There is a lot in the news lately about some Republican politicians and their alleged sexual attacks on children, especially given Roy Moore’s stunning defeat in Alabama, but this is a case that should not be missed.
Dan Johnson wasn’t just a Kentucky state representative. He was also the pastor of a church. And he claimed to be a lot more, including White House chaplain, United Nations ambassador, and a first responder on 9/11.
Recently the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting put out a multi-part report showing that his biography was full of lies and that he was hiding other things, too, including allegations that he sexually assaulted a young girl who was friends with his daughter.
Long ago, Johnson fashioned an identity as a modern-day American patriot. Pro-gun, pro-God, pro-life. He talked in 2013 about making America great again. He lamented the lack of God in everyone’s lives. He wept over the country’s future.
But behind this persona — cultivated, built up and fine-tuned over decades — is a web of lies and deception. A mysterious fire. Attempted arson and false testimony. Alleged molestation in his church.
In Johnson’s wake lies a trail of police records and court files, shattered lives and a flagrant disregard for truth.
That in-depth report, based on a seven-month investigation involving countless interviews and “several thousand pages of public documents,” brought a spotlight to Johnson that caused his entire house of cards to come crashing down.
It also led to something no one expected: Johnson, who called himself “the Pope” and frequently posted racist and anti-Islamic comments on social media, took his own life.
Bullitt County Sheriff Donnie Tinnell said Johnson drove onto the bridge over the Salt River on Greenwell Ford Road in Mt. Washington, parked on the north side of it and shot himself in front of his car. His body was found on the bank of the river, just past the bridge.
Just before Johnson killed himself, he posted a cryptic rant on Facebook in which he denied the allegations, blaming everything from “fake news” to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to “the Devil himself.”
The accusations from NPR are false GOD and only GOD knows the truth, nothing is the way they make it out to be. AMERICA will not survive this type of judge and jury fake news . Conservatives take a stand. I LOVE GOD and I LOVE MY WIFE, who is the best WIFE in the world,My Love Forever ! My Mom and Dad my FAMILY and all five of my kids and Nine grandchildren two in tummies and many more to come each of you or a total gift from GOD stay strong, REBECCA needs YOU . 9-11-2001 NYC/WTC, PTSD 24/7 16 years is a sickness that will take my life, I cannot handle it any longer. IT Has Won This Life . BUT HEAVEN IS MY HOME. “PLEASE LISTEN CLOSELY, Only Three things I ask of you to do,if you love me is (1)blame no person,Satan is the accuser, so blame the Devil himself. (2) Forgive and Love everyone especially yourself .(3)most importantly LOVE GOD. P.S. I LOVE MY FRIENDS YOU ARE FAMILY ! GOD LOVES ALL PEOPLE NO MATTER WHAT !
Obviously, his reaction wasn’t what the investigators were hoping for, either.
Michael Skoler, the president of Louisville Public Media, which owns the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting, said they are “deeply sad to hear that State Representative Dan Johnson has died, apparently of suicide.”
We grieve for his family, friends, church community and constituents.
Our Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting released a report on Johnson this week. Our aim, as always, is to provide the public with fact-based, unbiased reporting and hold public officials accountable for their actions.
As part of our process, we reached out to Representative Johnson numerous times over the course of a seven-month investigation. He declined requests to talk about our findings.
There was a police investigation launched over Johnson’s alleged molestation of this young girl, and he already had a pretty extensive criminal record (and was linked to multiple arsons). His story is a complicated one that likely should have ended in prison time. I worry that he may now be seen as a martyr by his faithful followers who will blame the media instead of accepting the facts.
I just want to mention, because I’m seeing hints of it online, that it’s not “the media’s fault” that this man killed himself. The reporting, judging by the extent of the evidence, was solid. It was verified by dozens of people who knew Johnson throughout his life. Maybe Johnson’s guilt finally caught up with him. Maybe he didn’t want to face a future in which he was known for his lies instead of the myth he had crafted, all while sitting in a jail cell.
(Screenshot via WDRB)