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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“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair (January 8, 2019)

Matthew Brown Army.png

Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (via Vanity Fair Facebook)

Is the Army botching its investigations into noncombatant deaths?

I. The Gun Tower

“On the morning of May 11, 2008, a U.S. Army private second class named Matthew Warren Brown died of a single gunshot wound to the head while manning a watchtower at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Brown was 20 years old. He was a skinny, all-American kid, a bit aimless but affable and unassuming. He was a good guy. You could see it in his face. At his funeral back home in Pennsylvania, some 200 people showed up. In the aftermath of Brown’s death, army investigators created files about the circumstances. The bullet that killed him was fired from his own weapon, an M4 carbine. He was working the six A.M. shift, alone in the watchtower by the fortified main gate to the base. The tower was known as the Gun Tower. It was made of concrete, and looked medieval when viewed from the outside. It was three stories tall. On the second and third floors it had openings covered with two-piece Plexiglas windows, some of which had broken off and been left lying in shards on the floors.” Read more from Vanity Fair here.

Related Links:
Pvt Matthew Warren Brown | Find A Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pvt. Matthew W. Brown
Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown | Honor the Fallen
Fort Bragg Soldier dies in Afghanistan
Soldier from Fort Bragg dies in Afghanistan
Fort Bragg soldier dies from injuries in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier killed in Afghanistan, father says
Soldier from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair
Family of soldier found dead in Afghanistan in 2008 says he did not commit suicide as claimed
Family of soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan watchtower in 2008 says he did not commit suicide, as the military claims, and had told them he feared he would be killed over his role in a drug ring that was being run on-base by a ‘thug’ sergeant
Army Pvt. Matthew Brown Died As a Result of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Afghanistan; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Alleges Murder in Vanity Fair Publication (May 11, 2008)

People Magazine Investigates Premiered ‘Terror in Philadelphia’ on ID: University Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered (November 12, 2018)

In 1998, a gifted Philadelphia graduate student is found murdered in her bed. The hunt for her killer forces police to reevaluate a series of unsolved crimes, turning the city upside down. Will her killer be caught or will he strike again? -Terror in Philadelphia, People Magazine Investigates (S3, E2)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Death’s Door | People Magazine Investigates
How a Business Student’s Dying Cries of ‘Help Me’ Eventually Led to a Serial Rapist
Mom of Wharton Student Found Raped, Murdered in 1998 Still Wonders: ‘How Could Somebody Do That?’
University of Penn. Student Shannon Schieber Found Raped & Murdered in Home; Air Force SrA Troy Graves Sentenced to Life in Prison (May 7, 1998)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (S3, E2)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (website)
Terror in Philadelphia | People Magazine Investigates | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)

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

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

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

David Wintermyer

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

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

In the News:

Neighbor dispute leads to fatal shooting -WGAL TV

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

Army Infantryman Sgt. 1st Class Grant Shanaman of Fort Bragg, North Carolina Found Dead in Off Post Residence (2016)

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Sgt. 1st Class Grant Shanaman, US Army

Sgt. 1st Class Grant Shanaman, 38, US Army, of Media, Pennsylvania was found dead in his Fayetteville, North Carolina home on November 16th, 2016. Sgt. 1st Class Shanaman enlisted in the Army in 1998 (18 years) and served 10 combat deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sgt. 1st Class Shanaman was a highly decorated infantryman assigned to the Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg. The Army reports that civilian law enforcement are investigating the incident. Sgt. 1st Class Shanaman is one of three US Army soldiers who died stateside on November 16, 2016. Pvt. Kevin Paulino of Fort Hood and Pfc. David Winchester of Fort Bragg also died in garrison. Pfc. Winchester was found dead in his barracks at Fort Bragg and the Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is investigating that incident.

Related Links:
Obituary: Grant Shanaman
82nd Airborne paratrooper dies at home in North Carolina
Fort Bragg soldier who deployed 10 times dies in off-post residence
Fort Bragg paratrooper who served in Iraq, Afghanistan dies off-post, officials say
Fayetteville police investigating death of Fort Bragg soldier
Valor Fights releases statement on passing of Grant Shanaman
Security enterprise builds partnership with Liberian Army
DVIDS: SGT Richard Cole vs. SFC Grant Shanaman
Ranger Wins MCoE Pistol Title

Former Fort Hood Army Commander Col. Andrew Poznick Found Dead at Off-Post Residence Near Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania (March 20, 2016)

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Col. Andrew Poznick

Former Fort Hood Battalion Commander Col. Andrew Poznick was found dead at his off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania on March 20, 2016. Col. Poznick was scheduled to join the faculty at the Army War College. Col. Poznick was born on the Fort Bragg, North Carolina post and was considered an Army brat. He himself joined the Army in 1993 as an infantry officer after graduating from Auburn University in Alabama. At Fort Hood, Col. Poznick commanded the 1st Battalion, 12th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom twice, once in 2006 and again in 2011, where he commanded the last combat troops to exit Iraq on December 18, 2011. Media reports indicate Col. Poznick took his own life.

Related Links:
12th Cavalry Regiment
Colonel Andrew T. Poznick
Obituary: Colonel Andrew T. Poznick
Former Fort Hood combat commander found dead near Carlisle Barracks, Pa
Family and friends remember former Fort Hood combat commander
Soldier suicides: Causes studied in attempt to prevent future tragedies
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)

Unusual Suspects Premiered ‘Barefoot Homicide’ on ID: Drexel University Student Deborah Wilson Found Murdered on Campus (April 5, 2015)

After an all-night study session in a university lab, math student Deborah Wilson is found strangled, missing her shoes and socks. Years later, Philadelphia investigators unearth the shocking obsession that drove a killer to take her life. -Barefoot Homicide, Unusual Suspects (S7,E13)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Deborah Lynn Wilson (1963-1984) | Find A Grave
Army Reservist & Drexel University Security Guard David Dickson Murdered Deborah Wilson on Campus; Sentenced to Life in Prison (November 30, 1984)
Barefoot Homicide | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (S7,E13)
Barefoot Homicide | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (website)
Barefoot Homicide | Unusual Suspects | Investigation Discovery (Prime Video)