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


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

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

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

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch all of the Investigation Discovery programming at your convenience. And for those who do not have cable, you can watch “unlocked” episodes on the ID Go app including the latest premieres. Download the ID Go app and binge away. For those who prefer commercial free programming during your binge session, Prime Video has an ID channel: ‘True Crime Files by Investigation Discovery” available for $2.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict.

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

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Murder for Me’ on Investigation Discovery: Monique & Paul Berkley (October 23, 2015)


Some women like others to do their dirty work. A drama queen brings her love triangle to a permanent end; an intimate betrayal turns friends into deadly foes; and a loose woman will do anything to protect her freedom. -Murder for Me, Deadly Women

Navy Reservist Paul Berkley was murdered by his wife, Monique Wallace Berkley, her teenage lover, and his friend in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 18, 2005. Paul was home for Christmas on leave from a deployment in the Middle East. Monique, Andrew Deshawn Canty, and Latwon Darrell Johnson were all charged with first degree murder. The motive was the $400,000 Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance payout. Monique pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The state announced it was going to seek the death penalty if Berkley had gone to trial. Andrew Canty pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Latwon Darrell Johnson pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Johnson appealed his sentence claiming that it was too harsh given his role in the slaying and his cooperation with police and prosecutors.

“Paul Berkley survived his deployment in the Middle East without any injury, but he couldn’t survive one week with his wife Monique.” -Profiler Candice DeLong, Deadly Women

MJFA Link: Navy Reservist Paul Berkley Murdered by Wife Monique in North Carolina while Home on Leave from Middle East, SGLI was the Motive (December 18, 2005)

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 military wife is caught in deadly love triangle. -Monique Berkley, Snapped (Oxygen)


The young and wild Monique Wallace is married to 40-year-old Paul Berkley, a navy reservist and father of two in suburban North Carolina. But with Paul leaving on a mission overseas, temptation and lust will lead them all down a dark path to murder. -Rules of Engagement, Deadly Women

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Snapped “Monique Berkley” (Oxygen Media)
Deadly Women “Murder for Me” (Investigation Discovery)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘For the Money Honey’ on Investigation Discovery: Kelly Gissendaner & Lover Murdered Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner (September 26, 2014)

Full Episode: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. An army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Army veteran Doug Gissendaner was murdered by his wife Kelly and her lover Gregory Owen in Auburn, Georgia on February 7, 1997. Doug met his wife Kelly in 1989 in Georgia. Kelly was a party girl and had already been married for six months and divorced when she met Doug. She had a child from her previous marriage and Doug welcomed the child with open arms. Within two months, they were married and then Kelly got pregnant. Doug loved being a father, husband, and family man. Then Doug joined the Army and got stationed overseas in Germany. While Doug was away, Kelly resorted to her old ways and started partying at the clubs on base. Kelly loved being on base with soldiers since the military base was a ready supply of men. It was reported that Kelly was so promiscuous on base that eventually she was asked to leave and her and the children were sent back to the United States. In 1991, Doug returned home from his enlistment in the Army. He decided to forgive his wife and they reunited. Shortly after the reunification, Doug learned that Kelly was pregnant with someone else’s child. He was disappointed to say the least as he wanted to keep his family together. Divorce was inevitable. But after three years of being alone, Doug was desperate to be with his family again. The couple remarried and moved in together. Doug put up with Kelly so he could be a family man and provider to the children. Kelly wanted a house so Doug bought her one. What Doug didn’t realize is that Kelly was having an affair with 25 year old Gregory Owen. Kelly approached Owen about three months prior to the murder and asked him to get rid of Doug. Owen didn’t take her seriously initially and suggested she simply divorce him.

