Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at United States Military Bases

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*Research not complete.

My experiences as a victim of crime in the United States military inspired me to do the work I do today as a military justice policy analyst. Not only did I witness first hand how a predator operates but I witnessed multiple predator types in real time while serving my country. If these people committed these acts of crimes at work in the civilian world, they would have been in jail or I would have been rich after taking my employer to civil court. Well maybe not because the deck is stacked against the accuser but we do in fact have a civilian justice system that allows us to hold others accountable, while it simultaneously protects the due process rights of the accused. This cannot be said of the military justice system. There is no guarantee a military Commander will do anything with a crime report let alone process the felony crime effectively. We do not want a justice system where one man or woman decides whether to do nothing, give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime, or railroad the accused or accuser. We do want a justice system where we can hold our employer accountable without roadblocks from the Pentagon, Congress, and the Feres Doctrine. We cannot effectively tackle the violent crime issue in the military until the victims of crimes, like sexual assault and domestic violence, feel safe enough to report. Crime victims have expressed that they do not want to report crimes to a Commander for fear of retaliation. The Department of Defense admitted that of those of who did report the crime, 62% perceived that they faced retaliation. If service members felt safe enough to report, it could help us prevent homicide, suicide, and non combat death.

If we think about violent crime committed by military personnel compared to violent crime statistics in the United States (reference above graph), at first glance it appears the military has a homicide ‘issue’ among the ranks. Please see the below links for a sample of crime on some of the U.S. military bases. All military bases worldwide will eventually be included in this research. And the research for sexual assault, rape, domestic violence, and physical assault specifically has not been conducted yet either. Because the research is far from being complete, it is too early to make any assumptions so I will put the data in one place and let you come to your own conclusions. But if military crime mirrors civilian crime statistics, one can deduce that if the military has a lot of homicide, there is even more rape. Currently the number one concern in the military is a Commander’s ability to give a non judicial punishment for a felony crime. A Commander can bypass the courts martial process simply by punishing and/or discharging the accused with a preponderance of the evidence. This does nothing to protect our military personnel and the civilians who live near our bases in America and worldwide. Predators do not discriminate. They are just as likely to harm civilians as they are military personnel. They know their rights and they know that jurisdiction issues and lack of communication among law enforcement agencies will help prolong getting caught. We need to be one step ahead.

We can’t get real violent crime numbers for the military bases unless we include those who died of non combat deaths while they were deployed. Veterans Noonie Fortin and Ann Wright inspired me to initially look into the non combat deaths of female soldiers overseas because they observed the unusually high number of female soldiers who died of non combat deaths during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their chief concern was that although the military labels a non combat death as a suicide, there are suspicions that some female soldiers were murdered, like LaVena Johnson, Amy Tirador, and Ciara Durkin. I did the research on every single female soldier who died from non combat deaths overseas and their concerns are valid. My research on non combat deaths in Iraq alone revealed that roughly 30% of female soldiers died as a result of homicide, suicide, and other unknown causes. I am working on collecting the data for male soldiers who died from non combat related injuries in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other areas. I started with 2010 so we can get the most recent cases but I will go back to September 11, 2001 in the next phase of data collection. The first male soldier non combat death case I found in 2010 was an unsolved homicide. His name was SSG Anton Phillips and he was stabbed to death in Afghanistan. Further research in this area has uncovered that non combat deaths of male soldiers are just as prevalent.

Learn more:
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death & Suicide at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Violent Crime at Fort Wainwright, Alaska (US Army)
Violent Crime at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits
Rep Nikki Tsongas & Rep Mike Turner Host Educational Caucus: Improving Treatment Resources for Male Survivors of Military Sexual Trauma
An Open Letter to the Senate and House of Representatives in Support of the Military Justice Improvement Act
Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (August 31, 2016)

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Aug. 24, 2016: DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Matthew Thompson, 28, Afghanistan, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

Aug. 14, 2016: DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Wilbur, 36, NCD, Afghanistan, Fort Carson, Colorado

Aug. 6, 2016: DOD Identifies Air Force Casualty: Flando Jackson, 45, NCD, Qatar, Washington Air National Guard

Related Links:
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2002)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2003)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2004)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2006)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2009)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2010)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2011)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2012)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2013)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2014)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2015)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (US Army)

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Photo Credit: McChord Air Museum

