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Ten unsolved Colorado murders: Read personal stories of the victims


brandon browne.jpg
Brandon Browne.
Brandon Browne

Brandon Browne loved sports. He played baseball and soccer as a child, football and basketball in jr. high and high school. Brandon graduated from Coronado High School in Colorado Springs in 1999. He hung drywall with his dad, Lance Browne, for three years. Brandon's last job was at DMS Custom Counter Tops. He loved children and his heart's desire was to marry and have a family. But Brandon wanted to have a good career and a house before he married.

Brandon was known as a quiet person. "When he spoke, people stopped to listen," said his mother, Marla Browne.

In the early morning hours of November 26, 2004, Brandon was with friends in a Denny's Restaurant parking lot on North Academy Boulevard in Colorado Springs. Brandon's friends got into a verbal altercation with others. Brandon, who was
standing several yards away talking to his girlfriend and her sister at their car, was shot once in the chest. The shooter and another male fled before police arrived.
The twenty-three-year-old victim was taken to Memorial Hospital where he died.

In addition to his parents, Brandon is survived by two sisters and a niece.

If you have information regarding this murder, please call Detective Richard Gysin, 719-444-7500. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous and qualify for a reward, call Crime Stoppers: 719-634-7867.

lieutenant cecillia cc cipriani benefiel.jpg
Lieutenant Cecillia "CC" Cipriani/Benefiel.
Lt. Cecilia "C.C." Cipriani/Benefiel

Cecilia "C.C." Cipriani graduated from James Madison Memorial High School (Wisconsin) in 1976. She participated in track and field. C.C. played the harp in the school orchestra and with the Madison Symphony Orchestra. C.C. graduated from the University of Wisconsin at Platteville in 1981 with a degree in Criminal Justice. Although she had aspired to a career in law, she became interested in a police career after taking courses in criminal justice and working as an intern at the local police department.

Following graduation, C.C. vacationed in Colorado where she looked up a college flame, Terry Faherty, who was in the Army. They married late that year and settled in Colorado Springs. C.C. was hired as a deputy by the El Paso County Sheriff's Office in February 1982. She divorced Faherty in 1983 after he hocked her jewelry and gun to pay for an addiction and went AWOL.

C.C. was promoted to Deputy I in 1984. In 1985 she transferred from the patrol to investigations where she was assigned the task of investigating sexual assault and child abuse cases. Colleagues described C.C. as driven, dedicated and compassionate.

Robert F. Benefiel, a Colorado State Trooper, courted C.C. and the couple married in April 1985. In early 1987 C.C. resigned her job to move with her husband to Durango, CO where she worked as an investigator with the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. She returned to Colorado Springs in November, was rehired by the Sheriff and assigned to homicide. There she quickly became known for her investigative skills and her professionalism in the court room where she often testified.

C.C. was selected to head the newly created Planning and Research unit in July 1988. There she pursued grants for DUI and drug enforcement projects. She was promoted to Sergeant one year later. Sgt. Cipriani returned to the patrol division in May 1990 and took up duties as a field supervisor. On November 1, 1990, Cecilia Cipriani was promoted to Lieutenant, becoming the first woman to ever attain that rank in the El Paso County Sheriff's Office. She was made a watch commander in the patrol division.

Lt. Cipriani was having a difficult year in 1990 as her mother was dying of cancer and marital problems arose. In July, Robert Benefiel asked for a divorce and gave C.C. 30 days to move out. She bought a secluded house on a bluff in Ivywild where she lived alone. Their divorce was to be final on November 19, 1990.

But on November 16, Lt. Cecilia Cipriani, 32, was shot to death in her home shortly after she got off work at 1:30 am. She had been sitting at her dining room table in her police uniform with her gun still holstered when she was shot twice with a .22 caliber handgun. When she failed to show up at work for two shifts, she was found on the floor by two deputies. Investigators believe she knew her assailant and let him in the home.

Her husband was the prime suspect in C.C.'s murder. He was off duty that night, had no alibi and flunked his polygraph according to press reports. Detectives said there was insufficient evidence to arrest Robert Benefiel and the District Attorney declined to call a Grand Jury. Mutual Life Insurance Company of New Jersey denied Benefiel's claim for a $65,000 life insurance policy because he was a suspect in the death of the insured.

Trooper Benefiel was placed on paid administrative leave for six months after a domestic dispute involving a gun on July 15, 1993 concerning he and his new wife, Erma. He resigned from the Colorado State Patrol in January 1994 and moved to Texas. The murder of Lt. Cecilia "C.C." Cipriani remains unsolved.

If you have information pertinent to this case, please call Detective Derek Graham, 719-444-7561, at Colorado Springs Police Department, or Crime Stoppers 719-634-7867.

Continue to read more personal stories of unsolved murder victims in Colorado.

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3 comments
manofgroove
manofgroove

What about that kid that got shot to death while driving down I-225? Did that one ever get solved?

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

R.P. White admitted to many more murders than he was charged and convicted for committing .

In the neighborhood of FIVE !!!!

Might this be some kind of CLUE in what HAS TO BE pending in some missing people reports ?

Detectives haven't been to CSP to speak w/ him in years ! A stack of photos might 'possibly' assist in solving some of these disappearances or cold case homicides .....

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