The Perfect Murder Premiered ‘Whidbey Island Mystery’ on Investigation Discovery: Peggy Sue Thomas Manipulated Jim Huden to Kill Russel Douglas (August 30, 2018)

ID Go: After Christmas in 2003, on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington State, Russel Douglas is found shot in the head, in his car along a deserted road. It’s the start of a case that will take a decade to solve, and leave many with lingering questions. -Whidbey Island Mystery, The Perfect Murder (S5, E6)

Russel Douglas was found dead in his car on Whidbey Island in Washington on December 26, 2003. It turns out Navy veteran Peggy Sue Thomas lured him to his death. Both Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden conspired to murder Russel Douglas for revenge. Investigators suspect that the duo committed the murder for Peggy’s friend Brenna, who alleged abuse, but there was never enough evidence to charge Brenna Douglas with any crimes. Jim Huden was convicted and sentenced to eighty years in prison. Peggy Thomas agreed to a plea bargain in exchange for a reduced sentence. Thomas was sentenced to four years for her role in the murder. Peggy Thomas continues to deny any involvement in the murder and claims she didn’t know that her boyfriend at the time was going to kill Douglas (despite being the last to text him shortly before he was murdered). Peggy Thomas was released from prison in 2016.

In the News:

From pageants to famous husband to prison, murder suspect allowed to visit NM. -KRQE (October 7, 2011)

48 Hours:

How did a former beauty queen end up at the heart of a murder case? -48 Hours

The true-crime author of over two dozen New York Times bestsellers tells “48 Hours” she couldn’t help but write about the Russel Douglas case. -48 Hours

Gail O’Neil shares memories of her son, Russel Douglas, who was murdered on Sept. 26, 2003, on Whidbey Island, Wash. -48 Hours

Jim Huden’s former band mates talk to “48 Hours” correspondent Peter Van Sant about what it was like to find out their one-time lead guitarist was accused of murder. -48 Hours

Detectives allege Jim Huden and Peggy Thomas lured Russel Douglas to his death by asking to drop off a present for Russel’s wife, Brenna. Both Jim and Peggy claim the present was delivered to Russel days before the murder. When investigators surprise their suspects with simultaneous separate interrogations, they discover discrepancies. Do you think Jim and Peggy are making up a story to throw off investigators? -48 Hours

Oxygen:

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Sue Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples

Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen

Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen

A Las Vegas red haired siren and her millionaire boyfriend become suspects in a murder, hundreds of miles away. -Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden, Snapped: Killer Couples (S8, E4)

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: On tiny Whidbey Island, Washington, beauty queen Peggy Sue Thomas seems to be a perfect wife and mother. But when her best friend’s husband is shot to death, Peggy finds herself on center stage of a murder investigation. -If Looks Could Kill, Beauty Queen Murders (S1, E5)

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:
Peggy Sue Thomas: Drop-Dead Gorgeous
Documents show victim’s wife is suspect in murder
Washington jury says ‘guilty’ in Russel Douglas murder
Former Washington beauty queen pleads guilty to lesser charge in murder case
Ex-beauty queen gets 4-year sentence in killing
Ex-beauty queen sentenced for role in Whidbey Island murder
48 Hours: Tracing a fugitive killer’s footsteps in Mexico
Man lured to his death by beauty queen and wannabe rockstar on Boxing Day
‘I’m giving up four years of my life for something I didn’t do’: Ex-beauty queen jailed for helping her lover carry out 2003 murder claims she is an innocent ‘victim’
Peggy Sue got released: TV show recounts sensational Whidbey Island murder
Peggy Thomas, Jim Huden: ‘Snapped Killer Couples’ Details Whidbey Island Murder Case Involving Sultry Beauty Queen and Rock Star Lover
Murder of Russel Douglas by Jim Huden spotlighted on The Perfect Murder
Pageants to Famous Husband to Prison
Snapped: Killer Couples ‘Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden’
Sneak Peek: Dangerous Beauty | 48 Hours
Why Ann Rule was intrigued with the Russel Douglas murder case | 48 Hours
Remembering Russel Douglas | 48 Hours
Band mates open up about rocker, murder suspect | 48 Hours
Suspects surprised with simultaneous, separate interrogations | 48 Hours
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Preview – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 After the Verdict – Peggy Thomas and Jim Huden | Oxygen
Killer Couples: S8 E4 Bonus Clip – Peggy’s New Self | Oxygen
Peggy Thomas & Jim Huden | Snapped: Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8, E4)
If Looks Could Kill | Beauty Queen Murders | Investigation Discovery (S1, E5)
Whidbey Island Mystery | The Perfect Murder | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Mistress of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Linda Cowan Convinced Son Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan to Kill Woman Next Door (July 7, 2018)

ID Go: Two women living next to each other since childhood descend into bitter conflict when the ex husband of one starts seeing the other. Add property issues to this toxic mix and the result is an act of shocking violence that engulfs all. -Mistress of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery: S5, E6)

On December 18, 2009, Army veteran Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan shot at and injured his neighbor Christie Jackson in Burnet, Texas. Christie Jackson and Vinson’s mother, Linda Cowan, were engaged in a bitter three month feud between neighbors after Christie’s estranged husband Rudy started dating Linda. What started out as a disagreement between neighbors ended in someone getting shot. It is believed that Linda Cowan enlisted the help of her son Vinson to shoot and kill Christie Jackson and he obliged because he was protective of his mother. Vinson followed through and indeed shot Christie in the head through the window of her own home. Miraculously, despite the severe head wound, Christie lived, but will forever be affected by the ordeal. On the night in question, Christie was sleeping with both her daughters who also are forever changed by the experience.

