painter
Offender: Crystal Mangum, 32, Navy veteran, college student
Location: Durham, North Carolina
Circumstances: Reginald Daye grew up in Durham, North Carolina, family described him as kind and caring and looking for a long-term relationship, he met Crystal in 2011, she was 14 years younger, Crystal’s family was low income but loving, she served in the Navy for 3 1/2 years, while in the service, Crystal met another Navy sailor and they had two children, the relationship didn’t last because he was married the entire time, Crystal was honorably discharged as a result, she returned to Durham to be closer to family, she earned a college degree in psychology and was pursuing her masters, she met another man and had a third child but this relationship ended as well, she was struggling financially and moved in with her aunt in 2010, this is where she met Reginald, Reginald asked Crystal to move in with him to help share the rent, they became romantically involved, Reggie fell quickly for Crystal, he loved her kids too, they appeared to have a good relationship, he wanted a family & love, barely a month after Crystal moved in, she stabbed Reggie after a violent confrontation, Reggie was rushed into surgery, the police walked into a crime scene of violence, the living room was destroyed, a door to the bathroom was ripped off its hinges, Reggie revealed that Crystal had stabbed him, police learned the offender was “the Crystal Mangum,” in 2006, Crystal was working as an exotic dancer for private parties, she needed the money while attending school, on March 13, 2006, Crystal got a job at an off campus party, that same night, Crystal reported she was raped by three Duke Lacrosse players, they gave her a picture of the team and she picked out three men from the photo, the DA took on the case with vigor and the media descended on Durham, NC, it was the privileged versus the low income single mom, she claimed they were drunk and abusive, the university acted quickly, cancelled the teams events and the coach was fired, it polarized the community, it split America right down the middle, it dominated the national news, but the case began to unravel, the DNA came back and none of the men she accused matched the DNA sample from the sexual assault kit, it was a case of a false accusation and these men were totally innocent, the DA was disgraced and disbarred, CM was a pariah in the community, she couldn’t get a job or an apartment because of the reputation she had, initially, the attack on Reggie stemmed from a domestic dispute with CM, police couldn’t find CM and they actively looked for her to ask her about the altercation, then the police got a mysterious phone call from a child, the boy told 911 his mom was in a fight and had to leave, they responded to the call at the neighbors apartment, CM was there, she had injuries and the police needed pictures of them, one of the detectives believed that she may have stabbed Reggie in self-defense, CM knew not to talk to the police without an attorney, she was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury (stabbing), after she was booked into jail, the police called the hospital to get a status, it appeared Reggie was going to make a full recovery, after his surgery, he gave the police a statement, Reggie told the police he introduced CM to his family at a party, when they got home, he got jealous because she was flirting with someone, once they got in the apartment, the argument escalated quickly, he went into a jealous rage and admitted hitting and jumping on CM, he forced the bathroom door open to get to CM and pulled her out of the bathroom, he finally stopped and then CM went to the kitchen, got a knife, and stabbed him in his side, but doctor’s saved him, he admitted they were fighting and he got mad which gave her what looked like a reason for self-defense, but on April 6, Reggie’s condition took an unexpected turn for the worse and he died, they were concerned he was detoxing from alcohol, ran a fever and went into cardiac arrest, he was in a coma and had substantial brain damage, the family had to make the decision to pull the life support, he died on April 13, 2011, his family was devastated, Crystal was in jail at the time Reggie passed away, Reggie’s death had dire repercussions for CM, her charges went from assault to a first degree murder charge, CM decided its time to talk directly to the DA, she said after they returned from the party, Reggie became jealous and hit her in the head once they got in the apartment, she hid in the bathroom and he kicked the door in and dragged her out by her hair, he finally relented but she said Reggie got some knives out of the kitchen and started throwing them at her, she stabbed him in the side and ran out of the apartment, the police had a chaotic scene to decipher, CM was charged with second degree murder, CM’s advocates claimed she couldn’t get a fair trial in Durham because of her high profile notorious past, 2 1/2 years later, 35 yo CM headed to trial in Durham County Courthouse, she had a lot of supporters in Durham and said it was an altercation to save her life but the prosecution said she was a dangerous and unstable woman who had a lack of self control and was on the edge, the judge did not allow the Duke Lacrosse case in the trial, but an ex-boyfriend of CM testified against her, he didn’t want to but did testify that 14 months prior to Reggie’s attack, she threatened him with a knife as well, she also set some of his belongings on fire, he called the police and they intervened, CM was arrested for arson and spent 90 days in jail, then she moved in with her aunt and met Reggie, the similarities were no coincidence, it was a pattern of abusing men, some people thought she should have been prosecuted for the false rape allegations and this was vindication for them, Crystal’s supporters see a travesty of justice
Disposition: On November 22, 2014, Crystal Mangum was found guilty of second degree murder of Reginald Daye and sentenced to fourteen-eighteen years in prison, on appeal, she asked for a new trial but it was denied