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Doug Gissendaner, US Army Veteran

On the day of the murder, Kelly drove Owen to her residence in Auburn where he would wait for Doug with a knife and a nightstick that she provided to him. Kelly went out drinking with her friends to establish an alibi. Owen ambushed Doug when he got home and forced him into his own vehicle. He then took him to a remote wooded area where he forced him on his knees, hit him on the head from behind with the nightstick, and stabbed him in the neck ten times. Owen paged Kelly after he was done. Kelly showed up to the crime scene, demanded to see the body, and used gasoline, an accelerant, to set Doug’s car on fire. Kelly Gissendaner reported Doug missing to the police the following day. Investigators suspected Kelly immediately because they believed she was not being truthful. They found Doug’s body eleven days later. Kelly eventually admitted to police that she was having an affair with Gregory Owen and this tip led investigators to the man who would eventually confess to the murder of Doug Gissendaner. Owen was tormented with guilt and felt manipulated and used. As a result, Owen testified at Kelly’s trial that she wanted to cash in on an insurance policy and become the outright owner of the marital home. In exchange for his testimony, Gregory Owen was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in twenty-five years. Kelly Gissendaner maintained her innocence but was found guilty of malice murder and sentenced to death in 1998. She lived her prison life in solitary confinement and was executed by the State of Georgia on September 30th, 2015. Kelly Gissendaner wanted things her way no matter the cost and conveniently had her husband killed after he bought her a house.

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. A middle-aged woman used looks to prey on elderly gentleman; an army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad; and a serial wife cooks up meals to die for. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

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:
Find-A-Grave: Douglas Morgan Gissendaner
Family: Kelly Gissendaner’s murdered husband ‘is the true victim’
Gissendaner v State of Georgia 2000
Kelly Gissendaner execution postponed indefinitely
Sentence upheld against only woman on Georgia’s death row
Georgia’s only female death row inmate to be executed
Only woman on Ga. death row denied clemency, set for execution
Georgia woman’s execution postponed because drugs appeared ‘cloudy’
Kelly Gissendaner: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Former Ga. chief justice regrets vote in Gissendaner case
WATCH: Kelly Gissendaner’s 1997 Interview on the Search for Her Husband
Kelly Gissendaner Death Unfair? Boyfriend Gregory Owen Did the Murders, Gets Parole in Eight Years
Georgia Executes Kelly Gissendaner, Renewing Questions About Death Penalty
Kelly Renee Gissendaner got her lover, Gregory Bruce Owen, to kill her husband Doug for the insurance money; She is now on death row
Execution Date Set for Kelly Renee Gissendaner, Convicted of Husband’s Murder
Georgia to execute its first female prisoner in 70 years
Kelly Gissendaner First Woman Executed in Georgia in 70 Years
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Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner after Supreme Court denies stay requests
Kelly Gissendaner Executed in Georgia After Courts Deny Stay Requests
Kelly Gissendaner executed for planning husband’s murder as man who killed him escapes death sentence
She sang Amazing Grace then the drugs took hold and she stuttered into silence: As the state of Georgia executes its first woman for 70 years, a chilling dispatch from inside the chamber
Georgia executes Kelly Gissendaner, despite plea from Pope Francis
Detective recounts how he put Kelly Gissendaner on death row
The Premeditated Murder of Kelly Gissendaner
Justice has different meanings for Kelly Gissendaner’s family
Profile of Husband Killer Kelly Gissendaner
First We’ll Kill My Husband by Lyn Riddle (Amazon)
Review of First We’ll Kill My Husband
Kelly Renee Gissendaner Documentary – Female Killers | Deadly Women (S8, E11)
For the Money Honey | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S8, E11)
Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for Marital Home & Life Insurance; Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death & in 2015 Executed in Georgia (February 7, 1997)

Army Spouse Dana Mackay Found Murdered in Virginia Home; SSG John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, Nace Houchin, & Greg Crawford Confessed to Crime (2013)

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Dana Mackay, Army Spouse, Virginia

Army spouse Dana Mackay, 42, was found murdered in her Williamsburg home in Virginia on July 27, 2013. The intruders entered Dana’s home and snuck into her bedroom in the middle of the night; she was bludgeoned to death by a blunt instrument in the midst of sleeping. She died from multiple blunt force trauma. A concerned neighbor found Dana nude on the floor next to her bed; there was blood everywhere. Initially investigators thought the homicide occurred after a sexual assault. But after further investigation, authorities would learn that Dana’s husband, John Mackay, 45, and his lover, Nicole Houchin, 37, planned the murder because Dana didn’t want a divorce. John admitted to investigators that he wanted a divorce from Dana but she refused and threatened to report his affair to his commanding officer if he didn’t stop. John was a Staff Sergeant (SSG) stationed at Fort Eustis in Virginia and adultery was a crime punishable by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). John did not want to risk his long standing career and apparently wanted to be with Nicole Houchin, not Dana.

