Marine Corps Veteran Laurel Chasmar Shot to Death Outside New Jersey Home by Ex-Boyfriend Hassan Shahid in Apparent Murder-Suicide (2017)

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Laurel Chasmar, US Marine Corps Veteran

Marine Corps veteran Laurel Chasmar, 28, was shot and killed outside her Morris Plains, New Jersey home on August 5, 2017. Laurel was apparently in a relationship at one point with Hassan Shahid, 32, who is accused of her murder. Hassan Shahid of Jersey City was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Morris township after he allegedly killed Laurel. According to reports, Laurel and Hassan worked together at one of the Novartis facilities in New Jersey and dated for a time but it appears Chasmar ended things and then complained to the police that he was harassing her.

Related Links
Man, Woman Found Dead In Possible Murder-Suicide In Morris County, Sources Say
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Authorities identify pair killed in apparent murder-suicide
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Mayor: Morris Plains murder victim dated, then complained of ‘harassment’ by shooter
Slain Morris Plains woman, a Marine Corps veteran, had made complaints against killer
Marine shot to death by ex-boyfriend tried to flee her killer, mayor says
Slain Morris Plains Woman Complained About Harassment By Shooter: Reports

Stalking is Dangerous (2017)


Vegas Bray is convicted of murder and sentenced 50 years to life in prison. A friend of Vegas’s, Kevin Oseguera says “the monster inside of her” shot Victor, not his friend. -Snapped on Oxygen

Related Links:
Navy Veteran Victor Saucedo Shot and Killed in Home by Ex-Girlfriend; Navy Veteran Vegas Bray Sentenced to 50 Years to Life in Prison (2012)
Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)
National Stalking Resource Center

Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing at Fort Campbell on 9/2; Spc. Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty to Murder, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Trial (2016)

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Pfc. Shadow McClaine, US Army

Crime Watch Daily spoke with the parents of missing Army soldier Shadow McClaine. Shadow disappeared from Fort Campbell, Kentucky on September 2, 2016. Shadow’s parents were concerned her life may be in danger prior to her disappearance. They shared that someone cut her vehicle break lines on base and Shadow posted a picture of it on social media. They also said she reported the incident to her Chain of Command but felt dismissed. The Army Criminal Investigation Division (CID) conducted an investigation and reported two soldiers were being held as person of interests and the case was under investigation.

On November 29, 2016, Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray and Spc. Charles Robinson were charged with conspiracy, premeditated murder, and kidnapping under the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). On January 23, 2017, the remains of Pfc. Shadow McClaine were discovered off the I-24 highway near Exit 19 in Kentucky. It was confirmed that Shadow was in fact a victim of kidnapping and homicide. A year after Shadow went missing in September 2017, Spc. Charles Robinson pleaded guilty to murder. He claimed he helped Shadow’s estranged husband Williams-McCray kidnap and murder her. Sgt. Jamal Williams-McCray is awaiting a military trial.

Learn more: JUSTICE FOR SHADOW MCCLAINE

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Shadow McClaine: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
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Shadow McClaine killing: Fort Campbell soldier gets 25 years for helping man kill ex-wife
Shadow McClaine: Ex-husband’s murder trial will be a death penalty case
Violent Crime, Suicide & Non Combat Death at Fort Campbell, Kentucky

Crime Watch Daily:
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army seeks tips
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army seeks tips (2)
Soldier vanishes under mysterious circumstances; Army, Family Seeks Tips
Ex-Husband, Second Man Charged with Soldier’s Murder
Missing Soldier’s Body Found
Army Specialist Pleads Guilty to Shadow McClaine Murder


Army specialist Charles Robinson says he slashed Shadow McClain’s throat, then broke her neck to make sure she was dead. He says McClaine’s ex-husband, Jamal Williams-McCray hired him to murder her. -Crime Watch Daily

Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers During Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas (2016)

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Micah Johnson, US Army Reserve

