Forensic Files: 13 Active Duty Military and Veteran Homicide Cases [Full Episodes]

Beaten By A Hair (Season 3, Episode 9):

Full Episode: In 1992, Laura Houghteling disappeared from her Bethesda home and was never seen again. Five days later, police discovered a bloody pillow and pillowcase lying in the woods near Laura’s house. Laura’s bedroom was then searched and forensic science was used to direct them a to prime suspect. -Beaten By a Hair, Forensic Files (S3,E9)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Beaten By A Hair’: Laura Houghteling Reported Missing, Confessed Killer Led Police to Body (November 26, 1998)

True Lies (Season 8, Episode 27):

Full Episode: Kathleen Lipscomb’s body was found on a deserted street outside of San Antonio. Months passed, then years, and the crime went cold. Then Kathleen’s family hired a private investigator who discovered a diary among her personal effects. Two of the diary entries helped police to piece together what had happened to Kathleen Lipscomb, and why. -True Lies, Forensic Files (S8,E27)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘True Lies’: Military Spouse Kathleen Lipscomb Found Murdered on Side of Texas Highway (January 7, 2004)

The Financial Downfall (Season 9, Episode 12):

Full Episode: A beautiful, vibrant young woman fell to her death from a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Initially, investigators thought it was just a terrible accident. But after a closer forensic examination of photographs taken at the scene, police had a very different story of what had happened. -The Financial Downfall, Forensic Files (S9,E12)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘The Financial Downfall’: Navy Spouse Deanna Wild Falls to Her Death While Sightseeing at Big Sur Cliff in California (August 11, 2004)

Plastic Puzzle (Season 10, Episode 3):

Full Episode: A man riding a bicycle was fatally injured, and police believed he was the victim of a hit-and-run accident. Tiny clues found at the scene created a picture of the vehicle which struck him and led police to its driver. -Plastic Puzzle, Forensic Files (S10,E3)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Plastic Puzzle’: Navy Veteran Kirk Hudson Struck & Killed in Hit-And-Run Accident in Kalamazoo, Michigan (June 1, 2005)

Shear Luck (Season 10, Episode 9):

Full Episode: When the wife of a serviceman was brutally murdered in the Philippines, the Air Force Office of Special Investigators swung into action. Clues led to the victim’s husband, but he insisted he was innocent. Investigators would have to do something unprecedented: Reassemble a 5 1/4 inch computer disk which had been cut to pieces with pinking shears. -Shear Luck, Forensic Files (S10,E9)

Forensic Files Premiered ‘Shear Luck’: Military Spouse Found Stabbed to Death Near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines (August 3, 2005)

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Killer Couples Premiered ‘Erika and BJ Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Lethal Lovers Murder Ocean City, Maryland Tourists for the Thrill (January 28, 2019)

A vacationing couple’s disappearance exposes the horrific crimes of a murderous husband and wife. -Erika and BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (S11,E2)

A young woman’s scrapbook offers insight into a shocking crime. -Erika Sifrit, Snapped (S8,E11)

Oxygen (Previews & Bonus Clips):

Erica Sifrit was your typical girl next door during high school, but experienced issues with anxiety and OCD at Mary Washington College. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 29, 2019)

Erika and Benjamin Sifrit’s marriage ended in thrill killings, pain, and anguish. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 29, 2019)

Scott Bernal, Ocean City Lead Detective discusses the murder trials of Erika and Benjamin Sifrit’s for the death two tourists. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Ocean City Detectives Brett Case and Scott Bernal reflect on the murder of Joshua Edward Ford and the acquittal of Benjamin Sifrit, and his potential release. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Kristen Heinbaugh, a high school friend of Erika Sifrit, reflects on the character of the person she used to know before the murders of Joshua Edward Ford and Martha Margene Crutchley. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Forensic Files:

Full Episode: The couple spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, and then they simply vanished. Their clothes and personal items were still in the rented condo, their car was parked outside, and there were no signs of forced entry or foul play. A week later, police would get an unexpected lead from a robbery in progress, and the evidence they found helped them to solve a crime of unparalleled violence and brutality. -Dirty Little Seacret, Forensic Files (S13, E46)

