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 Investigation Discovery: 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

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)

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)

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)

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 5.22.06 PM

Jhadin Davis, U.S. Navy

Offenders: 
Jhaden Davis, 21, US Navy, Camp Lejeune, NC (GUILTY, Sentenced to LWOP)
Joseph Pirrotta, 24, Navy Veteran, Beaufort, NC (GUILTY, Accessory to Murder)
Brandon Smallwood, 23, US Navy, Camp Lejeune, NC (GUILTY, Accessory After the Fact)

The homicides of father and son Duane and Albert Correll in Beaufort, North Carolina were featured on Investigation Discovery. Duane and Albert were both shot on June 2, 2012 in the course of a robbery. Duane was born in Michigan and his love for fishing brought him to North Carolina; shortly after arriving, he met his wife. They had Albert a couple years later and he joined Duane’s wife’s daughter Andrea. Eventually, the couple split and Andrea lived with her mom and Albert lived with his father. Duane hurt his back and was disabled so he had a hard time working. Albert got a job and went to work so his father wouldn’t have too. They were close and bonded over their love for fishing. It was especially tragic that the pair would be discovered together with gunshots. Albert wasn’t breathing and Duane was dying, yet more concerned about the health of his son.

Albert and Duane were rushed to the hospital; Albert was pronounced dead at the scene. They had both been shot in the chest. The police began their investigation and learned that they had just returned from Wal-Mart. Investigators wondered if they got in an altercation and were followed home. They didn’t find any weapons at the scene. They started interviewing the 911 callers but nobody actually saw what went down. One witness said he saw a gray vehicle and two individuals, one was confronting Albert. The confrontation lead to gunshots and the witness ran into their home to call the police. It was too dark to get a good look at the suspects before they took off. Then another witness came forward and said they were dead because of her. A woman claimed that her ex was jealous of Albert and said he was going to kill him. The police wanted to speak to him.

The day before, Kevin Connor sent Albert some threatening texts. It read “you won’t live to see the sunrise” so the police set out to find him. Albert’s girlfriend told police where he lived; he was roommates with Joseph Pirrotta. When police arrived at their home, they located three individuals inside. They cleared the apartment and Kevin wasn’t there. Joseph was home with a couple of his friends. He recently had been in the Navy and was stationed at Camp Lejeune but had been dishonorably discharged due to drug use two weeks prior. Joseph informed the police that Kevin no longer lived at the residence but he had his phone number. He was asked to call him, he answered and informed Joseph where he was at. The police immediately went to apprehend him. Kevin said he didn’t do anything but was willing to cooperate with the police.

Kevin told them he heard that Albert was shot; he used his girlfriend and other friends as his alibi for the day. He acknowledged he had problems with Albert and admitted to sending him a threatening text but denied killing him. Kevin had an airtight alibi and was absolutely cleared. Surveillance video footage at Wal-Mart did not indicate any suspicious activity and like Kevin was another dead end. That same night, Duane Correll didn’t make it and died. The police visited with Albert’s mother the next day and she had just recently learned that Albert and Duane had died; she was not doing well and in complete disbelief. The family couldn’t think of anyone who held a grudge against them and would want to murder them. The police went back to Albert’s girlfriend and learned that she had a brief fling with Jhaden Davis and he may have something to do with it.

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

Nicki told detectives things didn’t end well with Jhaden because he accused her of taking $300 from his bedroom and for some reason he decided to go after Albert thinking he could get the money out of him. A couple weeks before the homicides, Jhaden called Albert demanding his money. He told him to pay up or it wasn’t going to be pretty. Investigators learned Jhaden lived in the same apartment as Joseph Pirrotta and another guy named Brandon Smallwood. They were all in the Navy and stationed at Camp Lejeune together. Police went back to the residence to speak with Jhaden and learned he was on base. The roommate shared that Brandon and Jhaden stopped by over the weekend to pay rent; he also said no one had any weapons. They reached out to NCIS because they didn’t have jurisdiction on base and needed NCIS agents to assist them.

Local police interviewed Jhaden first and he claimed he was on base all weekend but there was no way to prove or disprove this but Jhaden was off-duty on the night of the murders. Brandon admitted that they did leave base for little while and went into town. Jhaden and Brandon were told not to leave the base. Police subpoenaed the phone records of Pirrotta, Davis and Smallwood. They also reinterviewed the friends hanging out at their apartment that night. During the interview, they suspected one of them was hiding something. They showed her pictures of the victims and were able to push her to the point that she decided to tell them everything. She told them Jhaden used her car prior to the murders. Jhaden left the apartment with Joseph Pirrotta. Jhaden returned a little after 10 p.m., a few minutes after the 911 calls. Jhaden & Pirrotta left the apartment and went back to Camp Lejeune. The next morning Jhaden came back and confessed.

