Marine Corps Veteran Laurel Chasmar Shot to Death Outside New Jersey Home by Ex-Boyfriend Hassan Shahid in Apparent Murder-Suicide (2017)

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Laurel Chasmar, US Marine Corps Veteran

Marine Corps veteran Laurel Chasmar, 28, was shot and killed outside her Morris Plains, New Jersey home on August 5, 2017. Laurel was apparently in a relationship at one point with Hassan Shahid, 32, who is accused of her murder. Hassan Shahid of Jersey City was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Morris township after he allegedly killed Laurel. According to reports, Laurel and Hassan worked together at one of the Novartis facilities in New Jersey and dated for a time but it appears Chasmar ended things and then complained to the police that he was harassing her.

Related Links
Man, Woman Found Dead In Possible Murder-Suicide In Morris County, Sources Say
Two dead identified in Morris Plains murder-suicide
Authorities identify pair killed in apparent murder-suicide
Marine gunned down by her ex-boyfriend outside NJ home, officials say
Mayor: Morris Plains murder victim dated, then complained of ‘harassment’ by shooter
Slain Morris Plains woman, a Marine Corps veteran, had made complaints against killer
Marine shot to death by ex-boyfriend tried to flee her killer, mayor says
Slain Morris Plains Woman Complained About Harassment By Shooter: Reports

Camp Pendleton Marine LCpl. Cody Haley Died After a Tree Fell on Him During Routine Physical Training in California, Under Investigation (2017)

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LCpl. Cody Haley, US Marine Corps

The 1st Marine Division announced in a news release Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Haley, 20, was doing routine physical training when he was struck and killed on August 4, 2017 by a falling tree at Camp Pendleton, California. LCpl. Haley was from Hardin, Iowa and deployed with the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2016. The Marine Corps report the incident is under investigation.

Related Links:
Camp Pendleton Marine killed when tree falls on him
Camp Pendleton Marine dies in tragic accident
Camp Pendleton Marine Killed by Falling Tree
Falling tree kills California-based Marine from Iowa
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in accident on base, officials say
Camp Pendleton Marine killed in accident on base
20-year-old Marine killed in apparent accident at Camp Pendleton
Marine killed by falling tree during training at Camp Pendleton
Mom of killed Iowa Marine: ‘I’ve been his biggest fan since he was in tee-ball’
Marines probing tree fall that killed serviceman during training at Camp Pendleton
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death, and Suicide at Camp Pendleton, California (US Marine Corps)

Letter of Support for Save Our Heroes in Our Shared Quest for Military Justice Reform & Constitutional Rights

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October 1, 2016

U.S. House of Representatives
United States Senate
Washington, DC

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a letter of support for Save Our Heroes. We recognized immediately that Save Our Heroes and victims of crimes both want similar changes in the military justice system. Save Our Heroes is asking for three specific legislative/policy changes to restore fundamental fairness in the military justice system:

1. Remove all Commanders authority from decision-making in the legal system.
2. The number of panel members should be increased to 12 for General Courts Martial.
3. Any conviction at Courts Martial shall require a unanimous verdict.

These requests by Save Our Heroes are similar to the overall changes that victims of crimes in the military have lobbied for, specifically that Commanders be removed from the reporting and decision-making process because of fear of bias, lack of investigative training, and the power to discharge and/or punish with the stroke of a pen. Save Our Heroes is requesting the same changes because ultimately both the victims and accused are looking for a military justice system that mirrors the civilian justice system while respecting the need of the Commanding Officer to ensure discipline is maintained within their command. We want a justice system where crimes are reported to legal authorities and not a Commander who is an authority figure with the power to impact your entire life. We want a justice system where crimes will be investigated thoroughly by unbiased military criminal investigative organizations looking for the truth. We want a justice system that provides the same constitutional rights as those provided in the civilian justice system. Save Our Heroes is specifically asking for changes that are commonplace in the civilian justice system, like a jury of twelve of our peers and a unanimous verdict. Our military deserves no less.

