In 2010, statistics came out that 120 female U.S. soldiers stationed in Iraq had died. Half of those deaths were reported to be non-combat related. 30 those non-combat related deaths were ruled suicides, but there is evidence to suggest many of them may have actually been murders.
In this episode, we dive into the case of LaVena Johnson and other women of the U.S. military who died very suspicious deaths during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Sources for this episode cannot be listed here due to character limitations. For a full list of sources, please visit https://crimejunkiepodcast.com/conspiracy-women-in-the-us-military/
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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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breezy story. This week, a story of
systematic cover ups in the: U S, military that I think will shock you. This is one of
episodes. Were I walk away thinking? Why isn't everyone talking about this? So I need you to help get people talking about this,
Please share this episode on your facebook. Twitter Instagram help give people in
warmed about how the? U S military, is covering up the murders of their female soldiers.
They start this story today by telling you about the very first story I learned about which brought my attention to all of these cases. It's a story of living
very smart young girl who grew up as the fourth of food.
Children in Missouri after
school leaving. You told her dad that she wanted to join the military to help pay for her education. Now her parents,
have money, but Lavinia was talking about going to an out of state school in California, and she didn't want to put that burden on her parents. So she enrolled in the? U S military after
all her dad was a veteran and Lavinia wanted to continue the family tradition by the time July. Two thousand and five rules around Lavinia had been stationed in Iraq. For about eight weeks, she tries to write home as frequently ass. She can telling her parents about the conditions in Iraq. You know she tells them its super ha
like really really hot, but the knights there
our beautiful when she
risk got there. She tells her parents that they made all of the soldiers jump out their belongings and personal items like shampoo and soap, and they were forced
to re by everything in the military store.
There are also some early signs of the disrespect that Slovenia and other women in the armed forces were facing. She
but when she got there at first, they were called female warriors
time went on. There were just called females, and then eventually they were called soul, because it's only half of a soldier, despite the sometimes derogatory way in which she and other women were treated living as letters. Homes were mostly a beat catching her family up on her life, wishing them happy birthdays and asking
what's been going on at home, now, she's able to speak to them on the phone pretty frequently her job in Iraq was in the communications building being the one
open and close it each day, so she had frequent access to the phone. The first sign of trust
at least the first sign that her family got was on July. Fourteen of two thousand and five Levine called home, and she
tell her tat. She had a run in with the general,
Apparently, the night before she went to close the communications building like she did every night, but this
the other soldiers wouldn't leave event
the general had to show up and take them out and instead of getting on these soldiers for not listening to orders or respecting their fellow soldier, he pulls the Vienna aside and says they are
listening to you, because your voice is too soft and her down
was upset by those. Instead, it was very unusual and almost improper
for a general to speak directly to a private like this and to tell her that she is doing
something right and no one respect. Her listened to her now Levinus dad told her she needed to request a battle buddy someone.
Would be side by side with Levinus, so they could look out for one another, but Levine I didn't want to rock the boat. She said I can't go to my supervisors and demand something or tell them what to do. That's not going to make me look good, but her dad
said. If you don't do it, I will her dad wanted to give her the chance to go to her supervisor, so he didn't say anything right away, but there was something happening just below the surface, a reason that Levinus would never speak up
you see she had recently been sexually assaulted and was being treated for an std, its
unknown, who assaulted, Lena or whether it was fully reported or documented. But we know for sure that her parents had no idea because she
tell them she
we didn't want to worry them, so she kept her spirits up for them and try to lay low around base lovey
his family hears from her by phone just three days later on July. Seventeenth,
time. She is really great news. She might actually be getting to come home early, and so she asked her family. You know I mean I come home around Christmas time, so please don't
decorate the Christmas tree until I get there by all accounts, her family thought she was happy.
