Six Unsolved Homicide Cases Affiliated with Fort Hood (January 1, 2016 to Present)

While investigators searched for Spc. Vanessa Guillen, the skeletal remains of Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales were found near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. His mother, Kim Wedel, wishes investigators looked for her son like they did Guillen. He had been missing for ten months. Once former Fort Hood soldier Jorgina Butler read about the disappearance and death of Guillen, she said it returned her to the night she was sexually by a staff sergeant in 2009. On July 29, 2020, lawmakers plan to hold a congressional hearing in Washington D.C. focused on the review of Fort Hood’s handling of sexual misconduct in the wake of a national outcry for justice for Guillen and her family. –Austin American-Statesman (July 28, 2020)

Unsolved Homicides (2016 to Present):

Solved: Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans Found Fatally Shot Four Miles From Burning Jeep in Harker Heights, Texas; Two Arrested & Charged (May 18, 2020)

Related Links:
What Is Happening At Fort Hood? | Missing People in America
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present)
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Justin Lewis Shot & Killed Near Vacant Lot in Killeen, Texas Neighborhood (April 17, 2017)
Unsolved Homicide: Army Veteran Cleveland Jermaine “CJ” Lewis Fatally Shot & Killed in Front of Home in Killeen, Texas Neighborhood (August 4, 2018)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales Reported AWOL; Based on Anonymous Tip, Remains Found in Shallow Grave in Killeen 10 Months Later (August 19, 2019)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Spc. Shelby Jones Died of Gunshot Wound at Mickey’s Convenience Store in Killeen, Texas; Shot at Nearby Night Club (March 1, 2020)
Unsolved Homicide: Asia Cline, Army Veteran Shaquan Allred, & Fort Hood Spc. Freddy Delacruz, Jr. Found Shot Dead at Killeen, Texas Apartment (March 14, 2020)
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pfc. Brandon Rosecrans Found Fatally Shot Four Miles From Burning Jeep in Harker Heights, Texas; Local PD Takes Lead (May 18, 2020)
The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood | Jensen and Holes | The Murder Squad Podcast (July 6, 2020)
7 soldiers have died in the Fort Hood area this year  | Task and Purpose
Here’s what we know about eight of the soldiers who have died this year at Fort Hood
The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood

Other Suspicious Deaths (deaths ruled suicide, accident, etc.; doesn’t add up):
Fort Hood Army Cpl. Christopher Ferguson Died of Undetermined Causes; CID Claimed Death Was Accident; CBS News Reported Suicide (March 25, 2007)
Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)
Army Sgt. Marcus Nelson Sr. Died While in Custody at Bell County Jail in Belton, Texas; Nelson Held on Charges Stemming from 1st Cavalry Division (May 23, 2016)
On This Day, Eight Army Soldiers & One West Point Cadet Died in a Flash Flood Training Accident at Fort Hood in Texas (June 2, 2016)
Fort Hood Army Pvt. Dakota Stump Found Dead on Post Three Weeks After Vehicle Accident; Family Wants Missing ‘Warrior Alert’ Law (November 3, 2016)
Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Ft Hood Housing in Texas; Despite Suicide Ruling, Family Requests Homicide Investigation (Dec. 24, 2016)
Fort Hood Army CID Special Agent Steven Hines Found Dead Behind Office Building of Apparent Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound, Death Ruled Suicide (February 5, 2017)
Fort Hood Army Spc. Justen Ogden Found Unresponsive at On-Post Home; Family Questions Cause of Death Ruling Claiming “None of It Ever Added Up” (July 11, 2017)
Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Led Police on High Speed Car Chase After Welfare Check Initiated; Died by Suicide During the Incident (October 12, 2017)
Timeline: Army Sgt. Kelton Sphaler & Army Vet Scott Weinhold Reported Missing at Belton Lake on Ft Hood; After Search Launched, Recovered in Water (January 21, 2019)
Fort Hood Army Spc. Mason Webber Died of Injuries Sustained Conducting Maintenance on a Bradley Fighting Vehicle at Texas Base (September 5, 2019)

*this list is not complete

Austin American-Statesman: Vanessa Guillen’s Death Shines Light on More Tragedies at Fort Hood (July 28, 2020)

“While investigators searched for Spc. Vanessa Guillen, the skeletal remains of Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales were found near Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas. His mother, Kim Wedel, wishes investigators looked for her son like they did Guillen. He had been missing for ten months. Once former Fort Hood soldier Jorgina Butler read about the disappearance and death of Guillen, she said it returned her to the night she was sexually by a staff sergeant in 2009. On July 29, 2020, lawmakers plan to hold a congressional hearing in Washington D.C. focused on the review of Fort Hood’s handling of sexual misconduct in the wake of a national outcry for justice for Guillen and her family.” –Austin American-Statesman (July 28, 2020)

Statesman Tweet Fort Hood

Retweet the Austin-American Statesman here.

