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

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Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
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Very strange indeed and this investigation should certainly be reopened. Something's up.

I can't see how the cops could reasonably conclude an accident with the blood present. And I find their entire supposition that 'fell' into the mat and asphyxiated to be unbelievable.

I don't see how anyone could do anything with his organs though, too much time would have passed for them to be useful. He was in the mat too long, not to mention the additional time of transporting etc.

Fern
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
78
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The more I looked at the pictures, he would have to climb into one of those mats. They are larger than his entire body. I can't imagine him just "oops! I feel in" and not at least knocking it over struggling to get out.

Something else had to go on. Now, was it some racially motivated murder? I can't say for certain, but it definitely doesn't look to be all it seems. Maybe some horseplay gone wrong in the locker room and a couple students panicking and trying to cover it up?
 

werepossum

Elite Member
Jul 10, 2006
29,873
461
126
It's not terribly uncommon for organs to be destroyed rather than replaced if they are degraded, because with the veins the formaldahyde cannot get into the organs and they will rot. And in any case they would be worthless to the funeral home if his body was found the next day.

I can't imagine any scenario that really fits the official story. His shoes would have to somehow get on top of the rolls, when he climbed on top he'd have to accidentally fall into a roll (doesn't see likely given that the diameter is barely larger than his shoulders and he's an athlete), he'd have to do so without knocking over the roll (assuming it was at the edge, which it might not have been), and his shoe(s) would have to be close enough to fall in after him yet somehow he missed the shoe(s) and fell into the roll. Still, freak accidents DO happen.

The cause of death should be reasonably easy to determine. If he fell and damaged his neck, surely the weight of his head did not drag his body after it into the roll. My own wild ass guess would be horseplay which accidentally killed him, followed by panic and hiding his body in a convenient location. Hopefully there is video still in existence of all the entrances and they can determine who was in there with him.
 

smackababy

Lifer
Oct 30, 2008
27,024
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I had read the police were refusing to release the videos of the gym, but that was a couple days ago.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
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There are most definitely some fishy things about this, but I still think that he most likely died in roughly the way the cops have said they suspect he did.

Jacking around trying to retrieve a shoe or just being stupid, and ended up stuck in the mat... that's what my money is on.

But who knows? It's also certainly possible some other kids rolled him up in there...

I just doubt it, that's all. To me, the most plausible scenario is him accidentally getting stuck in there.

My understanding is that the picture with the black shoe and blood near it, is a picture of what was at the bottom of the mat. After they took the mat away from it to photograph the shoe they felt he was reaching for.

The shoes inside the mat next to him could easily be something where he desperately removed his own shoes using the other shoe/socked foot to pry them away (as we've all done) in an effort to just try anything he could to work his way out of there while the blood was rushing to his brain.

I also think the shorts were what he had on under the athletic pants, and he took the pants off to get into his optimal clothing for what he was intending to do. This may have also involved switching shoes. Maybe he got bored and was tossing shoes around like they were basketballs, trying to land one in those very holes in the mats, but then realized "shit, now I have to retrieve it"

There was some blood on the wall but as the cops said, it looked much older and I suspect it was probably just from some unrelated event, sports injury, a fight in there... something like that.

My eyebrow is raised and I'm open to entertaining scenarios, but for the time being my money is on accidental death in a way not too dissimilar from what the cops have speculated.

Here's a quote from an older article on this:

Following the Christmas break, school resumed on Jan. 9. On Jan. 10, Johnson disappeared from video surveillance at approximately 1:09 p.m. after he entered Lowndes High School’s old gymnasium, according to reports. Footage from the school’s motion-controlled camera depicted another student going into the gym ahead of Johnson, but he went in another direction in the gym and authorities confirmed that the student headed straight to the next class.

“He comes down the hallway, and essentially he enters the gym. He’s following another kid,” said Jones. “The first kid comes in and goes to the left. Kendrick goes in and off to the right towards the corner where the mats are. You don’t see anyone trailing him or someone he’s having a dispute with,” adding that allegations he had been in a confrontation that day or the day before were false.

