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Killings Database – Year 2005



The Massacre of Haditha - The Revenge Killing of 24 Iraqi Civilians


The Accused

Media Reports

Civil Proceedings

Military Reports

Photo Credits


Newest Media Report: Iraqi Town Says Justice Failed Victims of US Raid (25/1/2012/Associated Press)

Newest Military Report: Opinion (17/11/2008/United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces)

Newest Legal Document: Defendant’s and United States’ Motion to Dismiss (21/4/2009/Justin Sharratt vs. John Murtha)


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Background - Haditha, November 19th, 2005


“On that day, marines killed 24 Iraqi civilians, including 10 women and children and an elderly man in a wheelchair. But how and why it happened and who ultimately bears responsibility are matters of profound dispute.


“Interviews with marines who were present that day or their lawyers, Iraqi residents who witnessed the attack and military investigators provide broadly conflicting accounts of the killings. This article, based on those interviews, does not resolve those discrepancies. […] Investigators and townspeople have said that marines overreacted to a fatal roadside bombing and shot the civilians, only one of whom was armed, in cold blood.


“Marines and their lawyers, who are only now beginning to speak out after months of harsh portrayals of their actions, contend that they believed they were under a concerted attack, and entitled under their rules of engagement to use lethal force against those who they believed were responsible for a roadside bomb that killed a marine. The 24 Iraqis killed included 5 men in a taxi and 19 other civilians in several houses, where, marines have contended, their use of grenades and blind fire was permitted under their combat guidelines when they believed their lives were threatened.


“However, investigators have found evidence that the men in the taxi were not fleeing the bombing scene, as the marines have told military officials. Investigators have also concluded that most of the victims in three houses died from well-aimed rifle shots, not shrapnel or random fire, according to military officials familiar with the initial findings. […]”


Excerpt of a New York Times article from June 17th, 2006.

Murdered Haditha civilians


Frank Wuterich - The Accused


“A sergeant who led a squad of Marines during the incident in Haditha, Iraq, that left as many as 24 civilians dead said his unit did not intentionally target any civilians, followed military rules of engagement and never tried to cover up the shootings, his attorney said.


“Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich, 26, told his attorney that several civilians were killed Nov. 19 when his squad went after insurgents who were firing at them from inside a house. The Marine said there was no vengeful massacre, but he described a house-to-house hunt that went tragically awry in the middle of a chaotic battlefield. ‘It will forever be his position that everything they did that day was following their rules of engagement and to protect the lives of Marines,’ said Neal A. Puckett, who represents Wuterich in the ongoing investigations into the incident. […]”

Excerpt of a Washington Post article from June 11th, 2006

Frank Wuterich


Graphics and Videos on the Haditha Massacre

Diagram of the Massacre - Detailled diagram of the killings - included in an article from January 6th, 2007 by the Washington Post.

Images of the Killings - Chronological photo series compiled from various documents

Interview with Survivor - Video interview with Iman Walid from March 2006.

BBC Documentary on Haditha Massacre - Short television documentary from December 21st, 2006


The Haditha Reports Archive


The 2012 Media Reports File

The 2010 Media Reports File

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2008 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File


Diverse Archives


Summary of Facts

Military Reports & Documents from Military Tribunals


Recent Media Reports


January 25th, 2012 - Iraqi Town Says Justice Failed Victims of US Raid

1 news article from the Associated Press


July 19th, 2010 - Top Marine Officer Charged in Haditha Killings is Forced into Retirement

1 news article from the Los Angeles Times


March 26th, 2010 - Judge Rules Marine Must Stand Trial

1 news article from North County Times


March 26th, 2010 - Marine’s Iraq Killings Trial to Go Forward

2 news articles from the Associated Press & San Diego Union-Tribune


The 2012 Media Reports File

The 2010 Media Reports File

The 2009 Media Reports File

The 2008 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

The 2006 Media Reports File



The Accused

Frank Wuterich

Jeffrey Chessani

Justin Sharratt

Lucas McConnell

Stephen Tatum

Andrew Grayson

Sanick Dela Cruz

Randy Stone


Photo &  Graphic depicting the Killings

Aftermath of the initial killing

BBC Graphic depicting the killings according to eye witnesses


Summary of Facts


August 23rd, 2007 - Investigating Officer’s Report

Report by the U.S. Western Pacific Judicial Circuit (2,5 MB)


