Murder Comes to Town Premiered ‘Hellfire in the Hollow’ on Investigation Discovery: Rose Goggins and Sylvia & Steven Beersdorf Sr. (June 19, 2018)


When a 21-year-old mother doesn’t return from night classes and her car is found burned, investigators immediately suspect foul play. However no one is prepare for the web of lies that ultimately unfold due to her disappearance. -Murder Comes to Town, Investigation Discovery

Victim:
Rose Mary Marie Goggins, 21, was killed by her future in-laws on January 14, 2010 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Steven and Sylvia Beersdorf Sr. pleaded guilty to homicide, disposing of her body, and setting her car on fire. Rose’s fiancé, Steven Beersdorf Jr., was at Camp Shelby in Mississippi with the Tennessee Army National Guard preparing to ship off to Iraq. Authorities stated that although Beersdorf’s parents were guilty, Goggins’ fiance was not involved in her murder.

Defendants:
Sylvia Beersdorf, 43 – pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit first-degree murder; sentenced to 15 years in prison
Steven Beersdorf Sr., 46 – pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges; sentenced to life in prison

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:
From Missing Person to Murder Victim
Rose Goggins murder case: Remains found at future in-laws house are of female; DNA testing under way
More details released in killing of young Tennessee mom; 2 charged
Tennessee: Couple charged in death of son’s girlfriend
Tennessee couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Pleads Not Guilty In Woman’s Death
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Waives Rights To Preliminary Hearing
Rose Goggins murder: Grandparent suspects waive preliminary hearings
Couple face trial in slaying of daughter-in-law
Plea Deals Accepted In Future Relative’s Death
Couple plead guilty in death
Wayne Couple Pleads Guilty To Killing Grandson’s Mom
Rose Goggins Murder To Be Re-Lived When “True Crime” Pgrm. Airs In Fall
Homicide in the Heartland | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID (YouTube)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (Dailymotion)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
In Loving Memory of Rose Mary Marie Goggins (Facebook)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Head in the Oven’ on Investigation Discovery: Brett Smith & William Perry (June 16, 2018)


Two neighboring bachelors start out as friends. Harmless banter turns into threats eventually igniting an escalating war. The violence ends with a murder so shocking it is almost beyond belief. -Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

Brett Smith was found murdered in his home on October 3, 2008 in North Canton, Ohio. Brett was found with a knife in his chest and dismembered; his head was found burning in the oven of his own home. It didn’t take long for police to determine that Brett’s neighbor, William Perry, was the suspect in the case. William Perry served in the Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm and was suffering from what sounds like Post Traumatic Stress. He was taking medications because he saw a lot of terrible things but he didn’t want to talk about it; the medications helped mitigate flashbacks, nightmares and other symptoms like lack of concentration that interfered with daily living. William and Brett were both fixing up their homes, helping each other out, and sharing tools.

At some point, William became jealous of Brett’s home improvement efforts and all the help he appeared to get from his family. William was struggling financially to fix up his place and this bothered William because he wanted a nice place for his children when they came to visit him. William and Brett tried to make the relationship work but the two had an on again and off again kind of relationship. Brett couldn’t drink because he took medication for epilepsy and he was uncomfortable around William after he had a few drinks of alcohol. The two got confrontational when William was drinking and Brett tried to confront William about vandalism on his property including slashed tires and an oil spill that cost William thousands of dollars to remedy. Brett’s mom Judy was getting concerned and wanted him to move out of there because the fighting was escalating.

William Perry was stressed. His girlfriend Susanna Lockard shared that he owed child support and if he didn’t pay it, he was going to jail. At the same time, William decided to stop taking his medication. He said they made him feel foggy and he wanted a clear head. Susanna was concerned he would get depressed or downward spiral. And then one day, William and Brett got into an altercation in the yard and William lost control and started beating Brett with a board. The neighbors thought William was a “psycho” after this encounter and so did Brett. The neighbors were really concerned that this situation was escalating and getting dangerous. Brett reported William to the North Canton Police Department but there was no evidence of the physical encounter so there was nothing the police could do. They told him to stay away from him. Brett was confused about why William hated him so much; he didn’t know what he was doing wrong.

