Army Vet Christian Martin Accused of 2015 Pembroke, Kentucky Homicides; No Motive or Physical Evidence Produced by Authorities on Day of Arrest; Says He’s Innocent (May 11, 2019)

The latest: Major Martin became a “person of interest” to law enforcement officials in the Fort Campbell area after several bodies were discovered Nov. 19 at two different locations not far from his Pembroke, Ky., home. One of the bodies was that of Calvin Lee Phillips, 59, a man who lived across the street from the major and was set to testify during the aforementioned military trial. Following an emergency hearing Nov. 24, a military judge ordered the trial, set to begin Dec. 1, delayed indefinitely. -Bob McCarty (Nov. 30, 2015)

VIDEO: Christian Martin interview with Channel 4 I-Team about Pembroke murders (2016)

Facts:

Screen Shot 2019-05-12 at 11.53.39 AM

Christian Martin, U.S. Army

  • Nov. 18, 2015: Calvin Phillips was found fatally shot in his home & the bodies of his wife Pamela Phillips & neighbor, Edward Dansereau, were found in Pam Phillips’ burned out car on Rosetown Road in Pembroke, Kentucky
  • May 13, 2016: Christian Martin was found guilty of two counts of mishandling of classified material & two counts of assault of a child; Martin was found not guilty on two charges of rape of a child & communicating a threat; Sentenced to three months in jail & discharged from the Army
  • May 10, 2019: Martin was indicted on three counts of murder; one count of arson; one count of attempted arson, burglary in the 1st degree & three counts of tampering with physical evidence; Authorities have not given a motive or said what led them to believe Martin was responsible

“The Christian County Sherriff’s Department tells FOX 17 that both Major Martin and [Joan] Harmon are persons of interest in the triple murder that happened in Pembroke back in November. The department says it has interviewed Harmon twice about the murders and what she knows. However, the department refuses to say she’s a suspect.” –Fox 17 Nashville (May 11, 2016)

In the News (2019):

  1. Pilot With NC Ties Indicted In 2015 Triple Murder
  2. Past defense attorney for Army Major indicted in triple murder says he’s innocent
  3. Former Army Major indicted in triple murder, past attorney says he’s innocent

All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty by a court of law. Arrests and charges are accusations by legal authorities until a suspect is convicted of the crime.

*****************************************************

Timeline of Events

2015:
NCFM sends letter to Secretary of Defense about the wrongful persecution of Major Christian “Kit” Martin
Army Major Questioned in Pembroke Murders
Nashville’s Fox 17 Omits Key Details From News Reports About Army Officer Caught Up In Murder Investigation
Man found dead inside Ky. home was witness in court-martial case
Man found dead was to be witness in court-martial case
Home, Cars of Fort Campbell Army Major Searched in Connection to Ky. Murders
Major Martin 9-2-15 Interview with Updates (November 30, 2015)
Attorney Cites ‘Foul Smell in the Air’ Surrounding Effort to Link Army Officer to Multiple Murders Near Fort Campbell
Computer custody questioned in sex assault hearing
Law-and-Order Veterans ‘Smell A Rat’ at Fort Campbell
Officials Identify Gunshot Victim Found Inside Home While Facebook Comments About Case Appear and Disappear
NCFM asks DoD Inspector General for Referral to U.S. Attorney General for Criminal Probe of JAG Prosecutors in the Case of U.S. Army Major Christian “Kit” Martin, then there’s the triple murder…
NCFM used in triple murder case article linked to the Army’s persecution of Major Martin