Victims of crimes in the military are asking for a military justice system that provides due process for the accuser and the accused. Crime victims want the ability to go to trial based on an independent prosecutor’s decision to charge because there was sufficient evidence to move forward with a case. Crime victims want those people who level false accusations, and engage in other abuses of the process, to be held accountable. While we recognize that false reports represent a small percentage of total reports (between 2-8 percent based on Bureau of Justice Statistics data), those who do falsely accuse are hurting the real victims of these crimes and should be held accountable through the same impartial military justice system. Both the accusers and the accused are asking for due process, which is best accomplished by a system that mirrors the civilian justice system. Currently, Commanders have control of the process when the accused, accuser, defense attorneys, and prosecutors should have control over the process.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Norris, Military Justice for All
Stephanie Schroeder, US Human Rights Network & UN Board Member
Brian Lewis, Men Recovering from Military Sexual Trauma

USMC Veteran & Civilian Contractor Kenneth Gadson Accused of Raping and Murdering a Japanese Citizen; Admitted to the Crimes But Claims Not Premeditated (2016)

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Kenneth Gadson, USMC Veteran

On May 19, 2016, US Marine Corps veteran, Kenneth Gadson, was arrested for the rape and murder of Rina Shimabukuro, 20, a Japanese citizen he chose at random. Gadson was working as a military contractor in Japan and used his wife’s Japanese family name Shinzato. Gadson admitted to the crimes but claims it was not premeditated. Gadson’s attorney requested that jurisdiction of the case be changed to the Tokyo District Court to ensure a fair trial for his client as the crimes sparked outrage in Okinawa resulting in protests and demands that the US military leave Japan.

Related Links:
Former Marine is prime suspect in murder of Okinawa woman
Ex-marine now prime suspect in Japan rape-murder
Okinawa suspect married to local woman; couple have infant
Former U.S. Marine arrested in Okinawa over murder case
U.S. military contractor arrested after Japanese woman’s body found, sparking outrage on Okinawa
Ex-U.S. vet’s arrest in Okinawa woman’s death stirs outrage
Ex-U.S. Marine charged in 20-year-old woman’s rape, murder
U.S. Contractor Kenneth Shinzato Charged in Okinawa Murder
Former Marine charged with murder, rape in Okinawa woman’s death
US military worker on Okinawa is arrested on suspicion of killing Japanese woman, 20, just days before Obama is due to visit Hiroshima
Outrage in Japan as U.S. Marine veteran arrested in connection with death of woman on Okinawa
Massive rally to protest ex-Marine’s arrest in killing of Okinawa woman
Thousands to call for US troops’ exit from Okinawa
Abe Voices Outrage After Former U.S. Marine Is Arrested in Okinawa Killing
Japan ‘outraged’ after US airbase worker arrested in murder case
Okinawa base imposes curfew on US troops after woman’s death
4th of July canceled after ex-marine’s rape & murder of Japanese woman
US military lifts some restrictions on sailors in Japan
The Suitcase Murder Tearing the U.S. and Japan Apart
Trying to find U.S.-Japanese harmony amid the discord of a death in Okinawa
Defense attorney says Okinawa confession made in a daze
Defendant in Okinawa slaying seeks change of venue
US Military Worker Wants His Murder Trial Moved off Okinawa
Shinzato’s murder trial must be held in Okinawa: Supreme Court
Former Kadena worker reveals gruesome details of Okinawan woman’s death
Former U.S. Marine charged with raping, killing Japanese woman says he heard voices in his head and fantasized about kidnapping

Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)

Map of Iraq

    • 111 US women died in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF)
    • 69 female soldiers considered Combat Death (63%)
    • 41 female soldiers considered Non-Combat Death (37%)
    • 1 civilian journalist from the Boston Globe died in a vehicle accident
    • Non-Combat Death: Homicide, Suicide, Unknown, Accidents, Medical
      • Combat: 69 (63%)
      • Homicide/Suicide/Unknown: 23 (21%)
      • Accidents: 12 (11%)
      • Medical: 6 (5%)
    • 36 of 41 Non-Combat Deaths are in Army (88%) 

