Sexual Assault is the Latest Witch Hunt in America’s History: Guilt By Accusation and Public Shaming is the New Norm, and It’s Wrong

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History of  Witch Hunts in America, located at the Salem Witch Museum, Massachusetts

Society has a tendency to respond in a crisis oriented fashion to a moral panic. After “The Invisible War” gaslighted America, all women soldiers were victims and all male soldiers were predators. This has been a repeated cycle after every sexual assault scandal. The media narratives reflect this and continue to perpetuate the myths typically choosing a blonde white female as the ‘victim’. But that’s not how it works in real life and male victims of crime in the military set both the filmmakers and the media straight. The momentum died off so they created another film about college sexual assault and tried again creating a female versus male division. No one really knows the statistics at the college campuses but in the military, the majority of victims of sexual assault and homicide are men. We care about the men just as much as we care about the women. We care about facts and evidence and have learned that the devil is in the details.

Learn more:
Rape Culture is a ‘Panic Where Paranoia, Censorship, and False Accusations Flourish’
A Complete List of the 35 Basic Military Training Instructors Court Martialed in the Lackland Air Force Base Sex Scandal
Minnesota football rape case emblematic of campus witch-hunt culture
Rape Culture in the West is as Real as ‘Witchcraft in Salem’
A Brief History of the Salem Witch Trials
Defending Sexual Assault Cases Animation


In this video, a former D.A. (now criminal defense lawyer) explains the law of rape, penalties and sentencing, and common legal strategies to fight the case. Each year, countless innocent people get wrongfully arrested for rape and sexual assault. Sometimes there was a genuine misunderstanding between the accuser and the accused as to the issue of consent. Other times, the alleged victim makes up false allegations out of anger, jealousy or spite towards the accused. A conviction for Penal Code 261 can bring years, sometimes life in prison. It’s important in these situations to have an attorney and defense investigator who can scrutinize the background of the accuser and expose a fabricated story for what it it.

11 Signs of a Sneaky Sociopath

Psychopaths and sociopaths behave differently but both can be just as dangerous. This public service announcement will help educate the reader about the sociopath specifically because sociopaths are both non-violent and violent and use charm and pity to enter your life. There is limited research available on the non-violent sociopath but Dr. Martha Stout, the author of The Sociopath Next Door, does a great job at helping the reader understand how the charming sociopaths operate. Many people have asked Dr. Stout how to protect themselves from the non-violent sociopath. Dr. Stout’s advice to those who want to protect themselves from these social predators is beware of those who use the ‘pity play’ in an effort to appeal to your sympathies.

The Sociopath Next Door is an eye-opening book and highly recommended reading for everyone, especially those interested in criminal justice reform and military justice reform. Research of sociopaths has revealed that the non-violent sociopath has a tendency to abuse the court processes and level false allegations against their enemy in an effort to harm reputations, improve their financial situation, or simply for revenge because you rejected them. Rejection is the trigger for sociopaths. If you find yourself dealing with a vindictive personality, it is best not to engage. If you provoke the non-violent sociopath, it will only make the situation worse. Learn more about the modus operandi of sociopaths to prevent getting entangled in their web of lies.

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We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people have an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt… (Inside Jacket Cover of The Sociopath Next Door)

1 in 25 ordinary Americans secretly has no conscience and can do anything at all without feeling guilty. Who is the devil you know?The Sociopath Next Door


Think you can easily spot a sociopath? Think again. Sociopaths aren’t always the stereotypical “serial killer type” you might be thinking of. These individuals come in all shapes and sizes. Your best friend, significant other, roommate, or family member could be hiding a dark secret. Instant Checkmate compiled the 11 signs of a sneaky sociopath. Ready to learn more? Run a background check on them. -www.InstantCheckmate.com

Sociopaths are experts at presenting themselves as everyday people, so they can be difficult to identify…Unless you know the signs of a sociopath. Sociopathy is also known as antisocial personality disorder. A sociopathic person will typically have no understanding of right or wrong. There is no treatment for sociopathy. The disorder can be prevented in children who show early signs but among adults, the disorder is permanent. You may know an actual sociopath, though you may not even be aware of it. So what indicators can we look for?

  1. Superficial Charm: Sociopaths often appear to be very charming on the surface in order to manipulate trust.
  2. Narcissism: Sociopaths are extremely egocentric. They believe that everyone should agree with their actions and opinions.
  3. Pathological Lying: Sociopaths will lie in order to create a false persona. They aim to hide their true motives.
  4. Manipulative & Cunning: Sociopaths attempt to find and exploit other people’s weaknesses in order to get what they want.
  5. Shallow Emotions: Sociopaths do not genuinely feel emotions. Many can fake their emotions to fool the people around them.
  6. Lack of Remorse, Shame, or Guilt: Sociopaths do not feel bad about their actions, even if they hurt others.
  7. Incapable of Human Attachment: Sociopaths can’t form genuine relationships with others. They may form relationships in order to appear normal.
  8. Constant Need for Stimulation: Sociopaths may take unnecessary risks that put themselves and others in dangerous situations.
  9. Lack of Empathy: Sociopaths are unable to relate the perspectives or problems of other people.
  10. Impulsive Nature: Sociopaths will exhibit hostility, irritability, and aggression. They act on their impulses without caring without caring about any potential consequences.
  11. Promiscuous Sexual Behavior: Sociopaths are likely to be unfaithful and promiscuous, which is connected to their tendency to get bored easily.