Fort Hood soldiers say ‘Great Place’ also known for violence, mistreatment (Austin American-Statesman, July 30, 2020)

However, the lack of historical violent crime data from the post has not stopped one military veteran from tracking it on her own.

Jennifer Norris, who served in the U.S. Air Force, researches and writes about Fort Hood crime on her blog, “Military Justice for All.”

Norris, who said she was sexually assaulted by one of her supervisors in the military, switched from only researching sexual assaults to also delving into non-combat deaths of service members in recent years.

Norris set up Google alerts for new stories about deaths in and around military installations, thinking that one day she could prove to Congress that some deaths were related to sexual assault or harassment.

Norris said her data for Fort Hood shows that 138 of its soldiers have died stateside since 2016. Not counting Guillen, three of the deaths this year were determined to be homicides.

Haug said he could not confirm the number Norris provided, adding that the size of Fort Hood, spread across 218,000 acres in southwestern Bell and southeastern Coryell counties in Central Texas, should be taken into account when looking at violent crime.

He said it’s about the size of New York City, with 36,500 soldiers assigned to it with more than 100,000 family members. By comparison, the average Air Force base only has 5,000 personnel assigned to it, he said.

Norris took particular interest in Fort Hood after a pattern emerged while interviewing families of slain soldiers there. Many of those families felt the Army had not properly investigated or searched for their loved ones after their disappearance, she said.

“And the stories are still coming in.”

Read more from the Austin American-Statesman here. (MJFA added links)

Fort Hood Stats

In the last 4 years from January 2016 to present, Fort Hood on average lost 36 soldiers a year. If you divide 36 by 12 months, that’s an average of 3 soldiers a month. We must find out WHY so we can prevent these untimely deaths and save the precious lives and futures of these mostly young soldiers. The average age at time of death is 28 years old and each death has a ripple effect on the families, friends, and communities left behind.  

Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present) | Military Justice for All

Unsolved Cases Fort Hood

Unsolved Homicides: Justin Lewis, Cleveland Lewis, Gregory Wedel-Morales, Shelby Jones, Shaquan Allred, Freddy Delacruz Jr., and Brandon Rosecrans

Seven Unsolved Homicide Cases Affiliated with Fort Hood (January 1, 2016 to Present) | Military Justice for All

Jensen and Holes

Billy Jensen & Paul Holes of The Murder Squad released a must listen to podcast about the issues at Fort Hood. They made a great case for the improvement of sexual harassment, sexual assault, missing persons cases, and murder investigations. They also asked us to sign the petitions for Vanessa Guillen and LaVena Johnson. (Source: Jensen & Holes)

The Murder Squad Podcast: The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood (July 6, 2020) | Military Justice for All

Brian Lewis MJIA

“The Military Justice Improvement Act would take the prosecution of sexual assault and other serious crimes, such as murder, out of the chain of command. It would keep those crimes in the military justice system, but put the decision to prosecute them into the hands of actual military prosecutors who are trained to deal with complex legal issues.” –Senator Kirsten Gillbrand (Military Times, July 1, 2019)

Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019) | Military Justice for All

Related Links:
Vanessa Guillen’s death shines light on more tragedies at Fort Hood (Source)
Fort Hood soldiers say ‘Great Place’ also known for violence, mistreatment (Austin American-Statesman, July 30, 2020)
7 soldiers have died in the Fort Hood area this year  | Task and Purpose
Here’s what we know about eight of the soldiers who have died this year at Fort Hood
Air Force TSgt. Jennifer Norris Testified Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (January 23, 2013)
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside (January 1, 2016 to Present) | Military Justice for All
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017) | Military Justice for All
Unsolved Homicide: Fort Hood Army Pvt. Gregory Wedel-Morales Reported AWOL; Based on Anonymous Tip, Remains Found in Shallow Grave in Killeen 10 Months Later (August 19, 2019)
Seven Unsolved Homicide Cases Affiliated with Fort Hood (January 1, 2016 to Present)
The Murder Squad Podcast: The Murder of Vanessa Guillen and the Unsolved Homicides of Fort Hood (July 6, 2020)
Gillibrand: The Military Justice Improvement Act Would Give Service Members a Justice System That Works (July 1, 2019)
Rep Speier to Chair Hearing on the Military’s #MeToo Moment, Sparked by SPC Vanessa Guillén (July 29, 2020)
LIVE: Hearing on Military Sexual Harassment (Washington D.C.)