Susanna was leaving the home for the night so William could spend some time with his kids. When she arrived to pick up some clothes, she found William home and he didn’t look well. She learned his plans with his children had been cancelled and he was upset. William was brandishing a gun in front of his girlfriend and her daughter while asking them to leave. William was living with his girlfriend but he broke up with her and kicked her out and never explained why. Later that night, the neighbors noticed William on Brent’s porch and they were arguing. When Brett’s mom showed up to his place the next day, she got no answer and smelled smoke. Brett’s mom turned to a friend and asked him to break into Brett’s house because she was concerned. The living room was in disarray, the contents of Brett’s wallet were strewn about, and there was also paint spilled everywhere. They found Brett in the bathroom laying on the floor with a knife in his chest. He had been strangled and beheaded. The police processed the home and found paint mixed with blood everywhere.

When the police opened the oven, they found Brett’s head burning inside. Brett’s mom had a very hard time accepting her son was dead and that he had been murdered in this way. William Perry was a suspect right away. There was no doubt that William had done this and he tried to cover up the crime. Initially, William was arrested for vandalism, a felony crime, and sent to jail. While there, he wrote a letter to a friend admitting to killing Brett. He said the night he killed Brett, it started with words and escalated to physical fighting. He spent the night trying to clean up the scene and attempted to dismember Brett but gave up after he cut off his head. He tried to erase all signs that he was in Brett’s house. He was charged with murder and faced the death penalty but it never went to trial. In October 2009, William Perry made a plea deal to avoid the death penalty and pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, gross abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. He was sentenced to life in prison with no possibility of parole. The prosecutor had no rational explanation for why he did this.

“It could have been anything, anything could have triggered it. It could have been trauma, it could have been something from childhood, it could be not seeing your kids as much as you want, it could just be all the pressures building up and it just sets a chain reaction.” -Susanna Lockard (Brett’s girlfriend)

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.


A neighbor describes finding the grisly remains of Brett Smith, who had been beheaded in his North Canton mobile home. -CantonRep.com


Employees of LA Office Solutions in North Canton, Ohio, tell how they felt threatened during an encounter with William D. Perry, a suspect in the beheading of Brett W. Smith, a week before Smith’s death. -CantonRep.com

Related Links:
Raw 911 Call: Mother Finds Sons Beheaded Body
Lake alum found murdered
Police say beheading suspect is neighbor
Neighbor suspected in N. Canton beheading case
Neighbor is ‘prime suspect’ in North Canton beheading case
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Trailer park tragedy: A closer look at beheading victim, suspect
Neighbor indicted in grisly slaying
Justice: Ohio Man Indicted In Neighbor’s Beheading
Ohio man pleads not guilty in neighbor beheading
Man admits he killed, beheaded his neighbor
North Canton man pleads guilty in beheading of neighbor at mobile home park
North Canton man admits beheading neighbor, avoids death penalty
William Perry v. Terry Tibbals, Warden (2013)
Brett Smith was murdered by his neighbor William Perry who then cut off his head and burned it in an oven – Fear Thy Neighbor
Neighbor finds beheaded man
A close encounter with beheading suspect
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)

Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)


On December 9th, 2001, Kathleen Peterson was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. Did he do it? -The Staircase | Netflix

Season 1:

1. Crime or Accident? Following his wife’s suspicious death, Michael Peterson speaks about his version of the events while lawyers and expert witnesses prepare for trial.
2. Secrets and Lies: As Michael’s hidden life comes out into the open, defense experts debate if it will have a significant impact on the coming trial.
3. A Striking Coincidence: The defense team is shaken when a suspicious event from the past comes to light. Later, the team visits Michael’s first wife in Germany.
4. A Proseuction Trickery: As the trial looms and media attention heats up, an autopsy report’s wording ruffles the feathers of the defense team.
5. A Weak Case: The prosecution presents its case while the defense strives to cast a reasonable doubt within the minds of the jury.
6. The Prosecution’s Revenge: A witness brings surprising levity to the stand, the judge rules on an important matter, and Michael’s alleged temper comes under scrutiny.
7. The Blow Poke Returns: Kathleen’s sisters pore over Michael’s writings. Jurors visit the staircase at Michael’s home. A vital piece of evidence reappears.
8. The Verdict: Is Michael Peterson guilty or not guilty? The jury delivers its verdict regarding the mysterious death of his wife, Kathleen.
9. Reopening the Case: Eight years later, the possibility that a key witness for the prosecution may have misled the jury could prompt the need for a new trial.
10. The Last Chance: After more experts testify about the questionable conclusions and claims of Duane Deaver, the judge rules on whether a new trial is necessary.
11. Looking for Closure: Following two and a half years of house arrest, Michael must decide whether to push for a plea or risk his freedom with a new trial.
12. Between Anger and Despair: Their faith in the justice system forever shaken, Michael and his family discuss what they can hope to achieve by continuing the fight.
13. Flawed Justice: Michael speaks to a reporter about the reasons behind his plea. Later, Kathleen’s sister delivers a statement of defiance in court.