Source: ‘Crystal Mangum’ Snapped

Crystal Mangum’s name became synonymous with scandal and was known throughout Durham, North Carolina. -Snapped (S24, E7)

Friend of Crystal Mangum, Jacqueline Wagstaff, expresses Crystal didn’t receive a fair trial. -Snapped (S24, E7)

Law enforcement, friends and reporters describe their opinions of the verdict of Crystal Mangum. -Snapped (S24, E7)

In the News:

Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Dismissed – False Rape Allegations, David R. Usher, Extra Edition

Ed Bradley of “60 Minutes” speaks with Hannah Storm about his exclusive interview with Duke University lacrosse players accused of raping an exotic dancer. -CBS News

The woman who prosecutors determined falsely accused three Duke lacrosse players of rape maintains in a new memoir that she was attacked, a claim that provoked an angry lawsuit threat from one player’s family. -Associated Press

Crystal Mangum found guilty of 2nd-degree murder. -The News & Observer

Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Crystal Magnum Found Guilty Of Murder. -The Advise TV Show

Crystal Gail Mangum made headlines for falsely accusing members of the Duke University men’s lacrosse team of rape. A few years later, Mangum is charged with attempted murder. -Corrupt Crimes, True Crime Network

Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case. -The FIRE Org

Join Chuck Woolery as he revisits Crystal Magnum and how she falsely accused three Duke University lacrosse players of rape in 2006. -Blunt Force Truth

Investigation Discovery:

Crystal Mangum, Stripped to the Bone, Wives with Knives

Related Links:
Obituary: Reginald Eugene “Reggie” Daye
Duke Lacrosse Accuser Crystal Mangum’s Tragic Life
Judge Ordered Psychiatric Evaluation For Woman Charged With Murder Who Falsely Accused Duke Lacrosse Players
Duke Rape Accuser Crystal Mangum May Face Murder Charges
Duke rape accuser might face murder charge
Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum charged with murder
Duke lacrosse accuser charged with murder in boyfriend’s stabbing
Duke lax accuser indicted for murder
Duke lacrosse accuser indicted on murder charge
Duke Lacrosse: Crystal Mangum Indicted for First-Degree Murder
Duke lacrosse accuser out of jail after murder charge
Duke lacrosse accuser makes bond on murder charge
Jury selection starts in Crystal Mangum murder trial
Verdict Watch: Crystal Mangum Murder Trial
Mangum jurors see alleged murder weapon
Prosecution rests its case in Crystal Mangum murder trial
Mangum found guilty in boyfriend’s stabbing death
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, convicted, sentenced in boyfriend’s stabbing death
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, convicted of murder
Duke lacrosse accuser found guilty of murder
Duke Lacrosse Fake “Victim” Was Convicted of Murder
Duke lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum guilty of murder
Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum found guilty of second-degree murder
Woman who falsely accused Duke lacrosse players of rape found guilty of murder
Crystal Mangum, Duke lacrosse accuser, gets 14 years for murder
Duke rape accuser Crystal Mangum sentenced to 14 years for murder
Is Sidney Harr’s crusade for Crystal Mangum backfiring?
Former Duke Lacrosse accuser Crystal Mangum speaks to ABC11 from behind bars
The Duke Lacrosse Accuser Stands by Her Story
Crystal Mangum appeals murder conviction in 2011 Durham stabbing
Duke lacrosse accuser wants cash, new murder trial, but will ally land in court?
Accuser from Duke lacrosse case seeks damages, new murder trial in latest legal battle
Duke lacrosse rape accuser loses bid for a new murder trial
Judge dismisses lawsuits filed by Duke lacrosse accuser
“I’m Broken”: The Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser, 10 Years Later
Here’s the latest on the Duke lacrosse accuser
Duke University Lacrosse Team Rape Scandal
Duke Rape Accuser Got 160 TV News Stories on Accusation, 3 on Murder Conviction
Remembering (and Misremembering) the Duke Lacrosse Case
A New ESPN Doc Exposes the Real Villains in the Duke Lacrosse Case
Former Exotic Dancer who Accused Duke Lacrosse Players of Sexual Assault Fatally Stabs Boyfriend
Durham’s Crystal Mangum the subject of an episode of true crime series ‘Snapped’
Fantastic Lies, ESPN Films
Fantastic Lies, ESPN Films: 30 for 30 (Amazon Prime)
Crystal Mangum | Murderpedia

