Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘A Killer View’ on ID: Neighborhood Dispute Between Clyde Reddicks and Jeffrey Flaugher Turns Deadly (August 1, 2019)

ID Go: A young family builds their dream home in the Kentucky Hills, but their heaven is hell for the quiet couple living next door. And a dispute over a shared road leads to fireworks, fury, and cold-blooded murder. -A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor (S6,E1)

On July 16, 2004, decorated Vietnam veteran Clyde Reddicks fatally shot Jeffrey Flaugher and Teresa Leadingham in their Grayson, Kentucky home after a sustained campaign of neighborhood disputes and gaslighting. Reddicks was facing the death penalty for capital murder but in July 2006 opted to plead guilty, but mentally ill to two counts of first-degree manslaughter, one count of second-degree burglary, and three counts of first-degree wanton endangerment. Clyde Reddicks was sentenced to 18 years for each manslaughter count, with the terms to run concurrently, ten years for the burglary charge, and seven years for the wanton endangerment counts which run consecutively with the manslaughter term. Clyde Reddicks died of cancer after serving just six years in prison.

Post Traumatic Stress is not a justification for murder.” -Det. Robert Garnes, Kentucky State Police (A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor)

YouTube:

A Killer View, Fear Thy Neighbor, Cream Productions (July 29, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (July 31, 2019)

A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Cream Productions (August 1, 2019)

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:
Teresa Ann Criswell (1974-2004)
Jeffery Lynn “Bub” Flaugher, Jr (1978-2004)
Clyde “Junior” Reddicks, Jr (1944-2012)
Neighbor Feud Ends In Murder
Vietnam flashbacks blamed in murders
Clyde Reddicks pleads guilty to lesser charges
Couple sentenced in neighbors’ deaths
Parade Lawsuit Settled
Eastern Ky. man settles with city, county over parade ban
Clyde Reddicks, Jeffrey “Bub” Flaugher: Watch ‘Fear Thy Neighbor A Killer View,’–Vietnam Vet, Fireworks Feud In Kentucky
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Teaser 2)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Fireworks & Fury)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S6,E1)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Killer View | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (June 25, 2018)

Brandon Caserta Navy.jpg

AEAN Brandon Caserta, U.S. Navy (photo courtesy of the Caserta family)

Navy AEAN Brandon Caserta was stationed with the Helicopter Combat Sea Squadron 28 (HSC-28) at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia when he died by suicide on June 25, 2018. While Brandon’s parents were on the phone with Navy leadership at the Squadron, Brandon walked out on the flight line, apologized to the plane captain (who is in-charge of the flight line), and hurled himself into a helicopter rotor, dying instantly. AEAN Caserta had a brief career with the Navy and it didn’t turn out the way he had hoped. He had failed Special Warfare Training and was transferred into a new career field as a result. And then unexpectedly Brandon broke his collar-bone in a bicycle accident, which also negatively impacted his Navy career. At the moment Brandon Caserta made his final walk out to the flight line, his father Patrick Caserta was on the phone with the command expressing concern for his son’s welfare. Patrick was making plans to fly out to Naval Station Norfolk to explore his son’s legal options.

Desperate for answers, the Casertas reached out to Brandon’s chain of command and friends but eventually everyone stopped responding. The Casertas were told by many friends in Brandon’s command that leadership ordered a cessation of communications. Before the silence, Brandon’s friends shared that they thought he appeared to be suffering from depression, feelings of worthlessness, and anger, hence the reason he left a note asking the Navy be held accountable. As a result of the information gleaned from the note and those who knew Brandon, the HSC-28 conducted an investigation of itself; basically the fox guarding the henhouse. Although they knew months in advance of the problems, the report did note that Brandon’s supervisor had a history of berating and belittling those who worked for him. As a matter of fact, this supervisor could have been court-martialed under UCMJ Article 93, Cruelty and Maltreatment, but he wasn’t. Instead, Military.com reports he received no punishment and was transferred with a “declining evaluation” (and this was only after it was heard and reported that he made “derogatory and inflammatory comments concerning the deceased”).

