Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell Died of Injuries Sustained in a Baseball Bat Attack in the Barracks; Calvin Glover Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 5, 1999)

Barry Winchell

Pfc. Barry Winchell, U.S. Army (photo: wikipedia)

Vanity Fair Confidential featured an episode called Don’t Ask Don’t Kill on Investigation Discovery highlighting the case of Army Pfc. Barry Winchell at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1999. Winchell was bludgeoned to death by a fellow soldier while he lay asleep in his cot on July 5 in the barracks. Winchell was described by his friends as someone who would give the shirt off his back for you. He was a model soldier and had dreams of becoming a Warrant Officer. He was a member of the elite Screaming Eagles, 101st Airborne and was considered a perfect fit for the military. He was described by fellow soldiers as a 50 caliber expert.

After Barry Winchell died, the military immediately began downplaying what had occurred on base at Fort Campbell. They initially claimed it was a fight that had gone too far. They told the family that Barry Winchell had been kicked in the head with a boot but his injuries did not match that theory. As a result, the family and media outlets were convinced the military was hiding the real story and believed they were trying to cover up the crime. Why? The military concluded that this was a rare soldier on soldier attack in their barracks but the claim that he was kicked in the head did not match the crime scene either. Although the military was tasked with the investigation of the murder, they declined to speculate on a motive.

The Army was not cooperating with anyone. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

When Barry’s girlfriend Calpernia Addams learned about what happened to Barry, he was on life support and considered brain dead. He died twelve hours after the attack and she didn’t get an opportunity to see him. Calpernia learned that he had been murdered on base and believed that there was more to this story then what the Army was sharing. As a result, she set out to make sure both Barry’s parents and the media knew what she knew and suspected had happened. Calpernia was born a boy. She served in the US Navy as a transsexual and then once she got out of the military, she began her transition from man to woman. When Calpernia and Barry met, they hit it off immediately and started dating. When she met Barry, she was halfway to becoming a woman. She lovingly shared that Barry accepted her for who she was and supported her in her transition from man to woman.

Calpernia strongly believed that people were blurring the lines between whether Barry was gay or straight. She wanted people to know that he was straight and he liked women. Calpernia believed that Barry’s troubles began with an anonymous accusation that Barry was gay. She claimed that a fellow soldier said he saw Barry giving oral sex to a man in a Nashville gay bar. But no one believed it and his military comrades didn’t think he was gay.  Calpernia believed that it was Barry’s roommate, Justin Fisher, who started spreading the rumors in an effort to cause harm to Barry. In 1999 the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy was in effect and a soldier could in fact lose their career if they were found out. Justin Fisher didn’t have the best reputation. He was described as someone who thought he was a gangster even though he was from Nebraska. And some believed that Justin never should have been allowed to join the military.

According to Calpernia, Justin Fisher and Barry Winchell had a love/hate relationship. Fisher tormented him, joked about his sexuality, about him being a homosexual, and kept calling him a faggot. He told others that he didn’t trust him and eventually openly spread rumors that Barry was gay. Fisher also blackmailed Barry with his alleged homosexuality. He told their Non Commissioned Officers (NCOs) about him being gay knowing that Barry could lose his career under the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT) policy. Back in those days, once accused of being gay, you were dead in the water in a military setting. Some believe this case reveals that if gone unchecked the military can become an incubator for hate. At the time of DADT, it was virtually impossible to report anti-gay harassment and Barry’s family and friends were not quite sure how he dealt with the regular doses of harassment. As evidenced in this case and many others, he had nowhere to turn without fear of losing his cherished career.

At the time of DADT, it was virtually impossible to report anti-gay harassment without fear of losing your career. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

The military was in charge of the investigation because the crime occurred on a federal base. As with many cases, family, friends, and the media forced the Army to be accountable for what happened on their base on their watch. So as the investigation into Barry’s Winchell’s death continued, we learned what actually  happened. Calvin Glover, an eighteen year old new recruit, was ultimately charged with the murder of Barry Winchell. Observers felt that he did it because of a combination of too many men, too much alcohol, and too little to do. The day before the murder, Calvin and Winchell got into a fight. Apparently Winchell dealt him one punch in the face and he went down. Calvin who was highly intoxicated swore he would get him back but Winchell apologized to him the next day and it appeared that everything was fine. Unfortunately, Justin Fisher (Winchell’s roommate) was provoking Calvin all day long asking him if he was going to take Winchell’s abuse.