John and Nicole elicited the help of Nicole’s Army husband, Nace Houchin, 35, who was also stationed at Fort Eustis, and Gregory Crawford who worked with John and Nicole at an Auto-Zone store in Williamsburg, Virginia. John Mackay promised both Nace Houchin and Gregory Crawford twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) if they would kill Dana. Did John expect a hefty pay-out from a life insurance plan on his wife? Did John promise to pay the deadly duo as soon as the money hit his bank account? John wanted the easy way out so he could be with Nicole. Dana Mackay didn’t want a divorce from John; she wanted to save the four year marriage. And although Dana innocently threatened to report John’s adulterous affair to his commander, how was she to know that it would be a motive for murder? John Mackay wanted to save his career and be with his new girlfriend. John Mackay, Nicole Houchin, and Nace Houchin confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to first degree murder. All three were sentenced to life in prison. Gregory Crawford confessed to the crime and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit capital murder; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison with three years suspended (17).

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John Mackay, Nicole Houchin (Top); Nace Houchin, Gregory Crawford (Bottom) Photo Courtesy of WAVY.com

Related Links:
Justice for Dana
Woman, 42, found dead inside Williamsburg home
Va. sergeant confesses to Army wife’s murder plot
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Fort Eustis soldier confesses to plotting with mistress to murder wife
Williamsburg man, girlfriend arrested in wife’s death
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Ex-soldier Nace Houchin pleads guilty to 2013 slaying of Dana Mackay
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Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in Seasons Trace Murder-for-Hire Scheme
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Trial Tracker with Pat LaLama: Seven Deadly Sins Edition
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples (Oxygen)
Nicole Houchin and John Mackay | Snapped: Killer Couples, Season 6 (Amazon)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on web)
Sick and Twisted | Married with Secrets (ID on YouTube)


Dana MacKay is found viciously beaten to death while her husband is out of town. One suspect comes to mind: a woman who’s been stalking Dana for the last month. But it will take a cellphone with X-rated text messages to unravel this mystery. -Married with Secrets

Shannon O’Roark Murdered Estranged Husband’s Mistress Veterans Affairs Psychiatrist Dr. Irina Puscariu; Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison (2012)

On January 13, 2012, Shannon O’Roark of Texas drove 250 miles to Missouri to kill her estranged husband’s mistress fourty-six year old Dr. Irina Puscariu. Shannon O’Roark Griffin was an aeronautical engineer who worked for NASA training astronauts until she experienced a seizure that put her on definite sick leave. Shannon’s husband was a Colonel in the Air Force who decided he wasn’t ready to retire. Shannon and Col. Roscoe Griffin had been living separately for quite some time and discussed divorce but it appeared Shannon did not want a divorce after twenty years of marriage. Meanwhile, Col. Griffin lost a fellow service member to suicide and it devastated him. He began seeing Dr. Irina Puscariu, a Veterans Affairs psychiatrist, for help. The professional relationship evolved into a romantic relationship, which is strictly forbidden in the world of psychiatry. Dr. Puscariu put her own career at risk when she chose to date Col. Griffin. Shannon found out thru social media that her husband was seeing Dr. Puscariu when he posted a picture with Irina on Facebook. Col. Griffin also changed his relationship status to “it’s complicated” which to Shannon was rejection, and rejection was the trigger. Col. Roscoe Griffin had no idea what was in store for him when someone is dumped and dangerous.