“I want to see as many people fired, kicked out or, at the very least, lose rank.” -Brandon Caserta, U.S. Navy

According to Military.com, the Navy’s suicide rate in 2018 was the highest it’s ever been. And it was reported that a post-mortem analyses of suicides in the military usually showed the victim “faced major issues like financial problems, relationship problems, medical issues, and mental health conditions.” The military reporter reached out to Dave Matsuda, an anthropologist at California State University-East Bay, who researched and studied a suicide cluster among soldiers in Iraq in 2010. Matsuda’s research found some non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and officers in the chain of command made their subordinates’ lives a “living hell.” Matsuda also added that although the “bad leaders weren’t fully responsible for the suicides, they helped push the soldiers over the edge.” But in a system where the Navy is investigating the Navy, we have learned that the Chain of Command isn’t going to admit there is a problem. They have a history of blaming the victim and/or scapegoating an enlisted NCO or lower ranking military officer.

Brandon’s father, Patrick Caserta, a retired U.S. Navy sailor himself, asserts the Command was “so hostile, corruptive and unethical,” that they tormented Brandon and drove him past the brink of despair. Patrick and Teri Caserta wholeheartedly believe the command murdered their son. Patrick reminded us that the military talks about trauma, exposure to war, and mental health, but they don’t talk about harassment and bullying. He believes military leadership do not want to admit harassment, bullying, and retaliation happen or admit they are at fault. In the days and weeks that followed their son’s death, Patrick and Teri also learned from those who worked with Brandon that they were all dealing with a high operational tempo and manpower shortfalls. Brandon’s co-workers believed “personal issues were not a high priority and Brandon’s death could have been prevented.” And an anonymous message sent to the squadron commander on June 18, 2018 revealed the abuse was ongoing before Brandon died.

According to the message, Brandon’s supervisor called subordinates his “bitches,” referred to the chiefs as “douchebags” and “dumbasses” behind their backs, and “treated workers worse than garbage” and “like dogs.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

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Military.com reported that Brandon Caserta’s death was one of 68 Navy suicides in 2018. They also reported the rise in military suicides appears to mirror an increase in suicides among the general U.S. population. Suicide experts are struggling to understand why so many are dying by suicide. Some factors for suicide risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), include “spending time in prison or jail, having a mental health disorder or a substance abuse problem, experiencing family violence, a history of suicide, and having guns in the home.” Brandon’s family believes their son’s suicide was a direct result of toxic leadership, one superior who harassed and bullied Brandon, pushing him over the edge. According to Army Doctrine Publication 6-22, a toxic leader “operates with an inflated sense of self-worth and from acute self-interest,” consistently using “dysfunctional behaviors to deceive, intimidate, coerce, or unfairly punish others to get what they want for themselves.” Although it appears there are multiple variables that impact when a service member chooses to die by suicide, the experts need to find out the why so we can save our service member’s lives. What is happening in their environment that makes them feel like suicide is the only way out?

The directive states, toxic leaders exhibit a combination of “self centered attitudes, motivations, and behaviors that have adverse effects on subordinates, the organization, and mission performance.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

Military.com reported that one of Brandon’s co-workers helped shed some insight into the toxic climate at the Navy’s HSC-28 squadron. He accused leadership of deploying personnel in retaliation for speaking up and not doing as they are told. This particular individual requested that he remain at the squadron when his wife got sick because he needed to support her and their two girls. But his leadership was going to deploy him with a detachment anyways. So he filed an Inspector General complaint and thankfully was transferred out of the squadron in a couple weeks. He believes Navy personnel have a “fear of retribution” because the command is resentful of the service members who can’t deploy. Brandon’s family experienced a form of retaliation as well. The unit held a memorial service for Brandon four days after he died but Patrick and Teri said they were not invited by anyone in the HSC-28 command. Patrick Caserta believes the family was excluded out of sheer pettiness; leadership wanted to continue to conceal and coverup what truly happened. Regardless of the reason, it was a violation of Navy policy.

“Navy policy states that the command should provide round-trip travel and allowances to family members to attend a command memorial service.” –Military.com (June 8, 2019)

On May 31, 2019, after the command learned that Military.com had made phone calls regarding the Casertas’ allegations, Navy personnel indicated there was a “culture of fear” at the squadron. The Casertas are so angry and distraught that communications have stopped that they offered a $25,000 reward to anyone who came forward with information that “lead to successful prosecution of individuals in their son’s chain of command.” They have also met with the congressional staff of at least a dozen senators and representatives, including Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) to discuss “the treatment they and Brandon received, request an independent investigation, and promote efforts to prevent suicide linked to toxic leadership.” They also would like to see the Navy implement Brandon Caserta’s request in his suicide note regarding the re-rate process: “sailors who don’t complete the training for the rate they initially sought should be able to select any other training they qualify for with their Armed Services Vocational Battery (ASVAB) test results.”