One of Vinson’s friends, Thomas Pierson, who was aware of the plan to shoot Christie and be a look-out that night, informed the police of Linda and Vinson’s plans to shoot Christie in retaliation for all the trouble she caused her. The bottom line was Linda wanted Christie out of the picture. Linda Cowan was jealous that Rudy continued to see Christie and their children and angry because she assumed Christie called the City of Burnet to complain about her septic issues. Linda wanted revenge and she wanted to date Rudy despite his intentions to continue seeing Christie. In 2013, Linda Cowan was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And Vinson Thomas-Ward plead guilty to ten years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Christie’s mother sold the family home in Burnet.

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:
Burnet woman gets 15 years for her role in 2009 shooting (2013)
Burnet County man gets 10 years for 2009 shooting of woman (2013)
Linda Sue Cowan, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee (2015)
Mistress of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

International Men’s Day: FIVE Female Killers who Murdered Male Soldiers and Veterans (November 19, 2017)

Full Episode: Dark Secrets are the stock-in-trade of Deadly Women -Dark Secrets, Deadly Women (S2, E4)

‘Black Widow’ Judy Buenoano Executed by the State of Florida for Three Homicides; First Woman to Die by Death Penalty in Florida Since 1848 (March 30, 1998)

Full Episode: For these women, one good man wasn’t enough. An army wife didn’t want a soldier but a squad. These Deadly Women married for the money, honey. -For the Money Honey, Deadly Women (S8, E11)

Army Veteran Doug Gissendaner Murdered for the Marital Home & Life Insurance, Wife Kelly Sentenced to Death for First Degree Murder & Executed in Georgia (1997)

Full Episode: An Army Major lay lifeless in his bed, shot twice at close range while sleeping next to his wife. Investigators would soon uncover an intricately planned murder plot involving sex parties, adultery and coercion. -Behind the Picket Fence, Scorned: Love Kills (S1, E1)

Army Major David Shannon Murdered by Wife Joan & her Daughter Elizabeth for the Life Insurance; Joan Shannon Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2002)

Full Episode: Marriage is a lifelong commitment of love, and wedding vows. ‘To have and to hold; for better, for worse; until death do us part’. But for these monstrous wives, it was only the vow of ‘death do us part’ they upheld. -To Love and To Murder, Deadly Women (S5, E5)

Maryland Army National Guardsman Charles ‘CJ’ Lewis Murdered Before Deployment to Iraq for Life Insurance; Teresa Lewis Sentenced to Death (2002)

Full Episode: These women burn madly with anger so deep they’ll kill to satisfy it. What makes them turn on the ones they love? Find out as we explore for a lover’s revenge. -Lover’s Revenge, Deadly Women (S5, E17)

Army Veteran Gregg Whitmore and Girlfriend Karen Cummings Stabbed to Death in Home; Ex-Wife Shana Parkinson Sentenced to 27 Years in Prison (2004)

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.

Navy Corpsman Jhadin Davis Convicted of First Degree Murder of Father & Son Albert and Duane Correll; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (July 31, 2017)

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 5.22.06 PM

Jhadin Davis, US Navy

Offender:
Jhaden Davis, 21, US Navy, Camp Lejeune, NC (GUILTY, Sentenced to LWOP)

Homicide Victims:
Albert Correll, 20, Beaufort, North Carolina
Duane Correll, 50, Beaufort, North Carolina

A dying man calls 911 saying he’s been shot in the heart, and his son has also been shot dead. The shooter escapes into the darkness, and as detectives investigate, they navigate a complex group of suspects to uncover a tangled web of rage and revenge. -Murder Calls

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:
Names of victims released in double homicide
Sheriff: shooting deaths related to recent larceny
Suspect search on in double homicide
Three Arrested in Double Murder of Corrells
Camp Lejeune sailors arrested in Beaufort killings
Camp Lejeune Navy Corpsmen arrested for double murder
Camp Lejeune Navy Corpsmen arrested for double murder
Three accused in murders make appearance
New twist in double murder case involving Climax-Scotts native
State, defense prepare for trial in murder case
Court Day for Suspects in Father/Son Murders
Double murder trial gets underway
Accused killer’s ex-roommate testifies in double murder trial
Witnesses: Davis later confessed to two shootings
Former Navy corpsman found guilty of killing father & son
Davis Convicted in Carteret Double Murder
Former Navy corpsman convicted in 2012 double murder
Former corpsman gets life in 2012 Beaufort double murder
Former corpsman gets life in 2012 Beaufort double murder [YouTube]
Albert Correll and his son Duane Correll were murdered by Jhaden Davis over a debt
Carteret homicide case featured on true-crime series
Carteret homicide case featured on true-crime series
Hearts of Darkness | Murder Calls | Investigation Discovery
Navy Corpsman Jhaden Davis Murdered Father & Son Albert and Duane Correll During a Robbery Attempt in Beaufort, NC; Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (June 2, 2012)

Reasonable Doubt Premiered ‘Failure to Remember’ on Investigation Discovery: Penny Brummer (June 21, 2017)