Shannon may have felt like the post meant the last twenty years were horrible and now I am going to replace you. Shannon asked Col. Griffin to go to a counseling appointment with her one last time in an effort to save the relationship. It would be here she would learn her husband of twenty years loved Dr. Puscariu and wanted to continue to see her. After this counseling session is when Shannon decided to go to Missouri and kill Dr. Puscariu. She wanted to protect what was hers at all costs. She wanted to obliterate Dr. Puscariu from her life so the problem would go away. She drove 250 miles to Irina’ home in Missouri and shot and killed her four times in front of her own mother, the last shot was to her face. Shannon then fled the scene back to Texas and was held in custody until she could be extradited back to Missouri for a murder charge. Shannon plead guilty to second degree murder to avoid a trial. She was sentenced to twenty years for second degree murder and twenty years for armed criminal action. Investigators noted that before this incident Shannon had zero criminal history or violent behavior, she didn’t even have a speeding ticket. But when she got rejected by her husband Col. Roscoe Griffin, it would be jealousy and revenge that would drive her to murder the woman who stole her life.

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Videos:
Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous”
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Wife Kills Husband’s Mistress: Shannon O’Roark Griffin Charged With Murdering Irina Puscariu


Deadly Women: “Dumped and Dangerous” (Investigation Discovery)

Facing Evil with Candice DeLong Premiered ‘Love Before Life’ on Investigation Discovery: Jennifer Reali Fatally Shot Lover’s Wife in Colorado (November 26, 2010)

Full Episode: Jennifer Reali was having a wild affair with Brian Hood, he made her shoot his wife to death in a parking lot. She did, and now she is serving life in prison. Former FBI profiler Candice DeLong talks face to face with Jennifer to find out the truth -Love Before Life, Facing Evil (S1, E3)

Lt. Joe Kenda, a homicide detective with the Colorado Springs Police Department, was angry when he found out about this murder. Whoever did it gunned down a housewife and mother and he vowed to catch them. On September 12, 1990, a Lupus support meeting was held in a recreational area in Colorado Springs, Colorado. One of the participants was Dianne Hood, who just 18 months earlier after her third child was born, was diagnosed with Lupus. But Dianne was a fighter and was in remission. After the meeting let up, she walked outside with a fellow Lupus support group member, Karen Johnson, and was robbed and shot twice. Karen went flying back into the building and informed the others that Dianne had been shot. Another support group member Sarah was a registered nurse so she ran outside to help. Sarah found Dianne laying in a pool of blood and observed her gasping for breath as she began compressions. EMTs arrived on the scene and took over for Sarah. Dianne had two bullet wounds, one in the shoulder and the other in her chest area. She was pronounced dead at the hospital. This crime sent a shockwave through the community.

After Lt. Kenda arrived on the scene, he found blood on the ground and a couple shocked witnesses. It was assumed initially that this was a robbery gone bad. Kenda interviewed Karen Johnson first because she was the best witness he had. Karen reported that she and Dianne were walking to their cars when they heard footsteps from behind. The person was wearing dark clothes and a ski mask. Dianne gave up her purse to the robber and began to run. The shooter first fired at her shoulder and that put her down and then this person fired a fatal shot at her chest. Everything did in fact look like a robbery gone bad. Unfortunately, Karen didn’t know much about the shooter aside from they were shorter they she was. Kenda and fellow police officers began canvassing the area to see if they could find any additional evidence. Criminals usually have a planned exit so Kenda used a K9 unit to comb the area looking for the scent of the shooter. About about a mile, the dog locked onto a scent. The dog led officers to a garbage can and then sat down. This is dog’s alert system. Inside the garbage can the police found an olive drab field jacket, a pair of gloves, a black ski mask, and some camouflage pants.

The items in the garbage can matched the witnesses description of the shooter at the scene. They also found brown hair in the ski mask and evidence of gun residue on the gloves upon testing at the forensic’s lab. The K-9 dog eventually lost the scent of the shooter because this person most likely got in a car and drove away. The only promising lead just hit a dead end. Kenda didn’t have a suspect, he had a masked maniac so he decided to look into Dianne Elaine Hood’s life; he wanted to know everything about her to find out who in her life wanted her dead. With no other substantial leads, police started canvassing the neighborhood, knocking on every door, to see if anyone saw anything. They encountered a woman who indicated David Burns could have had something to do with it. Kenda learned the locals gave Burns the nickname Homicidal Dave. Kenda wanted to know who this guy was because he wore camouflage similar to that of the shooter. Kenda learned Burns was a veteran of the first Gulf War, spoke loudly and obnoxiously to others, and the community felt he was dangerous. Upon further investigation, David Burns was cleared because he alibi checked out on the night of the murder. With no suspect or person of interest to investigate further, Kenda needed to expand the investigation.