Micah Johnson, a US Army Reserve veteran, is accused of gunning down and murdering five Dallas police officers during a Black Lives Matter Event on July 7, 2016. This is considered one of the deadliest attacks on police officers since September 11, 2001. He was eventually killed in a stand off with police. In recent media reports we learned that Micah Johnson deployed to Afghanistan from November 2013 to July 2014. He was accused of sexual harassment while deployed to Afghanistan in May 2014. He was accused of stalking and stealing women’s underwear as well. The victim sought a protection order and told superiors he needed mental health treatment. The protection order was granted and the Commanding officer recommended an Other Than Honorable discharge and sent him home early from his deployment to Afghanistan. Johnson’s military attorney stated that this kind of punishment is unusual for an isolated incident of sexual harassment. As part of a tentative agreement, it was recommended that Johnson receive a general discharge which saves the Army time and resources needed to discharge soldiers under Other Than Honorable conditions. Instead he was eventually released from the Army with a honorable discharge in April 2015.

As a result of his actions while serving, he was not investigated and prosecuted but instead sent back home from overseas and discharged from the US Army Reserves honorably. Although we have limited information in which to base conclusions, at first glance this looks like a case of escalation of predatory behavior that starts with sexual harassment, progresses to stalking, then the individual gets brazen and starts breaking and entering to steal his victims belongings. It would only be a matter of time before the individual escalated to sexual assault, rape and then murder. It’s too early to make a definitive conclusion as we are still waiting for information to come in because this story is developing. But one thing we do know is that the US Army Reserves took the easy way out, booted Micah Johnson from the military to protect it’s service members, and unleashed him on society with no warning or records. This case is another reason why we need the military to investigate and process each and every case through the legal system so we at least have a fighting chance at prevention and escalation of crimes. If the military can’t handle or afford to investigate and prosecute each case to determine the soldier’s danger to society, then maybe they should hand over the investigation and prosecution of crimes to the civilians. This isn’t the first case they let slip through the cracks and it certainly won’t be the last.

Why wasn’t the deaths of five Dallas Police Officers enough to warrant an investigation of the way the Army handles crime? Instead the conversation was stifled in the media. The following is a list of questions sent to the Army Times and other media outlets to help them help us find answers.

• What were his behaviors prior to being reported?

• What evidence did the Commander have to grant a protection order?

• Why was the protection order for her home as well?

• Why was he sent back home from Afghanistan?

• Why did the deployed Commander recommend sexual harassment with other than honorable discharge?

• Does the Commander understand the difference between sexual harassment and escalation of a violent criminal? (sex harassment, stalking, stealing victims belongings, sexual assault, rape, murder)

• Did the deployed Commander do any follow up with Army or Army Reserves?

• Where was he sent after leaving Afghanistan?

• Did he process through Fort Hood and was anyone informed of his status?

• Why and when was he assigned an attorney? (usually not necessary for sex harassment)

• Why no follow up on what happened in Afghanistan?

• Why no punishment whatsoever for sex harassment charge, protection order?

• Why no investigation of circumstances to determine if this individual was a danger to fellow soldiers in the US?

• Why no investigation of circumstances to determine if this individual was a danger to society?

• Why only a recommendation for other than honorable discharge?

• Why no concern that this individual may harm others in the community?

• Why no concern for records and informing local community of potential danger?

• Why did Micah Johnson end up getting discharged with a honorable discharge?

• Why is media reporting that the attorney and victim cannot speak to the media?

• Do you have the money to process soldiers through the legal system?

• If you don’t have the money, why not refer the case to the civilian authorities to help you determine if this person is a danger to society?

• Why no follow up with local police after victim got a military protection order?

• Where did the victim live? On base? Off base? Was protection order coordinated between deployed commander and commander in the states?

• Where did Micah Johnson live? On base? Were others informed of the protection order and reasons why?

• Why did it take so long to discharge Micah Johnson from the military after he was sent home from Afghanistan?

• Did he continue to go to work until he was discharged?

• Did he have any other victims or accusations while serving?

• Do you keep records of reports of sex crimes if the allegation cannot be substantiated because it’s a “he said, she said” crime?

• What triggers an investigation by CID? Where are they located?

• Do you investigate if the crime is considered sex harassment?

• Why sex harassment when stalking, stealing panties, protection order, and early return home from Afghanistan?

