American Monster Premiered ‘Stages of Grief’ on Investigation Discovery: Dennis Dawley & Brandita Taliano Murdered Joan Dawley for Cash (July 8, 2018)


In suburban California, an intruder brutally attacks and kills Joan Dawley. As the Dawley family grieves, it’s up to LAPD detectives to crack the case. Secret home movies uncover a shocking tale of deceit, and a monster lurking behind the scenes. -Stages of Grief, American Monster (Investigation Discovery)

Air Force retiree Dennis Dawley, 61, with the help of prostitute and mistress, Brandita Taliano, bludgeoned to death his wife Joan Dawley of 35 years for financial gain in Van Nuys, California. Joan wanted a divorce and Dennis and Brandita wanted her inheritance money. The 1991 case went cold for years until DNA technology under Joan’s fingernails yielded a match to Brandita Taliano. Both Dennis and Brandita were charged with murder, conspiracy & solicitation and faced the death penalty. On April 15, 1997, a California jury sentenced Dawley and Taliano to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The pair were spared the death penalty because they didn’t have any prior violent felony records and the jury heard the emotional pleas from Dawley’s daughters.

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.


There’s an old saying that a burden shared is a burden halved. But when people team up to commit murder, the weight of their guilt remains just as heavy. Investigators must rely on forensic science to capture partners in crime. -Partners in Crime, New Detectives (Season 5, Episode 2)


Preview: Brandita Taliano of Los Angeles, California wanted to live the high life. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery


Seeking freedom from his controlling wife, Joan, Dennis Hawley begins seeing drug-addicted prostitute Brandita Taliano and supporting her financially. -Female Killers (Deadly Women)


Being the ‘other woman’ is a lonely life. Some turn rejection into rage. A call girl craved the high life, a teen mom eradicated her rival, and a lesbian love affair ripped a family apart. These Deadly Women refused to play ‘Second Best’. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
Murder Suspects’ Trip Tipped Off Police : Slaying: Widower visited Las Vegas with mistress two days after his wife’s death. The pair are now charged in the killing. (1997)
American Monster: Meet Dennis Dawley – Air Force Vet, Golf Pro & Brutal Wife Killer
Man, 61, Testifies in Wife’s 1991 Slaying (1997)
Husband, Former Mistress Get Life in Wife’s Slaying (1997)
BRANDITA TALIANO, Plaintiff, v. D. L. JOHNSON, et al., Defendant. | United States District Court, E.D. California. | May 14, 2014
The New Detectives: Season 5 – Ep 2 “Partners in Crime”
Mistress Kills Her Lover’s Wife to Escape | Deadly Women (S8, E10, ID)
They Killed His Wife Then Decided To Go On A Las Vegas Holiday | Deadly Women
Second Best | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Season 8, Episode 10)
Brandita Taliano Documentary | Female Killers (Deadly Women)
Stages of Grief | American Monster | Investigation Discovery (Season 3, Episode 1)
Psycho For Love: Dennis Dawley and his mistress, Brandita Taliano, killed his wife, Joan Dawley for the money
Monstresses: Katie Belflower & Brandita Taliano (Season 1: Ep. 2) (2013)
Killer Call Girl: The True Story of Brandita Taliano by Greta Harris (book)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Mistress of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Linda Cowan & Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan (July 7, 2018)


Two women living next to each other since childhood descend into bitter conflict when the ex husband of one starts seeing the other. Add property issues to this toxic mix and the result is an act of shocking violence that engulfs all. -Mistress of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery: S5, E6)

On December 18, 2009, Army veteran Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan shot at and injured his neighbor Christie Jackson in Burnet, Texas. Christie Jackson and Vinson’s mother, Linda Cowan, were engaged in a bitter three month feud between neighbors after Christie’s estranged husband Rudy started dating Linda. What started out as a disagreement between neighbors ended in someone getting shot. It is believed that Linda Cowan enlisted the help of her son Vinson to shoot and kill Christie Jackson and he obliged because he was protective of his mother. Vinson followed through and indeed shot Christie in the head through the window of her own home. Miraculously, despite the severe head wound, Christie lived, but will forever be affected by the ordeal. On the night in question, Christie was sleeping with both her daughters who also are forever changed by the experience.