Sociopaths may have problems with drug and alcohol use. They may also have a criminal record related to their behavior. You can get a background check at Instant Checkmate.

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Psychopath vs. Sociopath

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

Nightmare Next Door Premiered ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’ on Investigation Discovery: Michael Severance and Wendi Davidson (September 9, 2016)


Preview: When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Air Force SSgt. Michael Severance was poisoned with animal medications by his veterinarian wife Wendi Davidson on January 15, 2005 in San Angelo, Texas. SSgt. Severance enlisted with the United States Air Force in 1998 and was a flying crew chief stationed at Dyess Air Force Base. He met Wendi at a local club and they hit it off right away. Shortly after meeting, she got pregnant with his child. Michael wanted to do the right thing so he eventually married Wendi and moved in with her in a small apartment attached to her new Veterinarian Clinic. He commuted 90 miles one way to the base where he worked. Michael was reported missing to the local police on January 16th after his wife Wendi informed Michael’s parents that she wouldn’t make the flight to Maine with him for a visit with their child because he was nowhere to be found. She cancelled the flights for all three of them. Michael’s parents also called the base to report him missing but Air Force leadership informed them that their hands were tied until he was considered Absent Without Leave (AWOL). After Michael’s leave was up 8 days later and he didn’t return to duty, he was officially considered AWOL. This prompted the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI) to join forces with the local civilian authorities. Wendi led all the investigators to believe that Mike had deserted the military. She claimed that he didn’t want to go back to Iraq and was thinking about heading to Canada. Michael, Wendi, and their child were planning a trip to visit his parents in Maine because Mike was scheduled to deploy to the Middle East after returning from the trip.

The San Angelo police department investigators visited Wendi at her veterinarian clinic on January 17, 2005. Wendi told them Mike had been drinking lately and was out all the time, but investigators observed that all of his personal belongings were still at their shared apartment. On January 18th, Wendi filed divorce papers and attempted to get a restraining order against Mike. Civilian investigators were suspicious of Wendi and believed that she was cold and calculating. They gave her a polygraph test but the results came back inconclusive. Once Mike’s leave was up and he was considered officially AWOL, AFOSI joined the San Angelo police department investigation. AFOSI doubted that Michael was a deserter and would just up and leave. In the meantime, the San Angelo police department put a GPS tracking device on Wendi’s car. They learned that on February 7th, Wendi traveled to a remote area owned by a friend of hers. Because investigators considered Wendi a person of interest, they traveled to the location where she had been and found a large retaining pond on the property. In March 2005, investigators were able to look at the search history on Wendi’s computer and learned that Wendi had done a search for ‘decomposition of bodies’ and ‘how to pass a lie detector test’. Investigator’s confronted Wendi but didn’t buy her story so they started turning up the heat. Wendi appeared to dismiss the investigators and then after the interview left the vet clinic in a hurry. She traveled back to her friend’s remote property but this time the police were there to make sure she wasn’t able to disturb a potential crime scene while they worked on obtaining a search warrant.

In the meantime, Wendi confided in her brother Marshall. She told him that she came home and found Mike dead. She said she was scared so she disposed of his body. But her brother didn’t buy her story either and reported her to the police. On March 6th, law enforcement searched the pond on her friend’s property and found Michael Severance’s body anchored down with cinder blocks. When they searched Wendi’s home and business, they found a knife, rope, drug log book, and bottles of medication. Wendi was arrested for the murder of Mike Severance and after 32 days behind bars, her parents raised the $500,000 bond to get her released. Investigators learned that they had only been married for four months when she murdered him. Wendi gave birth to her first child in October 2001. In December 2003, she met Michael and eventually got pregnant but Michael wasn’t ready to settle down or get married quite yet. And Wendi’s parents apparently didn’t like Mike and labeled him lazy and disrespectful; they did not want Wendi to marry him. In September 2004, Wendi gave birth to their son and they were quietly married twelve days later at the courthouse. Two weeks later, Wendi purchased a veterinarian clinic and Mike moved in with her, despite the commute 90 miles one way to work at the base. Shortly after moving in, Mike was sent to Airman Leadership School in Wichita Falls and then he got orders to go to the Middle East. Mike planned a vacation to Maine in January 2005 so his parents could meet his new wife and child, their grandchild, before he was deployed overseas. After Mike returned from Airman Leadership School shortly before their trip to Maine, he observed that Wendi was cold towards him and her mother made it clear that she didn’t like Mike and she didn’t want Wendi going to Maine.

