Murder Comes to Town Premiered ‘Hellfire in the Hollow’ on Investigation Discovery: Military Spouse Rose Goggins Murdered by In-Laws Sylvia & Steven Beersdorf Sr. (June 19, 2018)

When a 21-year-old mother doesn’t return from night classes and her car is found burned, investigators immediately suspect foul play. However no one is prepare for the web of lies that ultimately unfold due to her disappearance. -Murder Comes to Town, Investigation Discovery

Victim:
Rose Mary Marie Goggins, 21, was killed by her future in-laws on January 14, 2010 in Lawrenceburg, Tennessee. Steven and Sylvia Beersdorf Sr. pleaded guilty to homicide, disposing of her body, and setting her car on fire. Rose’s fiancé, Steven Beersdorf Jr., was at Camp Shelby in Mississippi with the Tennessee Army National Guard preparing to ship off to Iraq. Authorities stated that although Beersdorf’s parents were guilty, Goggins’ fiance was not involved in her murder.

Defendants:
Sylvia Beersdorf, 43 – pleaded guilty to criminal conspiracy to commit first-degree murder; sentenced to 15 years in prison
Steven Beersdorf Sr., 46 – pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges; sentenced to life in prison

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:
From Missing Person to Murder Victim
Rose Goggins murder case: Remains found at future in-laws house are of female; DNA testing under way
More details released in killing of young Tennessee mom; 2 charged
Tennessee: Couple charged in death of son’s girlfriend
Tennessee couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Pleads Not Guilty In Woman’s Death
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple plead not guilty to murder of son’s fiance
Couple Waives Rights To Preliminary Hearing
Rose Goggins murder: Grandparent suspects waive preliminary hearings
Couple face trial in slaying of daughter-in-law
Plea Deals Accepted In Future Relative’s Death
Couple plead guilty in death
Wayne Couple Pleads Guilty To Killing Grandson’s Mom
Rose Goggins Murder To Be Re-Lived When “True Crime” Pgrm. Airs In Fall
Homicide in the Heartland | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | ID (YouTube)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (website)
A Rose Amongst Thorns | Wicked Attraction | Investigation Discovery (Dailymotion)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (website)
Hellfire in the Hollow | Murder Comes to Town | Investigation Discovery (YouTube)
In Loving Memory of Rose Mary Marie Goggins (Facebook)

Web of Lies Premiered ‘Control Alt Delete’ on Investigation Discovery: Kwang Chol Joy Serving Life Sentence for the Murder of Army Veteran Maribel Ramos (April 24, 2018)

ID Go: Maribel Ramos is a US army veteran with a complicated love life. When she arranges to meet an online date, she disappears, leaving family and friends desperate for news. Detectives are left to uncover a twisted tale of jealousy and rage. -Control Alt Delete, Web of Lies (S5, E6)