YouTube:
Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Dismissed – False Rape Allegations, David R. Usher, Extra Edition
Accused Lacrosse Players Talk: CBS News
Duke Accuser Restates Claims in New Book
Crystal Mangum found guilty of 2nd-degree murder
Duke Lacrosse Rape Accuser Crystal Magnum Found Guilty Of Murder
Crystal Gail Mangum, Duke Lacrosse Scandal
Presumed Guilty: Due Process Lessons of the Duke Lacrosse Case
Blunt Force Truth Minute – Duke Lacrosse Accuser
Wives with Knives co-starring Riko Bay from ID Channel
Crystal Mangum | Snapped | Oxygen (S24, E7)
Crystal Mangum | Snapped | Oxygen (website)
Snapped: Preview – What Is The Truth (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – I Won’t Stop Being An Advocate (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Was There More To The Case? (Season 24, Episode 7) | Oxygen

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)

Snapped Premiered ‘Ashley Schutt’ on Oxygen: Wife Convicted of Premeditated Murder of Husband Gregg Schutt, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 22, 2018)

Full Episode: When a woman covered in blood shows up on her neighbor’s doorstep, Georgia police commence a home invasion investigation that leads them to uncover more twists than they could have ever imagined. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

On July 25, 2009 in Lawrenceville, Georgia, Ashley Schutt called the police and told them a black man raped her and killed her husband Gregg Schutt. Gregg was a described by friends and family as a gentle giant and very sweet mannered. Gregg met Ashley at his place of employment; she was a customer. Ashley was described as quiet, timid, withdrawn, and scared to talk. But for some reason, Gregg drew Ashley out of her shell and they started dating. And in the spring of 2000, Ashley and Gregg decided to get married. Ashley graduated from high school and the two got married within a week of her graduation. Gregg wanted to provide for his family so he decided to enlist in the Army in the winter of 2001. After graduating basic, he went to San Antonio for training as a veterinary tech. He loved his job and Ashley liked being an Army wife. Over the next few years, his job would take them all over the world. They were stationed in Nebraska, Kansas, and Japan. Gregg did really well in the military and was looking forward to a great future in the military. But then Ashley’s health took a turn for the worse.

Ashley was diagnosed with diabetes and it was hard to control so she had to take insulin shots. She also gained a significant amount of weight and was having problems with her heart. She was literally on the verge of having a heart attack. Ashley’s was sent to Hawaii for specialized care and the doctors were concerned about her long term medical well-being. They thought she would be better off if she stayed in the United States where she could get treatment. Ashley moved to Atlanta, Georgia in July 2004 and after Gregg was discharged from the Army in December 2004, he moved to Atlanta to be with Ashley. The couple used their savings and purchased a home in Lawrenceville, Georgia. But Gregg struggled to find steady civilian work and Ashley’s medical bills were piling up. Gregg was depressed because he couldn’t provide for his family the way he wanted to. In order to make ends meet, the couple rented out one of their rooms to a young woman named Deidre. The rent money helped stabilize their money problems. Then in 2008, Gregg found work at a nearby veterinary clinic and a few months later Gregg received a small inheritance after his grandmother passed.

