An Untimely Death: The Murder of Lori Moon Kastner

Lori Kim Moon was born on July 2, 1963 in Frankfurt, Germany where her father was working at the time for Raytheon Corporation, a company that produces everything from missiles to microwaves.  Lori descended from Virginia Carolina Stonecipher of Morgan County, Tennessee.

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Lori during her tenure with the Oklahoma Courts

When Lori was only three weeks old her family returned home to Owasso, Oklahoma.  Through all her public school education, she was an excellent student.  During her years at Owasso High School, she excelled in many areas.  She was the co-editor of the yearbook two different years at Owasso High, and was a member of the All State Orchestra her senior year.  She graduated in 1981.  For the next four years, Lori pursued a Bachelor’s Degree at The University of Tulsa, and graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor’s in Management of Information Systems (MIS).  She was married that same year to John Robert Kastner.  For about the next three years, Lori worked for PennWell Publishing, a business-to-business media company, which publishes books, maps, directories, and a number of business magazines.  Her real dream though was to pursue a degree in law, and she applied to the University of Tulsa College of Law.  She was awarded a Full-tuition Academic Scholarship to the school of Law.

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Lori Kim Moon at The University of Tulsa while earning her Bachelor’s Degree

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Lori while pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree

I quote from Tulsa World Obituaries, “Lori earned many academic and leadership awards while in law school, including the highest grade award in three classes – Administrative Law, Civil Procedure I, and Taxation of Estates, Trusts, and Gifts.  She received the Martin-Fellows-Smith Award for scholarship standing and leadership qualities.  Lori served as the articles editor for the Energy Law Journal and was president of the TU Women’s Law Caucus.  She earned her Juris Doctorate degree in 1992, and graduated with honors in the top 10 percent of her class, receiving the Order of the Curule Chair, the highest honor conferred on a member of the graduating class by the TU law school.”  For the next three years, Lori was employed in various law firms in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  Then, in November of 1995, she became an Assistant Appellate Court Justice in the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals.  She held that position until 2005 when she became the Judicial Assistant to Justice Tom Colbert of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

During this time, Lori and her husband John had two children, and John was a teacher and coach at Daniel Webster High School in Tulsa.  In early 2007, they had adopted another child.  By early 2008, Lori had left her position with the Oklahoma Supreme Court because the entire family was going to relocate to Israel.  She had told fellow employees that John had previously been a part of the Israeli Special Forces and now was to administer a charitable group in Israel known as the 713 Corporation.  She and the children had all acquired passports and had packed all their belongings to take with them.  They were due to leave on a private jet on June 25, 2008.

At about 4:00 a.m. on June 25, 2008 John Robert Kastner called 911 to tell them that an intruder had broken in to the Kastner home and shot his wife twice in the head, and then shot him in the hand while they struggled for the gun.  He told them the gun was his and had been on a table in a front room.  By the time John Kastner was having his hand treated at the hospital, his story had morphed into something else.  Each subsequent telling was a different variation.  On June 27, 2008, Kastner was arrested and charged with first degree murder.

It was not until September of 2010 that John Robert Kastner was tried for the charge of First Degree Murder, but what came out in court was a horrific story of the collapse of a kaleidoscope of lies.  The lies had begun with his stories to his wife and co-workers about having served with the Israeli Special Forces, and had been amplified over time to the point of specifics.  Then, he had convinced everyone of the reality of an Israeli charitable organization that he was to administer and his wife was to be employed by at a large salary.  Eight days before the departure date, Kastner had bought a .22 pistol and was planning the murder as his only solution to save face, because his story was imploding.  His loving wife had believed his lies and her death was viewed as his only way out of the incredible mess he had made of things.  On September 21, 2010, the case was turned over to the jury.  It took the assembled jury only a few short minutes to find John Robert Kastner guilty of First Degree Murder.  He was then sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Because of the fabricated world of a pathological liar, three children have lost a mother and a father.  A family has lost a daughter and a sister.  The world will never know what this intelligent, dedicated, lovingly devoted woman could have accomplished had she not been murdered in a most horrible manner.