One of Vinson’s friends, Thomas Pierson, who was aware of the plan to shoot Christie and be a look-out that night, informed the police of Linda and Vinson’s plans to shoot Christie in retaliation for all the trouble she caused her. The bottom line was Linda wanted Christie out of the picture. Linda Cowan was jealous that Rudy continued to see Christie and their children and angry because she assumed Christie called the City of Burnet to complain about her septic issues. Linda wanted revenge and she wanted to date Rudy despite his intentions to continue seeing Christie. In 2013, Linda Cowan was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And Vinson Thomas-Ward plead guilty to ten years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Christie’s mother sold the family home in Burnet.

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:
Burnet woman gets 15 years for her role in 2009 shooting (2013)
Burnet County man gets 10 years for 2009 shooting of woman (2013)
Linda Sue Cowan, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee (2015)
Mistress of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Trail of Fire’ on CBS: Holley Wimunc, Domestic Violence, and the Holley Lynn James Act (June 26, 2018)


Friends searching for a missing Army nurse find her apartment smoldering and no sign of their friend. Can NCIS agents find her? -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS


The apartment of a missing Army nurse was found smoldering. This was the season finale of “48 Hours: NCIS” and producer Jonathan Leach joined CBS News to discuss the episode. -Trail of Fire, 48 Hours NCIS

Holley Lynn James Wimunc 2

Lt. Holley Lynn James, US Army

Fort Bragg Army nurse, Lt Holley (Lynn James) Wimunc, 24, was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc on July 9, 2008 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. After Holley didn’t show up to work, her friends went looking for her. They found her apartment had been set on fire but Holley was nowhere to be found. Three days later authorities discovered Holley’s mutilated remains in a shallow grave outside of Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. Her body had been chopped up with an axe and burned repeatedly in an effort to try and destroy evidence. John Wimunc also started her apartment on fire in an effort to hide evidence with no regard for any of the nineteen other families in the apartment building. Holley’s father Jesse James shared that she planned on divorcing John Wimunc after putting up with the domestic abuse for over seven months. It would be the day after she told John that she was leaving him that she would go missing. Marine Cpl. John Wimunc, 23, was charged with first-degree murder, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. An accomplice, Lance Cpl. Kyle Alden, 22, was charged with being an accessory after the fact of a felony, second-degree arson and conspiracy to commit arson. John Wimunc plead guilty to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison. Kyle Alden plead guilty and was sentenced to 44 to 62 months in prison. Jesse James worked with Representative Bruce Braley on legislation that would improve conditions for both domestic violence and sexual assault victims in the military. The Holley Lynn James Act (H.R. 1517) was introduced to the 112th Congress in 2011 but did not pass.

“I didn’t know much about domestic violence. But the thought that he would murder Holley is a thought that never occurred to me. I wish it had occurred to me. I wish for one moment I would have thought maybe he’ll kill Holley or murder Holley. My reaction would have been so different. I didn’t know about domestic violence.” -Jesse James (Holley’s father)

MJFA Link:
Army Nurse Lt. Holley Lynn James Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce; John Wimunc Plead Guilty, Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 9, 2008)
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Trail of Fire,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app for iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  


Authorities in North Carolina have charged the husband of a Fort Bragg Army nurse with murder after the woman’s remains were found in a brush fire three days after she went missing. -AP (July 14, 2008)


The husband of an Army nurse who worked in the maternity ward at Fort Bragg’s hospital was charged Monday with murder in her death, a day after her body was discovered by authorities. -AP (July 14, 2008)


Rep. Bruce Braley introduces the Holley Lynn James Act — a bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military get justice. The bill is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Rep. Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service.


Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc

Related Links:
Obituary: Lt Holley Lynn James
Second Missing Ft. Bragg Soldier Is Divorcing Husband
Evidence to be preserved in case of slain Army nurse
Authorities suspect charred remains could be Fort Bragg nurse
Fort Bragg nurse sought protection from Marine husband after gun incident
Apartment complex denies access to slain soldier’s family
Slain soldier’s brother retrieves belongings from apartment
Autopsy: Army nurse was shot, buried
Funeral set for Army nurse Holley Wimunc
Vigil planned for slain Army nurse
Fort Bragg hosts memorial service for slain nurse
Wimunc’s father: Daughter ‘never met a stranger’
Family, attorney: Marine charged in wife’s death is innocent
Marine’s parents: Claims of violence against wife ‘unfounded’
Husband, 2nd man arrested in slaying of Bragg-based soldier
2 Marines charged in nurse’s death due in NC court
Marine charged in wife’s death
Marine charged in death of Army nurse wife
Husband charged with murdering soldier wife
Missing Nurse’s Marine Husband Charged With Murder
Dead Army nurse’s husband charged with murder
Camp Lejeune husband charged with the murder of his Fort Bragg wife
Soldier’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marines appear in court in Army nurse’s death
Marines charged in slaying appear in court
Marines indicted in Army nurse’s slaying
Death penalty sought in Army nurse’s slaying
NC to seek death penalty in killing of Army wife from Dubuque
Wimunc Faces Death Penalty
Plea deal reached in Marine murder case
Camp Lejeune Marine pleads guilty to killing wife
Second Marine pleads guilty in Army nurse’s death
Marine Pleads Guilty in Army Wife’s Murder
Slain Army nurse’s dad in war against domestic violence
Death on the Home Front
The Fort Bragg Murders
U.S. Military Is Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’
When a Military Nurse Fails to Show Up for Work, Worried Friends Rush to Her Apartment Only to Find her Home Burned & Their Friend Missing
Did a Missing Army Nurse Fall Prey to a Serial Killer Targeting Military Women?
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
Fort Bragg soldier Holley Wimunc’s 2008 murder featured on CBS’ ’48 Hours: NCIS’
History: The Military And Domestic Abuse (January 28, 2009)
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)

Video Links:
AP Top Stories: Holley Wimunc
Dead Army Nurse’s Husband Charged With Murder
Marine Charged in Army Wife’s Death
Holley James we miss you
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 1 | CBS News
Domestic Violence in the Military Part 2 | CBS News
Rep. Braley introduces Holley Lynn James Act
Domestic Violence: Holley Wimunc
Did a missing Army nurse fall prey to a serial killer targeting military women?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Trail of Fire
“48 Hours: NCIS: Trail of Fire” preview

Navy Corpsman Jhadin Davis Convicted of First Degree Murder of Father & Son Albert and Duane Correll; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (July 31, 2017)

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Jhadin Davis, US Navy

Offender:
Jhaden Davis, 21, US Navy, Camp Lejeune, NC (GUILTY, Sentenced to LWOP)

Homicide Victims:
Albert Correll, 20, Beaufort, North Carolina
Duane Correll, 50, Beaufort, North Carolina

Related Links:
Names of victims released in double homicide
Sheriff: shooting deaths related to recent larceny
Suspect search on in double homicide
Three Arrested in Double Murder of Corrells
Camp Lejeune sailors arrested in Beaufort killings
Camp Lejeune Navy Corpsmen arrested for double murder
Camp Lejeune Navy Corpsmen arrested for double murder
Three accused in murders make appearance
New twist in double murder case involving Climax-Scotts native
State, defense prepare for trial in murder case
Court Day for Suspects in Father/Son Murders
Double murder trial gets underway
Accused killer’s ex-roommate testifies in double murder trial
Witnesses: Davis later confessed to two shootings
Former Navy corpsman found guilty of killing father & son
Davis Convicted in Carteret Double Murder
Former Navy corpsman convicted in 2012 double murder
Former corpsman gets life in 2012 Beaufort double murder
Former corpsman gets life in 2012 Beaufort double murder [YouTube]
Albert Correll and his son Duane Correll were murdered by Jhaden Davis over a debt
Carteret homicide case featured on true-crime series
Carteret homicide case featured on true-crime series
Hearts of Darkness | Murder Calls | Investigation Discovery
Navy Corpsman Jhaden Davis Murdered Father & Son Albert and Duane Correll During a Robbery Attempt in Beaufort, NC; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (June 2, 2012)