“[…] Summary of facts


“On 19 November 2005, in Haditha, Iraq, Lance Corporal (LCpl) Tatum was a passenger in the third vehicle of a four vehicle convoy. As the convoy traveled down route Chestnut on a logistics mission, an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) exploded under the fourth vehicle in the convoy. LCpl Tatum ran to the vehicle that was damaged to assist with any Marines who were injured. LCpl Terrazas was mortally wounded, LCpl Guzman suffered minor injuries and LCpl Crossan was stuck under debris from the damaged vehicle and had suffered significant injuries. LCpl Tatum assisted in pulling LCpl Crossan out of the debris and began first aid under the direction of Corpsman Whitt.


“While LCpl Tatum was administering to LCpl Crossan he heard gunfire to the West and South. He also heard sporadic gunfire from the North but did not return fire. Lieutenant (Lt) Kallop arrived on scene and after receiving fire from the South he ordered Staff Sergeant (SSgt) Wuterich to lead a fire team south to clear the house from where he believed the fire originated. Corporal (Cpl) Salinas fired an M203 round toward the houses to the South. LCpl Tatum joined SSgt Wuterich, Cpl Salinas, Lt Kallop and LCpl Sharratt to clear the houses to the South. LCpl Mendoza ran to catch up. On the way to house 1, (as identified in the investigation), LCpl Sharratt returned to his vehicle to retrieve an M240G weapon. Lt Kallop also stopped heading South when he received word from another Marine that Marines may have located the trigger house for the IED to the North. SSgt Wuterich led the remaining Marines, Cpl Salinas, LCpl Mendoza and LCpl Tatum to house 1 advising them that the house was to be treated as hostile.


“Cpl Salinas then entered house 1 and shot and killed Khamisa Tuema Ali in the hallway by the stairs. SSgt Wuterich and LCpl Tatum followed into the hallway with LCpl Mendoza entering last. LCpl Mendoza moved to the room to the right of the hallway, observed Guhid Abdal Hameed Hasan (Guhid) inside the room and shot him when Guhid made a movement toward the closet. While Cpl Salinas, LCpl Tatum and SSgt Wuterich were still in the hallway they heard a noise coming from the room to their left. Cpl Salinas and SSgt Wuterich were convinced that sound was the sound of an AK-47 rifle being racked. LCpl Tatum agreed, so he and Cpl Salinas threw grenades into the room. One of the two grenades exploded and shortly after the blast, SSgt Wuterich and LCpl Tatum entered the room and began firing at occupants in the room. As a result Abdul Hameed Husin Ali (Abdul), Waleed Abdul Hameed Hasan, Abdullah Waleed Abdul Hameed (Abdullah) and Asmaa Salman Rasif (Asmaa) were killed and Eman Waleed Abd A1 Hameed and Abd Al-Rahman Waleed A1 Hameed were injured by a combination of the grenade fragments and or bullets.


“After the gunfire ceased, SSgt Wuterich announced that someone ran out of the house toward house 2 (as identified in the investigation). SSgt Wuterich ordered the Marines to leave house 1 and pursue the runner into house 2. LCpl Tatum was the last to arrive at house 2. SSgt Wuterich, Cpl Salinas and LCpl Mendoza had taken positions outside house 2 next to one door. LCpl Mendoza kept watch toward a second door. One of the Marines knocked or rang a bell at the door. As Yunis Salim Rasif approached the second door, LCpl Mendoza shot through the door and killed him.