MJFA on Social:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/militaryjusticeforall
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/military_crime
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@military_crime
Email: militaryjusticeforall@gmail.com

Military Murder Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Lavena Johnson in Balad, Iraq (July 27, 2020)

“Lavena Johnson was a smart, witty woman, born and raised in Missouri.  Her senior year of high school she decided she would join the Army in an effort to not burden her parents with out of state tuition for college.  Although Dr. Johnson (Lavena’s dad), begged her not to join the Army – she did so anyway.  She thought the Army was a good deal – you serve your country a few years and then you get 4 years of college paid! Recruiters promised her she would likely not deploy, even though in 2004 there was an uptick in deployed troops.”

Listen to Ep 40:  Did Lavena Johnson commit suicide? on the Military Murder Podcast here.

Related Links:
Ep40: Did Lavena Johnson commit suicide? | Military Murder Podcast
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Investigation Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)
The Strange & Unexplained: ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’ (August 15, 2018)
Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)
Seven Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System

Crimelines True Crime Podcast Featured the Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis: Was It Suicide or Murder? (December 22, 2019)

TWITTER: Tony Bemis @Bemis_Tony
FACEBOOK: Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis
JUSTICE: Reasons why the Bemis family want death investigation reopened
PETITION: Reopen death investigation of Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis
SENATORS: Contact your two Senators here (top left has drop down for state)
REPRESENTATIVE: Contact your Representative here (enter zip code)
SASC/HASC MEMBERS: Click here to contact the SASC/HASC members
OTHER CASES: 15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

“In August of 2012, Tony and Sue Bemis received the news no parent wants to hear. Their son, Chief Petty Officer John Keith Bemis had died by suicide. As they struggled to make sense of their loss, things didn’t add up. Seven years later, they still have questions about what exactly did happen to their son.” –CPO John Keith Bemis, Crimelines True Crime Podcast (December 22, 2019)

Related Links:
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (website)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Facebook)
Crimelines True Crime Podcast (Twitter)
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Stitcher
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PlayerFM
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Luminary
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Radio Public
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | PodBean
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Podchaser
CPO John Keith Bemis | Crimelines True Crime Podcast | Spotify
Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)
Five Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases

“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair (January 8, 2019)

Matthew Brown Army.png

Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (via Vanity Fair Facebook)

Is the Army botching its investigations into noncombatant deaths?

I. The Gun Tower

“On the morning of May 11, 2008, a U.S. Army private second class named Matthew Warren Brown died of a single gunshot wound to the head while manning a watchtower at a forward operating base in Afghanistan. Brown was 20 years old. He was a skinny, all-American kid, a bit aimless but affable and unassuming. He was a good guy. You could see it in his face. At his funeral back home in Pennsylvania, some 200 people showed up. In the aftermath of Brown’s death, army investigators created files about the circumstances. The bullet that killed him was fired from his own weapon, an M4 carbine. He was working the six A.M. shift, alone in the watchtower by the fortified main gate to the base. The tower was known as the Gun Tower. It was made of concrete, and looked medieval when viewed from the outside. It was three stories tall. On the second and third floors it had openings covered with two-piece Plexiglas windows, some of which had broken off and been left lying in shards on the floors.” Read more from Vanity Fair here.

Related Links:
Pvt Matthew Warren Brown | Find A Grave
DoD Identifies Army Casualty: Pvt. Matthew W. Brown
Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown | Honor the Fallen
Fort Bragg Soldier dies in Afghanistan
Soldier from Fort Bragg dies in Afghanistan
Fort Bragg soldier dies from injuries in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier killed in Afghanistan, father says
Soldier from Zelienople killed in Afghanistan
Zelienople soldier who died in Afghanistan buried today
“Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower | Vanity Fair
Family of soldier found dead in Afghanistan in 2008 says he did not commit suicide as claimed
Family of soldier who was found dead in Afghanistan watchtower in 2008 says he did not commit suicide, as the military claims, and had told them he feared he would be killed over his role in a drug ring that was being run on-base by a ‘thug’ sergeant
Army Pvt. Matthew Brown Died As a Result of a Non-Combat Related Incident in Afghanistan; Death Ruled Suicide But Family Alleges Murder in Vanity Fair Publication (May 11, 2008)