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As the funerals for the slain Dallas police officers continue, the investigation into the background and motive of Dallas shooter, Micah Johnson, continues. The US Army has opened an investigation into Johnson’s military service. Johnson reportedly spent six years in the Army Reserves and was accused of sexual harassment while serving. RT America’s Manuel Rapalo reports from Dallas, where police are also investigating claims that Johnson purchased an AK-47 off of Facebook for $600 before the shooting. -RT America

UPI: Sexual assault in U.S. military reflects culture of bullying (2014)

Stop the Bully

ALEXANDRIA, Va., March 19 (UPI) — The acceptance of bullying in U.S. culture contributes to sexual assault in the armed forces, experts say.

Mary Ellen O’Toole, editor-in-chief of Violence and Gender and retired FBI profiler and criminal investigator analyst led a roundtable discussion with Christopher Kilmartin of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Col. Jeffery Peterson of Center for Naval Analyses in Alexandria, Va., discussed specific factors that likely contribute to the sexual assault problem.

“The evidence is that the population of people who come into the U.S. military have more experience with sexual assault than the general population, both as offenders and as survivors. Survivors are at statistically increased risk of being revictimized, and offenders are at an increased risk for reoffending,” Kilmartin said at the roundtable.

Read more here.

Link

 

quit stalking meQuit Stalking Me: Website Dedicated to Stopping Cyberstalking

There are millions of websites out there, and everyday more and more people are utilizing the internet for their benefit. When I became the victim of an internet crime by an anonymous cyberstalker, I was horrified. How could a technology so great (like the internet) backfire and hurt me? All my life I saw it as a positive thing: expanding my career, my expertise, knowledge, connecting people together, bringing things to my finger tips. For weeks I did not know what to do, or where to look for help. I became a paranoid, sick person who wanted the entire vast and wide internet to disappear as quickly as the click of a button.

It was difficult enough that the person did not have to be physically in my house, yet their anonymous presence was overbearing and overpowering my every single thought. But because I was knowledgeable enough in the Internet and how it worked, I was able to take my life back, slowly but surely, I told myself, I would not rest until I find this cyberstalker and confront them. Afterall, I am sure they had been dying to see me in real life.

As it turns out, the cyberstalker was someone who was actually a person who I had a casual working relationship with in the past. I actually thought this person was harmless, nice, intelligent, and did not think twice that it could be the person cyberlessly stalking me! What goes on in peoples minds, is scarey and mysterious. How could I ever trust again? But I realize that, all the signs had been there all along, perhaps it took a lot more for me to see it, and realize that. Soon all the things started coming together the more I thought about it, the person’s words, subtle actions –my subtleness in telling people where I was at, what I was doing, who I was hanging out with last weekend, who I was talking to, even what I was eating, what restaurant. It was as subtle as changing my status on Facebook, or Myspace. Although I made sure only my ‘friends’ were able to see my information and profile and private photographs, I was naive to think that anyone who requested to be my friend would actually want to ‘be my friend’ and post me nice comments on my profile page!

In an effort to help others who encounter the similar experiences with cyberstalking, or perhaps to prevent cyberstalking in the future, this website was created as an aid to guide others on dealing with cyberstalking, tracking a cyberstalker’s activity, preventing a cyberstalker from doing more harm, whether emotionally, mentally or physically; and to empower people to use technology to their advantage for the betterment of humankind.

If you need help with your a cyber stalking problem, click here to learn more. We will get you the help that you need.

Learn more: http://quitstalkingme.com/

Navy Veteran Victor Saucedo Shot and Killed in Home by Ex-Girlfriend; Navy Veteran Vegas Bray Sentenced to 50 Years to Life in Prison (2012)

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Victor Saucedo, US Navy Veteran

Never have sex with a crazy ex. -Profiler Candice DeLong, Deadly Women

Victor Saucedo served as a damage controlman in the US Navy and was stationed at Naval Base San Diego in California. The ambitious Victor left the Navy in 2012 and began working on a college degree in law enforcement. He wanted to do well so he could provide for his four year old son. He had lots of friends, a loving family, and was an all around great guy. Victor met Vegas Bray, who was also in the Navy, at the Naval Base in San Diego; they remained friends even after she was discharged. Victor reconnected with the popular, well liked twenty-two year old Vegas at the gym; they both liked to work out. Victor was smitten initially and the two began a serious relationship in March 2011. Victor and Vegas spent a lot of time together.