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2010
2 Jul 10: Spc Morganne McBeth, US Army (homicide, stabbed by another soldier)
8 Mar 10: SSG Lakeshia Bailey, US Army (vehicle rollover, accident)
21 Feb 10: CWO2 Billie Grinder, Tennessee Army National Guard (hard landing, family sued helicopter maker for faulty system that caused crash and settled)
10 Feb 10: Pfc Adriana Alvarez, US Army (gunshot wound, under investigation)

2009
4 Nov 09: SSG Amy (Seyboth) Tirador, US Army (gunshot wound, Army claimed suicide, family believes execution style murder, cold case)

2008
19 Oct 08: LCpl Stacy Dryden, US Marine Corps (fight with fellow soldier, homicide, cold case)
1 Sep 08: SSG Renee Deville, US Army (injured in Iraq, died unexpectedly at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after graduating from NCO course)
14 Aug 08: Pvt Janelle King, US Army (non combat related incident, under investigation)
2 Aug 08: Pfc Jennifer Cole, US Army (gunshot wound to abdomen, negligent homicide)
17 Jul 08: TSgt Jackie Larsen, US Air Force (medical, natural causes)
9 May 08: Spc Mary Jaenichen, US Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)
22 Feb 08: Spc Keisha Morgan, US Army (death ruled accidental overdose, family suspects rape and murder, cold case)
25 Jan 08: Sgt Tracy Birkman, US Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)

2007
20 Sep 07: Capt (Dr) Roselle Hoffmaster, US Army (death ruled suicide)
7 Sep 07: Spc Marisol Heredia, US Army (non-combat injuries, medical, severely burned, died in Texas from infection, under investigation)
16 Aug 07: Spc Kamisha J Block, US Army (gunshot wound, homicide, workplace violence)
9 Aug 07: SSG Alicia Birchett, US Army (vehicle ran over her while she was changing tire, under investigation)
7 Feb 07: Capt Jennifer Harris, US Marine Corps (helicopter crash, no sign that it involved hostile fire, under investigation)
28 Jan 07: Spc Carla Stewart, US Army (wounds sustained when convoy vehicle rolled over)
20 Jan 07: CSM Marilyn Gabbard, Iowa Army National Guard (helicopter crash, might have been shot down, under investigation)

2006
12 Dec 06: Major Gloria Davis, US Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
26 Nov 06: SSG Jeannette Dunn, US Army (non-combat related injury, under investigation)
4 Sep 06: Pfc Hannah McKinney, US Army (struck by vehicle, family believes rape & murder)
8 Apr 06: L/Cpl Juana Arellano, US Marine Corps (wounds received supporting combat operations)
11 Mar 06: Pfc Amy Duerksen, US Army (non-combat gunshot injury)
1 Mar 06: Pfc Tina Priest, US Army (reported rape, died of non-combat gunshot wound to the chest, cold case)
7 Jan 06: 1LT Jaime Lynn (Krausse) Campbell, Alaska Army National Guard (helicopter crash)

2005
19 Jul 05: Pfc LaVena Johnson, US Army (non-combat gunshot injury, death ruled suicide, family claims rape and murder based on autopsy evidence)
4 Mar 05: Spc Adriana Salem, US Army (accident, military vehicle roll over)
1 Mar 05: Spc Lizbeth Robles, US Army (injuries sustained in a military vehicle accident)
16 Feb 05: Spc Katrina Lani (Johnson) Bell, US Army (accident, vehicle rollover)

2004
13 Dec 04: SSG Tina Time, US Army Reserve (supply truck she was driving during a dust storm collided with another military vehicle)
4 Oct 04: SSG Gina Sparks, US Army (died at Fort Polk, Louisiana from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound in Iraq)
6 Jun 04: Pfc Melissa Hobart, US Army (medical, died after collapsing while on guard duty)
7 Mar 04: Capt Gussie Jones, US Army (non-combat related cause, under investigation)
14 Jan 04: SSG Keicia Hines, US Army (Army reports accidentally struck by a vehicle)

