Snapped Premiered ‘Donna Matthews’ on Oxygen: Michael Gayan Found Murdered in Wisconsin Home, Former Girlfriend Charged (March 3, 2019)

While investigating a tragic murder, Wisconsin police must work their way through a complex web, spanning across the nation, with alleged mafia ties and scandalous text messages. -Donna Matthews, Snapped, Oxygen (March 4, 2019)

Municipal construction workers making a house call discover a foul odor coming from a residence near their work site. -Donna Matthews, Snapped, Oxygen (March 4, 2019)

Law enforcement, legal counsel and friends describe Donna Matthews’ calculated murder plan of her former boyfriend Michael Gayan. -Snapped, Oxygen (March 6, 2019)

Derrick Matthews, brother of Donna Matthews is interviewed by police. -Donna Matthews, Snapped, Oxygen (March 7, 2019)

Tristine Fleming, friend of Donna Matthews, explains there are always two sides to every story. -Snapped, Oxygen (March 8, 2019)

Full Episode: While investigating a tragic murder, Wisconsin police must work their way through a complex web, spanning across the nation, with alleged mafia ties and scandalous text messages. -Donna Matthews, Snapped, Oxygen (March 3, 2019)

In the News:

WGTD covered the highly discussed Donna Matthews Murder Trial that occurred from June 25th-July 10th, 2018. Matthews was convicted of murder July 10th. The closing arguments are attached. -WGTD (July 11, 2018)

Related Links:
A Woman Shackled in Injustice
Gayan Arrested in Hawaii for Violating Restraining Order
Bond set at $1M for Donna Matthews, charged in connection with shooting death of Michael Gayan
Million Dollar Bond Set for Woman Accused of Killing Man in Kenosha
From Crime Victim to Murder Suspect
Independence Day: Alleged Killer Frees Self From Abusive Ex?
Kenosha Murder Suspect Bound Over For Trial
Maui woman to be tried over Wisconsin slaying
Murder Suspect Qualifies for Public Defender Representation
Siblings Charged in Death of Michael Gayan
‘Life or death situation:’ Brother, sister charged in fatal 2016 shooting in Kenosha convicted, set for sentencing
Prosecutors hope to block self-defense argument in homicide trial
Donna Matthews Murder Trial Blog
No one disputes that a woman killed her former boyfriend – it’s the “why” that is in question
Murdered Man May Have Abused Multiple Women
Another former girlfriend testifies Gayan put her in hospital, threatened to kill son
Dead man’s son writes letter supporting convicted killer
Matthews Found Guilty of Murder
Matthews gets life for 2016 murder
Kenosha woman gets life in ex-boyfriend’s killing
Brother gets seven years for helping sister with homicide
WGTD Exclusive: Closing Arguments: Donna Matthews Trial (WARNING- Inappropriate Language)
Snapped: Preview – Donna Matthews (Season 24, Episode 26) | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – A Body Is Found Inside A Kenosha , WI Home (Season 24, Episode 26) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus – Life In Prison Without Parole For Donna Matthews (Season 24, Episode 26) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus – Derrick Matthews Interview (Season 24, Episode 26) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus – The Trial Of Donna Matthews (Season 24, Episode 26) | Oxygen
Donna Matthews | Snapped | Oxygen (S24,E26)
I Was Asked to Do This by Donna Matthews
Why I Won’t Be Supporting Donna Matthews’ Murder Trial Appeal
Harassment By Donna Matthews’ Friends And Family
The Real Donna Matthews: Responding to the Audio of Her Sentencing
Corrections to Snapped Episode on Donna Matthews Murder of Michael Gayan
Season 24 | Snapped | Oxygen (Amazon Prime Video)

48 Hours CBS Premiered ‘Murder in Pinyon Pines’: An Investigation of the Cold Case Murders of Becky Friedli, Jon Hayward & Vicki Friedli in California (July 28, 2018)

A family murdered in their home. Years later, an arrest but then the two suspects are unexpectedly freed. “48 Hours” Troy Roberts reports. -CBS New York (January 16, 2015)

Drew Friedli recites a poem her sister, Becky, left on Myspace, before her murder in 2006. Drew feels the poem, “If I Knew It was the Last Time,” encompasses who Becky was because she always let people know that she loved them. -48 Hours (January 16, 2015)