Expanding the investigation meant combing through all the evidence to find new clues. After reading through Karen Johnson’s testimony again, Kenda deduced that someone wanted to make this look like a robbery. Kenda believed Dianne Hood was targeted and that this was an assassination. During the autopsy, two bullets were recovered from Dianne Hood’s body so they were sent to ballistics. Kenda received a call the next day informing him he was looking for very rare and valuable gun, a Colt Peacemaker patent 1872 single action Army revolver, a cowboy gun. This was a huge limiting factor because this rare gun was worth thousands, maybe this person was a gun collector. During a homicide investigation, the police look at everything. Dianne’s life didn’t raise any red flags; she was a devoted mother of three and housewife. Kenda turned to Dianne’s husband Brian Hood and after bringing him to the station, Brian’s life appeared to be just as idyllic as Dianne’s was. Brian Hood was extremely well liked by his neighbors and co-workers. He used to play football and Dianne was a cheerleader; that’s how they met. Brian’s physical stature eliminated him as the shooter.

During the interview, Brian admitted that he was addicted to working out and went to the gym almost every day to keep up his physique. So Kenda went to the gym, spoke with a couple employees, and learned that Brian spends a lot of time with a girl named Jennifer, who worked at a flower shop. Joe went to the flower shop and learned her full name was Jennifer Reali. She was married to Benjamin Reali who was a Captain in the Army and an intelligence officer. The shop owner shared that he liked Ben because they both collected antique guns. This was a solid lead for Kenda. Does Ben own the same antique gun used in the shooting? Did Ben shoot Dianne Hood because of the relationship Brian had with Jennifer at the gym? Did Jennifer shoot Dianne? Ben worked at Fort Carson as a criminal investigator for the US Army so he knew as a soldier, he is an expert in killing and as an investigator, he knew how to get away with it. The clothing recovered in the garbage can was military clothing. Was this his clothing? Ben’s stature did match that described by the shooter. Kenda surprised Ben at work and he immediately went on the defensive. Ben admitted to owning several antique guns and one of them was a Colt 45 Peacemaker (patent 1872).

Kenda wanted the antique gun so it could be analyzed. Ben appeared to be confused and concerned but he handed over the gun. The police couldn’t recover any fingerprints on it. Kenda then invited Ben to go to the police station so they could interview him. The police put Ben on their turf so he wouldn’t be in his normal comfortable setting. Ben was seated and Kenda laid out the clothing they found in the garbage can. Without even looking, Ben said he didn’t recognize the clothing. Kenda said, Ben you need to look at these clothes and examine them. Kenda then threatened to call his military Commander and ruin his career overnight or at a maximum arrest him for murder. Ben admitted the clothing were his and the ballistics office confirmed his gun matched the one they were looking for. Ben claimed he last saw the clothing in his closet at his house but he hadn’t been living there for about 3 weeks; he was staying on post. Ben then told Kenda his wife asked him to hold the gun that morning and a couple weeks ago, she wanted to shoot it so he took her to the gun range to practice. Ben went from a person of interest to a witness. Kenda remembered the witness telling him the shooter put the purse over their shoulder like a woman would do.

Ben Reali was eliminated as a suspect because Kenda knew they were looking for a woman. Forty-eight hours after Dianne was murdered, Kenda was on the hunt for twenty-eight year old Jennifer Reali. He needed to find out more about his prime suspect. He learned she was a college graduate and a mother of two daughters. From outward appearances, she didn’t fit the modus operandi of a killer. Kenda brought Jennifer to the station in the hopes that she would break after he pressed her. While at the station Kenda realized Ben was not a co-conspirator but was struggling with the fact that his wife might be a murderer. The clothing was Ben Reali’s and the bullet casings matched the same gun owned by Ben Reali; as a result Jennifer was arrested for first degree murder and Ben had a hard time with it. After the arrest, Kenda turned all his attention to Jennifer Reali. She denied any knowledge of anything so Kenda presented the evidence to her and backed her into a corner. He could tell she was used to being in control and didn’t like being cornered. Jennifer tried to say the gun must have been stolen but that was ludicrous, as if someone would return the gun after stealing it. Jennifer finally broke and admitted that she did it; Kenda got his confession.