Date: May 2, 2013
Victim: Maribel Ramos, 33, Army veteran, college student
Offender: Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy, 53, software engineer, unemployed
Location: Santa Ana, California
Circumstances: Maribel was close with her family, she was positive, caring, loving, supportive and encouraging, Maribel was a Sergeant in the Army, she was in supply and logistics, she wanted to be the female that set the example, she did approximately 160 missions overseas, Maribel had PTSD, one of her fellow comrades lost his life on a mission, she had survivor’s guilt, after 8 years, Maribel left the Army and moved in with her boyfriend, being around people bothered her but she was set on a career in law enforcement, Maribel & her boyfriend broke up, she didn’t feel he was supportive, he was heartbroken, she pursued a degree in criminal justice because she wanted to be a police officer, she took her studies seriously, one month into her studies, her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, Maribel stepped up to help her mom, 3 months after her diagnosis, Maribel’s mom died in hospice, Maribel was destroyed, it was a huge loss for the family, Maribel regrouped and bounced back, she continued her schooling so she could get her degree, she joined the student veterans association on campus at California State University Fullerton, she addressed her issues and became a veteran advocate, a student in her veterans group started stalking her, he was obsessed with her, she was not interested and he scared her, 3 years after her mom passed, Maribel grew tired of living alone and went on-line looking for a roommate, KC Joy moved in, they were very comfortable together and became great friends and roommates, Maribel was not interested in KC romantically, Maribel wanted to find love and started dating again, she went on Plenty of Fish, meanwhile Maribel’s roommate was a big hit with Maribel’s family, Maribel met Paul, after dating for a month, he started hanging out with the family, he made Maribel laugh but she had doubts about the relationship, he wasn’t that serious about making a commitment, Maribel went back on line looking for love, she met a new guy, a photographer, but Maribel’s ex-boyfriend Chris never gave up, Maribel and KC shared their apartment for 18 months when KC reported to her family that she was missing, he then called the authorities, no one had heard from Maribel, her phone was going straight to voicemail, police receive multiple phone calls from Maribel’s family and friends, she was missing, she didn’t just get up and go, the police went to her apartment to investigate, there were no signs of struggle, or a break in, but her cellphone, keys and ID were missing, KC appeared to be very worried about Maribel, the police asked KC to go back to the police department, he was cooperative, very concerned for Maribel, and he said she must have gone out on a date and didn’t return, that was his concern, the family began an active campaign to look for Maribel, the police started investigating the last people she was with, she was supposed to speak at an event and she missed it, now the police were concerned that she ran into some foul play, the first 48 hours are crucial in any investigation, they needed to act quickly but they found no trace of Maribel’s movements, there was no activity in Maribel’s life, they checked in with her ex-boyfriend Paul, he was on their radar immediately because he was the last person to speak with Maribel, he cooperated with the police and his alibi checked out, the family had an awareness walk looking for more information because they knew Maribel was in trouble, the police looked at video surveillance from the apartment complex, they saw Maribel paying her rent and then was never heard from again, someone from the student vets association called police to tell them about Raymond (the guy stalking her) but they learned he moved back to Japan and wasn’t in the US at the time of her disappearance, analysis of Maribel’s computer lead them to the photographer but he too had an alibi, they went back to roommate KC Joy, he came off as a very concerned friend, they noticed some scratches on his arms, he said he got them in a park after stumbling, the police didn’t believe him, they put him under 24 hour surveillance, they followed him to the public library where he used a public computer, detectives set up a sting across the street from the library, when he went on line, the police used special software to secretly monitor his computer activity, KC Joy was a suspect after this sting, they realized he killed her and dumped her body, he googled ‘how long does it take for a human body to decay,’ he observed Maribel’s facebook page and pulled up the location of where the awareness walk was, he then zoomed in on a remote canyon and the authorities believed KC showed them where the body was (Modjeska Canyon, California), police searched the area and within an hour reported that they found Maribel, she was buried under some small rocks, her body was badly decomposed, forensic testing confirmed it was Maribel, police were never able to determine the cause of death, but circumstantial evidence pointed to KC Joy, the detectives gave KC one last chance to come clean but they don’t let him know they found the body, he pointed to Maribel’s ex-boyfriends again and continued to deny knowing where Maribel was, he got up, walked out, and the police arrested him, but no one knows how KC killed Maribel, authorities theorized by August 2012, KC Joy had grown intense feelings for Maribel, he was obsessed, he even spent $12,000 on cosmetic surgery to make himself look younger, he was wildly jealous of Maribel’s boyfriends, by April 2013, his life was falling apart, KC Joy lost his job and told Maribel he couldn’t pay the rent, she told him if you can’t pay your rent, you have to move out, on the day Maribel disappeared, tensions were thick and they were arguing about the rent, KC Joy didn’t want to move out, Maribel wanted him to move out, she locked herself in her room and called Paul, that same night KC Joy sneaked in her room and killed her, he most likely suffocated her and then dumped her body in a remote location, if I can’t have her, no one can have her
Disposition: KC Joy was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison

Source: Control Alt Delete, Web of Lies

Maribel Ramos

Maribel Ramos, U.S. Army veteran

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: In California, a woman disappears without a trace. Police suspect her roommate knows more than he claims, but without any hard evidence they become locked in a vicious game of cat and mouse. Aphrodite Jones uncovers a tale of fatal obsession and murder. -Virtual Drive-By, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S5, E9)

Podcasts:

On this week’s episode, a soldier goes missing but is it a kidnapping or murder? -Maribel Ramos, Queens of Crime

