10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, U.S. Army

UPDATE: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; DNA Match Leads to Arrest of Michael Whyte (March 17, 1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, U.S. Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, U.S. Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, U.S. Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, U.S. Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, U.S. Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, U.S. Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, U.S. Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, U.S. Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, U.S. Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, U.S. Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

Snapped Premiered ‘Michelle Paet’ on Oxygen: Air Force Sergeant Gunned Down in Garage Reveals Baffling Conspiracy (September 24, 2017)

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

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

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

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

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

Investigation Discovery:

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

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:
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (S21, E8)
Michelle Paet | Snapped | Oxygen (Amazon)
Snapped: Sneak Peek – Did Michelle Do It? (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: After The Verdict – Michelle Paet (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Prosecutor Michelle Fleck (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Kind Words for Michelle (Season 21, Episode 8) | Oxygen
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (website)
Watch Your Back | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Air Force Staff Sgt. Nathan Paet Shot & Killed as He Got Ready to Leave for Work; Spouse Michelle Paet Sentenced to Life, No Parole for Murder (December 1, 2010)
American Monster Premiered ‘Watch Your Back’ on ID: Michelle Paet Pleaded Guilty to Conspiring to Murder Husband Nathan Paet (August 19, 2018)

48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘The Double Cross’: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (April 25, 2017)

Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi worked as an Air Traffic Controller at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. Elise was married to Eddie Makdessi for five years and they lived off base in Virginia Beach. Elise unknowingly helped plan, organize, and carry out her own murder and it is unclear if she was a willing participant in the original plot with Eddie to scam the government out of money or if she was controlled by Eddie. Eddie Makdessi murdered Elise Makdessi and Navy Petty Officer Quincy Brown on May 14, 1996 as part of an elaborate scam. The whole thing was a set up. Elise thought she was part of an arrangement where she would invite Quincy Brown to the house, have sex with him, then accuse him of rape. She also manufactured evidence to make it look like she was documenting sexual abuse in an effort to sue the Navy and make millions. She had journals and created what looked like a rehearsed video outlining what four Navy men, including Quincy Brown, did to her on the job.

Read more from MJFA here.

Related Links:
48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘The Double Cross’
“48 Hours: NCIS:” The Double Cross
48 Hours: NCIS: The Double Cross [Podcast]
Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi Double Crossed & Murdered by Husband; Eddie Makdessi Found Guilty of Murder for the Life Insurance, Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 14, 1996)
Navy Petty Officer Quincy Brown Murdered by Military Spouse Motivated to Kill by Wife’s $700,000 Life Insurance Policy (May 14, 1996)
Solved Premiered ‘Last Man Standing’ on ID: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (October 26, 2009)
Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Deadly Accusations’ on ID: Navy Sailors Elise Makdessi & Quincy Brown Found Murdered in Makdessi’s Virginia Home (January 25, 2015)

Killer Couples Premiered ‘Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden’ on Oxygen: Russel Douglas Found Shot Execution Style on Whidbey Island the Day After Christmas (August 27, 2016)

Russel Douglas

Russel Douglas, Whidbey Island, Washington

Russel Douglas was found murdered in his car in a remote location on Whidbey Island in Washington on December 26, 2003. Russel was shot execution style in the head and there were few clues at the scene but the police knew it was a murder because they couldn’t find the gun. It took the police a few years but eventually they got a phone call from someone who said they had information about a murder. Investigators learned that a man by the name of Jim Huden admitted that he wanted to kill someone and did in fact kill someone. Through the course of the investigation, they also learned that Jim, who was married, had been having an affair with Peggy Thomas, a Navy veteran and former beauty queen in Washington. Peggy was the connection to Russel Douglas because she once worked with his wife Brenna at a hair salon and Russel’s wife was renting a home from her on Whidbey Island. When Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas were interviewed by the police, they didn’t admit to anything and would not cooperate. Therefore, detectives didn’t have enough evidence to arrest them.

