Fear Thy Neighbor Premiered ‘Mistress of Death’ on Investigation Discovery: Linda Cowan & Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan (July 7, 2018)


Two women living next to each other since childhood descend into bitter conflict when the ex husband of one starts seeing the other. Add property issues to this toxic mix and the result is an act of shocking violence that engulfs all. -Mistress of Death, Fear Thy Neighbor (Investigation Discovery: S5, E6)

On December 18, 2009, Army veteran Vinson Thomas-Ward Cowan shot at and injured his neighbor Christie Jackson in Burnet, Texas. Christie Jackson and Vinson’s mother, Linda Cowan, were engaged in a bitter three month feud between neighbors after Christie’s estranged husband Rudy started dating Linda. What started out as a disagreement between neighbors ended in someone getting shot. It is believed that Linda Cowan enlisted the help of her son Vinson to shoot and kill Christie Jackson and he obliged because he was protective of his mother. Vinson followed through and indeed shot Christie in the head through the window of her own home. Miraculously, despite the severe head wound, Christie lived, but will forever be affected by the ordeal. On the night in question, Christie was sleeping with both her daughters who also are forever changed by the experience.

One of Vinson’s friends, Thomas Pierson, who was aware of the plan to shoot Christie and be a look-out that night, informed the police of Linda and Vinson’s plans to shoot Christie in retaliation for all the trouble she caused her. The bottom line was Linda wanted Christie out of the picture. Linda Cowan was jealous that Rudy continued to see Christie and their children and angry because she assumed Christie called the City of Burnet to complain about her septic issues. Linda wanted revenge and she wanted to date Rudy despite his intentions to continue seeing Christie. In 2013, Linda Cowan was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. And Vinson Thomas-Ward plead guilty to ten years in prison for second-degree felony of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Christie’s mother sold the family home in Burnet.

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:
Burnet woman gets 15 years for her role in 2009 shooting (2013)
Burnet County man gets 10 years for 2009 shooting of woman (2013)
Linda Sue Cowan, Appellant v. The State of Texas, Appellee (2015)
Mistress of Death | Fear Thy Neighbor | Investigation Discovery (S5, E6)

A Month in Review: In the News on Military Justice for All (May 2018)

May 2018

Missing:
Family pleads for missing soldier battling PTSD to come home
Vets group calls for ‘CAMO Alert’
What really happened to Middlebrook’s Sgt. Gene Shultz?
Missing: Michael VanZandt (Hermosa Beach Police Department – 310-318-0308)
Missing in Hermosa Beach: What happened to Mike VanZandt?
He Left to Go to the Bathroom and Never Came Back: Where is Michael Vanzandt?
Missing: Trevor Nichols (US Army), New York
Soldier receives orders to Fort Riley, goes AWOL
Disappeared: Air Force Veteran Michael Vanzandt Vanishes During a Night Out with Friends in Hermosa Beach, California (March 5, 2016)
Jean-Marc Faubert has been missing since the early morning of Friday, May 25th

Cold Cases:
Georgia Marine’s murder in Belize remains unsolved one year later
No arrests made 3 years after soldier’s murder
New Hampshire unsolved case file: David and Deborah Carreau
Warwick murder case still unsolved, reward offered 5 years later
Cold Case: Army Spc. Darlene Krashoc Sexually Assaulted, Murdered, and Dumped in Parking Lot in Colorado Springs; CID Offers $10,000 Reward (1987)

Fugitives:
Reward Offered for Armed & Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2017)

Petitions:
Presidential Pardon Petition | Free Lt. Clint Lorance
Fire Iron River, Michigan City Manager David Thayer For Firing Police Chief Laura Frizzo!

Continue reading

48 Hours NCIS Premiered ‘Ruthless’ on CBS: The True Crime Story of Serial Rapist & Camp Lejeune Janitor Willie Abner Brown (May 26, 2018)


When a serial rapist targets military spouses, NCIS agents race against time before he strikes again. -48 Hours 

It is believed that Willie Abner Brown committed 12 sexual assaults in the Jacksonville, North Carolina area, five of them were Marine spouses. After the similarities in reports were observed, the Jacksonville Police Department created a Task Force with Camp Lejeune and Naval Criminal Investigation Services (NCIS) because they felt the cases were connected. The Marine Corps leadership at Camp Lejeune were very concerned that there was a serial rapist on the loose because five different military spouses reported being attacked, four were attacked while their husband’s were deployed. The attacker also stole money and debit and credit cards from his victims. Investigators were able to identify Willie Brown via video surveillance while he was using one of the victim’s credit cards at a local convenience store. They learned Brown was a janitor at Camp Lejeune.

The police picked Brown up for a traffic violation and brought him to the station for fraudulent use of one of the victim’s credit cards. The Jacksonville Police Department knew exactly who Willie Brown was because of his long rap sheet. They could prove the theft but they wanted to prove the multiple rapes so they set up a war room to gather and collect information that would help them substantiate that Willie Brown was involved in the sexual assaults as well. They interviewed every victim they could to get a better understanding of the modus operandi of the serial attacker. Investigators also searched Brown’s house and his girlfriend’s house and found items that connected Willie to the victims and the weapon they believe was used in one of the attacks. The victim’s were relieved Willie was finally caught and couldn’t harm anyone else.

Willie Abner Brown

Willie Abner Brown

The prosecutor was only able to prove that Willie was connected to four of the twelve sexual assaults. DNA evidence specifically connected Willie Brown to some of the victims. During trial, Willie Brown took the stand to defend himself and he maintained his innocence. He admitted to the robbery but not the sexual assaults. And he told the jury he was sexually assaulted as a child and couldn’t physically carry out the attacks. After a day of deliberation, the jury found Willie Brown guilty on March 13, 2014 of multiple felony charges including rape. He was also convicted of assaulting one of the victims with a deadly weapon. Willie Brown was sentenced to prison for 410 years. “You have to fight for your story, you have to fight for your word.” One of the victims said even if they can’t do anything with your case, you should still report it because someday someone else will report and the cases will be connected.

Editor’s Note: If you would like to watch the full episode of ‘Ruthless,’ please visit the CBS All Access website, visit the 48 Hours website, or download the 48 Hours app on your iPad. The most recent episodes are unlocked on the 48 Hours website and app. If you would like to watch past episodes on the 48 Hours app, it cost’s $4.99 a year. There’s programming dating back to 2005 on the 48 Hours app, including some classics, to feed your true crime addiction.  

Related Links:
Man accused of multiple rapes
Serial rapist sentenced to 410 years in NC prisons
Serial rapist sentenced to 410 years in NC prisons
Juror Speaks Out After Serial Rape Trial
Convicted serial rapist accused of assaulting fellow inmate
Jacksonville serial rapist now accused of assaulting inmate
Crime highlights from 2014 | Wilmington Star News
State of North Carolina v. Willie Abner Brown (2014)
Convicted serial rapist re-sentenced
“48 Hours: NCIS:” Can brokers cease a ruthless attacker preying on Marine wives?
Local JPD detective, NCIS agent to appear on CBS 48 Hours
JPD Task Force case to be featured on 48 Hours: NCIS show
“48 Hours” Saturday Double Feature: Ruthless & Sophia’s Secret
“48 Hours: NCIS:” Can Agents Stop a Ruthless Attacker Preying on Marine Wives?
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (msn.com)
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (website)
“48 Hours: NCIS” sneak peek: Ruthless (YouTube)
“48 Hours: NCIS”: Ruthless | CBS News
“48 Hours: NCIS”: Ruthless | CBS All Access
48 Hours: NCIS: Ruthless | 48 Hours (podcast)
North Carolina Prison (DOC) Arrest Records for Inmate WILLIE A BROWN

