As children Some often dream of going into the armed forces to protect their country. As parents when that choice is made. We trust the armed forces with our children's lives. And to protect them. What happens when a young girl goes missing, and then...
As children Some often dream of going into the armed forces to protect their country. As parents when that choice is made. We trust the armed forces with our children's lives. And to protect them. What happens when a young girl goes missing, and then she ends up murdered. And the armed forces has given her parents no answers?
Join me, as we talk about the disappearance and murder of a Vanessa Guillén on this episode of true crime and authors
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As children, some often dream of going into the armed forces to protect their country. As parents, when that choice is made, we trust the armed forces with our children's lives and to protect them. What happens when a young girl goes missing and then she ends up murdered and the armed forces has given her parents no answers. Join me as we talk about the disappearance and murder of Vanessa Guillen on this episode of True Crime and Authors.
Welcome to True Crime and Authors Podcast where we bring two passions together. The show that gives new meaning to the old adage, truth is stranger than fiction. Here's your host David McClam. What's going on everybody and welcome to another episode of True Crime and Authors. Of course I am your man David
of our social media outlets, you can find that one link to a link tree, justions, and just give me feedback in general. Alright so I think you guys are returning for another episode. This week it is a true crime episode and the one that we're gonna talk about today is one that needs to be continuously talked about until change is made. That is the murder of Vanessa Guillen. So if you
We're about to enlighten you on it right now. Vanessa Guillen was 20. She was from Houston, Texas. She was born in Benatob Hospital in Houston on September 30th of 1999 to her parents, Rogelio and Gloria Guillen, who originated from Zacatecas State in Mexico. She had five siblings. She attended Hartman Middle School and according to her family,
High School in 2018 in the top 15% of her class. She played soccer, loved to jog, and enjoyed sports and learning. Vanessa joined the United States Army in June of 2018 and trained as a 91F small arms and artillery repairer. Vanessa was posthumously advanced from Private First Class to the rank of Specialist on July
bit about what happened in this heartbreaking case. It just jumps right into it from there. So here we go. Vanessa was stationed at Fort Hood, which is a US Army installation in Beale County, Texas. She was last seen around 1 p.m. on April 22nd, 2020 in the parking lot of her unit, the Regimental Engineer Squadron Headquarters of the 3rd Cowrie Regiment.
keys, identification card, bank card, and barracks key were found inside the armory where she worked. Vanessa's family felt she disappeared under suspicious circumstances and the case was investigated under the jurisdiction of the United States Army Criminal Investigation Command and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. With local law enforcement agencies in Beale County, Killeen, and Belton, the Texas Parks
Wildlife Department, the United States Marshal Service, and the Texas Ranger Division in support, multiple Fort Hood units, including three CR, began searching the area within two weeks of her disappearance. Now, after all of that takes place, I know that sounds like a lot of people and it happened in two weeks. Still, the army was not giving her mother and family information.
And there's a lot of people that feels like that they were not searching as hard as they could have for Vanessa, which you'll hear a little bit more about that later because they did end up calling in another agency independently to help out. All right, so before Vanessa went missing, she had told her family that she was being sexually harassed by an unarmed sergeant at Fort Hood.
Other female soldiers made against this particular sergeant had been dismissed. Vanessa's mother advised her to report the matter, but she responded that she could put a stop to it herself, out of fear that her mother would be harmed from making a report. In early June, Vanessa's mother told reporters she did not trust the Army's handling of the investigation, and her attorney, Natalie Kawam, said she believed the family was being
because few details had been released regarding the disappearance. So, back to what I was saying earlier, Vanessa's mother was relentless. She was always contacting Fort Hood, wanted to know what they were doing, wanted to know if they had found the remains of her daughter, wanted to know if there had been any movement at all in the investigation. And they always would give her no answers or very vague answers or say that it's being investigated.
