Private LaVena Johnson: murder or suicide?

Private LaVena Johnson

On July 19, 2005, just eight days shy of her 20th birthday, LaVena Johnson was found dead in her tent at a military base in Balad, Iraq. Military officials ruled her death a suicide, saying she shot herself in the head.

The tent she was found in belonged to military contractor, Halliburton/KBR.

LaVena’s parents, Dr. John and Linda Johnson, were not satisfied with that ruling. They had spoken with their daughter just days before her death and she seemed in good spirits. She was also planning on going home for the holidays that year. read more

The Strange Death of Colonel Philip Shue

I saw this case on “48 Hours Mystery” and thought it was perfect for my blog. It’s the most ridiculous ruling I’ve ever heard.

Colonel Philip ShueOn April 16, 2003, 54-year-old Colonel Philip Shue left his Texas home and headed to work. Two hours later, he was found dead in his car, an apparent victim of a car crash.  The car was caved in on the driver’s side and Philip suffered major head trauma as a result. He was killed instantly. read more

Misty Copsey: Missing Since 1992 from Washington

Misty Copsey

14-year-old Misty Copsey was a pretty girl who loved sports, made good grades in school, and had many friends.

Misty was the only child of Diana and Buck Copsey, who split shortly after Misty’s birth in 1978. Diana and Misty had lived in a trailer for several years after the split. But in 1992, wanting a better home for her daughter, Diana moved with Misty to a duplex in Spanaway, Washington. While Misty missed her friends from her old school, it didn’t take her long to find new ones. read more

What Happened to 20-year-old Jay Polhill?

 Jay Polhill20-year-old Columbia College student Jay Polhill disappeared on Sunday, April 30, 2010 from Chicago, Illinois. Two days later, his body was found in the Calumet River near 126th Street – 20 miles from his downtown college dorm.

An autopsy revealed Jay suffered severe head injuries before drowning. There was no evidence of drugs and alcohol, or sexual assault despite the fact he was found wearing only a T-shirt.

Jay’s case baffles police and remains unsolved today.

Jay’s last image was captured on his dorm security camera the day he went missing. He walked out of the building on South State Street with his camera strapped around his neck and his laptop in a bag. Both have never been found and his wallet is also missing. read more

Who Murdered Nikki LaDue January?

 Nikki Ladue JanuaryOn July 29, 2002, 30-year-old Nikki LaDue January was found dead shortly before 10:00 a.m. from a single gunshot to her head. Her body was located on the balcony of her third floor condo in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Despite evidence to the contrary, within two hours after police arrived, her death was ruled a suicide. Her family has often said Nikki would not have committed suicide.

Nikki had been married to Phil January for less than two years and both were employed at Grand Casino. Friends described January as a jealous control freak who Nikki feared. Once a fun-loving, happy woman, Nikki became a loner who was afraid to socialize with her fellow workers. January often had his spies watching her.

Nikki had a five-year-old son, Zachary, from a previous marriage to co-worker, Mike Williams. Nikki adored Zack, so the notion that she would intentionally do something to take herself completely away from him forever seemed ludicrous to those who knew her. read more

Where is Indiana University Student Lauren Spierer?

Lauren Spierer
Lauren Spierer

On Thursday, June 2, 2011, Indiana University (IU) Bloomington student Lauren Spierer, 20, went out with some friends to Kilroy Sports Bar in Bloomington, Indiana. Lauren, who had just finished her sophomore year at IU Bloomington , was last seen by a male friend walking to her downtown Bloomington apartment at approximately 4:15 a.m on June 3rd.

She has not been seen since. read more

What Happened to 17-year-old Joseph Helt?

I have been asked by a classmate of Joseph Helt to write an article on this blog about him. I am completely honored to do so as I first read about Joe’s case two weeks ago, and it really touched my heart.

This post is dedicated to Joe Helt and his friends & family. May there be justice one day.

Joseph Helt
Joe Helt

 1987

In 1987, Ronald Reagan was President of the United States, glam and pop metal bands topped the music charts, and The Simpsons first appeared on The Tracy Ullman Show. read more