On February 19, 2011, Vanessa Mintz was found shot and killed at her family owned mountain Lodge in Saluda, North Carolina. After police conducted a thorough investigation they learned that a shell casing at the scene of the crime matched a gun owned by Travis McGraw, a police officer in the Air Force Reserve. They also learned that Travis was in love with a woman by the name of Mary-Beth who gave him an ultimatum. Mary-Beth asked Travis to choose her or Vanessa and get back to her once he decided. Less then 48 hours later, Vanessa was dead. It is believed that Travis killed Vanessa for the $100,000 military life insurance policy. At trial, the public learned that Travis asked his Air Force Commander about the life insurance policy within twelve hours of Vanessa’s death. Travis was found guilty by a jury of his peers and sentenced to life without parole. Travis McGraw appealed his conviction but it was denied.
Shari Barbour Cartmell was found dead in her home in Nashville, Tennessee on March 16, 2010. Her husband, Deon Cartmell, a retired Marine and police officer with the Nashville Police Department, claimed she committed suicide. According to Shari’s family and friends, they had witnessed an escalating series of domestic violence incidences over the course of their three year marriage. Deon and Shari were married in secret in 2007. Deon was described as obsessive and had angry outbursts. He was mostly upset about Shari’s spending habits. Deon attempted to isolate Shari from her family and treated her like a possession. Eventually, Shari learned that he was flirting with other women too. Police suspect that the night she died she told him she was going to leave him after learning about his “extracurricular activities” and he killed her. According to the police who responded to the scene, Leon was in a “disassociative” state when they arrived and appeared to be concerned about himself. On May 28, 2010, after a thorough investigation was completed, Deon Cartmell was charged with second degree murder. The investigation revealed that the forensic evidence at the scene did not match Deon’s version of events. In 2011, he was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison.
A handsome marine lands the girl of his dreams. But the perils of their long distance love push these newlyweds to the edge. When Shari and Deon’s romance misfires in a tragic accident – the collateral damage is deadly. -Discovery ID
In July 2012, ex-Marine and police officer Robert McClain was sentenced to 20 years and four consecutive life terms for brutalizing his wife and her lover in an hours long attack on September 28, 2008 in Irvine, California. Once McClain learned of his wife’s affair, he asked her to introduce him to her new boyfriend because he wanted to meet the man who would be around his children. Unbeknownst to her, McClain brought knives and guns to the meeting so he could punish both victims because of their affair. According to his wife Summer Lang, McClain was extremely jealous, controlling and violent during the marriage. When he learned his wife wanted to divorce him after 12 years of marriage, he planned the attack on her and her lover, Michael Heflin. McClain was convicted of several felonies including rape, torture, and kidnapping. Although Michael Heflin survived the attacks, he was beaten and stabbed multiple times, resulting in permanent brain damage and other life long injuries. Summer was tortured, kidnapped, and raped but managed to escape after Robert McClain fell asleep.
“What’s scary about this case is if he can do that to his wife he can do that to anybody.” -The Orange County Register
“Monroe County judge calls crime the most evil he’s seen.” -WATE.com
Robert ‘Bob’ McClancy, 47, and Martha Ann McClancy worked in the Manatee County Sheriff’s Department in Florida. Martha was a secretary and Bob was a detective. They fell in love later in life and Bob decided to take an early retirement from his job. The two decided to move away from the fast paced life in Florida and settled in Tellico Plains, Tennessee which is nestled in the Smoky Mountains. Bob suffered with severe stress after years of working as a detective and his time in the Marines. Bob was a highly decorated Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient who was also diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Bob went through some very traumatic combat experiences and was on strong medications. Bob would often take the wrong dose so Martha Ann decided it was time for her to take control.
In the meantime, Bob was grateful for his friend and fellow veteran Charles Kaczmarczyk because he understood what Bob was going through. Chuck said he had seen combat as well and was also awarded the Purple Heart. The pair had a lot in common. Over the course of time, Martha Ann quickly warmed up to Chuck, the “military hero.” Their relationship blossomed beyond a friendship over time and Bob was never aware of their ongoing affair. Martha Ann and Chuck frequently got together in Bob’s home. They fell in love and soon Bob was looking increasingly like a troubled third wheel. Martha often told Chuck things would be better if Bob went away. One night, Martha claimed to find Bob barely conscious after he had taken an accidental overdose of his medications for PTSD. When she got to the hospital, she claimed Bob was always messing up his medications.
On May 15, 2006, Chuck said he discovered Bob dead after another accidental overdose on his medications. Chuck found his friend dead in his chair with an empty pill bottle in one hand and a 38 revolver in the other hand. Chuck appeared distraught after finding his friend as did the sobbing Martha Ann after she found out. Everything pointed to a tragic suicide and Martha Ann leaned harder on her friend Chuck. Five months later, Martha and Chuck got married and embarked on a new life with a whole new look. They didn’t even look like the same people when they started their new careers as fraudsters. Martha Ann took on the role of a veteran pretending to be a Purple Heart recipient and claimed she earned it after the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon. And Chuck doesn’t have PTSD, he was faking it for the veteran benefits. Chuck had been in the military but he never saw a day of combat.