Source: The Staircase, Netflix

Continue reading

Investigation Discovery Premiered Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris ‘Down by the River’: Robert Lee Yates, Jr. (June 4, 2018)


Tony Harris pieces together the 1990 case of three prostitutes killed in Spokane, Washington, and discovers a pattern of murders connected by twenty-two caliber bullets, a killing spree that shocked a city and a suspect with a stunning new identity. -Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris (2018)


12 Terrifying Facts about Robert Lee Yates – The Most Deranged Killer


Melissa speaks with the daughters of Robert Lee Yates Jr, who murdered at least 13 people in Washington State. (2015)


Robert Lee Yates Jr’s family members share their memories of the serial killer. (2015)


Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates will be learning Thursday whether or not his death penalty conviction for the murders of two women near Tacoma will be overturned by the Washington State Supreme Court. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2007)


In a majority opinion the Washington State Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates and upheld his death sentence for the murders of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. (2007)


Attorneys for convicted Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates have filed their application for a stay of his execution which is scheduled for later this month. (2008)


Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates has been transferred from death row in Walla Walla to Pierce County where he will be in court Friday as Judge John McCarthy signs his death warrant. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2008)


Kathy Lloyd feared that Robert Yates would live longer than her. He killed her sister, Shawn McLenahan. Now a Tacoma judge will sign Yates’ death warrant, and Lloyd is hoping Yates will die soon. KXLY4’s Sally Showman reports. (2008)


Back in the mid 1990’s when Robert Yates was stalking Spokane prostitutes another serial killer was making regular visits to the city. A new book reveals the “Happy Face Killer” often traveled to Spokane where the long haul trucker would spend time with his children. KXLY4’s Jeff Humphrey reports. (2010)


Spokane Serial Killer Robert Yates is claiming he had ineffective legal counsel in his latest appeal of his death sentence for the killings of two women in Pierce County in the late 1990s. KXLY4’s Melissa Luck reports. (2013)


On August 26, 1997, the half-naked body of prostitute Heather Hernandez, 20 was found in an empty lot in Spokane Washington. The same day, the decomposed corpse of prostitute Jennifer Joseph, 16, was discovered in an alfalfa field. Both women had been shot in the head. The day after Christmas, four more women were found with plastic bags tied over their heads, the gruesome signature of a killer who had sexually violated each one of them, after they had died. Police had only one good lead, a driver in a white Corvette who picked up prostitutes on the street. When the killer is finally arrested he turns out to be a devoted husband, a father of five, a National Guard helicopter pilot and a Desert Storm veteran. Not since the Green River Killer had the Pacific Northwest been so terrorized by so savage a serial killer. Robert Lee Yates Jr. is charged for 13 murders. Edgar Award-Winning Author Burl Barer discusses BODY COUNT: The Terrifying True Story of the Spokane Serial Killer. (2013)

Related Links:
Down by the River | Scene of the Crime with Tony Harris | ID
Family Snapshot | American Monster | Investigation Discovery
Monster in Spokane | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery
Spokane Serial Killer: Robert Lee Yates | Monster in My Family | AETV
These Home Videos Of The Yates Family Are A Prelude To Terrifying Trauma That Would Come
12 Terrifying Facts about Robert Lee Yates – The Most Deranged Killer
Monster in My Family: Robert Lee Yates Jr’s Daughters Speak Out
Monster in My Family: Yates Family Home Movies
Supreme Court to rule on Serial Killer’s appeal (2007)
Supreme Court upholds Yates death sentence (2007)
Spokane Serial Killer files for stay of execution (2008)
Judge to sign serial killer’s death warrant (2008)
Yates’ death still won’t bring closure to sister of victim (2008)
Daughter’s book sheds new insight into “Happy Face Killer” (2010)
Serial killer Robert Yates claims ineffective counsel in latest death penalty appeal (2013)
Most Shocking Murders : The Spokane Serial Killer (2013)
Watch Spokane Serial Killer: Robert Lee Yates – Monster in My Family | LMN
American Monster takes a look at Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates
Spokane serial killer Robert Lee Yates murdered at least 13 people – Tony Harris recounts the investigation

