Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office did a lousy job of investigating Kendrick Johnson’s death

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Good morning:

Kendrick Johnson’s body was discovered in a rolled-up mat in the Old Gym at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, Georgia one year ago today. The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office concluded that he died accidentally in an upside down position stuck inside a rolled-up gym mat while attempting to retrieve an athletic shoe. I do not agree with their conclusion.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office failed to conduct a competent professional investigation. They should have identified, contacted and separately interviewed all potential witnesses within 24 hours after Kendrick’s body was discovered. This is a basic requirement that every homicide investigator knows because witnesses absolutely must be interviewed while their memories are fresh before they become polluted by information obtained from the media or conversations with others.

There are no exceptions to this rule unless a witness cannot be located.

The first responders and the paramedic who noticed bruising on Kendrick’s jaw and considered the gym to be a crime scene should have been interviewed as soon as possible, but they were not interviewed until April 17 and 18, more than 3 months after Kendrick’s body was discovered. The janitors who cleaned the gym after the police finished their investigation at the scene were not contacted and interviewed until April 26th.

Victor Blackwell of CNN reports,

CNN examined the 522-page police file and found that investigators spoke to 111 people. Eighteen of those interviews occurred the day Johnson’s body was found, and another 15 people were interviewed later that month. Investigators then spoke to five more people in February and March before conducting interviews with 72 people in April, about the time media coverage of Johnson’s death gained momentum. One person was interviewed in May, according to the investigative file.

I can only imagine how frustrated and disgusted the FBI must be right now with the way the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. They certainly should have known better and their failure to carry out their responsibilities in a competent and professional manner suggests at best incompetence and at worst participation in a conspiracy to cover-up a homicide.

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This is our 847th post in 26 months.

We received one donation yesterday for $25 for which we are very grateful, but we had 807 visitors to the site and 1,459 page views. This sort of response to requests for donations is extremely frustrating and depressing. I realize it’s easy to assume others will step in and contribute, but that type of thinking doesn’t work when everyone does it. We’re not trying to get rich here, but this just isn’t working out for us.

Fred

28 Responses to Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office did a lousy job of investigating Kendrick Johnson’s death

  1. aussie says:

    There was a photo of the mats rolled up. The centre spaces in them were not big enough to get a footballers LEG into them. The one Kendrick was in was much looser, fewer layers wrapped around and much bigger central space. If the mat was against the stand on one side, with other mats close against it on the other sides, it could not have opened up that much from something big being forced into it.

    Because of this, I disagree with the Professor’s theory of Kendrick diving in and someone pushing in his “holding-on hand”. That mat was rolled up with Kendrick IN IT, otherwise there’s no way he would have fitted in, the way the rest of them were tight rolled.

    • Another problem with my theory is the result of the second autopsy.

      I mention this because the issue is about what happened, not about a psychological need to be right.

      Nevertheless, I still believe I’m right.

      Right or wrong I hope this crime is solved.

  2. kllypyn says:

    they commtted a crime.

  3. Malisha says:

    A second-year physics student could easily prove that the story offered by the forensic “investigators” was physically impossible. As the person’s body tried to enter the space in the center of the rolled up mat, the force and weight analyses would clearly show that the WORST that could have happened to him was that he AND the rolled-up mat would have fallen and he would have been (probably) injured in the fall. Maybe a thud or a bump or a broken limb at the most. He could NOT have “fallen” into the space in the center of the mat with his head more than halfway into the cylindrical space. Idiotic to even suggest it.

    • endlessummer76 says:

      Yes, physics. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s probably not the truth. The gym teacher reported that when the mat was pulled down, Kendrick’s body above the waist came tumbling out of the mat. How could he have been so stuck he could not extricate himself from the mat, but his dead body comes tumbling out? Note, the gym teacher did not say they unrolled the mat, just pulled it down & KJ’s body “tumbled” out, from the waist up. He was not stuck in the mat, and I believe he was unconscious, or dead, or dying when someone rolled him up in the mat. Physics.

      • bettykath says:

        I believe the gym teacher and a student had to pull several mats out of the way to reach the one Kendrick was in. These other mats would have prevented the one he was in from toppling over. His body being not tightly held so that it tumbled out might be the result of body deterioration.

        I really think the professor’s scenario is the most likely – Kendrick attempted to get his shoes out, was successful in pulling out one and when he went for the second, someone forcibly removed his hand, the one that he would use to pull himself out of the mat,

      • Not sure, but I think rigor mortis may have mostly dissipated when KJ’s body was found. Typically, that takes about 24 hours which would be consistent with a time of death around midday the previous day.

  4. shyloh says:

    What sounds so disturbing to me is that one can crawl into a gym mat to try to recover a pair of shoes, get stuck, bleed all over the place and have your body parts missing and some call it suffocating to death. To top it off, no foul play!?!?

    Why can’t they go after the one’s that investigated the scene to start with? They should be held accountable. They did a lousy job.