Anthropologist Dave Matsuda told Military.com that to truly address the problem of suicide in the armed forces, “all the services need to consider ‘toxic leadership’ when analyzing the deaths of each individual.” If we understand the why, we can prevent suicide. Matsuda also believes operational leaders should not rely on “the boot camp strategy of breaking people down to build them back up.” Matsuda concluded with the assertion that indeed a toxic command climate can trigger suicidal behavior. One year later, Patrick and Teri Caserta are determined to get justice for their only son, because they believe this tragedy could’ve been prevented. The pair also report that Congress is drafting “The Brandon Act,” which is “federal legislation aimed at ending military suicides, holding commanders accountable, and halting the bullying and hazing that occurs within military ranks.” Please contact both the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) members and the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) members and your Senators and Representative to ask that they too support our troops by supporting The Brandon Act. Our service members deserve a chance at a beautiful life post military.

“The Brandon Act” is designed to be a safe word that men and women in our Armed Forces can use if they are subjects of any kind of abuse whether it’s physical, emotional or mentally. Abuse comes in many, many forms to include bullying, hazing, threats, sexual, abusive leadership, and any kind of mental and emotional abuse. These are just a few abusive tactics that can be done to someone. “The Brandon Act” protects those who come forward asking for help. It is designed for these men and women to come forward and get the help they need and if the abuse merits it, the sailor or troop will have a right to ask to be reassigned to another command or unit without any retaliation whatsoever from anyone in their current command or their next assignment. Our hope is to bring suicides to an end and by using this “Act” will hopefully allow them the courage to get help when they need it and get them healed and back on the right path. This “Act” is in front of Congress right now and hopefully very soon, they will approve and pass it once it’s completely written. Thank you for reading. –Justice for Brandon Caserta on Facebook (June 20, 2019) #TheBrandonAct

Sources: Patrick Caserta (Brandon’s father), Patricia Kime, Military.com, and related links

In the News:

As Terri Caserta entered her son’s bedroom in their Peoria home, she broke down. It’s an emotion that Terri and her husband Patrick Caserta will always carry with them. Their son Brandon was in the United States Navy from 2015 to 2018. However, at just 21, Brandon would take his own life. -ABC 15 Arizona (June 14, 2019)

Related Links:
Obituary: Brandon Patrick Caserta (June 25, 2018)
3rd Cowpens CO Fired Since 2010; CMC Relieved (2014)
Army Takes On Its Own Toxic Leaders (2014)
‘I now hate my ship’: Surveys reveal disastrous morale on cruiser Shiloh (2017)
Navy: Failures of Leaders, Watchstanders Led to Deadly Ship Collisions (2017)
Former MCPON Bawled Out Staff, Made Sailors Fetch Coffee: Investigation
His Suicide Note Was a Message to the Navy. The Way He Died Was the Exclamation Point
When Driven to Suicide, at a Minimum it is Manslaughter! – The Navy’s Incessant Harassment of Brandon Caserta Ultimately Drove Him to Suicide – People Were Promoted, Instead of Held Accountable
Suicides Are Still On The Rise In The Military — Is That Really a Surprise? Spoiler: The Answer Is ‘No.’
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life (YouTube)
Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007)
Camp Lejeune Marine Maria Lauterbach & Unborn Child Murdered, Remains Discovered in Fellow Marine’s Backyard; Cesar Laurean Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (December 15, 2007)
Military Rape Survivor Army Sgt. Amanda Sheldon Died by Suicide After Suffering With Depression; Family Hopes Her Death May Spark Change (October 7, 2010)
Lauterbach Case Prompts Policy Reforms for Victims of Crime in the Military (December 25, 2011)
Army Directive 2011-19: Expedited Transfer or Reassignment Procedures for Victims of Sexual Assault (3 Oct 11)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (2017)
Are More Male’s Victims of Violent Crime in the United States Than Females? (2017)
September: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (2017)
Sexual Assault in the Armed Forces, Transfer Policies Panel (2017)
48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Trail of Fire’ on CBS: Holley Wimunc, Domestic Violence, and the Holley Lynn James Act (June 26, 2018)
ProPublica: ‘Death and Valor on an American Warship Doomed by Its Own Navy’ (February 6, 2019)
Senate Armed Services Committee Members & House Armed Services Committee Members (June 21, 2019)
The Brandon Act | Justice for Brandon Caserta
Justice for Brandon Caserta | Facebook
Navy Failed Their Son | ABC 15 Arizona

