A YOUNG IRAQ WAR VET DIAGNOSED WITH PTSD IS ACCUSED OF KILLING THE WOMAN HE LOVES. WAS SHE ANOTHER CASUALTY OF WAR?
“PRIVATE NEEDHAM’S WAR”
TUESDAY, JUNE 26 (10:00 PM, ET/PT)
Caption: L-R, John Needham and Jacque Villagomez
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Pvt. John Needham beat to death a woman he loved – that much is certain. What’s not known for sure, however, is what role post-traumatic stress disorder may have played in Needham’s actions when he killed 19-year-old Jacque Villagomez. Troy Roberts revisits Needham’s story with a new interview of a soldier who served with Needham in an updated edition of 48 HOURS MYSTERY to be broadcast Tuesday, June 26 (10:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Needham’s story starts in Iraq, where he was severely injured in combat and exposed to multiple IED and grenade attacks. He was later diagnosed with traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder. Now, a fellow soldier puts Needham’s profound personal battle abroad in perspective, and sets up the debate over what led Needham to kill at home.
Needham’s father says the war took a heavy toll on his son, and ravaged his mind and body. From the beginning, Needham took responsibility for Jacque’s death but said he remembered little of the incident. He said as they argued one night, something inside him snapped. He blames his brain injury and PTSD for the beating that came next. “What other incident in my life besides being in combat would contribute to me being a murderer?” Needham said.
But did it? In this update of a November 2011 report, viewers hear Needham describing the physical and psychological impact war had on him. The report also raises new questions as the war winds down abroad, and more soldiers return home from the battlefield everyday suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
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