Related Links:
Cruel Death by M. William Phelps (Book)
Erika and BJ Sifrit | Killer Couples | Oxygen (S11,E2)
Erika Sifrit | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E11)
Killer Couples: Preview – Erica Sifrit Struggles With Her Identity
Killer Couples: Preview – Erika & Benjamin Sifrit’s Fiery Romance Led To Murder
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Ocean City Detective Explains The Sifrit Murder Trials
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Detectives Disappointed By Benjamin Sifrit’s Sentence
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Former Friend, Kristen Heinbaugh, On Erika Sifrit
Dirty Little Seacret | Forensic Files | Full Episode (S13, E47)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E8)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Once Upon A Crime – Episode 112: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit – Killer Couple
Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Murdered in Maryland; Erika Sifrit Sentenced to Life, Benjamin Sifrit Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison (May 25, 2002)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Lethal Lovers’ on ID: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Maryland Tourists Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley (October 15, 2009)
Forensic Files Premiered ‘Dirty Little Seacret’: Thrill Killers Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Two Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (May 28, 2010)
Snapped Premiered ‘Erika Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Woman’s Arrest Leads to Shocking Homicides of Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (June 16, 2011)
Sins and Secrets Premiered ‘Ocean City’ on ID: Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Reported Missing in Maryland (March 1, 2012)
Deadly Sins Premiered ‘Killers on the Run’ on Investigation Discovery: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murder Two Ocean City Tourists (March 8, 2014)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

10 Unsolved Military Cases

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Darlene Krashoc, U.S. Army

UPDATE: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; DNA Match Leads to Arrest of Michael Whyte (March 17, 1987)

Gordon Hess

Captain Gordon Hess, U.S. Army

Army Captain Gordon Hess Found Stabbed to Death at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Military Investigators Ruled Suicide Despite the 26 Stab Wounds to Neck & Chest Area (1998)

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Col. Philip Shue, U.S. Air Force

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (2003)

LaVena Johnson

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army

Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)

Nonnie Dotson

Nonnie Dotson, U.S. Air Force

Lackland Air Force Base Nurse Nonnie Dotson Mysteriously Disappeared, Last Seen November 19th, 2006 in Littleton, Colorado While on Leave

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SrA Blanca Luna, U.S. Air Force

Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)

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SSG Anton Phillips, U.S. Army

Army SSG Anton Phillips Found Stabbed to Death at FOB Mehtar Lam, Afghanistan; CID Offering $25,000 Reward for Information (2009)

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Katherine Morris, U.S. Army Spouse

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Sean Wells, U.S. Army

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Sean Wells Gunned Down in Home by Two Masked Men in Fayetteville, Family Asks for Help Solving Case (2013)

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Pvt. Justin Lewis, U.S. Army

Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Neighborhood in Killeen, Texas (2017)

CASES SOLVED BY NCIS COLD CASE SQUAD:

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Andrew Muns, U.S. Navy

Michael LeBrun Plead Guilty to Strangling Andrew Muns on the USS Cacapon After Caught Stealing $8,600 from Navy Ship’s Safe, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solves Case (1968)

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Lt Verle ‘Lee’ Hartley, U.S. Navy

Lt Verle Lee Hartley, US Navy, Died of Arsenic Poisoning in 1982, NCIS Cold Case Squad Solved Murder 13 Years Later, Wife Pamela Plead Guilty (1982)

Related Links:
Our View: ‘Cold Case’ crimes are worth investigators’ effort
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Investigators Persisted When Army Soldier Kelli Bordeaux Disappeared in North Carolina, Convicted Sex Offender Nicholas Holbert Sentenced to Life in Prison for Murder (2012)

Questionable Practices Continue at Fort Belvior Warrior Transition Battalion: One Delaware Army National Guard Soldier’s Story After Injured in the Line of Duty

National Guard

Guest Post Submitted by Jill Lee

I cannot in good conscience remain silent about the treatment of our wounded and injured service members and their families. I am writing this letter on behalf of my husband Sgt. Thomas Lee. He medically retired from the Delaware National Guard’s 153rd MP Company in August 21, 2016. He deployed to Afghanistan January to September 2013. Upon returning from deployment he was sent to the Wounded Transition Battalion (WTB) at Fort Belvoir, VA in October 2013 for neck, back, shoulder, skin and stomach issues. The time frame for service members to spend at the WTB is approximately 12 months; my husband was there for 3 years. When my husband arrived, there were around 300 service members there. Every service member is assigned a nurse case manager who oversees the scheduling of appointments and does weekly check-ins with them. The nurse case manager’s job is to support and facilitate the care of service members; however, often they are misleading and at times lying to get information which is used by the command against the service members. The WTB does not promote an atmosphere of healing but rather one of harassment and punishment, where they provide the bare minimum of care, distribute medications and focus on the symptoms rather than diagnose and treat the actual issues. The WTB along with Fort Belvoir Community Hospital has failed my husband along with countless other service members. Our service members and families sacrifice so much for our country and it is a shame to see how they get treated when they return from combat broken physically and mentally.