That same night after Calvin Glover had consumed seventeen beers, he decided he was going to bed. Fisher went to his room and told him that Barry was telling everyone that he beat him up and they were all laughing about it. Fisher handed Calvin a wooden bat, suggested he hit Barry with it, and Calvin said he felt compelled to use it. In a drunken, peer pressured stupor, Calvin hit Barry Winchell multiple times in the head with the wooden bat. Barry Winchell was asleep and couldn’t defend himself. After Calvin was done hitting Barry, Fisher was laughing, jumping up and down, and told Calvin that they would keep it in the family. Then Calvin immediately began to destroy evidence. Fisher acted like he stumbled upon Winchell on the cot and was trying to help him. The soldiers tried calling 911 but they were not able to get through to emergency services on a base phone. Barry was taken to the hospital and twelve hours later, he was dead. Everyone in the barracks was wondering who would come in the barracks and kill them.

The soldiers tried calling 911 but they were not able to get through to emergency services on a base phone. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

In the course of the investigation, Justin Fisher eventually identified Calvin Glover as the culprit. As a result of Calpernia Addams and others that stepped forward, we learned that there was more to the story underneath the surface. We learned that Justin Fisher had a much larger role in the crime then he was willing to admit. Justin Fisher introduced Calpernia Addams to Barry Winchell. Apparently Justin Fisher was interested in Calpernia Addams and after she chose Barry, he asked her if she would hook him up with one of her drag queen friends. Justin ended up hooking up with Kimmie Mayfield, who was a man. Everyone suspected that Justin was interested in guys because of his relationship with Kimmie. They hooked up several times in the course of a few months. We also learned this wasn’t Justin’s first walk on the wild side. He had a history of experimentation. Barry shared with Calpernia that one time he woke up to Justin playing with his feet. Calpernia deduced that Justin may have been jealous of Calpernia being with Barry or vice versa. It was noted that people tend to hate those who remind them of something they don’t want to face.

In the end about 90% of the soldiers who served with Barry Winchell, Calvin Glover, and Justin Fisher didn’t think this was a hate crime but instead a crime of passion. They did not witness any anti-gay rage; but they did witness too much alcohol. One of the soldiers believed that Justin Fisher also hit Barry Winchell with the bat because of the blood spatter evidence left at the crime scene. It matched someone who was left handed and Fisher was left handed. One of the soldiers mentioned this to Fisher and Fisher told him he was in the wrong career and should be a detective instead. The soldiers who served with them believed that Justin Fisher was the murderer and Calvin Glover was the murder weapon. Calvin felt pressured by Justin Fisher to hit Winchell while he was intoxicated. It is suspected that Fisher hit Winchell with the bat as well and may have been the one that dealt the fatal blows. Calvin participated in the Vanity Fair programming by phone from prison and did in fact express remorse for his role in Barry Winchell’s death.

Both Calvin Glover and Justin Fisher were court martialed. In the end, Calvin Glover was convicted of pre-meditated murder and was sentenced to life in prison with an opportunity for parole. Justin Fisher was charged as an accessory and restricted to his barracks while he was going through trial. Observers felt that it was ridiculous that Fisher was restricted to his barracks when in fact he was the mastermind of the murder. He too was convicted and sentenced to twelve and half years but was released early in 2006 after only serving seven years. Observers felt that Justin Fisher’s sentence was a miscarriage of justice considering it never would have happened if it wasn’t for him pushing Calvin Glover to hit Barry Winchell with the baseball bat that night. Justin Fisher now lives in the Mid-West and declined to comment on this Vanity Fair episode. He walks as a free man. In retrospect, Calvin Glover shared that he feels like this was a love triangle gone wrong and he wishes that he could take it all back.