Sophie and Co | RT: Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim (2018)


Army abuse ‘was not bad luck, but a calculated crime’ – US veteran & rape victim -RT

Correction: Jennifer Norris is not an advocate for MRCC. She left the organization in 2014. About: https://jennifersnorris.com/about/

Related Links:
Reporting abuse was risking my life – US veteran & rape victim
Army abuse ‘was not bad luck, but a calculated crime’ – US veteran & rape victim
Twitter: Sophie and Co (RT) | Jennifer Norris, US Air Force [Video]
Facebook: Military Justice for All | Jennifer Norris, US Air Force
What Happens When a Rape is Reported in the Military?
Non Combat Deaths of Female Soldiers in the US Military (Iraq)
The US Military Recruited Violent Felons to Support the War Efforts
Personal Story and Testimony of TSgt. Jennifer Norris, US Air Force Retired, Before the House Armed Services Committee in Washington DC (2013)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members (2016)
Massachusetts School of Law Interviews Veteran Jennifer Norris About Violent Crime in the Military & Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (2017)
How do we stop the retaliation from happening so victims of crimes in the military feel safe to report? (2017)
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Honoring the Victims of Serial Killer Andrew Urdiales, US Marine Corps, in California and Illinois (1986-1996)
Army Pvt Laura Vickery-Clay Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (1986)
Civilian Kimberly Ruggles Raped & Murdered by Fort Bragg Soldier; Ronald Gray Sentenced to Death by Military Courts for Two Murders & One Attempted Murder (1987)
Army Soldier Erin Tynan was Raped & Strangled by Fellow Fort Irwin Soldier Christopher Geier in California, Geier Also Found Guilty of Murder-For-Hire & Attempted Murder (1990)
The Silent Truth: The Rape, Murder & Military Cover-Up of Army Pfc LaVena Johnson in Iraq (2005)
Army Pfc. Suzanne Swift Went AWOL from Fort Lewis; She Refused to Deploy for Third Time with Superiors She Accused of Sexual Harassment (2006)
Army Staff Sgt Paul Norris Shot Spc Kamisha Block Five Times in Iraq, Then Killed Self (2007)
US Marine LCpl Maria Lauterbach and Unborn Child were Murdered; Fellow Marine Cesar Laurean Found Guilty of First Degree Murder, Sentenced to Life in Prison (2007)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)
College Student Brianna Denison Kidnapped, Raped and Strangled by a Former Marine in Reno, Nevada; James Biela Sentenced to Death (2008)
Cold Case: Air Force Reservist SrA Blanca Luna Discovered Stabbed to Death in Base Lodging at Sheppard AFB in Texas (2008)
Army Spc. Keisha Morgan Died of a Non Combat Related Cause in Baghdad, Iraq (2008)
Spc Mikayla Bragg Died of a Non Combat Death in Afghanistan, Army Ruled Suicide & Report Calls for Continuity of Healthcare in Deployed Locations (2011)
Marine Corps Spouse Brittany Killgore Held Captive, Tortured, Raped, and Murdered After Refusing Sex; 3 BDSM Cult Members Sentenced to Life (2012)
Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered HS Student & Recruit Michelle Miller, Then Killed Self; Army Claims Double Suicide (2013)
Air Force Reserve Captain Jamie Brunette Committed Suicide After What Parents Allege May Have Been an Unreported Sexual Assault in Afghanistan (2015)
Army Veteran Ashley Pullen First Dishonorably Discharged from the Military for Sexual Assault; Then Sentenced to Life in Prison in Oklahoma for Multiple Rapes with Narcotic Agent (2015)
Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
Army Reserve Veteran Micah Johnson Murdered Five Dallas Police Officers During Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas (2016)
Lt Col Teresa James Shares Experience with Sexual Assault & Reprisal at DoD IG Worldwide Hotline Outreach Conference
Army Pvt. Paige Fontenot Briles Found Unresponsive in Vehicle at Fort Hood Housing in Texas; Initially CID Investigated as Homicide But Later Ruled Suicide (2016)

 

78 Fort Hood Soldiers Died Since January 2016: 7 Overseas Deaths, 3 Non Combat; 71 Stateside Deaths, 37 ‘Suicides’, 1 Unsolved Homicide (2018)

“Simple enough answer, between incompetent leaders, the drugs, the gang bangers, poor units, ghetto neighborhoods, poor quality soldiers, and just being in Texas, this place is where souls go to die… Hood kills you on the inside. The outside follows shortly afterwards..” -Anonymous

Fact: In the last two years, more soldiers at Fort Hood died stateside than overseas. The six non combat deaths that occurred overseas were insider attacks (4) and death ruled suicide by the Army CID (2). The following numbers are the specifics at Fort Hood in Texas since January 2016.

78 deaths at Fort Hood since January 1, 2016. 

  • As of August 2017, 9,300 soldiers from Fort Hood were currently deployed across the globe, this is more than a 1/4 of the 35,000 troops stationed there
  • Average age of death is 28 years old
  • Average 1.5 suspected suicides per month since January 2016
  • 7 overseas deaths to include 4 insider attacks and 3 non combat deaths
  • 71 stateside deaths to include 37 alleged suicides (13 soldiers had no known deployments; 24 soldiers had deployed to Korea, Iraq, or Afghanistan)
  • 1 unsolved homicide in Killeen, Texas (Justin Lewis)
  • 11 died in training accidents, 9 died in one training incident

PLEASE READ THIS: Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit (February 21, 2015)

7 OVERSEAS DEATHS

4 insider attacks in Afghanistan

  1. 10/20/16: Douglas Riney, 26, US Army (ambushed and shot to death by lone gunman in Afghanistan Army uniform)
  2. 11/12/16: Tyler Iubelt, 20, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s day fun run, Afghanistan)
  3. 11/12/16: John Perry, 30, US Army (suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan)
  4. 12/06/16: Allan Brown, 46, US Army (succumbed to injuries, suicide bomber during base wide post-Veteran’s Day fun run, Afghanistan)

2 non combat deaths in Iraq

  1. 02/21/17: Brian Odiorne, 21, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Iraq)
  2. 01/08/18: Javion Sullivan, 24, US Army (non-combat related incident, Iraq)

1 non combat death in Korea

  1. 08/02/17: Zachary Moore, 23, US Army (ruled suicide by CID, Korea)

71 STATESIDE DEATHS

3 homicides off base

  1. 01/05/16: Jonathan ‘Mike’ Gilotti, 33, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, Alabama; Charleston Wells, 16, Ahmad Johnson, 18, Darrian Bryant, 16, and De’Ron Lucas, 19, charged with murder; Wells found not guilty)
  2. 04/17/17: Justin Lewis, 19, US Army (shot & killed near vacant lot in neighborhood near post in Killeen, Texas; unsolved homicide)
  3. 05/05/17: Travis Granger, 29, US Army Veteran (gunshot wound, 27 year old Keith Marinnie charged with murder)

16 found dead on post

  1. 01/03/16: Devin Schuette, 35, US Army (missing, found dead at on-post recreation area, Army CID ruled death suicide)
  2. 06/06/16: Bernardino Guevara Jr., 21, US Army (gunshot wound, Sportsmen’s Center)
  3. 07/12/16: Alexander Johnson, 21, US Army (found dead near BLORA paintball court)
  4. 08/19/16: Dion Servant, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks)
  5. 09/13/16: Andrew Hunt, 23, US Army (officer found dead at on post residence)
  6. 12/24/16: Paige Fontenot Briles, 21, US Army (found dead at base housing, death ruled suicide by Army CID)
  7. 01/11/17: Alex Taylor, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at place of duty on post)
  8. 01/12/17: Zackary Partin, 24, US Army (found dead in barracks room on post)
  9. 02/05/17: Steven Hines, 29, US Army (CID Agent found dead behind office building of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, death ruled suicide)
  10. 02/27/17: Andre Nance, 34, US Army (found dead at Fort Rucker, Alabama hotel)
  11. 04/07/17: Daniel Wildeman, 40, US Army (found unresponsive in barracks room)
  12. 07/11/17: Justen Ogden, 22, US Army (found unresponsive at on post residence)
  13. 10/12/17: Angel BenitezQuinones, 32, US Army (found unresponsive on post)
  14. 01/06/18: Mark Boner, 43, Army National Guard (Army: ‘It’s unclear at this time what led to his death’)
  15. 03/01/18: Colton Vassar, 29, US Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)
  16. 03/03/18: Devon Wulff, 23, US Army (found unresponsive at on-post residence)