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:
Control Alt Delete | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)
Control Alt Delete | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (website)
Control Alt Delete | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Virtual Drive-By | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | Investigation Discovery (S5, E9)
Virtual Drive-By | True Crime with Aphrodite Jone | Investigation Discovery (website)
Virtual Drive-By | True Crime with Aphrodite Jone | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Queens of Crime podcast 041: Maribel Ramos
Maribel Ramos Missing
Friends and family hold vigil for missing Maribel Ramos
Maribel Ramos’ death declared homicide
Autopsy confirms body found is that of missing California veteran
Funeral held for slain army veteran Maribel Ramos
Roommate arrested for murder of Orange County student
Roommate Arrested In Mysterious Death Of OC Woman He Called ‘The Only Family I Had’
Arrest Made In Killing Of Southern California Army Veteran (Video)
Crimetracker: Suspect in murder of LA woman has ties to Knoxville
Ex-roommate suspected in death of missing Army veteran in Calif.
Accused killer posted on Yelp about victim’s disappearance
Roommate of Maribel Ramos remains jailed, scheduled for Tuesday court appearance
Man Accused Of Murdering Roommate Speaks Out From Jail
Maribel Ramos Murder Suspect Makes First Court Appearance
Roommate charged with murder raised suspicions online after writing posts about missing woman in the past tense before her body was found hidden in bushes
Maribel Ramos murder: Prosecutors shed light on case in suspect’s 1st court appearance
Maribel Ramos murder: Prosecutors shed light on case in suspect’s 1st court appearance
Prosecutors: New Evidence Against Suspect In Murder Of Roommate, An Iraq War Vet
Prosecutor: Suspect Researching Body Decomposition at Library Led Detectives to Body
Online search cracked missing woman case, prosecutors said
Accused Killer Was in Love With Slain Roommate: Prosecutors
Suspicious Behavior Doesn’t Mean Someone’s a Killer, Murder Suspect’s Lawyer Says
Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy Dumped Maribel Manriquez Ramos’ Body, Agree DA and Defense
Man found guilty of murdering Army veteran, burying her body in canyon
Orange County man convicted of killing roommate
SoCal Army Vet’s Roommate Convicted of Her Murder
Southern California man convicted of killing ex-roommate Army veteran Maribel Ramos
Roommate Found Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder in Death of Maribel Ramos
Man convicted of killing Army veteran roommate faces 15-year sentence
KC Joy gets 15 years to life in prison for Maribel Ramos murder
OC man gets 15 to life for killing Iraq War vet
SoCal Man Gets 15 Years to Life in Murder of Army Vet Roommate
Maribel Ramos’ Killer Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison, Says He Cared for Victim ‘More Than Anyone’
Did a Murderer Just Give Himself Away on Yelp?
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones: Did Unrequited Love Lead to Maribel Ramos’ Disappearance | Crime Feed
Maribel Ramos was murdered by roommate K.C. Joy – Web of Lies
In Lovely Memory of Maribel Ramos

Army Veteran Maribel Ramos Murdered by Roommate After Fight Over Unpaid Rent; Kwang Chol Joy Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison (May 2, 2013)