A dying man calls 911 saying he’s been shot in the heart, and his son has also been shot dead. The shooter escapes into the darkness, and as detectives investigate, they navigate a complex group of suspects to uncover a tangled web of rage and revenge. -Murder Calls

Army Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz of Fort Riley, Kansas Found Dead from Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound Inside Vehicle Parked on I-70 (2017)

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Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz, US Army

Army Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz, 30, was found deceased inside a vehicle parked on Interstate 70 on July 31, 2017. Staff Sgt. Franquiz was a section chief with Company B, 601st Aviation Support Battalion, 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kansas. Staff Sgt. Franquiz arrived at Fort Riley in October 2015 after having previously served at Fort Riley from December 2008 to August 2012. Staff Sgt. Franquiz deployed three times, twice to Iraq and once to Afghanistan. An autopsy has determined the cause of death was suicide from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Related Links:
Obituary: Staff Sgt. Alejandro Franquiz
Fort Riley man found dead in vehicle
Man found dead in vehicle on I-70
Fort Riley man found dead in Geary County
Fort Riley man found dead in vehicle on I-70
Geary County authorities investigating death of man found in vehicle on Interstate 70
Fort Riley soldier died of self-inflicted gunshot wound
Fort Riley man found dead in Geary County ruled a suicide
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Riley, Kansas

48 Hours Premiered ‘The Soldier’s Wife’ on CBS (2017)


A young wife shot dead — her soldier husband pulled the trigger. Was it an accident or was it murder? “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty investigates Saturday, July 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Skylar’s actions speak louder than his words. “The strongest evidence, believe it or not, is what he does immediately after the fact.” Skylar didn’t call 911, a neighbor did. And there wasn’t a single drop of Danielle’s blood on him, a clear sign that he didn’t try to save or even comfort her says Deputy prosecuting attorney Jared Ausserer. “He doesn’t render aid. He never checks on his wife. If it was an accident, he’s going to drop the weapon immediately, run over, grab her, assess her. He doesn’t do that.” He [Skylar’s defense attorney] knows the challenge will be convincing 12 jurors that a highly skilled soldier with years of weapon’s training could make such a fatal mistake. Juror and retired Army soldier: “Never point the weapon in the direction of anybody and pull the trigger like that believing that it’s unloaded.” -48 Hours

Related Links:
48 Hours: The Soldier’s Wife
Preview: The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours
Sneak peek: The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours
Neighbors report Danielle Nemetz shooting | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz’s behavior after shooting wife captured on camera | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz awaits his verdict in his murder trial | 48 Hours
Skylar Nemetz on his mom’s fight for his freedom | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” investigates shooting death of soldier’s wife
Army soldier defends Skylar Nemetz | 48 Hours
Former soldier takes stand on first-degree murder charge of his wife
Soldier Cleared of Murder in Wife’s Shooting Death – Crime Watch Daily
Rising Military Star Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison for Wife’s Shooting Death – CWD
Skylar Nemetz Trial Defendant Testifies Part 1 02/11/16
Skylar Nemetz Trial Prosecution Closing Argument 02/23/16
Soldier fatally shoots his 19-year-old wife in the back of the head ‘because another man bought her liquor’
Soldier who shot his wife dead ‘after another man bought her alcohol’ is found guilty of manslaughter but CLEARED of murder because ‘he thought gun was unloaded’
Former Army soldier gets max sentence for shooting his young wife to death
Lakewood killings net vastly different sentences for JBLM soldiers from the same unit
2 soldiers get vastly different sentences for deadly crimes
Defense attorney loses on claim the Army and Pierce County ‘schemed’ to punish ex-JBLM soldier accused of murder
Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
The Soldier’s Wife | 48 Hours | CBS (website)