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Michael Severance, US Air Force

The coroner was not able to determine if there was physical trauma to Mike’s body due to decomposition. But an autopsy revealed that Michael overdosed on drugs usually found in an animal clinic. They found Phenobarbital and B-Euthanasia in his system and he was stabbed 41 times after he was dead. Investigators learned from Wendi’s google searches that Mike was most likely stabbed post mortem so his body wouldn’t float to the surface in the pond. Wendi was arrested again on April 15th for evidence tampering after police learned she falsified log records at the animal clinic so she could justify taking the medication she used to kill her husband. Her bail was now $100,000 per tampering. In the meantime, her family arranged for her to have a privately administered polygraph. On May 24th, a grand jury indicted Wendi for murder and shortly after she was released on bond again. While awaiting trial, on August 20th, Wendi was arrested for child endangerment. One of her children got lost while looking for her; she was out at a night club. She spent another night in jail. In preparation for trial, prosecutors theorized that Wendi concocted her homicidal plan on January 14th. She asked Mike out to dinner on January 15th and then afterwards they went to a bar where they drank and danced. Upon return to their residence, prosecutors believe that Wendi mixed Phenobarbital in his drink. After he was unconscious, she plunged a syringe full of B-Euthanasia into his chest. Then she had to get rid of his body so she drove him out to the pond on her friend’s property and used fishing line to tie cinder blocks to his body. From google searches she learned that gases will make the body float so she went back to the retainer pond and stabbed him 41 times to release the gases; she attached more weight to his body.

Wendi Mae Davidson was looking at 9 to 99 years in prison so instead of going to trial, she plead ‘no contest’ which also left things open for appeal. Her lawyers argued the validity of the search warrants and believed that the GPS tracker was placed in an illegal manner; the resulting evidence was fruit of the poisonous tree. Wendi Davidson was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. She also received an additional 10 years for evidence tampering. Investigators and prosecutors were somewhat baffled with the motive for this crime and because Wendi plead ‘no contest’, we may never know the real reason she murdered Mike. Authorities theorized that maybe Wendi was motivated to kill because Mike Severance wanted to leave her. They theorized that Wendi’s mother didn’t like Mike so instead of divorcing him, she killed him. They also theorized that Wendi and her family wanted custody of the child with no incident. It’s important to note that Michael’s family believes Wendi also wanted the $500,000 life insurance payout. This was an unusual case because Wendi never had any known predisposition or tendency for violence but Mike’s family believes that her mother specifically had something to do with Wendi committing the murder. The question remains why didn’t she just divorce him instead of killing him?

Wendi may have made this decision because control and financial motive is a common motive for murder. It was noted that Wendi met Mike at a bar and shortly thereafter became pregnant; he may have been targeted for exploitation. It was noted that Wendi was in debt after purchasing a new animal clinic providing the motive for financial gain. It was noted that the crime was premeditated as evidenced by her plan to steal the medications from her animal clinic used to kill Mike. It was noted that Mike was murdered only four months after marrying Wendi; was he a means to an end? It was noted that Wendi’s parents didn’t like Mike and their beliefs may have been the fuel to light the fire; she may have been manipulated because she didn’t want to defy or disappoint them, afraid of the consequences. It was noted by Mike’s family that Wendi was the recipient of the life insurance policy. It was noted that Wendi attempted to manipulate the investigation and make Mike out to be someone he was not; even going so far as to get a restraining order a couple days after she killed him. Wendi Davidson does appear to be cold and calculating. Wendi Davidson appears to be a sociopath; but she exercised her right to remain silent in another attempt to abuse the process, she knows how the system works. As a result, she is eligible for parole in April 2019; she will be 41 years old.

Source: Nightmare Next Door ‘The Unwelcome Wagon’

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.


When Staff Sgt. Michael Severance goes AWOL the community of San Angelo rallies around his new bride. But there is something more sinister behind his disappearance, and investigators uncover a saga of treachery and passion as big as the state of Texas. -Nightmare Next Door, Investigation Discovery (S10 E2)