The money came just in time for Ashley because doctors said she needed radical weight loss surgery to solve some of her healthcare issues. Gregg didn’t hesitate to pay for the surgery and Ashley lost a lot of weight. Ashley literally transformed and was half the size she was before. She felt more confident and outgoing. Over the next several months, Ashley and Gregg’s life appeared to improve. Gregg still loved his job and Ashley’s health finally stabilized. After Ashley found a steady job at a call center, the pair was ready for their roommate to move out. They saved some more money and Ashley was ready to have a child. But on July 25, 2009, Gregg was murdered. When police arrived, they found Ashley covered in blood. She was able to give a brief statement but it appeared she had just gone through a traumatic event. Ashley told the police the attack began shortly after 3 a.m. and the suspect was an unknown black male. She said Gregg told her someone was in the house. And then a black male entered their bedroom and immediately started stabbing Gregg. Ashley also said the man raped her and made her watch as he killed her husband.

The police’s primary concern was Ashley’s safety and medical status. While Ashley was being treated, police intensified their search for the attacker and examined the crime scene. Gregg was stabbed multiple times and beat in the head with a hammer. His wrists and throat were also cut. This was a prolonged, sustained attack on him and his body was in horrible condition. There was a lot about the crime scene that didn’t make sense. There was no ransacking of drawers or evidence that anyone was looking for anything of value. The entire room was also drenched in water. They found the cell phones hidden in the microwave so if Gregg did escape, he wouldn’t be able to find his cell phone. This was not a normal crime for this particular neighborhood. There were no witnesses to the events and nobody saw anything unusual. Meanwhile, Ashley’s condition improved and she wanted to amend her initial statement. This time, she said there were two black men who entered the home. The two men were wearing yellow hoodies and grabbed knives from the kitchen. Gregg started fighting with the guys to protect Ashley.

Ashley began to provide more detail in her second statement. She said two black men stormed the house and brutally murdered her husband and raped her. She claimed the two black men used Gregg’s sex toys to rape her and they kept stabbing Gregg while they were raping her. She said the attackers asked Gregg how he wanted to die. Then they made her fill a bucket of water and forced her to dump it down Greg’s throat in an attempt to drown him. Ashley says after hours of painful torture, they decided to finish Gregg off with a claw hammer. Ashley said she had to witness Gregg die and described in detail what she observed as he was dying. She thought they were going to kill her next but they spared her life because they didn’t murder women. The police had to ask themselves why were Ashley and Gregg targeted to begin with? They know crime can happen anywhere but it didn’t make sense why the suspects chose this house, this time of day, and this family to terrorize. The detectives know they always have to consider alternative theories because if you get stuck on one theory and don’t give possibility to the others, you may be doing an injustice.

Police theorized this crime could have been drug-related if they were looking for cash and it also could have been some marital strife where an outside party is involved. Detectives started looking into Gregg and Ashley’s inner circle to see if they could find some leads. They started with the roommate and found out the roommate did drugs but Gregg and Ashley weren’t happy about having drugs in their home. Ashley and Gregg together decided Deidre needed to move out and Deidre wasn’t happy about it. She felt betrayed because her and Ashley were friends. Deidre admitted leaving the house on bad terms but after a few months Deidre and Ashley made up and became friends again. Deidre told detectives if they were looking for answers, they needed to look at Gregg. She said Gregg was physically and verbally abusive to Ashley when she was living with them. He was also very aggressive and impatient. Detectives checked the records to see if there were any domestic disputes on file but found no documented physical abuse. Although fear of the abuser and what it will do to the family often prevents victims from reporting.