The research for this little biography fell into place so easily that it should have been very easy to write.  However, it was one of the hardest things I have ever written.  I backed away from it several times, and then decided her story needed to be told.  May this help people to remember Lori Kim Moon.  And if I remember John Robert Kastner it will be the same way I remember Luis Arroyo, who murdered a close family friend.  I just check periodically to see that he is still confined to prison.

I’ll see you on down the road, and I hope future ramblings are not so disturbing.

Uncle Thereisno Justice


Trench Warfare in France during World War I: The Story of SGT Maniphe Stonecipher

Maniphe Stonecipher was born on July 5, 1892 in Glen Mary, Morgan County, Tennessee to Curtis and Polly Lewallen Stonecipher.  I have no idea where his given name came from, because I have not encountered it anywhere in the Stonecipher family.  Possibly the name comes from his maternal ancestry which I have not researched.  By early 1916, Maniphe was living in Marion County, Illinois and it was then that he married Hattie S. Wham.  On December 7, 1916, Jesse Wham Stonecipher was born to the couple.  Shortly afterward, in early January of 1917, Maniphe registered for the draft for World War I.  Maniphe Stonecipher, Draft Card 001

It is not clear if he was drafted or enlisted in the US Army, but by late May of 1917, Maniphe was on his way to New York.  He was assigned to Company M, 28th Infantry, 1st Expeditionary Division.  on June 8, 1917, his unit departed from New York Harbor headed for France.  By June 29, 1917, the 28th Infantry had landed at Saint Nazaire on French soil.  They inhabited barracks abandoned by the Germans.  The barracks were roughly constructed by German prisoners of war, and had none of the comforts of home that the new troops were used to.  They underwent extensive training for the kind of combat they were to experience.  This training went on for months.  At Christmas of 1917, the American troops wanted to share their Christmas and they purchased all of the candy, cakes, and chocolates they could find in the surrounding villages and gave them to the French children who had little to smile about since the war began about three years earlier.  Their towns and villages were left as rubble by the invading Germans, and what had been rebuilt was done so with the idea of survival.

On January 5, 1918, the 28th and the rest of the 1st Division relieved the 1st Moroccan Division north of Toul, France.  They were not quite on the front lines, but they were experiencing what it was like to live in trenches.  By April 20, 1918, they had advanced to the Cantigny Sector, more toward the front lines.  Trenches were dug.  Shelling near Cantigny was constant with almost no interruption at any time of day.  On May 14, 1918, the 28th Infantry replaced the 16th Infantry on the front lines in the trenches.  After dark, the cooks with their rolling kitchens, accompanied by a water cart, brought food, water, and coffee as close as they could to the trenches.  It was the only cooked meal of the day that the soldiers would get, and even then the food was cold, the coffee was cold, and the water was lukewarm.  The soldiers were supplied with new rounds of ammunition after dark also.  Between May 28 and 30 of 1918, the American Infantry supported by the French planes and American Artillery and Machine Gunners, made a determined offensive against the Germans and drove them from Cantigny.  Quoting from the text of the History of the First Division, “In recognition of the heroism and sacrifices of the 28th Infantry in the assault and capture of Cantigny, the regiment received the following letter of commendation from the Division Commander.”


From the text of the History of the First Division

Again, quoting from the text of the History of the First Division, “Life in the trenches was one great hardship.  The men had an average of one meal a day, and nothing short of extreme hunger could have made that palatable.  Water for washing was unknown.  No issue of clothing could be made.  Lice infested the garments worn, and it was only during the rest in the back area that delousing could take place.”  The rest in the back area only took place about once each one and a half to two months.

By early July of 1918, there was a critical buildup of troops in the area between Soissons and Reims.  The objective was a massive attack against the Germans along the Marne River to halt any opportunity of advance toward Paris.  The movements of troops was done only during the hours of night.  They marched from July 11, 1918 and were nearing their destination by July 14, 1918.  Finally, on July 17, they had reached their point of attack and made preparation for the assault.  On July 18, 1918, the Infantry, aided by all forms of Artillery shelling and machine gunning, began their advance toward the German lines early in the morning.  For four days they continued to march forward in spite of great losses, fatigue, hunger, and undoubtedly the fear of dying.  They were continually taking prisoners and killing enormous numbers of the enemy.  The farther along the troops went, the closer the fighting became, and much of it resulted in hand to hand combat.