Related Links:
Autopsy Finds Airman’s Body Was Stabbed 41 Times
Airman found dead in Texas pond laid to rest in Maine
Vet indicted for allegedly drugging husband to death
Veterinarian indicted on murder charge
Lee family hires PR firm to help in custody fight
Lee Man Eager for Trial in Texas
Murder suspect charged again
Davidson Murder Trial Delayed in Texas Over DNA Evidence
Wife accepts deal in Texas murder case
Wife accepts plea in Texas murder case; Davidson gets 25 years in death of Michael Severance of Lee
Veterinarian sentenced to 25 years for husband’s murder
DVM gets 25 years for husband’s murder
Police Blotter: Murderer nabbed via tracking, Web search
Wendi Mae Davidson v State of Texas (2008)
Dad of Slain Mainer Angered by Insurance Payout
Texas mail chain massacre
She’s Filing Her Nails While They’re Dragging The Lake: Court Of Appeals Of Texas Finds That Local Authorities Didn’t Piggy-Back On Federal Investigation
True-crime writer explores 2005 murder of Lee native
Legally Speaking: Murder, She Googled
‘We just try to enjoy him when we can’: Family of slain Lee native welcomes home his son
Nightmare Next Door – Veterinarian Killed Texas Air Force Hubby, Dumped Body in Stock Pond on Investigation Discovery
A Poisoned Passion by Diane Fanning
One More Reason Why by Diane Fanning
A Poisoned Passion: A Young Mother, her War Hero Husband, and the Marriage that Ended in Murder by Diane Fanning (Amazon)
Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance is a Common Motive for Murder
Air Force SSgt Michael Severance Drugged by Wife; Wendi Davidson Plead ‘No Contest’ to 1st Degree Murder, Sentenced to 25 Years (January 15, 2005)
Newlywed Wife Reports Airman Husband Missing | Investigation Discovery
The Unwelcome Wagon, S10 E2 | Nightmare Next Door | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Unwelcome Wagon, S10 E2 | Nightmare Next Door | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
Maine Fallen Heroes

Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Bonfire of Blood’ on Investigation Discovery: Escalating Property Dispute Between Walter Stephens & Bob Hall Turns Deadly (May 25, 2016)

ID Go: An argument about access to a disputed road puts two Lompico, California men at each other’s throats. Things progress from intimidation and property damage to a backhoe attack and, finally, one of the most shocking murders the area has ever seen. -Bonfire of Blood, Fear Thy Neighbor (S3, E9)

Coast Guard veteran Walter Stephens shot and killed Bob Hall in Lompico, California on November 20, 1998. After killing Bob, Walt burned and attempted to hide his body in a bonfire on his property. Bob’s co-workers grew concerned when Bob didn’t show up for his retirement party at work. They called the police and asked them to do a welfare check on Bob. In the course of the investigation, police learned from family members that if anything happened to Bob, they needed to talk to his neighbor Walter Stephens. Bob and Walter had been in a long standing neighborhood feud with one another over a property issue. When police went to visit Walter at his home, they found him tending a large fire. They questioned Walter about Bob’s disappearance but he denied having any knowledge or information useful to the missing persons investigation. Upon closer examination of the bonfire, the police observed what appeared to be human remains in the fire. Walter admitted to killing Bob and he was arrested.

Fellow neighbors always thought it would be the other way around, that Bob would kill Walter. Some believe Walter finally snapped. Bob’s family believed it was first degree murder. Facing a possible death sentence, Walter pleaded self-defense but the prosecutors believed otherwise after the forensic evidence was examined. Walter said he thought Bob had a weapon when he approached him late one night on his property but his gun told another story. Walter pistol whipped Bob with his gun and then shot him while he was helpless and down on the ground. Prosecutors argued it wasn’t self-defense, it was straight up murder. They believed Walter started that confrontation with Bob that night with the intent to kill. Walter Stephens was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years to life in prison for second degree murder. He got 14 years for the murder and another 25 years for use of weapon. Bob’s bones were burned and mostly disintegrated and his body was not recognizable. Detectives believe that had the police not discovered Bob’s remains in the fire, Walter Stephens may have got away with it.

Source: ‘Bonfire of Blood’ Fear Thy Neighbor

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:
Bob Hall v Walter Stephens | Superior Court of California (1998)
Missing Man’s Body Found in Brushfire
Man held as suspect in neighbor’s murder
Stephens v. Tilton | United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (Jul 11, 2007)
Bonfire of Blood | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)

Deadly Women Premiered ‘Secrets and Lies’ on Investigation Discovery: Everything You Need to Know About Serial Killer Anjette Lyles (October 28, 2010)

Anjette Lyles felt the best way to deal with her problematic home life was to poison the people around her. -Secrets and Lies, Deadly Women (S4, E11)

In 1947, Anjette Lyles and WWII Army veteran Ben Lyles ran a successful restaurant in Macon, Georgia. Anjette’s shining personality and beautiful face kept the customers coming back. One judge remembered his experience at the restaurant and claimed she was just a nice person. One day, Ben decides he’s had enough and sells the family restaurant. He said he was sick of it and Anjette was angry because she wanted to keep the restaurant; they also had just gave birth to another child. Ben wouldn’t relent and he would come to regret that decision. At first, Anjette practiced black magic and wished for harm to come to Ben. Then she stepped it up and started using a form of ant poisoning she conveniently put in Ben’s food. Ben Lyles was sick with rheumatic fever since his time in the service but once he sold the restaurant, he rapidly deteriorated. Ben was experiencing bleeding from the nose and mouth, swelling of the eyes, weeping skin lesions, and acute liver failure. Nobody could figure out what was wrong. Ben’s death was painful and the baffled doctors decided it was encephalitis. Ben Lyles died on January 25, 1952.