Then Vegas realized she had to share Victor with his child, an ex-girlfriend, and all his friends. Vegas was especially jealous of the mother of his child because she had to be the only person in Victor’s life. Her jealousy was brewing because of her immature personality and stunted emotional development. Vegas Bray was both abandoned and abused, and as a result had a difficult time with men. Vegas tried to use sex to control Victor. If Victor went out with his friends, Vegas would show up and ask him to leave. This behavior embarrassed Victor and he may have lost his friends but he was never going to give up on his son. Vegas accused Victor of spending all his time with his son. Victor didn’t hide the fact that his boy came first and broke up with Vegas in March 2012. Although they still hooked up even after the break-up.

Vegas had a rough childhood. Her mother abandoned her when she was twelve; she didn’t know who her father was. But she was pretty, smart, and well liked. She was described as nice by those who grew up with her. She grew up in the heavily populated military community in San Diego and as a result was inspired to join the enlisted ranks in the Navy after high school graduation in 2007. She worked as a Machinist at Naval Base San Diego. But Vegas didn’t like it. She was not adjusting well to the rules and regulations and applied for an early discharge. The discharge application was approved and she was administratively discharged from the Navy in 2010. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to do so she began working as a cocktail waitress. She met Victor in 2011 and he broke up with her in 2012.

Instead of moving on, Vegas started pulling childish pranks. She sat outside his home, followed him, threw eggs at his car, keyed his car, punctured his tires, threw paint at his door, and threatened to kill him. Victor moved to a new apartment within the complex to escape the escalating abuse. He even considered moving back to Chicago, Illinois but didn’t want to leave his son behind. He had a feeling Vegas would kill him. After she found out where he lived, Vegas broke a window at the new place. Victor didn’t want any confrontations with her. And even after all this, he still wanted to be friends. He went to the police once to report the stalking behavior and the threats to his life but he didn’t feel like he was taken seriously. He also chased Vegas down after she threw a bottle through his car window. He then called the police but declined to press charges hoping the warning would do the trick.

Vegas told Victor she was going to move into the same apartment complex as him and Victor agreed to be a co-signer on the new apartment. Vegas went to Victor’s place on October 15, 2012 to talk about the co-signing arrangement. Vegas and Victor drank and talked all evening; they had a good time and ended up sleeping together. The next morning, Vegas wanted to go to breakfast but Victor did not. Vegas felt used and taken advantage of; she was angry. What Victor thought was a casual night with an ex meant something completely different to Vegas. This night made her feel closer to Victor, more possessive, and got her hopes up that something would rekindle. Once Victor realized his mistake, it was too late. Because of her abandonment issues, she felt rejected. She was truly devastated by this experience and her rage kicked into overdrive.

Vegas was obsessed with Victor and wanted to know why he broke up with her. On October 16, 2012, Vegas went to Victor’s home in Imperial Beach and confronted him. He reiterated that it was over. She shot him six times at close range. Then when he was down, she coldly pointed the gun at his head and fired rapidly three more times. Police would learn that she left him a message on his answering machine begging him not to leave her. She went to his apartment with a plan after he didn’t call her back, she murdered him in cold blood. Once he was dead, she called the police to report that she found Victor dead with his gun lying next to him. Vegas implied that Victor committed suicide.

After detectives observed the crime scene, they found Victor lying in the hallway with a gun at his side. He had been shot multiple times in the face, head, and upper body; a suicide was not possible. The police felt that referring to Victor’s death as a suicide was preposterous; they quickly deduced this was a homicide. But Vegas’ child-like mind failed to see the absurdity of the statement. Vegas voluntarily went to the police station and told investigators that she couldn’t remember what happened because she blacked out. During the interview, Vegas told investigators that Victor broke up with her on the phone and unfriended her Facebook. Although she had other plans, she turned around on the highway and went to Victor’s home to confront him, what the hell?

