Becky..Cont.from pg 5 not bad. He often told Becky he loved her. He could be absolutely charming and make her feel like she was the only woman in the world. He worked as a district manager for an insurance company and was well thought of in his community, mingling amongst his community’s influential leaders.
One Sunday there was an argument. Johnny beat Becky, kicking her in the mouth and the stomach. Becky ended up in the emergency room, needing 50 stitches outside her bottom lip and another 50 stitches on the inside of her bottom lip to close up the laceration. When questioned by hospital person- nel, Becky could not be truthful about what happened because Johnny was in the room with her. What was not apparent at the time was Becky was pregnant. During the beating she lost the baby and ended up having to have a hysterectomy. Becky was devastated. She loved children and always hoped to have another child.
Becky often thought about leav- ing. When she called the local battered women’s shelter, she found out that if she were to bring the children, there was an eight-month wait and they would not take teen aged boys. Becky was afraid to take Johnny’s children because they were not her children, yet at the same time she was frightened to leave them with Johnny.
Things became intolerable. Becky decided to leave one weekend while her step children were at their mother’s, grabbing up their young son. She left the checkbook and credit cards, not wanting Johnny to accuse her of stealing from him. Hiding out until the plane left in the wee hours of the morning, Becky boarded the airplane, constantly looking for Johnny to show up. He had always told her that he’d find her if she left him and that he’d always know where she was at. It would not have surprised Becky to get on the airplane and find Johnny sitting in one of the seats.
Within three days of her escape, Johnny had found her. He had searched for her among family and friends, beg- ging for knowledge of where his wife had gone and when the pleading didn’t work, he threatened to kill them if they didn’t tell him. Johnny telephoned Becky, cajoling her to come back home. Becky refused to return, telling Johnny he needed to get help. Johnny told her, “You come back home and I promise I’ll go get help.” Becky, feeling bold with the long distance separating them, told him no, she wasn’t coming home.
Johnny then committed himself to a mental hospital in order to convince Becky he was getting help. Becky did return, encouraged that Johnny was get-
ting professional assistance and there was hope for their relationship. Years later she would find out that the coun- selors had been told by Johnny that he was only there in order to get his wife back. Because of patient-counselor con- fidentiality, this information was never passed on to Becky.
At first, it seemed like things were better. Yet before long after Becky returned to Johnny, not only did the abuse resume, it became more severe and bizarre than ever. Johnny would rape her at gunpoint and knife point, using objects in a sexual way, along with Becky getting hit, slapped, and kicked. Becky intentionally gained a lot of weight, but that didn’t deter Johnny.
Johnny’s children were
now teenag- started hav-
ing boyfriends, Johnny was livid. He would quiz her about her relationships. At one point, he discharged the shotgun at one of her boyfriends who was flee- ing the house as Johnny came after him.
behind the bedroom door, daughter’s boyfriends.
Johnny demanded to have his milk ice cold in the morning. If it wasn’t cold enough, Becky would get hit. If it was too icy, Becky would also suf- fer Johnny’s wrath. One morning after Becky left the milk in the freezer for too long, their youngest son took the glass and put it in the microwave to remove the ice. If Johnny had caught him help- ing Becky, their son would have been beaten.
Johnny liked his eggs cooked just so: sunny side up, yolks still runny, no bro- ken yolks. Becky would cook the eggs, and if they weren’t perfect, she put them in the trash and started over. Even when she felt they were just right and served them to Johnny, if he didn’t like them, he would toss the hot eggs at Becky’s head, burning her with the grease.
Johnny liked pornography. He’d keep different hard core sex magazines, and then would tell Becky what things he planned to do to her. That night, he would re-enact some of the ideas he had derived from the pornography. The more bizarre and violent, the better he liked it.
Becky finally had enough. She didn’t care if it cost her life, she could take it no longer. She told Johnny she was leaving. Johnny had her backed up against the kitchen door with a shotgun stuck in her belly, threatening to kill her if she left. Their young son walked in and saw what was happening then ran outside to get his brother. The old- est son, seeing his father holding the shotgun against Becky, went into his own bedroom, grabbed his shotgun, and
Becky...Cont.on pg 16
Mother Still Convinced Son Was Murdered
Continues hunt for a killer three years later
By Breck Porter The Police News
The Galveston County Medical Ex- aminer fixed his time of death as shortly after midnight, Monday, April 29, 2006. That was about the time the body of 54-year old Stephen Johnson’s body was discovered face down in Hitchcock Bayou. He had been dead for several days and the extent of decomposition of his remains made it impossible for the pathologist to determine conclusively how he died.
According to his 81-year old mother, Dorothy Johnson of Galveston , who continues to believe her son was mur- dered, Stephen had a long history of mental problems, primarily Bipolar Dis- order.
Formerly referred to as Manic De- pression, it is a serious illness that often leads to risky behavior, damaged rela- tionships and careers and suicidal ten- dencies if not treated.
These symptoms were recognized early in Johnson’s life. He joined the Air Force soon after his 20th birthday with a promise from the recruiter he would be trained in computer technolo- gy. He wound up in the Air Police. Mrs. Johnson believes that is when he first started experiencing periods of deep de- pression which ultimately resulted in his discharge from the Air Force for medi- cal reasons.
In civilian life he was treated at sev- eral hospitals including the Houston Veteran’s Hospital.
Johnson had frequent confrontations with police. In September 2005, there was one with Galveston police which re- sulted in him being shot in his hand and leg. Police say while they were talking with his mother in front of her Avenue M home, Stephen stepped out onto the porch with a pellet gun and started wav- ing it around and pointing it at them. Of course, they didn’t know it was a pellet gun and they didn’t know of his history or his intentions, so they shot him. Po- lice said he also sicced a dog on them but he later said he had nothing to do with the dog charging them, it may have been from all the excitement going on at the time that excited the dog.
Johnson would often disappear from home for a day or two, but on more than one occassion he was gone for weeks. She would worry and call authorities, sometime finding him in a jail some- where, and often after a confrontation with police. Because of his manic dis-
position, police would often think they were dealing with a dangerous, crazy person.
When Johnson was to stand trial for the incident with the pellet gun the jury could not reach a verdict. He wasn’t in court for the last day of the trial. His body was pulled from the bayou a week later.
Mrs. Johnson remains convinced her son was murdered. “Somebody mur- dered my son,” she said in a recent inter- view. She is convinced of his murder to the extent she took a ten thousand dollar loan against her home and turned it over to Galveston Crime Stoppers to cover a reward. It produced nothing.
Investigators theorize several ways in which Stephen Johnson may have wound up in the Hitchcock Bayou, however there has been no evidence un- covered that his death was sinister. His body was found fully clothed and his money was still in his pocket.
Sheriff’s investigators are still inter- ested in talking with anyone who may share some light on the death of John- son and urges them to call the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office or Galveston Crime Stoppers. 409-763-TIPS (8477)
The Police News - Page