Jhaden Davis told Victoria that he shot both Albert and Duane. It appeared that he was bragging and he implied to her that she better keep it quiet because now she knows what he was capable of. When confronted, Davis wouldn’t budge and said he was on base the whole time. Brandon said Davis and Pirrotta asked him if he wanted to go with them. Pirrotta was confronted and he spilled the beans on everything. He admitted that Davis wanted his $300 and revenge. They surprised Albert and Duane and then ambushed them; the Correll’s had no idea who was behind them. Davis first hit Albert with the butt of the gun, then shot Duane who was trying to protect Albert. Afterward, Davis shot Albert in the chest two times because Albert was the main target. Pirrotta said he thought they were going to rob them, not murder them. Davis took the money out of Albert’s wallet and Pirrotta told them where it was located.

Prosecutors moved forward with cases against Jhaden Davis, Joseph Pirrotta, and Brandon Smallwood. In July 2017, Jhaden Davis was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and sentenced to two life sentences without the possibility of parole. In December 2017, Joseph Pirrotta pleaded guilty to robbery and accessory after the fact to murder and was sentenced to ten years in prison. In March 2018, Brandon Smallwood pleaded guilty to felony obstruction of justice and was sentenced to five to fifteen months, with credit for time served. Albert and Duane’s family feel like the whole thing was so senseless, all over a girl and $300. Albert and Duane Correll will not be forgotten. The family left behind loves and misses them and still waits for their calls.

Source: Hearts of Darkness, Murder Calls, Investigation Discovery

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: 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. -Hearts of Darkness, Murder Calls (S3,E5)

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:
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 (S3,E5)
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)

American Experience PBS Premiered ‘Oklahoma City’: Timothy McVeigh & Terry Nichols Conspired to Bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (February 7, 2017)

Oklahoma City American Experience PBS

‘Oklahoma City’ American Experience PBS

“On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier deeply influenced by the literature and ideas of the radical right, parked a Ryder truck with a five-ton fertilizer bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. Moments later, 168 people were killed and 675 were injured in the blast. Oklahoma City traces the events — including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco — that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. With a virulent strain of anti-government anger still with us, the film is both a cautionary tale and an extremely timely warning.” -Oklahoma City, American Experience PBS

Watch ‘Oklahoma City’ here.

American Experience PBS:

Premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Coming to American Experience PBS on February 7, 2017 at 9/8c. -American Experience, PBS

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Clinton’s ability to reach Americans on a personal level did much to help the nation’s grief. “It’s kind of a throwaway line now, I feel your pain, but he literally could,” says Robert McNeely. “I mean he could take people and just hug them and connect to them in a way and really listen to them.” -American Experience, PBS

Oklahoma City explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement—including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco—led to the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. -American Experience, PBS

At the time of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was home to several government agencies — and a daycare. -American Experience, PBS

During the stand-off between federal agents and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas in 1993, people gathered on a hill roughly three miles away to see what was happening at the compound. One of those drawn to Waco was a 24-year-old Army veteran named Timothy McVeigh. -American Experience, PBS

Filmmaker Barak Goodman and editor Don Kleszy discuss their newest documentary, “Oklahoma City” and how it led to the creation of another one-hour film about Ruby Ridge. -American Experience, PBS

The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing was the largest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. A new documentary on the PBS series American Experience takes a fresh look at the events and motivations that led to the attack by Timothy McVeigh, and finds resonance for today. -PBS NewsHour

At the 20th anniversary, we look back at the Oklahoma City bombing. Public television station OETA shares reflections from survivors and victims’ families, and Judy Woodruff talks to former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, former Director of Homeland Security of Oklahoma Kerry Pettingill and Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the district of Kansas, for lessons learned from the attack. -PBS NewsHour

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier deeply influenced by the literature and ideas of the radical right, parked a Ryder truck with a five-ton fertilizer bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. Moments later, 168 people were killed and 675 were injured in the blast. OKLAHOMA CITY traces the events — including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco — that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. With a virulent strain of anti-government anger still with us, the film is both a cautionary tale and an extremely timely warning. -YouTube Movies