2016:
Kit Martin interview with Channel 4 I-Team about Pembroke murders
Recording of victim 2 weeks before murders reveals connections to person of interest
Witnesses say Army major physically, sexually abused them
Minors take stand in court-martial of Army major to accuse of sex abuse
Family of Fort Campbell Army Major says he’s Innocent in Triple Murder Case
Army major found not guilty of sexual assault charges
Major Christian “Kit” Martin is acquitted of child sex abuse
NCFM update, Major Christian “Kit” Martin Dodges a Bullet in Courts-Martial at Fort Campbell – Is Acquitted of Child Sex Abuse Charges
Ft. Campbell Army Major Found Guilty of Assault on a Child
Court-martialed Army major found guilty, sentenced
NCFM update in the False Accusation and Wrongful Conviction Case of Army Major “Kit” Martin
U.S. Army Major Christian “Kit” Martin: The Wrongful Conviction of an American Hero
Triple Murder, False Rape Allegations and the corruption of both a police department and the U.S. Army
False Accusation and Wrongful Conviction Case of Army Major “Kit” Martin
Police still seeking info in Pembroke triple-murder
Police still seeking info in Pembroke triple-murder

2017:
Family offers $100K reward for information on Pembroke triple murder
$100K reward offered in deaths of Ky. couple found in burned car
$100,000 Reward In Triple Homicide

2018:
Three Year Anniversary Of Unsolved Pembroke Triple Murders

Christian Richard Martin is facing several charges, in Christian County, Ky., including murder and arson. Martin moved from Kentucky to North Carolina after the murders, the Attorney General’s Office said. -WFMY News 2 (May 11, 2019)

2019:
Beshear: Man Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder
Kentucky AG indicts man of 3 counts of murders in 2015
Pilot With NC Ties Indicted In 2015 Triple Murder
Man indicted for 2015 Pembroke, Kentucky murders
Man indicted for 2015 Christian County triple murder
Man Arrested In 2015 Triple Slaying In Christian County
Christian R. Martin Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder
Pembroke Triple Murder Suspect A Pilot For American Airlines
Pilot accused of 2015 triple murder in Western Kentucky arrested at Louisville airport
Pilot arrested at Louisville airport, indicted for 2015 triple murder
American Airlines pilot arrested at Louisville airport for 2015 triple homicide
Airline pilot charged with killing 3 in Kentucky in 2015
Airline pilot arrested, charged in connection with 2015 triple murder in Kentucky
Airline pilot faces murder and arson charges in 2015 triple slaying in Kentucky
Two bodies in a burned car, another shot in his home. Years later, a former neighbor is indicted.
Christian Co. Grand Jury Unseals Triple Murder Indictment Friday
Man Indicted for 2015 Christian County Triple Murder: After meeting with family members two years ago Beshear’s office took over the case (May 11, 2019 Tweet)
Past defense attorney for Army Major indicted in triple murder says he’s innocent
Former Army Major indicted in triple murder, past attorney says he’s innocent

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (May 2018)

May 2018

Missing:
Family pleads for missing soldier battling PTSD to come home
Vets group calls for ‘CAMO Alert’
What really happened to Middlebrook’s Sgt. Gene Shultz?
Missing: Michael VanZandt (Hermosa Beach Police Department – 310-318-0308)
Missing in Hermosa Beach: What happened to Mike VanZandt?
He Left to Go to the Bathroom and Never Came Back: Where is Michael Vanzandt?
Missing: Trevor Nichols (US Army), New York
Soldier receives orders to Fort Riley, goes AWOL
Disappeared: Air Force Veteran Michael Vanzandt Vanishes During a Night Out with Friends in Hermosa Beach, California (March 5, 2016)
Jean-Marc Faubert has been missing since the early morning of Friday, May 25th

Cold Cases:
Georgia Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
No arrests made 3 years after soldier’s murder
New Hampshire unsolved case file: David and Deborah Carreau
Warwick murder case still unsolved, reward offered 5 years later
Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Petitions:
Presidential Pardon Petition | Free Lt. Clint Lorance
Fire Iron River, Michigan City Manager David Thayer For Firing Police Chief Laura Frizzo!

