WARNING: If you are sensitive to graphic images, or descriptions, this isn’t the post for you
Welcome back! Today’s post is the final part to the Kendrick Johnson case. The last posts were the introduction to the case, and how they found the body. This post is going to be about all of the evidence proving it was an accident…or proving it was a murder. The case is still unanswered BUT after this post you should decide what your opinions are. Before reading this, make sure you have checked out the first two parts because they are very important to know about.
To start this, I will be addressing some questions I had when I first discovered the case. So, the first question I had was this: Why didn’t Kendrick realize the mats were facing upward sooner? Let me elaborate on what I mean. Kendrick was said to have gone to get his shoes from the mats on the 10th. The students came back from break on the 9th to find the mats all vertical rather than on their sides due to clean up. If Kendrick had already been at school for a day, why did it take him until the 10th to get his shoes? Well, the answer to that can be found in my first post, where I mention that this school has A/B days. Therefore, this was his first day back of having his gym class, and his first time seeing the new mat setup. Another question I had was: If it was during a school day, wouldn’t people have seen or at least heard Kendrick in the back gym, considering it was still being used? This concept confused me and led me to think he was in fact murdered. I also thought: if he was reaching for his shoe and began to fall in,wouldn’t he try to kick or wiggle to save himself? If this was the case, wouldn’t his movement cause the mat to become unstable or too top heavy? That would mean the mat would’ve fallen over and he would have the ability to get himself out.
The family also made valid points that sparked public interest. For example, Kendrick’s father who was about the same size demonstrated that his son’s 19-inch across shoulders would not have been able to fit into the 14-inch diameter of the rolled mat. However, when testing his theory, he was on his hands and knees attempting to crawl into the mat which was laying on its side. Critics were quick to mention that the mat would’ve been standing up, causing Kendrick to have to reach down towards his shoe. With this being said, many believed with gravity on his side and the slant of his upper body in the stretching position, he easily could have fell inside. Also, if he was murdered, when wrapping the mat around his body, it would have fit around his body. Because of the way his body was squeezed into this reaching position, it simply appeared to be an accident. After hearing about this, I was leaning towards the unfortunate accident side, but once again, I changed my mind.
Something that caused nearly everyone to believe that it couldn’t have been an accident, were the pictures that surfaced. The Johnson family used Facebook to promote their side since authorities wouldn’t. The parents eventually posted a photo of Kendrick’s face after seeing him for the first time prior to his funeral. As you can see in the photo, he clearly looks abnormal and there’s no way his face could transform like this just from hanging upside down. However, since these pictures were taken just before the funeral, this is not what Kendrick looked like when he was found. An autopsy had already been done on the body before these pictures were released, which is a possible explanation to why he was in this condition. In an autopsy, they have to split open the skull and peel back the skin in order to reach the brain. This is why the skin on his forehead is noticeably scrunched forward. Even with this explanation, many still suspected otherwise.
This case was full of odd discoveries, a big one being the positioning of Kendrick’s shoes in the mat.When found inside the mat, you can see his shoes he had supposedly been wearing were resting beside his legs. Those who believed it was an accident suggested that his shoes may have slipped off while he was sliding in, or perhaps he while he was kicking to try and get out.When I saw this photo, I was convinced that these shoes were placed there by somebody else. I don’t understand the theories of the shoes just falling off, with the way they are laid there,it just seems very unlikely.
The other shoe that sparked controversy was actually the shoe he was assumed to be reaching for.Underneath Kendrick’s body was a pool of blood due to blood rushing towards his head (which was near the bottom of the mat). In either scenario this would make sense. However, the shoe he is reaching for was on top of the pool of blood… and there was no blood on the shoe. If the shoe was beneath him the blood would have had to be covering the shoe. Maybe he was able to grab the shoe and was holding onto it or tucked it into himself before becoming unconscious, and then the shoe later fell back down. I highly doubt this thought because at this point, saving his shoe wouldn’t have been his top priority. What is the explanation of this??? After discovering all of this, I can’t help but think this incident had been staged.
Throughout this case, I wondered why there was no security footage of the event going down. It was said that the camera near the mat was unfocused and was unable to pick up any footage from this day. The other cameras around the gym were motion activated, so since they weren’t near the mats, were not recording anything
The final part of this case that made up my mind had to do with the autopsy once again. Now the family had requested a second autopsy because they refused to believe their son had died of positional asphyxia (as explained in pt2). They had hope that with another autopsy performed by a new source would allow a more reasonable outcome. What they found in this second autopsy only deepens the mystery. When examining, doctors were shocked to find that all of Kendrick’s vital organs-including his brain- were missing and replaced with…newspaper! A lot of times organs are stored elsewhere to be tested, and cotton is used to fill the space. Newspaper has been used in the past but just isn’t as common anymore. All around it was just very suspicious. The previous doctor who had performed the first autopsy had signed off on the inventory of organs, and I guess the funeral home was responsible for where they have gone. At the end of the day, these organs had vanished, and the second autopsy could never occur.
If you couldn’t already tell, I think Kendrick Johnson was murdered. You could easily see either way on this case, but the points made about being the accident just didn’t seem as likely to me. This case was just overall so suspicious with the way it was handled by authorities and just the setting in which he was found. I feel awful for the Johnson family who never got the justice they deserved, and were treated poorly throughout the whole case.Nobody wants to lose their son, and it would be even harder when police are sticking to one story even through you KNOW that couldn’t have been the case.
I hope you all enjoyed my first case covered and want to come back for more. Feel free to comment your opinions or thoughts about this case and change my mind again hahaha. Thanks for reading!!