Killeen Daily Herald: ‘Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the [Fort Hood] rollover accident, yet found at fault’ (June 2, 2018)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“The whole thing was hard to process. I was angry, I was pissed off, and I didn’t know how they were going to charge me,” Caroline Blaze said. “All I knew was I was being charged and I was literally done with the Army.”

Blaze said she received a local general reprimand that stayed in her records for a year around the same time she was being processed for a medical retirement. She said she was never notified or saw the recommendation for her punishment and to this day she doesn’t know what was written about her.

Blaze said she even became suicidal and had a suicide attempt several months after receiving the reprimand.

“It was a bad time and a hard time. To say that I was at fault for these soldiers lives like I caused their death.”

Read more from he Killeen Daily Herald here.

Honoring:
Spc. Christine Faith Armstrong, 27, of Twentynine Palms, California
Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, of Milton, Florida
Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, of Brooklyn, New York
Pvt. Isaac Lee Deleon, 19, of San Angelo, Texas
Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, of Palmetto, Florida
Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, of Dunn, North Carolina
Pvt. Tysheena Lynette James, 21, of Jersey City, New Jersey
Spc. Yingming Sun, 25, of Monterey Park, California
Cadet Mitchell Alexander Winey, 21, of Valparaiso, Indiana

Related Links:
On This Day, Eight Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & 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)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

2016:
Army: Warning issued before 9 died in June Fort Hood floodwaters
Torrential rains flood Texas, US soldiers killed
Fort Hood Was Closing Roads When Truck Overturned
Fort Hood Officials Were Closing Roads As Truck Overturned
Fort Hood deaths in flooding raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident raises questions about training
Fatal Fort Hood accident in Texas raises questions about training
Army launches two investigations into Fort Hood truck accident that killed 9

2017:
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited in Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited In Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
Safety ‘Apathy’ Blamed in Accident at Texas’ Ft. Hood That Killed 9 US Soldiers
Report: Fort Hood truck crash blamed on driver
NCO blamed for accident that killed nine soldiers at Fort Hood
Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident
Fort Hood truck crash that killed 9 blamed on staff sergeant
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
Widow disputes investigation results blaming husband for Fort Hood accident
Army report on fatal Fort Hood training largely redacted
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly

2018:
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Reports still raise questions about Fort Hood accident two years later
Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the rollover accident, yet found at fault
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
2 years later: Survivor of fatal Fort Hood water training accident speaks out

Reasonable Doubt Premiered ‘Failure to Remember’ on Investigation Discovery: Penny Brummer (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

On This Day, Army Pvt. Eddy Gates Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 2.58.29 PM

Pvt. Eddy Gates, US Army

Army Pvt. Eddy Raelaurin Gates, 20, whose home of record is listed as Dunn, North Carolina, entered active-duty military service in December 2015 as a motor transport operator and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas since April 2016. Gates’s awards and decorations include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Learn more from III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page here.

For more information: On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Related Links:
Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates Obituary
PV2 Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates (1995-2016)
Flash flooding kills 9 | Fort Hood Sentinel
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Fort Hood memorial held for drowned soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Congresswoman confirms soldier involved in training accident
Fort Hood soldier who died in Texas flooding identified by family
Triton High School alumna among 9 killed in Fort Hood floods
North Carolina soldier among those killed in Fort Hood floods
Fort Hood soldier’s body makes trip home to NC, family
Soldier killed in Fort Hood buried in North Charleston
Fort Hood soldier killed in flooding laid to rest in North Charleston
Thousands attend funeral for NC soldier who was an ‘extraordinary young lady’
Fallen soldiers honored with flowers on Fort Hood
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
9 remembered on anniversary of deaths
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Families continue to grieve one year after nine die in flooding on Fort Hood
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & 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)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
The Fort Hood Nine | Ted Poe | Medium
The Fort Hood, Texas, Nine | Congressman Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.

