Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Military Murder

In 2003, four U.S.. soldiers were charged with brutally murdering another member of the Army. A new book examines what happened, and why.

By Kari Lydersen

On December 13, Army Sgt. Lanny Davis, a retired Vietnam vet, died.

But those who knew and loved him say a big part of Davis died six years earlier, when his only son Richard was murdered at Fort Benning, Ga.--just days after returning from Iraq, and before he had even seen his parents. Richards body was found in a field near the base--dismembered, burned to a crisp, with jagged holes in his skull and teeth knocked out. Four of his fellow soldiers were charged.

A fictionalized account of Davis mysterious murder is given in the 2007 movie In the Valley of Elah. In Murder in Baker Company: How Four American Soldiers Killed One of their Own (Chicago Review Press, February 2010), Georgian author Cilla McCain tells the true story. She answers many of the questions raised by the movie, and clears up the queries that commonly run through viewers minds during films based on true stories: "Did that part really happen?" In this case, the most shocking and disturbing events did indeed occur.

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