Killeen PD: Army SSG Anthony Lovell Died of Injuries Sustained in Apparent Motorcycle Accident Along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas (2017)

Screen Shot 2018-01-15 at 4.06.41 PM

SSG Anthony Lovell, US Army

Army Staff Sergeant Anthony Lovell, 40, died of injuries sustained in an apparent motorcycle accident along Nolan Creek in Killeen, Texas on July 3, 2017. According to witnesses, SSG Lovell’s body was found in a mysteriously different location then the motorcycle. But the Killeen Police Department determined SSG Lovell was traveling south on 8th Street and failed to make a turn into a mobile home park in the area. Investigators claim SSG Lovell left the road, hit an embankment, and went airborne. Therefore, this accounted for the separation of the body and the motorcycle. And as a result, the accident caused multiple blunt force injuries.

“The motorcycle accident was around 8 p.m. on July 3. Lovell was going southbound in the 300 block of Eighth Street. Police say he failed to negotiate a turn and left the roadway then went airborne and into Nolan Creek. The soldier suffered a fatal head injury and was pronounced dead at 8:38 p.m.” -Killeen PD

SSG Lovell was a resident of Killeen, Texas; he was stationed at Fort Hood in March 2015 as a cavalry scout assigned to the 1st Battalion, 7th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. SSG Lovell joined the Army in September 1997 and deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from April 2007 to June 2008 and from September 2009 to August 2010. At the time of the Fort Hood press release, the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation by the Killeen Police Department.

Related Links:
Obituary: Anthony Ray Lovell
SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Chisolm’s Family Funeral Home
Death of a Fort Hood Soldier – Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell
Staff Sgt. Anthony Ray Lovell, 1st Cavalry Division | Fort Hood Sentinel
In Memory Of US Army SSG Anthony Ray Lovell | Freedom Isn’t Free
Fort Hood identifies soldier who died after apparent motorcycle crash
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | Army Times
Army identifies Fort Hood soldier killed in motorcycle accident | GD News
Body at Nolan Creek identified
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Man found dead by creek ID’d as Fort Hood soldier
Man found dead near creek identified as Fort Hood soldier
Fort Hood Soldier’s Body Found Near Creek
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident
Fort Hood soldier dies after motorcycle accident | WDAM-TV
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children
Fort Hood soldier laid to rest, survived by wife and three children | KXXV-TV
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
73 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 4 Insider Attacks & 2 Suicides Overseas; 67 Stateside Deaths Including 34 Alleged Suicides & 1 Unsolved Homicide
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

48 Hours Premiered ‘Crime & Punishment’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” Presents: A stepfather sits in prison for killing his wife. Her daughters vow to keep him there. Does he deserve parole? Correspondent Tracy Smith investigates Saturday, July 1 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Phonthip (Boonack) Ott, 33, disappeared from her home in California on May 17, 1992. A couple months later, Phonthip Ott’s dead body was discovered in the Sacramento River near Sacramento. Phonthips body was stuffed in a large nylon duffle bag about 5 feet tall. It was held down with H-shaped cement anchors. The day their mother disappeared, Phonthip’s daughters, Tippy Dhaliwal, 14, and Jeanette Marine, 10, spent the day with their grandparents. Upon their return home, the two girls sensed something was wrong when their mother wasn’t home and immediately suspected their stepfather of killing her. Dennis Ott was an active duty petty officer in the U.S. Coast Guard and his relationship with Phonthip was tumultuous. Read more from Military Justice for All here.