Maribel Ramos

Maribel Ramos, US Army veteran

Date: May 2, 2013
Victim: Maribel Ramos, 33, Army veteran, college student
Offender: Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy, 53, software engineer, unemployed
Location: Santa Ana, California
Circumstances: Maribel was close with her family, she was positive, caring, loving, supportive and encouraging, Maribel was a Sergeant in the Army, she was in supply and logistics, she wanted to be the female that set the example, she did approximately 160 missions overseas, Maribel had PTSD, one of her fellow comrades lost his life on a mission, she had survivor’s guilt, after 8 years, Maribel left the Army and moved in with her boyfriend, being around people bothered her but she was set on a career in law enforcement, Maribel & her boyfriend broke up, she didn’t feel he was supportive, he was heartbroken, she pursued a degree in criminal justice because she wanted to be a police officer, she took her studies seriously, one month into her studies, her mother was diagnosed with colon cancer, Maribel stepped up to help her mom, 3 months after her diagnosis, Maribel’s mom died in hospice, Maribel was destroyed, it was a huge loss for the family, Maribel regrouped and bounced back, she continued her schooling so she could get her degree, she joined the student veterans association on campus at California State University Fullerton, she addressed her issues and became a veteran advocate, a student in her veterans group started stalking her, he was obsessed with her, she was not interested and he scared her, 3 years after her mom passed, Maribel grew tired of living alone and went on-line looking for a roommate, KC Joy moved in, they were very comfortable together and became great friends and roommates, Maribel was not interested in KC romantically, Maribel wanted to find love and started dating again, she went on Plenty of Fish, meanwhile Maribel’s roommate was a big hit with Maribel’s family, Maribel met Paul, after dating for a month, he started hanging out with the family, he made Maribel laugh but she had doubts about the relationship, he wasn’t that serious about making a commitment, Maribel went back on line looking for love, she met a new guy, a photographer, but Maribel’s ex-boyfriend Chris never gave up, Maribel and KC shared their apartment for 18 months when KC reported to her family that she was missing, he then called the authorities, no one had heard from Maribel, her phone was going straight to voicemail, police receive multiple phone calls from Maribel’s family and friends, she was missing, she didn’t just get up and go, the police went to her apartment to investigate, there were no signs of struggle, or a break in, but her cellphone, keys and ID were missing, KC appeared to be very worried about Maribel, the police asked KC to go back to the police department, he was cooperative, very concerned for Maribel, and he said she must have gone out on a date and didn’t return, that was his concern, the family began an active campaign to look for Maribel, the police started investigating the last people she was with, she was supposed to speak at an event and she missed it, now the police were concerned that she ran into some foul play, the first 48 hours are crucial in any investigation, they needed to act quickly but they found no trace of Maribel’s movements, there was no activity in Maribel’s life, they checked in with her ex-boyfriend Paul, he was on their radar immediately because he was the last person to speak with Maribel, he cooperated with the police and his alibi checked out, the family had an awareness walk looking for more information because they knew Maribel was in trouble, the police looked at video surveillance from the apartment complex, they saw Maribel paying her rent and then was never heard from again, someone from the student vets association called police to tell them about Raymond (the guy stalking her) but they learned he moved back to Japan and wasn’t in the US at the time of her disappearance, analysis of Maribel’s computer lead them to the photographer but he too had an alibi, they went back to roommate KC Joy, he came off as a very concerned friend, they noticed some scratches on his arms, he said he got them in a park after stumbling, the police didn’t believe him, they put him under 24 hour surveillance, they followed him to the public library where he used a public computer, detectives set up a sting across the street from the library, when he went on line, the police used special software to secretly monitor his computer activity, KC Joy was a suspect after this sting, they realized he killed her and dumped her body, he googled ‘how long does it take for a human body to decay,’ he observed Maribel’s facebook page and pulled up the location of where the awareness walk was, he then zoomed in on a remote canyon and the authorities believed KC showed them where the body was (Modjeska Canyon, California), police searched the area and within an hour reported that they found Maribel, she was buried under some small rocks, her body was badly decomposed, forensic testing confirmed it was Maribel, police were never able to determine the cause of death, but circumstantial evidence pointed to KC Joy, the detectives gave KC one last chance to come clean but they don’t let him know they found the body, he pointed to Maribel’s ex-boyfriends again and continued to deny knowing where Maribel was, he got up, walked out, and the police arrested him, but no one knows how KC killed Maribel, authorities theorized by August 2012, KC Joy had grown intense feelings for Maribel, he was obsessed, he even spent $12,000 on cosmetic surgery to make himself look younger, he was wildly jealous of Maribel’s boyfriends, by April 2013, his life was falling apart, KC Joy lost his job and told Maribel he couldn’t pay the rent, she told him if you can’t pay your rent, you have to move out, on the day Maribel disappeared, tensions were thick and they were arguing about the rent, KC Joy didn’t want to move out, Maribel wanted him to move out, she locked herself in her room and called Paul, that same night KC Joy sneaked in her room and killed her, he most likely suffocated her and then dumped her body in a remote location, if I can’t have her, no one can have her
Disposition: KC Joy was found guilty of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison

Source: Control Alt Delete, Web of Lies

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.

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: In California, a woman disappears without a trace. Police suspect her roommate knows more than he claims, but without any hard evidence they become locked in a vicious game of cat and mouse. Aphrodite Jones uncovers a tale of fatal obsession and murder. -Virtual Drive-By, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S5, E9)

ID Go: Maribel Ramos is a US army veteran with a complicated love life. When she arranges to meet an online date, she disappears, leaving family and friends desperate for news. Detectives are left to uncover a twisted tale of jealousy and rage. -Control Alt Delete, Web of Lies (S5, E6)

Podcasts:

On this week’s episode, a soldier goes missing but is it a kidnapping or murder? -Maribel Ramos, Queens of Crime

