This is the headline of a titillating article in by Travis Tritten, Stars and Stripes, Pacific edition, Wednesday, September 30, 2009
MANILA, Philippines — Master Chief Petty Officer John W. Bench Jr. appeared to be a model sailor on the rise, headed for a new assignment carrying greater status and expanded responsibilities.
But on Aug. 30, just a week before he was to become command master chief of the U.S. Navy’s Command Task Force 76, Bench killed his son, bludgeoned his wife with a baseball bat and injured his daughter in their home on Sasebo Naval Base, Japan.
Then Bench fled on his motorcycle and veered into a bus on an expressway. He stood up and was struck and killed by an oncoming car.
That much of the violent story is public knowledge.
The rest, it turns out, is even darker.
The 39-year-old sailor with an impeccable service record was carrying on an illicit affair with a woman in the Philippines, the woman herself confirms.
Moreover, Bench appears to have plotted to have his wife, Agnes, killed on two separate trips to Manila earlier this year, according to the mistress. One of those aborted plots led to the death of a Filipino taxi driver, but records show that investigators from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service conducted only a cursory review of the incident (not a plot for their TV propaganda show).