15 Active Duty Cases That Beg for Prevention Efforts, Military Justice Reform, and the End of the Feres Doctrine

1LT Katie Blanchard, Fort Leavenworth, U.S. Army (2016)

On Tuesday, the man responsible for setting a U.S. Army lieutenant on fire last year was found guilty in federal court.The scars on Army Lt. Katie Blanchards face, neck, and hands are still visible. -41 Action News (August 8, 2017)

The Army ignored her warnings about a dangerous colleague. Then he set her on fire (Task and Purpose, June 5, 2019)

Spc. Kamisha Block, Fort Hood, Iraq, U.S. Army (2007)

The family learned Kamisha Block was shot and killed while serving in Iraq. The Department of Defense told the Block family Kamisha was shot in the chest by friendly fire. -12 News Now (February 12, 2019)

Army Staff Sgt. Paul Norris Fatally Shot Spc. Kamisha Block in Murder-Suicide in Iraq; Family Requests Congressional Hearings & Investigation of Military Leadership (August 16, 2007)

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

Paige Briles Army Times

Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles, U.S. Army (Photo: Army Times Facebook)

Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Despite Suicide Ruling, Family Requests Homicide Investigation (December 24, 2016)

Pvt. Matthew Brown, Fort Bragg, Afghanistan, U.S. Army (2008)

Matthew Brown Army

Pvt. Matthew Warren Brown, U.S. Army (Photo: Vanity Fair Facebook)

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

AEAN Brandon Caserta, Naval Station Norfolk, U.S. Navy (2018)

As Teri Caserta entered her son’s bedroom in their Peoria home, she broke down. It’s an emotion that Teri and her husband Patrick Caserta will always carry with them. Their son Brandon was in the United States Navy from 2015 to 2018. However, at just 21, Brandon would take his own life. -ABC15 Arizona (June 14, 2019)

Navy Sailor Brandon Caserta Died by Suicide at Naval Station Norfolk; Family Pushing for Suicide Prevention Legislation ‘The Brandon Act’ Focusing on Hazing & Bullying (June 25, 2018)

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2017)

Alva Joe Gwinn

MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn, U.S. Army (Photo: Fox 7 Austin)

Fort Hood Army MSG Alva ‘Joe’ Gwinn Lead Police on High Speed Car Chase After Wellness Check Initiated; Died of Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound (October 12, 2017)

Pfc. LaVena Johnson, Fort Campbell, Iraq, U.S. Army (2005)

Pfc. LaVena Johnson died in Iraq on July 19th, 2005 and her family needs your help. -Unsolved Mysteries (September 26, 2014)

Army Pfc. LaVena Johnson Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq; Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (July 19, 2005)

SN Danyelle Luckey, U.S.S. Reagan, U.S. Navy (2016)

Danyelle Luckey

Danyelle Luckey, U.S. Navy (Photo: New York Post)

Navy Documents Raise Questions of Care in Local Sailor’s Death (NBC Bay Area, July 24, 2019)

Major Christian Martin, Fort Campbell, U.S. Army Veteran (2019)

Attorney General Andy Beshear on American Airlines pilot arrested in Louisville for 2015 triple murder in Christian County. -WLKY News Louisville (May 11, 2019)

Army Vet Christian Martin Accused of 2015 Pembroke, Kentucky Homicides; No Motive or Physical Evidence Produced by Authorities on Day of Arrest; Says He’s Innocent (May 11, 2019)

Spc. Zachary Moore, Fort Hood, Korea, U.S. Army (2017)

Zachary Moore

Spc. Zachary Moore, U.S. Army

Fort Hood Army Spc. Zachary Moore Found Unresponsive in Barracks on Deployment to Camp Hovey, South Korea; CID Ruled Suicide (August 2, 2017)

SSG Devin Schuette, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

From my heart to yours. One of the most difficult situations I have ever faced in my life. Please share this video with everyone and anyone you can. -Devin Schuette (February 16, 2015)

Army SSG Devin Schuette Found Dead in Vehicle at Recreation Area Near Fort Hood; CID Ruled Suicide, Spouse Requests Independent Investigation (January 3, 2016)

LCpl Riley Schultz, Camp Pendleton, U.S. Marine Corps (2019)

The Marine from Colorado found dead at a Southern California base earlier this month died by suicide, according to 1st Lt. Cameron Edinburgh, a Marine Corps spokesperson. -FOX31 Denver (March 27, 2019)

Marine Corps LCpl Riley Schultz Found Dead at Camp Pendleton Entry Control Point; Death Ruled Suicide by Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound But Family Disputes Findings (March 15, 2019)

Col. Philip Shue, Lackland Air Force Base, U.S. Air Force (2003)