Related Links:
Maribel Ramos Missing
Friends and family hold vigil for missing Maribel Ramos
Maribel Ramos’ death declared homicide
Autopsy confirms body found is that of missing California veteran
Funeral held for slain army veteran Maribel Ramos
Roommate arrested for murder of Orange County student
Roommate Arrested In Mysterious Death Of OC Woman He Called ‘The Only Family I Had’
Arrest Made In Killing Of Southern California Army Veteran (Video)
Crimetracker: Suspect in murder of LA woman has ties to Knoxville
Ex-roommate suspected in death of missing Army veteran in Calif.
Accused killer posted on Yelp about victim’s disappearance
Roommate of Maribel Ramos remains jailed, scheduled for Tuesday court appearance
Man Accused Of Murdering Roommate Speaks Out From Jail
Maribel Ramos Murder Suspect Makes First Court Appearance
Roommate charged with murder raised suspicions online after writing posts about missing woman in the past tense before her body was found hidden in bushes
Maribel Ramos murder: Prosecutors shed light on case in suspect’s 1st court appearance
Maribel Ramos murder: Prosecutors shed light on case in suspect’s 1st court appearance
Prosecutors: New Evidence Against Suspect In Murder Of Roommate, An Iraq War Vet
Prosecutor: Suspect Researching Body Decomposition at Library Led Detectives to Body
Online search cracked missing woman case, prosecutors said
Accused Killer Was in Love With Slain Roommate: Prosecutors
Suspicious Behavior Doesn’t Mean Someone’s a Killer, Murder Suspect’s Lawyer Says
Kwang Chol “K.C.” Joy Dumped Maribel Manriquez Ramos’ Body, Agree DA and Defense
Man found guilty of murdering Army veteran, burying her body in canyon
Orange County man convicted of killing roommate
SoCal Army Vet’s Roommate Convicted of Her Murder
Southern California man convicted of killing ex-roommate Army veteran Maribel Ramos
Roommate Found Guilty of 2nd-Degree Murder in Death of Maribel Ramos
Man convicted of killing Army veteran roommate faces 15-year sentence
KC Joy gets 15 years to life in prison for Maribel Ramos murder
OC man gets 15 to life for killing Iraq War vet
SoCal Man Gets 15 Years to Life in Murder of Army Vet Roommate
Maribel Ramos’ Killer Sentenced to 15 Years to Life in Prison, Says He Cared for Victim ‘More Than Anyone’
Did a Murderer Just Give Himself Away on Yelp?
True Crime with Aphrodite Jones: Did Unrequited Love Lead to Maribel Ramos’ Disappearance | Crime Feed
Maribel Ramos was murdered by roommate K.C. Joy – Web of Lies
Web of Lies Premiered ‘Control Alt Delete’ on Investigation Discovery: Kwang Chol Joy Serving Life Sentence for the Murder of Army Veteran Maribel Ramos (April 24, 2018)
Control Alt Delete | Web of Lies | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)
Virtual Drive-By | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones | Investigation Discovery (S5, E9)
Queens of Crime podcast 041: Maribel Ramos
In Lovely Memory of Maribel Ramos

Army Spouse Billi Jo Smallwood Convicted of Arson that Killed Her 2 Children Samuel Fagan & Rebekah Smallwood; Sentenced to 25 Years in Federal Prison (June 28, 2012)

Preview: The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S4,E9)

On May 29, 2007, Billi Jo and Wayne Smallwood experienced a fire in their Fort Campbell, Kentucky home. They had three children living with them at the time of the fire: Sam, Rebekah, and Nevaeh. The neighbors ran outside to see what was going on only to find a chaotic scene. Wayne was on the ground with a broken ankle and Billi Jo was still on the roof attempting to escape the smoke and fire and screaming for help; she was holding her 14 month old Nevaeh. After passing the child down to firefighters, Billi Jo was reluctant to get off the roof because her other children were still in the home. Firefighters entered the burning home and found Rebekah but she was already dead and Sam was still alive when they carried him out of the house but he wasn’t stable enough to fly to the burn unit in Nashville. He died of his injuries at the local hospital. Billi Jo was airlifted to a Nashville hospital with second and third degree burns on her legs and one of her arms. Wayne arrived later in Nashville with a shattered ankle.

Before the fire, Wayne and Billi Jo had a pretty normal life. Wayne returned from his first deployment to Iraq nine months earlier. Like most military families, the Smallwood family struggled with their finances and the stresses of military life too. Both Billi Jo and Wayne had children from other relationships. Rebekah and Sam were Billi Jo’s kids and they stayed with her and Wayne’s son Cote lived with his mother. And just over a year before the fire, the couple had their own baby together: Nevaeh. Local authorities brought in federal authorities to investigate the burned out home. They found that one of the smoke detectors had been taken down and placed on a baby highchair. ATF also found a partly burned spout on a gasoline can. They brought in a working dog and the dog discovered an accelerant; the ATF believed gas had been used to start the fire and this was arson. They also found the Smallwood’s car had been vandalized, all the tires had been slashed, and someone left a threatening note keyed on the car.