On This Day, Army Pfc. Zachery Fuller Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Zachery Fuller

Pfc. Zachery Fuller, US Army

Army Pfc. Zachery Nathaniel Fuller, 23, whose home of record is listed as Palmetto, Florida, entered active-duty military service in November 2015 as a motor transport operator and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas since April 2016. Fuller’s awards and decorations include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and Army Service Ribbon.

Learn more from III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page here.

For more information: On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Related Links:
Flash flooding kills 9 | Fort Hood Sentinel
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Fort Hood memorial held for drowned soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Palmetto man dies in Fort Hood training accident
Palmetto soldier dies in Fort Hood accident
Fort Hood accident claims life of Army soldier from Palmetto
Local soldier killed in training exercise loved the Army
Friends remember Raleigh soldier killed in Fort Hood crash
Fallen soldier to return to Palmetto
Fallen soldier returns home
SNN: Fallen Soldier Returns Home
Body of U.S. Army Pfc. Zachery Fuller returns home
Body of U.S. Army Pfc. Zachery Fuller returns to Palmetto on Thursday
Funeral service Saturday for Pfc Zachery Fuller
Memorial held for fallen Palmetto soldier
PFC Zachery Fuller services
Fallen soldiers honored with flowers on Fort Hood
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
9 remembered on anniversary of deaths
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Families continue to grieve one year after nine die in flooding on Fort Hood
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & 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)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
The Fort Hood Nine | Ted Poe | Medium
The Fort Hood, Texas, Nine | Congressman Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.

On This Day, Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Colonvazquez Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 5.40.21 PM

Staff Sgt. Miguel Colonvazquez, US Army

Army Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colonvazquez, 38, whose home of record is listed as Brooklyn, New York, entered active-duty military service in July 2003 as a motor transport operator and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas since May 2011. Colonvazquez deployed to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to September 2006 and in support of Operation New Dawn from May 2011 to November 2011. He also deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from March 2008 to May 2009 and from July 2013 to March 2014.

Colonvazquez’s awards and decorations include five Army Commendation Medals, five Army Achievement Medals, three Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with campaign star, Iraq Campaign Medal with campaign star, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, two Korea Defense Service Medals, Army Service Ribbon, three Overseas Service Ribbons, North Atlantic Treaty Organization Medal, Driver and Mechanic Badge with wheeled vehicle and Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Marksman with Carbine.

Learn more from III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page here.

For more information: On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Related Links:
SSGT Miguel Angel Colonvazquez (1997-2016)
Flash flooding kills 9 | Fort Hood Sentinel
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Fort Hood memorial held for drowned soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
Killeen: Fort Hood soldier killed in training accident laid to rest
Fort Hood Soldier Killed in Training Accident Laid to Rest in Killeen
Soldier from Brooklyn among 9 dead at Fort Hood
Fort Hood soldiers from New York area killed in floods
Brooklyn and Jersey City soldiers among nine killed in risky Fort Hood training accident
2 Fort Hood soldiers who died in Texas floods are from tri-state
2 Local Residents Among Fort Hood Soldiers Killed In Texas Flooding
2 Local Residents Among 9 Fort Hood Soldiers Killed in Training Accident: Records
All Flags to Fly at Half-Staff Effective Today in Honor of Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon-Vazquez
Miguel Colon-Vazquez, Brooklyn soldier who drowned in Texas, honored with flags at half-staff
Flags to Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon-Vazquez
Fort Hood Soldier Laid to Rest
Funeral Services Held in Killeen for Fort Hood Soldier Killed in Training Accident
State troopers, Patriot Guard Riders escort Fort Hood soldier to local funeral home
Graveside service and burial for Staff Sgt. Miguel Angel Colon Vasquez
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Brooklyn family of Fort Hood soldier killed speaks out
Fallen soldiers honored with flowers on Fort Hood
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
9 remembered on anniversary of deaths
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly
Families remember the 9 who died in 2016 training accident
Families continue to grieve one year after nine die in flooding on Fort Hood
‘They never should have been out there’: Fort Hood soldier’s father struggles to understand deadly disaster
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & 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)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
The Fort Hood Nine | Ted Poe | Medium
The Fort Hood, Texas, Nine | Congressman Ted Poe