And that they were going to see her very soon
but little did they know they will be the last time they ever would speak with Bovina. Just a couple
days later, the family gets visited at their home by a soldier who informed them
Vienna is dead and none of it
makes sense to the Johnson family. They just spoke with her. How could she be dead? She wasn't in active combat she
charge of the communications building. So as they probe the soldier, he slipped up a little bit and says something alluding to the fact that Levine
her own life.
Dad immediately stopped him, and, as we are you trying to tell me that my daughter committed suicide
and the soldier said: no, no, no everything still under investigation, but I think he slipped up
me was already developing a story they had been,
from day one- and this is the first time we hear their version
as the Johnson's get more information about their daughter. They find out what happened to her between the time they got off the phone with her on the seventeenth. Until
is found in the early morning, hours of the nineteenth, nor on the eight
and and got off some time between four and five pm. Her normal routine would have been to go to physical training next, and we think this was her play
because when she was found, she was still in her pity, sweats ten issues and reflector belt.
But she never made it to pee
apparently, the army's official version is that somebody actually went looking for her and she wasn't in her room, didn't answer her door and they say she had met up with another male soldier and they were in
his room and they hung out for about four hours, then went to the shopping area together and finish around nine or ten, and then
sky supposedly walked her back to her room before he goes to his and then
next thing. We know for sure. According to official reports, is that Levinus body.
Is found at one twenty in the morning on the nineteenth now she was in a car
contractors tat laying on her back in a pool of blood with her right arm covering her face there a picture
that have been released of her crime scene and I'm going to post some of them to the blog, because I think there are critical
when discussing what happened now
if I'm describing this picture to you in the left of the frame on what would be living right side, you see a pile of burned papers and an aerosol can
to the left of Slovenia on the right of the frame. There's a green cod, and
the other side of the car. Not the same side as Slovenia is on is an m16 rifle.
Now before leaving his body is sent back to her parents in Missouri. The army does an autopsy and rules hurt
They say that she took some papers, like maybe some notes from a boyfriend and build
small fire with those letters in this contractors. Tat
and then shot herself with the m16 by putting it in her mouth and pulling the trigger
No none of this was making sense to the family. What reason which he have to kill herself and at four
the army said it had something to do with hardship, she was having with this boyfriend but her family.
Like no way the only been together a couple of months, she's not gonna, kill herself over this guy and
the family is in complete and utter shock. How could they have not seen this coming? They had just spoke with Slovenia two days before she was found. She
say a word about being unhappy. In fact, she talked about the future and coming home to see them. If the job
and had suspicions when they got her autopsy report? Those
nations would only be compounded when her body was sent back for the funeral.
Four lovin was returned home. The cash
t on officer that was sent to help the family recommended that they have a closed casket funeral, because
The was in such bad shape. She had, after all, been shot through the mouth with m16, so one would expect her to not look like herself but leaving his parents
decide that they're gonna go against us
they're gonna, have an open, casket funeral and
what they see in her body at the funeral like
nothing seems to fit with the army's official story. The first thing
her dad notices is, while her face seems almost pristine, not at all what you would expect from a rifle wound.
Her nose appears to have been broken and then reset and her
it seemed to have been cut. Also
Only sign that Lavinia had died of a gunshot wound was eight
small bullet hole.
Side of her head? But
Would that be if a gun was in her mouth? How could
it angled it for an exit, wounded, come out of the left side and, let's pretend, even if you
could somehow this
exit womb does not look like an exit wound at all. Remember leaving his dad was a fat himself. He knows what an m16 exit wound should look like, and this is not it. This
it's more like the entry wound of nine millimeter, but there is no report of a nine millimeter in the armies. Findings. No report of this
that wasn't even the strangest thing he found moving
gloves had been glued onto her hands for the funeral. This seemed
Lee unnecessary and when they talk today
you director about this. They say that they ve never done this before,
and this is when leaving dad decides. There is absolutely more to this story that he needed to find out, even though
The autopsy report was completed on July. Twenty second Levine
Dad didn't get a copy until August and what
he finds in this autopsy report is truly disturbing
seem that the medical examiner conducted the autopsy with the conclusion of suicide already predetermined. There were no rate
It's done. There were no fingernails
beings taken absolutely nothing. At this point, the Johnson
It is certain that they cannot trust the army's investigation, either totally incompetent or
their hiding something intentionally, so the family, too
aids to hire a criminal investigator to look into the case, and they have to fight like hell to get there.