22 found dead off post

  1. 01/16/16: Troy Wayman, 45, US Army (military officer found dead of apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in Nolanville apartment, death ruled suicide)
  2. 03/14/16: Brian Reed, 40, US Army (gunshot wound, Copperas Cove residence)
  3. 03/20/16: Andrew Poznick, 45, US Army (military officer found dead at off-post residence near Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania, death ruled suicide)
  4. 03/20/16: Steven Lewis, 33, US Army (self-inflicted wound, off-post residence, Killeen)
  5. 05/01/16: John Stobbe, 31, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post residence, Killeen)
  6. 05/23/16: Marcus Nelson, 45, US Army (death ruled suicide at Bell County jail)
  7. 06/10/16: Duane Shaw III, 34, US Army (death ruled suicide at off-post home, Temple)
  8. 08/04/16: Calvin Aguilar, 32, US Army (found unresponsive in Copperas Cove, Texas)
  9. 09/17/16: Nathan Berg, 20, US Army (died of gunshot wound off post in Killeen)
  10. 10/07/16: Bradley Acker, 25, US Army (death ruled suicide, Copperas Cove, Texas)
  11. 10/15/16: Douglas Bailey, 24, US Army (found dead at off post residence)
  12. 11/16/16: Kevin Paulino, 24, US Army (died of self-inflicted gunshot wound in Indiana)
  13. 11/18/16: Korey James, 21, US Army (death ruled suicide at off post residence, Killeen)
  14. 11/26/16: Wanya Bruns, 20, US Army (self-inflicted gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
  15. 01/02/17: Randal Anderson, 22, US Army (died from gunshot wound off-post, Killeen)
  16. 02/06/17: Christie Anderson, 44, US Army (found dead at off post residence, Killeen)
  17. 05/14/17: Jon Bullard, 40, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Belton, Texas)
  18. 06/15/17: Devon Tucker, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)
  19. 07/26/17: Deangelo Mathis, 22, US Army (found unresponsive in Sly County, Georgia)
  20. 10/14/17: John Hatfield, 27, US Army (died of a gunshot wound off-post in Killeen)
  21. 10/18/17: Luke Toomey, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at home in Copperas Cove)
  22. 01/18/18: Tyler Compton, 21, US Army (found unresponsive at off-post residence in Harker Heights)

11 died in training accidents

  1. 06/02/16: Christine Armstrong, 27, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  2. 06/02/16: Brandon Banner, 22, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  3. 06/02/16: Miguel Colonvazquez, 38, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  4. 06/02/16: Isaac Deleon, 19, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  5. 06/02/16: Zachary Fuller, 23, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  6. 06/02/16: Eddy Gates, 20, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  7. 06/02/16: Tysheena James, 21, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  8. 06/02/16: Yingming Sun, 25, US Army (died in flood training incident)
  9. 06/02/16: Mitchell Winey, 21, US Military Academy (died in flood training incident)
  10. 02/17/17: Michael Garcia, 29, US Army (died in vehicle training accident)
  11. 09/12/17: Sean Devoy, 28, US Army (died in fall during helicopter hoist training)

3 died from unspecified medical issues

  1. 11/10/16: Daniel Monibe, 32, US Army (died of illness)
  2. 01/01/17: Kai Yancey, 26, US Army (died after complications from short illness)
  3. 10/05/17: Derrick Walker, 40, US Army (died of a long-term illness)

7 died in motorcycle accidents

  1. 05/09/16: Ellsworth Raup, 33, US Army (rear ended a van in Killeen, Texas)
  2. 06/05/16: Antino Glass, 34, US Army (struck livestock on Fort Hood)
  3. 08/01/16: Logan Rainwater, 24, US Army (SUV turned in front of him in Killeen)
  4. 09/09/16: Stacy Hardy, 20, US Army (slammed into minivan, eluding Killeen PD)
  5. 03/26/17: Jonathan Garcia, 29, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, for reasons unclear, bike lost control on curve, veered off road, & struck cable barrier)
  6. 07/03/17: Anthony Lovell, 40, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, failed to negotiate a turn, left the roadway, went airborne into creek in Killeen)
  7. 07/14/17: James Smith, 24, US Army (single-vehicle motorcycle crash, lost control of bike on I-35 in Temple)

4 died in automobile accidents

  1. 03/06/16: Sean Van Der Wal, 25, US Army (fatal auto collision with truck on I-35; driver & Fort Hood soldier Timothy Corder charged with intoxication manslaughter)
  2. 06/11/16: Dougal Mitchell, 32, US Army (driving the wrong way on State Highway 195, vehicle collided with another driven by Mikeshia Ruiz, 23, who died at scene)
  3. 11/03/16: Dakota Stump, 19, US Army (missing for 3 weeks, fatal auto accident on post that occurred night he went missing, family wants missing ‘Warrior Alert’ law)
  4. 01/07/17: Barron Von Reichelt, 24, US Army (died from injuries suffered in an automobile crash on South Range Road at Fort Hood)

2 died in a swimming incidents

  1. 04/16/17: David Ananou, 30, US Army (death by apparent drowning at Temple Lake Park)
  2. 10/14/17: Sameer Chalise, 28, US Army (died due to injuries while swimming, Mansfield)

1 died unexpectedly out of state

  1. 02/18/17: Sean Callahan, 31, US Army (passed away unexpectedly in Iowa)

1 declared dead after missing

  1. 04/11/17: Darius Cooper, 40, US Army (declared dead by board of inquiry after went missing when car swept away in low water crossing)

1 self inflicted & officer involved shooting

  1. 10/12/17: Alva Gwinn, 39, US Army (accused of sex crime; command directed ‘wellness check’ initiated 1 month before trial; shot at by police but died of self inflicted gunshot wound after high speed car chase)

Learn more:
Injured Heroes, Broken Promises: Army Launches Investigation Inside Fort Hood’s Warrior Transition Unit
Army Soldiers at Fort Hood in Texas Are Dying at Alarming Rates Stateside
Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Hood, Texas (US Army)
Army Pfc LaVena Johnson of Fort Campbell Died of Non Combat Related Injuries in Iraq, Death Ruled Suicide But Independent Autopsy Revealed Rape & Murder (2005)
Military Policy and Legislation Considerations for the Investigations of Non Combat Death, Homicide, and Suicide of US Service Members
Washington DC Veteran’s Presentation on the Current Status of the Armed Forces at Fort Hood in Texas (2017)
Family seeks answers after NC soldier Justin Lewis slain in Texas
Killeen Calling in Feds to Combat Crime
Gangs in the US Army Documentary
Seeking Justice with Change Your POV
The Fort Hood Fallen on Facebook

Are More Male’s Victims of Violent Crime in the United States Than Females?

fbiJ4e0

This post was inspired by International Men’s Day and a quest to find the truth on the internet. Are men in the US the majority of the victims of crimes?