Investigators interviewed Billi Jo and Wayne Smallwood in the hospital. Billi Jo told them earlier in the day they had driven back from Georgia after visiting Wayne’s family. On this day, Wayne was being especially nice to Sam which was atypical because he was usually pretty hard on him. According to Billi Jo, when they returned home, Wayne took the last of the cash and headed down to a bar on base to drink with his friends; the couple struggled financially. Billi Jo claims that while Wayne was gone, a man called the house threatening to harm Wayne. Billi Jo called the military police to report the threatening phone call, then she called Wayne at the bar. Instead of rushing home to check on his family, Wayne stayed at the bar. The MP’s checked in with Billi Jo but they told her soldier’s quite often played pranks on one another. Eventually, Billi Jo fell asleep with Nevaeh and Wayne fell asleep with Rebekah. When Billi Jo realized the house was on fire, she grabbed Nevaeh so they could get to safety yet Wayne jumped from the second story floor without any of the children.

ATF Agents interviewed the Smallwood’s small circle of family and friends to see if they could find anyone who had a reason to commit this crime. They learned that Wayne was embroiled in a contentious custody battle with his ex-wife. According to Billi Jo, Wayne had recently met with his ex-wife about their son and it lead to an argument; the two fought often. In the meantime, arson investigators determined that because all the locks were engaged downstairs, someone from inside the house had to have started the fire. Agents scrutinized both Billi Jo and Wayne looking for any inconsistencies. Billi Jo told them she went to Wal-Mart earlier in the evening to pick up some items for the baby but when they checked surveillance footage, there was no sign of Billi Jo at the Wal-Mart. When investigators questioned her about the inconsistency, she told them that it was a K-Mart, not Wal-Mart. The second time Billi Jo told the investigators what she bought, it included a gas can. This was a disturbing revelation but Billi Jo’s explanation was simple: military members are fined if they don’t mow the grass.

Prosecutors wanted to prove that Billi Jo torched her home on base in an effort to kill her husband Wayne and collect the $400,000 life insurance pay-out. When constructing their arguments, they noted that the Smallwood’s already had a couple gas cans in the back yard therefore Billi Jo didn’t need to purchase another one. Billi Jo said she forgot to bring a gas can with her when she ran errands and it was easier to just buy another one. ATF Agents visited K-Mart and learned that BJ had in fact visited the store that day. They also learned that the the nozzle on the gas can she bought matched the one found in the fire. And although Billi Jo said she needed to mow the grass, it had not been mowed that day. Federal investigators suspected someone who lived in the house started the fire so they interviewed Wayne and gave him a polygraph; he passed. In a separate interview, Billi Jo admitted she saw blue flames and this was a moment of revelation for the investigators because you are only going to see blue flame when the fire is first lit.

Billi Jo and Wayne argued a lot and Billi Jo testified that Wayne had a violent side too. Billi Jo admitted to confronting Wayne numerous times about his inability to manage money; Wayne’s gambling caused problems too. Investigators theorized Billi Jo had enough of Wayne and this was her motive. On the same night as the fire, the Smallwood’s were overdrawn on their bank account and Wayne had spent the last of their money on alcohol. If Wayne died in the fire, Billi Jo would receive $400,000. Hoping to find out who made the threatening phone calls, prosecutors subpoenaed the telephone records and found no threatening call had been made. Billi Jo says there was a phone call but the phone company said their records are almost 99% accurate. Prosecutors believe everything that comes out of Billi Jo’s mouth is a lie. Billi Jo’s injuries to the legs and one arm were also suspicious. They believed these burns were caused when a fire was ignited in front of her; they believe she was kneeling when she lit the fire.

In preparation for trial, the remains of the Smallwood’s home were removed and taken to a crime lab. It was at this time that forensic experts found overlooked evidence. They determined that the dining room window had been up about 6-8 inches at the time of the fire. This information damaged the prosecution’s theory to an extent because Billi-Jo believed a stranger entered the home and started the fire. The investigators believed either Wayne or Billi Jo started the fire because the house was locked up. Prosecutors moved forward with Billi Jo as their prime suspect because of her connection to a gas can and a financial motive to kill her husband. The prosecution took a look at the intruder theory and couldn’t understand how an adult got through the window and didn’t break or knock anything over. Investigators deduced it was highly unlikely that an intruder would enter the home and not alert the family dog.