“Meanwhile, LCpl Tatum, who was still lagging behind the group, witnessed LCpl Mendoza shooting the man through the door as he caught up to the others at the house. SSgt Wuterich and LCpl Mendoza entered house 2. When LCpl Tatum arrived at the door, SSgt Wuterich ordered LCpl Tatum to ‘frag’ the next room in the home. LCpl Tatum obtained a grenade from Cpl Salinas and threw it into the room adjacent to the kitchen. It exploded, damaging the pipes in the shower room. Unknown to the Marines at that time was that there were two adult women and six children in the far back comer room of the house 2. SSgt Wuterich ordered the Marines to continue to clear house 2. LCpl Mendoza positioned himself inside the home in either the hallway or the kitchen. Cpl Salinas stayed outside house 2 and his whereabouts are not in evidence. At some point a Marine threw a grenade into the back room but it did not explode. Later, SSgt Wuterich entered the room and began firing at the occupants. LCpl Tatum entered the room second and fired his weapon toward the bed. As a result, Aida Yasin Ahmed, Mohomed Yunis Salim, Aisha Unes Salim, Zainab Unes Salim, Sena Yunis Salim, Noor Salim Rasif, Yuda Hasin Ahmed were killed. […]”



Charges & Sentences by the Military Tribunal at Camp Pendleton



Original Main Charges


Sentencing Dates


Jeffrey Chessani


Violation of a Lawful Order/Dereliction

Charges Dismissed

(June 17th, 2008)


Sanick Dela Cruz


Unpremeditated Murder in 5 Cases

Charges dismissed

(April 17th, 2007)


Andrew Grayson


Dereliction, Obstruction of Justice

Charges Dismissed

(June 5th, 2008)


Lucas McConnell



Charges Dismissed

(September 18th, 2007)


Justin Sharratt


Unpremeditated Murder in 3 Cases

Charges dismissed

(August 9th, 2007)


Randy Stone


Violation of a Lawful Order/Dereliction

Charges dismissed

(August 9th, 2007)


Stephen Tatum


Unprem. Murder/Negl. Homicide in 6 Cases

Charges Dismissed

(March 28th, 2008)


Frank Wuterich


Unpremeditated Murder in 13 Cases

Reduction of Rank

(January 24th, 2012)



Recent Military Reports & Documents from Military Tribunals


November 17th, 2008 - Opinion (U.S. vs. Frank Wuterich & CBS Broadcasting vs. Court of Appeals)

Opinion from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces


“[…] We vacate the decision of the United States Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals and the order of the military judge quashing the Government’s subpoena. We remand the record of trial to the Judge Advocate General of the Navy for return to the military judge for further consideration of whether relief should be granted to Petitioner-CBS under R.C.M. 703. Prior to ruling, the military judge shall order production of the requested material for in camera inspection by the military judge alone. […]”


June 17th, 2008 - Charges Dismissed Against Marine Officer in Haditha, Iraq Investigation

Report by U.S. Marines Forces Central Command & Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton


“[…] A military judge here today dismissed all charges, without prejudice, against Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani. Chessani was charged with dereliction of duty and violation of a lawful order for his alleged actions and inactions following an incident in Haditha, Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005, in which Iraqi civilians were killed.


“Because the charges were dismissed without prejudice, the government may re-prefer charges against Chessani, however, the military judge ruled that the Commander, U.S. Marine Corps Forces Central Command, the Commander, I Marine Expeditionary Force, and the Commander, Joint Forces Command and their respective subordinate commands are prohibited from doing so.


