Raheel Siddiqui, US Marine Corps (2016)

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Raheel Siddiqui, US Marine Corps

Marine Corps recruit Raheel Siddiqui died while attending boot camp at Parris Island in South Carolina on March 18, 2016.

Related Links:
Parris Island recruit jumped to death while in boot camp training
U.S. Marine from Taylor dies at Parris Island recruit training facility
Death of Marine recruit at Parris Island under investigation
Death of Marine at South Carolina boot camp under investigation
Marines instructors under investigation after death of Muslim recruit
Marines Expand Hazing Probe Following Recruit Raheel Siddiqui’s Death
A Marine Recruit’s Death Spurred An Important Investigation
Marine Corps Officials Recommend Charges in Death of Muslim Recruit
Marine Corps Completed Three Command-Level Investigations at Parris Island
Marines: Recruit committed suicide amid culture of hazing, abuse
Following a Marine recruit’s death, a culture of hazing is exposed on a storied base
Siddiqui family: USMC investigation leaves ‘unanswered’ questions
Documents disclose alleged Marine hazing at Parris Island
Marine recruit’s death didn’t stop hazing, abuse in his platoon, USMC finds
20 Marines Face Discipline After Muslim Recruit’s Death Is Ruled a Suicide
Up to 20 marines could face disciplinary action over Muslim recruit’s death
Timeline of recruit Raheel Siddiqui at Parris Island Marine base before suicide
Marine recruit’s death uncovers pattern of abuse by some drill instructors
USMC: Before Recruit Died, Platoon Mates Ordered to Beat One Another
Day before Parris Island recruit died, platoon mates ordered to beat one another, USMC found
Muslim marine says he was called a ‘terrorist’ and thrown in an industrial dryer at scandal-plagued South Carolina boot camp
Muslim Marine Placed in Clothes Dryer by Instructor, Asked if He Was ‘Terrorist’
“They put us through hell”: A Marine abused at boot camp explains why he spoke out
911 audio reveals new details about morning of USMC recruit’s death
Marine Corps drill instructors will be watched more closely after Parris Island scandal
The Mysterious Death of a Muslim Marine Recruit
Muslim Marine Trainee Killed Himself … or Did He?
Marine recruits testify about drill instructor at hearing
Marine Corps Holding Hearing To Determine If Charges Will Move Forward In Recruit’s Death
Corps names 2 Parris Island DIs for courts-martial; one linked to Muslim recruit’s death
Marines to court-martial drill instructor after Muslim recruit’s death
Marine drill instuctor to face court martial after Michigan recruit’s death
Marine drill instructor faces court martial in connection with death of Muslim recruit ‘who killed himself after he was called a terrorist and was physically abused at boot camp’
Dingell Statement on Referral of Charges Related to Raheel Siddiqui Case
One NCIS investigation at Parris Island is over, but another continues
Hearing set for USMC drill instructor linked to Siddiqui’s death
USMC Recruit Had To Get Skin Grafts After Hazing Incident
Official fired after Taylor Marine Raheel Siddiqui’s death faces hearing
Official fired after Marine recruit’s death at Parris Island faces hearing
How the Death of a Muslim Recruit Revealed a Culture of Brutality in the Marines
Lt. Col. Joshua Kissoon, US Marine Corps (Military Corruption)


Why did a 20-year-old recruit jump to his death at the Marine Corps training facility at Parris Island? That question spurred an internal investigation, which uncovered a larger pattern of hazing and abuse. William Brangham joins Judy Woodruff to offer a closer look at the investigation. -PBS NewsHour

Ali and Josh Hobson: Sexual Assault and Retaliation in the US Air Force (2015)

Air Force family shares their experience after the unthinkable happens. via Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Welcome to Murder Street’ on Investigation Discovery: Bill Weissman Busted in Undercover Murder-for-Hire Sting Operation (May 19, 2014)

ID Go: An elite California Lakeside Community is rocked to its core when two well-to-do gentlemen go to war over an 18-inch property line discrepancy. One neighbor takes the dispute to new levels when he hires a hitman to permanently solve the problem. -Welcome to Murder Street, Fear Thy Neighbor (S1, E6)

Year: 2003
Murder-for-Hire Victim: Tom Wess, Jr.
Offender: William Weismann, Navy veteran, Retiree, 66 (assault charge on record, restraining orders, lost court case, someone trashed property, revenge)
Location: Lake of the Pines, Nevada County, California
Circumstances: Escalating property line dispute, attempted murder-for-hire
Disposition: Plea deal, 2 counts of solicitation to commit murder, sentenced to 5 years in prison (2004)