Saturday, Aug. 1 starting at 9/8c on CBS: A triple murder, a young woman set afire in a wheelbarrow. Police have suspects until a courtroom twist changes everything. Then at 10/9c: Was an alleged religious cult responsible for a young bride’s death? -48 Hours (July 28, 2015)

The new district attorney for Riverside, California, has promised to look at the Pinyon Pines murder cold case with “an open mind.” “48 Hours” correspondent Troy Roberts discusses the case with CBSN. -CSBN (July 31, 2015)

A triple murder, a young woman set afire in a wheelbarrow. Police have suspects until a courtroom twist changes everything. “48 Hours ” has the latest on the case including an emotional verdict Saturday, July 28 at 10/9c on CBS. -48 Hours (July 27, 2018)

Related Links:
Murder in Pinyon Pines | 48 Hours (full episode 2015)
Murder in Pinyon Pines | 48 Hours (full episode 2015 2)
Murder in Pinyon Pines | 48 Hours (full episode 2018)
Murder in Pinyon Pines | 48 Hours Podcast
48 Hours Preview: Murder In Pinyon Pines
Sister reads one of Becky Friedli’s last postings on social media
Preview: “48 Hours” double feature
“48 Hours” probes Pinyon Pines triple murder case
Sneak peek: Murder in Pinyon Pines
Murder in Pinyon Pines | 48 Hours
Men charged in Pinyon Pines triple-murder for second time in two years
Pinyon Pines mystery: 3 murdered, set on fire in remote desert community
Pathologist reveals autopsy findings in Pinyon Pines murder trial
Tape reveals details of defendant’s, victim’s relationship in Pinyon Pines triple murder trial
Witness: Accused RivCo Killer Not Violent, ‘Best Person’ Ever
Pinyon Pines murder trial: Everything you should know about the case
Key witness in Pinyon Pines triple murder trial speaks out
2 men found guilty in 2006 Pinyon Pines murders
Two Men Guilty in Family’s Gruesome Pinyon Pines Murder
Anger and Joy After Guilty Verdicts in Pinyon Pines Triple Murder Case
Pair who murdered Pinyon Pines family to be sentenced
Pinyon Pines murder case: Defendants sentenced to life without parole
Pinyon Pines murders: Pair kill, burn family-of-three—discarding slain teen’s charred remains in wheelbarrow
Becky Friedli, Jon Hayward & Vicki Friedli Found Dead at Burnt Down Pinyon Pines Home in California; Cristin Smith & Robert Pape Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (September 17, 2006)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘This Bullet’s For You’ on ID: Bruce Schunk Entered Keith Lewandowski’s Florida Home & Executed Him (July 14, 2018)

ID Go: A couple from Michigan realizes a long held dream when they relocate to Florida, but their life in the sun is destroyed when they get into a fatal conflict with their neighbor. -This Bullet’s for You, Fear Thy Neighbor (S5, E7)