“The military judge’s decision is also subject to appeal by the government. The military judge ruled in favor of a defense motion to dismiss charges due to the appearance of unlawful command influence in the case. […]”


June 4th, 2008 - Verdict Announced at General Court-Martial in Haditha, Iraq Investigation

Report by U.S. Marines Forces Central Command & Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton


“[…] A court-martial panel rendered the following verdict today in the case Lt. Andrew A. Grayson for his alleged actions following an incident in Haditha, Iraq on Nov. 19, 2005 in which Iraqi civilians were killed. Grayson also is alleged to have attempted to fraudulently separate from the Marine Corps. Grayson was found not guilty of all charges and specifications. Grayson was charged with making false official statements and attempting to fraudulently separate from the Marine Corps. […]”


March 28th, 2008 -  Charges Dismissed Against Marine in Haditha, Iraq Investigation

Report by U.S. Marines Forces Central Command & Marine Corps Base, Camp Pendleton


“[…] Charges against Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum for his alleged involvement in the death of Iraqi civilians in Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005, were dismissed today. This was done in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident. Charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault for were referred to general court-martial Oct. 19, 2007. […]”


The Military Reports File


Civil Proceedings

Civil Proceedings - Libel Actions


1) Frank Wuterich vs. John Murtha

2) Justin Sharratt vs. John Murtha


Frank D. Wuterich vs. John Murtha


United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

Case No.: 07-5379

Filed: November 23rd, 2007


April 14th, 2009 - Per Curiam Judgment & Opinion


“[…] For the foregoing reasons, we hereby vacate the District Court’s order denying certification pending discovery and remand the case with instructions to the District Court to substitute the United States as the defendant in place of Congressman Murtha. Because the FTCA excepts tort claims ‘arising out of ... libel [or] slander,’ […], from the Government’s sovereign immunity waiver, Wuterich’s case is barred by sovereign immunity. Accordingly, the District Court will be required to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. […]”


September 19th, 2008 - Clerk’s Order


“[…] Clerk's Order filed scheduling oral argument before Judges Henderson, Rogers, Edwards 11/18/2008 […]”


August 6th, 2008 - Appellant Reply Brief


July 23rd, 2008 - Appellee Brief


May 23rd, 2008 - Appellant Brief


U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia

Case No.: 1:06 cv 01366

Filed: August 2nd, 2006


February 12th, 2008 - Notice to the Court


December 17th, 2007 - Order


“[…] The Honorable John Murtha is a Member of the House of Representatives. The United States says that he cannot be sued for a series of remarks to various reporters at various times and places that allegedly defamed Plaintiff Frank D. Wuterich. There are extremely limited facts before the Court and the United States resists offering any more. It insists that a Congressman is absolutely immune from a defamation suit arising from comments to a reporter about a private citizen because it can identify no circumstance in which speaking to the media is not within the scope of a Congressman’s employment.


“This Court was unwilling to proclaim such a sweeping version of absolute immunity and ordered very limited jurisdictional discovery, including a deposition of Representative Murtha. […] The United States has appealed that order and seeks a stay during the appeal. […]


“So that the appeal will not be mooted, the Court will grant Plaintiff’s Motion to Stay Pending Appeal. So ordered. […]”


December 14th, 2007 - Defendant’s Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion


“[…] The Government's position is that the complaint, based on the facts it alleges, requires dismissal of Congressman Murtha on scope of employment grounds, and requires instead substitution of the United States as a matter of law. The Court's ruling, denying that motion and directing that the Congressman be deposed, effectively denies entitlement to absolute immunity from suit. Consequently, the Court’s denial of substitution/immunity is subject to immediate appeal under the above principles of 28 U.S.C. § 1291.1 […]”


December 4th, 2007 - Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Stay Pending Appeal


“[…] Having been ordered by this Court to participate in limited discovery, including appearing for a deposition, Congressman Murtha has continued his efforts to extricate himself from any responsibility for his personal actions and has appealed the Court’s interlocutory determination. As a result, the United States Government, still acting on behalf of Congressman Murtha, now seeks a last minute stay of the Court’s decision. […]


“Congressman Murtha correctly notes that Wuterich has preserved his rights to conduct discovery and has agreed to temporarily postpone discovery until this Court has ruled on this Motion. […] That aside, neither fact supports the argument that Wuterich will not be harmed if the stay is actually granted. […] While the harm may not be specifically significant to Wuterich, at least the general notion of harm exists when an elected public official is able to delay proceedings which challenge that individual’s allegedly improper and unlawful conduct. […]”


September 28th, 2007 - Minute Entry Order


Pursuant to the Court's instructions during the hearing held in open court on September 28, 2007, Plaintiff may conduct discovery limited to the issue of whether Congressman Murtha was acting in the scope of his employment at the time he made the alleged defamatory statements. A further status conference is scheduled for October 25, 2007, at 10:45 a.m. Signed by Judge Rosemary M. Collyer on 9/28/2007.