Related Links:
Hitman-hire suspect offers plea
Murder-for-hire jail time up in air
Plea reached in murder-for-hire
Murder-for-hire informant sues
Murder-for-hire target sues LOP
LOP sued over dock at center of hitman hire plot
Conspiring for Land
LOP murder for hire case resurrected on TV show
Bill Weismann | True Crime Stories
Welcome to Murder Street | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S1, E6)

Update on the Military Justice Improvement Act (2013)

MJIAIn January, veterans were able to address the House Armed Services Committee regarding crime and non combat death in the military. The testimony was on the heels of what was referred to in the media as the “Lackland Sex Scandal.” The veterans specifically emphasized that crime is military wide and not specific to the Air Force. The veterans also shared that most service members are not reporting because of a fear of retaliation.  Shortly after the testimony was given, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta announced the combat exclusion policy was lifted and the media was poised to move in that direction.

Then in March, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand asked for a hearing on Military Sexual Assault with those on the personnel subcommittee to the Senate Armed Services Committee. At that time four other veterans testified and affirmed that removing the Chain of Command would have helped prevent their current situations due to the retaliation.

Senator Gillibrand announced in May that she was going to sponsor the Military Justice Improvement Act, which is a law that would restrict the Commanders from handling violent crimes of over a year or more sentence.  She introduced it to the Senate Armed Services Committee and Senator Carl Levin shut the whole thing down.  It was at this time that Senator Claire McCaskill, Senator Kelly Ayotte, Senator Jon Tester, Senator Jim Inhofe, and Senator Levin started to fight for the Department of Defense and keep everything status quo.

Right now we are trying to get support from the other Senators to force the MJIA bill back on the table.  We have both Democrats and Republicans on board and recently Conservatives like Senator Rand Paul, Senator Chuck Grassley, and Senator Ted Cruz have signed on because they understand the constitutional aspect of this dilemma.  We should not be reporting violent crimes to our boss.  We should be reporting violent crimes to a legal authority of some sort. One person, ie the Commander, should not have sole discretion over whether or not we proceed with justice.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to sponsor legislation that mirrors that of the civilian justice system. Victims of crimes should report to police, the police should investigate the claims, the police should enter the information into the FBI national database, and then a prosecutor can make a decision as to whether one can move forward with a case in a court of law. A person’s claim needs to be corroborated in some way so that we have the evidence necessary to go to court, win, and put a criminal behind bars,

Amber Lowery’s Remains Identified; Husband & Army Veteran Michael Lowery Found Guilty of First Degree Murder and Sentenced to Life (2013)

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Amber Lowery, US Army Veteran Spouse

Amber Lowery, 34, went missing on July 23, 2013. Her brother reported her missing on July 24th. Days later on July 31st, human remains were found on the Lowery property; they were later identified as Amber Lowery. As a result, Army veteran Michael Lowery, 34, was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife. Amber’s siblings described Mike Lowery as a controlling individual who received counseling for anger management, was “kicked out” of the Army for drug use and insubordination, and was fired from several jobs because of the abuse of his wife while on the job. A Texas jury found Lowery guilty of murdering Amber, dismembering her body, placing her remains in a pile, and burning them. Michael Lowery was sentenced to life in prison for first degree murder.

Related Links:
Amber Lowery (34) was allegedly murdered by her husband
‘I think he did it,’ says Rising Star murder suspect’s brother
Family of suspected murderer say Michael Lowery has ‘a dark soul’
Lowery capable of murder, according to brother
Missing former Kingman woman suffered in abusive marriage, authorities say
Lowery drove wife’s SUV to Rising Star and left it, lawmen allege
Lowery’s Remains Identified
Human Remains Found on Lowery Property
Human remains found in search for West Texas woman
Authorities Didn’t Inform Amber Lowery’s Family of Positively Identified Remains, Brother Speaks Out
Brownwood’s Air Evac reacts to new details in Amber Lowery’s case
Husband of missing former Kingmanite arrested for murder
Husband of missing Comanche County woman arrested on murder charge, held on $1 million bond
Michael Lowery Found Guilty of Murder, Sentenced to Life with No Chance for Parole
Lowery Murder Trial: Rising Star man receives life sentence for killing wife
Michael Lowery Found Guilty For The Murder of His Wife

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

Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block in Iraq After She Ended a Forbidden Relationship, Then Ended His Own Life (August 16, 2007)

Kamisha Block

Spc. Kamisha Block, US Army

Army Spc. Kamisha Block, 20, died of a non combat related incident in Baghdad, Iraq on August 16, 2007. Spc. Block was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas. The Department of Defense announced at the time of the press release that the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation. Media reports indicate that Kamisha died of gunshot wounds after she was shot in the shoulder, chest, and head area five times by a fellow Army soldier, Staff Sgt. Paul Norris. Norris then turned the gun on himself putting a single bullet into the right side of his head. Medics found Norris dead at the scene and Kamisha with a sucking chest wound. Kamisha Block was pronounced dead a few minutes later at the Camp Liberty Troop Medical Clinic. The family claims there was no serious relationship with Norris yet he became possessive and began abusing her. They believe she was not protected by the Army.

