Real Name: David Vernon Cox
Nicknames: No Known Nicknames
Location: Medfield, Massachusetts
Date: January 5, 1994
Details: Twenty-eight-year old U.S. Marine David Cox was stationed at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba in 1986. During this time, PFC William Alvarado, who was also at the base, wrote to his senator, informing him of Marine misconduct. Their platoon commander gave David and the others an implied order to commit hazing or a "Code Red" against Alvarado. One Saturday evening, David and nine other Marines went into Alvarado's room and blindfolded and gagged him. They took him to the bathroom where David started shaving his head. After about five minutes, they noticed that Alvarado was no longer struggling. David convinced the others to stop the hazing. At that point, it was discovered that he was unconscious; he was immediately rushed to the hospital. Alvarado recovered and his ten attackers were given various charges.
Don Marcari was appointed to defend David, who was charged with attempted murder. He claimed that he was following implied orders from his superior officers. Don, however, told him that the case would be difficult to win. David insisted that he fight the charges as he believed that he did nothing wrong. In the end, he was quite successful; he was convicted only of simple assault and sentenced to time already served in the brig. He then completed his hitch, received an honorable discharge, and returned to civilian life in his hometown near Boston, Massachusetts.
Six years later, the "Cod Red" incident was recreated and exaggerated in the movie, A Few Good Men. After the film was released, David became upset at how the story was inaccurately portrayed. He was also upset that the film's producers were making money off of the story. David and some of the other Marines involved in the "Code Red" filed suit against the movie production company. While the case was pending, David talked about his story on local radio shows.
By January of 1994, David and his girlfriend Elaine had moved in together. He was hoping that a temporary job with UPS would become permanent. He expected to hear about the job on January 5. Because of a back problem, he spent the night before on the couch. Elaine left at about 8:30AM; shortly before noon, she called home, but did not receive an answer. However, there was a message for David from UPS about the job. When Elaine called back at 1PM, he still did not answer. When she returned at 5:30PM, she found that David was not there. Strangely, all of the inside doors were opened and their rabbit was out of its cage. His truck was still in the driveway and the keys were in the ignition. He had left an un-cashed paycheck on the dashboard and his 9-millimeter gun in the glove box. However, no other trace of him was found.
As the days passed, his friends and family were certain that something had happened to him. Sadly, his body was found on April 2, 1994, along the banks of the Charles River in Medfield, Massachusetts, approximately five miles from his apartment. Pine tree branches covered the body. Investigators discovered that he had been shot once in the back of the neck and three times in the left side. His wallet was still in his back pocket, with cash and credit cards untouched. Based on this and other evidence, police have ruled out a random attack.
They believe that David got into a car willingly with an unidentified individual and that he walked with this person into the woods. Since he was found almost a mile into the woods, investigators believe that he was not led there at gunpoint and that the killer convinced him to come that far into the woods with him.
David's former military attorney Don Marcari believes that his murder may have been related to the military. He noted that David was wearing his Marine Corps jacket when he was killed, which he never normally wore. David's family believes that he may have talked too much about the movie and the military's activities in Cuba. Investigators, however, do not believe that the military was directly involved in David's death.
David's brother Steve believes that his death may have been related to David's job at UPS and a theft that occurred shortly before he vanished; the theft apparently involved a supervisor and a driver. However, no suspects have ever been identified, and the case remains unsolved.
Suspects: None known; investigators believe that David was killed by someone he knew. Some have speculated that his murder was related to the military, while other believe that it was related to his job at UPS.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the March 29, 1996 episode.
Results: Unsolved. In 2019, two Massachusetts state troopers, who are also former Marines, began their own investigation into David's murder. They are convinced that his killer was someone he knew and trusted. However, they are not certain if the case was related to his time in the Marines.
- David Cox on Unsolved.com
- David Cox on Wikipedia
- David Cox Facebook Memorial Page
- 'Few Good Men' Marine killed in Mass.
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- Ex-Marine Is Found Slain
- David V. Cox; Inspiration for 'A Few Good Men'
- Ex-Marine who felt 'A Few Good Men' maligned him is mysteriously murdered
- Murder remains unsolved 20 years later
- Cold case: Who killed David Cox, Marine who inspired 'A Few Good Men'?
- New England's Unsolved: Who killed US Marine David Cox?
- Two Massachusetts law enforcement officials join forces to resolve 25-year-old murder of fellow Marine
- David Cox at Find a Grave