May 7th, 2007 - Motion to Substitute Defendant and Dismiss for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction


“[…] Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), the United States of America and Congressman John Murtha, through undersigned counsel, respectfully request that this Court (1) issue an Order substituting the United States as the defendant in this action and (2) dismiss this case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. In support of this motion, defendant respectfully refers the Court to the attached memorandum in support of this motion and accompanying exhibits. […]”


August 2nd, 2006 - Complaint


“[…] On November 19, 2005, a tragic incident, all too familiar in time of war, occurred that resulted in the unfortunate deaths of civilian lives of Haditha, Iraq. Since May 2006, John Murtha, without waiting for the results of ongoing official military investigations designed to determine the true facts and which he was personally aware of, has repeatedly, for reasons best known to him, publicly and falsely accused the involved Marines, including the plaintiff Frank Wuterich, of cold-blooded murder and war crimes. Additionally, he has accused the Marines of participating in a cover-up of the events of that day.


“The United States of America has taken pride in helping establish democracy in Iraq. This includes installation of due process of the law. Yet anonymous individuals within the Department of Defense in concert with, or through the deliberate exploitation of, Mr. Murtha have sought to destroy the reputations of young Marines who have done nothing other than voluntarily place their lives in jeopardy on foreign soil. Other than those who have their own agendas to pursue through innuendo, leaks and rumors, no evidence has been publicly released that implicates the young men of the 1st squad, 3rd platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment in any criminal activity arising out of events of November 19, 2005. Indeed, as there is none that exists, let those who say otherwise prove it. […]”


Justin Sharratt vs. John Murtha


U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania

Case No.: 3:08 cv 00229 KRG

Filed: September 25th, 2008


April 21st, 2009 - Defendant’s and United States’ Motion to Dismiss


“[…] Under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6), Congressman John Murtha and the United States move to dismiss all counts of Plaintiff’s complaint. Counts I-III, which seek damages for alleged constitutional violations under Bivens v. Six Unknown Named Agents of Fed. Bureau of Narcotics, […], should be dismissed because Congressman Murtha is entitled to qualified immunity, special factors preclude Plaintiff’s constitutional claims, and Plaintiff filed those claims beyond the statute of limitations. Counts I-III therefore fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and should be dismissed with prejudice under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6).


“Counts IV-VI, which seek damages for alleged slander per se, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, should be dismissed because Plaintiff has not fulfilled the administrative prerequisites of the Federal Tort Claims Act, and because the United States has not waived sovereign immunity for Plaintiff’s claims. The Court therefore lacks subjectmatter jurisdiction over Counts IV-VI, which should be dismissed without prejudice under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(1). […]”


April 15th, 2009 - Amended Complaint


“[…] 11. Murtha’s statements that Sharratt and his Haditha comrades were ‘cold-blooded murderers’ and ‘massacred’ innocent civilians have been republished, re-broadcast and reproduced by countless third parties throughout the world, including throughout the Western District of Pennsylvania, where Sharratt resides.


“12. Murtha’s defamatory statements were false.


“13. Furthermore, at the time Murtha made these statements, no one from the Pentagon had told Murtha - as Murtha claimed - that Sharratt and his Haditha comrades murdered or massacred innocent civilians in ‘cold-blood’; this was yet another false statement by Murtha.


“14. Sharratt was charged with three counts of unpremeditated murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice.