State of records.
A long battle the family finally get some copies of. Whether told are all
the files, in Levinus case all the document
police from living, his body, the gun she was supposed to have been holding and supposed to have shot herself with, and there is even the question,
even in these black and white pictures that are super grainy and super bad quality,
The only knows that the store
are not adding up, and this is the first
time that the family sees how far away that m16.
Rifle is from living his body, the gun she was supposed
to have been holding and supposed to have shot herself with, and there is even the question of
How Lavinia I just five one could have pulled the trigger
But for the sake of argument, let's say it's possible: how on earth did the M sixth
in end up so far away from her body. And why?
didn't gunpowder residue show up on living his hand if she was the one to have pulled the trigger these documents that they got
also revealed for the first time to the family that witnesses save Lavinia, was raped and being treated for an std? Everything
they thought they knew about. The government. Lavinia was serving the government,
dad had served for so many years was on ravelling, but
everything disturbing in the file. There was a picture of something that caught their eye. This episode is made possible by
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It was a zero picture of a c d wrong. Now some
people say that whoever made this copy was in Idiot, who didn't understand what a copy of a city actually meant, but I have a few
it was someone trying to help
someone who wanted the family to know that there was more information more too
story and they needed to keep digging, and so
began a battle between the Johnson family and the: U S: Army that is still going on to this day, the army doubled.
Down on their stance, saying that in the days before leaving you died, she was deranged and depressed and her daddy
well wait. A second you're telling me
I thought she was so deranged and depressed, yet your letting her walk around with a rifle. Clearly, you didn't think she was in that bag of a state or she was damage a threat to herself or other people, and if she
was show me proof that you can't just say that she is depressed he's. As we talk
to her just days before her death and she was excited about coming home. What makes you think that she was depressed and they say well, she was eating a ton of ice cream like three or four times a day, which is
literally the craziest excuse I've ever heard for saying some one is deranged and depressed enough to commit suicide with their m16 rifle
the more the army insists that Lavigne was deranged and killed herself, the more her dad knows. He need
to find out what it is their covering up. He pushes
for that CD rom in the Xerox picture, endorsed
does he get is basically that there are certain names on the CD rom and those people have rights and those rights need to be protected and her doubts like oh hell,
if their names on that city, it's because they have something to do with my daughter's death and if they have said
thing to do with her death. I have every right to them and the army's basically like cool
If you believe that that's fine but you're, you need to get a lawyer and even need to come after us.
Her dad does one better and he goes to their congressmen for help. Their congress
and congressmen. Lazy clay happened to be on a governmental reform committee and he addressed this
civic cd rom on a live tv interview,
high ranking government, official and he's
this guy dead in the eyes and saying ok, you're saying the military is in hiding anything. I want this city that you sent him a picture of
This military officials, like we'd, be happy to provide this. If you want to fill out the proper forms, the Freedom of Information ACT once we get that we're gonna have that process.
Looking all good friend the cameras, but as soon as he gets off of tv he's like you're not entitled to any of this by, but they continue their fight for two years.
And finally, they get their hands on this cd rom and on it
all the original pictures from the scene, where was found in these pictures in color, were so much more shocking and revealed
so many more secrets the photo?
revealed severe damage to Levinus face
though she had been hit in the face with a blunt instrument. One of her elbow
was even descended and there seem to be some kind of dirt or debris on her back in
the creating that she could have been dragged a
your apparently is reports and pictures of blood outside of the tent, and this also can
comes a theory that she was killed somewhere else and drug into this contractors tent. There are also pictures of Lavinia
her autopsy when she was undressed that show bruises and scratches all over her body as though she had been beaten and kit there were even burn marks
her right hand and her back as if some one had tried to light fire to her body move
disturbing of all
and I will give you a warning. This is disturbing as anything we ve ever talked about. It was obvious from
pictures that some type of corrosive liquid had been poured into her genitals likely in an attack
to destroy dna evidence of rape.