Date: July 4, 2012
Victim: Keith Lewandowski, 46, contractor
Offender: Bruce Schunk, 65, security guard, former military mechanic (veteran)
Location: Clearwater, Florida
Circumstances: Bruce Schunk moved to Florida to be near his sister, Bruce loved his dog Sweeney and always walked his dog, this community meant the world to Bruce, Sandra and Keith moved to Florida from Michigan, the newcomers fit right in with the community, Rudy Derrazo also lived in the community, Bruce broke his phone and Sandra & Keith gave him one to use, Bruce was trying to be a good neighbor and replaced a battery in Sandra’s car, Bruce and Sandra said he didn’t know what he was doing and the fix made the car worse, they didn’t want to be stuck with the bill and asked Bruce to pay for it but he refused, if Keith couldn’t get his money back, he was going to take the cell phone he gave Bruce, Keith called the phone, heard it in Bruce’s residence and went in and took the phone, Bruce discovered his home was broken into, he had to replace a couple broken windows, he was upset and it put him on edge, he knew who did it and confronted Keith, Keith said it was his phone and he took it, someone slashed the tires on Bruce’s new car, Bruce said he was harassed every time he took his dog for a walk, Keith would stand on his porch and bully Bruce, one neighbor said Keith was a nasty individual, Bruce didn’t want to live like this and offered a truce, Rudy and Keith were not interested, Keith made a sign saying all are welcome except Bruce, Bruce was humiliated, Keith & Rudy bullied and intimidated Bruce, Bruce put up his own sign that read “breaking and entering is a felony in Florida,” Bruce also put up some other signs like “Keith sucks,” it was a very public war of words, the neighbors didn’t like the signs and the town asked them to take them down, they didn’t hang out or talk, they didn’t acknowledge each other but Keith continued to verbally bully Bruce when he took his dog for a walk, Bruce felt like Keith was unstable, one day, Keith confronted Bruce on the street and told him to stay away from his family, neighbors called the police because they were physically fighting, the police couldn’t do anything because they were both in the wrong, the police separated them, Bruce told the cops a serious pattern was developing, neighbors agreed they should be separated, this was a conflict with no end that continued to escalate, Keith and Rudy were at war with Bruce, Bruce felt isolated, the vandalism at Bruce’s home continued, Bruce was afraid and broke down in tears over the situation when he called the police, Keith and Rudy denied doing anything to Bruce’s property, cops told Bruce next time he called, he was getting arrested, Bruce had guns strategically located in his home, Bruce shot his gun into the air on his property, the neighbors were horrified, Susan called 911 this time and reported that Bruce was shooting his gun, it was Bruce’s warning to the neighborhood, don’t mess with him, cops showed up and Bruce denied it, the police took all his guns because it appeared to be a sign of provocation, Bruce stood in the middle of the street and threw bullets at Keith and Susan’s house, Bruce told Keith he was saving one bullet for him, Keith wanted to buy a gun but Susan told him to let it go, the community waited in fear, Bruce was walking Sweeney one day when Keith and Rudy drove towards Bruce like they were going to run him down, Bruce was upset that they almost ran his dog over, Bruce had reached a point of no return, other neighbors admitted they wouldn’t put up with it as long as Bruce did, Bruce bought a new gun, mentally he had had enough, Keith and Susan were relaxing at their home, Bruce went to their home with a gun in hand, opened their unlocked door, and walked into their home, Susan threatened to call the police, Bruce pointed the firearm at Susan, Keith stepped in between Susan and Bruce, Bruce shot Keith between the eyes and let Susan live but he left her shocked and traumatized, Bruce wasn’t done yet, he wanted to settle the score with Rudy too, he went to Rudy’s house, shot in the locked door but Rudy wasn’t there, Bruce was glad he wasn’t home that day, Bruce went home, called 911, and placed the weapon on the ground, he admitted to killing Keith and said he felt terrible about what happened, Bruce asked the police to arrest him, Bruce was arrested, neighbors didn’t condone what Bruce did but they had empathy for Bruce, you can only push someone so far before they reach a breaking point, Rudy died of a heart attack not long after the shooting, Susan moved out of the neighborhood, police are not sure what set Bruce off on July 4th
Disposition: Faced with a lengthy trial, Bruce Schunk pleaded guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to 40 years in prison

Source: ‘This Bullet’s For You’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

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

Related Links:
Obituary: Keith Lewandowski (1965-2012)
Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office Charge Report
Clearwater man charged with murder
1st-degree murder charges in Schunk killing
Op-Ed: Neighbor feuds in a world of uncertainty
Detectives: Feud between neighbors at Pinellas mobile home park ends in death
Deputies: Man shot in the face, killed by allegedly drunk neighbor
Man Guns Down Neighbor in Front of Wife, Deputies Say
Police: Man killed protecting wife from shooter
Clearwater man pleads guilty in neighbor’s slaying
Clearwater man gets 40 years in prison for killing neighbor
This Bullet’s for You | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E7)
This Bullet’s for You | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
This Bullet’s for You | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Military Judge Sentenced Air Force A1C Timothy Wilsey to Life in Prison, Possibility of Parole for the Strangulation Death of Colleague A1C Rhianda Dillard (April 11, 2018)