“She spent a year in Korea, and then returned for a few months to Fort Hood before she left for Iraq in 2007. While in Texas she began a relationship with Staff Sgt. Brandon Norris, her parents said, a man in the same battalion. Although the Blocks never believed Norris and Kamisha Block had a serious relationship, Norris became attached and possessive of her, Army investigators told the family. Before they left Fort Hood for Iraq, Norris physically assaulted Kamisha Block, her family learned through later Army reports. He was disciplined and received counseling, but he did not lose his jealous nature.” ~Home of the Brave

The Story:

Fort Hood is the largest military base in world. It’s home to 53,000 soldiers and located in the heart of Texas. Kamisha Block joined the Army straight out of high school and was a specialist with the 401st Military Police Company. She was the first born in her family and her loved ones said she was a bright light. “She was always smiling and positive about everything.” Kamisha’s squad was in training for a deployment to Iraq in four months. Her fellow comrades called her “wonder woman” and said she always seemed happy. She was the kind of person who would always make others feel better even if they were having a bad day. She was described as loving, caring, and a great listener. Kamisha even worked on her own vehicles and her father taught her everything she knew. She was very independent and loved serving in the Army. Thirty-year-old Staff Sgt. Brandon Norris was a veteran of two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan. One of his military comrades said he did some outstanding things in the Army because Brandon was a go-getter. Brandon wanted to achieve and he quickly climbed the ladder. Brandon had also experienced some tough times. His wife had recently left him and took their daughter and he lost two sisters in a preventable car accident the year before. But Brandon was a squad leader and damn good at what he did.

Both Brandon and Kamisha were out one night at the same bar having some drinks with friends. Brandon noticed Kamisha on the dance floor and pushed his way to get to her. Upon introducing himself, they both realized they were stationed at Fort Hood. And although they were attracted to one another immediately, Brandon reminded Kamisha that what they were thinking of doing was against the rules. Fraternizing in the Army was against the law but Brandon and Kamisha didn’t care. In the Army, a relationship between an NCO and a junior enlisted soldier, especially in the same platoon, is against the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). Both of them were taking a huge risk because if they were ever seen together, they could lose everything. In reality, they would be kicked out of the Army, lose their benefits, and get a dishonorable discharge. Brandon and Kamisha both knew it was a bad idea but over the next few weeks, they found every opportunity to see each other. According to Brandon’s military comrade, there was a real genuine connection between the two of them. And they managed to keep it secret aside from a few close friends who knew what was going on. They would say they were seeing someone but never named names. Kamisha regularly visited Brandon at his apartment eight miles away from the post.

Brandon was in love and it was obvious that the Army and Kamisha was his life. They both loved each other. Meanwhile, their squad knew they were deploying soon but they didn’t know the exact date. And then they were tasked to deploy four days before they were supposed to leave. Brandon found out that he wasn’t going to Iraq with the squad because he had to go to a leadership training session first. He would fly to Iraq at a later time. He wasn’t happy that he wasn’t going with the squad and with Kamisha and as a result, Brandon’s mood started changing. According to friends, he was getting more aggressive and angry. Brandon could control his demons until he started drinking alcohol. He was drinking more and began pushing Kamisha away and accusing her of being with other men in Iraq if he wasn’t around. Brandon was fragile and his current state of mind reflected what appeared to be attachment issues, he couldn’t handle losing anyone else he loved. Kamisha assured Brandon that they were all good but no one could deny that Brandon was possessive of Kamisha. Before deploying to Iraq, Kamisha took Brandon to meet her family. Her mom said Brandon didn’t introduce himself and they thought that was strange. They observed that he kept his head down and unless he was spoken to, he didn’t speak.