  5. acemayo says:

    There is a near complete absence of valid or reliable white-collar, corporate, and governmental crime statistics in the UCR and NCVS measurements. This is an extremely important void when considering the relationship between race and crime, because by even the most conservative estimates street crimes account for only a fraction of all crimes. Nonetheless, American media, politicians, public, and even criminologists tend to focus on street crime, thereby dramatizing and potentially exaggerating the real racial over-representations of racial minorities in crime and the criminal justice system.
    http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3403000217.html
    ——————————————————————————
    Statistics from NW3C also approximate that one in three households is the victim of white collar crime, yet of these, only 41 percent report the incident. Of the small number reported, only 21 percent are handled by a law enforcement or consumer protection agency.
    Experts believe that many people fail to report white collar crime because they are unaware that they have been victimized. Many of those who are aware of a suspicious incident are unsure of whether or not it is an actual crime, and of those who are knowledgeable, many are either unsure who to contact or believe no resolution will come from reporting the crime. NW3C encourages awareness on the part of both the public and law enforcement agencies as a preventive measure against the future of white collar crime.
    http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/white-collar/statistics/

  6. dianetrotter says:

    They should have watched 48 hours.

  7. colin black says:

    There was no cross state border crime no kidnap no counterfeit money involved.No crime that would require the F B I to have any involvement .

    It wasn’t branded as a race hate crime or branded a crime period,
    So why would an F B I agent be involved ?

    An even if there was fair cause for Federal Agents involvement in a States investigation into a suss death.

    No agent with any kind of family involved be it Wife Parent or Son or Daughter.
    Would be allowed to be involved in the case due to conflict of interest.

    That’s what would apply In a legit an proper investigation an I realise that does not apply in the death of Kendrick .

  8. meatme says:

    They never dreamed Kendrick Johnson’s mother and father would publicly protest their son’s murder almost daily for a solid 12 months. They thought they could make everybody shut up and it would all go away.

    Think about this, someone stuffed a dead body into a rolled up gym mat and left it there for ‘children’ to find. That’s some scary mess.

  9. Lyn says:

    Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the State Pros did the investigation with 6 Agents on site and 3 forensic techs with the assist of the Sheriff’s department. Sherriff called in the GBI immediately. The autopsy was done by GBI forensic Doc and peer reviewed there, Fred, donation will be in the mail on 4th Wednesday.

    • Forensic analysts are not scientists and they have a very odd idea of what constitutes peer review. To them it’s nothing more than having a supervisor sign off on an analyst’s report, with or without reading it.

      I have little respect for forensic analysts.

      Based on what I’ve read, I do not have any confidence in the people who were involved in this investigation.

      Of course, I could be wrong. I don’t have the discovery, so that places me at a disadvantage. The accident theory makes no sense to me.

      Thanks for the advance notice of the donation. I look forward to every 4th Wednesday of the month too because that’s when I get my social security check. 🙂

    • Lynn says:

      Were they the people who didn’t wear protective booties and didn’t collect any evidence? What were those 3 techs doing? Were they the ones who still didn’t call the coroner when they noticed that the Sheriff failed to call him? Do these Special Agents know protocol?
      What about the ex-cop who transported the body to Macon for the autopsy and somehow lost all of Kendrick’s clothes and organs? The coroner says he gave them with the body and the Funeral Home says he never got them.
      Everyone in this town is related to someone in the Sheriff’s office, the FBI, and the political arena. Everyone knew someone except KJ and his parents.

  10. bettykath says:

    “Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office did a lousy job of investigating Kendrick Johnson’s death” – duh

    Conducting a professional homicide investigation isn’t necessary when police officers are allowed to declare the scene an obvious accident.

    Sorry for the sarcasm. We’ve traded snow for rain, I have errands to run that I don’t want to do and I’m a bit bxtchy today.

  11. Ezz-Thetic says:

    The prime suspect is the son of an FBI agent. Coverup.

    • If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a . . .

      There is a concept that law firms use to exclude a lawyer in the firm from knowing about what’s happening in a case handled by someone else in the firm or influencing how it’s handled in any way. It’s called a “Chinese wall.”

      The connection in this case is a fellow agent’s son is a potential and possibly the most likely suspect. Whether a Chinese wall would assure objectivity and the exercise of independent judgment by the agents assigned to the case is unknown.

      This much is certain. If the FBI concludes that Kendrick Johnson died as the result of an accident, instead of a homicide, they better have a damn good reason that withstands critical scrutiny or I will not believe them.

      • jimmyxxx says:

        They won’t, despite this, the racists will celebrate the results of the “investigation” and use it as a way to bash KJ, his family, their (black) lawyers, and probably Al Sharpton.

        Outside of footage of Kendrick speaking into the camera saying, “Watch me dive head first into the mat,”, then footage of him doing so, I won’t believe anything other than foul play.

        Sorry!

      • Lyn says:

        Far as I know, one son was away on a school sponsored sports event and the other has pictures being on the other side of the school during the tragedy. None the less, call in the FEDs and get DOJ on the case.

        • bettykath says:

          I believe one was in the weight room which is right near the gym.

        • Lynn says:

          He could have died a few minutes after 1pm that day, he could have died before or after the game that night. We have no time of death.
          He could have been stored somewhere and access to the gym that night could have been arranged to present the body where it was found.
          Nothing confirms he died in that spot.
          Lunch windows left up, outside roll-up doors left open, noises and janitors, gym mats stored upright for the holidays, cameras missing minutes, cameras not activating with light and movement, and let’s not forget the lone man in the dark video. Someone forgot to proof their editing.
          To me, every interview seemed rehearsed. “I was in the field house at the time” was repeated over and over. Protesting too much IMO. If we don’t know when he died, what difference does it make where you were during 4 period?

          • jimmyxxx says:

            Yeah the fact that they have a blanket alibi for a still unknown time of death is pretty suspect.

          • Malisha says:

            “I was at a different location at the time that he died” presumes that the speaker KNOWS the time that the decedent died. So… which of those witnesses KNEW the time Kendrick died?

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