Continue reading

Investigation Discovery Premiered ‘Dead North’: The True Crime Story of Christopher Regan and Kelly & Jason Cochran (May 28, 2018)

When Christopher Regan goes missing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, police chief Laura Frizzo is in a race against time to find him. -Winter is Coming – Part 1, Dead North, Investigation Discovery

In the case of missing man Christopher Regan, Chief Laura Frizzo is hot in pursuit of two suspects. Chris’ lover Kelly Cochran and her husband Jason. -Winter is Coming – Part 2, Dead North, Investigation Discovery

After their house is searched, Kelly and Jason Cochran, the top suspects in Chris Regan’s disappearance, skip town. A few months later, one of them is murdered. -Spring Thaw – Part 1, Dead North, Investigation Discovery

Jason Cochran one of the top suspects in the Chris Regan disappearance is dead. Police Chief Laura Frizzo is on a mission to arrest his wife Kelly Cochran for the murder of Chris Regan. -Spring Thaw – Part 2, Dead North, Investigation Discovery

Related Links:
Winter is Coming – Part 1 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (website)
Winter is Coming – Part 1 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Winter is Coming – Part 2 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (website)
Winter is Coming – Part 2 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Spring Thaw – Part 1 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (website)
Spring Thaw – Part 1 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Spring Thaw – Part 2 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (website)
Spring Thaw – Part 2 | Dead North | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Suspected Female Serial Killer Pursued In Investigation Discovery Special, Dead North
Meet Kelly Cochran: Convicted Serial Killer Who May Have Served Boyfriend As BBQ
Did an Alleged Serial Killer Cook Her Lover’s Remains and Serve Them for Dinner?
Woman Murders Husband After He Forces Her To Kill Her Lover As Part Of Bizarre Marriage Pact

48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Ruthless’ on CBS: The True Crime Story of Serial Rapist & Camp Lejeune Janitor Willie Abner Brown (May 26, 2018)

When a serial rapist targets military spouses, NCIS agents race against time before he strikes again. -Ruthless, 48 Hours 

It is believed that Willie Abner Brown committed 12 sexual assaults in the Jacksonville, North Carolina area, five of them were Marine spouses. After the similarities in reports were observed, the Jacksonville Police Department created a Task Force with Camp Lejeune and Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) because they felt the cases were connected. The Marine Corps leadership at Camp Lejeune were very concerned that there was a serial rapist on the loose because five different military spouses reported being attacked, four were attacked while their husband’s were deployed. The attacker also stole money and debit and credit cards from his victims. Investigators were able to identify Willie Brown via video surveillance while he was using one of the victim’s credit cards at a local convenience store. They learned Brown was a janitor at Camp Lejeune.

The police picked Brown up for a traffic violation and brought him to the station for fraudulent use of one of the victim’s credit cards. The Jacksonville Police Department knew exactly who Willie Brown was because of his long rap sheet. They could prove the theft but they wanted to prove the multiple rapes so they set up a war room to gather and collect information that would help them substantiate that Willie Brown was involved in the sexual assaults as well. They interviewed every victim they could to get a better understanding of the modus operandi of the serial attacker. Investigators also searched Brown’s house and his girlfriend’s house and found items that connected Willie to the victims and the weapon they believe was used in one of the attacks. The victim’s were relieved Willie was finally caught and couldn’t harm anyone else.

Willie Abner Brown

Willie Abner Brown

The prosecutor was only able to prove that Willie was connected to four of the twelve sexual assaults. DNA evidence specifically connected Willie Brown to some of the victims. During trial, Willie Brown took the stand to defend himself and he maintained his innocence. He admitted to the robbery but not the sexual assaults. And he told the jury he was sexually assaulted as a child and couldn’t physically carry out the attacks. After a day of deliberation, the jury found Willie Brown guilty on March 13, 2014 of multiple felony charges including rape. He was also convicted of assaulting one of the victims with a deadly weapon. Willie Brown was sentenced to prison for 410 years. “You have to fight for your story, you have to fight for your word.” One of the victims said even if they can’t do anything with your case, you should still report it because someday someone else will report and the cases will be connected.