The pair argued bitterly over [Ben selling the restaurant], and the arguments only got worse when the Veteran’s Administration decided to cut Ben’s pension to a tenth of what it was as they’d decided he was now fit to work. As if to prove the VA wrong, in December of 1951 Ben Lyles fell ill. The doctors were confused. It wasn’t a recurrence of his rheumatic fever, and in fact they weren’t quite sure what it was that was wrong with him. He had nosebleeds and convulsions, and had to be hospitalised. When he went into a coma in January the doctors decided it was encephalitis, but by then it was too late for effective treatment. He never regained consciousness and died on the 25th of January. –HeadStuff

With the life insurance payout and the proceeds from the sale of the restaurant, Anjette bought back the restaurant and it became even more popular. She met Joe ‘Buddy’ Gabbert in the restaurant; he was a pilot from Texas. As soon as Joe met Anjette, he was captivated by her and courted her very energetically. They were married in just a few months. But Joe would quickly learn his new wife is not as she seems. Within three months of walking down the aisle, Joe Gabbert was dead on December 2, 1955. At this point, it is clear that Anjette was a sociopath with no feelings of empathy or love for anyone. Before she was 30, Anjette was widowed twice because the secret to her misfortune was arsenic poisoning. Her first husband Ben died shortly after selling the family restaurant; her second husband Joe died of a mysterious illness shortly after they were married. But instead of mourning, Anjette was happy and thriving in her restaurant. With another life insurance payout, this time Anjette bought herself a new home. But then a complication arose when her mother-in-law, Julia Lyles, announced she wanted to move in with her.

Julia indeed moved in with her but Anjette found a way to eliminate her problem and make even more money. Anjette learned that Julia had lots of money in savings. She attempted to change Julia’s will but one judge would not touch it because he needed to witness Julia sign the document and he knew it wasn’t Julia’s signature. Anjette forged her mother-in-law’s will and began to speed up her demise. When Julia fell ill and was hospitalized, Anjette brought her favorite foods for her and all the nurses thought she was so nice. Instead, Anjette was feeding Julia arsenic poisoning while she was laying in the hospital bed. Julia Lyles died on September 29, 1957. Anjette learned the best way to handle family problems was to simply get rid of them, by murdering. After Anjette’s mother-in-law was dead, she started turning on her daughter Marcia because she was an accessory Anjette didn’t want anymore. Marcia died of another unexplained illness on April 5, 1958 and it was reported that Anjette stood in the corner of the hospital room laughing while she was in pain. The doctors at the time could find reasons for the deaths of her two husbands but not this healthy little girl.

This time the police wanted an autopsy of Marcia Lyles and the autopsy results revealed that Marcia died of arsenic poisoning. After learning this information, the police exhumed both Ben Lyle’s and Joe Gabbert’s bodies and again they found traces of arsenic. Anjette’s secrets were finally revealed; she was a serial killer with no mercy. People were stunned to learned Anjette poisoned both her husbands and her daughter Marcia. It was described as a complete shock as the community always knew the kind, happy, helpful Anjette in the restaurant. Anjette Lyles was convicted of multiple murders and sentenced to death in 1958. But she appealed on the grounds of insanity and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Anjette was spared execution and lived out her life in an asylum. She died in 1977 of a heart attack at age 55. And in the end, a lot of people didn’t believe she was evil; they just figured she had some kind of mental quirk. Former FBI Profiler Candice DeLong shared her assessment of the case: “Anjette was a very high functioning, dedicated, driven, successful business women. That is not the definition of a paranoid schizophrenic.”

Source: ‘Secrets and Lies’ Deadly Women

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.

Macon, Georgia | City Confidential | Anjette Lyles

Related Links:
Anjette Donovan Lyles (1925-1977) | Find a Grave
Lynn and Anjette | View From a Hearse
Anjette Lyles to be one of Discovery’s ‘Deadly Women’
Macon’s Murderous Maidens
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Murder À La Carte: The Murders of Anjette Lyles
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Anjette Lyles: Serial Killer: Whispers and Spells (book)
Whisper to the Black Candle: Voodoo, Murder, And the Case of Anjette Lyles (book)
6 Serial Killers in Georgia
Macon, GA | City Confidential | Anjette Lyles
Secrets and Lies | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S4, E11)

Navy Master Chief John Bench Murdered Son & Attempted to Murder Wife & Daughter in Japan, Then Killed Self in Motorcycle Crash (2009)

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Master Chief Petty Officer John Bench, US Navy

Investigation Discovery’s show Forbidden: Dying for Love aired an episode titled ‘An Officer, Not a Gentleman’ which featured the story of Navy Master Chief Petty Officer John Bench. Bench first killed his son and then attempted to kill his wife Agnus and their daughter on August 30, 2009 at Sasebo Naval Base in Japan. After the attacks, he then made a run for it and left the base traveling on his motorcycle. On that ride, John Bench slammed directly into the path of an oncoming truck and was killed instantly. NCIS was assigned to the case and discovered the crime scene. As a result they were able to get care for John’s wife and daughter who survived the brutal attack. Once Travis Tritten of Stars and Stripes discovered John Bench was involved in a homicide investigation in the Philippines, he did some digging because he knew this was no coincidence. The story he uncovers leads the Philippines police to another killer.