2003
8 Nov 03: SSG Linda Jimenez, US Army (medical, fell running to keep up with friends, died of complications at Walter Reed after a blood clot formed, caused stroke)
1 Oct 03: Spc Tamarra Ramos, US Army (medical, non-combat related injuries, cancer)
15 Sep 03: Spc Alyssa Peterson, US Army (gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
9 Jul 03: SSG Melissa Valles, US Army (noncombat gunshot wound to abdomen)
8 May 03: CIVILIAN Elizabeth Neuffer, Boston Globe Journalist (automobile accident)

Related Links:
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Afghanistan)
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Other Areas)
Noonie Fortin: Killed in Iraq or in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Is There an Army Cover-Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?
U.S. Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ ‘Suicides’?
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members

Army Sgt. Okan Cetinbag Found Dead at Home With Gunshot Wound to Face on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska; Mother Wants Answers (2014)

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Okan Murat Cetinbag, US Army

Sgt. Okan Cetinbag, 24, of Morton Grove, Illinois died on February 11, 2014 from gunshot injuries sustained on February 7th at his home on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Sgt. Cetinbag was an infantryman with Company B, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment. He joined the Army in January 2013, attended basic and airborne training at Fort Benning, Georgia and arrived in Alaska in June 2013. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps, including a combat tour in Afghanistan in 2010, before joining the Army. The Army reported they were investigating the case but did not appear to be cooperating with the mother of Sgt. Cetinbag who has been questioning what happened to her son. Media reports indicate that Sgt. Cetinbag was one of four servicemen from JBER found dead this month: SrA Katrina Jackson on February 15; and SSgt. Darian Miller on February 18; and SSgt. Samuel Davis on February 23.

Related Links:
JBER soldier dies due to injuries
Soldier from Chicago area dies on base in Alaska
Army probes death of Alaska-based soldier
Army probes death of soldier at JBER
Army Probes Death Of Alaska-Based Soldier From Chicago Area
Soldier’s fatal injuries at JBER home being investigated
JBER Soldier’s Fatal Home Injuries Under Investigation
US Army Investigating Death of Morton Grove Soldier Sgt. Okan Murat Cetinbag
Army investigating mysterious death of soldier found unconscious at home just minutes after kissing his wife and daughter goodbye for a night out with his colleagues
‘There is a cover-up’: Mother of Army soldier who died after being shot in the face at home he shared with his wife and six other colleagues claims authorities are hiding something
Soldier’s death marks fourth JBER fatality in a month
JBER airman’s passing marks fourth death in February
Mother Says Army Is Covering Up How Her Son Was Killed


Sgt. Okan Cetinbag was shot in the face at his home on an Alaska Army base. There were six colleagues in the house that day, plus Okan’s wife and young daughter. His mother believes they know what happened and are not telling authorities. -WGN News

Honoring Veteran Justin Eldridge, US Marine Corps, Connecticut (2013)

USMC

Marine Corps veteran Justin Eldridge was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Waterford, Connecticut home on October 29, 2013. Justin served in the USMC for 8 1/2 years. After a deployment to Afghanistan he battled with both Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. As a result he was medically retired from the USMC in 2008. Justin was married with four children at the time of his death. Justin’s wife Joanna has continued the fight for our soldiers and veterans. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) honored Justin Eldridge on the Senate Floor and co-sponsored a veteran suicide prevention bill in his name. Joanna attended the 2015 State of the Union in January and the bipartisan suicide prevention bill was signed into law in March 2015.

His final message, posted on his Facebook Page at about 9 p.m., “theres only so much bashing someone can take before they react………” -Waterford Patch

Related Links:
Justin Eldridge Obituary
Justin Eldridge’s Battle With PTSD Ended In Tragedy Last Night
For Waterford veteran, battling PTSD was too tough a fight
Man who killed himself in Waterford was ex-Marine
Former Marine’s suicide in Waterford standoff shocks friends
Marine’s Family Decides To Talk Openly About His Suicide
PTSD cases in veterans on the rise
Why One Man’s Death Is A National Tragedy
U.S. Marine’s Suicide Magnifies Veterans Needs, Says Acclaimed Cowboy Singer R.W. Hampton
In Senate Floor Speech, Blumenthal Honors Heroism Of U.S. Marine Justin Eldridge Of Waterford
Senator Blumenthal honors US Marine Justin Eldridge
Widow continues Marine veteran’s fight
Study: Younger vets have higher suicide risk
Blumenthal wins on veteran suicide prevention bill
Blumenthal-backed veterans suicide prevention bill wins approval
Senate approves Blumenthal’s veteran suicide prevention bill
New Generation Of Veterans Has Higher Suicide Risk, Study Finds
Widow of Connecticut Marine to Attend State of the Union Address
Preventing suicide to save veterans’ lives
Bipartisan veterans suicide prevention act signed into law


