Scorned, Love Kills: 7 Military & Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery (October 31, 2018)

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 Fatally Shot by Step Daughter Elizabeth While Sleeping in N.C. Home; Wife Joan Shannon Guilty of Conspiracy, Sentenced to Life, No Parole (July 23, 2002)

ID Go: The young and wild Monique Wallace is married to 40-year-old Paul Berkley, a navy reservist and father of two in suburban North Carolina. But with Paul leaving on a mission overseas, temptation and lust will lead them all down a dark path to murder. -Rules of Engagement, Scorned: Love Kills (S2, E7)

Navy Reservist Paul Berkley Murdered by Wife Monique & Friends in North Carolina while Home on Leave from Middle East, SGLI was the Motive (December 18, 2005)

ID Go: Drew Peterson and his wife Kathleen appear to be a happy couple, but ten years into their marriage, things begin to sour. And when Kathleen finds out Drew is having a steamy affair with a 17-year old, a brutal fight breaks out, and ends with murder. -Black Widower, Scorned: Love Kills (S2, E17)

Drew Peterson Had 40 Years Added to His Prison Sentence After Plotting a Murder-For-Hire (June 13, 2018)

ID Go: Fred and Jennifer have a picture perfect marriage. But when Fred meets Danielle, a young doctor in the Navy, Jennifer fights to keep Fred for herself. The love triangle explodes, leaving police struggling to understand a grisly crime scene. -Naval Affairs, Scorned: Love Kills (S3, E1)

Navy Lt CDR Fred Trayers Fatally Stabbed by Jealous Wife Angered by Infidelity with Fellow Navy Doctor; Jennifer Trayers Sentenced to 16 Years to Life (December 4, 2010)

ID Go: Sexy psychologist and doting Air Force wife Michelle begins a swinging affair with Army Sgt. Diamond while her husband, Captain Marty Theer, is away. But all’s fair in love and war, and Marty’s return will remind them that love is a battlefield. -Sergeant Swinger, Scorned: Love Kills (S4, E1)

Air Force Capt. Frank ‘Marty’ Theer Murdered by Wife Michelle & Army SSG John Diamond in North Carolina; Both Sentenced to Life in Prison (December 17, 2000)

ID Go: American soldier Megan Touma has left her husband for her lover Edgar. Turns out Edgar has a spouse of his own. When Megan gets pregnant Edgar must make a decision between two women. Someone will be left brokenhearted and someone will be left dead. -Love is a Battlefield, Scorned: Love Kills (S5, E2)

Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (June 21, 2008)

Preview: While Kathy Lipscomb spends late nights at the hospital with the handsome Dr. Pearle, her husband’s career in the Air Force is taking off, but so is his relationship with a hot young officer. When the affairs are exposed the consequences are fatal. -Sex, Secrets & Sergeants, Scorned: Love Kills (S5, E5)

Air Force MSgt William Lipscomb Murdered his Wife Kathleen After She Threatened to Expose his WAPS Promotion Cheating Scam (June 9, 1986)

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:
About the Show | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery
The Swinger Marriage | Scorned: Love Kills (Preview)
Sex Helps Wife Plan Murder | Scorned – Love Kills (Preview)
Behind the Picket Fence | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S1, E1)
Rules of Engagement | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S2, E7)
Monique Berkley | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E8)
Black Widower | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S2, E17)
Naval Affairs | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Sergeant Swinger | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S4, E1)
Michelle Theer & John Diamond | Killer Couples | Oxygen (S8, E5)
Fayetteville | Sins & Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E3)
Love is a Battlefield | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S5, E2)
Two Couples, Two Dangerous Affairs | Scorned: Love Kills (Preview)
Sex, Secrets & Sergeants | Scorned: Love Kills | Investigation Discovery (S5, E5)
True Lies | Forensic Files | FilmRise (S8, E27)

Fatal Vows Premiered ‘Death Outranks Love’ on Investigation Discovery: Roger Holland Murdered Wife Margorie After She Learned He Lied About Everything (October 6, 2018)

ID Go: It’s a military match made in heaven for Roger and Margorie. But a tangled nest of financial secrets and twisted lies ruins the young couple’s future. And while the rise of their careers and romance seems meteoric, the ensuing fall is deadly. -Death Outranks Love, Fatal Vows (S6, E10)

