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Is The School Hiding Something? Kendrick Johnson Murder or Freak Accident?

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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You guys seem so pre-occupied with the shutdown this week. I thought I would attempt to spark a discussion about this case. I frequent other forums where there have been discussions about this particular case.

I'm going to post a link with some photos as well as a news article, but first, I will give a little background on what's going on here.



This kid doesn't return home from school one day and his mother called up to the school to see if anyone had seen him. School staff said they had not seen the boy and the next day they discover his body inside of a rolled up gym mat.



Now, here is what does not make sense......... The police said that the boy had died after falling headfirst into the rolled up mat trying to retrieve a shoe. He died from asphyxiation after being in a position in which he could not breath

The mat was found in a standing position placed against the wall..... Also, the mat was rolled up in a such a way that it fit snuggly around his body...




An autopsy was performed where the above death conclusion was found and the boy was buried. His parents wanted the police to investigate his death further as they felt some things did not add up.

For starters, there was blood left at the scene...if the kid simply fell into the mat and suffocated, why was there blood found OUTSIDE of the mat? Secondly, surveillance video from inside the gym shows the boy walking in but not leaving.


Eventually, the parents have an order filed to exhume the boy's body for a second autopsy. The second medical examiner found signs of foul play. The boy did not die from suffocation, he died from blunt force trauma to the neck. A second horrifying discovery made was that all of Kendrick's organs (including removal from his pelvic area) had been removed and replaced with newspaper.


During an autopsy, internal organs are removed and examined before being returned for burial. But when Dr. Bill Anderson, the private pathologist who conducted the second autopsy, opened up the teen's remains, the brain, heart, lungs, liver and other viscera were missing. Every organ from the pelvis to the skull was gone.
"I'm not sure at this point who did not return the organs to the body," Anderson said. "But I know when we got the body, the organs were not there."

Two entities had custody of Kendrick Johnson's body after his death -- the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which conducted the first autopsy in January; and the Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, which handled the teen's embalming and burial.
The funeral home would not comment to CNN. But in a letter to the Johnsons' attorney, funeral home owner Antonio Harrington said his firm never received the teen's organs. Harrington wrote that the organs "were destroyed through natural process" due to the position of Kendrick Johnson's body when he died, and "discarded by the prosector before the body was sent back to Valdosta." A prosector dissects the body for pathological examination.
*As an aside, I am banking that his organs were actually stolen at the Funeral Home his body was prepared for burial in. It is not uncommon for Funeral Home directors to be running illegal organ business out the back door....taking organs from bodies and replacing them with PVC pipe*



And death scene imagery obtained exclusively by CNN has led a former FBI agent to question how Johnson died: "I think this young man met with foul play," said Harold Copus, now an Atlanta private investigator.
Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine refused to discuss the matter with CNN, calling Johnson's death a closed case. The U.S. Justice Department announced in September that it wouldn't open a civil rights investigation into the case.
But federal prosecutors in south Georgia have met with the family's representatives and are weighing whether to open their own probe, said Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney whose district includes Valdosta.




Camera footage of the boy entering the gym. Note, he is wearing pants here...but appears to be wearing shorts when he is found.





One of the pair of shoes found outside of the mat...in blood. (notice that these are the same shoes from his team portrait)




What do you think about this story? What do you think really happened to Kendrick?


Some sources:
Kendrick Johnson case: Shocking evidence photos

Gym mat death shocker: Body stuffed with newspaper


UPDATE


The coroner said that Kendrick's missing organs were too decomposed to be to be preserved and that they were disposed of before being sent to the funeral home.

But Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson said many of Johnson's organs were deemed too badly decomposed to be preserved and had to be disposed of before the body was sent to the funeral home. "It would've been during or immediately after the autopsy," he said.
It looks like it was the funeral home that placed the newspaper in Kendrick's body.

Harrington Funeral Home in Valdosta, which handled Johnson's body, referred calls to attorney Roy Copeland. He said Johnson's organs were missing when the body arrived at Harrington. He also said standard embalming practice is to fill empty space in body cavities with material such as sawdust or cotton.

"Is newspaper necessarily more indicting that sawdust or cotton?" Copeland said.


Medical examiners commonly remove internal organs during forensic autopsies. After autopsies, those organs are typically sealed in a plastic bag and placed back in the body, said Vernie Fountain, who runs an embalming school in Springfield, Mo. When organs are missing, such as in cases involving organ donors, space inside the body cavity often is filled with an absorbent, preservative powder, Fountain said. Sometimes cotton is used with powder.

"I don't think I've ever talked to anyone who told me they've used old newspapers," Fountain said. "There may not be any law that prohibits it. I don't know. But it's just not something that's within what I would consider acceptable standards."

The Georgia secretary of state's office, which regulates funeral homes in the states, is investigating how Johnson's body was handled, spokesman Jared Thomas said.
Source: Kendrick Johnson Death: Missing organs are reason to suspect foul play in Ga. teen's gym mat death, victim's parents say
 
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SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
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Someone knocked him out, this person and possibly others stuffed him in a gym mat.