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)

Netflix Premiered ‘The Staircase’: A Docuseries Examining Marine Veteran Michael Peterson’s Durham, North Carolina Murder Trial (June 8, 2018)

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

Season 1:

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

Source: The Staircase, Netflix

Continue reading

48 Hours Premiered ‘The Evidence Room’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes behind the scenes with a defense team and cutting edge forensic animators as they strategize to defend a woman accused of murder. CBS News correspondent Tracy Smith investigates in a special two-hour edition of “48 Hours” airing Saturday, Dec. 23 starting at 9 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

Honoring the victim: Robert McKernan.

Related Links:
Sneak peek: The Evidence Room | 48 Hours
“It was the last time he was going to hurt me” | 48 Hours
Colleen McKernan reaches plea deal, avoids third murder trial
Air Force Veteran Colleen McKernan Shot Husband Robert 10 Times; Plead Guilty to Manslaughter to Avoid 3rd Trial, Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison (2014)

48 Hours Premiered ‘The Soldier’s Wife’ on CBS: Army Soldier Skyler Nemetz Fatally Shot Wife Danielle Nemetz in the Back of Head (July 8, 2017)

All new: A young wife shot dead — her soldier husband pulled the trigger. Was it an accident or murder? -48 Hours

A young wife shot dead — her soldier husband pulled the trigger. Was it an accident or was it murder?

On Oct. 16, 2014, Danielle Nemetz, 19, was shot and killed by her husband Skylar Nemetz, 20, in their Lakewood, Wash., apartment. Neighbors placed two 911 calls after hearing a gunshot. Skylar was charged with murder, but his defense says it was an accident and that these 911 calls show a distraught and panicked husband, not a cold-blooded killer. -48 Hours

On Oct. 16 2014, Army soldier Skylar Nemetz was taken into custody after he shot and killed his wife, Danielle. He was recorded on camera just minutes after the shooting. Do his statements sound like the words of a distraught husband who accidentally shot his wife or do they sound like the words of a cold-blooded killer? -48 Hours

Skylar Nemetz is on trial for the shooting death of his wife, Danielle. Prosecutors accuse Skylar of killing Danielle in a jealous rage, but Skylar says it was a tragic accident. During jury deliberations, “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty talks with Skylar as he waits to hear their verdict. -48 Hours

Army soldier Skylar Nemetz is on trial for the shooting death of his wife Danielle. He says it was an accident; prosecutors say it was murder. Skylar’s mother, Danette Heller, says she spent her life savings to pay for his defense. During jury deliberations, Skylar spoke with “48 Hours”‘ Erin Moriarty about his mother’s sacrifice. -48 Hours

In the News:

When a soldier claims he shot his young wife by accident, his mother gives up everything to support him. A jury must decide whether it was an accident, or an act of rage. -CBS This Morning

A young soldier is charged with murdering his wife in cold blood. He says it was an accident and can explain how it happened. Will the jury beieve him? -CBS Evening News

 

48 Hours: The Soldier’s Wife -CBS Miami

Skylar Nemetz stood trial in his wife’s fatal shooting. After seven days of deliberation, a jury finds Nemetz guilty of manslaughter, putting him away for slightly over a decade. -Crime Watch Daily

Skylar Nemetz has admitted to shooting his wife to death but he claims it was all an accident. The stunning new development to his story. -Crime Watch Daily

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

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

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Monkey in the Middle’ on Investigation Discovery: Spencer Newcomer Found Not Guilty of Murder, Claimed Self-Defense (May 25, 2017)

