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 Post subject: Off Topic: 15 year old murder case
PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 8:42 am 
Site Admin/Co-Founder

Joined: Mon Mar 31, 2003 10:09 pm
Posts: 2921
The girl in this story, Theresa Johnson, was a friend of mine in high school. We were Hockey Cheerleaders together, and she was murdered just a couple years after we got out of high school.

(WCCO) Bloomington, Minn. With advances in forensic science, more and more police departments are taking a fresh look at cold murder cases. That includes the Bloomington, Minn. Police Department, where detectives are taking a new look at the murder of 20-year-old Theresa Johnson.

May 5, 1991, Johnson was stabbed to death in her parents' townhouse.

Sgt. Mark Stehlik and detectives Kim Jones-O'Brien and Jeff Ratzloff are taking a new look at Johnson's murder, still unsolved after 15 years.

"Take one look at her face and you can't forget Theresa Johnson," Jones-O'Brien said.

The investigators hope time will work in their favor, hope relationships have changed and someone will remember something.

"Hopefully they saw something that morning," Ratzloff said. "If they think that it was something minor and it's not worth calling, we're hoping those people step up and give us a phone call now."

The investigators have extensively mapped out every person Johnson had contact with and anyone who could be a suspect.

"There are people that we'd be interested in knowing more about where they were and what happened and what was going on that day," Stehlik said.

Some of their strongest evidence may prove to be Johnson's dying words. Over and over again, the investigators have listened to Johnson's 911 call for help after she had been attacked.

"Bloomington 911," the operator said.

"Hi, I just had someone break into my house," Johnson said 15 years ago.

"Are they there now?" the operator asked.

"I don't know," Johnson said.

A little later in the call, Johnson describes the attack.

"Oh, my god," she said. "I struggled and then he went and hit him and stuff like that and ran."

"And he what?" the operator asked.

"And he ran," Johnson said.

"OK, did he hurt you?" the operator asked.

"Um, he cut me a little bit, but it's not so ..." Johnson said.

By the time an ambulance arrived at her parents' townhouse where she was, she was unconscious. She went into a coma and died five days later.

Her friends kept a vigil at the hospital before Johnson died.

"The worst part was seeing her look at you like she knew she was looking at you and tears would go down her face but she couldn't move, she couldn't do anything," said Jenny Biros, remembering what her friend was like in a coma.

Biros, Johnson and Monica Zaun were best friends since high school. They had stayed close after Johnson started college at the University of St. Thomas, where she was studying child psychology.

Biros saw Johnson a couple of hours before she was attacked.

"It was kind of an eerie feeling," she said. "Because I had never left her. Someone had always spent the night with her when her family was gone."

Bloomington detectives said they have narrowed the prime suspect list down to three men. They are focusing on two strangers and one man who knew Johnson.

"There are people who have been eliminated and there are people whom we would consider strong suspects, people we would be interested in knowing more about where they were and what was going on that day," Stehlik said.

Investigators hope old crime scene evidence, including the knife used to attack Johnson, submitted to the state crime lab for DNA testing will help narrow their focus.

An FBI psychological profile of the killer looks like this:
• Someone 18-25-years-old when the crime happened in 1991
• Someone with no more than a high school education
• Someone with no prior criminal record

If you know anything about Johnson's murder, you are asked to call Bloomington Police at 952-563-8863.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of
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