Six months after the fire, Billi Jo reported that Wayne was acting erratically and in November 2007, he attacked Billi Jo with a knife. He was convicted of assault and spent eleven months in jail. Billi Jo and Nevaeh move to Georgia with her mother. Two weeks after Wayne was released from jail, Billi Jo was arrested for setting the fire that killed her two children Sam and Rebekah. Five years after the fire that killed Sam and Rebekah, Billi Jo went to trial. The prosecution claimed Billi Jo’s motive was to kill her husband for the life insurance money but the plan backfired and she accidentally killed two of her children. In court, the defense attacked the prosecution’s circumstantial evidence but the jury wasn’t buying it. Billi Jo Smallwood was found guilty and sentenced to twenty-five years in federal prison. Billi Jo’s mother believes she is innocent and that someone out there knows something.

Source: The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: When a house fire takes the lives of Wayne and Billi Jo Smallwood’s two young children, everyone on the Fort Campbell military base is grief-stricken for them. But when it turns out the fire was intentionally set – grief turns to outrage. -The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S4,E9)

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:
Samuel Fagan (1997-2007)
Rebekah Smallwood (2004-2007)
Rebekah Josephine Smallwood | Sept. 6, 2003-May 29, 2007
Murderpedia: Billi Jo Smallwood
Fatal Fire At Fort Campbell Ruled Arson
Georgia woman allegedly kills her 2 kids in arson meant to kill husband
Army wife accused in arson that killed her 2 kids
Army wife accused in arson that killed her kids
Army Wife Accused in Arson That Killed Her 2 Kids
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Samuel Fagan & Rebekah Smallwood Died as a Result of a House Fire at Fort Campbell; Army Spouse Billi Jo Smallwood Found Guilty of Arson, Sentenced to 25 Years (May 29, 2007)

Preview: The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S4,E9)

On May 29, 2007, Billi Jo and Wayne Smallwood experienced a fire in their Fort Campbell, Kentucky home. They had three children living with them at the time of the fire: Sam, Rebekah, and Nevaeh. The neighbors ran outside to see what was going on only to find a chaotic scene. Wayne was on the ground with a broken ankle and Billi Jo was still on the roof attempting to escape the smoke and fire and screaming for help; she was holding her 14 month old Nevaeh. After passing the child down to firefighters, Billi Jo was reluctant to get off the roof because her other children were still in the home. Firefighters entered the burning home and found Rebekah but she was already dead and Sam was still alive when they carried him out of the house but he wasn’t stable enough to fly to the burn unit in Nashville. He died of his injuries at the local hospital. Billi Jo was airlifted to a Nashville hospital with second and third degree burns on her legs and one of her arms. Wayne arrived later in Nashville with a shattered ankle.

Before the fire, Wayne and Billi Jo had a pretty normal life. Wayne returned from his first deployment to Iraq nine months earlier. Like most military families, the Smallwood family struggled with their finances and the stresses of military life too. Both Billi Jo and Wayne had children from other relationships. Rebekah and Sam were Billi Jo’s kids and they stayed with her and Wayne’s son Cote lived with his mother. And just over a year before the fire, the couple had their own baby together: Nevaeh. Local authorities brought in federal authorities to investigate the burned out home. They found that one of the smoke detectors had been taken down and placed on a baby highchair. ATF also found a partly burned spout on a gasoline can. They brought in a working dog and the dog discovered an accelerant; the ATF believed gas had been used to start the fire and this was arson. They also found the Smallwood’s car had been vandalized, all the tires had been slashed, and someone left a threatening note keyed on the car.

Investigators interviewed Billi Jo and Wayne Smallwood in the hospital. Billi Jo told them earlier in the day they had driven back from Georgia after visiting Wayne’s family. On this day, Wayne was being especially nice to Sam which was atypical because he was usually pretty hard on him. According to Billi Jo, when they returned home, Wayne took the last of the cash and headed down to a bar on base to drink with his friends; the couple struggled financially. Billi Jo claims that while Wayne was gone, a man called the house threatening to harm Wayne. Billi Jo called the military police to report the threatening phone call, then she called Wayne at the bar. Instead of rushing home to check on his family, Wayne stayed at the bar. The MP’s checked in with Billi Jo but they told her soldier’s quite often played pranks on one another. Eventually, Billi Jo fell asleep with Nevaeh and Wayne fell asleep with Rebekah. When Billi Jo realized the house was on fire, she grabbed Nevaeh so they could get to safety yet Wayne jumped from the second story floor without any of the children.