Air Force A1C Rhianda Dillard, 20, was found dead in her dorm room at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska on August 1, 2016. A1C Timothy Wilsey, 21, disappeared after the murder and was arrested eleven days later in Emporia, Virginia on desertion and murder charges. Timothy Wilsey was charged with pre-meditated murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). A1C Dillard was from Biloxi, Mississippi and had only been in the Air Force for five months before she was murdered. She was a cyber systems operation specialist assigned to the 55th Strategic Communications Squadron. On August 4, 2018, AP reported that Wilsey’s court martial was scheduled for trial at Omaha’s federal courthouse. If found guilty of the federal charges, Wilsey risked a life sentence without parole. “Court-martial proceedings were moved off the base to a federal courthouse to make room for the public.” Wilsey pleaded guilty to a single count of premeditated murder and one count of deserting his unit. On April 11, 2018, a military judge sentenced Timothy Wilsey to life in prison with no possibility of parole but because of a pretrial agreement with his command (26th Air Force) Wilsey will be eligible for parole in the future. “Wilsey also received a reprimand and reduction to the lowest enlisted rank, forfeits all future pay and allowances, and is to be dishonorably discharged.”

“I killed Airman Dillard by putting my arm around her neck. Then I switched arms,” he said as he entered his guilty plea. “I sat on top of her and strangled her with both my hands.” -Timothy Wilsey (Clarion Ledger, April 6, 2018)

Airman 1st Class Timothy M. Wilsey of the 55th Intelligence Support Squadron has been charged with premeditated murder and desertion in connection with the death of Airman 1st Class Rhianda N. Dillard at Offutt Air Force Base, a news release from the 55th Wing said. -KETV (December 13, 2016)

Related Links:
Offutt airman charged with murder in connection with fellow airman’s death
Offutt airman charged in murder case
Air Force airman charged in death of fellow airman
Air Force airman charged in August death of fellow airman
She died, he disappeared. Now he’s charged with murder.
Airman faces premeditated murder, desertion charges in death at Offutt Air Force Base
Offutt airman charged with murder, desertion in death of fellow airman
Airman accused of murdering fellow airman at Offutt AFB officially charged
Airman from Valdosta charged with murder
‘He’s not talking’: Offutt airman charged with murder in connection with fellow airman’s death
Airman at Offutt Charged With Murder Appears in Court
Journal details Offutt airman’s slaying
Prosecutors: Journal details Offutt airman’s slaying
Airman at Offutt detailed killing of fellow service member in journal, agent testifies at hearing
‘My bad’: Chilling diary entries and texts of ‘murder-obsessed’ soldier ‘who strangled female classmate for fun and to steal a pack of Oreos’
Court martial for airman charged with murder moved downtown
Court martial for airman charged with murder moved downtown
Court martial for airman charged with murder moved downtown
Airman pleads guilty to murder
Airman pleads guilty to murder at Air Force base near Omaha
Mississippi airman’s killer pleads guilty to her Nebraska murder
While on the run, Offutt airman wrote that he had thoughts of killing again
‘I just enjoy killing. Simple as that.’ Quotes from airman’s journal shared at sentencing in Offutt slaying
‘I just enjoy killing’: Nebraska airman’s journal reveals ‘a thirst’ for murder
‘What went wrong?’ Friends, family are baffled as to how Offutt airman became killer
Airman from Valdosta gets life in prison
Former airman sentenced to life in prison
Airman who described himself as ‘homicidal’ is sentenced to life with possibility of parole for Offutt slaying
Airman who killed colleague at Offutt gets life with chance at parole
Airman Who Killed Colleague Gets Life with Chance at Parole
‘I Just Enjoy Killing’: Airman Gets Life in Prison for Strangling Another Air Force Member
Airman Gets Life In Prison For Murdering Colleague, Wrote In Journal ‘I Just Like Killing’
Air Force A1C Rhianda Dillard Found Murdered in Offutt AFB Dorm Room; Military Judge Sentenced A1C Timothy Wilsey to Life in Prison, Possibility of Parole (August 1, 2016)

48 Hours Premiered ‘The Evidence Room’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes behind the scenes with a defense team and cutting edge forensic animators as they strategize to defend a woman accused of murder. CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith investigates in a special two-hour edition of “48 Hours” airing Saturday, Dec. 23 starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Honoring the victim: Robert McKernan.