Investigation:
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited in Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
‘Apathetic Safety Mentality’ Cited In Fort Hood Wreck That Killed 9
Safety ‘Apathy’ Blamed in Accident at Texas’ Ft. Hood That Killed 9 US Soldiers
Army: Warning issued before 9 died in Fort Hood floodwaters
Army Issued Warning Before 9 Died in Fort Hood Floodwaters
Report: Fort Hood truck crash blamed on driver
NCO blamed for accident that killed nine soldiers at Fort Hood
Army blames staff sergeant for fatal Fort Hood truck accident
Fort Hood truck crash that killed 9 blamed on staff sergeant
Widow disputes investigation results blaming husband for Fort Hood accident
Army report on fatal Fort Hood training largely redacted
Herald asks Army to reveal investigation findings withheld from public
Reports still raise questions about Fort Hood accident two years later
Former platoon sergeant was on leave during the rollover accident, yet found at fault
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
Survivor of 2016 Fort Hood training accident recalls flood
2 years later: Survivor of fatal Fort Hood water training accident speaks out

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.

On This Day, Army Pfc. Brandon Banner Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Screen Shot 2018-06-05 at 2.59.20 PM

Pfc. Brandon Banner, US Army

Army Pfc. Brandon Austin Banner, 22, whose home of record is listed as Milton, Florida, entered active-duty military service in March 2014 as a motor transport operator and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas since July 2014. Banner’s awards and decorations include National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Korea Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge-Sharpshooter with Carbine.

Learn more from III Corps and Fort Hood Facebook page here.

For more information: On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)

Related Links:
PFC Brandon Banner, US Army
Flash flooding kills 9 | Fort Hood Sentinel
The Faces of the Fort Hood Tragedy
Profiles of the Fort Hood Soldiers Tragically Killed By Texas Flooding
Fort Hood Flood Victims: Photos to Remember the Fallen Soldiers
Milton native, Pfc. Brandon Banner, among 9 killed in Fort Hood training
PFC. Brandon Banner to be honored in Milton
Thousands honor Fort Hood fallen Soldiers
Community mourns soldiers killed in accident
The Banner family in loss of Brandon Banner | YouCaring
1 year since 9 died at Fort Hood
Fort Hood: Anniversary of deaths of 9 soldiers passes quietly
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)
Military Policy & Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, & 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)
75 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 68 Stateside Deaths, 34 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook
The Fort Hood, Texas, Nine | Congressman Ted Poe

Congressman Ted Poe (R-TX):

Mr. Speaker, Texas has been hammered by historic torrential rain and flooding. As the Texas floodwaters rose, 12 soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, were crossing Owl Creek in a 21⁄2-ton Light Medium Tactical Vehicle when it became stuck in the Owl Creek low water crossing.

Suddenly, the vehicle was swept over and sent downstream by fast-moving water. Nine American soldiers drowned in the massive flood waters. Today, we remember them, and here they are: Staff Sergeant Miguel Colon Vazquez, 38, from New York.

He had just spent four tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan; Specialist Christine Armstrong, 27, of California; PFC Brandon Banner, 22, of Florida; PFC Zachery Fuller, 23, of Florida; Private Isaac Deleon, 19, of Texas. He was the youngest of all of them.

He had only been in the Army for 17 months; Private Eddy Rae’Laurin Gates, 20, of North Carolina—a former homecoming queen; Private Tysheena James, 21, of New Jersey; West Point cadet Mitchell Winey, 21, of Indiana; Specialist Yingming Sun, 25, of California. These are the nine who drowned recently in the Texas floods.

The soldiers were members of the 3rd Battalion, 16th Field Artillery Regiment, 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team of the 1st Cavalry Division. These American soldiers were volunteers who swore to protect the United States.

They were a cut above the rest and were ready to defend freedom at home and abroad. Their lives were ripped from this world and their families all too soon. We are grateful for them and their families for their service and their sacrifices.

These soldiers are the best of America. Our thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers and their families, who have been devastated by the floods of Texas this spring.