An Air Force widow is determined to prove her husband’s death was no accident. -CBS News (March 21, 2009)

Air Force Col. Philip Shue Died in an Apparent Car Accident, But Autopsy Revealed Much More; Texas Judge Ruled Cause of Death as Homicide (April 16, 2003)

Col. Michael Stahlman, Twentynine Palms, Iraq, U.S. Marine Corps (2008)

A Marine colonel is found shot in his bunk. Authorities say it was a suicide, his wife says it was murder — and she is determined to prove it. -48 Hours (March 28, 2019)

A Marine Colonel’s Widow Fights for the Truth Behind his Death: Suicide or Homicide? (48 Hours, CBS News, August 17, 2019)

Pvt. Dakota Stump, Fort Hood, U.S. Army (2016)

Dakota Stump, 19, was found dead in Fort Hood, TX. -RTV6 The Indy Channel (November 4, 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)

Related Links:
Fort Hood soldier: Inmates live better than we do
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington D.C. Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (December 12, 2017)
Vidor family of soldier Kamisha Block alleges cover-up after 2007 shooting in Iraq
Ft. Leavenworth employee set on fire describes horrifying attack
Peoria family hopes for change in military culture after son takes his own life
The Death of LaVena Johnson (Unsolved Mysteries)
American Airlines pilot arrested in Louisville for 2015 triple murder
The Curious Case Of Col. Philip Shue | CBS News
From My Heart to Yours | Devin Schuette
Marine from Colorado found dead at California base killed himself
Sneak peek: Widow’s War | 48 Hours
Missing soldier from Avon found dead

Forbidden, Dying for Love: Six Active-Duty Military Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

An Officer, Not a Gentleman:

ID Go: A Filipino woman falls for a married US Navy Officer who will do anything to keep his mistress and his money. -An Officer, Not a Gentleman, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S1,E4)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘An Officer, Not a Gentleman’ on ID: Navy Chief John Bench Chooses Adultery & Murder Over Divorce (January 22, 2016)

The Sergeant and the School Girl:

ID Go: When high school senior Michelle Miller joins the Future Soldiers program, she sees it as the first step to realizing her dream of enlisting in the Army. But a forbidden affair with her recruiter risks her career in the Army, and her future itself. -The Sergeant and the Schoolgirl, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S2,E1)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl’ on ID: Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Preys On & Seduces 17-Year-Old Student (January 6, 2017)

The Girl with the Gold Earring:

ID Go: A young mom falls for a married military man after a chance meeting at his naval base. -The Girl with the Gold Earring, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S2,E8)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘The Girl with the Gold Earring’ on ID: Navy Sailor Zachary Littleton Murders to Hide Adultery (February 24, 2017)

Love is a Battlefield:

ID Go: 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? -Love is a Battlefield, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S3, E1)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is a Battlefield’ on Investigation Discovery: Army Spc. Kamisha Block Dies in Murder-Suicide in Iraq (March 13, 2018)

Onward, Christian Soldier:

ID Go: While her husband serves in the army, a lonely married mother of three finds comfort in the arms of her church’s charismatic new minister. But danger looms in the form of a jealous love-rival that will stop at nothing to scare her away. -Onward, Christian Soldier, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E4)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ on ID: Fort Bragg Army MSgt William Wright Admitted Murdering Wife (June 29, 2019)

Love is War:

ID Go: A decorated marine faces war at home when he falls for a married woman. Suspicion and jealousy plague their affair as they battle to keep their secret from their spouses but with the stakes so high it’s a truth they’ll stop at nothing to hide. -Love is War, Forbidden: Dying for Love (S4,E8)

Forbidden, Dying for Love Premiered ‘Love is War’ on Investigation Discovery: Marine Archie O’Neil Jr. Shoots Mistress at Camp Pendleton After Fight (July 27, 2019)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
About the Show | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S2,E1)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
The Sergeant & the Schoolgirl | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S1,E4)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
An Officer, Not a Gentleman | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S3, E1)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is a Battlefield | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E4)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Onward, Christian Soldier | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (S4,E8)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (website)
Love is War | Forbidden: Dying for Love | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)

Snapped Premiered ‘Constance Tomich’ on Oxygen: Navy Veteran Ronald Tomich Found Fatally Shot in Indiana Home on Valentine’s Day (February 10, 2019)

Constance Tomich called 911 to report finding her husband dead in their home. -Snapped, Oxygen (February 11, 2019)

Melissa Zitterman, charged with conspiracy to murder Ronald Tomich, at 16 years old, discusses life after her release. -Snapped, Oxygen (February 12, 2019)

Former Indiana State Police Detective, Jeffrey Deckard confirms Zitterman was actually the shooter. -Snapped, Oxygen (February 13, 2019)