My husband and I lived through a nightmare for the past 3 years, he was fortunate enough to survive 2 deployments only to be permanently disabled by a military doctor here in the states. Do you know what it’s like to watch helplessly someone you love whose served their country go from injured to permanently damaged and not to be able to hold any one accountable? My husband came to the WTB with 2 careers, 21 years with the Postal Service and 18 years of military service, he left the WTB unable to return to either career. Below are the events that forever changed our lives.

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Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Hysteria Lane’ on Investigation Discovery: Ronald Ragland Harassed, Gaslighted & Executed Army Vet Robert Mitchell (April 20, 2017)

ID Go: A couple who tragically lost their son are thrilled when a family with two boys moves in across the street. But the relationship soon sours, engulfing all of them in conflict, accusation, and finally a deadly shooting. Hysteria Lane, Fear Thy Neighbor (S4, E3)

Date: May 2, 2010
Victims: Robert Mitchell, Sr., 53, Army veteran, disabled and Robert Mitchell, Jr., 18
Offender: Ronald Ragland, 54, Truck Driver
Location: Brandywine, Maryland
Circumstances: Ronald Ragland lost his son to a drunk driving accident, Robert and Donna Mitchell moved in next door with their two sons, Robert Sr. is an Army veteran who served with distinction but was discharged due to an injury, the two families spent a lot of time together initially and regarded each other as good friends, as the Mitchell boys settle in, they make new friends and suddenly the neighborhood is full of kids, more kids means more noise, Ronald slept during the day so he could drive truck at night, Ronald yelled at the Mitchell boys, Robert tried to make Ronald understand they were just kids playing, one day the boys started skateboarding and the noise made Ronald angry again, Ragland grabbed one of the kids by the collar and was throwing him around like a rag doll, Robert Sr. confronted Ronald, Ronald was the type that would not be disrespected and he held a grudge, Robert Sr. told his kids to stay away from Ronald, Ronald wanted things his way in the Charm Court neighborhood, neighbors suspected Ronald may have been jealous of Robert and his two sons, it appeared he was trying to sabotage their life and make them feel his pain, once the boys become Seniors in high school, they had a lot of friends over and listened to music, Ronald would stand in his driveway & make demands of the neighbors, he dictated everything that went on in the neighborhood, Ronald called the police and complained about the neighbors, the Roberts family hadn’t done anything wrong, police asked Robert Sr. to help de-escalate the situation, there was a break-in at a neighbor’s home and someone called to complain that the Roberts kids were the one’s who broke into the home but there was no proof so the police moved on, this didn’t sit well with Ronald, Ronald tried to turn everyone against Robert Sr. and his family, he claimed they were bad for the neighborhood, neighbors admitted to feeling hatred towards the Mitchell family, the situation takes a toll on the Mitchells relationship, one night some unknown kids vandalized Ronald’s house, he didn’t see who did it but he thought he knew who was responsible, he now had a personal vendetta against the Mitchell boys, someone threw a rock through his window as well, Ronald called the cops to complain about the vandalism but the Mitchell boys denied vandalizing Ronald’s property, there was no proof the Mitchell boys committed the crimes, Ronald decided he had to fend for himself, he installed cameras around his property, Ronald sat in front of the different angles of the cameras and watched the neighborhood disintegrate, Ronald tried to gaslight Robert by giving him a hard time about the problems with his wife, Ronald purchased a gun and his hate continued to brew, Robert’s wife left the family and Ronald taunted the boys about their mother leaving them, Ronald was vindictive, one of the Mitchell brothers moved out, Rob Jr. stayed in the house with his dad, Ronald complained about all the cars showing up throughout the night, he suspected drug activity, Ronald called the police and Rob Jr. was arrested for possession of drugs, Rob Jr. smoked marijuana but he denied selling drugs, Rob Jr. told Ronald he wasn’t going anywhere after he returned home from the police department, the case was dropped, Ronald claimed he felt threatened by Rob Jr., Ronald taunted the family once again on May 2, 2010 and Rob Jr. walked towards Ronald gearing up for a fist fight, Ronald started firing his weapon at Rob Jr. in an attempt to execute him and then walked over to Robert Sr. sitting in his car and shot him at close range in his head, Ronald then walked back over to Rob Jr. who was injured but not dead and pointed the gun at him again but he was out of bullets, Ronald returned to his home to reload his gun, the neighbor helped Rob Jr. get into the house out of harm’s way, Ronald returned to the Mitchell home with his gun and taunted Rob Jr. to come back outside, he threatened that he was next, the police arrived just in time and arrested Ronald, Ronald claimed self defense and said Robert Sr. had a gun in his car, the police found a gun in Robert’s car, the neighbor told the police she saw Ronald carry the gun across the street and plant the gun in Robert’s car, the police determined the gun was inoperable and believed Ronald had been planning this for a long time, Ronald purposefully provoked the situation, it was cold blooded murder, Ronald executed Robert Sr. and tried to execute Robert Jr., the Mitchell’s family home went into foreclosure
Disposition: Ronald Ragland was convicted of second degree murder, attempted second degree murder, first degree assault, and use of a handgun in a violent crime in March 2013, Ragland sentenced to 40 years in prison, appealed in 2015