Vegas Bray said she didn’t plan on going back to Victor’s house. She said she didn’t remember anything and blacked out but remembered her ears were ringing. She also admitted that the black outs began in childhood. She said she was sexually abused as a child and when she reported it to her mother, she wasn’t believed. She did see a psychiatrist to work on her depression and her disability, post traumatic stress disorder. She also admitted that the 38 caliber revolver was hers. Others described Vegas as unstable; she had quick temper and flew off at the handle. Witnesses confirmed she was jealous of the ex-girlfriend and would often cause scenes. They said one time she even held a gun to Victor’s face and this is when he left her. He didn’t want anymore drama unfortunately leaving her only heightened the drama.

Vegas Bray was arrested later that day and charged with the murder of Victor Saucedo. It took two years to declare Vegas mentally fit to stand trial. The jury would learn that Victor was shot nine times with hollow point bullets meant to do maximum damage. And they learned that a 38 caliber revolver only held six bullets so Vegas had to reload the gun before shooting Victor three more times. This fact also matched testimony by witnesses who said they heard 5-6 gunshots, silence, then three more shots. The defense brought up Vegas’ difficult upbringing with her abusive, neglectful mother but the jury decided it didn’t excuse taking a life. In 2016, Vegas Bray was found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to fifty years to life in prison. Vegas Bray was an unstable, jealous ex with a gun who killed Victor Saucedo because she couldn’t control him.

Related Links:
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‘Fly Guy’ Victor Saucedo Remembered at Candlelight Vigil
Friends remember local sailor killed in Imperial Beach
Family, friends say shooting victim was stalked
Ex-Girlfriend Arrested in IB Homicide Case
Woman accused of gunning down ex-boyfriend in Imperial Beach
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Snapped: Vegas Bray | Oxygen
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Ex-Lover Jealousy Turns Lethal: The Vegas Bray Story
Deadly Women: Cling ‘Til Death (Investigation Discovery)


These Deadly Women won’t let their men go… they “Cling ‘Til Death.” -Discovery ID

Cold Case: Army Veteran Kanika Powell Shot Several Times at Doorway of Maryland Home, No Known Suspects At This Time (2008)

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Kanika Powell, US Army veteran

Army veteran Kanika Powell, 28, was brutally gunned down outside the door of her home on August 28, 2008 in Prince George’s County, Maryland. Kanika enlisted in the Army in 2000, served in Korea, and then got out of the military and was finally living her dream job in national security. Kanika had a top secret security clearance. Prior to the murder, Kanika had some odd encounters. Two men showed up at her house claiming to be the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). They called her by name and put a fake FBI badge up to her peephole. She did not open the door. She called her work to ask if someone sent them; they had not. The incident frightened Tanika.

Five days later another man showed up at her house, asked for her by name, claimed to have a package for her then left. Twelve hours later someone else showed up again claiming to have a package for her then left. Tanika was fearful for her safety. A few days later Kanika was shot several times. The gunman was standing right outside her door waiting for her. The police report that no hand gun was found and there are no known suspects at this time. The case has turned up few leads. Kanika’s wallet and keys were found next to her body so robbery was ruled out as a motive. The police do not believe her job was the motive. The police and Crime Watch Daily welcome tips.

“On Saturday, August 23rd, 2008, Kanika had a frightening experience where a man posing as an FBI agent had tried to gain access to her apartment. He knew her name, and approached her door, but Kanika was intelligent enough to not allow him inside. She later called the police to report the incident…When she arrived back at her apartment at approximately 11:50 a.m., someone was waiting in the hallway and shot her multiple times…Police were baffled by the seemingly motiveless crime and didn’t have so much as a single suspect.” –Trace Evidence

Related Links:
Prince George’s Killing, Apparently Planned, Opens Host of Mysteries
Unsolved: National security worker gunned down amid mysterious circumstances
Don’t Open the Door: The Kanika Powell Murder
Crime Watch Daily: Military Veteran Found Dead at Door; Who Killed Her?
The Mysterious Unsolved Murder of Kanika Powell
The Murder of Kanika Powell (027) | Trace Evidence
The Murder of Kanika Powell (EP.#027) True Crime Podcast – Trace Evidence