In a Senator Floor speech today, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal honors the heroism of United States Marine Justin Eldridge of Waterford, tragic victim of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder who took his own life two days ago.

‘Bath Salts,’ ‘Spice’ and US Military: Are Service Members Abusing Synthetic Drugs? (2013)

national-geographic

An undercover investigation for National Geographic explores the availability of powerful synthetic drugs, with names like “spice” and “bath salts,” and its popularity among members of the U.S. military. For the next installment of National Geographic’s “Inside: Secret America” series, which takes an in-depth look at how people can easily purchase synthetic drugs, investigative journalist Mariana van Zeller went undercover with a former Marine and a Marine on active duty in San Diego to local smoke shops as they purchased bath salts.

Read more here.

Retired Marine & Police Officer Deon Cartmell Murdered Wife Shari Barbour; Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison (2010)

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Shari Barbour Cartmell

Shari Barbour Cartmell was found dead in her home in Nashville, Tennessee on March 16, 2010. Her husband, Deon Cartmell, a retired Marine and police officer with the Nashville Police Department, claimed she committed suicide. According to Shari’s family and friends, they had witnessed an escalating series of domestic violence incidences over the course of their three year marriage. Deon and Shari were married in secret in 2007. Deon was described as obsessive and had angry outbursts. He was mostly upset about Shari’s spending habits. Deon attempted to isolate Shari from her family and treated her like a possession. Eventually, Shari learned that he was flirting with other women too. Police suspect that the night she died she told him she was going to leave him after learning about his “extracurricular activities” and he killed her. According to the police who responded to the scene, Leon was in a “disassociative” state when they arrived and appeared to be concerned about himself. On May 28, 2010, after a thorough investigation was completed, Deon Cartmell was charged with second degree murder. The investigation revealed that the forensic evidence at the scene did not match Deon’s version of events. In 2011, he was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Police officer arrested for killing wife, family reacts
Court hears emotional recording of cop on trial
Former Metro officer guilty in shooting death of wife
Ex-Metro police officer receives 18 years for killing wife
Former Metro cop sentenced to 18 years for wife’s murder
State of Tennessee v Deon Lamont Cartmell 2014
Former Metro cop loses appeal in murder of wife
ID’s ‘Fatal Vows’ Outlines Case Of Former Marine, Cop Who Shot Wife In Nashville Home
Deon Lamont Cartmell killed his wife, Shari; Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison
Fatal Vows: Death Brawl (Investigation Discovery)


A handsome marine lands the girl of his dreams. But the perils of their long distance love push these newlyweds to the edge. When Shari and Deon’s romance misfires in a tragic accident – the collateral damage is deadly. -Discovery ID

Investigation Reveals Retired Marine Daniel Vandecar Not Involved in Schutzler Homicide; Mother Rosemary Guilty, Sentenced to Life (2010)

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A Stranger in My Home is a television show featured on Investigation Discovery.

“Your house should be a place where we feel most comfortable, but to someone who wants to pose a threat, there’s no better way to get inside your life than to get inside your home. Let the wrong person in and it could be the last mistake you ever make.” ~A Stranger in My Home

A Stranger in My Home, an Investigation Discovery program, featured the 2010 case of Roy Schutzler and Rosemary Vandecar in North Las Vegas, Nevada. It was appropriately titled The Two-Faced Murder because Rosemary considered herself Roy’s caregiver yet in the end she was the one who would end his life. We were initially led to believe that her son, Daniel Vandecar, was also involved in the crime but as it turns out the investigation revealed that he had no involvement. He was a victim of circumstance in the matter. He too may have needed a caregiver because he was a retired disabled Marine who had served during a time of war in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He had Post Traumatic Stress and quite possibly a traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb he encountered on his last tour. He moved in with his mother Rosemary and R0y in an attempt to decompress after retiring from the military.