“15. After an Article 32 Hearing, Sharratt was exonerated; all charges were dropped because no evidence existed to support the charges.


“16. As set forth below, Murtha’s statements were false, defamatory in nature, and violated Sharratt’s rights guaranteed him by the United States Constitution. The statements also constituted slander per se, and the tort of invasion of privacy. […]”


September 29th, 2008 - Notice


“[…] Notice that the instant civil action has been designated for placement into the United States District Court's Alternative Dispute Resolution program. Parties are directed to fully complete the required 26(f) report, which includes the stipulation of selecting an ADR process. Counsel for plaintiff (or in the case of a removal action, counsel for removing defendant) shall make service of the notice on all parties. […]”


September 25th, 2008 - Complaint


“[…] 5. In November, 2005 Plaintiff Justin Sharratt, then age 21, was honorably serving our Country in Iraq as a Lance Corporal in the United States Marine Corps.


“6. On November 19, 2005 Sharratt, a member of 1st Squad, 3rd Platoon, Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, was engaged in a skirmish with Iraqi insurgents in the city of Haditha, Iraq. A number of insurgents were killed pursuant to the Rules of Engagement.


“7. Starting in approximately May of 2006, as detailed below, John Murtha repeatedly appeared on national television, gave press conferences, issued press releases, and made defamatory statements about the Marines involved in the Haditha incident, which included Sharratt. Murtha also made similar defamatory statements at other times and places to other individuals.


“8. The statements were made outside of Murtha's scope of employment as a United States Congressman.


“9. Sharratt was publicly identified as one of eight Marines involved in the Haditha incident. […]”


War Scenes from Haditha

U.S. Marines on foot patrol

U.S. Marines securing an area

Aftermath of U.S. raid

Photo & Graphics Credits


1) Killed adults and children from Haditha (2 photos) - November 20th/21st, 2005 - Lucian Read/;

2) Frank Wuterich (2 photos) - undated - Associated Press/Mark S. Zaid/Family photo;


The Accused

1) Frank Wuterich - September 2006 - Max S. Gerber/Time Magazine;

2) Lt. Col. Jeffrey R. Chessani walks to a preliminary hearing where he is charged with violation of a lawful order and dereliction of duty - May 30th, 2007 - Lenny Ignelzi/Associated Press;

3) Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt talks after posing for a photo with his family in San Clemente, Calif. - December 22nd, 2006 - Denis Poroy/Associated Press;

4) Lucas McConnell - undated - U.S. Marine Corps;

5) Steven Tatum - November 2005 - Lucien Read/;

6) Andrew Grayson - undated - San Diego Union-Tribune;

7) Sanick Dela Cruz - undated - U.S. Marine Corps;

8) Marine Corps Capt. Randy Stone arrives for his Article 32 Investigation hearing at Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base - May 8th, 2007 - Denis Poroy/Associated Press;


Photo &  Graphic depicting the Killings

1) A photo contained in a Naval Criminal Investigative Service report obtained by The Washington Post shows a Marine inspecting a roadside scene near Haditha, Iraq, where five unarmed civilians were killed on Nov. 19, 2005. Earlier that day, Marines stopped the white taxi in which the men had been riding, then allegedly shot them after a bomb exploded nearby. The incident was the first on a day of violence in Haditha that left 24 civilians dead, among them women and children, and four Marines charged with murder. - November 19th, 2005 - U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service;

2) BBC News Graphics showing the eyewitnesses version of the killings - December 21st, 2006 - BBC News article;


War Scenes from Haditha

1) U.S. Marines on foot patrol in Haditha, Iraq - October 4th, 2005 - U.S. Army, Cpl Kevin N. McCall;

2) U.S. Marines on foot patrol in Haditha, Iraq - October 4th, 2005 - U.S. Army, Cpl Kevin N. McCall;

3) Bedroom of house in Haditha with blood smears on the wall - November 20th or 21st, 2005 - The video was shot by Taher Thabet, who is affiliated with local the Hammurabi Human Rights group;

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