*Research not complete & includes combat deaths

Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) is a U.S. military installation home to I Corps and 62d Airlift Wing located 9.1 miles south-southwest of Tacoma, Washington under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Joint Base Headquarters. The facility is an amalgamation of the United States Army’s Fort Lewis and the United States Air Force’s McChord Air Force Base which merged on 1 February 2010 into a Joint Base as a result of Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommendations of 2005. -Wikipedia

2017:

Michael Mantenuto, US Army Veteran: Found dead at Saltwater State Park, WA

2016:

Louis Moua, US Army: Died in training accident
Timothy Hovey, US Army: Homicide victim, unsolved, cold case, reward
Matthew Thompson, US Army: Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan

2015:

James Ahn, US Army (2015): Parachute Error
A parachute defect went undetected for years and led to a soldier’s death
Army: Parachute manufacturing error caused 2015 JBLM death

Christina Booth, US Army Spouse (2015)
Court papers: Wife of JBLM soldier stabbed kids to keep them quiet
JBLM Soldier’s wife charged with attempted murder, knife attack on her 3 babies
Mom’s Accused Attempted Murder and Mental Health for Spouses

Celia FlorCruz, US Army (2015): Sexual Assault Victim
JBLM Officer Breaks Silence About Sexual Assaults She’s Endured

Skylar Nemetz, US Army (2014): Homicide-Wife

Andrew Sass, US Army (2014): Training Accident
NC soldier killed in training exercise in California

Shawn Woods, US Army (2014): Homicide Victim

Jeremiah Hill, US Army (2013): Homicide-Soldier

Refugio Sanchez Jr, US Army (2013): Homicide-Girlfriend
Former JBLM soldier gets 18 years for beating girlfriend to death
Cops: Mom beaten to death with vacuum cleaner

Robert Bales, US Army (2012): Homicide-Afghan Civilians

Benjamin Colton Barnes, US Army Vet (2012): Homicide/Suicide-Civilian

Robert Chiaravallotti, US Army (2012): Homicide-Wife; Rape-Step Daughter

Abel Gutierrez, US Army (2012)
Mom of former JBLM soldier in murder-suicide found dead

Nathaniel Ollis, US Army (2012): Homicide Victim
Maine soldier found stabbed to death in Olympia, Wash.
Slain Maine soldier just weeks from discharge
Washington Police Give Details About Maine Soldier’s Murder Case
Army private found stabbed in Washington was stationed at troubled base, Fort Lewis

Shannon Remus, US Army (2012): Homicide-Civilian
JBLM soldier gets probation in Wis. homicide case
JBLM police officer arrested, suspected of helping husband hide body in Wisconsin slaying

Michael Ristau, US Army (2012): Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan
Lewis-McChord soldier killed in Afghanistan

Robert Underwood, US Army (2012)
Joint Base Lewis-McChord Officer Charged with Making Death Threats

Frank Buoniconti III, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Anne Montgomery, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Dae Han Park, US Army (2011): Improvised Explosive Device, Afghanistan
IED Kills Local Soldier

Duane Rader, US Army (2011): Domestic Violence
Army Wife Testifies Husband Set Her Legs On Fire
Army wife says husband intentionally lit her legs on fire
Thurston County man to serve time for setting wife on fire
Army sergeant gets 10 years for setting wife’s legs afire

Joseph Satterfield, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

Luis Sigfrid, US Army (2011): Helicopter Crash
Army investigation pinpoints helicopter accident flaws

David Stewart, US Army (2011)
Man in murder-suicide car identified as soldier at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, 10-year-old girl found safe in Oregon

Dakota Wolf, US Army (2011): Homicide-Civilian
Soldier based in Washington state suspected in teen’s fatal stabbing
AWOL soldier charged with teen’s murder
Soldier charged with murder in Kirkland woman’s slaying; friend says suspect, victim knew each other
Wolf pleads guilty to Kirkland woman’s death, victim’s father not satisfied
AWOL soldier gets 20 years for slaying of Kirkland woman

Adriana Alvarez, US Army (2010): Non combat related incident, Iraq

Calvin Gibbs, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Carlos Gill, US Army (2010): Non combat related illness, Afghanistan

Andrew Holmes, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Jeremy Morlock, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Christopher Opat, US Army (2010): Non combat related incident, Iraq