Shortly after, other students could be observed entering the gym for class and you could see kids playing basketball later on another camera, according to Jones.
So are we to believe that the murderer(s) managed to kill him off camera, stuff the body in the mat, and get out of there without showing up on camera themselves, all before the other students come in?

I really think he went over to those mats and did something stupid, whether it was out of boredom or some sort of mistake, but I think it involved trying to retrieve that shoe.
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,964
9,397
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I agree that the best evidence to support the accident theory is that no video footage shows anyone else entering.

Another thing I find odd about the accident theory is, why does he fall in while trying to retrieve the shoe. He could have just pushed the rolled up mat over to get the shoe.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
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why does he fall in while trying to retrieve the shoe. He could have just pushed the rolled up mat over to get the shoe.
Wasn't thinking clearly? Didn't perceive that there was any danger? While not thinking very deeply or clearly about it, it actually seemed more fun to try to retrieve it that way?

I remember when I was a teenager and younger, I'd try to find ways to make even mundane physical actions more fun by infusing silliness into them, etc.

I think a lot of younger people prefer to do things in silly, showy, outlandish ways. Even when there's nobody there to watch.
 

woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
13,964
9,397
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Wasn't thinking clearly? Didn't perceive that there was any danger? While not thinking very deeply or clearly about it, it actually seemed more fun to try to retrieve it that way?

I remember when I was a teenager and younger, I'd try to find ways to make even mundane physical actions more fun by infusing silliness into them, etc.

I think a lot of younger people prefer to do things in silly, showy, outlandish ways. Even when there's nobody there to watch.
It's possible. Still, it not being the logical way to retrieve the shoe isn't a point in favor of the accident theory. It's a pretty bizarre way to die when you think about it.

The key issue is the findings of the two ME's regarding CoD. I'd like to see a little more detail on why the one concluded it was asphyxiation while the other concludes blunt force trauma.

I'm not saying I'm sure it's a homicide. I just think it's an odd case with facts that cut both ways. We may never know what really happened.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
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I agree it is odd and there are a few things which give me pause too.

Then again I've seen reports in strange deaths, including a woman who got herself wedged between a wall and a bookshelf. So stranger things have happened.
 

OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,603
24
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No mention of Crump being on this case yet? I haven't read all the posts here, but I believe I read that the blood they found (perhaps the blood in the shoe pic) was too old to have been shed the day of his death. I thought they also tested the blood and determined it didn't belong to him (though I'm not sure if I'm remembering that part correctly).
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
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I'm back. I see there's new people here. The homecoming parade was last night and I was out trying to enjoy my last homecoming at this University.


Anyway, I didn't mention that his parents asked TM's family lawyer to help them get the investigators to atleast re-open the case. I saw that mentioned in some other articles I found but the ones I sourced had better information about the evidence they found at the scene. While I'm sure people will find be more intrigued about them seeking out Crump, I am more intrigued about how the investigators and coroner botched this case.



So, in light of the new information about the coroner's office confriming that they did destroy the boys organs....I want to know why that information was revealed AFTER the parents had been going around desperately for answers.

Remember, the first time this deal about the organs was probed, the first ME said that he put the boy's organs back into his body and sent him to the funeral home. The funeral home said they never got them.

Towards the end of the day yesterday, the corner redacted their statement and said they didn't put them back....that they destroyed them.


I mean, what is up with all the bullshit? Like, how do you not remember that you destroyed the evidence? I feel like that's malfeasance. ESPECIALLY on the funeral home's part......stuffing bodies with newspaper? That is not a sanctioned practice. They will probably have their license suspended for cutting corners.







More things I don't understand from the crime scene......how did the boy "fall" into a rolled up mat propped in a corner? It doesn't make sense. Sure, you can dismiss trying to look deeper into what happened by just saying "maybe he was being stupid"......yeah, maybe....but things don't add up about the scene.





Now, they DID say that they think he climbed on the bleachers and that's how he got in there....but um.....check out these bleachers!



I just cant imagine the kid trying to retrieve his shoe like they said he did....you see how tightly the mat was rolled around him?

Also, is that a blood or sweat stain near that garbage can?