Kamisha’s family was worried about her with the upcoming deployment. The family sensed something was wrong but she said she really couldn’t talk about it. Twelve hours prior to the deployment, Brandon and Kamisha spent some quality time together. He told her he wanted to talk to her everyday on the phone until he got there. Because Brandon was possessive and controlling of Kamisha, he wanted to make sure she was okay everyday while she was away. Once Kamisha got to Iraq, Brandon called her daily and started becoming jealous and afraid that she was with other guys. Brandon admitted to his mom that he loved Kamisha and she was a special person. He also shared with his family that he couldn’t sleep and was only getting one hour a night of sleep on some nights. Brandon’s family was worried about losing him overseas because they couldn’t handle losing another child after losing two daughters the year before. Brandon Norris deployed to Iraq and he was transferred to Kamisha’s squad. Everyone knew there were tents in Iraq that had cots and they weren’t the only ones using them. Then there were signs that Brandon was giving Kamisha preferential treatment and she didn’t like it. Kamisha wanted to do the job and was irritated with Brandon.

Brandon’s biggest hang up was his jealousy. He would get jealous if Kamisha was talking to another guy. His friend said he’d get pretty fired up about that really quick. One day, the squad was in a convoy on a routine mission to an outpost. Kamisha was back at the base and Brandon was distracted. According to a comrade, Brandon stopped focusing on the task at hand and was paying attention to Kamisha instead. The squad was consistently concerned about Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and they turned down a road where they were met with an IED. It blew one of their trucks clear into the air. Brandon’s convoy had been hit by a roadside bomb and he jumped out of his vehicle and started firing despite the fact that they were not taking on any small arms fire or anything. Brandon easily could have killed an innocent civilian and gone to jail. They discovered three soldiers were injured in the IED explosion. Brandon’s squad questioned him after firing indiscriminately and were even more concerned when he didn’t have any response. Brandon felt guilty and responsible because he wasn’t paying attention and missed the road side bomb. He was in the lead truck and this was his job. One of his comrades decided he needed to be reported to the Chain of Command.

Brandon’s military comrade told the Chain of Command he knew something bad was going to happen because Brandon’s jealousy and possessiveness was getting out of hand. He explained how he was not the same leader that he had been at Fort Hood. And this same comrade said the military Chain of Command could have helped if they had moved either one of them and got them away from each other. Instead of transferring Kamisha or Brandon, the Chain of Command transferred the guy who reported them to another squad. He said they needed Norris and as a result, they didn’t dig or investigate to get to the bottom of of the whole relationship. They questioned Kamisha and Brandon and took them at their word when they denied a relationship. They issued a ‘no contact order’ but everyone knew that it was difficult to monitor. Over time, Kamisha was getting more agitated and less comfortable with the direction the relationship was heading. Brandon consistently accused her of talking to other men. Something was wrong. This relationship was anything but love. Kamisha was trying to get away from him but he would not leave her alone. Kamisha was getting scared and ended the relationship with Brandon. Brandon didn’t take it very well and told her he couldn’t live without her.

Brandon and Kamisha cooled things down for about three days and Kamisha tried hard not to have contact with Brandon. But Brandon was unraveling and drinking. Kamisha called home on her sister’s birthday and they had a really nice conversation but she had to go because the squad had another mission. The next day, the Casualty Assistance Officers (CAOs) showed up at Kamisha’s parent’s home. The CAOs told Kamisha’s family that Kamisha had died in Iraq as a result of a non-combat incident. Kamisha’s mom and dad broke down. The CAOs told the family she was killed by one shot to the chest. All the family wanted was the truth. They wanted answers and they wanted to know what happened. Kamisha’s body was flown back to Texas. The family was in shock. They knew it was her but they didn’t want to believe it was her. They were all so upset. Then Kamisha’s mom noticed what appeared to be a patch on the side of her head. The Army told her she was shot in the chest but it appeared she was shot in the head too. Jane Block admitted she cried for days. The military wasn’t telling her everything, they held back. Jane accused the Army of waiting until Kamisha got to the funeral home before they found out the truth. Now they were determined to find out who shot Kamisha and what happened. Jane Block called the CAO who confirmed that Kamisha was shot five times by Brandon Norris. The family was devastated.

And eventually the details of what happened in Iraq were revealed to Kamisha’s family. Brandon wasn’t doing well and he wanted to talk to Kamisha. Brandon’s friends said his eyes were glazed over and he was in a mood. During the discussion, Kamisha reminded Brandon that she didn’t want to be in the relationship anymore. Then Brandon brandished a gun and shot Kamisha five times. He also shot at another soldier who luckily missed the bullets. When they found Kamisha, she was bleeding profusely. They observed she had been shot in the head. Brandon had also shot himself and was still breathing. His comrade said the last thing he said to Brandon was ‘F^*k You’. Kamisha’s family believes the military failed Kamisha. They could have moved her out of there and they didn’t. The Army also knew Brandon had PTSD and deployed him anyways. Kamisha’s family felt like it was a cover-up. The Army failed Kamisha and they failed Brandon Norris. Before deploying to Iraq, Brandon told a family member that he didn’t know if he could handle another tour in Iraq. But he was insistent that he needed to be there for his squad and Kamisha. Now, there’s a hole in both families. Brandon’s friend admits he has survivor guilt because he wished there was more he could do. Jane Block said Kamisha didn’t get to finish her mission to live out her hopes and dreams.