Sheldon Plummer, US Army (2010): Homicide-Wife
*Strangled his wife, Lacey Plummer (Iraq War Army veteran)
Lacey-area soldier gets 14.5 years in wife’s death; family speaks
Homicide details revealed
Sgt. Sheldon Plummer Pleads Guilty to Homefront Murder of Ex-Soldier Wife

Joshua Tabor, US Army (2010): Child Abuse

Michael Wagnon, US Army (2010): Homicide Charges Dropped

Adam Winfield, US Army (2010): Homicide-Afghan Civilian

Eric Autio, US Army (2009): Accidental Shooting Victim
Fort Lewis Army Wife Kills Husband During Gun Lesson
Fort Lewis soldier fatally shot teaching his wife how to use gun
Soldier accidentally shot dead by wife as he gave her gun lesson

Timothy Bennitt, US Army (2009): Homicide-Civilian
Fort Lewis soldier charged in teen’s death
Soldier charged in girl’s Army base death
Army Says Soldier Gave Teen Lethal Cocktail of Drugs on Base
Soldier guilty in death of teen girl in Fort Lewis barracks
Soldier’s sentence in drug-related death gets another look

John Russell, US Army (2009): Homicide-Soldiers in Iraq

Nathan Smith, US Army (2009): Kidnapping, Rape, and Arson

Amy Tirador, US Army (2009): Death Ruled Suicide, Iraq

Ivette Davila, US Army (2008): Homicide-Husband&Civilian
Soldier admits double murder at Fort Lewis, won’t face death
‘I understood I was killing them’: Fort Lewis soldier admits to murder
Lewis-McChord soldier sentenced to life without parole for double murder, kidnapping baby
Bakersfield soldier could face death penalty in murder case

Timothy Ayers, US Army (2007): Homicide-Soldier
Soldier Accused of Murdering Sergeant
Soldier charged in shooting death of Loganton veteran
Parents of fallen Iraq War soldier angry over court decision
`A hideous accident’

Michael Barbera, US Army (2007): Homicide Charges Dropped

Anthony Cruse, US Army (2007): Homicide-Soldier
Soldier accused of stabbing death
Fort Lewis soldier charged with murder
Licking Man Charged in Murder
Licking Teenager Charged in Army Stabbing
US, Appellee v. Private E1 ANTHONY J. CRUSE, US Army, Appellant (2010)

Hannah Gunterman, US Army (2006): Non combat death, Iraq, Homicide

Suzanne Swift, US Army (2006): Victim of Sex Crimes

Brandon Bare, US Army (2005): Homicide-Wife
Soldier charged in wife’s death
Ft. Lewis stabbing details revealed
Army jury convicts soldier in wife’s death
Soldier, 20, convicted of wife’s murder

Jamaal Lewis, US Army (2005): Homicide-Soldier&Civilian
Fort Lewis soldier sentenced to life for slaying fellow soldier and woman
Crystal McDowell & a Fort Lewis soldier were shot and killed outside a popular bar by another soldier
US, Appellee v. Jamaal A. LEWIS, Specialist, U.S. Army, Appellant (2011)
Jamaal Lewis & Daqon Sipple: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Christopher Baber, US Army (2003): Manslaughter

Jeremy Meyers, US Army (2003): Homicide-Wife

Joshua Koerner, US Army (2000): Homicide Victim
Soldier with Polk Ties Killed

Christian Davis, US Army (1987): Homicide-Wife
Soldier Convicted of Killing Wife

Alexander Cronkhite, US Army (1918): Homicide Victim
Monument marks JBLM mystery death nearly 100 years later
Major Alexander P. Cronkhite is shot and killed during training exercise at Fort Lewis on October 25, 1918

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
‘Kill Team’ Murdered Civilians In Afghanistan
Capital punishment rare for killers in U.S. military
Military Base Jarred by Specter of Gang Killings
Home Base of Accused Soldier Has Faced Scrutiny
Afghan Killings: Troubled History of American Base
Afghanistan shootings are latest trouble linked to Lewis-McChord
Army Base on the Brink
The Kill Team: How U.S. Soldiers in Afghanistan Murdered Innocent Civilians
How to Spot a Whitewash in Army’s Death Squad Inquiry
What’s happening at Joint Base Lewis-McChord?
Lewis-McChord ‘most troubled base in military,’ report says
Army beefs up leadership at troubled Lewis-McChord base
The PBS Documentary ‘The Kill Team’ Nominated for an Emmy