Jennifer Reali admitted to killing Dianne Wood and that she did try to make it look like a robbery. She also shared that someone else was involved in the plot to kill Dianne; she claimed it wasn’t her idea. Jennifer disclosed that she killed Dianne for Brian Hood. She admitted to having an affair with him for the past eight months. She met him at the gym and they became close; this is how the personal and romantic relationship started. Their innocent flirtation eventually turned into a full-blown affair, she says they were in love. She brought Brian to her house when Ben was out of town. Jennifer was very specific about all the details with her affair with Brian. Brian told Jennifer that killing Dianne would help end her suffering with Lupus, a disease he said was going to kill her. He also had an insurance policy on her for $100,000 and if she was murdered, it would double the pay out to $200,000. For a period of months, Brian brainstormed various ways to kill his wife as if he was her mercenary. In the end, Brian decided a staged robbery in a parking lot would do.

Brian told Jennifer they already committed the sin of adultery and the sin of murder was no worse. He claimed that Jennifer was his whole life and he used passages from the Bible to let her know it was okay to kill Dianne as long as she repented. Brian also believed the police were stupid and would assume this was an armed robbery. This was his final plan to convince her they would get away with it. Brian pressured Jennifer for three months to kill his wife and then on September 12th, she went through with it. Jennifer was held in the El Paso County jail for first degree murder but the architect of the plot was still at large. The police hunted down and arrested Brian for conspiracy to commit first degree murder, solicitation to commit first degree murder, and first degree murder. In the meantime, one of Brian’s friends came forward with damning information after reading about his arrest in the paper. He told the witness that he wanted his wife dead. Police learned Brian’s friends were afraid of him because they wondered if he was capable of killing them too. Brian Hood pressured his friends until he found one that would do his bidding; he used his wife’s disease as an excuse to justify murder.

Brian maintained his innoncene throughout the investigation and trial. But the family doctor testified at trial that he told Dianne and Brian that she had the mildest form of Lupus and it could be easily managed; she was not going to die. Brian told his friends he wanted Dianne dead because she was going to die anyways; he knew that wasn’t true. A year after Dianne Hood was shot and killed on December 23, 1991, Brian Hood was found guilty of two counts of criminal solicitation, one count of conspiracy to murder his wife, however on the charge of first degree murder, he was found not guilty. Instead of life in prison, he was sentenced to 37 years. The police felt like he got away with murder. Jennifer Reali plead insanity claiming she had been brainwashed by Brian Hood. The jury didn’t buy it and she was found guilty of first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. Jennifer Reali was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole at the Colorado State Penitentiary. The police got justice for Dianne when she couldn’t do it for herself but this murder was devastating to the Hood and Reali families. They couldn’t help but ask: Why would Brian do this? Why not get a divorce? Why kill her? Kenda explained that this was human nature at its worse.

What does a murderer look like? As it turns out they look like the cute mom next door. -Lt Joe Kenda, Retired Homicide Detective

Investigation Discovery:

Preview: She was broken down by every man who crossed her path, so when Jennifer’s lover told her that his wife had to die – Jennifer made sure she did. -Under His Control, Deadly Women (S4, E10)

ID Go: Mother of three Dianne Hood is shot to death by a masked gunman on her way home from a Lupus support meeting. Police initially assume it’s a robbery, but Lt. Joe Kenda uncovers a sordid web of lust and greed, revealing a killer no one ever expected. -I Now Pronounce You Dead, Homicide Hunter (S2, E1)

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.