Law Enforcement, reporters, friends of the victim and Melissa Zitterman comment on Tomich’s sentencing. -Snapped, Oxygen (February 14, 2019)

Full Episode (YouTube):

The peace of an Indiana town is interrupted on Valentine’s Day 2003, when police receive a report of a violent murder. -Constance Tomich, Snapped, Oxygen (February 10, 2019)

Related Links:
Ronald M Tomich (1951-2003)
16-year-old girl charged in murder of Linton man
Woman paid teen to kill husband, police believe
Teen Sentenced To 20 Years For Role In Murder Plot
Inside prison walls, volunteers change inmates’ lives and their own
Constance ‘Connie’ Tomich, Melissa Zitterman: Mommie Made Daughter’s Classmate Murder Ron Tomich On Valentine’s Day– ‘Blood Relatives’
Snapped: Preview – Constance Tomich Reports Her Husband’s Death To Indiana Police (S24,E23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus Clip – Melissa Zitterman Released From Prison (Season 24, Episode 23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus – Melissa Zitterman’s Alibi Destroyed In Ronald Tomich Murder (S24, Ep23) | Oxygen
Snapped: Bonus – Constance Tomich Sentenced To 85 Years For Husband’s Murder (S24, Ep23) | Oxygen
Constance Tomich | Snapped | Oxygen (S24,E23)
Season 24 | Snapped | Oxygen (Amazon)

Killer Couples Premiered ‘Erika and BJ Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Lethal Lovers Murder Ocean City, Maryland Tourists for the Thrill (January 28, 2019)

A vacationing couple’s disappearance exposes the horrific crimes of a murderous husband and wife. -Erika and BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (S11,E2)

A young woman’s scrapbook offers insight into a shocking crime. -Erika Sifrit, Snapped (S8,E11)

Oxygen (Previews & Bonus Clips):

Erica Sifrit was your typical girl next door during high school, but experienced issues with anxiety and OCD at Mary Washington College. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 29, 2019)

Erika and Benjamin Sifrit’s marriage ended in thrill killings, pain, and anguish. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 29, 2019)

Scott Bernal, Ocean City Lead Detective discusses the murder trials of Erika and Benjamin Sifrit’s for the death two tourists. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Ocean City Detectives Brett Case and Scott Bernal reflect on the murder of Joshua Edward Ford and the acquittal of Benjamin Sifrit, and his potential release. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Kristen Heinbaugh, a high school friend of Erika Sifrit, reflects on the character of the person she used to know before the murders of Joshua Edward Ford and Martha Margene Crutchley. -Erika & BJ Sifrit, Killer Couples (January 30, 2019)

Forensic Files:

Full Episode: The couple spent Memorial Day weekend at the beach, and then they simply vanished. Their clothes and personal items were still in the rented condo, their car was parked outside, and there were no signs of forced entry or foul play. A week later, police would get an unexpected lead from a robbery in progress, and the evidence they found helped them to solve a crime of unparalleled violence and brutality. -Dirty Little Seacret, Forensic Files (S13, E46)

Podcast:

Once Upon A Crime – Episode 112: Listener Suggestions: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit – Killer Couple (December 22, 2018)

Related Links:
Cruel Death by M. William Phelps (Book)
Erika and BJ Sifrit | Killer Couples | Oxygen (S11,E2)
Erika Sifrit | Snapped | Oxygen (S8, E11)
Killer Couples: Preview – Erica Sifrit Struggles With Her Identity
Killer Couples: Preview – Erika & Benjamin Sifrit’s Fiery Romance Led To Murder
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Ocean City Detective Explains The Sifrit Murder Trials
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Detectives Disappointed By Benjamin Sifrit’s Sentence
Killer Couples: Bonus Clip – Former Friend, Kristen Heinbaugh, On Erika Sifrit
Dirty Little Seacret | Forensic Files | Full Episode (S13, E47)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (website)
Killers on the Run | Deadly Sins | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (S2, E8)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (website)
Ocean City | Sins and Secrets | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (S3, E9)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (website)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Lethal Lovers | Deadly Women | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Once Upon A Crime – Episode 112: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit – Killer Couple
Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Murdered in Maryland; Erika Sifrit Sentenced to Life, Benjamin Sifrit Sentenced to 38 Years in Prison (May 25, 2002)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Lethal Lovers’ on ID: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Maryland Tourists Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley (October 15, 2009)
Forensic Files Premiered ‘Dirty Little Seacret’: Thrill Killers Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murdered Two Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (May 28, 2010)
Snapped Premiered ‘Erika Sifrit’ on Oxygen: Woman’s Arrest Leads to Shocking Homicides of Tourists in Ocean City, Maryland (June 16, 2011)
Sins and Secrets Premiered ‘Ocean City’ on ID: Tourists Joshua Ford & Martha Crutchley Reported Missing in Maryland (March 1, 2012)
Deadly Sins Premiered ‘Killers on the Run’ on Investigation Discovery: Erika and Benjamin Sifrit Murder Two Ocean City Tourists (March 8, 2014)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Fresno Bee: ‘Black Widow’ Granted Parole. She Arranged the Murder-for-Hire of Her Navy Husband (January 26, 2018)