At the end of the programming, Pat and Wally Kutteles (Barry’s parents) shared that they sent their son off to serve in the military, they did not send him off to be beaten to death with a bat while he was sleeping. Dixon Osborn from the Servicemen’s Legal Defense Network (SLDN) believed that the military simply wanted to sweep it under the rug with no connection to the gay reference. The military hoped the general public, the media, and Barry’s parents would just accept that it was a drunken brawl. All those involved felt like the military investigation was a joke. Calpernia Addams, Barry’s parents and friends, and the SLDN wanted to honor Barry’s memory by exposing the truth about Barry’s untimely death. They used Barry Winchell’s case as a catalyst to lift the dangerous Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. According to those involved, President Bill Clinton’s DADT policy was the biggest mistake ever for the military because it taught people to lie. At the peak of DADT, there were 3-4 soldiers discharged per day for their sexual orientation. DADT was a failure of the Clinton administration.

All those involved felt like the military investigation was a joke. ~Vanity Fair Confidential

In an interesting twist, the Commander who was in charge at the time of the death of Barry Winchell sparked protest in Washington DC in 2000 when he was reassigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon. In response, Eric Shinseki, the Army’s Chief of Staff, stated that General Clark’s command at Fort Campbell had been “distinguished by great competence and compassionate leadership. The Army has placed its trust and confidence in Major General Clark and I am confident he will continue to excel in service to our nation.” The military concluded in a public statement that this was the first gay bashing murder in over ten years and that soldier on soldier violence was rare. In October 1999, President Clinton signed an executive order increasing penalties for hate crimes in the military justice code and allowed a sentencing authority to hear evidence that a violent crime was based on race, color or sexual orientation. However, the order only applied to crimes committed after Nov. 30, 1999.

Barry Winchell’s parents lobbied with the SLDN to help change the DADT policy after losing their son. Even though their son was not gay, he was accused of being gay which eventually led to his death.  Roughly ten years later in 2010, President Barack Obama signed a historic bill ending the DADT policy, a policy that compelled gay and lesbian service members to hide their sexual orientation. The ending of the policy made it official for gays and lesbians to serve openly in the Armed Forces. President Obama said he “hopes all those who left the service because of the policy will seek to re-enlist. And he encouraged all gays to consider service.” Although, gays and lesbians were cautioned to keep their identity to themselves until the law was official in 2011. This comes as one of the first major actions by Secretary Defense Leon Panetta, who had been on the job for three weeks. SecDef Panetta also lifted the ban on women in combat in 2013. Our military is now officially equal in all respects.

Related Links:
Pfc Barry L Winchell Memorial Page | Facebook
American Justice: A Soldier’s Secret
Don’t Ask, Don’t Kill: Inside the Murder of Soldier Barry Winchell | Vanity Fair
The Barry Winchell Case Helped End the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Policy in the Military
Showtime Entertainment Released ‘Soldier’s Girl’: Based on the True Story of the Murder of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Barry Winchell (January 20, 2003)
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Pentagon is accused of cover-up in gay murder at army base
Witness: Private Admitted Killing | AP
Hate May Have Triggered Fatal Barracks Beating
DoD Clarifies “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy
Army Private Guilty Of Murder
Army private found guilty of planned murder
Oklahoman convicted Army says Sulphur man guilty in other’s murder
Soldier Gets Life With Parole | Associated Press
Soldier Gets Life with Parole | Chicago Tribune
Soldier guilty of lesser charge in base death
Soldier Gets 12 1/2 Years in Prison for His Role in Beating Death
A statement on the murder of Private First Class Barry Winchell
Army Exonerates Officers In Slaying of Gay Private
Commanders cleared in fort murder of gay soldier
Army Report: Base Not Anti-Gay
Military Gay Policy Defended
Family of murdered gay soldier sues U.S. Army for wrongful death
Mother Plans to Sue Army After Son Beaten to Death
For Love of Country | SFGate
Gay dismissals up after Army death
Gay discharges on rise in Army and Navy
Nomination of former Fort Campbell commander in limbo
Congressional Record Volume 149, Number 167 (Tuesday, November 18, 2003)
Bush Re-Nominates Controversial Major General to High Post
Major General Robert Clark: Promoted
Military prosecutor says soldier hated gays
Parents of murdered Army private speak out
Former soldier convicted in Winchell murder released
Army releases soldier convicted in connection with anti-gay murder
Army Releases Barry Winchell Murder Conspirator, 5 Years Early
Gays in the Military: Does a Sailor’s Murder Signal Deeper Problems?
Commentary: Murdered soldier’s parents know ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is wrong
Commentary: Murdered soldier’s parents know ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is wrong
Murdered soldier’s parents: Repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Remembering Pfc. Barry Winchell on the 10th Anniversary of His Murder
Episode features Winchell story
Patricia Kutteles was a military mother who helped repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’
Patricia Kutteles, Driven by Tragedy to End ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell
Patricia Kutteles, military mother who helped repeal ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ dies at 67
Episode 12 The Murder of PFC Barry Winchell: Casualty and Martyr of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell | Southern Fried True Crime Podcast
Episode 32: The Murder of Barry Winchell (Part 1) | Military Murder Podcast
Ep33. MURDER: The Murder of Barry Winchell (Part 2) | Military Murder Podcast
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky (US Army)

