STARZ Premiered ‘Leavenworth’: Docu-Series Examines Army 1st Lieutenant Clint Lorance Afghanistan ‘War Crimes’ Case (October 20, 2019)

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh and executive producers Paul Pawlowski and David Check tell the story of First Lieutenant Clint Lorance. Watch the Official Trailer for the upcoming STARZ Original Docuseries, Leavenworth, premiering October 20 on the STARZ App. (August 28, 2019)

STARZ Overview of ‘Leavenworth’: “From executive producers Paul Pawlowski, David Check and Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Steven Soderbergh comes a controversial true-crime story that plays out in the military justice system. Clint Lorance is serving a 19-year sentence for murder at the United States Penitentiary, Leavenworth. While deployed in Afghanistan in July 2012, the former lieutenant ordered fire on three local men riding a motorcycle, killing two of them and outraging his platoon. In a firsthand account of a soldier navigating the U.S. Army’s legal system, Lorance seeks to overturn his conviction, which provokes an emotional debate between supporters and detractors that rises to the national stage. As determinations on Lorance’s fate unfold, questions probe not only the merits of his conviction but analyze the system at large, and they ultimately test the balance of guilt and innocence in the inscrutable circumstances of today’s wars.”

In the News:

A New Docu-Series Follows a Controversial True Story Playing Out in the Military Justice System. -Fox 4 Now (October 22, 2019)

Jamie Lorance, Clint’s cousin, and Don Brown, lead attorney on the Lorance legal team, call on President Trump to release Clint Lorance from his 19-year prison sentence. -Fox and Friends (October 27, 2019)

Related Links:
Free Clint Lorance (website)
Leavenworth | STARZ Media Room
Leavenworth | Official Trailer | STARZ
Leavenworth | Fox 4 Now
Updates on Army LT Clint Lorance’s Case – Fox and Friends
‘Leavenworth’: TV Review | Hollywood Reporter
Review: ‘Leavenworth’ Puts the Army on Trial | New York Times
‘Leavenworth’ Trailer: Steven Soderbergh’s Starz Doc Tells a True Crime Military Story
Steven Soderbergh To Exec Produce True-Crime Military Justice Docu-Series ‘Leavenworth’ For Starz | Deadline
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
‘Strongly Recommend My Kids Not Put A Uniform On’: Former Soldier Mike McGuinness, Director Paul Pawlowski Discuss ‘Leavenworth’ Docu-Series, Clint Lorance Case
Ex-Army soldier in Leavenworth prison asks Kansas judge to vacate murder conviction
Ex-Soldier in Leavenworth Prison Asks Kansas Judge to Vacate Murder Conviction
Army Lt. Clint Lorance feels 19-year prison sentence is ‘just another mission’: docuseries producers

James Fields Jr. Sentenced to Life in Prison Plus 419 Years & $480,000 in Fines for the Charlottesville, Virginia Car Attack Resulting in the Death of Heather Heyer (July 15, 2019)

James Fields Jr., 20, from Ohio, was charged with second-degree murder after killing Heather Heyer, 32, and critically injuring several others when he drove his vehicle into a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia. The protestors that he harmed were counter protesting a “white nationalist” protest. According to police records, Fields was previously accused of beating his mother and threatening her with a knife. James Fields Jr. served in the active duty Army for about four months from August to December 2015. He was discharged after failing out of basic training at Fort Benning in Georgia. Fields was denied bail. On June 28, 2019, a federal judge sentenced James Fields Jr. to life in prison for 29 hate crimes. On July 15, 2019, Fields Jr. was sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years and $480,000 in fines by the State of Virginia for the Charlottesville car attack.

In the News:

James Alex Fields Jr. is behind bars after he allegedly plowed his car into a crowd of people protesting against a white nationalist rally in Virginia. -ABC News (August 13, 2017)

James Fields, the white nationalist who killed Heather Heyer by ramming his car into a crowd of protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia has been sentenced to life in prison. -NowThis News (June 28, 2019)

An avowed white supremacist who plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing a young woman, apologized to his victims Friday before being sentenced to life in prison on hate crime charges. -Bloomberg TicToc (June 28, 2019)

The man who deliberately drove through a crowd of people in Charlottesville, Virginia, has received another life sentence. Dozens were wounded and one person was killed. -CBS News (July 15, 2019)