Related Links:
Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City Bombing – FBI
Oklahoma City bombing – HISTORY
Oklahoma City Bombing Fast Facts
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Oklahoma City National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)
Oklahoma City Bombing: 168 People Died in an Act of Domestic Terrorism at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (April 19, 1995)
Oxygen Premiered ‘In Defense Of Timothy McVeigh’: Convicted Oklahoma City Bomber Executed by Feds in 2001 for Terrorism (June 25, 2018)
Film Review: ‘Oklahoma City’ | Variety
From the ashes: Documentarian revisits horrific bombing in ‘Oklahoma City’
Oklahoma City PBS Documentary Explores America’s Tradition of Anti-Government Terrorism
Review: ‘Oklahoma City’ Recalls a Chilling Attack With Lessons for Today
New film links McVeigh to far right before bombing in OKC
Movie review: ‘Oklahoma City’ bombing documentary serves as timely cautionary tale
Oklahoma City: A Cautionary Tale of Hate in America | American Experience | PBS

YouTube:
Oklahoma City Teaser | American Experience | PBS
Oklahoma City | Promo | American Experience | PBS
Oklahoma City Official Trailer 1 (2017) – Documentary
American Experience | The Oklahoma City Bombing | PBS
Chapter 1 | Oklahoma City | PBS
The Murrah Building | Oklahoma City | American Experience | PBS
Timothy McVeigh at Waco | Oklahoma City | American Experience | PBS
Interview: Barak Goodman & Don Kleszy | Oklahoma City & Ruby Ridge
Tracing the roots of the America’s biggest domestic terror attack | PBS NewsHour
‘There was no playbook’ for handling the Oklahoma City bombing | PBS NewsHour
American Experience: Oklahoma City | PBS | YouTube Movies
Clinton | American Experience | PBS

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Driveway of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: John Kenney Fatally Shot The Grimes Over Shared Driveway Dispute (April 27, 2015)

Preview: Neighbors go to war when an older man obssesses over the boundary lines of his property and won’t let his neighbors anywhere near it. -Driveway of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E3)

Korean War veteran John Kenney fatally shot and killed his neigbors Mel and Elizabeth Grimes on January 29, 2007 in Carmel Valley, California. In the beginning, the three were friends and Elizabeth even looked after John’s house when he was gone for months at a time. And the Grime’s dog used to visit John on his property. The two neighbors got along great although they were very different. John was neat and tidy and his yard wasn’t cluttered whatsoever. The Grimes home on the other hand was decorated in their own way. They collected some odd stuff but only John could see it. The problems began when John’s need for order kicked into overdrive and he began to assert himself. John started complaining about the dog digging holes and invasive plant species. John and the Grimes also had to share a driveway and the Grimes had to cross over a small piece of John’s property to get to their carport. The arrangement had worked for years until a shared bridge needed to be repaired.

John and the Grimes shared a road with a bridge in need of repair. Mel Grimes offered to fix it and told John he had a lot of people who owed him labor. John Kenney didn’t want to cut corners and told Mel he wanted everything to be built to code. And then a short time later, on his own, Kenney hired an engineer to draw up the plans. Afterwards, he handed a bill to the Grimes and expected them to pay half. The Grimes didn’t want to pay for half of the cost of the engineer because they felt they could have done it cheaper. John went to court and sued the Grimes for the portion of the bill they should pay for and the court ruled in John’s favor. John wasn’t the only one in disputes with the Grimes. Another neighbor complained about the Grimes using their land as a dumping ground too. This neighbor said the Grimes dumped invasive plant species on his property and the behavior didn’t stop until they were reported; the Grimes mostly complied with the city ordinances.

John Kenney started getting really upset about the Grime’s dog making a mess on his property. The dog was defecating on another neighbor’s property as well. Kenney’s obsession with order and the Grime’s chaos clashed once again and this time it was over the shared driveway. Kenney decided to draw a line in the sand and assert his property rights. He told the Grimes not to drive over his property anymore to get to their carport. The Grimes blew him off because it was a very small piece of land and the only way to get to their carport. In response, the Grimes put up no trespassing signs on their property facing John Kenney. He was the only one who could see the signs and Kenney thought they were trying to provoke him. The Grimes also blared loud music in their yard in what seemed to be another aggressive move. John turned to City Hall for help and started reporting the Grimes for out of code buildings on their land. They both reported each other for building without a permit.