Penny Brummer, a military vet, is accused of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend in a jealous rage. However, Penny was so drunk that night she was in a blackout state. Can Chris and Melissa help fill in the gaps of her memory to prove her innocence? -Reasonable Doubt, Investigation Discovery

Air Force veteran Penny Brummer was convicted on October 1, 1994 of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend 21-year-old Sarah Gonstead in Madison, Wisconsin. On March 14, 1994, after a night of heavy drinking with Penny, Sarah was shot in the back of the head execution style and found three weeks later in a secluded field. Detectives theorized that Sarah most likely trusted her killer. On this episode of Investigation Discovery’s Reasonable Doubt, Penny’s mother, Nancy Brummer, turned to Detective Chris Anderson and criminal defense attorney Melissa Lewkowicz to help her prove Penny’s innocence. Nancy believes the prosecution had no concrete evidence except for circumstantial evidence and she also believes the the jury was biased and led to believe that lesbians are inherently violent. Detective Anderson and Melissa Lewkowicz worked with Nancy Brummer by taking a second look at Penny Brummer’s case featured in the ninth episode of Reasonable Doubt aptly titled ‘Failure to Remember’. It’s their job to investigate the cases that family members swear are wrongful homicide convictions and in the end the duo share their assessment of guilt or innocence based on meticulous investigative work.

Nancy Brummer has been fighting to free her daughter for twenty-two years. She told Detective Anderson and Melissa that they were her last hope. The two learned that Sarah Gonstead left her mother’s house to go out for a night of drinking to celebrate her 21st birthday with her friend Penny but Sarah never came home. Twenty-five days later, Sarah was found in a secluded field in Madison. Sarah had been shot execution style in the back of the head and Penny was the last known person to see her alive. Eight days later, Penny was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Penny claims she pulled over to clean up some beer that spilled in her vehicle and Sarah exited the vehicle to walk half a block to her best friend Glenda’s house. But prosecutors painted a darker picture. They theorized the two got drunk and Penny drove Sarah out to a empty soy field and murdered her. Prosecutors believed the motive was jealousy because Glenda had just broken up with Penny and Penny blamed Sarah for the break-up. They claimed Penny wanted revenge and the jury bought it. Penny Brummer is currently serving life in prison and her first opportunity for parole is in 2045.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with the Nancy Brummer first to hear her plea for justice. Nancy stated that she wanted to find the person who committed the crime and free Penny so she can come home. Nancy confirmed that Glenda and Penny were dating and broke up about a month prior to Sarah’s disappearance. Sarah was Glenda’s best friend and the three of them would hang out and party together. Penny was in her early twenties at the time of the homicide so her behavior was typical of most young people at that stage in their life. Nancy Brummer described Penny as very social and happy-go-lucky. She said Penny was really into sports and she was on the softball team and volleyball team in high school. Nancy opined Penny was a typical teenager and started drinking around the age of seventeen. After high school, Penny joined the Air Force and shared with her mom that it was hard being in the military because of the secrecy she had to maintain regarding her sexual orientation. Nancy Brummer believes that the jury was biased and led to believe that a lesbian is more prone to violence. She referenced a questionnaire that Melissa agreed was inflammatory and would need a second look.

The prosecution painted a picture that Penny was jealous of the friendship between Glenda and Sarah. The two were strictly friends and Sarah was straight. Nancy observed that Penny was sad and disappointed about the break-up but not what one would consider obsessive. She reminded Detective Anderson and Melissa that the prosecution had nothing: no physical evidence, no DNA, no blood evidence, nothing that tied Penny to the murder. The prosecution said the gun that was used in the commission of the crime was a 22 handgun that belonged to Penny’s father. Nancy admits that her husband’s gun did go missing and was never recovered. When Sarah’s body was found, Nancy said a witness came forward to the police and said that he had driven by the scene of the crime a day or two after the murder and saw a suspicious vehicle along the side of the road. He saw a man standing behind the vehicle with what looked like a pink and purple duffle bag and as it turns out, Sarah’s jacket was the same pink and purple color. Nancy said this evidence was ignored. Nancy informed both Detective Anderson and Melissa that even if they don’t find Penny innocent, she will keep fighting for her release.

Detective Anderson and Melissa began their investigation. Detective Anderson started with the man who was the eyewitness. This man told Detective Anderson that he did in fact see a vehicle by the side of the road near the location of where Sarah’s body was found in the field. He claims he made eye contact with the man in question but that was about the extent of it. He said after the man made eye contact with him, he put his head down. The eyewitness was concerned that this man was trying to move the body, after all it was only a couple days after she had gone missing. He said the police informed him that they already had a suspect in the case and he felt that his testimony was largely discounted and ignored. Melissa investigated the prosecutors jealousy motive. One of Penny’s close friends described her as a great friend and a someone she went bar-hopping with. Penny’s friend believes that she was a binge drinker and most likely an alcoholic because she would drink until she blacked out. Penny’s friends said she hoped she would get back together with Glenda but certainly didn’t act like a jealous ex-girlfriend. Penny’s friend Mary believes she is innocent.