“You get back from the war and all you get is salutes at the mall and nervous looks.” ~Daniel Vandecar, USMC Retired

Rosemary and Roy lived in a nice apartment in a rough part of town in North Las Vegas. It was seedy enough that the paramedic who responded to the scene wanted to remain anonymous on camera. Paramedics initially responded to a scene that they thought may be a seizure related incident and they found Rosemary giving Roy CPR. They observed that his chest was not moving. As a result of the injuries paramedics transferred Roy to the emergency room. Daniel wasn’t sure what was going on. He thought maybe he had a heart attack. Rosemary told the police and paramedics that Roy had a panic attack so she attempted to get him in the shower. She set him down on the toilet, left to get a cloth, and returned to find him on the floor. She assumed that maybe he hit his neck on the sink as he was falling. She screamed to Daniel to call 911. Daniel awoke from a deep sleep on the couch, responded to her, and then called for help.

Roy Schutzler was dead by the time investigators got to the hospital. But they learned from the doctors that the injuries were not consistent with the statement from Rosemary. They found bruising from head to toe in all different stages of healing. As a result an autopsy was ordered because the February 8, 2010 death was ruled suspicious. Rosemary and Daniel also went to the hospital to check in on Roy only to learn that he had passed. At the hospital Daniel observed his mom acting panicky and said she was freaking out. She also stated that she feared getting pinned for Roy’s death. Daniel wasn’t sure why his mom would say this but assured her it would be okay. Meanwhile CSI is at their house going through the scene and taking pictures because the initial autopsy revealed ligature marks around Roy’s neck and serious wounds inside his throat. This was a full blown homicide investigation now and Rosemary had every reason to fear that she would be considered a suspect.

Roy Schutzler spent his life in Michigan. He grew up loving cowboys and indians and was obsessed with the Lone Ranger; he had a lot of memorabilia. He was married to Sharon and they had two children. They met in college and after they graduated they got married.  He was an occupational therapist and was described as female dependent. He met Rosemary Vandecar at work. She worked for a non-profit agency that helped women maneuver the legal system. She helped them understand their rights, options, and got them through the process. She had some personal struggles with domestic abuse and now some legal issues with a divorce and child custody. She was a military wife and according to others her husband was a monster. He had a history of abuse and violence. They were going through a wicked custody battle and the two children were temporarily placed in foster care. During the divorce she was assigned a Child Protective Services worker and Roy was the one who would help her come up with a plan.

Rosemary heard that Roy had lost his wife and paid him a visit one day to see how he was doing and to offer support.

A month later, with Roy’s guidance, the children were returned to Rosemary and she had full custody. Roy was described as a caring kind of guy. He was raised to help other people which is why he retired early when he learned that his wife Sharon had been diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2003. A few years later in 2007 Sharon died and months and years later Roy’s sadness deepened to depression. But he had a good relationship with his family and often visited with his daughter and grandchildren who lived close by. Because Roy is female dependent he transferred the dependency from Sharon (his wife) to his daughter Cathy Jo. Rosemary heard that Roy had lost his wife and paid him a visit one day to see how he was doing and to offer support. And it wasn’t long before Roy transferred his female dependency from his daughter to Rosemary. Roy was aging and his health was not so great so he needed a caregiver and soon Rosemary moved in.

Roy was hoping that his relationship with Rosemary would become romantic. He was enamored with her and his spirits were soaring. But after Rosemary moved in he went from a hands on grandfather to not visiting them at all. He no longer answered the phone or responded when his family left messages. Roy’s family was beginning to get upset about this. They continued trying to contact him multiple times. After not hearing from him around six weeks Roy’s daughter Cathy Jo went to his home to make sure he was okay. During the visit, Cathy Jo and Rosemary got into a heated argument. Roy became upset and told them he didn’t want yelling in his house and was forced to take a side. Roy chose Rosemary’s side and now had a strained relationship with his family. The family was deeply concerned because they didn’t know what was happening with him. They even asked police to do a wellness check. This angered Roy and he asked the family to leave him alone.