According to the Mel and Elizabeth’s son, the couple wanted John Kenney to leave and Mel Grimes was the type to fight back and never back down to a bully. But some in the neighborhood felt the Grimes were the bullies. The shared driveway made things complicated between John Kenney and the Grimes. As a result, the issue went to court and this decision didn’t go in Mel Grimes way either. John Kenney planted a garden on the dirt patch in front of the Grimes’ carport to stake out his property. When Mel came home from work, he ran over the garden that blocked his access to his carport and destroyed it with his vehicle. John started taking pictures of Mel destroying the plants with his car. Elizabeth ran out and grabbed John Kenney’s camera which was attached to him with a lanyard. As a result, John slammed his head and was harmed in the process. John felt threatened by the Grimes and thought the neighbors wanted to kill him. The Grimes felt imprisoned in their own home.

Elizabeth & Mel Grimes

Elizabeth & Mel Grimes

This escalating feud was confusing to those on the outside. Some bystanders felt for John Kenney and some felt for the Grimes. No one ever imagined it would escalate the way it did. Elizabeth attempted to resolve the situation in her own way. She knew where John went to church and wrote to John’s pastor. But this did nothing to resolve the bitter disagreement and John fired back with a letter in response. Nothing ever came of this exchange either so Elizabeth went public. She went to John’s church and interrupted a bible study meeting he attended and asked them for prayer and resolution. She questioned how John could be at a bible study meeting and harass them at the same time. Elizabeth felt this was hypocrisy. Now John didn’t feel safe anywhere and filed a restraining order. The restraining order required that both parties turn in their guns. John did not tell the courts he had a gun; the Grimes turned in a decorative gun. Mel developed an irregular heartbeat due to the stress.

It was hard to avoid one another when John Kenney and the Grimes had to share a driveway. John Kenney wasn’t backing down either. On January 29, 2007, Kenney had a boulder delivered to stake out his property in front of the Grimes’ carport. This made it impossible for the Grimes to get to their carport. Kenney knew that rock would get a reaction out of Mel and he would blow a fuse. When Mel returned home from work, he began destroying the rock so he could gain access to his carport. Elizabeth called the police to resolve the situation and asked Mel not to touch the boulder because she wanted the police to handle it. Once John Kenney realized Mel Grimes was destroying the boulder, Kenney reached his boiling point and confronted the Grimes with a gun in hand. When police got to the scene, they found two gunshot victims. Mel Grimes was dead and Elizabeth Grimes was shot but still alive. Elizabeth told the police John Kenney was the one who shot them.

John Kenney was arrested for two homicides because Elizabeth died en route to the hospital. The neighbors were shocked that things escalated to this kind of violence. The tragedy created a split in the community. Kenney’s fellow church members couldn’t believe he committed first degree murder and supported his claims of self defense. John Kenney said he shot the Grimes because he was attacked with a sledge hammer first. But the forensic evidence and recorded 911 call said otherwise. While Elizabeth was on the phone with 911, John Kenney walked down his driveway with a loaded, concealed gun. When John Kenney reached the Grimes, he pushed Elizabeth out of the way and out of instinct Mel came to her rescue. It was at this time, Kenney pistol whipped Mel Grimes and then shot him. Mel Grimes’ DNA was found on the weapon and the head injuries on Mel were consistent with blows to the head. John Kenney didn’t stop there.

After shooting Mel Grimes, Kenney turned the gun on Elizabeth and shot her. The 911 recording captured the last words the Grimes said to each other as they lay on the ground with gunshot wounds. “I love you.” An investigation revealed that Elizabeth was shot while she was laying on the ground next to her husband. She attempted to protect herself and block the bullets with her arms. John was heard on the 911 recording saying “welcome to hell Elizabeth” before he shot her in the back. John Kenney went to trial and was found guilty of the first degree murder of Elizabeth Grimes and second degree murder of Mel Grimes. Kenney was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. What John Kenney didn’t know was Elizabeth and Mel Grimes had purchased a home in Hawaii and were planning to move. The Grimes’ family found solace with the fact that Elizabeth and Mel got to say I love you to one another before they died together.