Martha Ann and Chuck both faked permanent injuries and had this whole scam going at the Department of Veterans Affairs. They used a wheelchair or a cane to make it appear they had physical injuries as well. Over six years, the two defrauded the federal government of nearly $800,000 dollars until Chuck told one war story too many. Other veterans came forward and said he was lying because what he was describing was not what happened as they were there. Martha Ann and Charles both ended up behind bars and their criminal history was over. And then one day, Martha Ann’s son made a surprise discovery on her computer. Martha Ann’s son found pictures of his step-father, Bob, dead in a chair. In each picture, Bob was in a different position. There were pictures of Bob with the gun in his hand, then there were pictures of Bob without the gun in his hand.
Martha Ann’s son knew the photos would implicate his mother in the murder of his step-father Bob but he loved Bob and didn’t hesitate to contact authorities. Martha Ann’s son cooperated with the police fully in a sting operation to nail his mother. Martha Ann asked him to get rid of all the photos. The police knew where to find the person who took the pictures because Chuck was spending 30 months in jail for his part in the disability fraud. Chuck immediately wanted to know what was in it for him so the police agreed to tell the district attorney that Chuck cooperated with them in the investigation. Chuck confessed that Martha Ann had crushed up Bob’s pills and put them in his drink and then confessed to the entire twisted tail. Martha called the crushed pills her “magic dust.”
The police would learn that Martha Ann crushed up the medication and put it in Bob’s drinks in an effort to slowly kill him. And on May 15, 2006, Martha gave Bob a lethal dose of “magic dust” and then went to work to create her alibi. Chuck was supposed to check in on Bob later that afternoon and it was his job to pretend to find him dead. Martha Ann was sure Bob would be dead by then. But when Chuck arrived to check in on Bob, he was laying on the floor and wasn’t dead yet. So Chuck lifted him up, placed him in the chair, and fed him more of the crushed pills. Then Chuck sat there and waited until he died. Martha Ann told Chuck to keep it simple and make it look like a suicide. But Chuck went overboard, placed a gun in his hand, and took pictures of Bob in various positions. Martha wanted to see the pictures.
Despite Chuck’s confession, Martha Ann claimed Bob took the wrong medication and she had nothing to do with it. She never admitted to any involvement whatsoever. The detectives said she was one of the coldest people they had ever interviewed. In 2013, Charles Kaczmarczyk pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first degree murder and was sentenced to twenty-five (25) years in federal prison. Nine years after her husband’s death, Martha Ann McClancy was convicted of attempted first degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. She was sentenced to the maximum of fifty years in prison and is eligible for parole in 2028. Those involved with the investigation claimed Martha Ann never showed an ounce of regret or remorse or guilt for what she did to her husband.
Preview: The death of a beloved Tennessee man is believed to be a suicide. But when a son questions his mother, he uncovers a dark family conspiracy. -Secrets in the Smoky Mountains, Dateline NBC (October 24, 2016)
Preview: Robert McClancy was found dead in his home, but was it suicide triggered from his PTSD, did his best friend who found him turn out to be the one who killed him, or was it his seemingly loving wife behind it all? -Martha Ann McClancy, Snapped (S21, E2)
Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead. These Deadly Women think they’ve committed the perfect murders when they “Hit and Run.” -Hit and Run, Deadly Women (S11, E6)
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.
In 1996, dishonorably discharged Marine and suspected murderer David Bieber was able to obtain a tourist Visa for England. He worked a few jobs and then met another woman who he married in March 1997 right before his six month tourist Visa expired. David found himself divorced again in May 2002 because of all his suspicious activity. David didn’t resurface until he was confronted by two Leeds, England police officers on December 26, 2003. He was found sitting in front of a known suspicious gambling and betting location. The police ran his plates and placed David in the backseat of the cruiser while they awaited the information. At this point, they didn’t know David was a fugitive and had a concealed 9 mm; but they were concerned about his behavior and called for back up.
The officers learned David’s car was stolen and were going to arrest him when he pulled out the gun. He shot and wounded one officer who was able to get away and shot Officer Ian Broadhurst in the shoulder and the abdomen initially. After back up responded, he shot and wounded another officer and then executed Officer Broadhurst, who was on the ground begging for his life. David Bieber was able to escape again but was eventually captured. On December 2, 2004, David Bieber was found guilty of the murder of Officer Ian Broadhurst and given three life sentences without the possibility of parole. But on appeal, Bieber’s sentence was reduced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 2041.
The story of American bodybuilder David Bieber, who became a wanted man in both the UK and the US after the murder of PC Ian Broadhurst. In December 2004 he was jailed for life, but is still trying to escape justice years later. -RealCrimeUK