Related Links:
’48 Hours’ Sneak Peek
Sneak peek: Crime & Punishment | 48 Hours
Ott case: Sheriff zeroes in on a murder suspect | 48 Hours
Notebook: The possibility of parole | 48 Hours
Murder victim’s daughters share their emotional journey | 48 Hours
Remembering Phonthip Ott | 48 Hours
The possibility of parole: “48 Hours” examines life after a murder verdict
Ott murder: Crime & Punishment | 48 Hours (website)
California Sisters: Keep our mom’s killer behind bars!
Phonthip Boonack, Dennis Ott: ’48 Hours’ Reels In Case Of Missing Mother Found Dead In California River
‘He deserves to rot in prison’: Sisters fight to keep their mother’s killer behind bars as he comes up for parole 25 years after the victim’s body was pulled from a river in a weighted duffel bag
Phonthip Ott Discovered Dead in California River; Spouse Dennis Ott, US Coast Guard, Convicted of Murder and Sentenced to Life in Prison (1992)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Navy Husband David Russo Murdered for the Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)

Preview: Susan Russo was a Navy wife who ran a tight ship. But she had a secret life, and devised a way to profit off her husband’s substantial military life insurance. -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery featured yet another military spouse who murdered because they were motivated by greed, selfishness, and sociopathic tendencies. While Navy sailor David Russo was at work at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, his wife was getting high on meth with her secret lover. Susan Russo didn’t like that David controlled the purse strings because he might find out that she was blowing their cash on drugs. Then one day a military advisor stopped by the house to advise them of their financial affairs and Susan learned that her husband David was worth more dead then he was alive. He had a grand total of 1 million dollars worth of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance and other insurance policies on himself. Susan saw her way out of domestic boredom and hatched up a plan with two of her drug addicted buddies, Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris. She offered them $100 to kill her husband and promised them more later after she got her hands on the life insurance payout.

Susan Russo

Susan Russo, US Navy Spouse

On July 14, 1994, the trio striked. While David lay sleeping in his bed, the two men entered the marital home with Susan’s assistance, walked into David’s bedroom, and shot him one time in the back of the head. They then drove the body to a remote location so they could torch David and the car in an effort to destroy evidence. This plan would never come to fruition because they ran out of gas and then didn’t have enough gas to torch the car. When military personnel stopped by David’s home to see why he hadn’t showed up to work, Susan told them she didn’t know where he was and asked if she would still get his paycheck that week. Eventually David’s car and body was discovered by a local farmer. Of course investigators looked to the spouse first to determine what may have happened to David. Susan told investigators during the interview that they would find no evidence of wrong doing which of course intrigued them to probe further.

Susan Russo was a self proclaimed clean freak and cleaner by trade and was confident she had covered her tracks. But she did not account for the microscopic blood spatter on the headboard of the bed or the spent bullet casing located in the bedroom. Police charged Susan Russo and her two friends with the murder of her husband David Russo. Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris were both convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1996, Susan Russo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Investigators described Susan as an evil, psychopathic person who manipulated her two drug addicted friends with the promises of money for more drugs. She didn’t care about David whatsoever, she only saw David as a way to cash in.

Source: Deadly Women ‘Cash In’

ID Go: The stakes are high and the chips are down when these Deadly Women decide to “Cash In.” -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