In the News:

The Colorado Springs woman, who’s been called the “fatal attraction killer,” Jennifer Reali, has a new address. -KRDO Colorado (August 5, 2014)

Gazette city editor Cary Vogrin talks with Eric Singer on Between the Lines about Jennifer Reali’s release to a halfway house from prison after years of serving time for a “fatal attraction” killing. -Colorado Springs Gazette (August 5, 2014)

A rare interview from three years ago sheds new light about the “fatal attraction killer.” -KRDO Colorado (August 6, 2014)

The Department of Corrections says Jennifer Reali has been transferred to a halfway house, despite having her parole denied three years ago. -KRDO Colorado (August 6, 2014)

Audio from the recent parole hearing for Jennifer Reali. The Colorado Springs woman explains why she killed Dianne Hood and why she’s sorry. -Colorado Springs Gazette (November 7, 2014)

Audio from Jennifer Reali’s recent parole board hearing telling officials why she can do more good being free to help others not follow the same path she did. She was convicted of killing her boyfriend’s wife. -Colorado Springs Gazette (November 7, 2014)

No parole for convicted killer, Jennifer Reali (2015) -KRDO Colorado (October 14, 2015)

Reali shot and killed her lover’s wife in 1990. -CBS Denver (April 6, 2018)</p

Related Links:
A Most Dangerous Liaison
The State of Colorado v. Jennifer REALI, Defendant-Appellant (1994)
Sweet Evil: A True Story of Religious Manipulation and Deadly Love
Escaped killer caught
The case a lawyer wouldn’t give up on
Convicted Murderer Reali Goes Before Parole Board
“Fatal Attraction” killer Reali denied parole in 1990 love-triangle slaying Manipulated Against Our Natures: When Good People Do Bad Things
Killer makes tearful plea for release
Convicted Colorado Springs killer denied parole
Jennifer Reali moved to halfway house
Jennifer Reali, Fatal Attraction Killer Turned Gospel Singer, In Lakewood Halfway House
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ Jennifer Reali Will Enter Halfway House
Jennifer Reali, convicted in Colorado Springs ‘fatal attraction’ murder, denied parole again
Parole Rejected for ‘Fatal Attraction Killer’
Facing Evil Podcast Ep 3: Was This Woman ‘Under the Spell’ of a Religious Man When She Shot his Wife?
Colorado Springs’ ‘fatal attraction killer’ denied full parole
Colorado Springs’ ‘fatal attraction killer’ denied full parole
Parole denied, but Jennifer Reali remains out of jail after killing lover’s wife
No Parole for Colorado’s “Fatal Attraction Killer”
“Fatal Attraction” Killer Jennifer Reali Finally Granted Parole
Woman who killed lover’s wife in Colorado granted parole
Woman Who Killed Lover’s Wife in Colorado Granted Parole
Son says he’s ready to forgive “Fatal Attraction killer” Jennifer Reali, who killed his mother
Mayor John Suthers on Jennifer Reali (the Fatal Attraction Killer)
‘Fatal attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies after release
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ — Who Disguised Herself to Gun Down Romantic Rival — Dies After Parole
‘Fatal atttraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies at 55 three months after release from Colorado prison
‘Fatal attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali dies after release
‘Fatal Attraction Killer’ — Who Disguised Herself to Gun Down Romantic Rival — Dies After Parole
‘Fatal Attraction’ Killer Jennifer Reali Dies 3 Months After Parole Release
‘Fatal Attraction’ killer, who was jailed for 28 years for shooting dead her lover’s wife at point blank range while wearing a ski mask, dies three months after her release
Reali death harkens memories of big trial that came to Glenwood Springs
Lieutenant Joe Kenda | Homicide Hunter | Crime + Investigation
Episode 3 – Jennifer Reali | Facing Evil with Candice DeLong (Podcast)
Deadly Women: Face To Face | Facing Evil with Candice DeLong
Deadly Women: FBI Profiler Makes a Confession
Female Domestic Violence Killings In Colorado — 1990-1995
Update: Jennifer Reali | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery
Army Spouse Jennifer Reali Shot & Killed Lover’s Wife; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Paroled in December 2017 & Died From Pancreatic Cancer Three Months Later (September 12, 1990)