Are you guys seeing how far away the bleachers are from his other shoe? Why is one shoe on the court? They said he lost his shoe in the mat and climbed on the bleachers to get it.....this doesn't make sense. How is one shoe there and the other shoe ends up in the mat?

Again.....here is the mat they found him in. Its the second from the wall on the right side of the picture.




That's pretty far from those bleachers.......did he climb across all the mats to get there?






More shoes.......






I just want to see what they found at the bottom of the mat after they pulled him out. Maybe this was an accident...but I just don't understand why the parents couldn't get solid information about what happened to Kendrick...especially two different CoDs being determined.
 
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OverVolt

Lifer
Aug 31, 2002
14,278
87
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Honestly at first I thought foul play.

If no one else entered of left the gym it is pretty clear cut. He must've been walking on top of the mats for fun (I've done stuff like this) and I bet he fell backwards accounting for the blunt force trauma to the neck. Its just when you fall, especially backwards and you scramble to get back up. He probably put his elbow down that hole (instinctively trying to catch himself/sit up after falling) and fell in backwards. Its like when you are laying on the ground on your back and go to sit up putting all the weight on your elbow or arm.

If one of them went straight down that hole he could easily fall in head first. The mats are just plyable enough rolled up that way for his head to squeeze past and then the mat wrap tight on him as the rest of him fell in. Probably with one arm stuck above his head and the other below, really limiting his strength. The arm that fell in would reach for the ground and the arm that was above would be trying to grab the edge, but its a stupid squishy mat you could never stop yourself from falling in. At that point his air supply was cut off by falling in head first. Its sad really.
 
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OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,603
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Is this supposed to be an image of his body?



There are two shoes with him there, and those do not look like the shoe in the following picture:

 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
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Is this supposed to be an image of his body?



There are two shoes with him there, and those do not look like the shoe in the following picture:


Yes, that is his body. The mat was standing up, it looks like they pulled it down to the ground to get him out.

And yes, those are his shoes, the black shoes are his shoes too....his basketball shoes.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
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I think something like OverVolt described, and/or some combination of that plus trying to retrieve a shoe he tossed (for who knows what reason... boredom? frustration about something he was thinking about? testing his aim? who knows) is what went on here.

The alternative is that someone else, or a group of someones, murdered this kid and wrapped his body in a mat, all within the short period of time that nobody else came into the gym and the next class didn't come in yet. And there's no way they'd know when someone was going to come in. And they did this without showing up on the security video, apparently.

Strange and stupid things happen in this world. People die under piles of horded newspapers, people die trying to retrieve something off the top of a book case and falling in between the back of it, and the wall it's up against. People die trying to do stupid stunts, like jumping off things they shouldn't, or trying to do tricks on skateboards and bikes they shouldn't...

When you're a teenager, you feel invincible and you're testing your limits. If you don't perceive something as a hazard or a threat, such as a bunch of soft foam gym mats you've worked out on before, you might not treat them or the situation created by them being stacked in that way with the proper caution.

He may have done something which, had there been 3 of his buddies around, would have ended with them tipping the mat to an angle where he could get back out, and then them all laughing it off and calling him an idiot for getting stuck in there, none of them ever realizing how close of a call it was or how deadly it would have been had he been alone.

I think he made the mistake of doing something fool-hearty while alone.
 

OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,603
24
81
Couldn't it have been other kids that threw his shoe into (or up onto) that mat, as a prank or something?
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
81
Idk, We will never know what really happened. I just find it hard to believe that his shoe ended up in there.....

I find it hard to believe that he trapezed across the other rolled up mats to get to where he was found.


Sure, teens are stupid.....but stupid enough to try to dive into a rolled up mat as long as your body to get a shoe? How was that every going to work? He could have just tipped it over to get the shoe.

I know people are stupid sometimes...but damn.....that's REALLY out there.


/mysteries of the universe.
 

OCNewbie

Diamond Member
Jul 18, 2000
7,603
24
81
Sure, teens are stupid.....but stupid enough to try to dive into a rolled up mat as long as your body to get a shoe? How was that every going to work? He could have just tipped it over to get the shoe.
Who says he didn't slip and fall in?
 