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Ruthless,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app on your iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  

Related Links:
Man accused of multiple rapes
Serial rapist sentenced to 410 years in NC prisons
Serial rapist sentenced to 410 years in NC prisons
Juror Speaks Out After Serial Rape Trial
Convicted serial rapist accused of assaulting fellow inmate
Jacksonville serial rapist now accused of assaulting inmate
Crime highlights from 2014 | Wilmington Star News
State of North Carolina v. Willie Abner Brown (2014)
Convicted serial rapist re-sentenced
“48 Hours: NCIS:” Can brokers cease a ruthless attacker preying on Marine wives?
Local JPD detective, NCIS agent to appear on CBS 48 Hours
JPD Task Force case to be featured on 48 Hours: NCIS show
“48 Hours” Saturday Double Feature: Ruthless & Sophia’s Secret
“48 Hours: NCIS:” Can Agents Stop a Ruthless Attacker Preying on Marine Wives?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (msn.com)
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (website)
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (YouTube)
“48 Hours: NCIS”: Ruthless | CBS News
“48 Hours: NCIS”: Ruthless | CBS All Access
48 Hours: NCIS: Ruthless | 48 Hours (podcast)
North Carolina Prison (DOC) Arrest Records for Inmate WILLIE A BROWN

Who Killed Jane Doe? Premiered ‘The Tent Girl’ on Investigation Discovery: Barbara ‘Bobbie’ Hackmann & George ‘Earl’ Taylor (January 23, 2018)


A woman’s body is found in a tent bag in the Kentucky woods. A thousand miles away, a family searches for a missing mother of three. Both cases go unsolved for decades, until a man’s obsession and a family’s determination converge, uncovering the truth. -Who Killed Jane Doe?, Investigation Discovery

Who Killed Jane Doe? featured the story of ‘The Tent Girl’ on Investigation Discovery in January 2018. On May 17, 1968, a man walking in the woods in Georgetown, Kentucky discovered a body wrapped in a tent. He reported the finding to authorities who determined that the body was that of a female she didn’t have a nam. This Jane Doe was dubbed ‘The Tent Girl’ in the media because the authorities attempted to find out who she was. She had been murdered and they wanted to find her family. The Tent Girl was buried in a local cemetery in an attempt to honor this girl who didn’t have a name. ‘Who Killed Jane Doe?’ began the episode by explaining that in the early sixties, Barbara Ann ‘Bobbie’ Hackmann of Lexington, Kentucky met George ‘Earl’ Taylor when she was a teenager. He was a single father from Florida who claimed his wife left him to be with another man and he needed a babysitter. Bobbie babysat Earl’s daughter Bonnie while he worked for the Carnival.

Although Earl Taylor was five years older than Bobbie Hackmann, the pair fell in love and decided to get married. Because Earl worked for the Carnival, they moved constantly but in 1964 they settled for an apartment in Miami, Florida. Bobbie and Earl had children of their own and Bobbie’s sister moved to Florida to be closer to her. Then one day, Bobbie told her sister she needed to leave town quickly and asked her for some money. Bobbie told her sister the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) was in town and they were looking for Earl because he went Absent without Leave (AWOL) from the military; Earl did not want to go back in. She told her sister they were moving to Texas. Nobody ever heard from Bobbie Taylor again. When Bobbie’s sister finally caught up with Earl, Bobbie wasn’t with him and he told her that she ran off with another man. Once again Earl’s significant other left their children and ran off with another man. Earl would not tell Bobbie’s sister where Bobbie’s kids were. Bobbie’s family filed an official missing person’s report.

Todd Matthews and Bobbie’s family were both obsessed with finding the same person but they didn’t know it. Todd was looking for the identity of a Jane Doe dubbed ‘The Tent Girl’ and Bobbie’s family was obsessed with finding their missing family member Bobbie Taylor. With the invent of the internet, it helped both Bobbie’s family and Todd Matthews get in touch with one another to compare notes. Todd e-mailed Bobbie’s family to tell them about ‘The Tent Girl’ because he believed the Jane Doe in Kentucky was the missing girl Bobbie Hackmann Taylor. Bobbie’s family contacted the police in Kentucky to find out if their Jane Doe was Bobbie. The authorities found enough similarities between the composite drawing and the real photos that they exhumed The Tent Girl’s remains. After DNA testing, The Tent Girl was indeed a match to Barbara Hackmann. The family finally found their missing Bobbie. Bobbie’s children were relieved to know their mother didn’t walk away from them but devastated that she was found and had been murdered.