“Over the objections of the victim’s daughters and prosecutors, a two-member panel of the Board of Parole Hearings granted parole to Susan Lee Russo, who masterminded the murder-for-hire of her husband in the 1990s…Russo, 62, was originally sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of David Russo, a senior chief petty officer at Lemoore Naval Air Station…Last year, the sentence was commuted to 25 years to life in prison by Gov. Jerry Brown, making her eligible for parole…Russo was convicted on Jan. 30, 1996, of first-degree murder and conspiracy. The Lemoore Naval Air Station serviceman, 43, was shot in the back of the head on July 14, 1994, while asleep in his Riverdale home. Two of the Russo children were asleep in another room.”

Read more from the Fresno Bee here.

Related Links:
‘Black widow’ granted parole. She arranged the murder-for-hire of her Navy husband
Navy Spouse Susan Russo Hired Drug Addicted Hitmen for $100 to Kill Husband David Russo for Life Insurance; Sentenced to Life in Prison, Commuted (July 14, 1994)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cash In’ on Investigation Discovery: Susan Russo Conspired to Have Husband Murdered for Life Insurance (September 30, 2016)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery

Snapped Premiered ‘Vegas Bray’ on Oxygen: Controlling Crazy Ex Stalks Victor Saucedo, Kills Him Because He Rejected Her (May 14, 2017)

There’s a gun lying next to the victim. Is it suicide or murder? -Vegas Bray, Snapped, Oxygen (May 9, 2017)

An attractive woman witnesses her ex-boyfriend’s shooting, but can’t remember what happened, raising questions about suicide, stalking and split personalities. -Vegas Bray, Snapped, Oxygen (May 9, 2017)

Vegas Bray is convicted of murder and sentenced 25 years to life in prison. A friend of Vegas’s, Kevin Oseguera says “the monster inside of her” shot Victor, not his friend. -Vegas Bray, Snapped, Oxygen (May 14, 2017)

Vegas Bray says it’s hard to talk about what happened to her. She shows no remorse. -Vegas Bray, Snapped, Oxygen (May 15, 2017)

An attractive woman witnesses her ex-boyfriend’s shooting, but can’t remember what happened, raising questions about suicide, stalking and split personalities. -Vegas Bray, Snapped, Oxygen (S20,E2)

Investigation Discovery:

A young Navy recruit falls for a fellow officer, but becomes overwhelmed by jealousy when she learns he is friendly with the mother of his child. -Deadly Women, Investigation Discovery

These Deadly Women won’t let their men go… they “Cling ‘Til Death.” -Cling ‘Til Death, Deadly Women (S10,E4)

Editor’s note: With a cable subscription, you can download the free ID Go app and watch 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. 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 $3.99 a month. It’s a compilation of older seasons but totally worth the cost if you are a true crime addict. Download the ID Go app or purchase ID True Crime Files & binge away.

Related Links:
Snapped: S20 E1 Sneak Peek – Vegas Bray Calls 911 | Oxygen
Snapped: S20 E1 Preview – Vegas Bray | Oxygen
Snapped: S20 E1 Bonus Clip – Stalking is Serious | Oxygen
Snapped: Vegas Bray Interrogation (Season 20, Episode 2) | Oxygen
Vegas Bray | Snapped | Oxygen (S20,E2)
Ex-Lover Jealousy Turns Lethal: The Vegas Bray Story (Preview)
Cling ‘Til Death | Deadly Wonen | Investigation Discovery (S10,E4)
Cling ‘Til Death | Deadly Wonen | Investigation Discovery (website)
Cling ‘Til Death | Deadly Wonen | Investigation Discovery (Amazon)
Cling ‘Til Death | Deadly Wonen | Investigation Discovery (Hulu)
Navy Veteran Victor Saucedo Shot and Killed in Home by Ex-Girlfriend; Navy Veteran Vegas Bray Sentenced to 50 Years to Life in Prison (October 16, 2012)
Deadly Women Premiered ‘Cling ‘Til Death’ on ID: Vegas Bray Killed Navy Veteran Victor Saucedo Because He Dumped Her (September 17, 2016)
Deadly Women: 30 Military and Veteran Homicide Cases Featured on Investigation Discovery