When police spoke to Ashley’s parents, they confirmed there was trouble in the relationship from the beginning. They said Gregg was controlling and didn’t want Ashley to do her hair or make up or even leave the house. They said Ashley told them he said she was fat and ugly and no one wanted her. As the years went on, the abuse seemed to get worse. Ashley was having frequent suspicious “accidents” and they felt a lot of her health problems were because of Gregg. They said she lost hair because of the stress and gained the weight because of the way he treated her. According to Ashley’s parents, two weeks before Gregg died, Ashley said she wanted to leave Gregg but was afraid of what he would to do her. Ashley claimed Gregg told her if she tried to leave, he would slit her throat before she cleared the garage door. Ashley’s dad told her to call a divorce attorney and make sure she didn’t say anything to him. Ashley’s dad didn’t want her to pay the price because he wasn’t sure what that price may be. The police had to ponder was Gregg’s death a result of Ashley’s growing fear of Gregg and this somehow pushed her over the edge.

Ashley told one of her friends that she was definitely afraid and felt like she couldn’t leave. The detectives knew from experience that married couples sometimes don’t get along and there was a good possibility that Ashley was the suspect. Less than 24 hours after Greg was found dead, the detective’s focus was beginning to change. Ashley was changing her story, there was no forced entrance, the doors were locked from the inside, the crime scene was confined to the master bedroom, and there were no valuables taken. The crime scene didn’t match the story. They also found wedding bands and a torn picture of the couple on the floor. They thought maybe they found their motive so they went to the hospital and met with the trauma nurse who treated Ashley. Here they learned that there was no trauma and Ashley wasn’t raped. The detectives wanted to meet with Ashley again and this time she admitted her initial statements were fabricated. She told the detectives she was a battered wife and she killed Gregg. She said after she returned home from work, he was going to hit her and she told him if you hit me, this is going to be the last time.

Ashley said she threw her rings on the floor and started packing her bags. She said Gregg came at her with a knife in hand so she grabbed a claw hammer sitting on the dresser and fought back. She said she hit him on the head until he dropped the knife. She then grabbed the knife and ran, and when he came at her, she accidently stabbed him. She then admitted after years of pent of rage, she lost control and stabbed him multiple times. Now police were tasked with investigating if this was a justified act of self defense. They checked the cellphone records to see if they could learn more. They learned that moments before the attack, Gregg was online with one of his friends. The friend said Gregg told him Ashley was home so he had to go. Everything appeared normal. Gregg’s friend also said if anyone was abusive, it was Ashley. He said after Ashley lost her weight, she was pushy and overbearing with Gregg. She also controlled his time and what he was allowed to do. Greg’s friend said she was not a very pleasant person. The police theorized boredom rather than abuse may be what was driving her away from Gregg.

The police learned that Ashley had been dating Gregg since high school. They thought maybe she wanted to start over with her new body and be single. Honestly, the cops were not sure what the real motive was. When the autopsy results were released, it showed that Gregg didn’t have any defensive wounds, therefore Gregg was most likely asleep at the time of the attack. Gregg also had a high dose of Ambien in his system but Ashley was the one with the prescription, not Gregg. Police theorized that after Gregg passed out, she killed him while he was most vulnerable and unable to defend himself. The autopsy results revealed that Gregg was stabbed almost 40 times and beaten about the head with a hammer. The police now had evidence of a premeditated attack and as a result, Ashley was charged with first degree murder. News of the arrest was polarizing. Some knew immediately she did it. Her parents weren’t shocked by the news but didn’t believe she was guilty of murder. On April 25, 2011, Ashley Schutt’s trial for the death of her husband in 2009 started in a Gwinnett County courtroom. Ashley was facing life in prison.

In their opening statements, prosecutors asserted after Ashley’s life changing weight loss surgery, she yearned to start a new life without Gregg. But instead of filing for divorce, Ashley drugged him and killed him to be free of him forever. Ashley testified in her own defense and said she was a battered wife who killed in self defense. She said she went through years of hell with a controlling and domineering man who would rather see her dead than leave him. On cross examination, prosecutors asked Ashley about the sleeping pills found in Gregg’s system and the lack of defensive wounds. Ashley’s demeanor began to change while she was on the stand and all of a sudden she was snapping back. The jury agreed that Ashley killed Gregg with cold hearted premeditation and she was found guilty on all counts. Ashley Schutt received a life sentence with parole after thirty years. She was also given an additional 35 years for aggravated assault, possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, and false statements. As of 2018, Ashley’s appeal for a new trial has been denied twice. She is currently appealing her case to the Georgia Superior Court for the third and final time.