Now I want to remind you that Lavinia was found completely clothed silver. The art
He's account to be accurate if Slovenia,
totally responsible for what happened to her. Are you telling
that she undressed beat herself up set fire to multiple parts of her,
body then proceeded to poor, corrosive acid honour genital area, then redress herself and shoot yourself who
does. This makes sense to anyone
and there's more
The army just forgot to include this in their autopsy report
originally when her dad as to why there was no rate kit done it's because they said there was no sign of a struggle and nothing
the indicate rape was even a possibility.
I'm sorry, someone has acid in their vagina and that's not a sign of something sinister to you. I think incompetent is come
legally ruled out at this point and workers
talking about straight up malicious cover, ups and there's more
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These pictures of Levinus body show that part of her vagina part of her anus and part of her
hung had been removed again, none,
This was noted on the original autopsy report.
Theory, is based on the cuts and what's around these areas, that a material called wounds
that could have been used on her wounds
That is something that they use in the field and it basically goes into an open, wound and hardened to prevent people from believing out an act.
Has to be surgically removed from a body. So I don't they
Any one could make the argument that living a shot. Herself then put.
Instead of her body so who s
We use the wounds down on the venue, for whatever reason had to have cut
in order to remove any kind of proof that they were ever even there. It's like
that wounds tat was placed into her genitals as just another way to cover up a sexual assault, but you might be thing
king than why was her part of her tongue cut out as well.
Most people who think living it didn't kill herself and to be clear,
that's anyone with eyes and ears who doesn't work for the? U S. Army thinks that the whole
The left side of losing his head is actually
an entrance wound of nine millimeter and the bullet light,
We got logged into her tongue, which her killer
or some one covering up for her killer, had to cut out
The important thing I should mention is that the bullet from Levinus M16 that she supposedly shot herself with was never located on the
initial paperwork found on the cd rom. There is evidence that at first when they found her body, someone did rule this investigation as a homicide. Then in
literally a decision is made by some one to classify her death
suicide and the rest is history. Levinus family have done everything in their power to keep fight
and to keep her story alive. They say
working against the entire United States government, who, just once
go away and who refuses to budge on their stance that living is dead.
It was due to suicide,
The government didn't entire review of this case that lasted years, and they still say, there's
nothing to indicate foul play in everything is inconclusive. It is incredible how
the latent of a cover up. This is and they're just getting away with it, and they even have pull over media to CBS.
Said a lot of money looking into this case and even pay for an independent autopsy before an unexplored
reason, they pulled on the story and never reported on it, and a lot of people think that the
from. It is silencing, then movie
a story has become the poster case for the army covering up rape and murder, while people are stationed overseas, but her story
Greece is not the only one did you know that one in three women in the? U S military will be rate one in three. That's not us
his dick they give incoming recruits according
a former? U S, representative, Jane Harmon women serving in the? U S: military are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier then killed by
many fire in Iraq
as of two thousand and ten, a hundred and twenty women have died in Iraq. Fifty percent of
those which is sixty or not
Of those sixty deaths. Half of them die
in very strange circumstances, many
which are written off as suicides.
One of those women was Tina. Priest Tina was found
her room in two thousand and six dead of a gunshot wound in a familiar twit
It was also an end. Sixteen and Tina had been raped by
fellow soldier just a month before her death teen as mother was
meant that there was no way her daughter killed herself, not only
She believed tat. Her daughter was not in that kind of state of mine, but physically
didn't seem possible, like Lavinia
Tina was a small girl, just five feet tall and her mom kept saying how is this even physically possible? She couldn't
REACH, the m16 trigger an army
her multiple times with different scenarios, but each time she would say no
It doesn't work here too. Why and each time she would
a bunk them with science. Until finally, there is solution was to say that Tina pulled the trigger with her big ho and the army has closed the case.