This research was inspired by the above graphic. My initial research so far for the military backs these numbers so I feel that it is fair to say more men in the military are victims of crimes than women. We have more military men than women so that only makes sense. By the numbers we have roughly 85% males and 15% females. We know more military men have died by suicide or “non combat death” while in service than military women. We know male veterans make up the majority of the homeless mostly due to mental health and substance abuse issues. We don’t know the percentage of men in the military who have been murdered versus the number of female service members. But we do know that the research so far reveals more men are murdered than military women while serving. The number that may throw this off is how many military men are murdering their spouses and significant others and/or members of their family. So more research has to be done.

The Department of Defense hasn’t included the military spouses in the data thus far nor have they included civilians who have been victims of crime by military members. But we know they exist because we try to track all victims of crime perpetrated by a military member on this website in an effort to honor them. Today we featured 30 cases of domestic abuse that led to the homicide of a female spouse or soldier. We have concerns about domestic violence in general especially since we learned that upwards of 40% of males are victims of domestic violence in the United States. We believe it. Since the majority of members in the military are males, we have found multiple cases of men getting targeted by mostly female civilians and then abused and murdered for their benefits and life insurance. In some cases they reported the domestic violence but in most cases they don’t. Why are men less likely to report when they are a victim of domestic violence? Are they being threatened? For example, “I will ruin your career” comes to mind. This is something that needs to be explored further.

Our new concern is that military men are being falsely accused of sex crimes in an effort to make divorce go in the spouses favor or they have been exploited by a service member looking for a new assignment, to get out of a financial obligation, to get an early retirement, and also the Department of Veterans Affairs financial monthly benefits, about $3,000 a month for someone who is 100% disabled. Although sexual assault isn’t specifically mentioned in the above graphic, we also know that the majority of military men are victims of sexual assault and rape but are the least likely to report. We’ve also learned that about a 1/3 of female victims of crime in the military report and 60% of those females report they experienced both perceived personal and professional retaliation as a result of that report, in a lot of cases the report eventually ends the career. And this may be why so many victims of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape in the military do not report, specifically men. The military career is an investment that most of us don’t want meddled with.

The military career is our retirement plan, it’s a financial asset. We don’t want to risk losing our careers in the long run because we know a report of a crime or a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder will make us “unfit for service.”

Our number one goal was to find out if more males are victims of violent crime than females, not that it matters because all people are important. But if you try to find the statistics out there, you will find that they are buried by media reports of how many women are murdered by intimate partner violence, pregnant women are especially at risk. Whereas males are more likely to be the victim of a crime perpetrated by a stranger. Make sure and check out The Red Pill trailer below to find out why Men’s Rights Advocates are fighting for their fellow males. Women do it all the time and there’s no reason they can’t either but they are getting judged, villianized, and demonized for their very important and necessary work. It’s time to step it up for men who die by homicide and suicide; and it’s time we teach them it’s okay to reach out for help whether they have combat PTSD or were a victim of crime.

Broad studies have revealed certain trends within crime and victimization patterns. Adolescents are most likely to be victimized. Men become crime victims more often than women do, and blacks experience more crime than other racial groups. –National Institute of Justice

  • More men are murdered than women, mostly gun violence
  • Men are more likely to be murdered by a stranger than a women
  • Women are more likely to be murdered by an intimate partner
  • Pregnant women are at most risk of homicide by an intimate partner
  • More men than women are raped and sexually assaulted in the military
  • More men than women in the US are raped if you include prisons
  • Men make up 40% of domestic violence cases in the US
  • Adolescents leading cause of death is homicide
  • More men commit suicide than women
  • More men commit crime than women
  • Women rape, abuse, bully, and kill

2009:
Who is Most Likely to be a Crime Victim?

2010:
More than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals

2011:
Most likely to be a homicide victim?

2012:
CDC Study: More Men than Women Victims of Partner Abuse
Why Are Men More Likely To Be Homeless?

2013:
Gun Suicides Outnumber Gun Homicides
Victims of sex assaults in military are mostly men
More men are raped in the US than women, figures on prison assaults reveal
Men, Young Adults Make Up Majority of Gun Homicide Victims
NYPD stats: 70% of shooting suspects in first half of 2013 were black
A competition of suffering: Male vs. female rape
Is homelessness a men’s issue?

2014:
Criminals, Victims and the Black Men Left Behind
Serial Killer Myth #3: They Are All Men
Serial Killer Myth No. 5: All Victims Are Female
The Surprising Truth About Women and Violence
Our attitude to violence against men is out of date
Alcohol linked to more homicides in US than any other substance
When Men Are Raped
Woman As Aggressor: The Unspoken Truth Of Domestic Violence
Only one percent of male military victims report sexual assault
Phoenix-area murder stats: Most victims young men

2015:
An Unbelievable Story of Rape
White Females Are Rarely Murder Victims or Perpetrators
Most Victims Are Men: 5 Realities Of Rape In The Military
The Number of Male Domestic Abuse Victims Is Shockingly High — So Why Don’t We Hear About Them?
SNAPSHOT: Male Victims of Violent Crime
Criminal sentencing: Do women get off easy?
Baltimore records deadliest month in more than 40 years

2016:
The Understudied Female Sexual Predator
Yes, Male Victims of Domestic Violence Exist & It’s Time to Talk About It
Male hazing most common type of sexual assault, expert reveals
When No One Calls it Rape: Addressing Sexual Violence Against Men & Boys
Gun crime victimizes men the most—which is also why it’s so hard to stop
Murders by Women Differ from Those by Men, Study Says
Chicago: 75% of Murdered Are Black, 71% of Murderers Are Black
Sexual Victimization by Women Is More Common Than Previously Known
Why are we shocked when women commit violent crimes?
Military Sexual Assault Victims Discharged After Filing Complaints
Victims and Victimization – National Institute of Justice
Why Are There More Homeless Men Than Women?
7 Statistics You Need To Know About Black-On-Black Crime
Killings in Compton have tripled this year, rattling nerves and testing a key anti-crime initiative
More than 60 shot in Chicago over July 4th weekend
Chicago surpasses 600 homicides in 2016 and is on pace to have its deadliest year in two decades
Homicides in Charlotte rise to a 6-year high

2017:
The Alienating Parent – A Voice for Men
African Americans Are Eight Times More Likely to Be Victims of Homicide Than Whites, Says CDC
CDC: Half Of All Female Homicide Victims Are Killed By Intimate Partners
After Weinstein: The Fallout for 34 Men Accused of Sexual Misconduct, From Lewd Texts to Rape
Conyers steps down from House Judiciary Committee amid sex harassment claims
Military wife, model sexually assaulted by senator while on USO tour
Lindsay Menz, Sen. Al Franken Accuser: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
Al Franken, under pressure to resign, vows to ‘learn from my mistakes’
Roy Moore Feeding Frenzy Displays A Society Murdering Due Process
Inside the First Men-Only Domestic Violence Shelter in Texas
Male victims of domestic violence are being failed by the system
A panic is not an answer: We’re at imminent risk of turning this #metoo moment into a frenzied rush to blame all men
Poor people are more likely to be victims of violent crimes, says report
What Domestic Violence Against Men Looks Like
Violence and Homicide Among Youth
Las Vegas Valley homicides keep pace with 2016 numbers
America’s murder rate is rising at its fastest pace since the early 1970s
71 people have died in homicides this year in OKC
Fort Worth responds to spike in crime: ‘We needed to do something, so we moved quickly’
Homicides Down in DC; Some Nearby Counties See Notable Increase
Police identify victim, suspect in Charlotte’s 56th homicide of 2017
In Baton Rouge, We’re Dealing With A Hurricane Of Murders