SheHateMe

Diamond Member
Jul 21, 2012
7,251
20
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Who says he didn't slip and fall in?
.....in order for that to have happened, he had to have climbed across the other mats to fall in. In the above picture, the mat he was in is the 2nd blue one from the wall. The bleachers were next to the creme colored mats....that makes it seem like he had to climb onto those before he made his way across to the blue mat.

That's what I'm saying....the slip and fall scenario says that he was being stupid and was going for a Darwin award.
 

Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
0
Couldn't it have been other kids that threw his shoe into (or up onto) that mat, as a prank or something?
A good point. There was apparently one other kid who was BRIEFLY in there at the same time as Kendrick. I would interrogate him hard, try to find out if he was a douche, and as he walked past Kendrick who was changing clothes, took the opportunity to grab one of his basketball shoes, and toss it back there to be a dick before he kept walking on out.

I know people are stupid sometimes...but damn.....that's REALLY out there.
The multi-millionaire owner of the company that makes Segway Scooters came to an inglorious end when he accidentally drove one of the devices off an 80-foot cliff near his home in England. The body of the tycoon and philanthropist was found in the river below.
A woman in Orlando got her neck massager tangled in her necklace, and it tightened around her neck, strangling her to death.
A 38-year-old lawyer in Toronto who was attempting to demonstrate the safety of windows in skyscrapers deliberately threw himself against, and then through a plate glass window, plunging to his death.
A British fan of the Blackburn Rovers soccer team died in February of 2010 after a fellow fan threw a 25 pound garbage can near him. Rather than catch the rubbage bin, or simply get out of the way, this particular fan attempted to pull off a soccer move, and intentionally smashed his forehead into the airborne trash can. He died in the hospital after suffering serious head injuries
A woman's body was found wedged upside-down behind a bookcase in the home she shared with relatives who had spent nearly two weeks looking for her.

A spokesman for the Pasco County Sheriff's Office said Mariesa Weber's death was not suspicious. Family members said they believe she fell over as she tried to adjust the plug of a television behind the bookshelf.
 

Thebobo

Lifer
Jun 19, 2006
18,592
7,667
136
I understand there are 4 security cameras in the gym that take a pic every 1 sec.
 

Doppel

Lifer
Feb 5, 2011
13,306
2
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If murder, it's a good way to do it. Interesting case.
Note, he is wearing pants here...but appears to be wearing shorts when he is found.
Nope, he appears to be wearing pants in the other picture, if it's taken upside down. Gravity pulled them down.
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?
Blood pools and finds its way downhill. It would leak out under the mat.

The newspaper issue seems an entirely, 100% separate issue and of no relevance to whether he died in a freak accident or not.
Secondly, surveillance video from inside the gym shows the boy walking in but not leaving.
Dead people don't leave gyms...?
What I think they've said is that none had an angle on the actual corner where he died.
So, if it was foul play we are to believe that those involved in it were smart enough to not only put him in the mat, but also knew precisely all the angles these cameras took pictures at and went behind them. This takes a lot of forethought, and really if you want to kill somebody there are easier ways to do it.

My official best guess is this happened:

1) He fell in the mat looking for his shoes
2) His organs were not returned

There is surely no conspiracy involving organ harvesting or anything here.
 
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Geosurface

Diamond Member
Mar 22, 2012
5,776
4
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My official best guess is this happened:

1) He fell in the mat looking for his shoes
2) His organs were not returned
Yep.

With regard to the organs, I think it was probably sloppiness by the medical examiner's office, plus laziness and weirdness by the funeral home.
 

AdamantC

Senior member
Apr 19, 2011
478
0
76
Unless the police loosened the mat before they look the picture, it looks like he has an awful lot of wiggle room in that thing. I don't quite see how his head could have lodged in a position that would prevent him from breathing.

Also if he went in with a least one arm straight down, like in the photo, reaching for his shoe wouldn't his arm(s) break his fall (and any friction from the mat depending how he fell in) before his head hit the floor? Those mats also don't look deep enough to break any bones from the fall. Unless he did a swan dive off the rafters into that thing
 

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