Related Links:
James Alex Fields, Jr. : 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Who Is James Alex Fields Jr: 7 Facts to Know About Man Charged in Charlottesville Car Killing
What We Know About James Alex Fields, the Driver Charged in the Charlottesville Attack
James Alex Fields Jr: Full Story & Must-See Details Of Racist Charlottesville Murderer
Who is James Alex Fields Jr., arrested for deadly car attack at white nationalists rally?
Rally murder suspect is an Army dropout ‘infatuated with Nazis’
Teacher: Charlottesville car crash suspect discussed radical views
Teacher says suspected Charlottesville driver James Alex Fields Jr. showed extremist ideologies in high school
Alleged driver of car that plowed into Charlottesville crowd was a Nazi sympathizer, former teacher says
James Alex Fields Jr.: Charlottesville suspect was in the Army, spokesperson says
Charlottesville Driver Who Rammed Crowd Washed Out of Army
What We Know About James Alex Fields, Driver Charged in Charlottesville Killing
Charlottesville Murder Suspect James Alex Fields May Be A Veteran, But He Was Never A Soldier
Army: Charlottesville Driver Kicked Out Of Active Duty After Failing Basic Training
James Fields flunked out of basic Army training, denied bail in Charlottesville case
Charlottesville Suspect James Alex Fields Jr. Denied Bond at First Court Appearance
Mom previously accused Virginia driver of beating her; Bail denied
Man charged in Charlottesville attack failed training at Fort Benning
James A. Fields Jr., avowed neo-Nazi in Charlottesville car attack, sentenced to life in prison
Charlottesville White Nationalist James Fields Gets Life in Prison; Prosecutors, FBI React | NowThis
Mother of Heather Heyer Speaks Out After Charlottesville White Supremacist Sentenced to Life
Man gets life plus 419 years in Charlottesville attack
White supremacist James Fields sentenced to life for Virginia car attack
Neo-Nazi James Fields Gets 2nd Life Sentence For Charlottesville Attack
Man Who Killed Heather Heyer at Charlottesville Sentenced to Life In Prison, Plus 419 Years
Man gets life plus 419 years in deadly Charlottesville car attack
Avowed neo-Nazi James Fields sentenced to life in prison for Charlottesville hate crimes
Charlottesville car rammer James Alex Fields gets life plus 419 years for state charges
White-Nationalist Charlottesville Killer Given Extra Life Sentence Plus 419 Years in Prison
Neo-Nazi who drove car into Charlottesville crowd given second life sentence
James Fields Jr. Sentenced to Second Life Term in Charlottesville Rally Car Attack
White supremacist James Fields Jr. handed second life sentence for 2017 Charlottesville murder
James Fields Jr. Drove Into a Group of Protestors in Charlottesville, Virginia Killing Heather Heyer and Injuring Several Others; Sentenced to Life in Prison (August 12, 2017)

Michaela Widmer Found Murdered in Minnesota Cemetery; Suspect Ricardo Taber Guilty of Stolen Valor, Died by Suicide (July 25, 2009)

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) 

Date: July 25, 2009
Victim: Michaela ‘Micky’ Widmer
Offender: Ricardo ‘Rick’ Taber (said he was Army veteran, served in Vietnam)
Location: St. Peter, Minnesota
Circumstances: Neighbors, Rick had inappropriate boundaries, Rick gave Micky’s daughter expensive gifts and it caused problems in her relationship with fiancé Darnell Mears, Micky and her daughter went missing, neighbors found Rick dead in his home, teenagers found what they believed was a little girl, Micky’s daughter Cindy was found alive, investigators located a knife and Micky’s belongings in a dumpster including an $18,000 check written to Micky from Rick, Micky’s body was located in the same cemetery Rick’s aunt was buried in, her hands were bound behind her back, her bra was removed and she was stabbed to death, it is believed Rick may have wanted sex and got angry when he was rejected, autopsy revealed Micky was not sexually assaulted, the residents tore down Rick’s home, aunt and uncle have custody of Cindy,
Disposition: Rick never served in the military (stolen valor) & died by poisoning, suicide

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:
Michaela M. “Micky” Widmer (1987-2009) – Find A Grave
Ricardo Duane “Rick” Taber (1956-2009) – Find A Grave
Officials probe ‘suspicious’ deaths
Police suspect murder-suicide in St. Peter deaths
Investigators: Deaths were murder-suicide
2 Minnesota Neighbors Found Dead in Murder-Suicide
Fiance of victim in suspected murder-suicide says suspect promised her lottery winnings
Mears pursuing custody
Top 10: Murder-suicide in St. Peter (6)
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)
A Stranger in My Home Premiered ‘Trailer Park Terror’ on ID: Rick Taber Killed Next Door Neighbor Micky Widmer in Minnesota (October 20, 2013)

Baby Rachel White Abducted by Air Force Spouse; Paul Rentz Denied Involvement, Maritza Rentz Used Insanity Defense, Hospitalized for One Year (February 19, 1988)

A four-week-old girl is kidnapped, leaving her mother in anguish and police scrambling to find her. As days go by with no sign of the baby or demands for ransom, sergeants Joe Kenda and Robert Sapp fear she’s been sold on the black market or worse. -Bring My Baby Home, Homicide Hunter (S7,E20)

On February 19, 1988, 5 week old Rachel Ann White was abducted from her grandmother’s Colorado Springs, Colorado home. Detective Joe Kenda met Robert Sapp of the Colorado Springs PD Juvenile Crimes Unit at Evelyn Reed’s house. Evelyn explained that she was taking care of Rachel for her daughter Cora Abbott and was interviewing potential baby sitter candidates. One of the potential candidates was a hispanic woman by the name of Sharon Sanchez. Evelyn was interviewing Sharon when the phone rang and Evelyn asked ‘Sharon’ to hold Rachel while she went into the other room to answer it. When Evelyn returned, Sharon and Rachel were gone and when she ran outdoors to see if she could stop her, Sharon was driving away in a light colored vehicle with Texas plates.