Source: ‘Driveway of Death’ Fear Thy Neighbor

In the News:

John Kenney, the Carmel Valley man accused of killing two of his neighbors, is set to appear at a preliminary hearing. -KSBW Action News 8 (October 26, 2007)

A preliminary hearing has begun for Carmel Valley resident John Kenney, who is accused of killing neighbors Mel And Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (October 29, 2007)

KSWB reports on John Kenney, the Central Coast man ordered to stand trial for the murder of his neighbors and the fate of the couple’s dogs. -KSBW Action News 8 (December 21, 2007)

Prosecutors say they are seeking a new trial for perjury charges. -KSBW Action News 8 (March 21, 2008)

A 911 call was played out in court Wednesday in the case of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (April 3, 2008)

Almost 800 people have been summoned for jury duty, one of the largest jury pools for a trial in Monterey County. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 6, 2008)

Jury selection continued and the judge made a ruling that could give a glimpse into John Kenney’s mind. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 7, 2008)

The prosecutor in the John Kenny murder trial was removed from the case. -KSBW Action News 8 (May 16, 2008)

A new development is revealed in the case against John Kenney, the man accused of murdering his neighbors, Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 11, 2008)

The defense attorneys for John Kenney argued in court Wednesday about calling witnesses that would show Elisabeth Grimes had a propensity for aggressive behavior. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 13, 2008)

The jury for the trail of John Kenney was seated Wednesday afternoon and opening arguments were scheduled for Friday. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 20, 2008)

The jury in the trial of John Kenney visited the scene where Kenney is accused of killing Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 25, 2008)

A U.S. Army colonel testified on Tuesday as a character witness as the testimony phase of the John Kenney trial continued. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 26, 2008)

The deputy who failed to respond to John Kenney’s call for help testified Wednesday about what happened the day Mel and Elizabeth Grimes were shot. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 27, 2008)

The Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors took the stand Thursday in his own defense. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 28, 2008)

John Kenney took the stand for the second day in a row Friday and attempted to explain what happened the day Mel and Elizabeth Grimes were shot to death. -KSBW Action News 8 (August 29, 2008)

An attorney formerly employed by John Kenney testified that he suggested the boulder be placed as a barrier on the disputed land. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 2, 2008)

The brother of one of the victims shot and killed by John Kenney testified Wednesday in court. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 3, 2008)

The former security consultant hired by John Kenney testified that he told Kenney to stay inside his home when Mel Grimes came home from work. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 8, 2008)

The final witnesses were called by the defense Tuesday in the trial of John Kenney. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 9, 2008)

The jury received their instructions from the judge presiding over the trial of John Kenney on Wednesday. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 10, 2008)

Closing arguments wrapped up Thursday in the trial of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 11, 2008)

Closing arguments ended and jury deliberation began on Friday in the trial of a Carmel Valley man accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 12, 2008)

Jurors visited the scene on Monday where a Carmel Valley man is accused of killing his neighbors. -KSBW Action News 8 (September 15, 2008)

John Kenney was sentenced to life without parole on Monday for killing his former neighbors, Mel and Elizabeth Grimes. -KSBW Action News 8 (November 3, 2008)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: In the idyllic hills of Carmel Canyon, California, wealthy neighbors get into a dispute over everything from shared roads and bridges to upkeep of their respective properties. Anger finally boils over and the feud is resolved with fatal gunfire. -Driveway of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E3)

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:
Elizabeth Rosnack Grimes (1951-2007) | Find A Grave
Melvin Noble “Mel” Grimes, Jr (1948-2007) | Find A Grave
Neighbors’ feud turns tragic
Land dispute ends in death of popular couple
Straying over the property line isn’t always deadly, but it can be dangerous
John Kenney found guilty in Grimes killing
Life in prison for man who killed neighbor couple
Man who killed Carmel Valley neighbors in fight over boulder gets life in prison
Kenney gets life, won’t acknowledge guilt
Trouble on the Hill | Dateline NBC
John Kenney alleges errors in appealing conviction in Carmel Valley slayings
Conviction upheld in Carmel Valley double murder
Kenney’s conviction upheld in Carmel Valley murder case
Court of Appeal Upholds John Kenney’s Murder Conviction
Carmel Valley man’s murder conviction appeal denied
Simple Title Search Could Have Saved Two Lives
In the wake of a notorious and grisly murder, mediators have been trying to mend fences – and keep neighbors sane.
Bitter feud between neighbours over land ended in double shooting
10 Disturbing Cases of Neighbors from Hell
Where are they now?