Detective Anderson met with a forensic expert to go over the physical evidence or lack there of. The two examined the crime scene photos and other evidence available. The forensic expert didn’t see any signs of struggle and it appeared Sarah’s body fell forward after she was shot in the head. There was no sexual assault and no beating. It was an execution style killing and Sarah most likely knew and trusted the person who shot her. Sarah was walking in front of the perpetrator when she was shot in the back of her head. Detective Anderson visited the last known location of both Penny and Sarah, a local bar in Madison. A witness said Sarah and Penny were celebrating Sarah’s birthday because she had just turned twenty-one. The two had been drinking prior to their arrival at the bar but the witness didn’t think either appeared to be drunk. She said they showed up at the bar around 10:30 p.m. and left a couple hours later; they had a couple drinks while they were there. The witness observed they were both in great spirits and having fun and they were both able to carry on a conversation. On the night in question, Sarah was kind of quiet while Penny appeared to be enjoying herself with others at the bar. Neither of them were agitated or upset; they both appeared to be in a really good mood.

Detective Anderson interviewed Penny via the telephone. Penny said she dated Glenda for 8 or 9 months and admits she fell in love with her. She also claimed to have a nice friendship with Sarah. She shared that Sarah never did anything bad to her and never meddled in her relationship with Glenda. Penny said Glenda just decided one day to end things and told her she was going back on birth control. Penny assumed Glenda wanted to go back to guys. After the break-up, Penny was heartbroken. She admitted she got physical with Glenda one time; they pushed each other during an argument. On March 14, 1994, Penny said she got out of work around 7:30 p.m., got some beer, and went to Sarah’s house. Penny said they stopped at a couple bars and drank more beer. Penny said she doesn’t remember being at Jakes (the bar where the eyewitness last saw both Penny and Sarah at around midnight). Penny admitted she was an alcoholic then and was very intoxicated. Penny and Sarah were on their way to pick up Glenda when Penny spilled some beer in her car and stopped to clean it up. Penny said Sarah wasn’t feeling well so she started walking to Glenda’s house which was about a half a block away. Penny told Detective Anderson she doesn’t know why she didn’t take Sarah to Glenda’s house but she went home after cleaning her car. Penny reminded Detective Anderson that she isn’t the type to kill anyone, she didn’t have a weapon, and she had absolutely no reason to hurt Sarah.

In the meantime, Melissa looked at the questionnaire that was given to the jury asking them about their thoughts about lesbians and violence. Melissa said, as a criminal defense attorney, she would insist that the jury not be subjected to or see the questionnaire because it is inflammatory. Melissa also spoke with Glenda who was the glue that held the case together. Glenda claimed she dated Penny for about a year but wasn’t necessarily in love with her. Glenda claimed Penny drank a lot but could still function; she just wouldn’t remember it. Glenda described Sarah as a shy, soft-hearted, and loyal friend. Glenda believed that Penny was jealous of her friendship with Sarah. Glenda admitted that Penny did in deed find her birth control pills and assumed that she was breaking up with her so she could date men again. Glenda admitted she broke up with Penny because she was way too controlling. Glenda also claimed Penny was pissed that she broke up with her. When Glenda ended it, Penny shoved her and she shoved her back and kicked her out of her house. Glenda said the look in her eyes scared the crap out of her and she began to cry. Glenda believes they have the right person and is still grieving the loss of her friend.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with Nancy Brummer to share the results of their investigation. Nancy claimed the jury was bias because of Penny’s sexual orientation and Melissa believes she was absolutely right. Melissa said the questions asked of the jury were highly prejudicial. Penny’s close friend felt that the motive of jealousy was crap but Glenda was 100% convinced Penny was the killer. Glenda claimed the motive in this case was vengeance. Glenda declared that if Penny gets out of jail, she is moving to another state because she is scared of her; if Penny did this once, who is to say she won’t do this again? Nancy doesn’t believe Glenda and said she is a good actress. Detective Anderson told Nancy he followed up with the eye witness at the scene of the crime and said this was a problem because each and every lead needs to be taken seriously. He also shared that only one of the detectives was alive and he refused to meet with him. Melissa confirmed that there is no physical evidence tying Penny to the crime. Detective Anderson addressed the gun they believed was used in the commission of the crime and Nancy confirmed the 22 they owned had indeed gone missing. Detective Anderson addressed the autopsy photos and shared that the forensic expert did not observe any signs of struggle. It was a cold night and if someone ran towards Sarah, she definitely would have heard it. Detective Anderson deduced Sarah was shot by someone she knew or was led into the field at gunpoint.

“Circumstantial cases are a series of little things that add up until they point in one direction.” -Detective Chris Anderson, Reasonable Doubt

Nancy Brummer said there was no way her daughter would have shot Sarah in the back of the head. But Detective Anderson had some serious issues with the fact that the only person who claims Penny was in a black out that night is Penny. He spoke with a bartender who claimed that Penny appeared to be functional. Jake’s bar is significant because it is less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found. Detective Anderson noted that Penny said she couldn’t remember being at Jake’s that night but she remembered very specific things earlier and later that night. Detective Anderson felt it was suspicious that Penny remembered everything really well that night except being at this bar. Is this a form of convenient amnesia? Melissa empathized with why Nancy felt a sense of injustice all these years. The biased questionnaire, the ignored witnesses, and the overall investigation had major problems; the evidence was highly circumstantial. Penny was the last known person to see Sarah alive that night; Penny was last seen at a bar with Sarah which is located less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found; Penny said she can’t remember being there but does remember a lot of details earlier and after Sarah went missing; Sarah was killed with a 22 and Penny’s father owned a 22 that was now missing; Penny was a military vet who was trained to shoot guns; and Sarah wasn’t trying to run away, she didn’t struggle, and she most likely knew and trusted her killer.