The Strange & Unexplained: ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’ (August 15, 2018)

Unsolved Mysteries.jpg

(photo courtesy of India Today)

10. Paul Whipkey, U.S. Army (missing since July 10, 1958)
9. Chad Langford, U.S. Army (found dead March 12, 1992)
8. Kirk Vanderbur, U.S. Marine Corps (died on February 16, 1992)
7. James Sabow, U.S. Marine Corps (found dead January 22, 1991)
6. Yosef Alon, Israeli Diplomat (found dead on July 1, 1973)
5. William Miller, U.S. Marine Corps (found dead on September 16, 1972)
4. Gareth Williams, MI6 spy (found dead in London on August 23, 2010)
3. Ralph Sigler, U.S. Army (found dead in motel on April 13, 1976)
2. David Cox, U.S. Marine Corps (murdered on January 5, 1994)
1. LaVena Johnson, U.S. Army (found raped & murdered on July 19, 2005)

Related Links:
7 Eerie Military Stories from Unsolved Mysteries That Still Haunt us
10 Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries
National Security Blanket Hides Murders of US Military Personnel
The Mysterious Disappearance of Paul Whipkey (Unsolved Mysteries)
The Mysterious Death of Chad Langford (Unsolved Mysteries)
Kirk’s Story, U.S. Marine Corps, Camp Lejeune, North Carolina
The Homicide of United States Marine Corps Colonel, James E. Sabow: A Forensic Analysis Submitted to the United States Congress
FBI reopens case of 1973 assassination of Israeli diplomat
Cold-case trial, Did wife, pals kill Marine?
‘Spy in bag’ Gareth Williams was ‘murdered by Russian hitmen after sexual photo blackmail plot’
Tales from the Morgue: Ft. Bliss Spy: Suicide or Murder?
New England’s Unsolved: Who killed US Marine David Cox?
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)

The Generation Why Podcast Featured the Suspicious Death of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Balad, Iraq: Was It Suicide or Murder? (November 19, 2017)

“Death of LaVena Johnson. July 19, 2005. Balad, Iraq. Nineteen years of age and recently deployed to Iraq, LaVena Johnson had everything going for her. A great education, determination, goals, and a great family. In letters and calls to home, she seemed quite candid about conditions there, both the good and the bad, but was also looking forward to being home for Christmas. On July 19th, though, a grim discovery was made. LaVena was found in a contractor’s tent, dead from an apparent gunshot wound to her head. An aerosol can was used to burn printed emails from a recent boyfriend. The Army ruled her death a suicide. Upset over the recent breakup with her boyfriend she must have hit her breaking point. The first autopsy didn’t really find anything to question this as a suicide. The Johnson family had her exhumed and two additional autopsies would make some startling discoveries. LaVena Johnson had suffered a broken nose, loose teeth, a black eye, and chemical burns on her genitals just to name a few. The Johnson family never believed that LaVena would take her own life and despite the questions surrounding her death, no one seems to want to go beyond saying that this case is ‘inconclusive’. Join us for a difficult discussion of losing a loved one under mysterious circumstances, not getting answers from investigators, and the possible reasons for why LaVena Johnson died back in 2005 in Iraq.” –Death of LaVena Johnson, The Generation Why Podcast (November 19, 2017)

Related Links:
The Generation Why Podcast (website)
The Generation Why Podcast (Facebook)
The Generation Why Podcast (Twitter)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast (website)
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Stitcher
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | RadioPublic
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PlayerFM
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | PodBean
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | TopPodcast
Death of LaVena Johnson | The Generation Why Podcast | Poddmap
Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)
‘The Silent Truth’ Documentary: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson in Iraq (July 1, 2014)
Crime Junkie Podcast Featured the Suspicious Deaths of LaVena Johnson & Tina Priest in ‘Conspiracy: Women in the US Military’ (October 22, 2018)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine
Six Intriguing True Crime Podcasts Spotlighting Active Duty Military Suicide, Missing, and Murder Cases
15 Movies & Documentaries That Expose the Broken Military Justice System
Non Combat Deaths of Female Service Members in the U.S. Military (Iraq)
The Death of LaVena Johnson (Unsolved Mysteries)
10 Unsolved Military Cases

We Are the Mighty: ‘The 7 best military stories from the glory days of Unsolved Mysteries’ (October 31, 2017)

1. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 3, Episode 21 – Full Episode (Paul Whipkey, U.S. Army, California)

Sylvia and Edward Zakrzewski.png

Sylvia and Edward Zakrzewski, U.S. Air Force (photo via Unsolved Mysteries Wiki)

2. Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row (March 30, 2016)

(Could not find this Unsolved Mysteries episode anywhere!)

3. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 7, Episode 19 – Full Episode (Justin Burgwinkel, U.S. Army, California)

4. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 5, Episode 20 – Full Episode (Chad Langford, U.S. Army, Alabama)

5. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 3, Episode 13 – Full Episode (Mark Dennis, U.S. Navy, Vietnam)

6. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 15 – Full Episode (David Cox, U.S. Marine Corps, Massachusetts)

7. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 1 – Full Episode (Joe O’Brien & Kuwaiti Air Force fighter pilot Mohammed “Sammy” Mubarak, Iraq)

BONUS EPISODE:

8. Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 4, Episode 11 – Full Episode (Jeffrey Digman, U.S. Marine Corps, California)

Related Links:
The 7 best military stories from the glory days of ‘Unsolved Mysteries’
7 Eerie Military Stories from Unsolved Mysteries That Still Haunt us
The Strange & Unexplained on YouTube published ‘The Biggest Suspicious Unsolved Military Mysteries’ (August 15, 2018)
The Mysterious Disappearance of Paul Whipkey (Unsolved Mysteries)
Triple-Murder Suspect Surrenders After Seeing His Story on TV
Okaloosa County murderer to stay on death row
Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row
The Mysterious Disappearance of Justin Burgwinkel (Unsolved Mysteries)
The Mysterious Death of Chad Langford (Unsolved Mysteries)
Miamisburg man’s death in Vietnam, questioned for decades, now has closure
New England’s Unsolved: Who killed US Marine David Cox?
Joe O’Brien & Kuwaiti fighter pilot Mohammed Mubarak (Unsolved Mysteries Wiki)
The Mysterious Death of Jeffrey Digman (Unsolved Mysteries)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S3, E21 – Full Episode (Paul Whipkey)
Edward Zakrzewski nears 20th anniversary on Florida’s death row
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S7, E19 – Full Episode (Justin Bergwinkel)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S5, 20 – Full Episode (Chad Langford)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S3, E13 – Full Episode (Mark Dennis)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – S8, E15 – Full Episode (David Cox)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 8 Episode 1 – Full Episode (Joe O’Brien)
Unsolved Mysteries with Robert Stack – Season 4, Episode 11 – Full Episode (Jeffrey Digman)

Family of Katherine Morris Wants Department of Justice to Investigate Death (August 10, 2015)

Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death. -WMAR-2 News (August 10, 2015)

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 (May 6, 2012): https://wp.me/p3XTUi-5ve

Never forgotten Katherine.

Related Links:
Katherine Morris on Military Justice for All (May 6, 2012)
Family of Katherine Morris wants Dept. of Justice to investigate death

Navy CPO John Keith Bemis Found Dead in California Residence; Death Ruled Suicide But Totality of Evidence Suggests Homicide (August 7, 2012)

John Keith Bemis

CPO John Keith Bemis, U.S. Navy

Navy CPO John Keith Bemis, 30, was found fatally shot in his Spring Valley, California residence on August 7, 2012. Keith enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2000 and was an air conditioning and refrigeration mechanic assigned to the U.S.S. Independence docked in San Diego, California. Although the exact time of death is unknown, Keith was found dead on Tuesday morning, August 7th, by Navy co-workers and the Sheriff’s Department. Keith was found in his bedroom lying on his back in full uniform wearing a motorcycle helmet with a single intraoral gunshot wound. Keith’s death was quickly ruled a suicide but Keith’s parents, Tony and Sue Bemis, who never believed Keith died by suicide, want Keith’s death to be reopened and investigated as a homicide. They have conducted their own investigation and have determined the evidence simply doesn’t add up. Keith was a happy and healthy young man with a stellar military career; he was a suicide prevention advocate for the Navy; there were no medical or mental health issues or stressors noted in Keith’s naval medical records; and he did not leave a note. The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department (Lemon Grove) were tasked with investigating and documenting the incident and the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office conducted an autopsy. Photos were taken at the scene and at autopsy.

