Friday, August 10, 2007

CARNAHAN ARRAIGNED IN JOHNS SLAYING

Gerry Carnahan, 48, was arraigned Friday morning in Greene County on charges of first-degree murder and forcible rape. Twenty-two years and two months after the beating death of Jackie Johns, police and prosecutors say they have the guy who's good for it.

Carnahan was 28 when Johns died; he's 49 now, and looks several years older. His appearance in court coincided with a written statement from local defense lawyers Dee Wampler and Joe Passanise, who expressed sympathy for the Johns family while entering a not-guilty plea for Carnahan.

The Ozarks was a remarkably different place in 1985 -- much more naive to the awful shock that comes when a woman is abducted and killed. When Jackie Johns' body was found in Lake Springfield on a Saturday morning, five days after she'd disappeared, the dispatcher for the Christian County Sheriff's Department cried, openly and without shame. It seemed absolutely appropriate.

For the next seven years, everytime a woman vanished, Gerry Carnahan was the invoked boogeyman. He wasn't evil incarnate, as many tried to portray him -- but even setting aside the alleged links to unsolved slayings, he was involved in disturbing crimes, including the attempted kidnapping of a woman from Sunshine and Ingram Mill.

Carnahan was sent to prison for four years for that bit of nastiness. He's apparently spent his time since on family business, living much of the year in China.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ron said: "He wasn't evil incarnate,.."

Well, as someone who grew up in the same neighborhood as the Carnahan family he was probably closer to that than sainthood.

Anonymous said...

Amazing--who knows what other crimes he's managed to get away with in that twenty years. No surprise that Wampler will be defending him--anyone else still find it sick that he got Finney off?

My husband watched the police/coroner, pull Jackie's body from the lake that day--he was a 12 year old boy scout on a field trip when the police arrived at the lake. It's an image he's never forgotten and much like the case of the 3 missing women, we wondered if Jackie's killer would ever be caught. Thank goodness for science, technology and perseverance.

VT said...

"Thank goodness for science, technology and perseverance."

Well said.

MrsThurstonHowell said...

I thought Shawn Askinosie (sp?) got Feeney off as well as Banker George during the second trial. Wonder if Shawn is even practicing law anymore...haven't heard much about him since he went into the chocolate business.

Anonymous said...

Askinosie was the lead attorney for Feeney, but Dee was on the defense team as well.

Anonymous said...

I must be out of the loop. All of the news stories keep saying he is from a well-known business family. I don't know them. What exactly is the family business?

Anonymous said...

Julie Wallace at http://crimeblog.us has a really good blog entry up about this case. I understand she's from the Nixa/Springfield area.

The family business is Springfield Aluminum - Springfield Marine is a division of that parent company. His dad also used to own Carnahan-White Fence Co. but sold it years ago.

Anonymous said...

hang him....

Anonymous said...

I sur hope this fellers a guilty cuz while the nek tie party is bein planed, we done and let that Greene County pursacuter pizon the jury pool, plug his evidence factory and look like he nos what hes a doin. Wutever. I seen it all befur and its happenin agin. He kaint win no case on his own and this big evidence wont be squat. Not that this Carnahan feller don’t diserve his comupitance for wonce. The news folks just got played fur foolz agin.


Ezra Corn

Anonymous said...

Hey...Anybody else notice how the late actor James Coco is a dead ringer for Carnahan?

Anonymous said...

James Coco...yeah, I noticed that. Ugh.