Never again investigating it as a homicide.
Like Lavinia Tina family knew about the rate charges that she was bringing against a fellow soldier a few weeks after Tina death, though,
charges were dropped and
sky was just find less than fifteen hundred dollars. Given some
sure duty and
to say on base for thirty days, and that was the
and of his punishment, seem
unfair. Her well
ten days after Tina was found. Another woman who's about the same age as Tina and LA but
girl has remained unnamed in all the articles I read well, she
is found dead from surprise surprise, a self inflicted gunshots
wound, and this is at the same camp at Tina was found.
In her room was a diary open to a page where she confess to being raped when she arrived for training, unlike antennas case, her rape as was charge, but her
and we also had a lot of problems with the idea of her killing herself, but the army in
this did it was a suicide and refused to re investigate
there's another story of a twenty seven year old, linguists name Alyssa who went to Iraq in two thousand and three after just
knights of working with the interrogation unit. She refused to continue work because she objected to how those being interrogated were actually treated after she refused to per day,
the pay she was assigned to monitor iraqi guards at the base gate she d,
I'd shortly after this from a gunshot wound, the head with her service rifle when her car
were asked about the interrogation techniques that she had a problem with, they refused
speak about them and they all now say that all of the records relating to those techniques have been destroyed and her family to die.
This claim of suicide, but it
yet another case. Twenty six year old Melissa died in two thousand and three of two gunshot wounds. The anti been you guys,
is not how a person commit suicide, but nonetheless, the arm
has not made a ruling on her death and won't call it a homicide
as these are just a couple of stories, the list goes on and on, and although I focused on women in the military because I'm particularly disturbed at the rate in which women are sexually assaulted, this isn't
a phenomenon specific to women? There are also a number of very strange
of men that had been
hold a suicide when there is clear evidence of foul play like in loving s case. So what now, if you
Outraged like me, and wondering if you can do anything you can. There is a group called me,
Terry Families, for justice who are trying to raise awareness and enact change in the. U S: military justice system through the passage
bill of rights for bereaved military families, meaning
They want to help people like leaving his family, get access to good investigation, access to record without Multi Year fight and tens of thousands of dollars and legal fees they
The military to be held accountable. They don't ask for,
or accept monetary donations, their strictly here to serve as an online resource centre to empower bereaved military families with knowledge
help them navigate the military justice system. So here
you can help. There is a petition to Congress to change how military deaths are indeed
to get it and what information is shared with the families
You can go to military families for justice, dot org to sign up.
Petition or I will
a direct link to it on our website, crime, junkie, podcast, dot com
you all listen to this show every week, and these are real p.
We're talking about not just entertainment, if you will
into the store. You away to the families to try and do something about the injustice that they are faced. It will
did you less than five minutes and you can help make a huge difference in the lives of our service, men and women and their families.
Again to sign that petition, you can go to military families for Justice Dock work or you can get the directly on our website. Crying junkie, pride cast dotcom and don't forget to follow us on social. We are actually run a contest on Instagram right now are handle is crime, gently pride cast, we're doing a hollow, mean costume competition and getting away prizes for a first. Second and third, all we need you to do is closed. A picture of you or your dog in their hollow mean costume and taxes in the picture mentions in the comments, but make sure you're gonna enter that your profile is public. Even if you tag us mention, as we do not see private profiles, the content is gonna run through the thirty first. We will announced that evening. So good luck and we'll be back next week with a brand new episode. This week's episode of crying junkie was written in hosted by me. Oliver editing and sound production was done by David Flowers and Oliver Music, including our theme comes from just in Daniel crime. Junkie, is an audio chuck production. So what do you think Chuck DE approve.
Transcript generated on 2020-03-09.