Ear Hustle

“Who is Army PFC. LaVena Johnson & What Really Happened to her”

 In July 2005, 19-year-old Army Pvt. LaVena Lynn Johnson, just 8 days shy of her 20th birthday and only in the Army for 10 months, was found dead on Joint Base Balad (JBB). The largest Military base in Iraq, also known as Anaconda. She was only in Iraq for six weeks before her body was found in a Military contractors KBR (Kellogg, Brown, & Root) Burning Tent. Which incidentally, Military and Active Duty Soldiers were not allowed on the premises.

LaVenaJohnson-casket

During the Army’s initial investigation, LaVena’s death was considered a homicide and indicated as such in their paperwork. However, a decision was made shortly afterwards, that declared her death as a Suicide. Military Criminal Investigators attempted to explain that LaVena was depressed and distraught over a break up with her new boyfriend (just of 2 months) The Army stated that, on the night of July 18, 2005 instead of going jogging with her friends 5 ft tall, LaVena decided to go to an unfamiliar, off-limits, contractors tent and Shoot herself (intraoral) with her M-16 Rifle; alone without a “Battle Buddy” which is Military protocol. Even more intriguing, was that according to witness information and the Investigative teams findings, LaVena was murdered the night of the 17th, the same day she joyfully talked to her parents about being home for Christmas and decorating the house. Witness’s stated that they went to her barracks on the 17th and she wasn’t there, they went to pick her up to take her to class on the 18th and she didn’t answer nor appeared in class, the witnesses reported her missing on the morning of July 18th. At 7:30 in the morning on July 19th Army officials were at the LaVena Johnson‘s Parents home in St. Louis, Missouri.

 

 

This claim seemed preposterous and was quickly disputed by the family. Questions and suspicions arose, but not until LaVena’s body was viewed at the mortuary did LaVena herself confirm her families deepest fears.

LaVena showed a face, that was not her own. She wore a face that was unrecognizable to her parents. There were bruises in the place of smooth flawless skin. Her nose appeared to be broken and shifted. Her chin was swollen, dropped and different. She pointed out deep slits at the corners of her lips, then she showed that her teeth had somehow been broken and pushed back. LaVena told her parents that she could only see with one eye, because the other one was loose and cracked. She displayed a small patch, that covered what seemed to be a bullet hole at the top left front of her forehead, above her left eye and at her hairline. (It was an undersized hole that seemed inconsistent with that of a M-16 Rifle, plus as she remarked “I’m right handed”) But, what was to be the most troubling for her, was that she couldn’t take her military gloves off to point directly to her wounds. “Daddy, I think there glued on.”

 

LaVena showed a face, that was not her own. She wore a face that was unrecognizable to her parents. There were bruises in the place of smooth flawless skin. Her nose appeared to be broken and shifted. Her chin was swollen, dropped and different. She pointed out deep slits at the corners of her lips, then she showed that her teeth had somehow been broken and pushed back. LaVena told her parents that she could only see with one eye, because the other one was loose and cracked. She displayed a small patch, that covered what seemed to be a bullet hole at the top left front of her forehead, above her left eye and at her hairline. (It was an undersized hole that seemed inconsistent with that of a M-16 Rifle, plus as she remarked “I’m right handed”) But, what was to be the most troubling for her, was that she couldn’t take her military gloves off to point directly to her wounds. “Daddy, I think there glued on.”

LaVena’s father, Dr. John Johnson, a US Army Veteran, who holds a PhD in psychology and has 25 years of experience as a US Army civilian employee, put together and Investigation Team of four, professional, well trained Law Enforcement personnel, and one Media and Research Analyst to uncover the truth and help LaVena tell her story.

LaVena calmly whispered the truth in each debriefing. She passed along the courage for them, to ask her of more “Hidden Secrets” They fought through Congress and the Freedom of Information Act until the Official Military documents about LaVena’s death were released. Over the next two and a half years, pieces of evidence were given to the Investigative Team, and with each new bit of information, LaVena appeared. Over time, her voice got clearer and stronger.

When the families Investigative Team received the Initial Military Criminal Investigator’s Crime Scene Sketch, they heard LaVena say that she hadn’t shot herself in her barracks! Actually, her body was found inside a burning tent, under a wooden bench, with an aerosol can near her right leg, and her gun was laying perfectly parallel to her body. She told them to pay close attention to the two pools of blood that the Crime Scene Investigator drew, “Look here, there’s one behind me and one to the right of me”.

In the Army’s documents that the Team collected was a photocopy of a compact disk, curious about the contents on the CD, Dr. Johnson requested it and received it after Congressman Lacy Clay intervened. On that disk were Color Photographs of the Crime Scene, nothing like the Xerox, black and white, blurred copies that he had.

In the Military’s Crime Scene photos; LaVena seemed to shout of how she was inhumanly treated. She argued of how she was dragged from place to place, along the dirt and debris. She was moved from the outside of the tent, to the inside of the tent. She said she was dressed and redressed while Photographers snapped pictures and re-staged their supposed scenario. “Look, right here! Look at this picture and compare it with that one, they even photographed me in two different T-shirts, this one has black lettering, this one doesn’t”. LaVena said that they wanted her to lay flat back, but her neck was broke, and it was impossible for her head to stay straight. So they decided to tilt her head and place her right arm over her face, plus one of them thought it would be a good idea, because it wouldn’t show the damage of my left eye. “Hey! Do you see this, there are two pools of blood, you see it, the second is at the corner of the photograph, almost hidden.”

LaVena; not the slightest embarrassed by the photos of her nude body, plucked at every ounce of lie that was told to her family. “You see this here? These are burns down the right side of my back and into my thigh. That’s how my hands got burned, cause I was trying to put out the fire. See, that’s why they glued on my military gloves at the funeral.” She quieted and then calmly reminded the Investigators that there weren’t any burns on her clothing. My arm is twisted out like that, and my palm is up because my shoulder is dislocated.” When the photographs of the bullet hole and wound were shown, she helped the team to determine that it was in-fact an entry wound, and not an exit wound as the Military claimed. She told the Investigative Team, that she was shot with a 9MM hand gun, execution style. She showed them the teeth marks, and scratches, and she wasn’t afraid to talk about the corrosive liquid that had been poured into her anus and vagina.

LaVena Lynn Johnson Spoke to the Investigative Team, through the X-Rays and Autopsy’s too. She told of numerous cosmetic surgeries.  She talked of the removal of part of her tongue, anus, and vagina. She smirked and declared , “They are just trying to remove evidence, they thought I wasn’t gonna say anything, Humph, they messed with the wrong family, I’ll never be quiet and I’ll keep on telling it until they clear my name and the lie that they told.”

LaVena Lynn Johnson Speaks! Loud, Strong, and Clear!  If you don’t hear her, it’s not because you can’t, it’s only because you choose not too.

Click on the link below to sign the petition

http://www.change.org/petitions/it-s-time-to-act-now-claim-justice-for-pfc-lavena-johnson

Source: Jessica Williams- Ambassador for LaVena Lynn Johnson

 

 

RIP LaVena Johnson

17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    January 10, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    This is impossible to read.

  2. Carole Filipak

    January 11, 2014 at 6:48 AM

    Someone certainly should investigate this situation. How sad, how disgraceful.

  3. Anonymous

    January 11, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    Is very difficult to understand this article

  4. Anonymous

    January 11, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    I wish the article weren’t written in such an abstract way. It is very hard to get the facts from this article.

  5. Laurel

    January 11, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    I would agree. This story deserves a straight-forward telling,not this attempt at creative writing. It damages credibility, confuses readers and distracts from the seriousness of the crime and ensuing cover up by the military. And what became of the investigation ? After nearly 18 years, surely there is something to say regarding the out come?

    Do follow the link to the petition at Change.Org, the story there is compelling and covers a lot of ground totally missing in this rendition. Sixty Minutes and 20/20 both made strong starts into covering the cold case and then, having spent much time and money, completely backed away, never airing any story. And there are at least 20 dead women who worked in Iraq or Afghanistan, whose deaths are under scrutiny. Fourteen of those, including LaVern’s, were labeled suicides.

    This is a major travesty and deserves our attention and action. Get the full story at http://www.change.org/petitions/it-s-time-to-act-now-claim-justice-for-pfc-lavena-johnson and sign the petition.

  6. Anonymous

    January 11, 2014 at 10:04 PM

    I am shocked and horrified at what was done to this young woman. The way the story was told was not confusing at all. It just tells how when you look at pictures of crime scene photos certain things that stand out such as the position of a body and bruises and her length of her arms being to shot to use a rifle to kill herself. I hope that this horrible crime is solved and this girl can rest in peace.

    • Anonymous

      January 12, 2014 at 6:22 AM

      I can only say Yes!!!

    • Anonymous

      January 20, 2015 at 6:13 AM

      Well said.

      • fuzzy

        January 20, 2015 at 9:45 PM

        Who said what well? The article is incomprehensible.

  7. Hess

    January 11, 2014 at 10:15 PM

    Many of you say you cant follow the narrative, I understood it just fine.. I hate that there are times that the US government tries to cover up the truth. Although we are the most powerful nation on this planet and we posses the strongest Military Force known to man, i feel that we must police ourselves and show the world that we will police ourselves when necessary. This seems to be an attempt to cover the truth but the “powers to be” will not allow our government to say “hey we fucked up and this was not done right” in order to get to the actual finding.

    I pray that someone gets to the root of what happened, she deserves justice and the US Army deserves answers as does her family. God Bless her soul and her family. This is no way to treat an American Hero..

    • Cee Cee

      January 12, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      The story has been updated since yesterday with more indepth information…..

  8. Glen Kamanao

    January 14, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    There is some justice to be done, the fact that a major cover up was done on both side, by the contractors and by the Army makes you wonder who down the line will ultimately pay the price. Forensic science is hard to dispute, only fools protect fools. May the right person step forward and say the truth because the more they lie about this the deeper they dig themselves into a pit. It will only get worse for all of them. Remember Justice will be served and those who think that they are not going to get caught have something else coming to them. May god grace her and her family.

  9. pam

    January 19, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    I really don’t like the way this article was written. It made it hard to figure out was being said. Stick to narrative or drop it completely. This story is important and needs to be understood.

  10. Laura Embry

    January 21, 2015 at 10:16 AM

    I had to read it twice .. My God in heaven!! That poor girl. My thoughts and prayers for her family. The military needs to crack down on rapists … Take them by the nap of the neck drag them out in front of the us and make an example… More respect would be given to our government for laying the truth out there… Than to try and sweep these incidents under the rug ..

  11. Leon Morton

    January 22, 2015 at 4:25 AM

    Join the 7000+ of us who want to see justice done,however long it takes
    https://www.facebook.com/lavenajohnson

  12. Anonymous

    January 24, 2015 at 8:42 PM

    Sad, very sad. Praying for justice for her family.

  13. Pingback: VERDICT...CASE STILL CLOSED!!! NO UPDATES ON PFC LAVENA JOHNSON'S MURDER!! [VIDEO] | Ear Hustle 411

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