When they brought in the attorney Natalie Kiwam, she said that she also believed that the family's being kept in the dark Which means that the family as well as the attorney believed that there was information at this point That Fort Hood already knew but the army was refusing for whatever reason To give this information directly to the family so because of the relentless
of her mother because of her sister going on the news, because of them telling all of Texas and the world that they're getting no answers and that they feel that the Army is covering things up, led to this. On June 13, 2020, hundreds of people assembled at the gates of Fort Hood to protest what organizers felt was a lack of information on the case. CID reported that they found no evidence
investigators believed foul play was involved in her disappearance. Imagine that you are a parent of somebody who is in the armed forces. Maybe you are. Now your child goes missing. No one's giving you any information, but then after people protest they come back and say we found no evidence that she was assaulted, but we believe that there was foul play. Now to me, those couple of things don't make any sense because you're ruling out
being assaulted, but you're telling me at the same time that there was foul play. Usually foul play plays around being assaulted unless somebody was quietly poisoned or something of that nature, but that definitely was not the case in Vanessa Guillen's situation. On June 17th, the League of United Latin American Citizens added a $25,000 reward to the existing
On June 23, Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia and whose district Vanessa's family resides met with Fort Hood officials to discuss the ongoing search. The authorities said that more than 300 interviews and over 10,000 hours were spent investigating Vanessa's disappearance. On July 27, 2020, Vanessa's mother, an illegal alien, was granted parole and placed by the
of Homeland Security through the assistance of Garcia, an immigration attorney, Luis Gomez Alfaro. So her parents are from Mexico. Up until I had seen this part in the show I was watching, I did not know that her mother was illegal at that point, but they did let her go. Now I don't know if they decided, we're just gonna let you go because your daughter's in this situation or what the current situation is. But if you look at this, it all happened four months
Vanessa has now disappeared. If you remember, I told you that I did not believe that maybe they were looking for Vanessa as hard as they could. Keep in mind, Vanessa was last seen April 22nd, 2020 at 1 p.m. by June. That's another two months. They still haven't found her. By July, they haven't found her.
Hey man, look, we spent all these hours, we spent over 10,000 hours looking for and investigating your daughter. Well get this, on June 30, 2020, Army investigators were called in when contractors discovered partial human remains along the Leon River in Belton. The area had previously been searched by Texas Rangers, detectives, and cadaver dogs on June 20th
nearby. Investigators theorized that the remains previously buried under concrete had been dug up by wildlife. Tim Miller, director of Texas Equal Search, stated that it was the most sophisticated burial site he had ever seen. Let's dig a little bit into that because they're leaving a bunch of stuff out. So what
was kidnapped and now at this point killed. When they found her body, it looked like she had been taken there. That whoever had did this at this point tried to burn her body and then it didn't burn. So because of that, they decided that they would pretty much mutilate her body. Which you'll probably hear a little bit more about that here in a minute. Cut it up in several pieces.
Then the killer decided to come back with concrete, mix the concrete there on the spot and then encase the remains in concrete, hopefully not to be found. But later that evening at around 8.30pm authorities re-interviewed Sicily Ann Aguilar, a local woman who was the estranged wife of a soldier at Fort Hood.
restless ranked enlisted soldier who was one of the last known people to see Vanessa on the day of her disappearance and who had previously been interviewed by investigators. Cicely Aguilar told police that Robinson had confessed to her that he had killed a female soldier at Fort Hood. At the request of law enforcement, Aguilar placed a controlled telephone call to Robinson
and texted Aguilar multiple news articles to which he never denied anything in response. According to a criminal complaint filed in the Western District Court of Texas, Aguilar allegedly helped Robinson dismember and dispose of Vanessa's body on April 22, 2020, after Robinson told her he had bludgeoned Vanessa to death with a hammer inside of the armory.