Investigators were not sure where to go with the investigation because Sharon Sanchez was an alias but they worked on the case around the clock and used the media to reach out to the public. Then they got a phone call from an Air Force Major. The Major informed Kenda that he had an Air Force officer, Captain Paul Rentz, working for him who said his wife had a baby and this was suspicious because Paul never said anything about his wife being pregnant. The Major and his wife stopped by Captain Rentz’s home to give the baby a proper Air Force welcome and to congratulate them. But his wife Maritza made excuses and was reluctant to let them in the house to see the baby; she eventually relented. After visiting the baby and leaving their home, the Major’s wife said it was not a newborn baby and she definitely wasn’t 3 days old. Then they saw the news that a baby was kidnapped and called the police right away. Kenda and Sapp didn’t hesitate to investigate this promising tip.

Kenda and Sapp went straight to the Rentz’s home. When they arrived at the home, the first thing they spotted was a small silver car with Texas plates that matched the description of the vehicle they were looking for. Kenda and Sapp questioned Maritza Rentz and asked her where she had the baby, who was the doctor, and where was the birth certificate. When Maritza produced a birth certificate, the birth certificate lead one to believe the baby was two days old. Kenda and Sapp knew this wasn’t a real birth certificate because they both had children. They demanded to see the baby. Maritza retrieved the child and she was a perfect match to the composite drawing. They also observed this was not a newborn and they knew immediately it was Rachel White. Captain Rentz appeared to be dumbfounded that the baby wasn’t his. Kenda and Sapp notified Cora Abbott that they found her baby.

Kenda said that when Cora was reunited with her daughter, the daughter she never thought she would see again, it was a very touching moment. Maritza Rentz was charged with kidnapping and Paul Rentz was questioned. He told investigators that Maritza didn’t have sex with him throughout the ‘pregnancy’ because she said it was harmful to the child. She also wouldn’t let him see her body. He admitted that things were rocky. Paul Rentz’ culpability was definitely in question because investigators couldn’t imagine that he didn’t know. But Maritza confirmed Paul didn’t know. She told investigators that she was pregnant but lost her baby and didn’t have the heart to tell Paul. She said she put pillows under her clothes so it appeared she was pregnant. She said she couldn’t see any other way and hoped the baby would help the relationship. When it was time for the baby to be born, Maritza said she was faced with a choice: come clean to her husband or find a baby.

Maritza read the newspaper ads and the difficulty she ran into was that most of the kids were too old. And then she found Cora Abbott’s ad looking for someone to watch her infant while she was at work. Maritza created a false identity, responded to the ad, and visited Evelyn Reed’s home for the interview. She admitted she almost didn’t follow through with the abduction but when the phone rang, the opportunity presented itself and she took it. When she returned home, she called Paul and told him she just got back from the hospital where she had the baby. Paul didn’t question any of it. Kenda reminded the viewer that being stupid isn’t against the law and believing your wife is not a criminal act. He admitted it was difficult to prosecute Paul Rentz because they didn’t have enough evidence to prove anything against him. As a result, he was found not guilty. Maritza pleaded guilty to second degree kidnapping but the judge didn’t give her any jail time. Instead, she claimed mental insanity and was confined to an institution for one year. The happy ending is that Rachel was found against all odds and she is thriving as a young woman.

Source: Bring My Baby Home, Homicide Hunter, Investigation Discovery

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Baby Recovered Four Days After Kidnapping
Woman Alledgedly Abducted Infant to Aid Marriage
Timeline of Maritza Beato
Baby Snatcher | TV Movie (1992)
Baby Snatcher Movie (true crime movie)
Infant Snatcher – The Narrative That Motivated the Movie Starring Veronica Hamel
Baby Snatcher – True Narrative That Stimulated the video Glaring Veronica Hamel
‘Baby Snatcher’ true story of Maritza Beato aka Maritza Rentz
Movie Based on the Case of Cuban American Maritza Beato
Cora Abbott with daughters Brittany and Rachael Ann White/Below Kidnapper Maritza Beato Rentz
Bring My Baby Home | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S7,E20)
Bring My Baby Home | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (website)
Bring My Baby Home | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Bring My Baby Home | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Homicide Hunter Premiered ‘Bring My Baby Home’ on ID: Baby Rachel Ann White Abducted by Air Force Spouse Maritza Beato Rentz (February 7, 2018)