In the News:
I didn’t Know – Angry Staff Officer
Navy Grounds Whidbey Crew After Lewd Skywriting Incident
A Teen Vogue writer said she didn’t feel bad about sacrificing “innocent men” and got what she deserved
Hugs Are Rape And Compliments Molest Me: How #MeToo Became A Toxic Feminist Movement
Lena Dunham’s Rape Virtue-Signaling Comes Back To Haunt Her
International Men’s Day: FIVE Female Killers who Murdered Soldiers, Veterans and Spouses
30 Domestic Abuse Cases in the Military That Ended in the Murder of Female Partners
A List of Soldiers Targeted & Murdered for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance Benefits (SGLI)
Meeting The Enemy: A feminist comes to terms with the men’s rights movement
You Can Get PTSD From Staying In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship
Leading Causes of Injury Deaths by Age Group Highlighting Violence-Related Injury Deaths, United States – 2015

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

cdc-graphic

Graphic Courtesy of Futures Without Violence (2017)

  1. Air Force MSgt William Lipscomb Murdered his Wife Kathleen After She Threatened to Expose his WAPS Promotion Cheating Scam (1986)
  2. Joseph Snodgrass, US Air Force, Hired Hitmen to Murder Wife Julie at Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines for the $400,000 Life Insurance Payout (1991)
  3. Phonthip Ott Discovered Dead in California River; Spouse Dennis Ott, US Coast Guard, Convicted of Murder and Sentenced to Life in Prison (1992)
  4. Fort Carson Army Soldier Michael Pelkey Convicted by Military Court Martial of Murdering Wife Diane; Sentenced to Life in Prison (1993)
  5. Sgt. Bill Coffin Murdered Ex-Fiancee After Civilian Courts Issued Protective Order, Judge Alleges Army Routinely Ignores Court Orders (1997)
  6. Fort Bliss Army Commander Captain Lynn Reister Murdered by Enlisted Husband Roger and His Brother Rodney for the Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance (2001)
  7. Retired Army Soldier Andrea Floyd Killed by Army Husband Brandon Floyd in Murder-Suicide at Fort Bragg (2002)
  8. Air Force SSgt Shelby Orelup Murdered by an Airman She Dated Briefly, SSgt Phillip Arindain Sentenced to Life in Prison (2003)
  9. US Army Soldiers Jeremy Meyers & Christopher Baber Found Guilty of Murdering Jeremy’s Wife Jessica for the Life Insurance Policy (2003)
  10. Fort Hood Army Sgt William Edwards Killed Estranged Wife Sgt Erin Edwards at Home in Killeen, Then Killed Self in Apartment Complex Parking Lot Across Street (2004)
  11. Sgt 1st Class Donald Gower, US Army, Conspired & Offered to Pay Others to Murder his Estranged Wife Hidi Gower for the Life Insurance (2007)
  12. Army Staff Sgt Paul Norris Shot Spc Kamisha Block Five Times in Iraq, Then Killed Self (2007)
  13. US Navy Sailor Genesia Gresham Shot and Killed in Bahrain by Clarence Jackson (2007)
  14. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Edgar Patino Murdered Army Specialist Megan Touma & Unborn Son After Argument, Sentenced to 16-20 Years in Prison (2008)
  15. Fort Bragg Army Nurse Lt Holley Wimunc Murdered by Marine Husband the Day After She Announced Divorce, John Wimunc Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  16. Army Sergeant Christina Smith Murdered by Army Husband Richard Smith & Accomplice Matthew Kvapil, Both Fort Bragg Soldiers Sentenced to Life in Prison (2008)
  17. Ashley Barnes, US Army, Murdered by Soldier Husband Shortly Before Filing for Divorce, Khaleefa Lambert Sentenced to Life in Prison (2009)
  18. Travis McGraw, US Air Force Reserve, Murdered his Wife Vanessa for the $100,000 Military Life Insurance Policy (2011)
  19. Army Spouse Katherine Morris Found Dead in Car Near Mall; Cause of Death Initially Ruled Suicide But Further Investigation Suggests Homicide Motivated by Insurance Fraud (2012)
  20. Robert Chiaravalotti, US Army, Sentenced to Life Without Parole by Military Judge After Killing Wife & Raping Step Daughter (2012)
  21. Miranda Nichols, US Army, Shot & Killed by Army Boyfriend Samuel Tellu in an Apparent Domestic Dispute, Tellu Found Dead in Vehicle (2012)
  22. US Army Soldier Kimberly Walker Murdered in Colorado Hotel Room by her Boyfriend Army Soldier Montrell Mayo After Valentine’s Day Quarrel (2013)
  23. Evidence Reveals Army Reserve Recruiter Adam Arndt Murdered High School Student Michelle Miller & Then Killed Self, Army Investigators Claim Double Suicide (2013)
  24. Danielle Nemetz was Shot and Killed; Army Soldier and Spouse Skylar Nemetz Convicted of Manslaughter and Sentenced to 13 Years in Prison (2014)
  25. Army Sgt Michael Walker Allegedly Conspired to Murder Wife with Prostitute for Insurance Money; Awaiting Murder Trial in Hawaii Civilian Court (2014)
  26. Fort Meade Soldier Caleb Barnes, US Army, Plead Guilty to First Degree Murder of Cheryl Silvonek; Sentenced to Life in Maryland Prison (2015)
  27. Army Pfc Karlyn Ramirez Found Shot to Death in Home, Army Veteran Dolores Delgado Plead Guilty & Army Sgt Maliek Kearney Awaiting Trial (2015)
  28. Reward Offered for Armed and Dangerous Fugitive: Army Recruiter John Blauvelt Wanted for Allegedly Murdering Estranged Wife in South Carolina (2016)
  29. Fort Bragg Army Soldier Iris Armstrong Found Murdered in Home; Accused Spouse Jason Armstrong Found Dead After Intense Manhunt & Police Stand-Off (2016)
  30. Fort Campbell Army Pfc. Shadow McClaine Reported Missing 9/2; Army Soldier Charles Robinson Pleaded Guilty, Estranged Husband Jamal Williams-McCray Awaiting Murder Trial (2016)

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

48 Hours Premiered ‘Hunted’ on CBS (2017)


“48 Hours” goes inside the mind of a serial rapist hunting his victims while two detectives were hunting him. Correspondent Maureen Maher investigates Saturday, Sept. 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.

On August 11, 2008, Marc Patrick O’Leary raped an eighteen year old at knife point in Lynnwood, Washington. The 18 year old woman reported the rape to her local police department but they accused her of lying and she was charged with false reporting. In 2011, Marc O’Leary was arrested in Colorado for rape and consequently admitted to raping several women in Washington and Colorado. DNA, digital evidence, and O’Leary’s vehicle linked him physically to several rapes. Read more here.