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American troops emerging from trenches and attacking the Germans. Originally published by Editions de la Martiniere, Paris, France.

On the fourth day of the battle, on July 21, 1918, the advance toward the enemy began again at 4:45 a.m.  In the process of this assault, Maniphe Stonecipher lost his life in defense of his country and its allies.  Maniphe Stonecipher KIA report of Soldiers from Illinois 001

In all, through the four days of fighting with bayonets and close proximity firing, over seven thousand soldiers lost their lives in this most brutal of warfare.  This has been referred to as the Second Battle of the Marne.

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Headstone of Maniphe Stonecipher in Iuka Cemetery, in Iuka, Illinois.

Even though his father lost his life in World War I, Jesse Wham Stonecipher fought in and survived World War II.  He served in the US Navy.

May this be a tribute to SGT Maniphe Stonecipher, who gave his life so that we can all remain free.  I’ll see you on down the road.

Uncle Thereisno Justice



From Marion County, Illinois to Camp Sumter, Georgia: A Tribute to Joseph M. Justice

This ramble of mine has been shared in another format, but bears repeating here.  More information has been added and additional media has been included in this rendering.  Joseph M. Justice was the son of Michael Justice and Sarah Wilkins.  Joseph was born in Marion County, Illinois in 1845, and his grandfather was Abraham Justice of Morgan County, Tennessee.  On August 21, 1862, Private Joseph M. Justice enlisted in Company K, 111th Regiment of the Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Union Army to fight in the American Civil War.  The 111th was commanded by General John A. Logan who reported to William Tecumseh Sherman.  In early May of 1864, the regiment advanced into northern Georgia and was involved in the Battle of Resaca on May 14.  They also took part in the Battle of Dallas toward the end of May, then in early June were involved in the Battle of New Hope Church.  On June 27, 1864, the regiment advanced to Kennesaw Mountain and began a battle with the Confederates that continued for most of a month.  On July 22, 1864, thinking that the Confederates had retreated, the regiment advanced toward Atlanta and was ambushed by the Confederate Infantry.  The casualties in the 111th Regiment were high and about 81 soldiers were captured by the Confederate forces.  Among those captured was PVT Joseph Justice.  Those captured were marched to Camp Sumter, a prisoner of war camp also known as Andersonville Prison.

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A birdseye view of Andersonville Prison, extremely overcrowded.

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A closeup view of how the POW’s were confined.

At the time Joseph arrived as a POW at Andersonville, there were approximately 26,000 prisoners confined in a 15′ high stockade covering about 23 acres.  The prison was never intended to house more than 9,000 or 10,000, but by August there were approximately 33,000 POW’s confined there.  Conditions at the POW camp were horrific.  Unless the prisoners were able to construct a makeshift tent to block the sun, they were exposed to its full onslaught.  Lice and fleas covered everything in the camp.  Rations were extremely limited, and water supplies for the most part were unsanitary.  Altogether, about 13,000 of the 45,000 POW’s who were brought in to the camp during its existence died from disease, wounds, or starvation.  Among the causes of death attributed to disease were diptheria, dysentery, diarrhea, enteritis, gastritis, hepatitis, nephritis, jaundice, pleurisy, measles, scurvy, smallpox, and typhoid.  Most of these are associated with unsanitary water supplies or lack of the right kinds of foods.  On December 18, 1864, Private Joseph M. Justice died in Andersonville Prison.  He was buried in a temporary grave at Andersonville.  After the end of the war, Joseph’s remains were relocated to the National Cemetery at Annapolis, Maryland.  He is buried in Section B, Site 747 in the National Cemetery.  Joseph M Justice 001

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1889 Application for Pension by Joseph’s father. Unsure if he ever received any compensation.

On November 10, 1865, the commander of Camp Sumter, Captain Henry Wirz, was hanged after being found guilty of war crimes.  Annapolis 001

The American Red Cross was instrumental in marking the graves of the prisoners who died at Andersonville.  Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, was largely responsible for the preservation of Andersonville as a national cemetery.  Eventually the old prison was named as Andersonville National Historic Site.

This ramble by Uncle Thereisno Justice is posted in honor of the sacrifice of Private Joseph M. Justice, a true patriot.  I’ll catch you on down the road.

Uncle Thereisno