The family realized that there is nothing you can do if the person is of sound mind.

The family realized that there is nothing you can do if the person is of sound mind but Roy’s daughter was not going to give up. Cathy Jo continued to have confrontations with Rosemary. And eventually Roy became paranoid. He thought Cathy Jo was breaking into his house. At one point Cathy Jo did take matters into her own hands. She had a key and went into her dad’s house and looked around but she didn’t break in. She was concerned because she felt Rosemary was controlling and purposefully separating him from the family. Rosemary was isolating him. But Roy felt differently. He did not feel that these were acts of love from his family, instead he felt they were a nuisance and an intrusion on his property. He contacted an attorney to get a restraining order against his daughter. Meanwhile Rosemary suggested they leave and go out west. They sold the house and left without even a goodbye and settled into their new home in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

On the other side of the country Rosemary’s son, Daniel Vandecar, got into a drunken argument with a woman he was dating and living with. And she wanted him out. Daniel claims there was nothing physical but she called the police to make him leave. Instead he got arrested and jailed by police even though his now ex-girlfriend didn’t press any charges. Daniel shared with the audience that he was injured in the war and had PTSD. He was a veteran of three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He served in the US Marine Corps for six years and paid a stiff price for that service. He was injured by a roadside bomb and in addition to the PTSD, he had a pressure injury to the head. He witnessed the loss of troops and people he was close with, he did things in war that most people can’t even imagine. After getting out of the military he got two DUIs and had three failed relationships but he says he doesn’t have anyone to blame but himself.

“After two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan, you are going to sit there and ask me if I am traumatized.” ~Daniel Vandecar, USMC Retired

While he was awaiting a decision from the court, he turned to his mother for help. Eventually the district attorney agreed to drop the charges if he provided them with an address that was 500 miles out. Roy and Rosemary were okay with Daniel moving in with them in Nevada. Daniel felt that after retiring from the Marine Corps he needed to decompress and calm down. This is the reason he moved to Las Vegas.

Roy’s sister hadn’t heard from Roy since he moved to Nevada. As a result, his family in Michigan was concerned that something was wrong. They called him many times. His sister Joanne called as well. When family did call, Rosemary would tell Roy they were trying to control him and that they thought he was an idiot. Roy didn’t want any dealings with family and cut them out of everything. But he wasn’t entirely isolated now that Daniel was living there. Roy and Daniel started hanging out a lot. Daniel even shared that he took Roy to his first bar for a drink. Roy began helping him out and giving him advice. They discussed Daniel’s drinking and he suggested a job re-training program to help get him back on his feet. Daniel was only 24 at the time and he appreciated Roy helping him adjust to civilian life.

Meanwhile tensions are rising between Roy and Rosemary. Rosemary started getting angry and Roy just kept quiet around her. Daniel shared that Roy was kind of scared of Rosemary. According to Daniel, they were always out gambling (and Roy had a good size pension and savings account to keep them going). They withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at the casinos. Daniel claimed his mother had a fierce addiction to gambling. One night Rosemary wanted both Roy and Daniel to go to the casino with her despite the fact that neither were feeling well. Daniel had some wisdom teeth out so he was taking pain medication. And Roy was in the back seat of the car wheezing. Daniel was concerned but Rosemary assured him that he was fine. Daniel admitted that he was mixing alcohol with the pain medication that night so he was irresponsible but he wasn’t driving or anything so he went with it.

They withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at the casinos. ~Detective

Daniel mixed Jack and Cokes with pain medication throughout the evening. He was tired and wanted to go home. On the way home Roy began coughing and hacking. Again Daniel was concerned and thought that maybe he needed some help. He suggested to Rosemary that maybe they should call someone or take him to a doctor. She responded with he can die in a ditch for all I care. Daniel went home and Roy and Rosemary went back out. Around dawn he awoke to his mom screaming for him to call 911. Roy was laying unconscious on the bathroom floor. The ambulance and police arrived to take him to the hospital. His mom then said they are going to try and pin this on me. Daniel remembered thinking why is she so panicky about this? Why is she freaking out? Soon Daniel would find out why. After homicide detectives are assigned to the case and the death is ruled suspicious, they arrest both Daniel and Rosemary Vandecar for the murder of Roy Schutzler.