Related Links:
An Unbelievable Story of Rape
“48 Hours” preview: Hunted
Sneak peek: Hunted | 48 Hours
Covering the unbearable | 48 Hours
“48 Hours” investigates the hunt for a serial rapist
Netflix series to tell story of rapist Marc O’Leary
Netflix series to tell story of rapist Marc O’Leary (2)
Army Soldier Marc O’Leary Raped an 18 Year Old Woman in Washington; Three Years Later Arrested in Colorado for Rape & Sentenced to 300 Plus Years (2008)

Violent Crime, Suicide, and Non Combat Death at Fort Riley, Kansas (US Army)


Fort Riley provides a Modern State-of-the-Art full spectrum, maneuver-friendly training environment in the Midwest, supporting the “Total Army.” Check out this five minute video to learn why Fort Riley finds itself positioned perfectly to provide for the Army’s current and future training needs. -DVIDSHUB

*Research not complete, includes combat deaths

2017
Dameko Artis, Civilian: Fort Riley man victim of shooting at shopping center
Eugene Cleaver, US Army Veteran: Former soldier stationed at Fort Riley sentenced to 17 years for sexual abuse of child in Texas
Richard Cox, US Army: Died 4 days after suffering gunshot wound
Alejandro Franquiz, US Army: Self-inflicted gunshot wound off post
Xavier Harden, US Army: Entered the lake from a boat and didn’t resurface, body later recovered
Ikaika Kang, US Army: FBI arrested former Ft Riley soldier in HI on terror charges
John Martinez, US Army: Found unresponsive in his barracks room
Peter Robbins, US Army: Shot and killed by police in Junction City

2016
Antonio Bates, US Army: In 2016, veteran sentenced to 15 years in prison for sexual abuse of a minor in the 1990s while stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas
Phillip Cruz-Medellin, US Army: Found dead in nearby Manhattan
Oscar Delgado, US Army: Found dead on post after missing for a week
Wayne Grigsby, US Army: Relieved of command of the 1st Infantry Division due to loss of confidence in ability to lead, suspended and fired
Joseph Stifter, US Army: Died in fatal roll-over accident, Iraq

2015
Randy Billings, US Army: Killed in Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crash, Afghanistan
Peter Bohler, US Army: Killed in Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crash, Afghanistan
Christopher Boynton, US Army: Found dead with gunshot wound on post
James Duke, US Army: Sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after convicted of aggravated sexual abuse of a child, most assaults happened in military housing at Fort Riley from 1996 to 2001
Jessica Echevarria, US Army Spouse: Found dead on post, single vehicle accident
Cyjay Echon, US Army: Jailed after allegedly put infant child in hospital, in critical condition, held on $150,000 bond, waived preliminary hearing
Omar Forde, US Army: Killed in Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crash, Afghanistan
Kenyon Givens, US Army Dependent: Died from gunshot wound on post
Terry Gordon, US Army: Killed in Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crash, Afghanistan
Juwan Jackson, US Army Dependent: Charged with involuntary manslaughter by US Attorney’s office
Brian Mastin, US Army: Arrested on child abuse & criminal threatening charges after standoff, suicidal
Alexander McConnell, US Army: Sentenced to 15 years in prison for second degree murder and 2 charges of child abuse
Joshua Silverman, US Army: Killed in Black Hawk UH-60 helicopter crash, Afghanistan

2014
James Henning, US Army: arrested for sexual exploitation of a child, rape, and aggravated sodomy; bond set at $5,000,000, sentenced to life
Scott Wilhelm, US Army: Arrested for sexual exploitation of a child, sexting

2013
Daniel Parker, US Army: Convicted of first degree murder, appealing
Sean Vincent, US Army: Arrested on charges in alleged child pornography case
Kimberly Walker, US Army: Homicide victim of boyfriend, Army soldier

2012
Michael Braden, US Army: Found unresponsive in his living quarters, Afghanistan
John Hughes, US Army: Convicted in the stabbing death of another soldier, sentenced to life in prison without parole
Todd Lambka, US Army: Died from wounds suffered in IED explosion, Afghanistan
Thomas Lavrey, US Army: Found unresponsive in living quarters on post
Jesus Lopez, US Army: Died from wounds suffered in IED explosion, Afghanistan

2011
Nathan Conley, US Army: Found dead in barracks room at WTB, ruled suicide
Florinda Evans, US Army: Accused of homicide by husband’s father
LaShawn Evans, US Army Dependant: Found dead in wife’s barracks in Iraq with gunshot wound to head, Army ruled suicide at first but reclassified to homicide
Aaron Evilsizer, US Army: Found dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound off post
Brice Scott, US Army: Died when insurgents attacked unit, Afghanistan

2010
Eddie Lowery, US Army Veteran: Wrongfully convicted by civilians of a rape that occurred in 1981 while stationed at Fort Riley, cleared by DNA, awarded 7.5 million
Hugh Marquez Jr, US Army: Found dead at friend’s house in Manhatten
Benjamin Miller, US Army: Found unresponsive in vehicle on post

2009
John Digrazia, US Army: Found unresponsive in barracks on post

2007
Jason Butkus, US Army: Died when insurgents attacked unit, Iraq
Camy Florexil, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq
Braden Long, US Army: Died when vehicle came under grenade attack, Iraq
Daniel Miller, US Army: Non-combat related incident, Afghanistan
Henry Ofeciar, US Army: Died when insurgents attacked unit, Afghanistan
Antonio Ortiz, US Army: Stabbed outside bar off post, found dead in parking lot
Latoya Pitts, US Army: Convicted of involuntary manslaughter in fatal stabbing of Army boyfriend outside bar
Christian Quinones, US Army: Died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen off post
Castulo Salas, US Army: Sentenced to six months in military prison for shooting death of fellow soldier off post

2006
Jeffery Brown, US Army: Died when UH-60 Blackhawk crashed, Iraq
Steven Mennemeyer, US Army: Died when UH-60 Blackhawk crashed, Iraq

2005
Kyle Dennis, US Army: Sentenced to 5 years in prison for third-degree burglary, accessory to aggravated assault and attempted theft
Luke Hoffman, US Army: Sentenced to 5 years for attempted grand theft and two counts of aggravated assault
Seferino Reyna, US Army: Died when IED detonated near military vehicle, Iraq
Christopher Wilaby, US Army: Homicide of Echo Wiles, convicted in 2011
Echo Wiles, Civilian: Homicide victim of boyfriend, Army soldier

2004
Yoe Aneiros, US Army: Died when vehicle came under attack, Iraq
Pierre Cole, US Army: Arrested for the fatal shooting of store manager James Jung, 52, during a robbery in Chicago, held on $1.5 million bond
Eric Colvin, US Army: Charged with homicide, sentenced to 12 yrs on drug charges
David Heath, US Army: Died when patrol came under small arms, Iraq
Christopher Hymer, US Army: Homicide victim off post by Army soldier
Adriana Renteria, US Army Spouse: Alleged victim of domestic abuse
Carlos Renteria, US Army: Accused of domestic abuse, sent overseas, ordered to attend military anger management and alcohol abuse classes
Neil Santoriello, US Army: Died when IED detonated near military vehicle, Iraq
Daniel Shepherd, US Army: Died when military vehicle hit IED, Iraq
Aaron Stanley, US Army: Convicted of the premeditated murders of 2 Army soldiers, sentenced to life in prison/no parole
Matthew Werner, US Army: Homicide victim off post by Army soldier

2003
Christopher Cutchall, US Army: Died when IED detonated near vehicle, Iraq

2001
James Hawthorne, US Army: Shot in leg after someone shot 4 bullets in his vehicle
Shaun Leach, US Army: Died after someone shot 4 bullets into civilian vehicle
Jeremy Ware, US Army: Accused of attempted unpremeditated murder, carrying a concealed weapon, and wrongful acquisition of a firearm

1985
Francis Badame, US Army: Murdered after tricked and lured by two Army soldiers to go to a remote section of military post to hunt deer, buried in shallow grave
Timothy Keenan, US Army: Faced court-martial on murder and conspiracy charges & charged by state with conspiracy to commit first degree murder; plotted crossbow and beating death of Pvt. Francis Badame
Wayne Partridge Jr, US Army: Testified he shot Pvt. Francis Badame in the back with a crossbow and Timothy Keenan repeatedly beat Badame with a shovel

Related Links:
Two dead in Fort Riley shooting (1995)
2 Brothers May Face Explosives, Gun Charges (1995)
Troops in Distinguished Ft. Riley Unit Resent Notoriety From McVeigh Ties : Military: Present, former GIs of 16th Infantry angry over the tarnishing its record has received with the arrest of the prime bombing suspect. (1995)
Despite Army’s Assurances, Violence at Home (2008)
Child ‘Forrest Gump’ actor leaving Army (2008)
Army Alcoholics: More Soldiers Hitting the Bottle (2010)
One-fourth of killings in Sedgwick County since 1989 happened in 7 census tracts (2014)
Feds charge Kansas man with Fort Riley bomb plot (2015)
Kansas woman pleads guilty to sex trafficking a minor (2016)
Thousands of US troops deploying to Afghanistan, Europe this summer (2017)