The Murder of Kanika Powell (027) | Trace Evidence

Army Staff Sgt Paul Norris Shot Army Spc. Kamisha Block Five Times in Iraq, Then Killed Self (2007)

Kamisha Block

Spc. Kamisha Block, US Army

Spc. Kamisha Block, 20, US Army, died of a non combat related incident in Baghdad, Iraq on August 16, 2007. Spc. Block was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom on behalf of the 401st Military Police Company, 720th Military Police Battalion, 89th Military Police Brigade in Fort Hood, Texas. The Department of Defense announced at the time of the press release that the circumstances surrounding the incident were under investigation. Media reports indicate that Kamisha died of gunshot wounds after she was shot in the shoulder, chest, and head area five times by a fellow Army soldier, Staff Sg. Paul Norris. Norris then turned the gun on himself putting a single bullet into the right side of his head. Medics found Norris dead at the scene and Kamisha with a sucking chest wound. Kamisha Block was pronounced dead a few minutes later at Camp Liberty Troop Medical Clinic. The family claims there was no serious relationship with Norris yet he became possessive and began abusing her. They believe she was not protected by the Army.

“She spent a year in Korea, and then returned for a few months to Fort Hood before she left for Iraq in 2007. While in Texas she began a relationship with Staff Sgt. Brandon Norris, her parents said, a man in the same battalion. Although the Blocks never believed Norris and Kamisha Block had a serious relationship, Norris became attached and possessive of her, Army investigators told the family. Before they left Fort Hood for Iraq, Norris physically assaulted Kamisha Block, her family learned through later Army reports. He was disciplined and received counseling, but he did not lose his jealous nature.” ~Home of the Brave

Related Links:
DoD Identifies Army Casualties
Army Spc. Kamisha J. Block
Army Specialist Kamisha Block – Daughter of Texas
Parents of soldier Army says was murdered want to know why abuse wasn’t taken more seriously
Parents Are Upset With Army’s Investigation Into Soldier’s Death
Is There an Army Cover Up of Rape and Murder of Women Soldiers?
US Military Keeping Secrets About Female Soldiers’ “Suicides”?
What’s The Military Hiding About LaVena Johnson & Kamisha Block’s Deaths?
Exposed: Military Lied About Murder of U.S. Soldier in Iraq
Why Did the Army Lie about the death of Vidor’s Kamisha Block? She was murdered
Love and Death in Iraq
Men’s magazine details the war murder of Vidor’s Kamisha Block
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
August: U.S. Department of Defense Casualties Report from September 11, 2001 to Present (2017)
The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery


A young Army recruit enlists with dreams of serving her country. What she doesn’t expect is to find love with a commanding officer in her platoon. The two battle to keep their forbidden affair secret but can they defeat the enemy within? -Forbidden: Dying for Love

Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)

US Army

In 1999, the television program 60 Minutes reported on the hidden War at Home in the U.S. military. They reported that at the time of airing, Pentagon records showed that 58,000 military spouses were victims of domestic violence and that rate was three times higher than the civilian population rate. The overall concerns were that the military justice system was a system that routinely failed to punish even the most violent and abusive servicemen. As a result, it often left an abused spouse alone without protection to fight a secret war. 60 Minutes highlighted the cases of three Fort Campbell soldiers who were charged with killing their wives or girlfriends (Bill Coffin, Dane Zafari, Tracy Leonard) and one Navy spouse who was a victim of domestic violence.

One of the cases singled out was that of Fort Campbell Sergeant Bill Coffin who murdered his ex-fiance Ronnie Spence after a civilian judge granted her an emergency protection order. In December 1997, Sgt. Coffin murdered Ronnie in front of their baby daughter in a shared home near Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Sgt. Coffin shot her twice through the trailer, entered the home and then shot her in the face and through the heart. While Ronnie was lying dead on the floor, Sgt. Coffin emptied the gun into her. Several weeks before the shooting, court records showed that Sgt. Coffin had repeatedly threatened to kill Ronnie and his superior officers at Fort Campbell knew about the threats.