So basically what Aaron David Robinson actually said, because there is a documentary that's out, it's a 2020 documentary on Vanessa Guillen that you can find on Hulu. Now we don't know what went on up to this point. He didn't say what led up to this. So we don't know if maybe he was trying to sexually assault her and she was fighting back or what happened. But according to him, something broke out between them. He took the nearest thing that he had next to him, which was a hammer, and he hit her
which bludgeoned her to death and that is how he killed her. Then he removed the body in a Pelican briefcase. So if you've never seen one of those big gigantic briefcase that usually the army and the armed forces uses that they keep special things in. At this point she still was intact so somehow he got her into this Pelican briefcase and took her out to this wooded area out by Leon
At this point, according to Cicely Aguilar, which they didn't say here, but in her testimony that she did on the show, she stated that when he told her that he had killed a female soldier, he told her where he took her, and actually, according to her, she came out there and she opened the briefcase and she saw Vanessa's body in the briefcase. At that point,
helped Aaron David Robinson dismember and dispose of Vanessa's body. So that led to on the evening of June 30th, Aaron David Robinson escaped the custody of an unarmed guard from his unit and fled Fort Hood after hearing the news of the discoveries of remains.
of violating COVID-19 quarantine rules. Let me get a little bit more color into that. No, what happened was, is that Aaron David Robinson was supposed to be held as a person that was in a high profile case. At this point, he was a suspect. They did not have enough at this point to full out charge him, even though he basically said
girlfriend on the phone, baby they found some pieces. But he was supposed to be looked after by guards. They were supposed to keep their eye on him. Once again the army has now failed Vanessa Guillen's family because this guy is able to get from underneath the guards and he runs. It wasn't really that he was under pretense of violating COVID-19 rules. It was because he was ordered
to be held and looked after as a person in a high-profile case because they were trying to get all the evidence they needed to charge him with murder. So in the early hours of July 1st, Killeen police located and attempted to make contact with Robinson who produced a handgun and killed himself before he
They were locating him, they were going to make contact with him, he saw the cops not wanting to go to jail, guilty as all get out, decides to take the route out by committing suicide. So they went back and they arrested Cicely Aguilar. She was arrested by Texas Rangers and held at the Beale County Jail. On July 2nd, Beale County officials stated that Aguilar would be transferred to federal
count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence by the United States Attorney's Office, Western District of Texas. The Assistant United States Attorneys Mark Frazier and Greg Glough are prosecuting the case on behalf of the federal government. Now we get Aguilar, but all she did, and I'm not saying this, is something that's light because it really is not. She helped him dismember her.
they couldn't put her in jail for murder because she didn't do it. And they believe that she had no parts in that, that she only had the parts of what she said when it came in violating Vanessa Guying's body. Now you may ask, there are some things maybe that Robinson said that maybe they wanted, because they were saying things like, hey, he's supposed to be up on the guard. We have videotape of that. And so of course what happened? Vanessa Guying's family, the lawyers,
crews they all asked Texas then if that is the case why don't you produce that? So in Texas for lack of a better term they follow the rule of rights of the dead so supposedly they don't have to give this information if that person had not been convicted or on probation. Now from what I have read they have actually tried to use this law to also cover up if there's a wrongful death that has
by police while somebody is in custody. So because of that, any tapes that they obtained, anything that Robinson may have said to Aguilar that they recorded, any surveillance video that they had of him supposed to be detained, now Texas can say, we don't gotta give that up, which I think is a cowardly way of saying, we just ain't gonna give you information that you deserve. So Texas police did release a report on May 24th, 2022
about the motive and they stated that Aguilar later explained why Robinson killed Vanessa Guillen saying Vanessa saw Robinson's cell phone lock screen which contained a picture of Aguilar told her he was worried about getting in trouble for violating the army's fraternization rules since Aguilar was still married to another soldier and he hit Vanessa in the head with a hammer
According to Sicily Aguilar, that's the motive. I don't know if I 100% believe that because I'm not in the army. I had a son that was in the Navy for a while. I don't know what all the rules is. I'm sure if there's a fraternization rule and he got caught with that, okay, I'm sure some discipline would come down, but he ain't going to death row. They ain't gonna kill him. I don't even think that he would get disarmably discharged for something like that.