Preview: A man finds himself living between hostile neighbors on both sides, including a former marine with severe PTSD. Their campaign of intimidation ramps up to the point of no return, ending with a deadly confrontation on the street outside their homes. -Monkey in the Middle, Fear Thy Neighbor (S4, E8)

Date: June 10, 2012
Victim: David Wintermyer, 47, retired US Marine Corps, veteran
Offender: Spencer Newcomer, 42, employed (self-defense)
Location: York, Pennsylvania
Circumstances: Spencer Newcomer wouldn’t mow his grass because he wanted to be one with the land and mother nature on his down time, he owns the home his grandfather owned, lots of great memories, Greg Taylor lives next-door to Spencer, Dave Wintermyer inherited his father’s home and moved to the neighborhood on the other side of Spencer, Dave retired from the Marines after twenty years, his long tours overseas ended his marriage, Dave was very proud to be a Marine, he flew the American flag and the USMC flag proudly on his property, Dave wants to play the hero and help others, Spencer’s dad was a Marine too, he served four years, Spencer appreciated Dave’s service because of his dad’s experience, Dave got out of the Marine Corps but he didn’t give up leadership or Marine Corps values, he would do anything for anybody, Dave would clear everyone’s driveways when it snowed, he became the guardian of the street, Dave would look after people’s homes when they were gone, Spencer’s dogs started pooping on Dave’s lawn, Spencer denied that it was his dog, Greg said Spencer’s dogs pooped in his yard as well, the neighbors confirmed Spencer’s dogs did not stay in his yard, Spencer found Dave in his yard one day, Dave was burning brush in his yard and blasting music, Dave told Spencer he didn’t like his dogs, on another occasion Dave took Spencer’s ladder without his permission and Spencer confronted him about it, Dave thought he was Mayor of Yorkland, Greg got more and more obsessive with his property, Greg and Dave started ganging up on Spencer about his overgrown property, Dave mowed his lawn every week, Greg and Dave had disdain for Spencer’s yard, Dave asked Spencer countless times to keep his dogs off his lawn but Spencer brushed it off as if he didn’t care, Dave approached Spencer one day and told him he had enough of his dog’s pooping on his property, Dave told Spencer he was a Marine and he was not and he needed to respect that, he threatened Spencer, but Spencer didn’t appear to care that he was offending anyone or if his dogs were bothering Dave, Spencer became more wary of Dave’s behavior, it got stranger and stranger, neighbors thought Spencer’s shed was an eye sore and needed to be torn down, Dave was worried that termites would get into his backyard, Spencer didn’t think it was a big deal because no one could see it, Greg was anal and wanted everyone’s stuff to look like his, Greg and Dave acted like they owned the block, Spencer met Bonnie Henderson and eventually asked her to move in with him, she loved his untamed yard, she noticed some of the yards in the neighborhood were immaculate, Dave was angry about his weeds growing six feet tall, Greg hatched a plan with Dave and they reported Spencer to the township, they complained about the weeds in the backyard and the inspector told him he needed to cut down the weeds, he was fined $600, this was just the beginning of their campaign of harassment, someone knocked over Spencer’s woodpile in his backyard while they were not home, the township does not allow boats or jet skis on the property, both Dave and Greg got fined for this, Dave got angry at the town for enforcing the law about his jet skis, another neighbor got fined as well for having a boat in his yard, they thought Spencer was the one reporting them but he denied it, according to Spencer’s girlfriend, he doesn’t like confrontation, Dave started venting on social media about the situation, speaking in a threatening tone, ranting about government overreach, authorities deduced that he suffered from some form of PTSD based on his social media rantings, Dave’s ex-wife didn’t deny that Dave most likely had PTSD after multiple deployments, Dave ranted to Spencer about getting fined by the township, Greg and Dave targeted Spencer and constantly tried to stir things up in the neighborhood, someone flattened Spencer’s tire and vandalized his property, they wrote graffiti all over his windows, the behavior was getting worse and escalating, Spencer called the police to report the harassment, one night they discovered both of Spencer’s dogs were poisoned, they survived but this made Spencer angry, they were scared too, Spencer didn’t know who to trust, Greg wanted to talk to Spencer and Greg said things had gone too far, he said he wanted to live in peace, Greg told Spencer he had nothing to do with any of the vandalism and blamed it all on Dave, he threw Dave under the bus, Greg was instigating Dave to do more and take more action, he used Dave to fuel the fire, he was feeding Dave stuff so he