Source: ‘Ashley Schutt’ Snapped

Ashley and Gregg Schutt shared a seemingly happy life until a brutal murder exposed the dark underside of their relationship. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Gwinnett police officers describe the events of July 25, 2009, when Gregg Schutt was found dead in his own home. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

During interrogation, murder suspect Ashley Schutt claimed that her late husband Greg was an abusive spouse. -Ashley Schutt, Snapped (S23, E27)

Related Links:
Murder in Georgia: Former Sterling woman’s trial begins
Journals, friends paint marital contrasts in Schutt murder trial
Mother: Daughter was emotional mess from marriage
Lawrenceville woman convicted in husband’s murder
Life sentence for Sterling native
Ashley Schutt v. State of Georgia (2013)
Wife’s murder conviction upheld
Life sentence upheld against woman who stabbed husband 38 times while he slept
Snapped: Preview – Secrets And Lies (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – A Horrendous Crime (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Interrogating Ashley (Season 23, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Ashley Schutt | Snapped | Oxygen (S23, E27)
Watch Ashley Schutt on Snapped (Oxygen)

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (June 2018)

June 2018

Missing:
Disappeared: Stacy McCall, Suzie Streeter, and Sherrill Levitt are ‘The Springfield Three’ who Vanished from Levitt’s Missouri Home on June 7, 1992
Friends, family of missing UMass nursing student Maura Murray hope funds will lead to answers

Cold Cases:
Family wants justice for Army vet found shot to death in driveway
Authorities Have Cracked a Bizarre Cold Case That Could Have Ties to the Zodiac Killer
48 Hours Premiered ’48 Hours Cold Case: Who Killed Amy Gellert?’ on CBS (June 17, 2017)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Continue reading

Extraordinary Claims Should Require Extraordinary Evidence (June 26, 2018)

National GuardGuest Post by Liz Ullman:

Enrique Costas comes from four generations of dignified and recognized military service. His grandfather’s name is in the history books as one of the first soldiers to join the Puerto Rico National Guard to serve the United States. His father defended this country for 32 years, earning an Air Medal for heroism in Vietnam; his nephew will be commissioned as an officer in the next week and will be going on active duty.

Costas enlisted in the Puerto Rico National Guard in 1988. In 1999 he volunteered to be assigned as a Recruiter, earning top awards and commendations throughout his almost 14 years as the Senior Non-Commissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard Recruiting and Retention (RR) Command office in San Juan. He was also selected and participated for seven years in the Puerto Rico National Guard Honor Guard, the team responsible for carrying our Nation’s and Army Colors in the highest of the Government’s activities and celebrations.

He was responsible for achieving monthly production for the three main tenets of the Guard recruiting office: Recruiting, Retention and Attrition Management • Staff resourcing for two Army battalions covering 13 cities • Supervising and mentoring up to 10 recruiting and retention non-commissioned officers.

Costas was a champion in mission accomplishment with the highest integrity and ethics. His walls are filled awards and photos with the Guard’s top-ranking officers, including General Clyde A. Vaughn, who personally commended Costas for his service and integrity. Costas retired in 2014 after Honorably serving our Nation for over 26 years.

The biggest mistake Costas made in his career was simply being on duty during the Guard Recruiting Assistance Program also known as G-RAP, a cash incentive opportunity for civilian soldiers to bring in new recruits. With no direction from Washington D.C.’s Strength Maintenance Division, General Vaughn’s recruiters were supposed to intuit the 60 changes in the G-RAP rules over a seven-year period, while also working to fill the dwindling ranks of Guard troops.

Just before dawn, on an early October morning in 2015, Costas’s home was stormed by six Federal agents and two State police officers, in full tactical gear. Costas thought his family was under attack, and it was – by the Government he had served. Costas was arrested and taken to a Federal Courthouse where he was charged with “crimes” dating back almost ten years, during the days of G-RAP.