Rosemary was a petite 100 pound lady. Daniel was a 6’4 Army veteran with Post Traumatic Stress and a murder tattoo across his chest. According to the journalist interviewed for this program, it wasn’t a far stretch for police to suspect that Daniel was involved in the homicide. It was pretty easy to come to the conclusion of who may have done it, he said. The police felt that this was a brutal act of homicide because Roy died of strangulation. Rosemary and Daniel were questioned. The police spoke to Daniel first. They interrogated him for over seven hours. Daniel swore that he didn’t do anything to Roy. He wasn’t intimidated by the questioning and remained matter of fact. He maintained that he didn’t have anything to do with it. He had been taking pain medication and drinking and was out cold until he awoke to his mother screaming for him to call 911 around 6 a.m. The police did not believe he was involved in Roy’s death.

The detectives spoke with Rosemary next. Rosemary denied any knowledge and dodged all the questions. She reiterated that she thought he died of natural causes. She heard the crash, went running into the bathroom, and maybe Roy did this to himself. Police informed her that there was way too much damage for that scenario. So then Rosemary changed her story and claimed that she was a victim of Roy in the relationship. She said they got in an argument and Roy became abusive. He wouldn’t let her close the bathroom door. She was tired of the abuse and had enough. She admitted that she remembered having her hands around his neck and choking him while she told him I hate you. She questioned whether she did kill him and claimed that she didn’t know because she blacked out. They went back to Daniel for corroboration of Rosemary’s story.

“Roy would never hurt a fly. She is delusional.” ~Roy Schutzler’s Family

Daniel claimed that Roy was a gentleman to his mom. He told them that his mother was a drama queen from hell. He said she lied, she was abusive, and she did not treat Roy good. Rosemary had an abusive history towards Roy. Daniel witnessed her driving her finger into Roy’s chest when she got angry. Daniel also described her behavior at the hospital. She told Daniel that she needed to clear the bank before the family got involved. She also said that if she gets caught, she is skipping town. Daniel thought she was psychotic. Turns out Roy’s family had a right to be concerned. Rosemary systematically separated him from the family. She got him to sign over Power of Attorney and change his will. Rosemary was charged with second degree murder. They found $5,200 in cash and a $10,000 cashiers check in her purse. In 2012, Rosemary Vandecar was sentenced to 10 years to life with the possibility of parole, plus a consecutive eight to 20 years. Under Nevada law, Vandecar got sentenced with an enhancement of Murder of Older Person because the victim was older than 60.

Rosemary’s daughter doesn’t believe that the crime was deliberately premeditated. She acknowledged that some speculate that Rosemary may have been covering for Daniel. But she said do not believe that theory because she has been on the other side of those chokeholds and knows the abusive behavior well. She said she also knows her brother. Rosemary took advantage of Roy because he was grieving and wanted a relationship. Daniel said his biggest regret was not calling Adult Protective Services. He said if the family was watching, he wanted them to know that he apologized and wished that he could have done something different. But what Daniel may not have realized is that Roy’s family did everything they could to make sure that Roy was okay and safe including wellness checks. Nothing could break through the manipulative hold that Rosemary had on Roy in this case and the family’s fruitless efforts to intervene prove it. This case is another reminder that we need to find new ways to take special care of older populations who are vulnerable to sociopaths, scammers, and abusers.

Daniel Vandecar, thank you for your dutiful service to the USMC.

Related Links:
Mother, son live-in caregivers arrested in man’s death
Man allegedly strangled by live-in caregivers identified
Mother, Son Charged In Killing
Vandecar convicted in Vegas murder
Vandecar speaks out about mother’s trial
Court rejects claims of sleeping juror, upholds conviction


An old man collapses in his bathroom, gasping for air. The caregiver tries to save him while her son calls for help in vain. This “accident” isn’t what it seems, though… and the true story reveals murder. -Investigation Discovery