The Philippines is a key site for military and home to about 12 million citizens. Lilibeth Eniceo, 29, lived in the Philippines with her parents where she shared a room with her five children. Every day was a struggle for survival. A series of men let Lilibeth down but she continued to have hopes for a relationship. Ultimately, she was looking for love and stability for her family. Then one day in January 2007, she got a friend request from a Navy man named John Bench. He was a completely different kind of man than most. And he was the highest enlisted rank one could be in the Navy, therefore highly successful. But John was stationed thousands of miles away in Japan. Regardless, John continued to woo her and they stayed in constant contact; an internet romance grew very quickly.

Months later, John told Lilibeth his ship was traveling to the Philippines and he wanted to meet her in person. So Lilibeth traveled 100 miles to Subic Bay to meet John where his ship was at port. She was so excited to be meeting her prince charming for the first time. Lilibeth was upfront about her children from the beginning so John knew what he was getting into. John had no problems with her family and let her know he was committed to all of them. During the visit, John told Lilibeth he was divorced with two kids and free to pursue a relationship. John purposefully made her think that they had a future together. Lilibeth was happy and overwhelmed that she found a man like John Bench. It felt like they knew each other for years. Before John went back to Japan, he assured Lilibeth he would send money to support her and her family.

After years of despair and heart break, John Bench gained Lilibeth’s trust but he was keeping a secret too. John was still married with two children and they all lived on Sasebo Naval Base in Japan. John was married to Agnus, also a native of the Philippines, and they had two children: Anthony, 10, and Angelica, 15. But John was deeply unhappy in his marriage. And the success he worked so hard for would be destroyed in a divorce. John didn’t want to lose half of his military pension. Although, John was obviously not thinking clearly when he decided to have an affair because adultery is a crime in the military. John took a big risk when he started sending money to Lilibeth regularly. John felt trapped in a life he didn’t like and wanted to be free of it. He took a big gamble with his career because if caught he could lose everything. But no one could imagine the plot he was scheming.

Lilibeth and John had fallen madly in love but they had to keep it a secret. A year or so after they met, Lilibeth and John had another rendezvous but this time she introduced him to her children. John appeared to be the ideal family man because he was loving and very good with the children. They had a great visit. Right before he left, John informed Lilibeth he couldn’t give her anymore money because most of his money went towards alimony he was forced to pay after the divorce. John made it appear to Lilibeth that his ‘ex-wife’ was endangering their relationship and standing in the way of their future. He was point blank and didn’t mince words. He said he wanted to kill his wife. Because Lilibeth was blinded by her dreams of getting everything she ever wanted, she asked him what he wanted her to do. John asked her to find a hitman in the Philippines and then he returned to Japan.

Lilibeth was nervous and never thought she would be involved in an assassination plot. But she found someone to kill John’s wife. The hit would cost $1,250 with a downpayment of $700. John called Lilibeth to let her know when his wife was going to be in the Philippines visiting her family. This was the first opportunity they had to make their move. Lilibeth and the hitman lied in wait outside Agnus’ hotel and after she appeared, Lilibeth aborted the plan because her mother instincts kicked in. Agnus was exiting her hotel with her daughter. Lilibeth couldn’t imagine killing a mother in front of her daughter. Lilibeth told John she couldn’t do it and he was furious that his orders were not carried out. He eventually apologized for getting angry at her. The vulnerable Lilibeth forgave him and continued to remain under his spell.

In February 2009, John returned to the Philippines for another visit. Lilibeth still saw a relationship happening and the perfect life with John. She wanted security for her family so badly. On this visit, John asked Lilibeth to marry him and of course she said yes. She was so excited because this was a fairy tale turning into reality. But unfortunately this reality was built on lies. John was not divorced yet told Lilibeth that because he was paying alimony to his ‘ex-wife’, he would have to support two families and things would be tough. Lilibeth told him she didn’t care about the money as long as they were together and happy. But John continued to pressure her and this time he wanted her to find someone to kill his ‘ex-wife’ and the two children. Lilibeth wanted no part in this plan because to her it was unthinkable that someone would consider murdering their own children.

The cold hard truth is if John Bench was capable of committing these crimes, Lilibeth was one of his victims too. She desperately hoped John would abandon the evil plan. He told her his family didn’t care about him or love him. He made himself out to be the victim. She was torn because she would be letting go of a future with security if she said no, so she agreed to take part in the plot to kill his family. Lilibeth found another hitman and this time tried to limit her involvement by having John speak directly to him. John and Lilibeth met with the hitman and John told him how he wanted the plan to go down. He told the hitman he wanted him to carjack his family and then kill them. John assured Lilibeth afterwards they would finally be together.