Date: March 7, 2013
Victim: Margorie Holland, Army National Guard veteran, pregnant
Offender: Roger Holland, Army National Guard veteran, unemployed
Location: Apple Valley, Minnesota
Circumstances: Army soldier Margorie Brown of Minnesota met Army soldier Roger Holland of Missouri in the National Guard, Margorie’s ex-husband was abusive, both of them spent months overseas while serving, they eloped after a year of courtship, lived in Texas with Margorie’s brother, Margorie trusted Roger to take care of all the bills, Roger had no credit, Margorie had good credit, they bought everything in Margorie’s name, they were both E-7s making good money, they traveled a lot, Roger asked Margorie’s brother for a $6,000 loan and asked him not to tell Margorie, Margorie was unaware of the financial issues, Margorie got pregnant, they both left the military so they could focus on their family, they spent $20,000 on baby items and leased a couple new vehicles, Margorie stayed home and Roger was working for a private security contractor (claimed he made $140,000 a year), Roger never paid back Margorie’s brother, Margorie found out about a late payment notice in her name, learned they were in debt and everything was in her name, Margorie confronted Roger about the debt but he assured her it was under control, days later, something didn’t feel right so Margorie followed Roger to work and realized he wasn’t working, he was hanging out at coffee shops during the day as if he had a job but there was never a job, Roger is feeling trapped and starting to panic, Margorie confronted Roger about him not having a job, Margorie had a temper too and she would escalate but Roger always had a knack for calming her down, they had an argument at her parent’s house and she threatened him with divorce, Margorie was ready to leave Roger when he told her he got a new job in Texas and they could move to be closer to her brother, Margorie was found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their home, Roger alleged he found Margorie at the bottom of the stairs when he returned home, he believed she tripped and fell down the stairs, he gave the police his phone to prove that he had been outside the home when Margorie died, police noticed some scratches on Roger’s neck, Roger said Margorie scratched him in the morning while he was comforting her during some pregnancy cramps, the medical examiner discovered Margorie’s thyroid cartilage was broken during the autopsy which meant she had been strangled to death and this was a homicide, Margorie was 15 weeks pregnant, when police reviewed the financial records, they discovered the couple were $166,000 in debt, mostly credit cards and vehicle leases, the presumed motive was that Roger essentially built a house of cards, they also discovered a life insurance policy that he was the beneficiary of, then the police discovered Margorie was looking for any way out possible (she googled when it was safe to get an abortion), Roger did a google search about how to kill Margorie (he planned her murder), Roger was arrested for Margorie’s murder, Margorie had also learned that there was no job in Texas and that was a lie too, she learned that Roger accessed her money and used her name to get credit cards, police deduced that Margorie fought for her life in the struggle but Roger overpowered her and strangled her to death; Roger was charged with two counts of first degree murder (one for Margorie and one for the unborn baby)
Disposition: Roger Holland was found guilty of first degree murder and given two life sentences on December 16, 2013; Margorie’s family asked for consecutive sentences

Margorie Holland

Margorie Brown Holland (Photo: Investigation Discovery)

Source: “Death Outranks Love” Fatal Vows, Investigation Discovery

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:
Grand Jury Returns First-Degree Murder Indictment for Holland
Apple Valley man charged with murder of wife, unborn child
Minnesota Man Charged With Killing Pregnant Wife, Unborn Child
Roger Holland of Apple Valley allegedly murdered pregnant wife, attempted coverup
Man researched neck fractures before pregnant wife’s killing, police say
Trial set for man accused of killing pregnant wife
Defense: Death Of Fetus Was Abortion, Not Murder
Man accused of killing pregnant wife claims fetus’ death was abortion
Minnesota man argues fetal homicide was not a homicide but an “abortion”
Attorney Argues Death of Fetus in Minnesota Case Was Unlawful Abortion, Not Murder
Jury deliberating in Holland Murder Case
Apple Valley man found guilty of four counts of murder
Roger Holland convicted on all counts of murdering pregnant wife
Minnesota man convicted in murders of wife and their unborn child
Former National Guard member found guilty of strangling his wife while she was pregnant with their first child
Minn. man gets life in slaying of pregnant wife
Roger Holland sentenced to life in prison for murder of pregnant wife
Holland sentenced to two life sentences in murder of pregnant wife
Roger Holland gets two consecutive life terms for killing pregnant wife
Death Outranks Love | Fatal Vows | Investigation Discovery (S6, E10)