Costas is one of hundreds of General Vaughn’s recruiters who have been held responsible for not knowing the G-RAP rules that were never sent to them. And not just held responsible — charged with criminal intent to commit fraud against the Government. General Vaughn, who created and administered G-RAP, and who was administratively sanctioned for poor management, is enjoying full retirement in Virginia and Arizona.

Costas is going to prison.

The government’s “evidence” against Costas and other recruiters does not even meet the standard of circumstantial. In his case, the government admitted during trial to having no actual evidence, but only a “reasonable inference” that a crime could have been committed.

As a recruiter, Costas could not and did not participate in G-RAP. There were no Army regulations that governed G-RAP because the program was run by a private Alabama-based contractor called Docupak. Docupak was essentially incentivized to run a sloppy program, earning a 17% markup on every new enlistment, on top of their contract fees and administrative expenses. This lack of training stands in sharp contrast to how the Army usually operates, with manuals and rules on almost every action and procedure.

The one rule that the prosecution seized on to brand soldiers and veterans as felons regarded the relationship between the Recruiting Officer and the Docupak civilian contractors known as Recruiting Assistants (RAs). When G-RAP began, those contractors were regarded as assistants to the Recruiting Officers. The Recruiting Officers might use the RAs to give that extra push to a potential applicant considering enlisting. The Recruiting Officers were encouraged to ask the RAs to attend recruiting events and help with the finding of potential candidates. The original program outline stated that the Recruiting Officer would provide specifics for each possible enlistment to the RA, including legal name, birth date and social security number. That information was used by Docupak to verify enlistments and process payments to their RA contractors. In later descriptions of G-RAP, the social security number would go from the new recruit to the RA contractor, bypassing the Recruiting Officer, which not a single RA contractor reports ever seeing or any evidence has ever been produced by Docupak that verifies it.

This procedural change has resulted in hundred of indictments and scores of convictions for identity theft and wire fraud. Soldiers and veterans are in prison. Costas, sadly, is on his way.

After the government filed more than 50 felonies against Costas, his defense team could not overcome the wrath of the United States and he was convicted by a jury who felt that with so many felonies filed, Costas certainly had to have done something wrong.

He did not. G-RAP was a tangle of mismanagement; the soldiers who were on duty during its tenure are paying the price of administrative failures by their command. In an internal investigation done by the Puerto Rico National Guard pertaining to G-RAP in 2012, the Investigating Officer admitted that “Recruiters had no formal training on how G-RAP operated.”

Costas and his family had their hearts broken when the prosecution opened with statements calling him a “cheater, stealer and a liar.” He said these words, “pierced the core of his soul.”

Presumption of Innocence or even the “benefit of the doubt” was never given. In the end the Government spent an estimated $100,000 prosecuting Costas and the jury found Costas guilty on three charges amounting to $3,000. Although never having a criminal record and an impeccable military career, the judge sentenced Costas to prison. In the end “reasonable inference” and circumstantial evidence weighed more than 26 years of honorable service willing to sacrifice life and limb.

Recently the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th District reversed and vacated a conviction of an accused soldier involving G-RAP and determined, that the “Government did not retain a revisionary interest in the funds and that it did not exercise supervision or control over the funds”. This decision cannot be applied to Costas unless the United States Court of Appeals for the 1st District, the Supreme Court, or Congress rules on it.

“Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.”
― Carl Sagan

The claims were extraordinary. The evidence was missing. And yet, a United States military hero and veteran has been sacrificed.

We respectfully request that Congress or the White House appoint a commission to review the G-RAP investigation, to identify Soldiers that have been unjustly stigmatized by it, and to recommend suitable cases for clemency and pardon.

Related Links:
Stop G-RAP Injustice | Facebook
The Conspiracy Behind the G-RAP War on American Soldiers (March 30, 2016)
If You Look at the Dollars, Guard Recruiting Assistance Program Investigations Make No Sense (July 12, 2016)
Top Ten Problems with the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (G-RAP) Investigations (December 15, 2016)
An Open Letter to Congress Regarding the Investigations of the National Guard Recruiting Assistance Program (June 5, 2017)