He might be getting reprimanded, but I don't think that is a big deal to the army being that they've probably had many of these cases before in the past where people is doing things that people who are married that they should not be doing. I just don't believe that is the sole reason why he killed her that day. Again, like I said, they came back and they said that they saw no signs
sexually or otherwise. Again, keep in mind that Vanessa had told her mom that she was being sexually harassed. Turns out that this same cat Robinson, which I'm sure who she saw her mom she's being harassed by, had also been called out by several other women as being assaulted sexually by him. But nothing ever took place or nothing ever happened to him.
things happen and people get away with these things they continue to do it because they believe they can continue to get away with it and then it leads to things like this. So after all this time it took them I think eight months after her death. In December they finally and that's December 2020 they finally
where they fired 14 of the leaders there at Fort Hood. Here at True Crime and Authors, I read a lot of books. Every author that you heard me interview and everyone that you will hear me interview, I've either read one of their books or I'm in the process of reading one. So how do I keep up with all of the books that I read? Well, that is where the show's sponsor,
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of this show, you will get a special 10% discount when you use the code TRUCRIME10. Catch Creations, best handmade planners, journals, and printables in the business. Check it out now. Stating that now that they're getting barraged with cases of women complaining of sexual harassment on the job, among other things. I always say this, and it irritates me to know
But why does somebody have to die before these things happen? Sure, Vanessa Guillen's death now has brought up this stuff. It's doing some good stuff. It's now causing people to look at laws. It's causing people to want to correct things. Now we got people that's getting fired. But to get all that to happen, after all the people that's
to women in the military. 20 year old Vanessa Guillen has to die and it still takes eight months after her death for them to start firing people and taking people seriously. People, we got the most powerful armed forces in the world but I'll be remiss not to say that I do know for a fact just from personal experience that there is things that goes on behind the walls
and they get looked over all the time because Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines there's so many protocols, there's so many protections that when things like this does happen it takes an army of people to get things released and to this day Vanessa Guillen's parents and family still does not have all of the
power people in Congress that is now pushing Fort Hood to do another investigation. Let's get to the bottom of this and let's make sure nothing like this happens again. Let me tell you the most heartbreaking part of all of this. So Tim was the one who found the body. Tim Miller, like I said he was the director of Texas Ecu Search. What happened was there was an area that where Vanessa Guillen was buried or put in that concrete there that there
was a fence now. There had not been a fence before. Now it says that in this area the Texas Rangers, Detectives, cadaver dogs, everybody's been through here but nobody seemed to find her. Tim said we need to look under all of this so this fence wasn't here, it wasn't completed yet and BAM they found her like that. He stated with tears in his eyes in the document that I've seen that
did more looking and took it more seriously than anybody in the army ever did and that's why they found Vanessa. He was the one that ended up calling Vanessa's sister and telling Vanessa's sister that they have found her and how they found her. So it becomes funeral time. The good
to lay Vanessa to rest. So many people in cases like this do not get the opportunity to lay their loved ones to rest because they're never found. However, what happened at funeral time is, of course, because of the way that she was, she had to have a closed casket. Her mother starts asking why is the casket closed and why can I not see my daughter? Turns out, because of the nature
the hard time her mother was already having with it. They thought that she would go into deep depression, maybe have a heart attack. So they never told her that Vanessa was dismembered. They held that from her for over two months and they had to come clean when she kept insisting on seeing the casket open and why she couldn't see her daughter. As a parent, I know that was to protect her
and probably would have killed me. But just imagine that as a parent, your daughter's missing, you find out that she's dead and you can't even see her one last time because of the way that she is. So there's a few little developments that happened after that. So Vanessa's family called for justice and improvement of the way claims of sexual harassment are handled by the military. Her mother stated publicly that she had spoken to witnesses who heard two shots
and stated that her belief that Robinson was executed by authorities as part of a cover-up involving senior members of the military. That was the other thing. So they swear that he killed himself. But it has long been said, and I read many articles, that they believe that they did get a hold of him, but that Robinson was executed. Because if he would have come out and said anything,
that would have been exposed and they couldn't have that. So it was a cover up. Don't know if it's true, not saying that it is, you can use your own judgment on that one. A guy that was supposed to be looked after as a high profile person in a case easily slips off the base from underneath at least three armed soldiers supposed to be watching him,
him, he shoots himself, I don't know. I'll let you guys decide on that one. On July 10, 2020, the Secretary of the Army, Ryan D. McCarthy, announced that he would order a full independent review of Vanessa's case. On July 30, 2020, Vanessa's family met with President Donald Trump regarding her murder and to convince the family about the confidence of the full independent review of her case.