Top 10 Posts on Military Justice for All in 2017

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  1. Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
  2. Navy Veteran Richard Uffelman & Two Children Opened Fire and Killed Neighbors Michael and Florence Phillips in Maine, Richard Sentenced to Life in Prison (1989)
  3. Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (1994)
  4. Navy Wife Dina Kichler Raped & Murdered in Mayport, Florida by John Brewer Shortly After her Husband Deployed for Six Months on USS Forestall (1990)
  5. Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force, Hired Hitmen to Murder Wife Julie at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for the $400,000 Life Insurance Payout (1991)
  6. Fort Bliss Army Commander Captain Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger and His Brother Rodney for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  7. A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal
  8. Air Force Retiree Philip Inhofer Murdered by Nevada Escort for Money and 1975 Mercedes Convertible; Michelle Cummiskey Sentenced to 25 Years to Life (1991)
  9. Navy Petty Officer Elise Makdessi Double Crossed & Murdered by Husband Eddie who Came Up with a Better Plan Yielding him $700,000 in Life Insurance (1996)
  10. Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Poisoned with Animal Medications by Veterinarian Wife, Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to First Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (2005)

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.

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

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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.

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Navy Husband David Russo Murdered for the Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)

Preview: Susan Russo was a Navy wife who ran a tight ship. But she had a secret life, and devised a way to profit off her husband’s substantial military life insurance. -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

Deadly Women on Investigation Discovery featured yet another military spouse who murdered because they were motivated by greed, selfishness, and sociopathic tendencies. While Navy sailor David Russo was at work at the Lemoore Naval Air Station in California, his wife was getting high on meth with her secret lover. Susan Russo didn’t like that David controlled the purse strings because he might find out that she was blowing their cash on drugs. Then one day a military advisor stopped by the house to advise them of their financial affairs and Susan learned that her husband David was worth more dead then he was alive. He had a grand total of 1 million dollars worth of Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance and other insurance policies on himself. Susan saw her way out of domestic boredom and hatched up a plan with two of her drug addicted buddies, Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris. She offered them $100 to kill her husband and promised them more later after she got her hands on the life insurance payout.

Susan Russo

Susan Russo, US Navy Spouse

On July 14, 1994, the trio striked. While David lay sleeping in his bed, the two men entered the marital home with Susan’s assistance, walked into David’s bedroom, and shot him one time in the back of the head. They then drove the body to a remote location so they could torch David and the car in an effort to destroy evidence. This plan would never come to fruition because they ran out of gas and then didn’t have enough gas to torch the car. When military personnel stopped by David’s home to see why he hadn’t showed up to work, Susan told them she didn’t know where he was and asked if she would still get his paycheck that week. Eventually David’s car and body was discovered by a local farmer. Of course investigators looked to the spouse first to determine what may have happened to David. Susan told investigators during the interview that they would find no evidence of wrong doing which of course intrigued them to probe further.

Susan Russo was a self proclaimed clean freak and cleaner by trade and was confident she had covered her tracks. But she did not account for the microscopic blood spatter on the headboard of the bed or the spent bullet casing located in the bedroom. Police charged Susan Russo and her two friends with the murder of her husband David Russo. Jason Andrews and Bobby Morris were both convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years to life. In 1996, Susan Russo was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Investigators described Susan as an evil, psychopathic person who manipulated her two drug addicted friends with the promises of money for more drugs. She didn’t care about David whatsoever, she only saw David as a way to cash in.