Earl’s daughter Bonnie described a night on December 6, 1967 where she was awakened by a struggle in Bobbie and Earl’s bedroom. But, she didn’t want to get in trouble so she fell back asleep. When seven year old Bonnie woke up in the morning, Bobbie was gone. The family suspects that Earl murdered Bobbie and then disposed of her body in the woods. He most likely used tents from the Carnivals he worked at to wrap her body. When Bonnie asked Earl where Bobbie was, she never got an answer from him. When Bonnie returned home from school that same day, Earl had packed up the car and informed the children they were moving. When Bonnie asked about Bobbie again, Earl said “she’ll catch up with us later.” Bonnie said this was the last time she saw or heard from Bobbie. When Bobbie was finally identified via DNA in 1998, authorities couldn’t question Earl because he died of cancer 10 years earlier. Bobbie’s family decided to leave Bobbie in the same plot because she had been part of that community for over thirty years. They cared about ‘The Tent Girl’ and the case is still an open investigation.

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.


The Tent Girl


Tent Girl | 18 News


The Eerie Case Of Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor (Jane Doe Identified After 30 Years) -CreepyNews


TENT GIRL documentary

Related Links:
Barbara Ann “Tent Girl” Hackmann
The Story of Tent Girl | CBS News
‘Tent girl’ homicide victim identified through DNA test
Doe Network Works Worldwide to Solve Missing Persons Cases
Web Helps ID John and Jane Does | WIRED
Doe Network Searches for Missing Persons
‘Tent Girl’ and the start of the Doe Network
Tent Girl: Monster, mystery, mother?
Amateurs solve mysteries of the unnamed dead
‘Doe Network’ restores names to the missing dead
Warm hearts, Cold cases | Daily Democrat News
Long Time Gone: Modern tools, hope for old cases
‘Information detective’ tries to restore names to the missing
Todd Matthews of The DOE Network & NamUs.Gov
It all started with the “Tent Girl” – Todd Matthew’s Story
Accent: unsolved cases-unexplained deaths
‘Tent Girl’ 2 sketches and actual photograph after she was ID’d
Full Disclosure: Database solves cold-case mysteries
“The Skeleton Crew”: How a motley band of amateurs solves cold cases online
Solving the Unsolved: True Crime 2014
Identifying the nameless | The Republic
Solving ‘Tent Girl’ Case, Factory Worker Turns Missing Persons Expert
Volunteers are solving the tragic puzzle of the missing and dead
Left for dead: How America fails the missing and unidentified
NAMUS: A tool everyone should use | Missing Persons of America
Murder Mystery: Lives Lost & Found
10 Victims Who Went Unidentified for Years
A Body in Kentucky: The 30-Year-Long Mystery of “Tent Girl”
Bones, teeth recovered in exhumation. Will they lead to identity?
One Man’s Obsessive Quest to Identify a 96-Year-Old Dead Body
Who Are You? NamUs helps law enforcement identify the unidentifiable
‘Tent Girl’ to be focus of TV documentary in February
‘Tent Girl’ documentary to air Tuesday
Investigation Discovery To Feature Kentucky ‘Tent Girl’ Case
Story of Tent Girl Barbara ‘Bobbie’ Ann Taylor spotlighted on ID
Naming the Nameless: The Internet Tries to Identify John and Jane Does
Podcast 55: Barfly & Tent Girl | The Little Podcast of Horrors
The 30-Year-Long Mystery of “Tent Girl”

Books:
Someone’s Daughter: In Search of Justice for Jane Doe By Silvia Pettem
The Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases By Deborah Halber

Video Links:
The Tent Girl
Tent Girl | 18 News
The Eerie Case Of Barbara Ann Hackmann Taylor (Jane Doe Identified After 30 Years)
Who Killed Jane Doe #204 – ” The Tent Girl” (Vimeo)
Who Killed Jane Doe? | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Who Killed Jane Doe? | Investigation Discovery
About the Show | Who Killed Jane Doe? | Investigation Discovery
The Tent Girl | Who Killed Jane Doe? | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Tent Girl | Who Killed Jane Doe? | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)