Joint Base Lewis-McChord had 16 soldiers commit suicide last year [2011], the most of any Army post, Army statistics show. Since 2003, 68 soldiers from the base have killed themselves, among the higher totals for the Army in that period, but still below Fort Hood, Fort Campbell and Fort Bragg. –NY Times

August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report (2010)

Department of Defense
08/31/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Patrick Durham, 24, and Andrew Castro, 20, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Floyd Holley, 36, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Ellery Wallace, 33, and Bryn Raver, 20, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Chad Coleman, 20, and Adam Novak, 20, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: James Robinson, 27, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: James Ide, 32, Afghanistan, Sembach, Germany

08/30/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Daniel Fedder, 34, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/29/2010:  DOD Identifies Navy Casualty: James Swink, 20, Afghanistan, II Marine Expeditionary Forces

08/25/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Justin Shoecraft, 28, Afghanistan, Vilseck, Germany

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Robert Newton, 21, Afghanistan, Twentynine Palms, California

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Ronald Rodriguez, 26, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Steven Deluzio, 25, and Tristan Southworth, 21, Afghanistan, Vermont Army National Guard

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Pedro Millet Meletiche, 20, Afghanistan, Fort Carson, Colorado

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Jason Calo, 23, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

08/24/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Brandon Maggart, 24, Iraq, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

08/23/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Alexis Maldonado, 20, Afghanistan, Fort Hood, Texas

08/23/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Nathaniel Schultz, 19, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

08/23/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Wright, 23, Afghanistan, Hunter Army Air Field, Georgia

08/21/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Cody Childers, 19, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina

08/20/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Christopher Boyd, 22, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/20/2010:  DOD Identifies Navy Casualty: Collin Thomas, 33, Afghanistan, east-coast based SEAL team

08/20/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Martin Lugo, 24, Afghanistan, Hunter Army Air Field, Georgia

08/19/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Edgar Roberts, 39, Afghanistan, Georgia Army National Guard

08/19/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Kevin Oratowski, 23, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/18/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Benjamen Chisholm, 24, and Charles High IV, 21, NCDs, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/18/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Derek Farley, 24, Afghanistan, Grafenwoehr, Germany

08/17/2010:  Airman Missing In Action From WWII Identified: Ray F. Fletcher, US Army Air Forces

08/17/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Jamal Rhett, 24, Iraq, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii

08/16/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Michael Bock, 26, Afghanistan, Twentynine Palms, California

08/13/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Kristopher Greer, 25, Afghanistan, Marine Forces Reserve, Knoxville, Tennessee

08/13/2010:  Soldier Missing from Korean War Identified: Roy Stewart, US Army

08/12/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Christopher Karch, 23, Afghanistan, Fort Bragg, North Carolina

08/12/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Jose Saenz III, 30, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/11/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: John Andrade, 19, Afghanistan, Vilseck, Germany

08/11/2010:  Soldiers Missing in Action from Vietnam War Identified: Paul G. Magers, US Army

08/09/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Paul Cuzzupe, 23, Afghanistan, Vilseck, Germany

08/09/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualties: Kevin Cornelius, 20, and Vincent Gammone III, 19, Afghanistan, Camp Lejeune, California

08/09/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualties: Andrew Nicol, 23, and Bradley Rappuhn, 24, Afghanistan, Fort Benning, Georgia

08/09/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Faith Hinkley, 23, Iraq, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington

08/09/2010:  DOD Identifies Marine Casualty: Max Donahue, 23, Afghanistan, Camp Pendleton, California

08/02/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Kyle Stout, 25, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

08/01/2010:  DOD Identifies Army Casualty: Michael Stansbery, 21, Afghanistan, Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Related Links:
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2002)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2003)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2004)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2005)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2006)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2007)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2008)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2009)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2011)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2012)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2013)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2014)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2015)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2016)
August: Department of Defense Casualties Report (2017)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)

Army Spc. Christopher Opat Died of a Non Combat-Related Incident in Baquah, Iraq (June 15, 2010)

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Spc. Christopher Opat, U.S. Army

Army Spc. Christopher W. Opat, 29, died of a non combat related incident on June 15, 2010 in Baquah, Iraq. Spc. Opat was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 1st Squadron, 14th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington. According to the Department of Defense, at the time of the press release the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation.