I think they should have confined him to that army base. They should have gotten him some help. They should have stopped him, they should have intervened. They did nothing. -Kathy Spence (mother)

60 Minutes interviewed Kentucky Judge Peter MacDonald who stated that domestic violence cases involving Fort Campbell soldiers routinely showed up in his courtroom. He said that Army commanders regularly ignored court orders issued to protect the abused spouses. Judge MacDonald issued the emergency protective order requiring Sgt. Bill Coffin to stay away from Ronnie Spence. Sgt. Coffin instead shot and killed her. According to 60 Minutes, Sgt. Coffin pleaded guilty to domestic violence and other charges, and was sentenced. Judge MacDonald felt the readiness of the troops was more important than the protection of the battered and abused spouses.

In an in depth investigation, 60 Minutes learned that the Army’s domestic violence guide for commanders listed a number of things that could have been done in Sgt. Bill Coffin’s case but were not. The guide included restricting an abuser to the barracks or assigning them to the quarters of a superior. They also learned that the military spends millions yearly on a Family Advocacy program designed to treat and prevent domestic violence. But Sherry Arnold, a licensed clinical social worker, who helped run the program for the Marines in Camp Pendleton in California, said the Commanders have preconceived notions. She often witnessed victim blaming, minimization, a hands off approach, an ‘it’s a family matter’ attitude, and indifference to the seriousness of the situation and escalating violence.

Robert Clark, the commanding general of Fort Campbell, Ky., where several particularly violent incidents have occurred, said the military does a good job handling domestic violence cases. But Peter MacDonald, chief district court judge in Kentucky with jurisdiction over Fort Campbell, said the Army routinely ignores his court orders designed to protect abused spouses. “They have no conception of what’s going on in domestic violence.” –Deseret News

After the public learned of the scandalous way the U.S. military handles felony crimes like domestic violence, rape, and stalking, the Pentagon was ordered by Congress to investigate domestic violence in the armed forces. Congress recommended stronger protections for battered spouses and stiffer penalties for the servicemen who abuse them. In 2000, Major Joanne P.T. Eldridge suggested a proposal to add anti-stalking provisions to Article 134 in the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Since 1999 and long before this, domestic violence has continued to be an on-going serious invisible issue in the military. Both military spouses and service members are victims of domestic abuse. The year 60 Minutes aired the ‘The War at Home’ programming, Fort Campbell soldier Barry Winchell was murdered because a couple soldiers suspected he might be gay. Barry’s murder prompted the lift of the controversial Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.

The year after 60 minutes aired, civilian spouse Michelle Theer conspired with her lover, Army Ranger John Diamond, to kill her husband Air Force Captain Frank Theer for the life insurance money. In 2002, four wives were slain in six weeks at Fort Bragg in North Carolina. They were Teresa Nieves, Jennifer Wright, Andrea Floyd, and Marilyn Griffin. In 2008, Army Lt. Holley Wimunc was abused, stalked, and murdered by her Marine husband. In 2011, Holley’s father advocated for H.R. 1517 sponsored by Representative Bruce Braley. This law was aimed at protecting both domestic violence and sexual assault victims. This law would have required the removal of Commanders from the investigation and prosecution of felony crimes. The Holley Lynn James Act and any subsequent legislation, like the Military Justice Improvement Act, suggesting the removal of the Commander from the processing of felony crimes have been unsuccessful.


Rep. Bruce Braley introduces the Holley Lynn James Act — a bill to help victims of sexual assault and domestic violence in the military get justice. The bill is named after Holley Lynn James, a constituent of Rep. Braley who was killed by her husband while both were in the service. 

Related Links:
60 Minutes: “The War at Home” (transcript)
Spouse Abuse A Military Problem
Domestic Abuse Reported Higher in Military
Domestic violence in military higher than U.S. average
Stalking and the Military: A Proposal to Add An Anti-Stalking Provision to Article 134, Uniform Code of Military Justice (2000)