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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In the News:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Investigation Discovery Published ‘The Missing Pieces: The Staircase’: The True Crime Story of Michael & Kathleen Peterson (June 18, 2018)

In 2001, Kathleen Peterson’s body was found at the foot of a staircase in her home. The Missing Pieces looks at the nagging questions surrounding her death, dissecting a frantic 911 call, a potentially killer owl, and a blood-soaked stairwell. -The Staircase, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
The Missing Pieces: The Staircase | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Vet Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Head in the Oven’ on ID: Ex-Marine William Perry Stopped Taking Meds, Unraveled & Murdered Brett Smith (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 (S5,E3)

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)

Source: Head in the Oven, Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

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

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:
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 (S5,E3)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Head in the Oven | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase’ (April 8, 2018)


‘Reversal of Fortune’ | An American Murder Mystery: The Staircase

Michael Peterson appears to have it all – a doting wife, a loving family and a successful literary career – but, that all changes on December 9, 2001, when Michael’s wife, Kathleen, is found dead in a pool of blood at the bottom of a staircase in their home in Durham, North Carolina. Michael claims it was a tragic accident. Investigators, however, fear something far more sinister is at play and direct their attention to him. Did Michael Peterson murder his wife? Investigation Discovery (ID) delves into one of the most fascinating cases in criminal history in AN AMERICAN MURDER MYSTERY: THE STAIRCASE. Premiering Sunday, April 8 at 10/9c, the three-part special event provides a unique and comprehensive look at the death of Kathleen Peterson, exploring the shocking theories, critical evidence and surprising secrets that thrust this case into the national spotlight.

Read more here.

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.


With the knowledge of the criminal evidence against him, Aphrodite Jones speaks with convicted murderer, Michael Peterson, about the murder of his wife and his bisexual affair. -True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Related Links:

MJFA Links:
Military Widow Elizabeth Ratliff Found Deceased at the Bottom of Stairs in Germany; Michael Peterson Last Person to See Alive, Adopted Ratliff’s 2 Daughters (Nov. 25, 1985)
Kathleen Hunt Found Deceased at Bottom of Stairs in NC Home; Spouse Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid Second Trial (Dec. 9, 2001)
Marine Corps Veteran Michael Peterson Convicted of the Murder of Wife Kathleen; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 10, 2003)
Marine Vet Michael Peterson Pleaded Guilty to Manslaughter of Wife Kathleen to Avoid 2nd Trial; Agreed to Alford Plea, Released with Time Served (Feb. 24, 2017)
Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (2018)

Fresno Bee: ‘Black Widow’ Granted Parole. She Arranged the Murder-for-Hire of Her Navy Husband (January 26, 2018)

“Over the objections of the victim’s daughters and prosecutors, a two-member panel of the Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to Susan Lee Russo, who masterminded the murder-for-hire of her husband in the 1990s…Russo, 62, was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of David Russo, a senior chief petty officer at Lemoore Naval Air Station…Last year, the sentence was commuted to 25 years to life in prison by Gov. Jerry Brown, making her eligible for parole…Russo was convicted on Jan. 30, 1996, of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The Lemoore Naval Air Station serviceman, 43, was shot in the back of the head on July 14, 1994, while asleep in his Riverdale home. Two of the Russo children were asleep in another room.”

Read more from the Fresno Bee here.

Related Links:
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Kill Husband David Russo for Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Commuted (July 14, 1994)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Husband Murdered for Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery