30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners (2017)


Graphic Courtesy of Futures Without Violence (2017)

  1. Air Force MSgt William Lipscomb Murdered his Wife Kathleen After She Threatened to Expose his WAPS Promotion Cheating Scam (1986)
  2. 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)
  3. Phonthip Ott Discovered Dead in California River; Spouse Dennis Ott, US Coast Guard, Convicted of Murder and Sentenced to Life in Prison (1992)
  4. Fort Carson Army Soldier Michael Pelkey Convicted by Military Court Martial of Murdering Wife Diane; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1993)
  5. Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)
  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. Retired Army Soldier Andrea Floyd Killed by Army Husband Brandon Floyd in Murder-Suicide at Fort Bragg (2002)
  8. Air Force SSgt Shelby Orelup Murdered by an Airman She Dated Briefly, SSgt Phillip Arindain Sentenced to Life in Prison (2003)
  9. US Army Soldiers Jeremy Meyers & Christopher Baber Found Guilty of Murdering Jeremy’s Wife Jessica for the Life Insurance Policy (2003)
  10. Fort Hood Army Sgt William Edwards Killed Estranged Wife Sgt Erin Edwards at Home in Killeen, Then Killed Self in Apartment Complex Parking Lot Across Street (2004)
  11. Sgt 1st Class Donald Gower, US Army, Conspired & Offered to Pay Others to Murder his Estranged Wife Hidi Gower for the Life Insurance (2007)
  12. Army Staff Sgt Paul Norris Shot Spc Kamisha Block Five Times in Iraq, Then Killed Self (2007)
  13. US Navy Sailor Genesia Gresham Shot and Killed in Bahrain by Clarence Jackson (2007)
  14. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (2008)
  15. 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)
  16. Army Sergeant Christina Smith Murdered by Army Husband Richard Smith & Accomplice Matthew Kvapil, Both Fort Bragg Soldiers Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  17. Ashley Barnes, US Army, Murdered by Soldier Husband Shortly Before Filing for Divorce, Khaleefa Lambert Sentenced to Life in Prison (2009)
  18. Travis McGraw, US Air Force Reserve, Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Military Life Insurance Policy (2011)
  19. 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)
  20. Robert Chiaravalotti, US Army, Sentenced to Life Without Parole by Military Judge After Killing Wife & Raping Step Daughter (2012)
  21. Miranda Nichols, US Army, Shot & Killed by Army Boyfriend Samuel Tellu in an Apparent Domestic Dispute, Tellu Found Dead in Vehicle (2012)
  22. US Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
  23. Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student Michelle Miller & Then Killed Self, Army Investigators Claim Double Suicide (2013)
  24. Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
  25. Army Sgt Michael Walker Allegedly Conspired to Murder Wife with Prostitute for Insurance Money; Awaiting Murder Trial in Hawaii Civilian Court (2014)
  26. Fort Meade Soldier Caleb Barnes, US Army, Plead Guilty to First Degree Murder of Cheryl Silvonek; Sentenced to Life in Maryland Prison (2015)
  27. Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Plead Guilty & Army Sgt Maliek Kearney Awaiting Trial (2015)
  28. Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
  29. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Iris Armstrong Found Murdered in Home; Accused Spouse Jason Armstrong Found Dead After Intense Manhunt & Police Stand-Off (2016)
  30. Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing 9/2; Army Soldier Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty, Estranged Husband Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Murder Trial (2016)

Related Links:
Racial and Ethnic Differences in Homicides of Adult Women and the Role of Intimate Partner Violence — United States, 2003–2014
CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners
Vast Majority of Female Murder Victims Killed by Partners: New CDC Report

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