Source: Deadly Women ‘Cash In’

ID Go: The stakes are high and the chips are down when these Deadly Women decide to “Cash In.” -Cash In, Deadly Women (S10, E6)

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:
Susan Russo | The Injustice System
Killer sentenced “to slow death” gets life for murder of her husband
The PEOPLE v. Susan Lee RUSSO, Defendant and Appellant (2000)
People of California v. Susan Russo (2001)
Prison Inmates to Receive Prestigious Peacemaker Award
Woman convicted of husband’s murder has sentence reduced by Gov. Brown, could get parole
Sisters demand mom stay in prison after pardon from orchestrating husband’s 1994 murder
Parole Board Grants Parole to Murderer Susan Lee Russo | County of Fresno
Fresno County killer gets parole after more than 20 years
Fresno County killer, sentenced to life without parole, granted parole
Woman convicted of murdering her husband is granted parole
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Drop LWOP! | Newsletter of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners
Jerry Brown Getting Ready to Release Psychopath Killer from Prison
Vidak and Other Legislators Urge Governor Brown NOT to Release Convicted Murderer Susan Lee Russo
Gov. Jerry Brown decides against parole for woman dubbed a ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
California governor won’t parole woman dubbed ‘black widow’
Governor denies parole for California husband killer
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Murder Husband David Russo for the Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison (July 14, 1994)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Navy Wife and Mom With Secret Life Devises Plan To Have Husband Killed For Insurance Money | Investigation Discovery
Perfect Wife Plots To Have Husband Killed For Money | Investigation Discovery
Cash In | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S10, E6)
Petition: Keep Susan Russo Behind Bars

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Murder for Me’ on Investigation Discovery: Monique & Paul Berkley (October 23, 2015)


Some women like others to do their dirty work. A drama queen brings her love triangle to a permanent end; an intimate betrayal turns friends into deadly foes; and a loose woman will do anything to protect her freedom. -Murder for Me, Deadly Women

Navy Reservist Paul Berkley was murdered by his wife, Monique Wallace Berkley, her teenage lover, and his friend in Raleigh, North Carolina on December 18, 2005. Paul was home for Christmas on leave from a deployment in the Middle East. Monique, Andrew Deshawn Canty, and Latwon Darrell Johnson were all charged with first degree murder. The motive was the $400,000 Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance payout. Monique pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The state announced it was going to seek the death penalty if Berkley had gone to trial. Andrew Canty pleaded guilty to first degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Latwon Darrell Johnson pleaded guilty to second degree murder and conspiracy to commit first degree murder. He was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Johnson appealed his sentence claiming that it was too harsh given his role in the slaying and his cooperation with police and prosecutors.

“Paul Berkley survived his deployment in the Middle East without any injury, but he couldn’t survive one week with his wife Monique.” -Profiler Candice DeLong, Deadly Women

MJFA Link: Navy Reservist Paul Berkley Murdered by Wife Monique in North Carolina while Home on Leave from Middle East, SGLI was the Motive (December 18, 2005)

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.


A military wife is caught in deadly love triangle. -Monique Berkley, Snapped (Oxygen)


The young and wild Monique Wallace is married to 40-year-old Paul Berkley, a navy reservist and father of two in suburban North Carolina. But with Paul leaving on a mission overseas, temptation and lust will lead them all down a dark path to murder. -Rules of Engagement, Deadly Women

Related Links:
Rapist on the Loose; Police Investigate Murder of Navy Reservist
Slain sailor’s knowledge, skills lauded at Bahrain memorial service
Wife, Teen Lover Held in Slaying of Sailor
Tampa Native Accused in Husband’s Slaying
Wife Charged In Reservist’s Murder
Wife, her teen lover charged with killing husband in park
Reservist Slain Allegedly by Wife and Teen Lover
Berkley frantic on 911 tape
Bizarre Murder Case Raises New Blogging Issues
Wife Of Murdered Navy Reservist Gets Life
Wife of murdered reservist gets life
Wife in Fatal Love Triangle Admits Guilt, Gets Life Sentence
Man Appeals Sentence in Naval Reservist’s Slaying
Murder of SP native takes new turn with appeal filed by one defendant
Home From Iraq and Dead Within Days
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Navy Reservist Murdered by Cheating Wife’s Teen-age Lover
Scorned: Love Kills “Rules of Engagement” (Investigation Discovery)
Snapped “Monique Berkley” (Oxygen Media)
Deadly Women “Murder for Me” (Investigation Discovery)

Military Wife Conspired with Two Men to Murder Navy Commander Alphonso Doss for One Million Dollar Life Insurance Policy, Yolinda Doss Awaiting Trial (2014)

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Cmdr. Alphonso Doss, US Navy