Why would Penny do this? Melissa shared that she read through the police reports and noted that Penny admitted she was heartbroken when things ended with Glenda. Penny also admitted that after the break-up she wondered who Glenda was with, where she was, and what she was doing. Penny also said Glenda was in her head 24 hours a day (obsessed) and that she resented Sarah because she assumed Sarah was trying to drag her back into the straight world. On the night of March 14, 1994, Penny did what she always did. Melissa explained Penny got really drunk, the break-up was fresh, her feelings were raw, and she spent the entire night with the person she believed came between her and the woman she loved. Melissa asked, “did Penny plan to walk Sarah into the woods or was it just a horrific idea fueled by fifteen drinks? Did she remember shooting Sarah, does she remember her falling to the ground, or does she not remember anything at all?” Ironically, Penny admits that prison saved her life. Penny believes she would not have made it to thirty had it not been for prison. Penny said she turned her life around behind bars. Based on the leads Nancy provided and an independent investigation, Detective Anderson and Melissa revealed there was nothing new in the investigation that would bring Penny home. They both suggested Nancy ask her daughter the tough questions and then she will know, even 22 years later.

“The problem is that the things Penny remembers are the things that will help her and the things that she can’t remember are the things that would potentially hurt her.” -Melissa Lewkowicz, Reasonable Doubt

Source: Reasonable Doubt ‘Failure to Remember’


Twenty-one years ago a jury found Penny Brummer guilty in the murder of Sarah Gonstead. The family of Brummer has spent those 21 years working to prove her innocence. Dave Delozier reports. -Channel 3000 | News 3 (December 14, 2015)

MJFA Links:
Sarah Gonstead was Shot Execution Style in the Back of Head After a Night Out Celebrating 21st Birthday with Friend & Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer (March 14, 1994)

Related Links:
Who Killed Sarah?
Seeking justice for Penny Brummer
New Trial for Penny Brummer, Wrongfully Convicted | Petition
Penny Brummer Defense & Support Fund by Truth in Justice

1994
Sarah Gonstead Murder

1995
Reasonable Doubt by Ingrid Ricks | The Advocate

1997
State of Wisconsin v. Penny L Brummer

2003
A short history of exposing misconduct

2005
Chapter 1: A tale of three young women
Chapter 2: A hole in her story
Chapter 3: A surprise witness appears
Chapter 4: Defense sows seeds of doubt
Chapter 5: Emotional debate ends in guilty verdict
Chapter 6: Supporters of Brummer offer their theories; they say the evidence was too thin and question makeup of jury
Gift enables investigative journalism class to probe old murder case

2012
Dane Co. DA Approves DNA Testing in 1994 Killing
Wisconsin DA approves DNA testing in 1994 killing
Will DNA Save Penny Brummer?
Spring Green woman could be cleared

2013
Innocence project founder promotes cause of Madison woman convicted of murder
Did Homophobia Convict a Wisconsin Woman of Murder?

2014
A Look Back After 20 Years
A look back at a 20-year-old murder and if the right person was convicted

2015
Who killed Sarah? The trial of Penny Brummer
Group questioning conviction of Penny Brummer in 1994 death of Sarah Gonstead
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
$10,000 Reward Offered in Wrongful Conviction Case
Person of Interest Hits Wrongfully Convicted for Serving in U.S. Military
On Wrongful Convictions and Penny Brummer

2016
Penny Brummer’s fight for justice
The Lynching of a Madison Lesbian: Wisconsin’s Wrongful Conviction of Penny Brummer
Wrongful Conviction: Penny Brummer Is Innocent and Still in Prison
Richmond Crime Author Sheila Berry Takes on Wrongful Convictions Nationwide

2017
Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?

Books:
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Amazon
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Walmart

Video Links:
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | Amazon
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt – Investigation Discovery
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | YouTube

A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for Military Survivor and Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)

21328_sgli

This research is not complete. As a matter of fact, it has only just begun. This list was created as a result of one google search and the discovery of a few cases as research is conducted in other areas. The majority of these murder for life insurance cases are examples of civilian women targeting mostly Army soldiers. Criminals are in fact targeting soldiers for lifetime benefits including monthly financial benefits, housing, medical, and the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance. The best armor is education. If it seems too good to be true then it probably is. If it appears that your significant other is especially interested in financial matters despite just meeting them, red flag. If they appear adept in how the military works and begin controlling you by threatening to go to your Commander, is that love? How many other soldiers did they marry or date before you? Often we want to overlook things for the sake of peace and the benefit of the children involved. Is it fair that you are an after thought and all that really matters is your paycheck? Be careful of who you let in your world and who you marry. Most of these cases involve a woman targeting a male soldier. Was there substance abuse and/or domestic abuse prior to the final act of homicide? Did they verbally threaten the soldier’s life? Did the soldier feel trapped because they had nowhere to turn without risking their career? How can we prevent these crimes from happening in the future?