Robert Mitchell

Robert D. Mitchell, Sr. (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: ‘Hysteria Lane’ Fear Thy Neighbor, Investigation Discovery

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:
Obituary: Robert D. Mitchell
Victim identified in fatal Capitol Heights shooting Sunday
Police Make Quick Arrest in Homicide on Charm Court
Brandywine man is charged with killing neighbor
Two men convicted of murder in Prince George’s County
Two men convicted for Prince George’s shooting deaths
Ronald Ragland v State of Maryland | Court of Special Appeals (September 24, 2015)
Ragland v State of Maryland | Court of Special Appeals | PDF (September 24, 2015)
Ronald Ragland, Robert Mitchell: Neighbor Feud That Left Dad Dead, Son Injured On ‘Fear Thy Neighbor’ On ID
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S4, E3)
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hysteria Lane | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Fear Thy Neighbor: 23 Veteran Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Honoring the U.S. Service Members Who Died in November 2016

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We lost a number of U.S. service members in November 2016. We want to honor those who died in combat and honor those who did not, both overseas and in garrison.

O God, by whose mercy the faithful departed find rest, look kindly on your departed veterans who gave their lives in the service of their country. Grant that through the passion, death, and resurrection of your Son they may share in the joy of your heavenly kingdom and rejoice in you with your saints forever. We ask this through Christ our Lord. –Catholic Online

U.S. Air Force
AMN Daniel Peregoy, Andersen AFB, Guam
SrA Travis Bennet, Andersen AFB, Guam
MSgt Greg Ramos, Andersen AFB, Guam

U.S. Army
Pvt. Wanya Bruns, Fort Hood, Texas
Pvt. Kevin Paulino, Fort Hood, Texas
Pvt. Dakota Stump, Fort Hood, Texas
Pfc. Tyler Iubelt, Fort Hood, Texas (Afghanistan)
Pfc. Shadow McClaine, Fort Campbell, Kentucky
Pfc. Thomas Snyder III, Fort Wainwright, Alaska
Pfc. David Winchester, Fort Bragg, NC
Spc. Phillip Cruz-Medellin, Fort Riley, KS
Spc. Korey James, Fort Hood, Texas
Spc. Ronald Murray, Jr., Fort Bliss, TX (Kuwait)
Sgt. John Perry, Fort Hood, Texas (Afghanistan)
Staff Sgt. Matthew Lewellen, Fort Campbell, KY (Jordan)
Staff Sgt. Kevin McEnroe, Fort Campbell, KY (Jordan)
Staff Sgt. James Moriarty, Fort Campbell, KY (Jordan)
Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Gloyer, Fort Carson, CO (Afghanistan)
Sgt. 1st Class Grant Shanaman, Fort Bragg, NC
Capt. Andrew Byers, Fort Carson, CO (Afghanistan)

U.S. Marine Corps
Recruit Zachary Boland, Parris Island, South Carolina

U.S. Navy
Midshipman Jason Jablonski, Naval Academy, Maryland
Senior Chief PO Scott Dayton, EOD, Virginia (Syria)