The whole idea behind the plot was that this would be a failed robbery attempt and John would miraculously be the lone survivor. But again Lilibeth was having a hard time coping with the reality of the situation. She knew that a family was going to be murdered. The hitman waited at a pre-determined location and pulled the taxi over at gunpoint. He jumped in, demanded they drive to a remote location, and then told them all to get out of the car. He killed the taxi-cab driver first. Then he hesitated and called Lilibeth to tell her he was going to kill them. She told him she didn’t want to know anything. While the hitman was distracted, Agnus lunged at him and fought back in an attempt to get the gun. John hesitated to help her because he had been waiting so long for this plan to unfold so he could be free. John finally acted because otherwise he risked his wife finding out about his murderous plan.

The Bench family was taken to the local police department to give a statement. John Bench was quietly concerned about the hitman being on the run. He knew if he was caught and the plan was made public, it would ruin him. Ruby Ramores was also looking for answers as her brother was the taxi-cab driver who was murdered. She wanted justice for her brother; he was a father of three children and was just trying to make a living. John appeared to want to brush the whole incident under the rug. He denied hesitating to assist Agnus and boldly stated that he was simply waiting for the right opportunity. He then told the police he was tired and leaving so his family could go back to Japan. Ruby read the police reports and questioned why John was hesitant to help his family especially since he had the training to do so. Ruby wasn’t going to let this case go cold.

John kept a very low profile the weeks following the incident and stopped sending Lilibeth any money. Then after months of silence, John called Lilibeth out of the blue. He told her he missed her, wanted to be with her, and apologized for his actions. She eventually relented and forgave him. John told her they would be together soon. But once again, John was lying. After this call to Lilibeth, John unraveled and took matters into his own hands. First he savagely beat and murdered his son. Then he bludgened his wife and daughter with a baseball bat and left them for dead. Afterwards, he fled the scene on his motorcycle. Everything in John’s life was on the line and there was no coming back from this. So John gunned his engine and slammed directly into the path of an oncoming truck. He was killed instantly.

When Japanese authorities realized John was in the Navy, Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) took over. As a result, they went to John’s home and discovered the crime scene. They were able to save both Agnus and her daughter’s life. Once the news was reported, Travis Tritten of Stars and Stripes began looking into the case. He learned that John Bench was also involved in a homicide case in the Philippines. He suspected something wasn’t right and John’s involvement in the homicide in the Philippines was not coincidental. Travis found out that John Bench was having an affair so he contacted Lilibeth. She opened up to him about the details of the relationship and the various plots to kill John’s family. Lilibeth also gave him the name of the hitman who killed Ruby’s brother. The hitman was charged and imprisoned for the homicide. Ruby opted not to press charges against Lilibeth because she empathized with her and her children. Everyone involved was a victim of John Bench. He used a victimhood narrative to justify his evil intentions and manipulated others to do his dirty work for him. He is the definition of a sneaky sociopath.

I made a mistake. If I have to pay for it, I will pay for it…I was in love with a monster. -Lilibeth Eniceo

Related Links:
Sailor dies in crash after alleged assault leaves 12-year-old son dead
Probe centers on Task Force’s top enlisted
Mistress reveals plots that led to a senior enlisted sailor’s brutal attacks
NCIS investigates Filipino cabbie slaying
Navy officer’s mistress questioned in Philippines murder case
Man accused of plotting murder with U.S. sailor arrested in Philippines
Victim’s sister, sailor’s mistress form unlikely partnership
Hit man in Bench murder plot pleads guilty in Philippines
‘Forbidden: Dying for Love’ Eyes Story of USS Denver, Navy Officer Who Wanted Family Dead
Forbidden: Dying for Love “An Officer, Not a Gentleman” (Investigation Discovery)


A Filipino woman falls for a married US Navy Officer who will do anything to keep his mistress and his money. -Discovery ID

Navy Seabee Rebecca Braswell Conspired with Fellow Navy Seabees to Have Her Ex-Husband & Navy Veteran John Marmo Murdered, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2006)

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John Marmo, Jr., US Navy Veteran

  • John Marmo, Jr., US Navy veteran, was shot to death on December 1, 2006 in Camarillo, California
  • John’s ex-wife Rebecca Braswell, US Navy, conspired with fellow Naval Seabees to have John murdered: Shannon Butler, Matthew Toerner & Seth Hardy
  • Rebecca Braswell was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2009
  • Matthew Toerner was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2009
  • Seth Hardy was sentenced to life in prison for attempted murder with the possibility of parole for putting propane canisters under John’s car in 2006
  • Shannon Butler was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for first degree murder

Learn more: Prosecutor: Navy Petty Officer Rebecca Braswell Considered a Pure Sociopath