Reasonable Doubt Premiered ‘Failure to Remember’ on Investigation Discovery: Penny Brummer (June 21, 2017)


Penny Brummer, a military vet, is accused of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend in a jealous rage. However, Penny was so drunk that night she was in a blackout state. Can Chris and Melissa help fill in the gaps of her memory to prove her innocence? -Reasonable Doubt, Investigation Discovery

Air Force veteran Penny Brummer was convicted on October 1, 1994 of murdering her ex-girlfriend’s best friend 21-year-old Sarah Gonstead in Madison, Wisconsin. On March 14, 1994, after a night of heavy drinking with Penny, Sarah was shot in the back of the head execution style and found three weeks later in a secluded field. Detectives theorized that Sarah most likely trusted her killer. On this episode of Investigation Discovery’s Reasonable Doubt, Penny’s mother, Nancy Brummer, turned to Detective Chris Anderson and criminal defense attorney Melissa Lewkowicz to help her prove Penny’s innocence. Nancy believes the prosecution had no concrete evidence except for circumstantial evidence and she also believes the the jury was biased and led to believe that lesbians are inherently violent. Detective Anderson and Melissa Lewkowicz worked with Nancy Brummer by taking a second look at Penny Brummer’s case featured in the ninth episode of Reasonable Doubt aptly titled ‘Failure to Remember’. It’s their job to investigate the cases that family members swear are wrongful homicide convictions and in the end the duo share their assessment of guilt or innocence based on meticulous investigative work.

Nancy Brummer has been fighting to free her daughter for twenty-two years. She told Detective Anderson and Melissa that they were her last hope. The two learned that Sarah Gonstead left her mother’s house to go out for a night of drinking to celebrate her 21st birthday with her friend Penny but Sarah never came home. Twenty-five days later, Sarah was found in a secluded field in Madison. Sarah had been shot execution style in the back of the head and Penny was the last known person to see her alive. Eight days later, Penny was arrested and charged with first degree murder. Penny claims she pulled over to clean up some beer that spilled in her vehicle and Sarah exited the vehicle to walk half a block to her best friend Glenda’s house. But prosecutors painted a darker picture. They theorized the two got drunk and Penny drove Sarah out to a empty soy field and murdered her. Prosecutors believed the motive was jealousy because Glenda had just broken up with Penny and Penny blamed Sarah for the break-up. They claimed Penny wanted revenge and the jury bought it. Penny Brummer is currently serving life in prison and her first opportunity for parole is in 2045.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with the Nancy Brummer first to hear her plea for justice. Nancy stated that she wanted to find the person who committed the crime and free Penny so she can come home. Nancy confirmed that Glenda and Penny were dating and broke up about a month prior to Sarah’s disappearance. Sarah was Glenda’s best friend and the three of them would hang out and party together. Penny was in her early twenties at the time of the homicide so her behavior was typical of most young people at that stage in their life. Nancy Brummer described Penny as very social and happy-go-lucky. She said Penny was really into sports and she was on the softball team and volleyball team in high school. Nancy opined Penny was a typical teenager and started drinking around the age of seventeen. After high school, Penny joined the Air Force and shared with her mom that it was hard being in the military because of the secrecy she had to maintain regarding her sexual orientation. Nancy Brummer believes that the jury was biased and led to believe that a lesbian is more prone to violence. She referenced a questionnaire that Melissa agreed was inflammatory and would need a second look.

The prosecution painted a picture that Penny was jealous of the friendship between Glenda and Sarah. The two were strictly friends and Sarah was straight. Nancy observed that Penny was sad and disappointed about the break-up but not what one would consider obsessive. She reminded Detective Anderson and Melissa that the prosecution had nothing: no physical evidence, no DNA, no blood evidence, nothing that tied Penny to the murder. The prosecution said the gun that was used in the commission of the crime was a 22 handgun that belonged to Penny’s father. Nancy admits that her husband’s gun did go missing and was never recovered. When Sarah’s body was found, Nancy said a witness came forward to the police and said that he had driven by the scene of the crime a day or two after the murder and saw a suspicious vehicle along the side of the road. He saw a man standing behind the vehicle with what looked like a pink and purple duffle bag and as it turns out, Sarah’s jacket was the same pink and purple color. Nancy said this evidence was ignored. Nancy informed both Detective Anderson and Melissa that even if they don’t find Penny innocent, she will keep fighting for her release.

Detective Anderson and Melissa began their investigation. Detective Anderson started with the man who was the eyewitness. This man told Detective Anderson that he did in fact see a vehicle by the side of the road near the location of where Sarah’s body was found in the field. He claims he made eye contact with the man in question but that was about the extent of it. He said after the man made eye contact with him, he put his head down. The eyewitness was concerned that this man was trying to move the body, after all it was only a couple days after she had gone missing. He said the police informed him that they already had a suspect in the case and he felt that his testimony was largely discounted and ignored. Melissa investigated the prosecutors jealousy motive. One of Penny’s close friends described her as a great friend and a someone she went bar-hopping with. Penny’s friend believes that she was a binge drinker and most likely an alcoholic because she would drink until she blacked out. Penny’s friends said she hoped she would get back together with Glenda but certainly didn’t act like a jealous ex-girlfriend. Penny’s friend Mary believes she is innocent.

Detective Anderson met with a forensic expert to go over the physical evidence or lack there of. The two examined the crime scene photos and other evidence available. The forensic expert didn’t see any signs of struggle and it appeared Sarah’s body fell forward after she was shot in the head. There was no sexual assault and no beating. It was an execution style killing and Sarah most likely knew and trusted the person who shot her. Sarah was walking in front of the perpetrator when she was shot in the back of her head. Detective Anderson visited the last known location of both Penny and Sarah, a local bar in Madison. A witness said Sarah and Penny were celebrating Sarah’s birthday because she had just turned twenty-one. The two had been drinking prior to their arrival at the bar but the witness didn’t think either appeared to be drunk. She said they showed up at the bar around 10:30 p.m. and left a couple hours later; they had a couple drinks while they were there. The witness observed they were both in great spirits and having fun and they were both able to carry on a conversation. On the night in question, Sarah was kind of quiet while Penny appeared to be enjoying herself with others at the bar. Neither of them were agitated or upset; they both appeared to be in a really good mood.

Detective Anderson interviewed Penny via the telephone. Penny said she dated Glenda for 8 or 9 months and admits she fell in love with her. She also claimed to have a nice friendship with Sarah. She shared that Sarah never did anything bad to her and never meddled in her relationship with Glenda. Penny said Glenda just decided one day to end things and told her she was going back on birth control. Penny assumed Glenda wanted to go back to guys. After the break-up, Penny was heartbroken. She admitted she got physical with Glenda one time; they pushed each other during an argument. On March 14, 1994, Penny said she got out of work around 7:30 p.m., got some beer, and went to Sarah’s house. Penny said they stopped at a couple bars and drank more beer. Penny said she doesn’t remember being at Jakes (the bar where the eyewitness last saw both Penny and Sarah at around midnight). Penny admitted she was an alcoholic then and was very intoxicated. Penny and Sarah were on their way to pick up Glenda when Penny spilled some beer in her car and stopped to clean it up. Penny said Sarah wasn’t feeling well so she started walking to Glenda’s house which was about a half a block away. Penny told Detective Anderson she doesn’t know why she didn’t take Sarah to Glenda’s house but she went home after cleaning her car. Penny reminded Detective Anderson that she isn’t the type to kill anyone, she didn’t have a weapon, and she had absolutely no reason to hurt Sarah.