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:
Susan Russo | The Injustice System
Killer sentenced “to slow death” gets life for murder of her husband
The PEOPLE v. Susan Lee RUSSO, Defendant and Appellant (2000)
People of California v. Susan Russo (2001)
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
Woman convicted of husband’s murder has sentence reduced by Gov. Brown, could get parole
Sisters demand mom stay in prison after pardon from orchestrating husband’s 1994 murder
Parole Board Grants Parole to Murderer Susan Lee Russo | County of Fresno
Fresno County killer gets parole after more than 20 years
Fresno County killer, sentenced to life without parole, granted parole
Woman convicted of murdering her husband is granted parole
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Drop LWOP! | Newsletter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Jerry Brown Getting Ready to Release Psychopath Killer from Prison
Vidak and Other Legislators Urge Governor Brown NOT to Release Convicted Murderer Susan Lee Russo
Gov. Jerry Brown decides against parole for woman dubbed a ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
Governor denies parole for California husband killer
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David Russo for the Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 14, 1994)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Navy Wife and Mom With Secret Life Devises Plan To Have Husband Killed For Insurance Money | Investigation Discovery
Perfect Wife Plots To Have Husband Killed For Money | Investigation Discovery
Cash In | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E6)
Petition: Keep Susan Russo Behind Bars

Air Force Airman Andy Schliepsiek & Wife Jamie Stabbed to Death at Robins AFB; SrA Andrew Witt Found Guilty of First Degree Murder by Military Courts (July 5, 2004)

Honoring Jamie and Andy Schliepsiek, US Air Force (2004)

Jamie and Andy Schliepsiek

Andy Schliepsiek was serving in the US Air Force when he and his wife Jamie were murdered at Robins Air Force Base in Georgia. According to reports, Andrew Witt made a ‘pass’ at Andy Schliepsiek’s wife Jamie at a July 4th cookout. When Andy confronted Witt about the inappropriate sexual advance, he informed him that he would not only inform their Commander of the assault but also the fact that he was sleeping with an officer on base. This was motive enough for Andrew Witt to drive back on base and stab them to death in the early morning hours of July 5th. Another airman Jason King was also stabbed in the back as he was attempting to flee the scene. In 2005, Andrew Witt was sentenced to the death penalty. In August 2013, the death sentence was overturned. In 2016, the death sentence was reinstated. Most recent reports indicate Andrew Witt was granted a new sentencing hearing.

Related Links:
Fast hearing promised in couple’s slaying
Witness: Spurned advance led to stabbings at Air Force base
Airman Charged with Killing Couple May Get Death
Air Force to move quickly in murder case
Mother of convicted airman pleads for mercy
Airman sentenced to death
Convicted airman sentenced to death for killing couple
Two killers closer to first military executions since 1961
Strain and battle fatigue of war hit home front
The death penalty: What is justice?
Sergeant offers hope to inmates
Air Force court reinstates airman’s death sentence for 2004 killing
Ga. airman’s death sentence overturned on appeal
Ga. airman’s death sentence overturned on appeal due to ignoring of critical evidence
Georgia airman escaped murder scene, fought PTSD
On military death row, execution is anything but guaranteed
CAAF to examine the Air Force CCA’s reconsideration of Airman Witt’s death sentence
New jury to decide fate of airman convicted in murder of former Peoria couple
Judge in USS Cole case refuses to step down for death penalty bias
Judge in Cole bombing case refuses to step down
United States v. Andrew Witt, US Air Force (2016)
The survivor: Airman escaped murder scene only to fight new battles
New hearing for airman awaiting military execution
Only airman on military’s death row gets new sentencing hearing
New Sentencing Hearing for Airman on Military Death Row
Murderous airman sentenced to death, still dodging execution after 12 years
Death sentence upheld for Robins airman
Air Force court reinstates airman’s death sentence for 2004 killing
New hearing for airman awaiting military execution
Only airman on military’s death row gets new sentencing hearing
U.S. v. Witt – U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces (July 2016)
Nidal Hasan, and the 5 other men on the military’s death row
Description of Cases for those Sentenced to Death in U.S. Military
Air Force SrA Andrew Witt Found Guilty of Pre-Meditated Murders; Sentenced to Death But in 2016 Military Appeals Court Granted New Sentencing Hearing (October 5, 2005)
Four Service Members on Military Death Row at Fort Leavenworth, Army Private John Bennett was Last Military Execution by Hanging in 1961
What the DoD Doesn’t Want You to Know: 50 Shocking Military Homicides in the Last 30 Years (2018)