Related Links:
Seabee deployed to Okinawa accused of killing former sailor in California
3 Seabees to stand trial in slaying
Warning signs ignored in Marmo killing
At murder trial, witnesses say Seabee spoke of harming man
Two Seabees found guilty in 2006 slaying
3rd Seabee convicted in Camarillo ambush killing
Ex-Seabees sentenced to prison for murder
2 Ex-Seabees Get Life for Ventura Murder
The People, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Rebecca Golden Braswell, Defendant and Appellant, Court of Appeals California (February 15, 2011)
Rebecca Braswell, John Marmo, Jr.: Investigation Discovery’s ‘I’d Kill for You’ Shocks with Story of Naval Seabees who Murdered Camarillo Man Over Child Custody
Shannon Butler: Life in Prison without Parole
Investigation Discovery Go: I’d Kill for You ‘First to Die’
Investigation Discovery: I’d Kill for You ‘First to Die’ (YouTube)


A shotgun wedding leaves naval officers John Marmo and Rebecca Braswell in a troubled marriage with a baby. As the relationship crumbles, allegations of infidelity and abuse run rampant. A fierce custody battle pushes both sides in a deadly battle. -Discovery ID

Keana Barnes Shot & Killed Air Force Sgt. Perry ‘P.J.’ Jennings in Louisiana; Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison for 2 Homicides (2003)

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Keana Barnes murdered Air Force Sgt. Perry ‘P.J.’ Jennings on March 27, 2003 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Keana had been staying with her friend PJ temporarily while she got back on her feet. After PJ’s parents couldn’t get in touch with him for a couple days, they went to his apartment to see if they could find him. The building manager let them in the house and they found PJ with a single gunshot wound to the head, a pillow had been used as a silencer for the gun. It appeared that he had been killed in his sleep and did not suffer. He family reports that he actually looked peaceful.

Family had learned that Keana Barnes was also accused of murdering Jimmy Shepherd a year earlier. But Keana told PJ and others that she killed Jimmy in self defense because he tried to rape her. Actually, Keana brutally stabbed Jimmy 27 times in her rage attack. Keana Barnes was jailed for the offense but let out of the prison because the District Attorney didn’t file charges within 60 days. As soon as they realized their mistake, they put out a warrant for Keana who at this point couldn’t be found because she was bouncing from place to place including PJs.

After Keana Barnes murdered PJ Jennings, she fled the scene with his wallet, cash, and credit cards. She used the credit cards and it became obvious to police that she was heading for the Mexico border. Keana successfully entered Mexico but at this time the US Marshals were looking for her and were able to track her down based on her credit card usage. She was arrested and extradited back to New Orleans, Louisiana where she would face a first degree murder charge for PJ and a second degree murder charge for Jimmy Shepherd.

After Keana’s affluent family found out she was charged with two homicides, they backed her and paid for the best attorney money could buy. The attorney recommended a plea deal that was initially secret until the judge and the families of PJ Jennings and Jimmy Shepherd found out. Keana’s attorney wanted to reduce the charges to manslaughter and give her a sentence of 7 to 25 years in prison, eligible for parole in three years. The judge refused to accept the terms of the plea agreement and changed the sentence on the spot to 25 years in prison, no parole.

In a stunning twist, less than half way through her sentence, Keana Barnes successfully escaped from the St. Gabriel’s Prison in New Orleans, Louisiana. She headed out west to California and about three months after the successful escape, she was stopped by some L.A. police officers who asked for her identification. Keana didn’t have any identification so she was placed in the back of the police cruiser where she admitted to who she was. She was again extradited back to New Orleans, Louisiana to face additional time for the prison escape. Keana will be released in 2027 and she will be 44 years old when she is released.

Related Links:
Woman serving time for manslaughter escapes prison
Investigator: Escaped killer Barnes is street-smart, cold-blooded
Escaped Louisiana Woman on the Run After Jail Break
Louisiana fugitive Keana Barnes added to U.S. Marshals’ Most Wanted list
Police still hunting a two-time murderer who bounded a barbed wire fence to escape a Louisiana prison on New Year’s Day
New information about escaped female inmate
Murder victim’s father afraid for family, public after woman escapes St. Gabriel prison
Murder Victim’s Family Concerned After Keana Barnes Escapes Prison
Murderer Keana Barnes Escapes Prison Murder Victims family worried after Woman Escapes Prison
St. Gabriel escapee caught in California
Louisiana fugitive Keana Barnes found in Los Angeles
Killer who escaped women’s prison nabbed on Los Angeles’ Skid Row
Keana Barnes returns to prison after capture
Prison escapee Keana Barnes back behind bars in Louisiana
Keana Barnes on Snapped | Oxygen
Snapped: Preview – Keanna Barnes (Season 22, Episode 3) | Oxygen
Snapped: After the Verdict – Keana Barnes (Season 22, Episode 3) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – A Cookout with Keana Barnes (Season 22, Episode 3) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Keana’s Temper Tantrums (Season 22, Episode 3) | Oxygen


Two deceased men both helped out a damsel in distress. Did playing the good samaritan cost them their lives, and should authorities be worried that she could put someone else at risk? -Snapped on Oxygen