Related Links:
Sneak peek: The Evidence Room | 48 Hours
“It was the last time he was going to hurt me” | 48 Hours
Colleen McKernan reaches plea deal, avoids third murder trial
Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)

Reasonable Doubt Premiered ‘Failure to Remember’ on Investigation Discovery: Penny Brummer Maintains Innocence in the 1994 Homicide of Sarah Gonstead (June 21, 2017)

Penny Brummer, a military vet, is accused of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend in a jealous rage. However, Penny was so drunk that night she was in a blackout state. Can Chris and Melissa help fill in the gaps of her memory to prove her innocence? -Reasonable Doubt, Investigation Discovery

Air Force veteran Penny Brummer was convicted on October 1, 1994 of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend 21-year-old Sarah Gonstead in Madison, Wisconsin. On March 14, 1994, after a night of heavy drinking with Penny, Sarah was shot in the back of the head execution style and found three weeks later in a secluded field. Detectives theorized that Sarah most likely trusted her killer. On this episode of Investigation Discovery’s Reasonable Doubt, Penny’s mother, Nancy Brummer, turned to Detective Chris Anderson and criminal defense attorney Melissa Lewkowicz to help her prove Penny’s innocence. Nancy believes the prosecution had no concrete evidence except for circumstantial evidence and she also believes the the jury was biased and led to believe that lesbians are inherently violent. Detective Anderson and Melissa Lewkowicz worked with Nancy Brummer by taking a second look at Penny Brummer’s case featured in the ninth episode of Reasonable Doubt aptly titled ‘Failure to Remember’. It’s their job to investigate the cases that family members swear are wrongful homicide convictions and in the end the duo share their assessment of guilt or innocence based on meticulous investigative work.

Nancy Brummer has been fighting to free her daughter for twenty-two years. She told Detective Anderson and Melissa that they were her last hope. The two learned that Sarah Gonstead left her mother’s house to go out for a night of drinking to celebrate her 21st birthday with her friend Penny but Sarah never came home. Twenty-five days later, Sarah was found in a secluded field in Madison. Sarah had been shot execution style in the back of the head and Penny was the last known person to see her alive. Eight days later, Penny was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Penny claims she pulled over to clean up some beer that spilled in her vehicle and Sarah exited the vehicle to walk half a block to her best friend Glenda’s house. But prosecutors painted a darker picture. They theorized the two got drunk and Penny drove Sarah out to a empty soy field and murdered her. Prosecutors believed the motive was jealousy because Glenda had just broken up with Penny and Penny blamed Sarah for the break-up. They claimed Penny wanted revenge and the jury bought it. Penny Brummer is currently serving life in prison and her first opportunity for parole is in 2045.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with the Nancy Brummer first to hear her plea for justice. Nancy stated that she wanted to find the person who committed the crime and free Penny so she can come home. Nancy confirmed that Glenda and Penny were dating and broke up about a month prior to Sarah’s disappearance. Sarah was Glenda’s best friend and the three of them would hang out and party together. Penny was in her early twenties at the time of the homicide so her behavior was typical of most young people at that stage in their life. Nancy Brummer described Penny as very social and happy-go-lucky. She said Penny was really into sports and she was on the softball team and volleyball team in high school. Nancy opined Penny was a typical teenager and started drinking around the age of seventeen. After high school, Penny joined the Air Force and shared with her mom that it was hard being in the military because of the secrecy she had to maintain regarding her sexual orientation. Nancy Brummer believes that the jury was biased and led to believe that a lesbian is more prone to violence. She referenced a questionnaire that Melissa agreed was inflammatory and would need a second look.

The prosecution painted a picture that Penny was jealous of the friendship between Glenda and Sarah. The two were strictly friends and Sarah was straight. Nancy observed that Penny was sad and disappointed about the break-up but not what one would consider obsessive. She reminded Detective Anderson and Melissa that the prosecution had nothing: no physical evidence, no DNA, no blood evidence, nothing that tied Penny to the murder. The prosecution said the gun that was used in the commission of the crime was a 22 handgun that belonged to Penny’s father. Nancy admits that her husband’s gun did go missing and was never recovered. When Sarah’s body was found, Nancy said a witness came forward to the police and said that he had driven by the scene of the crime a day or two after the murder and saw a suspicious vehicle along the side of the road. He saw a man standing behind the vehicle with what looked like a pink and purple duffle bag and as it turns out, Sarah’s jacket was the same pink and purple color. Nancy said this evidence was ignored. Nancy informed both Detective Anderson and Melissa that even if they don’t find Penny innocent, she will keep fighting for her release.