All our soldiers need a safe place to turn if they suddenly realize they are trapped in a situation they didn’t bargain for. Spouses literally have a license to abuse on a federal military base. The Commander cannot hold them accountable because they are civilians. Civilian authorities do not have jurisdiction on federal bases. Who holds civilian spouses accountable on federal bases for crimes against soldiers? How often is the soldier punished and held accountable for the spouse’s behavior? Will reporting these crimes mean risking losing their career? Are our male soldiers afraid they won’t be believed or they will be belittled by their Chain of Command and Commander? The spouses who have you murdered in the end for the life insurance are the same spouses that will level false allegations against you, use the children as a weapon, and blow your money while you are fighting wars and risking your life in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our soldiers need a safe way to exit domestic abuse situations without worrying about this same spouse lying to the Commander to manipulate the narrative. This is why seasoned investigators would benefit our soldiers to help evaluate and assess the situation in an effort to keep people safe and prevent further harm. We cannot ‘believe all women’ as evidenced by the female perpetrators in the majority of these life insurance motivated homicide cases. As of now we are dependent on the assessment of one Commander. It all depends on who can tell the best sob story. You have a 50/50 chance at justice in the military if you are dealing with some kind of sociopath hell bent on revenge because you rejected them. Is this why soldiers are not reporting domestic abuse and instead ending up dead?

In Their Name:
James Goodyear, US Air Force (Orlando, Florida, 1971)*
Kenneth Barnes, US Army (Fort Gordon, Georgia, 1972)*
Chester Garrett, US Army (Fort Bliss, Texas, 1977)*
Lee Hartley, US Navy (Jacksonville, Florida, 1982)*
Bill Lipscomb, US Air Force (Lackland AFB, Texas, 1986)
Anthony Riggs, US Army (Fort Bliss, Texas, 1991)*
Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force (Clark AFB, Philippines, 1991)
David Russo, US Navy (Lemoore Naval Air Station, California, 1994)*
Elise Makdessi, US Navy (NAS Oceana, Virginia, 1996)*
Doug Gissendaner, US Army Veteran (Auburn, Georgia, 1997)*
Kevin Spann, US Army (Fort Gordon, Georgia, 1997)*
Marty Theer, US Air Force (Fayetteville, North Carolina, 2000)*
Lynn Reister, US Army (Fort Bliss, Texas, 2002)*
David Shannon, US Army (Fort Bragg, North Carolina, 2002)*
Jeremy Meyers, US Army (Fort Lewis, Washington, 2003)
Gary Prokop, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas, 2003)*
Paul Berkley, US Navy Reserve (Raleigh, North Carolina, 2005)*
Michael Severance, US Air Force (Dyess AFB, Texas, 2005)*
Donald Gower, US Army (Fort Hood, Texas, 2007)
Gilbert Hart, US Army Retired (Clarksville, Tennessee, 2009)*
Remano Campbell, US Army Veteran (Mobile, Alabama, 2011)*
Travis McGraw, US Air Force Reserve (Saluda, North Carolina, 2011)
Isaac Aguigui, US Army (Fort Stewart, Georgia, 2014)*
Alphonso Doss, US Navy (Orange Park, Florida, 2014)*
John Eubanks, US Army (Fort Stewart, Georgia, 2014)*
Brandon Horst, US Army (Minnesota National Guard, 2014)*
Michael Walker, US Army (Aliamanu Military Reservation, Hawaii, 2014)
Michael Andrews, US Army (Fort Benning, Georgia, 2015)*
Dmitry Chepusov, US Navy (Armed Forces Network, Germany, 2015)*
Jonathan & Lenin Otero, US Army (Florida National Guard, 2015)
Nathan Paet, US Air Force (Nellis AFB, Nevada, 2015)*
Elizabeth Shelton, US Navy (Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia, 2015)**
David Wi, US Army (Fort Campbell, Kentucky, 2015)

The asterisk (*) denotes that the soldier was a victim of homicide or attempted homicide for the insurance money. **Elizabeth Shelton and unborn baby survived the murder-for-hire plot.

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Burn Neighbor, Burn’ on Investigation Discovery: In Retaliation, Andrew Sindriewicz Burned Down Two Family Homes (May 4, 2016)

ID Go: In peaceful Alden, New York, siblings who live in neighboring houses get into a conflict when their prodigal brother returns home. Soon, the family is at each other’s throats until their war finally comes to a shocking, fiery end. -Burn Neighbor, Burn, Fear Thy Neighbor (S3, E6)