After being questioned by police, Jim Huden started drinking more and fled to Mexico; Peggy Thomas got married and divorced; and the police continued investigating Russel Douglas’ murder. And then the unexpected happened. Jim’s estranged wife was arrested for drugs and check fraud. Detectives offered her a deal and promised if she gave them information about the Russel Douglas’ murder and where Jim was located, they would drop the charges against her; she gave them the information. Investigators began developing a theory based on the witnesses they had interviewed and the evidence they gathered. They believed the end game was money for Peggy and she was the one that put things in motion. Russel and his wife were having marital problems and investigators believe that Peggy offered to help Brenna murder her husband in return for some of the life insurance pay out. They theorized that Peggy convinced Jim that Russel was abusive so he would want to kill him. Jim was abused as a child so he was easily manipulated to believe that Russel deserved to die. In the end, both Peggy and Jim conspired to murder Russel Douglas for different motives.

Jim Huden wanted revenge for his childhood abuses and Peggy Thomas wanted cash. Investigators suspected the duo committed the murder for Brenna who claimed Russel abused her but there was no past history of domestic violence or child abuse on record; Jim didn’t know that and most likely went on the word of Peggy who used it to manipulate him. In court, Brenna testified that Russel mentally abused her but never admitted to any physical abuse. Unfortunately, police didn’t have enough evidence to charge Brenna Douglas with any crimes because both Jim and Peggy refused to talk. Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas were charged with Russel Douglas’ murder. In July 2012, Jim Huden was found guilty and sentenced to eighty years in prison. A month later, Peggy Thomas agreed to a plea deal in exchange for a reduced sentence and was given four years in prison for her role in the murder. Jim refused to testify against Peggy and pleaded the fifth at her trial. Peggy continues to deny any involvement in the murder and claims she didn’t know Jim was going to kill Russel. Peggy Thomas was released from prison in 2016.

Killer Couples (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

Full Episode: 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)

In the News:

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

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
If Looks Could Kill | Beauty Queen Murders | Investigation Discovery (S1, E5)
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
Whidbey Island Mystery | The Perfect Murder | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)
Russel Douglas Found Murdered on Whidbey Island in Washington; Navy Veteran Peggy Thomas & Lover Jim Huden Convicted For Their Roles in the Homicide (December 26, 2003)
The Perfect Murder Premiered ‘Whidbey Island Mystery’ on Investigation Discovery: Peggy Sue Thomas Manipulated Jim Huden to Kill Russel Douglas (August 30, 2018)

Oxygen:
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
Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden (Oxygen website)
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)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Killer Cougars’ on Investigation Discovery: Two Teenagers Promised Money if They Killed Kevin Spann (August 26, 2016)

Some women can’t resist boy toys. But fur flies when these Deadly Women reveal they’re “Killer Cougars.” -Deadly Women (S10,E1)

Kevin and Gina Spann know that life in the military is anything but easy. But when Kevin goes away, Gina plays. Adam Kostewicz and Grace Pianka are trying to live the American dream. But when that dream turns into a nightmare, someone ends up dead. -Special Delivery, Deadly Affairs (S2,E9)

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:
Murderpedia: Gina Lynn Spann
The Mother’s Day Murder by Wensley Clarkson
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10,E1)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Killer Cougars | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (S2,E9)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (website)
Special Delivery | Deadly Affairs | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Army Soldier Kevin Spann Fatally Shot by Two Teenagers at Front Door of Georgia Home; Wife Gina Spann Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (May 11, 1997)
Deadly Affairs Premiered ‘Special Delivery’ on ID: Gina Spann Manipulated Teenagers to Kill Her Husband (September 28, 2013)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Family of Katherine Morris Wants Department of Justice to Investigate Death (August 10, 2015)

Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death. -WMAR-2 News (August 10, 2015)

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (May 6, 2012): https://wp.me/p3XTUi-5ve

Never forgotten Katherine.

Related Links:
Katherine Morris on Military Justice for All (May 6, 2012)
Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death

Deadly Women Premiered ‘To Have and To Kill’ on ID: Gary Prokop Murdered for Military Death Benefits and Life Insurance (October 17, 2014)

When some brides vowed to love and honor their husbands, they lied. These Deadly Women made a mockery of marital commitment. They only promised “To Have and To Kill”. -Deadly Women (S8,E14)

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:
To Have and To Kill | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8,E14)
To Have and To Kill | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
To Have and To Kill | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
To Have and To Kill | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Fort Hood Army Soldier Gary Prokop Killed by Wife & Friends for Benefits & Life Insurance; Tyshee Prokop Sentenced to Life in Prison (June 25, 1998)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on ID
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)