Navy Commander Alphonso Doss was found dead in his Astoria Hotel room in Orange Park, Florida on February 12, 2014. Both the local civilian authorities and Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) investigated the circumstances surrounding the homicide. Authorities learned that Alphonso’s estranged wife Yolinda was the mastermind behind the plot to murder her husband. The motive was the one million dollar life insurance policy. Yolinda was having an affair with Anthony Washington, 29, and she manipulate him by using domestic abuse claims as a way to motivate Washington to kill the man who was ‘harming’ her. Washington assaulted, strangled, and stole from Commander Doss claiming he didn’t like the way he treated Yolinda. Washington tried to claim self defense at trial but the jury found him guilty of first degree murder, burglary, and assault. In November 2016, Washington was sentenced to life in prison. Yolinda Doss, 44, and Ronnie Wilson II, 33, do not have trial dates set.

Related Links:
Obituary: Alphonso Mortimer Doss
Wife of murdered Mississippi Navy commander arrested
Estranged wife of slain Navy Commander arrested on murder charges
Alleged murder-for-hire: Does Miss. Navy wife follow in Dad’s footsteps?
Clay County Grand Jury Indicts Wife, Two Others In Navy Commander’s Murder
Estranged wife, 2 men charged in Navy commander’s slaying
Investigators: Motive in plot to murder Navy commander came down to money
This Florida woman wanted a ring from her husband’s finger. Now, police say she’s the reason he’s dead.
First of three defendants goes on trial in murder of Jacksonville Navy commander
1st trial begins in Navy commander’s murder
Trial begins in death of U.S. Navy commander in Orange Park
First trial begins for murder of Navy commander Doss
Trial begins in death of Jacksonville Navy Commander
Evidence reveals details of Navy commander’s killing
Defendant in murder trial admits affair with victim’s wife
Text messages, surveillance video build case in Doss murder case
New documents portray slain Navy commander’s wife as emotionless, scheming for insurance
Trial in Navy commander’s death comes down to a calculated murder or self-defense
Lawyers frame greed and self-defense as competing motives in local Navy Commander’s murder
Man guilty in slaying of Navy commander
Man found guilty in Navy commander’s murder
Guilty: Jury convicts first defendant in Naval commander’s murder
Man convicted for murder of Navy Commander in Orange Park
First of 3 defendants found guilty in murder of former Navy Commander
Navy Commander’s murderer sentenced to life in prison
Man sentenced to life in Navy commander’s murder
Navy Commander Alphonso Doss (Military Corruption)
Naval Commander slain (YouTube)
Arrests made in Navy commander’s death (YouTube)


U.S. Navy Commander Alphonso Doss, 44, was slain at a hotel in Orange Park about two weeks ago. -Action News Jax

Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)

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Katherine Morris

Katherine Morris, 22, was found dead in her car near the Arundel Mills Mall in Maryland on May 6, 2012. Katherine was a University of Maryland student and married to Army spouse, Isaac Goodwin, who was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. According to a website dedicated to Katherine Morris, she died from carbon monoxide poisoning from charcoal grills lit in her car. Katherine’s family questioned the ruling of suicide by the Army and the Anne Arundel County police department immediately and were eventually successful at getting some retired civilian detectives to look into their suspicions of homicide motivated by life insurance fraud. Interestingly, Anne Arundel County police department also had jurisdiction of the homicide investigation of Army soldier Karlyn Ramirez, who was murdered in 2015. Karlyn’s husband Maliek Kearney and his new girlfriend Doris Delgado face federal murder charges. Karlyn’s homicide is similar in motive to the theories Katherine’s family has about her suspicious death. Karlyn and Katherine both appear to have been targeted and became the victims of domestic violence and/or life insurance fraud. The true motivation behind the Karlyn Ramirez and Katherine Morris deaths is unknown at this time but given how many homicides occur in the military with the common motive of domestic violence and/or life insurance, the Katherine Morris case deserves a second look.