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

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

In the News:

Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting -WGALTV

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 | Investigation Discovery (Preview)
Monkey in the Middle | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S4, E8)

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)

Navy GMSN Connor McQuagge Died of a Non Combat Related Injury While Underway in Red Sea with USS Harpers Ferry (May 26, 2016)

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GMSN Connor McQuagge, U.S. Navy

Navy Gunner’s Mate Seaman Connor McQuagge, 19, of Utah died of a non-combat related injury while underway in the Red Sea on May 26, 2016. GMSN McQuagge supported Operation Inherent Resolve on behalf of the USS Harpers Ferry (LSD 49) and was forward deployed in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of operations. At the time of the press release, the incident was under investigation. The official cause of death in unknown.

Gunner’s Mate Seaman Connor Alan McQuagge, US Navy

Related Links:
Obituary: GMSN Connor Alan McQuagge
DoD Identifies Navy Casualty
Gunner’s Mate Seaman Connor A. McQuagge
Navy announces sailor’s death
Navy announces sailor’s death (CNN)
Sailor supporting Islamic State fight dies from non-combat injury
U.S. Navy Sailor who died while underway in the Red Sea identified
Utah Sailor Killed Supporting U.S. Operations Against ISIS In Middle East
Three months before his 20th birthday
U.S. Military Deaths in Operations Against ISIS
2 Americans Wounded Fighting ISIS
Tribute To Our Fallen Soldiers – US Navy Gunner’s Mate Seaman Connor Alan McQuagge, 19, of Utah

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Bonfire of Blood’ on Investigation Discovery: Escalating Property Dispute Between Walter Stephens & Bob Hall Turns Deadly (May 25, 2016)

ID Go: An argument about access to a disputed road puts two Lompico, California men at each other’s throats. Things progress from intimidation and property damage to a backhoe attack and, finally, one of the most shocking murders the area has ever seen. -Bonfire of Blood, Fear Thy Neighbor (S3, E9)

Coast Guard veteran Walter Stephens shot and killed Bob Hall in Lompico, California on November 20, 1998. After killing Bob, Walt burned and attempted to hide his body in a bonfire on his property. Bob’s co-workers grew concerned when Bob didn’t show up for his retirement party at work. They called the police and asked them to do a welfare check on Bob. In the course of the investigation, police learned from family members that if anything happened to Bob, they needed to talk to his neighbor Walter Stephens. Bob and Walter had been in a long standing neighborhood feud with one another over a property issue. When police went to visit Walter at his home, they found him tending a large fire. They questioned Walter about Bob’s disappearance but he denied having any knowledge or information useful to the missing persons investigation. Upon closer examination of the bonfire, the police observed what appeared to be human remains in the fire. Walter admitted to killing Bob and he was arrested.

Fellow neighbors always thought it would be the other way around, that Bob would kill Walter. Some believe Walter finally snapped. Bob’s family believed it was first degree murder. Facing a possible death sentence, Walter pleaded self-defense but the prosecutors believed otherwise after the forensic evidence was examined. Walter said he thought Bob had a weapon when he approached him late one night on his property but his gun told another story. Walter pistol whipped Bob with his gun and then shot him while he was helpless and down on the ground. Prosecutors argued it wasn’t self-defense, it was straight up murder. They believed Walter started that confrontation with Bob that night with the intent to kill. Walter Stephens was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for second degree murder. He got 14 years for the murder and another 25 years for use of weapon. Bob’s bones were burned and mostly disintegrated and his body was not recognizable. Detectives believe that had the police not discovered Bob’s remains in the fire, Walter Stephens may have got away with it.

Source: ‘Bonfire of Blood’ Fear Thy Neighbor

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:
Bob Hall v Walter Stephens | Superior Court of California (1998)
Missing Man’s Body Found in Brushfire
Man held as suspect in neighbor’s murder
Stephens v. Tilton | United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (Jul 11, 2007)
Bonfire of Blood | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)