Video Links:
Reali denied parole
Reali reaction
Jennifer Reali wants to help others stay out of prison
Jennifer Reali interview released
Convicted kIller Jennifer Reali decribes her crime
‘Fatal attraction killer’ moved into halfway house
Colorado ‘Fatal Attraction’ killer Jennifer Reali granted parole
Between the Lines: The next step for convicted killer Jennifer Reali
Jennifer Reali Dies After Being Released From Prison
Under His Control | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S4, E10)
I Now Pronounce You Dead | Homicide Hunter | Investigation Discovery (S2, E1)
Love Before Life | Facing Evil | Investigation Discovery (S1, E3)

Marine Veteran Jonathan Blackwell Killed by Girlfriend’s Jealous Ex in North Carolina, Stacey Webster Sentenced to 16 1/2 Years in Prison for 2nd Degree Murder (2004)

jonathan-blackwell

Jonathan Blackwell, US Marine Corps Veteran

Marine veteran Jonathan Blackwell of Reidsville, North Carolina went missing on October 7, 2004. Eight days later Jonathan’s car was found burned out in the countryside of North Carolina but no signs of Jonathan’s remains were discovered in the fiery wreckage. Jonathan Blackwell was a US Marine Corps veteran who served proudly in the first Gulf War and since his honorable discharge worked at a Goodyear Plant just across the North Carolina state line in Virginia. Early in the investigation police learned that Jonathan’s new girlfriend Viola was also dating her ex Stacey Webster. According to Viola, neither man was aware of the other and Viola pointed to Jonathan’s ex-girlfriend Patsy who also had a 10 month old child with Blackwell. Police ruled both women out and other leads were also dead ends so the missing persons case went cold for two years.

In December 2006, Walter Daldron was arrested and told police that he had information about the Jonathan Blackwell missing persons case. He told investigators that Jonathan’s body was located off Highway 29 and buried in a shallow grave under some old tires. Police located the body and an autopsy confirmed that the body was that of Jonathan Blackwell. Jonathan had evidence of blunt force trauma to the back of the head and his skull was cracked. Daldron also knew who did it. Daldron admitted that his best friend Stacey Webster murdered Jonathan Blackwell. It turns out that Jonathan was a victim of a love triangle with his new girlfriend Viola and her ex Stacey Webster, but he didn’t know it. Stacey knew about Jonathan because he stalked Viola and Jonathan for months until finally his obsession, jealousy and rage reached a boiling point. If he couldn’t have Viola, no one could have her. Webster initially denied committing the murder but after faced with the eye witness testimony from his best friend and the discovery of Jonathan’s body, he went silent.

On December 15, 2006, Stacey Webster was arrested for the first degree murder of Jonathan Blackwell. Investigators learned that Webster confronted Jonathan at his home. When Jonathan turned his back to Webster to go into his home and call police, Webster hit Jonathan in the back of the head with a rock and knocked him out. Webster then hit Jonathan’s head multiple times with a rock until he was dead. He put Jonathan’s body in his vehicle, cleaned up the crime scene, and then contacted his cousin to help him hide the body. Webster took Jonathan’s body to the countryside of North Carolina off Highway 29 and covered Jonathan’s body with lyme before he buried him in a shallow grave in an attempt to hide evidence but inadvertently helped preserve Jonathan’s body instead. On September 24, 2010, Stacey Webster was arraigned for Jonathan Blackwell’s murder. Webster accepted a plea deal and plead guilty to second degree murder. Stacey Webster was sentenced to 16 1/2 years in prison. Stacey was an unusual suspect because he was a successful business man with no criminal history. Webster showed no remorse for his crimes.

Related Links:
One Year Later: Jonathan Blackwell Still Missing
Murder case sends deputies into the water
How ‘Bugs of Death’ May Help Solve Murders
Bugs of Death May Help Solve Murder Cases
Unusual Suspects: When Evil Strikes (YouTube)
Unusual Suspects: When Evil Strikes (Amazon Video)


In 2004, a former marine goes missing from his North Carolina home. Investigators sift through a mountain of tips and small-town rumors before a surprise witness comes forward who may hold the key to the mysterious disappearance. -Discovery ID