Source: ‘Love is a Battlefield’ Forbidden: Dying for Love

ID Go: A young Army recruit enlists with dreams of serving her country. What she doesn’t expect is to find love with a commanding officer in her platoon. The two battle to keep their forbidden affair secret but can they defeat the enemy within? -Love is a Battlefield, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S3, E1)

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.

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Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)

Navy Sailor Lea Anne Brown and Friend Michael Patten Robbed, Kidnapped, and Murdered in Prince George’s County, Maryland by Five Men (2001)

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Lea Anne Brown, US Navy

Navy sailor Lea Anne Brown and her friend Michael Patten were found murdered execution style in Accokeek, near Fort Washington, Maryland on June 10, 2001. They were randomly selected in a church parking lot in Fort Washington by a group of men who wanted to rob them and steal their car. They beat Lea Anne and Michael and then stuffed them in the trunk of Michael’s car; afterwards they drove them to nearby Accokeek, fatally shot them in the head, and left their bodies in a wooded area. In 2002, Eric Thomas was found guilty of both murders and sentenced to life in prison. Aaron Hollingsworth received a 30 year prison sentence in exchange for his testimony. Cortez Carroll confessed to shooting Lea Anne and he faced the death penalty but plead guilty in exchange for a life sentence. Robert Odum, Jr. received a 60 years in prison for two counts of kidnapping but was acquitted on the robbery and murder charges. Marco Scutchings-Butler or Marco Butler was acquitted of the murders. in 2004, a Maryland Appellate court overturned the conviction for Robert Odum, Jr. and granted him a new trial because Prince George’s police broke rules, the court said. At his new trial in 2005, a Prince George’s County jury convicted Odum Jr. of two counts of kidnapping and he was sentenced to two terms of 30 years in prison. The judge ordered that his 30 year sentences be served consecutively in addition to a 10-year sentence he was serving for a separate carjacking.

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Court Overturns Kidnapping Verdict In Double Slaying
New Conviction for Robert Odum, Jr.
For the Families of Murder Victims, the Grief Never Ends
’48 Hours: NCIS:’ The Haunting Murders of Lea Anne Brown and Michael Patten
Two People Shot Execution Style, and One of Them is a Navy Sailor

Two dead, one of them a beautiful Navy sailor. Why does this case still haunt the agents who hunted the killer?

Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

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Spc. Darlene Krashoc, US Army

Information provided by The Gazette:

The victim: Darlene Krashoc, 20, a soldier at Fort Carson who worked as a mechanic at the Army post.

The Crime: Two Colorado Springs police officers on routine patrol spotted a partially nude woman laying in the parking lot behind the Korean Restaurant, a nightclub formerly at 2710 S. Academy Blvd., around 5:20 a.m. on March 17, 1987. An autopsy determined that Krashoc had been strangled with a coat hanger and leather thongs after being severely beaten, bitten, sexually assaulted. She may also have been thrown from a moving vehicle.

The investigation: Krashoc’s mother, Betty, last spoke with her daughter a week before her death. Krashoc had changed from a soldier ready to re-enlist to a frightened woman ready to go AWOL to get away from Fort Carson, but wouldn’t tell her mother why.

Colorado Springs Police Department considers a case to be cold if it remains unsolved for more than one year. If you have  information that would be of assistance in these investigations, please contact 719-444-7613, by e-mail at CSPDColdCase@springsgov.com or you may remain anonymous and could earn a cash reward by calling Crime Stoppers at 634-STOP (7867). –The Gazette

Thirty years after Krashoc’s body was found, Army Criminal Investigation Command are offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who can lead them to the man they believe killed Darlene Krashoc. If you have any information about the investigation or if the DNA prediction results resemble someone you know or knew at the time, you’re asked to contact your local CID office or CID headquarters in Virginia at (844) Army CID or (571) 305-4375. You can also email army.CID.crime.tips@mail.mil.

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THE COLD CASE FILES: Soldier strangled, 1987
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Army offers $10K reward in 1987 cold-case murder of 20-year-old female soldier; DNA profile released
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Phenotyping Webtool Developed by Academics, Who Want ‘Full Disclosure’ of Limitations
Violent Crime, Suicide and Non Combat Death at Fort Carson, Colorado (US Army)

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