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Spc. Christopher W. Opat
Cresco soldier dies in Iraq
Local residents show support for fallen soldier
Father of fallen soldier says son was dedicated to service
Christopher Wesley Opat | Remembering the Fallen
Spc. Christopher W. Opat
Christopher Opat, 29, Lime Springs
Procession for fallen Army soldier to go through Spring Valley Tuesday morning
U.S. Army Spc. Christopher Opat laid to rest
A family buries a hero
Flags lowered in Iowa in honor of soldier Christopher Opat
US troops who have died while serving in Iraq and Kuwait

JBLM Army Soldier Nathan Smith Sentenced to 11 Years to Life in Prison for Kidnapping, Rape, Attempted Rape, Torture, and Arson (May 28, 2010)

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Nathan Smith, US Army

According to ABC News, US Army Staff Sgt. Nathan Ryan Smith, 29, was charged with kidnapping, rape, arson, and tampering with evidence in the State of Washington. Fort Lewis Army personnel reported that Nathan Smith was Absent Without Leave (AWOL) as of January 5, 2009. Washington state investigators said Smith was suspected of kidnapping and attacking two women.

Smith was accused of grabbing one woman on January 1, 2009 in a Tacoma, Washington parking lot. He allegedly choked her until she became unconscious. The woman claimed when she woke up, she was naked and bound with zip ties in someone’s house. When she tried to free herself, she says she heard a man say, “If you fight, you’ll die.” Then she alleged the man put a knife to her face and said, “If you cooperate, you’ll go home.” According to this victim, the man believed to be Nathan Smith then gagged her and raped her. He also used electrified clamps to torture her and told the woman “If you tell anybody, police or anyone, I will kill you and your family. I can find you. I will find you.”

“After he allegedly raped one woman, Smith told her, I have killed several people in Iraq. I’m crazy in the head, and if I get caught by police I will come looking for you and kill you.” –ABC News

The second victim the police identified was a woman who was kidnapped on January 3, 2009. She claimed once they arrived at the assailant’s home, he choked her until she blacked out. She told police that when she woke up, her hands were bound and she had a gag in her mouth. She managed to escape and ran to a neighbor’s house who called the Washington State police. The second woman gave a similar description as the first victim of the man who kidnapped her. She also identified the same car the first victim identified, the same car Nathan Smith drove.

In both instances the victims said their attacker fit Smith’s description and drove the same kind of car that is registered to Smith. Washington State Police reported that Fort Lewis Army soldier Nathan Smith served as a calvary scout in Iraq from September 2006 to October 2007 and has military and wilderness survival skills. Nathan Smith is considered extremely dangerous. When finally captured and arrested, The News Tribune in Tacoma reported that Smith pleaded not guilty at his arraignment. In 2010, Smith changed his plea to guilty; guilty of one count of second-degree rape, one count of attempted second-degree rape, and one count of first-degree arson. The prosecutor requested 12 years for Smith, adding the brutality he inflicted on the women was off the charts. On May 28, 2010, the Judge sentenced Nathan Smith to 11 years to life in prison and it will be up to the Washington state Indeterminate Sentence Review Board to determine when, if ever, Smith is released.

He apologized to the women before being sentencing, saying he hopes the pain he caused them does not endure. He also apologized to his former comrades in arms. “They’re in Iraq right now, which is where I should be,” said Smith, a former cavalry scout with the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division…Defense attorney Wayne Fricke requested a low-end sentence of nine years, three months, saying his client had served his country honorably before going over the line with the women – prostitutes he’d hired to have sex with him. –The News Tribune

Related Links:
AWOL Soldier Wanted in Kidnappings, Rape
Ex-soldier gets 11 years to life in Parkland sexual assault case
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (US Army)

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez Died of a Non Combat-Related Incident in Baghdad, Iraq (2010)

Adriana Alvarez

Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, US Army

Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez, 20, died of a non combat related incident on February 10, 2010 in Baghdad, Iraq. Pfc. Alvarez was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington. According to the Department of Defense, the incident is under investigation.

“The U.S. Army policewoman was found Wednesday in Baghdad with a gunshot wound, her sister said. Military officials were investigating Alvarez’s death, her sister said.” ~Brownsville, The Herald

Related Links:
DOD Identifies Army Casualty
Army Pfc. Adriana Alvarez
Pfc. Adriana Alvarez
Female soldier from San Benito dies in Iraq
AT A GLANCE: Valley Servicemen who were killed in war in Iraq
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington (US Army)