In the meantime, Melissa looked at the questionnaire that was given to the jury asking them about their thoughts about lesbians and violence. Melissa said, as a criminal defense attorney, she would insist that the jury not be subjected to or see the questionnaire because it is inflammatory. Melissa also spoke with Glenda who was the glue that held the case together. Glenda claimed she dated Penny for about a year but wasn’t necessarily in love with her. Glenda claimed Penny drank a lot but could still function; she just wouldn’t remember it. Glenda described Sarah as a shy, soft-hearted, and loyal friend. Glenda believed that Penny was jealous of her friendship with Sarah. Glenda admitted that Penny did in deed find her birth control pills and assumed that she was breaking up with her so she could date men again. Glenda admitted she broke up with Penny because she was way too controlling. Glenda also claimed Penny was pissed that she broke up with her. When Glenda ended it, Penny shoved her and she shoved her back and kicked her out of her house. Glenda said the look in her eyes scared the crap out of her and she began to cry. Glenda believes they have the right person and is still grieving the loss of her friend.

Detective Anderson and Melissa met with Nancy Brummer to share the results of their investigation. Nancy claimed the jury was bias because of Penny’s sexual orientation and Melissa believes she was absolutely right. Melissa said the questions asked of the jury were highly prejudicial. Penny’s close friend felt that the motive of jealousy was crap but Glenda was 100% convinced Penny was the killer. Glenda claimed the motive in this case was vengeance. Glenda declared that if Penny gets out of jail, she is moving to another state because she is scared of her; if Penny did this once, who is to say she won’t do this again? Nancy doesn’t believe Glenda and said she is a good actress. Detective Anderson told Nancy he followed up with the eye witness at the scene of the crime and said this was a problem because each and every lead needs to be taken seriously. He also shared that only one of the detectives was alive and he refused to meet with him. Melissa confirmed that there is no physical evidence tying Penny to the crime. Detective Anderson addressed the gun they believed was used in the commission of the crime and Nancy confirmed the 22 they owned had indeed gone missing. Detective Anderson addressed the autopsy photos and shared that the forensic expert did not observe any signs of struggle. It was a cold night and if someone ran towards Sarah, she definitely would have heard it. Detective Anderson deduced Sarah was shot by someone she knew or was led into the field at gunpoint.

“Circumstantial cases are a series of little things that add up until they point in one direction.” -Detective Chris Anderson, Reasonable Doubt

Nancy Brummer said there was no way her daughter would have shot Sarah in the back of the head. But Detective Anderson had some serious issues with the fact that the only person who claims Penny was in a black out that night is Penny. He spoke with a bartender who claimed that Penny appeared to be functional. Jake’s bar is significant because it is less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found. Detective Anderson noted that Penny said she couldn’t remember being at Jake’s that night but she remembered very specific things earlier and later that night. Detective Anderson felt it was suspicious that Penny remembered everything really well that night except being at this bar. Is this a form of convenient amnesia? Melissa empathized with why Nancy felt a sense of injustice all these years. The biased questionnaire, the ignored witnesses, and the overall investigation had major problems; the evidence was highly circumstantial. Penny was the last known person to see Sarah alive that night; Penny was last seen at a bar with Sarah which is located less than two miles from where Sarah’s body was found; Penny said she can’t remember being there but does remember a lot of details earlier and after Sarah went missing; Sarah was killed with a 22 and Penny’s father owned a 22 that was now missing; Penny was a military vet who was trained to shoot guns; and Sarah wasn’t trying to run away, she didn’t struggle, and she most likely knew and trusted her killer.

Why would Penny do this? Melissa shared that she read through the police reports and noted that Penny admitted she was heartbroken when things ended with Glenda. Penny also admitted that after the break-up she wondered who Glenda was with, where she was, and what she was doing. Penny also said Glenda was in her head 24 hours a day (obsessed) and that she resented Sarah because she assumed Sarah was trying to drag her back into the straight world. On the night of March 14, 1994, Penny did what she always did. Melissa explained Penny got really drunk, the break-up was fresh, her feelings were raw, and she spent the entire night with the person she believed came between her and the woman she loved. Melissa asked, “did Penny plan to walk Sarah into the woods or was it just a horrific idea fueled by fifteen drinks? Did she remember shooting Sarah, does she remember her falling to the ground, or does she not remember anything at all?” Ironically, Penny admits that prison saved her life. Penny believes she would not have made it to thirty had it not been for prison. Penny said she turned her life around behind bars. Based on the leads Nancy provided and an independent investigation, Detective Anderson and Melissa revealed there was nothing new in the investigation that would bring Penny home. They both suggested Nancy ask her daughter the tough questions and then she will know, even 22 years later.

“The problem is that the things Penny remembers are the things that will help her and the things that she can’t remember are the things that would potentially hurt her.” -Melissa Lewkowicz, Reasonable Doubt

Source: Reasonable Doubt ‘Failure to Remember’


Twenty-one years ago a jury found Penny Brummer guilty in the murder of Sarah Gonstead. The family of Brummer has spent those 21 years working to prove her innocence. Dave Delozier reports. -Channel 3000 | News 3 (December 14, 2015)

MJFA Links:
Sarah Gonstead was Shot Execution Style in the Back of Head After a Night Out Celebrating 21st Birthday with Friend & Air Force Veteran Penny Brummer (March 14, 1994)

Related Links:
Who Killed Sarah?
Seeking justice for Penny Brummer
New Trial for Penny Brummer, Wrongfully Convicted | Petition
Penny Brummer Defense & Support Fund by Truth in Justice

1994
Sarah Gonstead Murder

1995
Reasonable Doubt by Ingrid Ricks | The Advocate

1997
State of Wisconsin v. Penny L Brummer

2003
A short history of exposing misconduct

2005
Chapter 1: A tale of three young women
Chapter 2: A hole in her story
Chapter 3: A surprise witness appears
Chapter 4: Defense sows seeds of doubt
Chapter 5: Emotional debate ends in guilty verdict
Chapter 6: Supporters of Brummer offer their theories; they say the evidence was too thin and question makeup of jury
Gift enables investigative journalism class to probe old murder case

2012
Dane Co. DA Approves DNA Testing in 1994 Killing
Wisconsin DA approves DNA testing in 1994 killing
Will DNA Save Penny Brummer?
Spring Green woman could be cleared

2013
Innocence project founder promotes cause of Madison woman convicted of murder
Did Homophobia Convict a Wisconsin Woman of Murder?

2014
A Look Back After 20 Years
A look back at a 20-year-old murder and if the right person was convicted

2015
Who killed Sarah? The trial of Penny Brummer
Group questioning conviction of Penny Brummer in 1994 death of Sarah Gonstead
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
$10,000 Reward Offered in Wrongful Conviction Case
Person of Interest Hits Wrongfully Convicted for Serving in U.S. Military
On Wrongful Convictions and Penny Brummer

2016
Penny Brummer’s fight for justice
The Lynching of a Madison Lesbian: Wisconsin’s Wrongful Conviction of Penny Brummer
Wrongful Conviction: Penny Brummer Is Innocent and Still in Prison
Richmond Crime Author Sheila Berry Takes on Wrongful Convictions Nationwide

2017
Penny Brummer convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, but is there Reasonable Doubt?

Books:
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Amazon
Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila & Doug Berry (2005) | Walmart

Video Links:
Reward offered in 21-year-old homicide conviction
Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | Amazon
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt – Investigation Discovery
Failure to Remember | Reasonable Doubt | Investigation Discovery | YouTube