the results of the investigation, disciplining 14 US commanders and other leaders at Fort Hood, citing multiple leadership failures. The investigation found that there was a permissive environment for sexual assault and sexual harassment at Fort Hood. Among those disciplined by McCarthy were Major General Scott L. Efflant, Colonel Ralph Overland, and Command Sergeant Major Bradley Knapp.
Major General Jeffrey Broadwater and Command Sergeant Major Thomas C. Kenney pending the outcome of a new investigation into the 1st Cavalry Division's command climate and program for preventing and responding to sexual harassment and assault. Disciplinary measures were also taken against soldiers and leaders assigned below brigade level however the Army does not, as a matter of policy, release the names of the battalion
and below commanders and leaders who received administrative action. And I don't agree with that. I don't agree if somebody's murdering somebody and they have pictures with them that you black out the face. If you were bold enough to do the crime, then be bold enough to have your name and your picture shown so that we know who you are, so that we can avoid you, or he'll bring you to justice or whatever it is that may need to happen.
Gun Press Conference, McCarthy said that Vanessa's murder shocked our conscience and brought attention to deeper problems at Fort Hood and across the Army more widely. He said, it forced us to take a critical look at our systems, our policies, and ourselves. Again, why does it take somebody to die before this happens?
developments. I did tell you earlier that there was 14 US commanders that had been let go. This was the full statement here that gave you names and everybody that had been let go and for what reason. However, do I think that maybe some people knew that things was going on in the army before this? Yes, there has been countless reports of these things taking place. If it is true that they end up killing Robinson because they wanted to cover up, it doesn't like it worked
So my final thoughts on this case is rest in peace to Vanessa Guillen. I know that her parents and her sisters are going to continue to fight. They are fighting and they're trying to make change. And they have a small immigrant family from Mexico has now forced the United States army to not only fire people, but to relook at their systems and policies so that this never happens to anyone else again.
I'm all for the armed forces. I support the troops every chance that I get. Like I said, I come from a military family. My middle son recently just got out of the Navy. I have seen some things since he's been in there firsthand that also makes me angry. We have to do better than this. People who have kids 20 years old, Vanessa's age and younger and sometimes a couple of years older, their parents and loved one is entrusting their safety
to the armed forces. When my son went into the Navy, they did this big thing virtually where the commander got up and was talking about how we're all family and one Navy, one family, and all this kind of stuff. I trust my family with my kids. And we should be able to do that in cases where our children are joining the armed forces.
So that is that case. I hope you guys was able to enjoy that one as much as you possibly could. And you got some out of that. Remember we all have a voice and the more that we bring these type of things up, the more laws can be written and the more things can be changed.
Alright guys, so I thank you for tuning in to this one with me. I want to make you guys aware that we do not have a Facebook group. I know at the end of this you hear about the Facebook page. I will also put the Facebook group down in the show notes. If you join that group, you'll be able to see everything that's coming up. Next cases, next authors, you'll be able to suggest cases and authors there as well. And you'll be able to converse with me.
page and the Facebook group and if you do have any cases of authors that you would like me to do an episode on you also can send me an email at true crime and authors at gmail.com. Next week we are back to having another author. You truly do not want to miss this one. Imagine a young woman 22 years old has a dream to
author that's all she wants to do and now she's living that dream. Tune in next week as we talk to the queen of twist Kirsten Modulin on the author episode. I appreciate everybody that has tuned in to the show. This is now the third episode and I appreciate all of the people that has left reviews for me. It does help me
usually review so I thank you for that. Alright so as always remember these things. Always stay humble. A little love and compassion can go a long way. And this is the podcast where two passions become one. I'll catch you guys in the next one. Thank you for listening to True Crime and Authors. Don't forget to rate, comment and subscribe.
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