An Air Force Veteran Killed His Wife With a Homemade Gun

Donna Harris was blazing her own path in life as she juggled being a wife and mother, but her husband, Roger, couldn’t handle it.

Donna Harris was killed by her husband, Roger.

Donna Harris was killed by her husband, Roger.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. (Screenshot from ID's "American Monster")

Donna Jordan was a long way from the family farm in Indiana when she first met Roger Harris in Hawaii in 1988. After graduating from high school, the young woman left the mainland to become a live-in nanny for her aunt, who was serving in the military. The close-knit military community allowed her to meet many service members — including 32-year-old Roger Harris, an airman who often visited her aunt’s home.

Donna’s aunt spoke highly of Roger. He was a career military man and was well-respected among his colleagues. Despite the almost 12-year age gap, Donna and Roger began dating, and her family back home started to get letters telling them about a man who treated her well and understood her on a fundamental level. It was true love, and the pair were engaged six months after they began dating. They were married five months later, on August 4, 1989.

The Air Force transferred Roger to Moody Air Force Base in Georgia the week after their wedding, and the pair quickly settled into a home a few minutes from the base. Donna’s younger siblings visited often, and the newlyweds seemed to be madly in love.

Life moved quickly for the Harrises. Donna gave birth to a son, Joseph, in October 1992, and the Air Force moved them again in 1994 to Arkansas. With their son old enough to start preschool, Donna started nursing school in August 1994. By the following summer, Donna and Roger were scouting out land to purchase in Florida, and Roger was preparing to retire from the Air Force after 17 years.

Following his retirement and the family’s move to Florida, Roger became a stay-at-home dad for a time as Donna worked as a nurse at a nearby veterans hospital. Donna was thrilled with the arrangement, but Roger was unhappy at home and felt like it was a woman’s place to stay home and raise children. To alleviate the boredom, Roger got a job at the local Walmart, where he was promoted to district manager.

By this time, it was 1996, and the pair had welcomed their second son, Timothy, the previous year. Donna’s parents sold their land and moved south to be closer to their grandchildren, but they noticed a difference in Roger. He had grown manipulative since his retirement from the Air Force, and he was harsh with Donna and wasn’t as willing to spend time with his in-laws as he once had been. Roger also wanted to keep the kids home more, which led him to hire a live-in nanny in 1998.

Donna, however, grew suspicious about the lengthy conversations between her husband and the nanny. When she found their emails, it began to unravel her entire life.

See what happened when Donna confronted Roger on American Monster available now on discovery+.

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