Oklahoma City Bombing: 168 People Died in an Act of Domestic Terrorism at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (April 19, 1995)

Oklahoma City Bombing FBI

Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (Photo: FBI.gov)

“On the morning of April 19, 1995, an ex-Army soldier and security guard named Timothy McVeigh parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. He was about to commit mass murder.

Inside the vehicle was a powerful bomb made out of a deadly cocktail of agricultural fertilizer, diesel fuel, and other chemicals. McVeigh got out, locked the door, and headed towards his getaway car. He ignited one timed fuse, then another.

At precisely 9:02 a.m., the bomb exploded.”

Read more at Oklahoma City Bombing – FBI.

“The events of April 19, 1995, dramatically changed Oklahoma City and all of us who remember that spring morning. But the stories of the 168 people killed live in our hearts as well as in the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Learn more about the victims here.” -Oklahoma City National Memorial

Learn what motivated domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols to commit the Oklahoma City Bombing, which killed 168 people on April 19, 1995. Discover the federal and local clean up efforts and the fate of McVeigh and Nichols. -History 

USA: Oklahoma City Bombing Rescue – 1995 | Today in History | 19 Apr 16 -AP Archive

In the News:

The FBI has released long-secret security tapes showing the chaos immediately after the 1995 bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building. The soundless recordings show people rushing from nearby buildings after the fertilizer bomb went off. (Sept. 27) -Associated Press

Don Lemon talks with the child survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing 15 years after the attack. -CNN

20 years after the terror attack, survivors and families of victims look back on the devastating terror attack. -CBS News

20 years ago tomorrow, domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh and his co-conspirators set off an enormous truck bomb in downtown Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people, including 19 children. Anna Werner reports on that awful day after visiting the site. -CBS This Morning

Americans remember the bombing that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more. -ABC News

Remembering the April 19, 1995 tragedy in Oklahoma when a truck bomb exploded outside of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building injuring hundreds and leaving 168 people dead. -NBC News

Today marks the 23rd anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, a time to remember the 168 lives lost in an act of domestic terrorism that rocked the nation. -CBS News

On the morning of Wednesday, April 19, 1995, a former Army soldier parked a rented Ryder truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.He got out, locked it and ignited two fuses. At 9:02 a.m., the explosion ripped through the building where 500 people worked and children attended America’s Kids day care. The blast killed 168 people including 19 children under the age of 6. -PennLive.com

USA: Oklahoma City: Remains of Bombed Building to be Demolished. -AP Archive

Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum:

At the 20th anniversary remembrance for the Oklahoma City bombing, the former president says it’s important for all Americans to remember how much they owe Oklahomans. -CBS News

Video of The Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. -CNN

American Experience PBS:

Premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Coming to American Experience PBS on February 7, 2017 at 9/8c. -American Experience, PBS

After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Clinton’s ability to reach Americans on a personal level did much to help the nation’s grief. “It’s kind of a throwaway line now, I feel your pain, but he literally could,” says Robert McNeely. “I mean he could take people and just hug them and connect to them in a way and really listen to them.” -American Experience, PBS

Oklahoma City explores how a series of deadly encounters between American citizens and federal law enforcement—including the standoffs at Ruby Ridge and Waco—led to the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City in April 1995, the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. -American Experience, PBS

At the time of the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was home to several government agencies — and a daycare. -American Experience, PBS

During the stand-off between federal agents and the Branch Davidians in Waco, Texas in 1993, people gathered on a hill roughly three miles away to see what was happening at the compound. One of those drawn to Waco was a 24-year-old Army veteran named Timothy McVeigh. -American Experience, PBS

Filmmaker Barak Goodman and editor Don Kleszy discuss their newest documentary, “Oklahoma City” and how it led to the creation of another one-hour film about Ruby Ridge. -American Experience, PBS

The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing was the largest act of domestic terrorism in U.S. history. A new documentary on the PBS series American Experience takes a fresh look at the events and motivations that led to the attack by Timothy McVeigh, and finds resonance for today. -PBS NewsHour

At the 20th anniversary, we look back at the Oklahoma City bombing. Public television station OETA shares reflections from survivors and victims’ families, and Judy Woodruff talks to former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, former Director of Homeland Security of Oklahoma Kerry Pettingill and Barry Grissom, U.S. attorney for the district of Kansas, for lessons learned from the attack. -PBS NewsHour

On April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeigh, a former soldier deeply influenced by the literature and ideas of the radical right, parked a Ryder truck with a five-ton fertilizer bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building in Oklahoma City. Moments later, 168 people were killed and 675 were injured in the blast. OKLAHOMA CITY traces the events — including the deadly encounters between American citizens and law enforcement at Ruby Ridge and Waco — that led McVeigh to commit the worst act of domestic terrorism in American history. With a virulent strain of anti-government anger still with us, the film is both a cautionary tale and an extremely timely warning. -YouTube Movies

Related Links:
Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City Bombing – FBI
Oklahoma City bombing – HISTORY
Oklahoma City Bombing Fast Facts
The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum
Oklahoma City National Memorial (U.S. National Park Service)
American Experience PBS Premiered ‘Oklahoma City’: Timothy McVeigh & Terry Nichols Conspired to Bomb the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building (February 7, 2017)
Oxygen Premiered ‘In Defense Of Timothy McVeigh’: Convicted Oklahoma City Bomber Executed by Feds in 2001 for Terrorism (June 25, 2018)

YouTube:
Oklahoma City Bombing: Why Did It Occur & Who Was Behind It? | History
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing Rescue – 1995 | Today in History | 19 Apr 16
Raw Video: New Look at Oklahoma City Bombing
Oklahoma City Bombing Anniversary
Oklahoma City Bombing: 15 Years Later
CNN: Don Lemon speaks with the child survivors of Oklahoma City bombing
Remembering the Oklahoma City Bombing
Remembering the Oklahoma City bombing 20 years later
Oklahoma City bombing: 20 years later
Oklahoma City Bombing Remembered 20 Years Later
Oklahoma City Bombing | Flashback | NBC News
The Oklahoma City bombing, April 19, 1995
23 years since 168 people were killed in the Oklahoma City bombing
The Oklahoma City federal building bombing in 1995
How OKC bombing unfolded on live TV 20 years ago
Oklahoma City Bombing: Template of Homegrown Terrorism
How is man who helped build OKC bomb a free man?
Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial | CNN
Bill Clinton speaks at Oklahoma City National Memorial
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Weather Hampers Rescue Efforts
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Rescue Workers Update
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Search for Bodies Continues Update 2
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Official Death Toll Rises to 87
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing Update
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Janet Reno News Conference
USA: Oklahoma City Bombing: Reactions
USA: Oklahoma City: Remains of Bombed Building to be Demolished
Oklahoma City Teaser | American Experience | PBS
Oklahoma City | Promo | American Experience | PBS
Oklahoma City Official Trailer 1 (2017) – Documentary
American Experience | The Oklahoma City Bombing | PBS
Chapter 1 | Oklahoma City | PBS
The Murrah Building | Oklahoma City | American Experience | PBS
Timothy McVeigh at Waco | Oklahoma City | American Experience | PBS
Interview: Barak Goodman & Don Kleszy | Oklahoma City & Ruby Ridge
Tracing the roots of the America’s biggest domestic terror attack | PBS NewsHour
‘There was no playbook’ for handling the Oklahoma City bombing | PBS NewsHour
American Experience: Oklahoma City | PBS | YouTube Movies
Clinton | American Experience | PBS