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

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 featured the Jennifer and William Wright 2002 homicide-suicide case on Investigation Discovery. ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ highlighted the circumstances that lead to the murder of Jennifer Wright and the pain it inflicted on those who were left behind including their three sons. According to the show, William Wright was a Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Bragg in North Carolina with his wife and three children. MSgt Wright was routinely deployed after 9/11/2001 and as a result he was never home. Bill’s absence was hard on Jennifer and the marriage. She wanted Bill to leave the Army but the Army was his life; it’s what he was meant to do. While Bill was deployed in Afghanistan, he learned that Jennifer was telling people back home that he divorced her.

Bill was stunned to learn the news and was granted leave to go back stateside and deal with his family crisis. Bill learned Jennifer was having an affair with the pastor at church and she wanted a divorce. Instead of salvaging his marriage, Bill murdered Jennifer in the family home on June 29, 2002 and covered it up. When investigators questioned Bill about Jennifer’s murder, he broke down and told them everything. Bill admitted he hit his wife with a baseball bat and then strangled her to death. He then put her body in a garbage bag and buried her in some woods near Fort Bragg. In 2003, William Wright was in prison awaiting trial when he died by suicide in his jail cell. Jennifer and William’s sons expressed concern that the Army’s anti-malaria drugs negatively impacted their father’s health and was most likely the reason this tragedy occurred.

This domestic violence related homicide was one of five murders that occurred in a six week period at Fort Bragg in 2002. Rigoberto Nieves fatally shot his wife Teresa on June 11, 2002; Cedric Griffin fatally stabbed his wife Marilyn on July 9, 2002; Brandon Floyd fatally shot his wife Andrea on July 19, 2002; and military spouse Joan Shannon manipulated her daughter Elizabeth to shoot her step-father Major David Shannon on July 23, 2002 while he slept.

Source: ‘Onward, Christian Soldier’ Forbidden: Dying for Love

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:
Fort Bragg Soldier Admits To Wife’s Murder
Wives’ slayings shock Army at Fort Bragg
Soldiers kill wives after serving in Afghanistan
Murders shake US military
A Base Rocked by Violence
A War at Home | People
Blood on the Home Front | Time
Death in the Ranks at Fort Bragg
4 Wives Slain in 6 Weeks at Ft. Bragg
Fort Bragg’s Deadly Summer | Vanity Fair (December 2002)
Rash of Wife Killings at Ft. Bragg Leaves the Base Wondering Why
Suicide In Fort Bragg Jail (March 24, 2003)
Special Forces Soldier Hangs Himself
Third Bragg soldier took malaria drug
Special Forces soldier charged in wife’s slaying hangs himself
What to Watch on Saturday: A Fayetteville murder on ID, new movies from Hallmark and Lifetime
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)
Violent Crime, Non Combat Death and Suicide at Fort Bragg, North Carolina (US Army)
Death on the Home Front (2009)
Under the Sabers: The Unwritten Code of Army Wives by Tanya Biank (February 7, 2006)

“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)

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)

Matthew Brown

Pvt. Matthew Brown, U.S. Army (photo: Vanity Fair)

Army Pvt. Matthew W. Brown, 20, of Zelienople, Pennsylvania, died May 11, 2008 in Asadabad, Afghanistan from injuries suffered in a non-combat related incident. Pvt. Brown was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom on behalf of the 3rd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery Regiment, 18th Fires Brigade (Airborne) at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. At the time of the incident, the Department of Defense announced Pvt. Brown’s death was under investigation. On January 8, 2019, the family alleged Matthew was murdered in a Vanity Fair publication titled “Leave No Soldier Behind”: The Unsolved Mystery of the Soldier Who Died in the Watchtower.

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

The US Air Force Academy Sexual Assault Scandal, Colorado (2003)

USAF Seal

On January 2, 2003, Jessica Brakey, a female cadet at the US Air Force Academy, contacted media and congressional representatives asking for help with sexual assault at the Academy. As a result of her coming forward, Senator Wayne Allard’s office was contacted by 38 former cadets, 23 current cadets, and one civilian, all of whom said they had been raped by Air Force Academy men. During the investigation into the scandal, the air force admitted that 16 graduates who were accused of sexual assaults were currently serving as officers in the military. Like every scandal before and since, the USAFA leaders at the time took the fall for the ‘scandal’ and the USAF promised they made sweeping changes in regards to how they will handle allegations of sexual abuse. They also claimed ‘the problem was isolated’ at the Academy in Colorado.

“It’s a terrible feeling when someone does this to you and gets away with it, and then you report it and the system punishes you. It’s almost worse than the actual act, that the system failed you.” ~Sharon Fullilove

Related Links:
2003 United States Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal
Air Force Academy Investigated 54 Sexual Assaults in 10 Years
Air Force Admits at Least 54 Cases of Rape and Sexual Assault at Air Force Academy–Scandal Called Bigger Than Tailhook: We’ll Talk to Two Survivors
The Air Force Academy Scandal
Survey: 20 percent of female cadets victims of sexual assault
Report finds sexual assault, drug use at Air Force Academy
Air Force Academy Sees New Assault, Drug Use Allegations
Air Force Rape Scandal Grows
Air Force Academy Ignores Rapes, Women Say
US Air Force Academy chiefs removed over rape scandal
Air Force leadership blamed for sex scandal
Pentagon blames Air Force Academy leaders for sexual misconduct scandal
Air Force: Sex assault scandal confined to the academy
Breaking Ranks
Code of Dishonor
Air Force Academy Whistleblower Alleges Dog Poisoned in Retaliation
No Simple Explanation In Air Force Academy Sex Crime Data
Honor and Deception: A secretive Air Force program recruits academy students to inform on fellow cadets and disavows them afterward
U.S. Air Force Academy — It Doesn’t Get Better