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Dan Johnson, the Kentucky GOP state Rep. and pastor, was the subject of an extremely thorough, months-long investigation; he also committed suicide after it came out. We felt terrible about this, honestly; you never want someone to make himself dead right after you called him out as part of a human centipede. Having read the report in its entirety, we are feeling less terrible -- not because we ever take joy in someone taking his life, but because he seems to have been a mean, racist, grifty fraud, in addition to having allegedly molested his daughter's friend. Now his wife, Rebecca Johnson -- who told investigative reporters sniffing around her husband's church they "would have blood on their hands" if they investigated an elected state official -- wants to take over his state House seat for the 49th District. In a statement given to the AP the day after her husband posted a suicide note on Facebook and then shot himself on a bridge, "Rebecca Johnson referred to her husband's death as a 'high-tech lynching based on lies and half-truths.'"


First of all, I would like to respectfully request that white southerners stop using the word "lynching" -- especially when they believe they are the "victims." This was not mob violence perpetrated upon her husband outside of the law. It was two guys from Kentucky who were trying to figure out how a man in Bullitt County had used his "church" as both a place to hold political rallies and sell alcohol to drunken bikers (and minors) and managed to not only get away with that, but also get elected to the Kentucky General Assembly.

During the course of their investigation, these journalists learned that Dan Johnson, a man who posted terrible racist shit all over his Facebook feed during the 2016 election, had also paid a black woman who says she was sleeping with him back in 1985 to burn up his Cadillac for the insurance money.

These two journalists also learned that the first time Dan Johnson built a church in 2000 unironically called "Heart of Fire" it, too, mysteriously burned to the ground in a blaze that was ignited by some seriously flammable liquid that had been poured all over the hallway floor.

Although the investigation called the fire "suspect," a settlement was made and the church was rebuilt, with a side residence called "The Pope's House" -- because Dan Johnson called himself the Pope when he wasn't calling himself the Bishop. It was in this house in 2012 that Dan Johnson is accused of sexually assaulting Maranda Richmond when she was 17, like we talked about in our article right before he committed suicide. (That was admittedly a really weird feeling, to call a person out for filth and then have them die, but you should listen to the interview with Maranda Richmond that's included with the KyCIR story, and you may feel okay about what all we had to say. We do.)

The point is, this man, who also seems to have created a resume filled with a wildly invented personal history like "White House Chaplain to GHWB, W, and Bill," and something about working for the UN, and personally making the LA Riots safe, and he served at 9/11 as a pop-up morgue director who personally pulled all the bodies from the hands of first responders, has a wife named Rebecca and she wants to carry on this legacy.

Kentucky law decrees that vacancies in the Assembly due to the death of a representative are filled by special election. I imagine if this lady runs, it will be quite special indeed. After all the impossible to believe carrying-on in Alabama in the last few months, it's truly hard to even speculate what will happen next -- but I have a feeling we are gonna hear more on this story, and about Dan Johnson, no matter what.

Also, Mrs. Johnson, we are sorry for your loss.

[LA Times / Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting]

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