Who is Michelle Chestler
Murder of Captain Marty Theer by Michelle Theer and John Diamond
I'm a Tennessee-based freelance writer with a passion for true crime, a thirst for knowledge, and an obsession with lists.
When Frank Martin Theer, known to friends and family as Marty, was introduced to Michelle Forcier during high school, some thought it was a perfect match. Marty and Michelle were both Army brats. They were both ambitious. Her outgoing personality perfectly balanced Marty's quieter, more reserved demeanor.
After graduation, they each pursued their own career choices: Marty enlisted in the Air Force, and Michelle joined the Air Force Reserves. For the next four years, the couple held tight to a long-distance relationship, but after Michelle's company activated for service in the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Marty decided they'd been apart long enough, and he proposed to his high school sweetheart .
Life as a Military Couple
Over the next six years, the couple would bounce from base to base. Life as members of the military isn’t easy, and the Theers’ relationship was no different. When Marty was home, which wasn't often enough, he and Michelle often spent their time bickering.
Deep depression consumed a woman who undoubtedly suffered abandonment issues after her parents divorced and she was left to help her father raise her siblings. Michelle was lonely, and something had to give.
That "something" turned out to be an Army Staff Sergeant named John Mikael Diamond.
In 2000, Marty was stationed at Pope Air Force Base outside of Fayetteville, North Carolina. Pope AFB is part of Fort Bragg: an Army installation that has earned a reputation among military members as an undesirable transfer, partly in thanks to people like Dr. Jeffrey McDonald and Tim Hennis. Soldiers and their families frequently refer to Fayetteville, the host city to Fort Bragg, as Fayette-Hell, Fayettenam, and Fatalville.
The Theers had managed to keep their marriage together, although barely, as long as Michelle was in school, but once she earned her psychology degree and went to work, she felt the void of Marty’s absence even more. A lonely Michelle began turning to the internet to fill the silent hours, and it was there, in a Yahoo! chat room, that she met John Diamond.
About John Diamond
John had graduated high school and enlisted in the United States Army the same month Marty and Michelle had exchanged their vows. By 1998, when he and Michelle met in a virtual world, John was on his second marriage, and it was already showing signs of collapse due to John's frequent bouts of infidelity.
Just like the Theers, John had been born an Army brat. He'd come from a long line of military men; his grandfather had been a prisoner of War in World War II, and his father was a Vietnam Veteran.
Michelle and John had a lot to talk about, but they were mostly interested in flirting — a little romance in their otherwise boring lives. After spending months exchanging seductive messages, they finally agreed to meet.
When the couple met at a Fayetteville coffee shop, they hit it off right away. John would later say it was love at first sight; Michelle proclaimed John was "very, very charming." Pretty strong words to describe a couple of people who were married, but not to each other.
Just a swingin '
Whether it was love or just a strong connection, John and Michelle began spending every spare moment together. They frequented Fayetteville’s many night clubs and soon began attending swingers’ parties as a couple.
Swingers' parties have become a popular means for many couples to keep boredom at bay inside their marriages. Typically hosted in a participating couples ’home, party goers attend for the sole purpose of being to swap sex partners. These discreet parties are attended by as few as two or three couples and as many as twenty or thirty. Extravagant parties host even more!
John and Michelle, already cheating on their spouses with one another, were enjoying this “broadening” of their experiences. They both enjoyed it immensely, and their relationship was growing more intense.
Then Marty came home.
Marty had been away for six weeks attending a flight training course in Little Rock, Arkansas. When he returned to Fayetteville, he knew his marriage was in trouble. So Marty and Michelle began attending marriage counseling — an appropriate effort by a psychologist.
To their therapist, Marty complained that he wanted Michelle to be a better housekeeper; Michelle declared Marty to be obsessive-compulsive. Michelle argued that she wanted to go out more; Marty, frequently away from home, preferred to stay in. And on and on it went.
In the summer of 2000, Michelle moved out of the Theer home. During this time, she lived with John in an off-base apartment. During a vacation she and John took to Netherlands Antilles, she and John talked about living there. She even applied to the Saba University School of Medicine, where she listed John on the application as her "fiance."
Somewhere along the way, Michelle found herself in a dead-end relationship with John. It was no better than her marriage. Michelle returned home to Marty.
Nonetheless, Michelle and John continued their relationship, now an on-again-off-again affair. John sent emails and private messages declaring his love for Michelle, asking her how she could be with a man she said she no longer loved and who made her miserable.
On December 17, 2000, Michelle’s romantic quandary would come to end.
The Murder of Marty
On this night, Michelle and Marty had attended a Christmas party hosted by Dr. Thomas Harbin, a fellow psychologist who shared office space with Michelle. On the way home, Michelle asked Marty to stop by her office so that she could get some books she had forgotten to bring home earlier that day.
Marty stayed behind in the couples ’1999 Ford Explorer as Michelle went into the upper floor office. After several minutes had passed, Marty grew impatient and went to see what was keeping his wife. As he climbed the outdoor stairway, Marty was shot four times by a gunman in the shadows. When his body tumbled to the bottom of the stairway, the gunman fired a fifth bullet into his body. It was this bullet that was fatal, according to medical examiners.
Michelle would later tell police that she ran from the office screaming Marty's name. Rushing to her husband’s side, she believed him to still be breathing. In her rush to exit the office, she had inadvertently locked her keys inside — and so, despite the area’s dense population, she ran two miles to a video store to call 911.
Extreme fugitive makeover
It didn't take long for investigators to zero in on John Diamond. His affair with Michelle was known by many, and his name had come up several times.
When Lourdes Diamond told police that she was at home with her husband watching a movie, police were disappointed. Then she told them that about 9 p.m. on that evening, he got a call and suddenly left the residence. Lourdes told police that he changed his clothes, bundled up in winter outerwear, and said he was going to the barracks.
Lourdes had told police the call came in on John’s cell phone, and records confirmed that he had, in fact, received a call — a call from Michelle. Michelle, during questioning on December 20, denied that she made such a call.
Investigators later learned that John had borrowed a Smith & Wesson Model 5906 from a friend just a couple of days before the murder. It was the same kind of weapon used to gun down Marty Theer. In February 2001, John reported a break-in of his car during which he claimed his friend’s gun was stolen. It would turn out to be a major mistake for John Diamond.
On March 15, 2001, Army officials charged him with premeditated murder, conspiracy, and obstruction of justice. The Army had no jurisdiction over civilians, but it strongly encouraged civilian police to press charges against Michelle.
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