Video Links:
Hearing Planned Following Carmel Valley Killings
Hearing Begins In Carmel Valley Slayings Case
Kenney To Stand Trial, And The Fate Of The Grimes’ Dogs
There Is A New Twist In The Murder Case Against John Kenney
911 Tapes Played During Kenney Hearing
Kenney Defense Portrays Victim As ‘Aggressive’
Jury Selected For Kenney Trial
Kenney Trial Jurors Visit Crime Scene
Army Col. Testifies On Kenney’s Behalf
John Kenny Murder Trial
Jury Selection Starts For The John Kenney Murder Trial
Day Two Of The John Kenny Trial
New Development In John Kenney Murder Case
Deputy Questioned About Kenney’s Civil Standby Request
Kenney Takes The Stand
Kenney Defends Actions To Jurors
Attorney: Kenney Advised To Place Boulder
Grimes’ Brother Testifies At Kenney Trial
Security Consultant Testifies During Kenney Trial
Final Witnesses Called In Kenney Trial
Jury Instructions Handed Out In Kenney Trial
Closing Arguments Wrap Up In Kenney Trial
Jury Begins Deliberations In Kenney Trial
Kenney Jurors Revisit Shooting Scene
Kenney Sentenced To Life Without Parole
Boundary Wars | Driveway of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery
Driveway of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S2, E3)

Fort Carson Army Soldier Montrell Mayo Found Guilty of Murdering Girlfriend & Army Soldier Kimberly Walker; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (2014)

mayo3

Montrell Mayo, US Army

In November 2014, Army soldier Montrell Mayo was convicted at an Army courts martial and found guilty of the pre-meditated murder of Army soldier Kimberly Walker. Kimberly was his girlfriend and stationed at Fort Riley in Kansas. She was visiting Montrell in Colorado because he was stationed at Fort Carson. Kimberly was found dead at a Colorado Springs hotel on February 14, 2013. Authorities found her body tucked into bed and covered in flower petals. After an investigation, Mayo was charged with Kimberly’s murder but during that time frame he fled to Greenville, North Carolina where he had family. In the meantime, Mayo admitted to his Army supervisor that he may have killed Kimberly and shortly after turned himself into North Carolina police. Mayo was arrested and extradited back to Colorado to face a murder charge for Kimberly’s death. At trial, the defense argued that Mayo hit and strangled Kimberly after an argument in the heat of passion. Mayo claimed Kimberly threatened his military career during an argument and he hit her with a glass in response, then unraveled. An autopsy found blunt force trauma, strangulation, and evidence that Kimberly was smothered to death. Therefore the prosecution argued that Mayo deliberately killed Kimberly when he smothered her to death with a pillow after hitting and strangling her. A panel of five military officers sentenced Montrell Mayo to life in prison without parole.

Related Links:
Local Soldier Found Murdered in Colorado Springs
Soldier from Cincinnati found dead in Colorado hotel
Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Woman Found Dead In Colorado ID’d As Soldier From Kansas
Woman Allegedly Murdered By Fort Carson Soldier Identified
Family says goodbye to slain Army daughter
Soldier Charged With Murder In Girlfriend’s Death
Soldier charged with murder in girlfriend’s death
Soldier Wanted For Murder In Colorado, Arrested In Greenville
Soldier Charged In Colorado Death Arrested In North Carolina
Soldier Won’t Fight Extradition In Colorado Slaying
Soldier Wanted In Woman’s Death Is Back In Colorado
Affidavit: Soldier strangled by boyfriend after Valentine’s quarrel
Cincinnati soldier killed in Valentine’s Day fight
Court-martial set for soldier in girlfriend’s slaying
Trial Set For Soldier In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Defense: Fort Carson soldier didn’t mean to kill girlfriend
Defense attorneys: Fort Carson soldier charged with murder didn’t intend to kill girlfriend
Fort Carson Soldier’s Murder Trial Nearing End
Colorado Army sergeant convicted of killing his soldier girlfriend
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in death of girlfriend
Soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Fort Carson soldier convicted of murder in girlfriend’s death
Soldier Faces Life Sentence In Death Of Girlfriend
It’s life without parole for Fort Carson soldier
Soldier sentenced to life in prison for murdering his girlfriend
Soldier Sentenced To Life In Girlfriend’s Slaying
Former Fort Carson soldier sentenced to life for murder of girlfriend
Soldier killed his girlfriend by mistake and then laid her on a bed of roses as an altar claims his attorney
Family: Soldier’s Life Sentence Brings ‘Closure’ After Daughter’s Murder
Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)