At this point I doubt they will ever find out what truly happened or who did it.
Yea, I feel like thats what its going to come down to. Unless somebody feels bad and confesses.

According to the ME, it sounds like he didn't even die inside the mat. He was most likely already dead (fatal trauma to his neck) and rolled up into it. That mat was rolled perfectly to fit his body. I can't imagine him falling into it head first.....and falling into it from what? All the mats were in the corner of the gym with nothing nearby.

This is too shady. The cameras in the gym don't even cover that side of the room.
 

xBiffx

Diamond Member
Aug 22, 2011
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From the picture with his shoes off and a pair sitting there. WTF?

Did the killer(s) steal a different (more expensive and desirable) pair of shoes and just leave those next to the body? Those look brand new.

I only ask because of the recent shoe hysteria these days.
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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From the picture with his shoes off and a pair sitting there. WTF?

Did the killer(s) steal a different (more expensive and desirable) pair of shoes and just leave those next to the body? Those look brand new.

I only ask because of the recent shoe hysteria these days.
I think that he was changing shoes.


They said he played three different sports, its plausible that he went to the gym to change. The basketball shoes (not the orange Nikes) found outside of the mat and the fact that he was wearing what appears to be basketball shorts that he wasn't wearing when he entered the gym leads me to believe that.

Something definitely took place.


Another red flag, the cops said the boy died retrieving his shoe....but two of his shoes are found outside of the mat with the other pair being placed at his feet (away from his head) inside the mat. Almost as if someone tossed them in after the fact.

So did he fall in to get his shoes or did the shoes fall in to try and catch him? I smell a lawsuit. Cops definitely botched this.
 
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xBiffx

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Aug 22, 2011
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I think that he was changing shoes.


They said he played three different sports, its plausible that he went to the gym to change. The basketball shoes (not the orange Nikes) found outside of the mat and the fact that he was wearing what appears to be basketball shorts that he wasn't wearing when he entered the gym leads me to believe that.

Something definitely took place.
Interesting. Then that would definitely seem to indicate foul play. Its not like his shoes got there on their own. :hmm:
 

zinfamous

No Lifer
Jul 12, 2006
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what's so odd about the 2nd autopsy discovering "removed organs having been replaced with newspaper and a pelvic incision?" That would be from the first autopsy, no?

oh, derp. read further. sounds like they are normally replaced before burial. That seems odd, though. I would think that the examiner would keep some, or at least samples for evidence/further testing, but I guess not?
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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They are supposed to return the organs to the body. They aren't supposed to keep them unless they are vital to the investigation and they sure as heck aren't supposed to replace the organs with newspaper.


The 1st ME says he put the organs back and sent the body to the funeral home....funeral home says when they got the body the organs weren't there and that they were "destroyed" by the authorities....

Somebody harvested that kid's organs. This is insane. His family definitely has a case
 

xBiffx

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Aug 22, 2011
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what's so odd about the 2nd autopsy discovering "removed organs having been replaced with newspaper and a pelvic incision?" That would be from the first autopsy, no?

oh, derp. read further. sounds like they are normally replaced before burial. That seems odd, though. I would think that the examiner would keep some, or at least samples for evidence/further testing, but I guess not?
I don't think there is any need. I'm sure they ran a toxicology screen and they still have some of the blood from that. Pretty much all the information they could get, they've got by the time the body is put in the ground. Guess they could always exhume but, like I said, they've got all the information they could.

Edit: I don't think its standard practice to keep organs although destroying them seems odd.
 
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SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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Yea, thats what's so fishy about this. Not only did the ME put down a false COD....the kid's organs were missing.

I don't think anyone was expecting the family to be so persistent and have the kid exhumed. Now the coroner's office is pointing fingers at the funeral home and vice versa
 

woolfe9998

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Apr 8, 2013
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Yea, thats what's so fishy about this. Not only did the ME put down a false COD....the kid's organs were missing.

I don't think anyone was expecting the family to be so persistent and have the kid exhumed. Now the coroner's office is pointing fingers at the funeral home and vice versa
Are you suggesting that the organs were removed as a cover-up for a crime? This is more likely to be some kind of screw up, or possibly as you suggest above, that the organs were sold on the black market (which wouldn't explain why the brain is missing). Either way, it's immaterial as to whether the death was accidental or by foul play.
 
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SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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Are you suggesting that the organs were removed as a cover-up for a crime?
No, I think his organs were stolen.

This is more likely to be some kind of screw up, or possibly as you suggest above, that the organs were sold on the black market (which wouldn't explain why the brain is missing).
Screw up? No. Possibly sold, yes.

And I say no because replacing his organs with newspaper shows intent to cover up something. A screw up is forgetting to put them back and sending him off.


Either way, it's immaterial as to whether the death was accidental or by foul play.
This is true...but it also builds a case for the parents who believe that the authorities did not put 100% effort into this case. Everything discovered so far has suggested that the police and the ME both have lawsuits coming their way...


Its pretty clear that this kid was killed.
 

woolfe9998

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This is true...but it also builds a case for the parents who believe that the authorities did not put 100% effort into this case. Everything discovered so far has suggested that the police and the ME both have lawsuits coming their way...