Date: June 3, 2009
Victims: Helena & David Ward, Raymond Sindriewicz, and Holly & Dale Earsing
Offender: Andrew Sindriewicz, 49, Marine Corps veteran, disabled, caretaker for mother
Location: Alden, New York
Circumstances: Brothers Raymond and Andrew didn’t get along as they got older, Raymond moved in next-door with his sister Helena due to failing health, Andrew started blasting heavy metal music in the garage and Raymond asked him to turn down the music, Andrew would turn it down initially but after Raymond left, he turned it back up, Andrew harbored grudges, sister Helena described Andrew as menacing, Andrew had a dark side, Raymond collected furniture that he restored & sold at local flea markets, Andrew didn’t like all the junk collecting on his sister’s property, Andrew trimmed a tree that dropped on Raymond’s furniture but he wouldn’t admit he did it on purpose, Andrew refused to turn down loud music, Andrew and Raymond got in a physical altercation because of the loud music, Andrew was accidentally cut by the skill saw, Andrew became distraught about their oldest sister who died, Andrew pointed a gun at his sister Helena one night, Andrew suffered with anxiety, Andrew wouldn’t leave the house because he was afraid Raymond would shoot him, Helena called the police for fear that Andrew would commit suicide, instead Andrew was charged with menacing behavior and possession of a deadly weapon, Helena felt bad that he was arrested and went to bat for him at court, the charges are dropped, but Andrew didn’t forgive her, their mother died in the spring of 2007, Raymond was cut out of the will, Raymond felt betrayed that he got nothing and believed that Andrew manipulated their mom, Andrew and sister Helena inherited their mom’s house but Andrew had no money to maintain the house, Andrew wanted his niece and her family to move into the house and help him pay the bills, Andrew turned the garage into his permanent home after they moved in, Andrew started getting annoyed with the children and their messes, Andrew played loud music day after day and wouldn’t turn it down as if he was torturing everyone, niece Holly called the police on Andrew who pretended to be asleep, Holly hoped the issue was settled but it was not, Andrew was very upset that she called the police, the kids got a new puppy but Andrew was not happy because they didn’t ask his permission first, Andrew got his own dog and gave the dog commands to bite their dog, he hoped his dog would kill their dog, Dale confronted Andrew and they got in a fight, Andrew resorted to underhanded tactics like removing the A/C unit from the window, Andrew stopped talking to Holly and Dale, everyone was walking on eggshells, Andrew blasted his music later and later into the night so Holly & Dale shut off his power one night, Andrew tried breaking into their home and they called the police but he couldn’t be charged because it wasn’t criminal in nature, it was a nuisance, there was nothing the police could do to help Holly and Dale, Helena obtained a court order on June 2, 2009 allowing her to sell their mother’s property without Andrew’s say, Andrew was not happy, when Helena returned home the next day, her house was on fire, Dale and Holly’s home was also on fire, both homes were permanently damaged, the family pet was trapped inside and died, the garage apartment also was engulfed in flames, authorities initiated a manhunt for Andrew, the presumed arsonist, after the fire was out, firefighters discovered Andrew’s body in his mother’s home, after an investigation, the family learned that Andrew was seen filling gas cans in town, he poured gasoline all over the properties and then he cut the gas lines, Andrew also purposefully killed the dog and himself in the house fire, neither house was salvageable
Disposition: Andrew Sindriewicz died in the housefire, ruled suicide

Related Links:
N.Y. family dispute ends with fiery death
Sibling dispute turns tragic, ending in arson and suicide Brother dies after setting fire to 2 homes
Fire rescue of man poses a puzzle
Burn Neighbor, Burn | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (website)
Burn Neighbor, Burn | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S3, E6)

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Landlord, Death Lord’ on Investigation Discovery: John Kendall Shot at Erich & Abigail Mounce 17 Times With an AK-47 (July 6, 2015)

ID Go: A young couple finds their paradise in a Vancouver, Washington housing development with strict codes of community conduct. But someone forgot to tell their neighbour the rules, and he will resist them at all costs. -Landlord, Death Lord, Fear Thy Neighbor (S2, E12)

Date: October 31, 2014
Victims: Erich Mounce, 46, and Abigail Mounce, 33, both employed at local silicon wafer manufacturing plant
Offender: John Kendall, 59, Air Force veteran, disabled
Location: Vancouver, Washington
Circumstances: John got annoyed by the smoke from a BBQ grill, John started building a shed for his vacuum repair business but this went against HOA rules (no commercial businesses), the Mounce family was concerned about dust from John’s business, HOA rules were not enforced in the beginning, John’s noisy construction was bothering the Mounces, John’s guest vehicles were blocking the Mounce’s driveway and interfering with traffic flow, John was renting out rooms in his home to tenants (5 at the time), John’s house was like a multi-family apartment complex (against the HOA rules), John refused to follow the HOA rules, John was never held accountable for breaking the HOA rules, John felt like he was being harassed, John said he was not going to be told what to do with his property, John would hammer and turn on skill saw during day impacting Abigail’s studying and sleep, John ignored the Mounces when they asked him to quiet down, someone vandalized the Mounce’s BBQ grill, burglaries and robberies started occurring in the neighborhood, the neighborhood was concerned about John’s transient tenants because John would rent to anyone, John’s tenants had no regard for the neighborhood, the developer and the HOA would not assist the Mounces, John put up a tarp to hide the neighbor’s view of his property (eye sore), John installed a halogen light that shined into the neighbor’s windows (clear act of intimidation), John poisoned the Mounce’s trees, John shot Erich in the face with a water gun, Erich called the police and asked them to press assault charges, John said Erich assaulted him and threatened to rape him, the police blew the whole incident off, living next to John’s shed was like living next to a toxic dump site, the Mounce’s got a civil lawyer to address their concerns in court, written request for John to take down his shed, evict his tenants, stop working from home, he had 30 days to comply, John refused the registered letter, John felt bullied by the neighbors, John’s tenants didn’t help the situation, numerous problems with the tenants including illegal drug activity and fights, John wanted to work out a deal with the County and rent out rooms to sex offenders, the Mounces put their plans for a family on hold, the Mounces took John to court, John represented himself, John said bizarre things while in court, court decided John had to evict his tenants within 30 days, stop vacuum cleaner business, and remove the shed, the judge awarded the Mounces $3000 a month every month John was in violation of the court order, John was furious after losing court battle, John threatened to kill Abigail and Erich, Erich confronted John and told him not to threaten his wife, John threatened to kill Erich and Abigail again, the Mounces called the police but they didn’t do anything, John lied and twisted stories around making Erich look like the bad guy, John walked around with a weapon on his side, John owed the Mounces close to $60,000 after months of ignoring the court order, John finally knocked down his shed but wouldn’t evict his tenants, John was summoned to court for contempt, John went to the Mounce’s attorney’s office in an attempt to confront the lawyer, lawyer was concerned about personal safety, on way to court, John runs out of his house and follows the Mounce’s in their car, he pulled up beside them and shot at them three times, Abigail was shot in the head but lived, John turned his car around and shot at them again with his AK-47 for a total of 17 times, Erich escapes harm, John killed himself and was found 2.5 hours later, John wanted revenge, Abigail is severely disabled
Disposition: Suicide