Detective Anderson and Melissa began their investigation. Detective Anderson started with the man who was the eyewitness. This man told Detective Anderson that he did in fact see a vehicle by the side of the road near the location of where Sarah’s body was found in the field. He claims he made eye contact with the man in question but that was about the extent of it. He said after the man made eye contact with him, he put his head down. The eyewitness was concerned that this man was trying to move the body, after all it was only a couple days after she had gone missing. He said the police informed him that they already had a suspect in the case and he felt that his testimony was largely discounted and ignored. Melissa investigated the prosecutors jealousy motive. One of Penny’s close friends described her as a great friend and a someone she went bar-hopping with. Penny’s friend believes that she was a binge drinker and most likely an alcoholic because she would drink until she blacked out. Penny’s friends said she hoped she would get back together with Glenda but certainly didn’t act like a jealous ex-girlfriend. Penny’s friend Mary believes she is innocent.

Detective Anderson met with a forensic expert to go over the physical evidence or lack there of. The two examined the crime scene photos and other evidence available. The forensic expert didn’t see any signs of struggle and it appeared Sarah’s body fell forward after she was shot in the head. There was no sexual assault and no beating. It was an execution style killing and Sarah most likely knew and trusted the person who shot her. Sarah was walking in front of the perpetrator when she was shot in the back of her head. Detective Anderson visited the last known location of both Penny and Sarah, a local bar in Madison. A witness said Sarah and Penny were celebrating Sarah’s birthday because she had just turned twenty-one. The two had been drinking prior to their arrival at the bar but the witness didn’t think either appeared to be drunk. She said they showed up at the bar around 10:30 p.m. and left a couple hours later; they had a couple drinks while they were there. The witness observed they were both in great spirits and having fun and they were both able to carry on a conversation. On the night in question, Sarah was kind of quiet while Penny appeared to be enjoying herself with others at the bar. Neither of them were agitated or upset; they both appeared to be in a really good mood.

Detective Anderson interviewed Penny via the telephone. Penny said she dated Glenda for 8 or 9 months and admits she fell in love with her. She also claimed to have a nice friendship with Sarah. She shared that Sarah never did anything bad to her and never meddled in her relationship with Glenda. Penny said Glenda just decided one day to end things and told her she was going back on birth control. Penny assumed Glenda wanted to go back to guys. After the break-up, Penny was heartbroken. She admitted she got physical with Glenda one time; they pushed each other during an argument. On March 14, 1994, Penny said she got out of work around 7:30 p.m., got some beer, and went to Sarah’s house. Penny said they stopped at a couple bars and drank more beer. Penny said she doesn’t remember being at Jakes (the bar where the eyewitness last saw both Penny and Sarah at around midnight). Penny admitted she was an alcoholic then and was very intoxicated. Penny and Sarah were on their way to pick up Glenda when Penny spilled some beer in her car and stopped to clean it up. Penny said Sarah wasn’t feeling well so she started walking to Glenda’s house which was about a half a block away. Penny told Detective Anderson she doesn’t know why she didn’t take Sarah to Glenda’s house but she went home after cleaning her car. Penny reminded Detective Anderson that she isn’t the type to kill anyone, she didn’t have a weapon, and she had absolutely no reason to hurt Sarah.