Tony and Sue Bemis elicited the help of the Armed Forces Medical Examiner (AFME) because they wanted a second autopsy conducted. Now both the San Diego County Medical Examiner and the AFME had ruled the cause of death suicide. After the family received a copy of the autopsy reports and photos, they began to notice upon closer examination that there were words like “gay” and “fag” written on Keith’s body. They found other oddities like numbers and words written on Keith’s body and on items in the bedroom where he was found. They found markings consistent with writing on the back of Keith’s neck. They observed two bullet holes in the ceiling; only one bullet was recovered. And were surprised by the damage caused to the motorcycle helmet where the bullet that killed their son apparently exited. They learned Keith was last seen on August 6 around 9 p.m. and suspect Keith was met with foul play shortly after returning home. Neighbors told the family he parked his truck in handicap parking (which he normally would not do) upon returning home. Neighbors also reported hearing a loud thud. After the family examined the evidence known to them (and to police), they found enough compelling evidence to warrant concern. Keith didn’t have any of the associated risk factors with suicide. But Keith did have a recent break up with a woman he had dated off and on for three years.

Keith met his ex-girlfriend in Tijuana and the relationship dynamics and reasons why they broke up are unknown. Those who interacted with Keith prior to his death did not observe any depression associated with the break-up. In the days following the break-up Keith celebrated an upcoming promotion on Sunday August 5, 2012; he spoke with family during a party at his condominium. He had recently purchased some new t-shirts and none of his electronic communications prior to the incident indicated any kind of unusual behavior. Unfortunately, Keith’s computer was of no use; the hard drive was wiped. Some mystery could have been alleviated with gun shot residue (GSR) testing of Keith’s hands but this testing was not conducted by either the San Diego County or Armed Forces medical examiners. The family tested Keith’s three guns for forensic evidence (including the gun allegedly used to take his own life) and no blood, blowback, or remains were found on any of Keith’s guns. The family wants homicide investigators to explore the various motives and theories because they know Keith didn’t die by his own hand. They can’t have peace until there is justice for their son. And none of us are safe if we turn the other way and ignore what quite possibly could be a homicide. Keith was concerned about a missing key to his place. Was a known offender able to gain access with the missing key? Nothing appeared to be stolen from Keith’s residence. Was it a personal crime?

If Keith’s death was a homicide, then a killer roams free. And because of this, we need to make death and missing persons investigations a priority. Every death investigation should be a homicide investigation initially until evidence proves otherwise. And we should always use gun shot residue testing to confirm suicide by gun. We should conduct a victimology, interview family and friends, and look at the totality of the evidence before making premature determinations that control the future of an investigation. The interviews, electronic records, and necessary forensic testing speak for the victim. We should take a look at all the possible theories. Some theories in this case include but are not limited to: ex-girlfriend angry Keith broke off with her, feels rejected, wants revenge; mistaken identity, intruder meant to target roommate; the missing house key was used to enter residence, intruder known; roommate was in Navy, maybe Keith suspected illegal activity and co-workers wanted him to remain silent; was this a national security incident or an act of terrorism? Tony and Sue Bemis created a website in Keith’s name. They are determined to find out what happened to their son because the evidence collected doesn’t support a suicide ruling. Take a look at the evidence for yourself and make your own determination. The more eyes on the case, the better. Please sign the petition, follow Death of Navy CPO John Keith Bemis on Facebook, and for tips, please contact Tony and Sue by e-mail.

Sources: Tony & Sue Bemis, Unsolved Mysteries, Attached Documents

The Official Unsolved Mysteries:

CPO John “Keith” Bemis’ death was declared a suicide in August 2012, but the evidence doesn’t add up and his parents need your help. -Unsolved Mysteries (February 27, 2015)

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Report (August 7, 2012):

San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Report (Download PDF)

Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Report (August 17, 2012):

Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Report (Download PDF)

San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Report (September 28, 2012):

San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Report (Download PDF)

Able Legal Investigations Summary Report (January 12, 2014):

Able Legal Investigations Summary Report (Download PDF)

Ryan Forensic DNA Consulting Report (September 2, 2014):

Ryan Forensic DNA Consulting Report (Download PDF)

DNA Diagnostics Center Forensic Report (October 27, 2017):

DNA Diagnostics Center Forensic Report (Download PDF)

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