Three families have asked for similar law changes for victims of domestic violence in the military since 2011. Representative Bruce Braley introduced the Holley Lynn James Act on behalf of Fort Bragg Lt. Holley Wimunc who was murdered by her Marine husband John Wimunc in 2008. The bill was advocating for the removal of the Commander and the Chain of Command from the investigation and adjudication of felony crimes like domestic violence because of their inexperience with the modus operandi of offenders. Unfortunately the bill was never even considered and this bill may have had the power to prevent what happened to Katherine Morris, Michelle Miller, and Karlyn Ramirez. Michelle Miller’s family believes she was targeted by an Army recruiter at her Rockville, Maryland high school and became the victim of domestic violence and homicide, despite the Army’s ruling of a double suicide. As a result, Michelle’s family is advocating for Michelle’s Law, which is an effort to encourage Congress to pass a law that would try military abuse and murder cases in civilian court. Katherine’s family is currently advocating for the Katherine Morris Military Spouse Protection Act. All of these law proposals ask that the Chain of Command be removed from the investigation and adjudication of felony crimes because of their inexperience at handling these complex cases. Similar bills have also been introduced to Congress to include the Sexual Assault Training, Oversight, and Prevention Act and the Military Justice Improvement Act. The military needs experienced investigators to get to the bottom of the truth in an effort to prevent crime and save lives.

Related Links:
For Kathy’s Sake, Inc.
Obituary: Katherine Sarah “Kat” Morris
U.Md. student found dead in car near Arundel Mills Mall
Questions abound after student death
Fort Bragg soldier accused of fraud after wife’s suicide
Army investigates allegation soldier drove UMd. student to suicide
Retired officers to give Anne Arundel County cold cases new life
Retired detectives to review 2012 suicide near Arundel Mills
Police reopen probe of Rev. Morris’ daughter’s death
Police Launch Independent Review Into UMD Student’s Suicide Death
Police re-open ‘suicide’ case of wife who was heartbroken after she discovered ‘soldier husband only wed her for Army benefits and was sleeping with other women’
Mother of apparent suicide seeks answers
Marguerite Morris v. Prudential Insurance Company of America (2013)
NAACP seeks federal probe of 2012 death in Hanover
Anne Arundel County mom not convinced her daughter committed suicide, calls for DOJ investigation
Morris v. Goodwin (2014)
Mother’s Search for Answers in Daughter’s Death Leads to Shelter Closure
Anne Arundel Police Response to Freedom of Information Request
Mother seeks emails in daughter’s death investigation
When Katherine Morris, 22, died suddenly, police ruled it suicide, but her mother continues to investigate
Marguerite R. Morris, Personal Representative of the Estate of Katherine Sarah Morris v. Isaac Jerome Goodwin (2016)
Fort Bragg Army Nurse Lt Holley Wimunc Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce, John Wimunc Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student Michelle Miller & Then Killed Self, Army Investigators Claim Double Suicide (2013)
Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Sgt Maliek Kearney & Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Charged with Across State Lines Murder, Feds Prosecuting (2015)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death
Army Specialist Isaac Goodwin allegedly marries for money, and his wife commits suicide

 

Air Force Reservist Travis McGraw Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Life Insurance Policy; Sentenced to Life, No Parole (2011)

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Vanessa Mintz and Travis McGraw

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.

Learn more: Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder

Related Links:
Text messages lead authorities to suspect in murder of Saluda woman
Husband charged with murder in slaying of NC Realtor
McGraw Backs Out of Plea Agreement
Former Police Officer Rejects Plea Deal In Wife’s Polk County Killing
Travis McGraw Guilty Plea Withdrawn on Friday
McGraw found guilty of first-degree murder
McGraw sentenced to life in murder of wife
McGraw Murder Appeal Hearing Set for Wednesday
McGraw Murder Conviction Appeal Denied
McGraw murder conviction appeal denied | Life Insurance Fraud
’48 Hours’ report on Mintz murder airs Saturday
“48 Hours” Investigates the Mysteries Behind a Missing Daughter & a Murdered Mom in a Saturday Night Double Feature
The Ultimatum | 48 Hours [Video]
Mary Beth Fisher on Travis McGraw’s reaction to his wife’s murder
Vanessa Mintz’ commitment to her community
The Ultimatum: A crucial clue and shocking secret revealed in the hunt for a North Carolina mother’s killer [Video]
Vanessa Mintz, Travis McGraw: CBS’ 48 Hours Features Hendersonville, North Carolina Murder Case
Local “48 Hours” Case Update


Two daughters are determined to find their mother’s killer.
Will the investigation expose hidden secrets? -48 Hours