In the News:

John Kendall, 59, died Friday of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound after shooting neighbor Abigail Mounce and leading police on a manhunt in Central Vancouver. -The Columbian (October 31, 2014)

Related Links:
Abigail’s Medical Bills | GoFundMe
Sheriff: Vancouver shooting suspect found dead
Shooter Dead Following Vancouver Manhunt, Two Wounded
Wash. woman may lose eye after being shot by neighbor
Vancouver property dispute between neighbors ends in hail of gunfire
Officers in Vancouver manhunt, shooting identified
Vancouver Police Shoot 911 Caller During Manhunt
Wash. cops mistakenly shoot 911 caller during manhunt
Police In Washington State Mistakenly Shoot 911 Caller During Manhunt For Gunman
Police mistakenly shoot 911 caller thinking he was gunman
911 caller mistaken for armed suspect and shot in leg by Washington state cops
Vancouver woman speaks about surviving drive-by shooting
Woman describes surviving shot to face
Vancouver woman describes surviving shot to face
Woman shot in face: ‘I remember seeing the barrel’
Shooting victim: ‘I’m really, really lucky’
Clark County woman expected to survive after being shot by neighbor
Mounce, husband of victim, describes shooting, aftermath
Vancouver shooting victim: ‘I’m getting better every day’
Good Samaritan Shot By Police After Calling 911 to Report Location of Shooting Suspect
Several Green Meadows residents still shaken by shooting
Man mistakenly shot by Vancouver police says there was no warning
Shooting The Messenger | Simple Justice
See Something, Get Shot | RHDefense
10-31-2014 WASHINGTON VANCOUVER 2-1 | Gun Violence Archive
Central Vancouver shooting and manhunt on Halloween
Landlord, Death Lord | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S2, E12)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Souls of Stone’ on Investigation Discovery: Donna Trapani Hired 3 Hitmen to Kill Lover’s Wife; Sentenced to Life, No Parole (November 15, 2013)

Selfish women will sometimes sell their souls to the devil to get what they want. A scorned lover weaves a web of lies, a teenage Goth orders a reign of terror, and a gold-digger buries secrets in her basement. These Deadly Women have “Souls of Stone.” -Souls of Stone, Deadly Women (S7, E18)

“Donna Kay Trapani is a home health care nurse who falls in love with a married man named George Fulton. After a brief fling, George breaks off with Donna and returns to his wife, but his scorned ex-mistress decides to have his wife, Gail, gunned down. Donna is now serving a life sentence without parole.”

Donna Tripani

Donna Kay Trapani

Name: Donna Trapani
Occupation: Health care nurse
Pathology: Murderer by proxy
Dates: October 4, 1999
Location: Lake Orion, Michigan
Motive: Jealousy and revenge
Victims: Gail Fulton
M.O. Hired contract killer
Conviction: Life without parole
Status: Incarcerated
Appearance: Souls of Stone

Source: Donna Trapani | Deadlywomen Wiki | FANDOM

Full Episode: Gail Fulton, a librarian living in a Detroit suburb, was gunned down in a parking lot by a trio of Florida killers. Donna Trapani, a nurse from Pensacola, hired the three because she had been jilted by Gail’s husband. This documentary goes on the road, re-riding the death trip from the deep south. It’s a crime of passion that leaves behind a ruined family. -Red Neck Revenge, Mugshots (TruTV)

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:
Martha Gail Garza Fulton | Find A Grave
Donna Trapani | Deadlywomen Wiki | FANDOM
Four Charged in Murder of Michigan Library Worker
Sentencing Date Set in Contract Killing of Michigan Library Clerk
PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MICHIGAN, Plaintiff-Appellee, v DONNA KAY TRAPANI, Defendant-Appellant (2003)
Fulton and his Fatal Faux Pas | Killers Without Conscience
Two’s Company, Three’s a Deadly Crowd: The Cruel Killing of Martha Gail Fulton
Mugshots: Donna Trapani – Red Neck Revenge | FilmRise
Mugshots: Donna Trapani – Red Neck Revenge | FilmRise True Crime
Mugshots: Donna Trapani – Red Neck Revenge | Amazon.com
Souls of Stone | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S7, E18)
List of Deadly Women episodes | Wikipedia
Martha Fulton was Gunned Down in a Parking Lot in Michigan; Donna Trapani Guilty of Hiring 3 Hitmen to Kill Lover’s Wife, Sentenced to Life in Prison, No Parole (October 4, 1999)