ATF Agents interviewed the Smallwood’s small circle of family and friends to see if they could find anyone who had a reason to commit this crime. They learned that Wayne was embroiled in a contentious custody battle with his ex-wife. According to Billi Jo, Wayne had recently met with his ex-wife about their son and it lead to an argument; the two fought often. In the meantime, arson investigators determined that because all the locks were engaged downstairs, someone from inside the house had to have started the fire. Agents scrutinized both Billi Jo and Wayne looking for any inconsistencies. Billi Jo told them she went to Wal-Mart earlier in the evening to pick up some items for the baby but when they checked surveillance footage, there was no sign of Billi Jo at the Wal-Mart. When investigators questioned her about the inconsistency, she told them that it was a K-Mart, not Wal-Mart. The second time Billi Jo told the investigators what she bought, it included a gas can. This was a disturbing revelation but Billi Jo’s explanation was simple: military members are fined if they don’t mow the grass.

Prosecutors wanted to prove that Billi Jo torched her home on base in an effort to kill her husband Wayne and collect the $400,000 life insurance pay-out. When constructing their arguments, they noted that the Smallwood’s already had a couple gas cans in the back yard therefore Billi Jo didn’t need to purchase another one. Billi Jo said she forgot to bring a gas can with her when she ran errands and it was easier to just buy another one. ATF Agents visited K-Mart and learned that BJ had in fact visited the store that day. They also learned that the the nozzle on the gas can she bought matched the one found in the fire. And although Billi Jo said she needed to mow the grass, it had not been mowed that day. Federal investigators suspected someone who lived in the house started the fire so they interviewed Wayne and gave him a polygraph; he passed. In a separate interview, Billi Jo admitted she saw blue flames and this was a moment of revelation for the investigators because you are only going to see blue flame when the fire is first lit.

Billi Jo and Wayne argued a lot and Billi Jo testified that Wayne had a violent side too. Billi Jo admitted to confronting Wayne numerous times about his inability to manage money; Wayne’s gambling caused problems too. Investigators theorized Billi Jo had enough of Wayne and this was her motive. On the same night as the fire, the Smallwood’s were overdrawn on their bank account and Wayne had spent the last of their money on alcohol. If Wayne died in the fire, Billi Jo would receive $400,000. Hoping to find out who made the threatening phone calls, prosecutors subpoenaed the telephone records and found no threatening call had been made. Billi Jo says there was a phone call but the phone company said their records are almost 99% accurate. Prosecutors believe everything that comes out of Billi Jo’s mouth is a lie. Billi Jo’s injuries to the legs and one arm were also suspicious. They believed these burns were caused when a fire was ignited in front of her; they believe she was kneeling when she lit the fire.

In preparation for trial, the remains of the Smallwood’s home were removed and taken to a crime lab. It was at this time that forensic experts found overlooked evidence. They determined that the dining room window had been up about 6-8 inches at the time of the fire. This information damaged the prosecution’s theory to an extent because Billi-Jo believed a stranger entered the home and started the fire. The investigators believed either Wayne or Billi Jo started the fire because the house was locked up. Prosecutors moved forward with Billi Jo as their prime suspect because of her connection to a gas can and a financial motive to kill her husband. The prosecution took a look at the intruder theory and couldn’t understand how an adult got through the window and didn’t break or knock anything over. Investigators deduced it was highly unlikely that an intruder would enter the home and not alert the family dog.

Six months after the fire, Billi Jo reported that Wayne was acting erratically and in November 2007, he attacked Billi Jo with a knife. He was convicted of assault and spent eleven months in jail. Billi Jo and Nevaeh move to Georgia with her mother. Two weeks after Wayne was released from jail, Billi Jo was arrested for setting the fire that killed her two children Sam and Rebekah. Five years after the fire that killed Sam and Rebekah, Billi Jo went to trial. The prosecution claimed Billi Jo’s motive was to kill her husband for the life insurance money but the plan backfired and she accidentally killed two of her children. In court, the defense attacked the prosecution’s circumstantial evidence but the jury wasn’t buying it. Billi Jo Smallwood was found guilty and sentenced to twenty-five years in federal prison. Billi Jo’s mother believes she is innocent and that someone out there knows something.

Source: The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones

Investigation Discovery:

ID Go: When a house fire takes the lives of Wayne and Billi Jo Smallwood’s two young children, everyone on the Fort Campbell military base is grief-stricken for them. But when it turns out the fire was intentionally set – grief turns to outrage. -The Ballad of Billi-Jo, True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S4,E9)

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:
Samuel Fagan (1997-2007)
Rebekah Smallwood (2004-2007)
Rebekah Josephine Smallwood | Sept. 6, 2003-May 29, 2007
Murderpedia: Billi Jo Smallwood
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The Ballad of Billi-Jo | True Crime with Aphrodite Jones (S4,E9)