In the meantime, Melissa looked at the questionnaire that was given to the jury asking them about their thoughts about lesbians and violence. Melissa said, as a criminal defense attorney, she would insist that the jury not be subjected to or see the questionnaire because it is inflammatory. Melissa also spoke with Glenda who was the glue that held the case together. Glenda claimed she dated Penny for about a year but wasn’t necessarily in love with her. Glenda claimed Penny drank a lot but could still function; she just wouldn’t remember it. Glenda described Sarah as a shy, soft-hearted, and loyal friend. Glenda believed that Penny was jealous of her friendship with Sarah. Glenda admitted that Penny did in deed find her birth control pills and assumed that she was breaking up with her so she could date men again. Glenda admitted she broke up with Penny because she was way too controlling. Glenda also claimed Penny was pissed that she broke up with her. When Glenda ended it, Penny shoved her and she shoved her back and kicked her out of her house. Glenda said the look in her eyes scared the crap out of her and she began to cry. Glenda believes they have the right person and is still grieving the loss of her friend.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with Nancy Brummer to share the results of their investigation. Nancy claimed the jury was bias because of Penny’s sexual orientation and Melissa believes she was absolutely right. Melissa said the questions asked of the jury were highly prejudicial. Penny’s close friend felt that the motive of jealousy was crap but Glenda was 100% convinced Penny was the killer. Glenda claimed the motive in this case was vengeance. Glenda declared that if Penny gets out of jail, she is moving to another state because she is scared of her; if Penny did this once, who is to say she won’t do this again? Nancy doesn’t believe Glenda and said she is a good actress. Detective Anderson told Nancy he followed up with the eye witness at the scene of the crime and said this was a problem because each and every lead needs to be taken seriously. He also shared that only one of the detectives was alive and he refused to meet with him. Melissa confirmed that there is no physical evidence tying Penny to the crime. Detective Anderson addressed the gun they believed was used in the commission of the crime and Nancy confirmed the 22 they owned had indeed gone missing. Detective Anderson addressed the autopsy photos and shared that the forensic expert did not observe any signs of struggle. It was a cold night and if someone ran towards Sarah, she definitely would have heard it. Detective Anderson deduced Sarah was shot by someone she knew or was led into the field at gunpoint.

“Circumstantial cases are a series of little things that add up until they point in one direction.” -Detective Chris Anderson, Reasonable Doubt

Nancy Brummer said there was no way her daughter would have shot Sarah in the back of the head. But Detective Anderson had some serious issues with the fact that the only person who claims Penny was in a black out that night is Penny. He spoke with a bartender who claimed that Penny appeared to be functional. Jake’s bar is significant because it is less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found. Detective Anderson noted that Penny said she couldn’t remember being at Jake’s that night but she remembered very specific things earlier and later that night. Detective Anderson felt it was suspicious that Penny remembered everything really well that night except being at this bar. Is this a form of convenient amnesia? Melissa empathized with why Nancy felt a sense of injustice all these years. The biased questionnaire, the ignored witnesses, and the overall investigation had major problems; the evidence was highly circumstantial. Penny was the last known person to see Sarah alive that night; Penny was last seen at a bar with Sarah which is located less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found; Penny said she can’t remember being there but does remember a lot of details earlier and after Sarah went missing; Sarah was killed with a 22 and Penny’s father owned a 22 that was now missing; Penny was a military vet who was trained to shoot guns; and Sarah wasn’t trying to run away, she didn’t struggle, and she most likely knew and trusted her killer.

Why would Penny do this? Melissa shared that she read through the police reports and noted that Penny admitted she was heartbroken when things ended with Glenda. Penny also admitted that after the break-up she wondered who Glenda was with, where she was, and what she was doing. Penny also said Glenda was in her head 24 hours a day (obsessed) and that she resented Sarah because she assumed Sarah was trying to drag her back into the straight world. On the night of March 14, 1994, Penny did what she always did. Melissa explained Penny got really drunk, the break-up was fresh, her feelings were raw, and she spent the entire night with the person she believed came between her and the woman she loved. Melissa asked, “did Penny plan to walk Sarah into the woods or was it just a horrific idea fueled by fifteen drinks? Did she remember shooting Sarah, does she remember her falling to the ground, or does she not remember anything at all?” Ironically, Penny admits that prison saved her life. Penny believes she would not have made it to thirty had it not been for prison. Penny said she turned her life around behind bars. Based on the leads Nancy provided and an independent investigation, Detective Anderson and Melissa revealed there was nothing new in the investigation that would bring Penny home. They both suggested Nancy ask her daughter the tough questions and then she will know, even 22 years later.