Its pretty clear that this kid was killed.
Based on the information you've presented, I would agree. Do you think there's a reason why the authorities may have come to a wrong conclusion about the cause of death other than garden variety negligence?
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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Do you think there's a reason why the authorities may have come to a wrong conclusion about the cause of death other than garden variety negligence?
I don't think they properly inspected the crime scene. Either that or they DID properly inspect but purposefully ignored key elements of the crime scene....like Kendrick's shoes being placed haphazardly on top of his body in the mat when the cops told the parents he died trying to get those very same shoes.
 

woolfe9998

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Apr 8, 2013
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I don't think they properly inspected the crime scene. Either that or they DID properly inspect but purposefully ignored key elements of the crime scene....like Kendrick's shoes being placed haphazardly on top of his body in the mat when the cops told the parents he died trying to get those very same shoes.
Yes, and I don't understand why the cops don't immediately see this as likely foul play based on his blood being on the floor outside the mat. Even before an autopsy they should have been investigating this as murder.

Then there is the first ME. I honestly can't see how an ME misses blunt force trauma as a CoD. Blood. Bone fragments. A lay person can diagnose that as at least a possibility by just looking at the body from the outside.

Something is odd about the case. I'm not saying there was a cover-up by law enforcement. There may just be other information of which we are not aware.

Has the case been re-opened for investigation?
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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Has the case been re-opened for investigation?
This is what has been said so far.

Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine refused to discuss the matter with CNN, calling Johnson's death a closed case. The U.S. Justice Department announced in September that it wouldn't open a civil rights investigation into the case.

But federal prosecutors in south Georgia have met with the family's representatives and are weighing whether to open their own probe, said Michael Moore, the U.S. attorney whose district includes Valdosta.
That's messed up...knowing that foul play took place and having the local authorities refuse to investigate.
 

woolfe9998

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This is what has been said so far.



That's messed up...knowing that foul play took place and having the local authorities refuse to investigate.
I'd like to know if the first ME disputes the second ME's conclusions. In other words, is there is a dispute as to the CoD. The reason I ask is because I just don't understand how an ME misses something like that unless the evidence of it is subtle and hence debatable.

And when the Sheriff says the case is closed, to me that implies they don't agree with the second ME, otherwise he's saying, "yeah, we know we were wrong and it's a homicide but we're refusing to re-open the case." I seriously doubt that is what the Sheriff meant. To me, when he says it's a closed case, it means he's standing behind the original conclusion that the death was an accident.
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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Harvest, for what? I imagine there was too much time between death and autopsy for them to be useable.
That's true...but somebody desecrated his body. I mean....they removed his privates (2nd ME reported that there were organs removed..down to his pelvic area). Who does that?
 
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xBiffx

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Aug 22, 2011
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That's true...but somebody desecrated his body. I mean....they removed his privates (2nd ME reported that there were organs removed..down to his pelvic area). Who does that?
I don't think that means they removed his penis and such. I think it means they removed organs such as bladder, intestines, etc. I could be wrong and if I am I share in your disgust.

That would be truly disturbing and uncalled for.
 

SheHateMe

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Jul 21, 2012
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I don't think that means they removed his penis and such. I think it means they removed organs such as bladder, intestines, etc. I could be wrong and if I am I share in your disgust.

That would be truly disturbing and uncalled for.
That's what it could mean (and probably does). I hope they were just talking about those other things when the ME said the pelvic area..
 
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OrByte

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Jul 21, 2000
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They have video of him walking in...but there is no video of anyone else being in the gym with him?

I can see a fight where he gets killed by blunt force trauma. Shoes are a distraction/misleading.

Then the killer(s) just roll his body up and place him along with all the other rolled up mats, toss the shoes in with him and call it a day.

The mat(s) should be examined for DNA (blood/saliva/sweat) but Im ASSUMING the authorities already did that.

The story of him "falling in" is wrong/false. There is no way a boy his size/age can fall into something like that..the mat looks like it was rolled up with him inside, there should be a way to test this.

The missing organs is just another distraction/red herring.

Police F'd this up..I'm guessing the errors started when they took the boy out of the mat and F'd up the crime scene from there....

edit: another thing about the mat, I bet it is light enough for someone that if a shoe was dropped down into it..you would simply lift up the mat out of the way and pick the shoe up off the ground without trying to wiggle yourself into the rolled up mat from the top. Has anyone tried testing this?
 
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dxkj

Lifer
Feb 17, 2001
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The mat would be rather heavy to do that with, but you could at least knock it over... Gym mats are heavy, especially large ones like that.

The shoes being above him might make sense if he was retrieving them and pushed them up, but then he just passed out? I would imagine you could knock one over if you struggled enough, even with others nearby.

The only stupid thing is, they either have video of people entering/exiting, or they dont have all the exits covered. Then there is, who tossed his shoes in there, or did he do that to hide them from getting stolen until he came back for them?
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
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What I don't understand is how would his shoes get dropped into the mat in the first place? He would most likely being changing in the locker rooms, right?

They should really look a bit more closely at this one. It just doesn't add up. I've been around plenty of rolled up mats, and I've never accidentally dropped anything in them.
 

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