Scott Johnson Wiki
Scott Johnson Biography
Who was Scott Johnson?
Scott Johnson’s naked body was found at the base of the North Head cliff on December 8, 1988, and the 27-year-old’s death has long been a mystery.
The gay hate crime was initially dismissed by police who concluded that Johnson, a Los Angeles-born mathematician living in Canberra, had taken his own life.
After a new police investigation, Scott White was charged with murder in 2020 and previously denied the crime.
But at a pre-trial hearing in Sydney on Monday, White repeatedly yelled in court that he was guilty of pushing Johnson off the cliff 34 years ago.
Scott Johnson’s naked body (pictured) was found at the base of the North Head cliff on December 8, 1988, and the 27-year-old’s death has been a mystery for 34 +6 years.
On Thursday, a New South Wales state Supreme Court judge accepted the guilty plea and dismissed arguments by White’s attorneys that he was in no condition to admit it.
After pleading guilty to him, White apologized to his attorneys and told them that he appreciated his work but “couldn’t handle it,” the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
The court heard that White had raised an intention to plead guilty on other occasions, but his attorney said these were times of great stress and then accepted legal advice that he had a strong case and would proceed with the trial.
White will be sentenced on May 2 and faces a possible life sentence.
Mr Johnson’s family
Johnson’s family sought a third investigation and State Coroner Michael Barnes ruled in 2017 that Johnson was killed in a gay hate crime.
The coroner concluded that Mr. Johnson “fell from the top of the cliff as a result of actual or threatened violence by unidentified persons who attacked him because they perceived him as homos*xual.”
Barnes discovered that gangs of men had scoured various locations in Sydney looking for gay men to assault, resulting in the deaths of some victims, while some people were also robbed.
North Head, where Mr. Johnson’s body was found, was a well-known gay neighborhood that was targeted by gangs in the 1980s, according to 9News.
The final investigation also reportedly heard how police failed to investigate a series of gay hate crimes that took place in Sydney at the time.
The investigation is understood to have heard that soldiers from the Army Artillery School at North Head used to brag about attacking gay men and calling it “fun and games.”
After the 2017 coroner’s ruling, a new police investigation, Strike Force Welsford, was set up, led by Chief Inspector of Detectives Peter Yeomans, ABC reported.
Detective chief inspector Peter Yeomans
Chief Inspector of Detectives Peter Yeomans, who led the investigation, said that without the informant’s evidence, the case “could not have been solved.”
At the time Steve Johnson said ‘this is a very emotional day’.
He previously said that he arrived in Sydney 36 hours after learning of the death of his brother.
“It was clear when I got to the police station, the Manly police station, that the police already assumed it was suicide,” Steve told ABC’s Australian Story.
Police conduct a search on a promontory on May 12, 2020, following an arrest in connection with the death of Mr. Johnson. Police originally dismissed his death in 1988 as a suicide.
And I said: ‘Impossible’. He had just finished his PhD which he had been working on for five years.
Over the next several years, Steve hired an investigative reporter, and lawyers and others joined the cause to find answers, calling themselves ‘Team Scott’.
Among the clues the team followed was whether Blue Fish Point was a known gay place, where strangers from the gay community gathered to have sex.
It was also not answered why Mr. Johnson’s clothes were neatly folded in a pile high on the cliffs.
Steve previously said that the arrest of the alleged killer of his brother was important not only to his family but also to the gay community at large.
“Scott had come to symbolize the many dozen other gay men who lost their lives in the 1980s and 1990s,” he said.
The arrest demonstrated that “times have changed” and recognized “that we all deserve the same protection and justice under the law,” Steve added.
Last year, the New South Wales government announced an investigation into hate crimes committed against members of Sydney’s gay community between 1970 and 2010.