Our story revolves around a man by the name of Duane Johnson. Now you can probably tell by the spelling of the name that this isn’t international superstar, one of the illest pro wrestlers of all time, The Rock. However, observing this man’s mugshot, you can probably guess that this story involves some rock or in this case, it’s custy cousin, meth. The 58 year old Minnesotan is looking (quite happily, judging by his picture, for some reason) at a third degree murder charge. The charge stems from his involvement in the death of his wife, Debra Lynn Johnson, which occurred at their residence in Searles. Let us try and help this story make a little more sense for you.
If you have not listened to our Odd News segment on Evil Examined’s 44 Days episode already than you would have no way of knowing. This is not one of those classic cases of two people who just lived together too long and grew to hate each other. Nor is this the case of a love triangle or the classic blood for cash scenario saturating late night crime shows (judging from the mugshot, finances are most likely not overflowing). This one is a different beast altogether, a tale that, in some ways, is in the eye of the beholder.
It began when Johnson made a 911 call on January 24th to notify emergency respondents of the death of his wife, which in itself is not so odd. However, when the police arrived, the real strangeness ensued. As the officers rolled up they observed the appropriately named Johnson standing at his front door buck ass naked yelling out that his wife was upstairs dead. In addition to this amazingness, the words “Death Parde God Hell” were found spray painted in red letters on the house.
It’s safe to assume Johnson was no spelling bee champ, but I’m not ragging on him because neither am I. I got knocked out in fourth grade myself, it feels like yesterday. Mayonnaise was my demise, even right now as I typed it the software autocorrected me. I missed one of the Ns, apparently I still haven’t learned even though I can recall where I fucked up. That is not my argument but listen here, if there is one word that is important enough to know the spelling of it’s fucking party, man. Or dude possibly, or maybe a combo of them, something like “Let’s Party Dude”. Honestly there is no fucking excuse for not knowing all three of those but I digress.
So back to Mr. Johnson, do you find this scenario a bit bizarre? He’s called the police but failed to secure a garment that prevents his cock and balls from diverting attention from his dead wife. It’s okay though because Duane had a good reason. When asked why he wasn’t wearing clothes he replied, “I need to wash this stuff off of me,” before turning around and running inside the house without warning. The deputy at that point was a bit shocked at his state and actions and called out to him, to which Johnson replied, “I’m in the bathtub, so you have to come in here.”
They continued inside and located the Johnson in the bathtub of the main floor. The conversation that spawned while he washed himself was quite telling. He began with some casual convo about the wife, describing how she was “shaking so violently” that he “couldn’t stand seeing her flop around anymore.” The investigating officers then inquired why he hadn’t called an ambulance for his wife, to which Johnson replied that the last time she was taken to the New Ulm Medical Center that “them mother fuckers revived her” and “them mother fuckers in New Ulm made my life shit.” At least he’s honest.
Johnson would continue his truth spell by informing the deputy that he’d added both soap and bleach to his bath in an effort to get rid of the white and black “things” coming out of his skin. The officer was able to verify that there was no waste being expelled from his skin. One thing not detailed in the report is if the cop took meth or attempted to bathe with Johnson in an effort to truly investigate his claims. This may be a training opportunity for the precinct.
After listening to Johnson’s nonsense a bit more, they headed upstairs. They found Debra’s body at the top of the narrow stairway, wrapped tightly in a gray bed sheet from head to toe and apparently fastened with a belt. Johnson confirmed for police that she was indeed wrapped in a bedsheet. This would tickle anyone’s curiosity, so of course they asked why. He informed them, “I prepared the dead like the Bible told me to told me to do.” He stated he followed the ways of the Old Testament by “cleaning her, making her beautiful and wrapping her in linen.” Officers checked on her vitals and there was no pulse to be found. There was a slight onset of rigor mortis, but her body was warm to the touch.
Shortly after, Johnson would break down the details that led up to the death, explaining that he was fulfilling a promise to his lady. He would not let her die in elderly housing or a nursing home. Like most people, Mrs. Johnson wanted to die in the comfort of her own home with her husband, which in a way is kind of sweet, right? It would have been sweeter if it hadn’t been against the advice of medical experts or if Debra wasn’t mentally ill and on medication.
In all fairness, we can’t judge a book by it’s cover… or can we? What the hell, we’ve read about half the book anyway and it seems to be a fairly light read. If we take a look back at the picture of Mr. Johnson above and focus on these three extremely important facts:
That being said, to say this man is also NOT mentally ill would be HIGHLY presumptuous.
The bizarre duo would spend her final days having what Johnson referred to as a “death party” where they’d both “rock out” to heavy metal music while they did meth. FUCKING BADASS. That’s how I wanna go, I wanna go out partying with my lady and rocking out. Johnson said the “death party” started about 5 days prior to his 911 call and most of it was spent blasting various metal songs like their favorite Quiet Riot’s “Metal Health” while in the midst of their meth binge.
Some other strange details included Johnson feeding her snow to keep her hydrated when she stopped eating and drinking, as well as indicating his wife “died peacefully” while she was continually having convulsions. Kind of a contradiction there. He also stated that at times, he would go downstairs and turn the music up even louder to avoid hearing her deafening cries. When asked by police again why he didn’t call 911 sooner Johnson confided, “I wanted to make sure she was dead.” He also stated that his wife had “disabled” the telephone so that he couldn’t call authorities. However, during their review of the house, police noted that the telephones did not appear inoperable.
The complaint also noted that Johnson said Debra had wanted him to have sex with her before she died, so he fulfilled her request. He stated they had penile/vaginal intercourse in the residence and that after they were finished she was no longer trembling and was more at peace. Johnson would further explain that, although Debra was unable to speak when they boned, that her body had told him that she was enjoying it and afterwards she was peaceful…
She would pass away about an hour and a half after this…
Police also located a large cache of weapons in the residence, which included 47 guns, many of which were stolen. The tally for Johnson at this point is Felony Criminal Neglect, Third-Degree Murder and Stolen Property for the guns that were found. He is also guilty as sin of having a hundred dollar smile. Who knows if Debra really wanted to go on a bender for her last days or if a pair of mentally deranged folks proved to be a deadly combo together. Either way Deb seemed cool as shit, R.I.P. We can only hope to go out beside our strange significant others, mid-rager, like you.