“The problem is that the things Penny remembers are the things that will help her and the things that she can’t remember are the things that would potentially hurt her.” -Melissa Lewkowicz, Reasonable Doubt

Source: Reasonable Doubt ‘Failure to Remember’

Twenty-one years ago a jury found Penny Brummer guilty in the murder of Sarah Gonstead. The family of Brummer has spent those 21 years working to prove her innocence. Dave Delozier reports. -Channel 3000 | News 3 (December 14, 2015)

MJFA Links:
Sarah Gonstead was Shot Execution Style in the Back of Head After a Night Out Celebrating 21st Birthday with Friend & Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer (March 14, 1994)

Related Links:
Who Killed Sarah?
Seeking justice for Penny Brummer
New Trial for Penny Brummer, Wrongfully Convicted | Petition
Penny Brummer Defense & Support Fund by Truth in Justice

1994
Sarah Gonstead Murder

1995
Reasonable Doubt by Ingrid Ricks | The Advocate

1997
State of Wisconsin v. Penny L Brummer

2003
A short history of exposing misconduct

2005
Chapter 1: A tale of three young women
Chapter 2: A hole in her story
Chapter 3: A surprise witness appears
Chapter 4: Defense sows seeds of doubt
Chapter 5: Emotional debate ends in guilty verdict
Chapter 6: Supporters of Brummer offer their theories; they say the evidence was too thin and question makeup of jury
Gift enables investigative journalism class to probe old murder case

2012
Dane Co. DA Approves DNA Testing in 1994 Killing
Wisconsin DA approves DNA testing in 1994 killing
Will DNA Save Penny Brummer?
Spring Green woman could be cleared

2013
Innocence project founder promotes cause of Madison woman convicted of murder
Did Homophobia Convict a Wisconsin Woman of Murder?

2014
A Look Back After 20 Years
A look back at a 20-year-old murder and if the right person was convicted

2015
Who killed Sarah? The trial of Penny Brummer
Group questioning conviction of Penny Brummer in 1994 death of Sarah Gonstead
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
$10,000 Reward Offered in Wrongful Conviction Case
Person of Interest Hits Wrongfully Convicted for Serving in U.S. Military
On Wrongful Convictions and Penny Brummer

2016
Penny Brummer’s fight for justice
The Lynching of a Madison Lesbian: Wisconsin’s Wrongful Conviction of Penny Brummer
Wrongful Conviction: Penny Brummer Is Innocent and Still in Prison
Richmond Crime Author Sheila Berry Takes on Wrongful Convictions Nationwide

2017
Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?

Books:
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Amazon
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Walmart

Video Links:
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | Amazon
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt – Investigation Discovery
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | YouTube

MFJA Links:
Sarah Gonstead Shot Execution Style on 21st Birthday; Friend & Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer Found Guilty of 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (March 14, 1994)
Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer Found Guilty of the 1st Degree Murder of Sarah Gonstead; Sentenced to Life in Prison with Possibility of Parole After 50 Years (October 1, 1994)

Georgia Army National Guardsman Sgt. Ating Eminue Shot and Killed in Atlanta; Harold Dodson Found Guilty and Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (August 30, 2015)

Sgt. Ating Eminue

Sgt. Ating Eminue, US Army

Army Sgt. Ating Eminue was shot and killed outside a homeless shelter in Atlanta, Georgia on August 30, 2015. Harold Dodson was arrested and charged October 23rd in connection with the fatal shooting of the Georgia Army National Guardsman. A judge denied bond for Dodson in November 2015. Dodson had a history of crimes and made a living dealing drugs. He had five felony convictions before the age of 21. He will remain in jail while he awaits trial. In April 2017, the Fulton County prosecutor’s office announced Harold Dodson was found guilty and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 30 years in prison. According to the family, Sgt. Eminue was a father and served three tours of duty in Afghanistan.

Related Links:
Guardsman shot, killed outside Atlanta homeless shelter
Active duty sergeant killed while trying to help homeless
Active Duty Soldier Killed Near Midtown Homeless Shelter
Man shot outside Atlanta club identified, no arrests made
Guardsman shot, killed outside Atlanta homeless shelter
Army Sergeant gunned down and killed while helping homeless
Harold Bernard Dodson | Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta
Reward increased in death of veteran shot helping homeless man
Arrest made in Pine Street murder of Guardsman
Arrest made in murder of Army sergeant who was helping homeless shelter
Police arrest Harold Dodson in murder of Army sergeant helping homeless shelter
Man held in Georgia Army National Guardsman’s slaying
Father has message for son’s accused killer
Judge denies bond for accused killer of Army sergeant
Honoring a soldier who gave his life on streets of Atlanta
Defendant Found Guilty in Death of Army Sergeant
Man guilty of killing soldier who helped homeless
Man Guilty of Killing Army Sergeant Who Helped Homeless
Ating Eminue (1991-2015) Forever Missed