would call the township, Dave wasn’t a bad guy but he had demons that he struggled with, it appeared Dave’s demons were winning the battle, he admitted on social media he couldn’t sleep, Dave’s ex-wife said people with PTSD have triggers, when those triggers happen, it takes them to a very different place, they react on those triggers in a lot of different ways, Dave glared at Spencer and girlfriend when they were in the backyard, Spencer started carrying a pistol because he feared for himself in his backyard, he was protecting himself and his property, he had a permit but never had an occasion to draw a weapon on anyone, things get worst when Bonnie’s rabbit was mutilated, Greg continued to gaslight Dave into taking action, it felt like an act of terrorism to Spencer, they said Spencer was weak, had no guts and the pair were closing in on him, Dave continued to threaten Spencer and his girlfriend and stared at them while they were in their backyard, Spencer didn’t know any way to engage Dave without it escalating to a violent confrontation, Spencer built a wood rack that couldn’t be tipped over, the pair came over and busted up the wood rack, Greg was constantly egging on Dave who had a more aggressive personality, Spencer decided to take action, he called the police and they said there was nothing they could do about it, it added fuel to the fire for Dave, Greg continued to gaslight Dave to take action including harming him if he showed up on their property, Spencer had no idea they were texting each other and egging each other on, Dave started screaming at Bonnie and told her he was going to force her to eat their own dog crap, he was enticing Spencer to come and fight him, Bonnie was fearful because Dave appeared unhinged, Greg watched everything from his property, the police believed their goal was to kill Spencer, Spencer was running late one day and Greg was trying to hold him up, Dave came at Spencer on the road, told him he was sick of his dogs, Spencer tried to diffuse the situation, Dave threatened to kill his dogs so Spencer stopped his vehicle to deal with the situation and protect his dogs and property, Spencer felt backed in a corner as Dave aggressively came at him, Spencer pulled his gun out to defend himself, Spencer saw rage and said Dave looked unhinged, Dave pulled out what looked like a pistol from his pocket and Spencer shot him four times in the chest, but it wasn’t a pistol, it was a cell phone, Spencer called 911 and explained the situation, Spencer was afraid Dave was going to kill him, Spencer was arrested by the police and he was charged with murder, Spencer was held in solitary confinement and waited nine months for a trial, the DA was considering the death penalty, but the defense subpoenaed Dave’s cell phone records and discovered a series of texts between Dave and Greg planning an attack on Spencer, Dave was planning on a confrontation, this new evidence helped the jury decide that Spencer was innocent, but Dave’s ex-wife said the jurors didn’t get to see the real side of Dave, Spencer returned to his home, Greg was never charged with any crime but neighbors believed he was 90% of the reason for all this, Spencer feels isolated by the community and said he regrets that it came to this, he didn’t want this to happen but he felt like he didn’t have a choice
Disposition: Spencer Newcomer was found not guilty of manslaughter in March 2013

David Wintermyer

David Wintermyer, U.S. Marine Corps Retired (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: ‘Monkey in the Middle’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

In the News:

Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting -WGAL TV

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Related Links:
Obituary: David Edward Wintermyer (1964-2012)
Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting
Man fatally shoots neighbor in chest
Police: York County man fatally shot after long dispute
Trial ordered for York County man in neighbor’s death
Live coverage of the Spencer Newcomer murder trial
York Co. forensic lab, real life crime scene investigations
Eyewitness testifies about the murder of David Wintermyer in Springettsbury Township
Spencer Newcomer acquitted of murder/manslaughter
York man acquitted in neighbor’s slaying over shed argument
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Spencer “Lee” Newcomer IV
Reasonable Provocation: Distinguishing the Vigilant from the Vigilante in Self-Defense Law
The Spencer Newcomer Case now on ProArms Podcast
087 The Spencer Newcomer Case | The ProArms Podcast
Spencer Newcomer, David ‘Dave’ Wintermyer: ‘Fear Thy Neighbor’ Tackles Fatal Shooting Of Former U.S. Marine
Interesting Case on TV Tonight | Backwood Homes Magazine
Monkey In the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor (Preview)
Monkey in the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S4, E8)
Monkey in the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Monkey in the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery