1 Oct

31 Ghost Stories – Day 1: The Curse of Johnny Frank Garrett

Posted by Bryan White | Friday October 1, 2010 | 31 Ghost Stories

Here we go, people! It’s October and just about all of us horror bloggers are doing a 31 days of Halloween type blogathon. Last year I did it with daily posts about Halloween, itself. The origins of, strange and spooky things that happened on or around. This year I’m going to tell you ghost stories, but rather than having them just be pieces of random folklore, these stories have some kind of basis in reality. I’m not saying that they’re true because there’s no bigger skeptic than me. I’m just saying that they aren’t some complete fabrication from the mind of a writer or some guy scaring the shit out of cub scouts at a campfire. To kick things off, here’s the story of a tragic murder, a tragic arrest and revenge from beyond the grave.

The Curse of Johnny Frank GarrettOn Halloween, 1983 in Amarillo, Texas, Sister Tadea Benz, a 76 year old nun was brutally raped, murdered and mutilated post-mortem by an unknown subject. Left behind at the scene was an overwhelming amount of evidence. Witnesses spotted a dark skinned man hiding behind some trees near the scene of the crime, a convent, around the time of the murder but Amarillo police had no suspects to arrest. Amarillo residents were horrified and put a lot of pressure on the cops to arrest someone and that’s just what they did. Living near the crime scene was Johnny Frank Garrett, 17 years old, severely mentally handicapped, with a history of intermittent violence. Desperate to calm the population down, the police clapped the irons on Johnny and took him to the station where, for hours, no one is sure what went on there. Johnny was appointed an incompetent lawyer who, based on nothing at all, urged him and his family to throw in the towel and prepare for the worst. Evidence that incriminated Garrett was fabricated by the police, he was pressured to sign a confession full of details inconsistent with the crime scene that he didn’t write, evidence that could have cleared him disappeared. In a whirlwind case, Garrett was tried, convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection before he knew what hit him.  All of this was facilitated by a corrupt police department that framed him with a frightening kind of efficiency that suggested that they had done it before and would probably do it again. The legal system in Texas was complicit in the affair and made sure that this set up went smoothly through the Texas judicial system. Over the course of nine long years, Garrett appealed his case but ultimately wound up on the business end of a needle in the death chamber of a Texas prison. His last words:

I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my ass.

Years later, evidence would surface clearing Garrett of the crimes he was accused of and would conclusively prove that the actual killer was a Cuban refugee with a criminal record in Cuba that included rape and murder. This person was even questioned by Amarillo homicide at one time! I guess sitting on death row for nearly ten years, insisting on innocence, denied any chance of proving it, your mental handicap exploited by a corrupt, execution-obsessed legal system has a tendency to drain your faith in humanity, too. One of Garrett’s last living moves was to issue a letter to the state and the media calling them out for the frauds that they were and in that letter he cursed them all. Actually cursed them! Not in an oogly-boogly sense, but in the sense that he named names and claimed that everyone would get theirs.

And they did.

  • Juror Novella Summner fell down a flight of stairs and died a few days later of complications.
  • Juror Nathan Shackelford’s daughter died form an accidental gunshot wound to the head. His sister was run over and killed by a drunk driver.
  • Garrett’s trial lawyer Bill Kolius died of pancreatic cancer.
  • Garrett’s first appellate lawyer Bruce Sadler and post-conviction trial Judge Sam Kaiser contracted the same form of leukemia. Kaiser died after initially being cured. His healthy bone marrow (collected in case of recurrence) inexplicably disappeared from the hospital.
  • Jimmy Don Boydston contracted leukemia and died.
  • Officer Walt Yerger also died of leukemia.
  • NBC Reporter Cathy Jones died in an airplane crash in Oklahoma while covering a story.
  • Medical Examiner Ralph Erdemann was convicted of numerous felonies for falsifying autopsy reports. His medical license was revoked and he was sent to prison. His wife died of pancreatic cancer.
  • Eugene “Heavy Duty” Patterson was found dead in his vehicle. A cause of death was never determined.
  • Watley, a jailhouse snitch who testified against Garrett for a reduced sentence, committed suicide.
  • Carol Moore, Garrett’s school teacher who testified against him at trial, also committed suicide.
  • District Attorney Danny Hill also committed suicide. His daughter hung herself a few years later.
  • One of Garrett’s many appellate attorneys, Jeff Blackburn lost his wife when she committed suicide. His son was accidentally locked inside a hot car in Houston and is permanently brain damaged.
  • Ann Richards contracted cancer twice and finally succumbed to esophageal cancer.

75 Comments 

  1. October 5, 2010 4:51 am

    31 Ghost Stories: The Curse of Johnny Frank Garrett | Cinema Suicide - Amarillo Tx News

    [...] admin wrote an interesting post today. Here’s a quick excerptOn Halloween, 1983 in Amarillo, Texas, Sister Tadea Benz, a 76 year old nun was brutally raped, murdered and mutilated post-mortem by an unknown subject. Left behind at the scene was an overwhelming amount of evidence. … Over the course of nine long years, Garrett appealed his case but ultimately wound up on the business end of a needle in the death chamber of a Texas prison. His last words: I’d like to thank my family for loving me and taking care of me. … [...]

  2. April 10, 2011 3:33 am

    Jeremy Haycox

    Johnny actually never signed the confession.

  3. April 11, 2011 6:31 pm

    Bee

    I feel so bad and send my thoughts and prayers out to johnnys family. They have been through the unthinkable and won….so society can kiss my ass too!!!!

  4. May 5, 2011 3:27 am

    Juan Garcia

    Just shows how authority can be so corrupted. Making themself free of wrongful death. No one who made this case happend can live free of sin. I just hope the rest of them get whats comming. LONG LIVE JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT. Society can kiss my ass too!

  5. May 8, 2011 1:02 am

    Rebecca

    In 1993 i lived on ne 21rst street in a house that had a demon in it. I used 2 ride my bike through the convent grounds when one day i stopped to take a break and looked up towards kthe roof and i seen a nun gliding back and forth. I blinked and she was gone. I thought it was a real person until i found an article about this injustice of this johnny on youtube.com. It made me think back to that day n i realized this nun who was murdered had shown herself 2 me. She was not at rest because the real killer hadnt been caught. GOd got his vengence in the end and she now rests in peace

  6. May 8, 2011 10:40 pm

    george

    KARMA IS A BITCH,ISN’T IT? IT WILL ALWAYS COME BACK ON YOU AND BITE YOU ON THE REAR!

  7. May 19, 2011 2:39 pm

    Karleen

    Gosh, I feel so terrible for Johnny and his family.

  8. July 27, 2011 10:06 am

    Bill

    This was a complete atrocity. The Judge, prosecutors, defense attorneys and everyone involved with his conviction all the way to the top will live with this as long as they live. obviously, some elected not to live their live out. Everyone involved is guilty of MURDER.

  9. August 6, 2011 4:31 am

    Mav

    What I want to know is why wasn’t the psychic cursed? The one that told the people Johnny’s address and said the name of “Mr. Clyde” who as Johnny’s dog. Seems her husband was cursed but not her, when she started it all. It was on a documentary called “The Last Word” on Netflix.

  10. August 6, 2011 7:57 am

    Bryan White

    Because in spite of my ominous overtones and implications that the body count associated with all the people who put Johnny in jail is supernatural, it isn’t. It’s a series of exceptionally freak occurrences. It’s poetic justice but there is no actual curse of Johnny.

  11. August 10, 2011 1:55 pm

    Jessica Neuhauser

    JOhnny Frank is my brother and I just want to say thank you for remembering that he is innocent. Thanks to all the heart felt condolences we have received from you all. yes, karma isnt far behind you.

  12. August 25, 2011 1:57 am

    Mel

    I recently came across the documentary on Johnny’s story. It truly is a tragedy in itself to realize just how painfully corrupt the American justice system really is. An innocent man was wrongfully executed at the hands of Amarillo’s political agenda. To Johnny’s family, my best regards and may his spirit live forever.

  13. August 28, 2011 7:21 pm

    Steve

    I just watched the DOC on this and I was outradged! But I love a happy ending!
    May they all burn in HELL!
    And more to come…

  14. August 30, 2011 1:16 pm

    Monday Amarillo,Texas

    Someone please explain to me why the family has not gotten any compensation from the state? Not that there could be any compesition for your sons life. Amarillo Globe News should print something about the facts in this story, so the family can sort-of have his name cleared. This family did not have money, by all accounts they were very poor. Take a look at the trail of T. Cullan Davis also in Amarillo. He was a billionaire accused of murder, with attorney Race Horse Hanes by his side and all his money {Cullans money}, was found not guilty. There was tons of evidence against Davis…even tapes of Davis. Poor kid {Garrett} never had a chance. Texans…Speak-out for Johnny Frank Garrett. This is a total outrage! To the family of Johnny Frank Garrett, This is such a terrible injustice, my heart goes out to you. May God Bless You.

  15. September 26, 2011 9:55 pm

    kathleen steiner

    Johnny’s rewards in heaven will far exceed anything that he went through here on earth. I was outraged and hurt by the documentary The last word…..my heart as a mother cries out for the pain that his mother and family went through as well as the pain that was bestowed upon Johnny. Again…our loss …Heaven’s gain

  16. September 28, 2011 6:28 pm

    KEEP IT HUSH-HUSH

    To adrress the compensation they must admit guilt. Amarillo Will never do that. Those of us who grew up with this family always knew the truth. Sad how they knew Johnny was always at the church and school yet they the DIOCESE did NOT believe he was capable. THIS WOULD BE A GREAT PROBLEM TO THROW AT GOV PERRY TO GET CLEANED UP—-I THINK THEY ALL DESERVE IT AFTER HOW THEY HAD BEEN TREATED BY THEIR PEERS GROWING UP —-ITS THE LEAST Amarillo SHOULD DO!

  17. October 2, 2011 7:03 pm

    Kathy

    Johnny’s family does not deserve any compensation from the state! They screwed him literally and figuratively! The abuse he suffered from his grandparents, his mother and her boyfriends turned him into an absolute basket case. They should be hunted down and shot. It’s disgusting what was done to him as a child.

  18. October 4, 2011 11:21 pm

    dblairk

    First and foremost my heartfelt condolences to the family for all they were put though and still deal with today. Secondly and most importantly for their ability to reconcile this atroscity and live free of the stigma that is most assuredly associated with it, we must all stand up and voice our displeasure and concern of the misrepresentation of justice done to Johnny and his family by inundating the Amarillo and Texas legal systems with demands that they grant the familys’ request to have the DNA evidence tested to exonerate Johnny and the family. If the evidence has been destroyed or “misplaced”, then they should immediately repeal his conviction and expunge his record for the prosperity of his familys’ future generations.
    If anyone has any ideas on how and where to start sending our correspondance to, please put it here and I’ll be the first to voice my protest to this travesty of justice. It not for the grace of God, well you know how it goes.

  19. October 7, 2011 3:02 pm

    Kimmer

    They keep saying Johnny was severely handicapped, yet he seemed the only semi-sane one among all involved. Governor Perry, I implore you to exonerate this man! This is why I oppose the death penalty…we are not fit to make God’s decisions…

  20. October 10, 2011 11:36 pm

    Jr

    I’m so sorry to hear what happened To Johnny Frank Garrett and a little sorry for his mom but the other half I question…: “Where were you when your son was getting rapped by stepfathers and getting sold for sex?? But my heart goes out to you Johnny and Family for an unjustness trail it was

  21. October 12, 2011 2:33 am

    Janet Weaver

    I am Johnny’s sister. I miss him terribly and I live to do all I can to get the truth out there. Please keep his innocense alive tell everyone you know about him. Free him and never let him be forgotten that’s how we clear his name. Please.

  22. October 17, 2011 9:24 pm

    lisa

    There are many errors in this story. First of all fingerprints don’t lie. Johnny’s matched the evidence found in the nun’s room in which admitted being. They also matched the knife found. What is really hard to swallow is how can anyone believe this information is true when a simple documentation of death is incorrect. Walt Yerger died from a heart attack that was hereditary in nature. It is sad that Johnny was mentally ill and so young. Perhaps the death penalty was not the right choice, but not because he was innocent. It’s easy to buy into lies and stories told. Do your research instead of listening to rumors.

  23. October 22, 2011 10:19 pm

    Julie

    @Lisa- seems you need to do your research. The reason his fingerprints were there was bc he helped the nuns move furniture and the butter knife had no blood on it and didn’t match the wounds. DNA evidence was found of some Cuban guy’s so he was the one who did it, not Johnny. This whole thing was a travesty. I hope you finally found peace Johnny.

  24. October 26, 2011 5:04 am

    Clyde

    poor lisa.. so misguided. someone has actually confessed to the murder. thoughts go out to him and his family in this most fucked up of situations. And to that bullshit ass pshycic that convicted him on a “vision”. THAT was what pissed me off the most, the only reason she knew “mr clyde” was because it was painted on the fucking side of his house, you could see that shit from the road? cmon bitch thats such nonsense. that started this whole thing… such bullshit. rest in peace.

  25. November 5, 2011 9:33 pm

    lisa

    his fingerprints were on the butterknife found in her room. YOU need to do your research. Read the appeals report and you will see the knife was used as a murder weapon. how disappointing that people buy into emotional manipulation. and btw black curly hairs were his pubic hairs. READ the report. it saddens me that people will bought into this conspiracy theory.

  26. November 9, 2011 1:41 am

    Fister

    Er lisa where you dropped as a child……
    The butterknife wasnt used as a knife and its stated that no blood was ever on it.His fingerprints where on the butterknife but as there was no trace amounts of blood on it how can you conclude it was the murder weapon?

  27. November 9, 2011 1:45 am

    Fister

    Also the Cuban guy actually admits to the crime. Law enforcement realising this would turn into a shitstorm of litigation and mass firings decided to cover it up and offer him a deal.

    You madam need to grow a brain and not be so damn gullible

  28. November 13, 2011 7:45 pm

    susan johnson pickard

    When i knew johnny i went with his brother jesse even though we broke up jesse and johnny was there for me i had another boyfriend name arthur and had a son his name was little arthur. but anyway the point is johnny was over at my house about a week before halloween he came over and we was talking about him being my sons godfather because i didn’t know how i was going to raise my son with out a father cause he was always in jail so we was talking about him being a godfather so that could be why he was around there to find how to be a godfather. so the cop and everbody should of got all his of friends that knew him together to talk .he was over at my house one time before that and mike williams ran into a tree and hit johnny. he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.as for the butterknife if he helped moved some furniture over there and he didn’t have a screwdriver.he’s going to use a butterknife.and as for any stepfather i never seen any.and for all of the grandparent’s they love all of us kids

  29. November 19, 2011 1:01 pm

    lisa

    READ the FEDERAL reports. he used ALL of his appeals and the government saw that the job was done correctly. wow. i’m done…if you have to have the last wrong word be my guest. the truth is right there. i’m sad you have to go to insults because your evidence is lacking. i spoke to the nuns. they also believe the right man was convicted and are upset at the lies quackenbush said to get on their property. they also KNEW johnny. it hurts when someone you love makes a poor choice and it’s a shame that the people that “loved” johnny never intervened on his behalf when he was being abused. the truth is there if you chose to see it. for those that want to continue making erroneous statements and name call enjoy. i’m done wasting my time on those that live in denial.

  30. November 30, 2011 6:49 pm

    susan johnson pickard

    His.people was very good people.every one of them.and for his mom she could of been at work when the stepfather did that. my mom left out of state for the week.and left me with my unlce he rap me. i was 16 i run away for a month never told my parent.my mom pass on. i finly told my dad about it and i was 49 and turning 50 and all i wanted to do is forget above it still hurts. but i would never blame my mom or my dad cause you never been in our shoes. and i know for a fact that if johnnys mom was there. it wonted of happen if she was there.its called stepfather babysitting while mom busting her ass off for her 4 kids and a man.besides the people that put a good person down always. trys to cover there ass as long as they know they can get these ass sue off. and god johnny his people and friends.know sorry you need to get with god

  31. November 30, 2011 7:56 pm

    Barbara

    Johnny Garretts sister,is now my sister-in-law,and I love her dearly!!After watching the documentary and hearing personal stories from the family,there seriously is no way Johnny could have done this!! No Way!! Johnny Frank Garrett is Innocent and I truely believe that with all ny heart,no doubt about it.All these people who sit around and judge this man,without knowing all the facts really need to shut your mouths!!! It is not our place to judge,how he grew up and why things happened to him,but with that said,you all were not there and do not know the circumstances!! Walk a mile in his shoes,and then talk!! You can’t therefore you shouldnt!!He was a boy with a pure heart,and loved his family and friends,thats who he was!!Amarillo needed someone to blame,and he was an easy target! I am so proud of his sister Janet,Im proud shes my sister in law,and am honored to know and be apart of their family.She goes to schools and talks for him and tries in everyway to clear his name.With all the protesters out there who still believe he is guilty,she bravely goes out with made T-shirts and documentaries trying to spread the word to hopefully have her brothers name cleared.And anyone who can stand up the the system and the haters and keep her head held high,yeah I can definatly say Im very proud of this woman and support her in every way.Ive got her back and Johnnys and Sister Tedea Benz and Mrs. Bryson,and wear my shirt proudly “JUSTICE FOR JOHNNY”. Always and Forever I will say Johnny is Innocent,and hope there’s many others that will do the same.Spread the Word!!

  32. December 1, 2011 3:50 pm

    To Bryan White

    Bryan I just saw your comment on how you think its not a curse,well Carma or Curse its definatley not a coincidence or freak occurances.I dont know how you could even say that looking at all the similar cancers and lleukemia and suicides.Just so everyone gets this right,Juror Novella Summner fell down a flight of stairs and died a few days later,Juror Nathan Shackelford’s daughter died from an accidental gun shot to the head.Her sister was ran over and killed by a drunk driver,Garretts trial lawyer Bill Kolius died from pancreatic cancer,Garretts first appelate lawyer Bruce Sadler and post convictional trial judge Sam Kaiser contracted the same form of leukemia.Kaiser died after intially being cured.His healthy bone marrow dissapeared from the hospital,Jimmy Don Boydston contracted leukemia and died,Officer Walt Yerger also died of leukemia,NBC reporter Cathy Jonesdied in an airplane crash while covering a news story,Medical Examiner Ralph Erdemann was convicted of numerous felonies for falsifying autopsy records.His license was revoked and he was sent to prison and his wife died of panceatic cancer,Eugene Heavy Duty Patterson was found dead in his vehicle.A cause of death was never determined,Watley a jail house snitch who testified against JFG to reduce his own sentence committed suicide,Carol Moore JFG school teacher who testifeid against him at trial commited suicide,District Attorney Danny Hill also committed suicide.His daughter hung herself a few years later,and not mentiones in the film Jeff Blackburn lost his wife when she committed suicide.His son was accidentally locked inside a hot car in Houston and is permantley brain damaged(hmmm,kinda of like how JFG had brain damage),Ann Richards contracted cancer twice and finally succumbed by esophageal cancer,Jesse Quackenbushs brother and 12 year old nephew were shot between the eyes and killed by a homeless man in Florence,SC. So do you really think all of that is coincidence.Yeah all people do eventually die,but come on even someone who doesnt believe in Carma or Curses,this is really hard to chalk up to being just freak accidents.I wouldnt really be running my mouth about things I didnt understand if I were you,seems this curse is still on going.And the judges Healthy bone marrow disappearing from the hospital..like Johnnys DNA samples disappeared,really? Oh thats definatley a coincidence Bryan.

  33. December 2, 2011 3:30 am

    HW

    Lisa,

    Perhaps you have mistaken this for another case. DNA evidence has proven the man who committed the murder and rape -who also confessed – guilty of the crime.

    Also, if you think a butterknife can be used to stab someone, maybe you really do need to do some research.

    I don’t need to have final say here, but you are either a troll or just really that ignorant.

  34. December 2, 2011 8:16 pm

    Angel

    @Lisa Actually, you are woefully misinformed. That isn’t how the appeals process works. Yes, he used all his appeals, but his atty’s appeals on the grounds that he was 17 and mentally handicapped. At the time of the appeal, it was not illegal to execute the mentally handicapped and it was not illegal to execute someone who was a minor at the time of the crimes. Since then, both have become illegal. The bishop of the convent defended him, and went so far as to get the Pope involved. He has said that he would have willingly testified on Johnny’s behalf, but he was never asked to because Johnny’s defense team was incompetent. His fingerprints were on the knife, but the autoposy results concluded that a BUTTERKNIFE was NOT the murder weapon.

    You’re no better than any of the prosecution, twisting facts to condemn the innocent.

  35. December 25, 2011 11:53 pm

    Jolie Avila

    JOHNNY FRANK GARRETT LIVE FOREVER, AND MY DEDICATION TO SOCIETY ” KISS MY BIG ROUND ASS AS WELL”

  36. January 14, 2012 8:55 pm

    jonny garrett

    his name is my name too lol

  37. March 15, 2012 9:12 pm

    Chelsey

    Johnny didn’t sign the confession, nor did he confess. They also refused to test ANY DNA involved which is a big indicator right there they are all selfish pricks who deserved what came to them!

  38. March 15, 2012 9:12 pm

    Chelsey

    He also said “kiss my EVERLOVING ass ” not ass

  39. March 22, 2012 9:30 am

    Bryan White

    That’s nice.

  40. March 31, 2012 12:14 am

    jp

    it just goes to show ya how corrupt our judicial system can be. johnny was 17 at the time wich makes him a minor so why wasent his mom present at the time of questioning.

  41. April 9, 2012 9:02 am

    Fred

    I just saw the last word. It was quite disturbing. I cant figure out how come someone didnt come out in the ten years. They must have heard something about all the hidden evidence and such. Surely!
    Maybe it is a dark force. I dont believe in the curse as all people die. I watched all that, and thought yeah, makes a good story, but as I said everyone gets it in the end.
    All you have to do these days is ‘hold your breath until you turn blue’, and stamp your feet and someone will hear you out.
    Maybe everyone was made to feel resigned about the whole thing.
    Geez it was dreadful. And that letter he wrote, at the end, sure didnt sound to me like he had a 70 IQ.
    It sounded pretty good to me and really captured the seething hatred that he must have had for all and sundry.
    So sad.
    and….I believe in the death penalty!!!!!!

  42. April 10, 2012 10:29 am

    Keara

    This is so sad.. But at least they got what was coming to them. It just shows you Texas Is A Bullshit state. my thoughts an prayers to This family An Texas Can kiss my ass too.

  43. April 11, 2012 3:35 pm

    Kyle

    I cannot believe there are people still standing by a guilty conviction when DNA (along with a slew of other evidence AND a confession by the actual murderer) proved beyond the shadow of a doubt that Johnny Frank Garrett was not the killer.

    No wonder he hated the public and the media so badly. What his family must have endured when hundreds of people chanted as they walked away after watching him die, KNOWING he was innocent.

    I hope Karma obliterates every single last one of them!

  44. April 22, 2012 2:21 pm

    tz

    I just watched the last word Im in shock! I use to believe in the death penalty I changed my mind. I never believed in voodoo curses ghosts…etc but i think I changed my mind about that too. Johnny was completely innocent the judge knew it the district attorneys knew it. They made a mistake arrested an innocent man but instead of admitting they made a mistake they went ahead and proceded with the execution, probably praying that nobody would care or even here about it. I will never move to Texas this isnt the first time they have done this…They are known for it…bastards! They knew he didnt do it and still killed him…They all will have to answer to our maker somday….Kiss my everlovin ass! ohh I almost forgot how professional is it to bring fake syrenges into the court room and play with them while this Texas hillbilly rodeo is going on? unreal and pathectic. This whole thing was more like a damn hillbilly circus who allows this crap? Im glad karma came back around for everyone involved. justice is being served I guess. I dont feel bad for the people who did this to johnny and his family.

  45. April 24, 2012 8:28 pm

    L

    I just watched the documentary on Netflix,it was mind blowing! How could they disregard the evidence that they found all because of what a psychic told them? My heart sunk when I saw that this innocent man who already endured too much was executed. I also find it hard to believe that he was as slow as everyone thought,I mean did you listen to his last words?!!! Oh and what happened to all of those people definitely is not a coincidence,I wonder if it was a curse or them reaping what they sowed? Why the hell hasn’t his family been compensated?

  46. April 25, 2012 1:07 pm

    Mike

    The year was 1981, not 1983. I was living in Amarillo at the time and I knew Johnny. He was crazy, but nowhere crazy where would kill someone.

  47. April 25, 2012 11:22 pm

    Dave

    I just saw the documentary of this sad story. It’s so hard to believe all the evidence lost and not reported fell on deaf ears. My heart goes out to his mom and friends. Texas law is scary… I’m glad at least those people got a painful reminder of what karma really can bring. God rest his soul what a horrible tragedy.

  48. April 30, 2012 12:31 pm

    Angela

    I just saw the documentary and it made me sick to my stomach. That was horrible and the people who could have done something to prevent this “LEGAL MURDER” and chose to do nothing should all be punished. This includes the governor (GW Bush) on down. They are truly evil for what they have done to that poor man and his entire family. They could have chosen the higher route and made the trial fair by properly analyzing the REAL evidence, but they opted for a modern day witch hunt. They are the evil ones and no doubt they have done this to other people and their families. What’s even more disgusting is the fact that they work tirelessly to prevent the families to seek justice even after it has been proven that they were wrong for the executions. To die needlessly is such a waste of life. In a way, I’m glad that the “curse” was fulfilled. Those people deserved what happened to them. However, I feel that it isn’t over. The so called psychic and many of the government officials have yet to be punished for their crimes. They are the true murderers!!!!

  49. May 4, 2012 5:45 pm

    Mantis

    I think that the documentary summed it up well. What it described the best was the environment that caused this whole situation to be possible. It’s funny how no matter the complexity of a given situation, it always boils down to fundamental human nature. In this case…fear and greed. A (justifiably) fearful populus, a greedy crew of scumbag politicians, lawyers, DA’s, cops, psyhics, and circus jugglers; are makings for a perfect storm of injustice. One thing that cannot be overlooked is the general citizenry of the area should be ashamed of themselves for not holding their elected officials accountable before Garrett’s execution. I love the great state of Texas, but the judicial system is pretty jacked up, even today. From what I have seen, I believe JFG to be innocent of the crimes he was accused of. As for his equally tragic childhood…it is mind-bending to even try to comprehend how this could go unnoticed or unpunished. But, I wasn’t there. For anyone to claim the family is undeserving of compensation from the state because of their (possible) negligence regarding his childhood abuse is ridiculous. God bless Johnny and his family. Remember…Jesus loves the corrupt prosecutors and crooked judges too, pray for them and their families too.

  50. May 10, 2012 4:14 pm

    Kristie

    Texas should be absorbed by Mexico.. I can see that the good ole boy network was and probably still is alive and well in Amarillo. Disgusting… Very disgusting..How could those people sleep at night, rotten human beings..

  51. May 12, 2012 7:54 pm

    Carrol

    I’m sorry for the pain that mr. Garrett and his family had to endure.What a sad story.I’m from Texas and lived in Amarillo for a while and I don’t believe that him or his family got true justice.Not all of us from Texas or from the Texas panhandle are as backwards as this story makes us out to be. I do believe that God will look after mr.Garrett and all the other innocents that die.Please don’t judge all of us for what some evil people did.

  52. May 15, 2012 5:11 pm

    Marisa L.

    Seems pretty obvious that Johnny Frank was railroaded. And it’s hard to believe it all began with the word of a so-called-psychic. Ridiculous! I agree with some of the other posters that everyone who participated in convicting Johnny is guilty of murder.

    My heart goes out to the family of Johnny Frank Garrett. I hope you find peace. I’m sorry that the justice system and this country has failed your family. Seems to be a common thing. Sad to say.

  53. May 18, 2012 8:42 am

    adm

    Legal murder indeed, or a “modern day witch hunt” as it was called. Johnny’s final letter is a powerful one, and everyone involved with the case winding up dead is certainly spooky.

    I’m not sure why Lisa was trolling the comments. She’s got to be dumb as a rock, so it’s probably better she left.

  54. May 19, 2012 12:24 pm

    S

    Sadly, I grew up with this family. I went to that church, and EVERY day, you would see Johnny moving stuff, cleaning the gym etc. We heard all the lies, seen the truth, offered testimony, and was denied. I graduated from Amarillo and left for almost 20 years to return to garb again. Amarillo has NEVER changed. Racist-pig headed-Bible belt-wearing citizens who feel that change can’t happen. I know this family still today. Everyone, including the mom, has carried the guilt of not being able to save Johnny from this tragedy. His life was short and for what? Political Gain. Still today many families in the area can’t justify this senseless killing. A confession, missing evidence, it all adds up. How quaint that someone takes a moment to argue for the defense who probably wasn’t around to know the facts! Possible relation to one of those who were guilty? Hum? Well, to this day, I have returned to Amarillo and find so much corruptness again in Potter County. No one here can receive a fair trial or sentence without your pocket books in the hands of the notorious “rich families” who still run the city and all the realty here. So, what happened to all the jurors and officials is just deserved. You can’t keep on doing bad and not expect it to catch up. This family should receive compensation from the state and city for this death. Although my understanding is they have been “Warned” if they do fight this, they will be faced with court costs that exceed anyone’s income at this point. Johnny’s attitude was just what all teens were at that age. Many of the hush hush secrets in families still exist, just many are not willing to share this information. Does that justify them as a killer? I think not. This was early 80′s where they just finished school riots, long hair was considered bad, race wars etc. Name a kid on that side of town who wasn’t into something, murder, was not it. Many of us cherished our times at the gym, talking and living along side the priest, nuns, forget not the new flow of incoming immigrants for the Seminary. (Oh no, not that these people where coming from CUBA to save their own lives) Let’s blame the innocent, it’s more justifiable to those with money. Leave this family alone…..Johnny said his last words, many agreed. I’m just amazed at the so called documents of court filings is suppose to make me believe he was guilty, when we know given facts that half if not over 70% of death cases were incorrect due to the coroner being a fraud as well. How many cases of incarcerated people are there now still wrongly convicted during this era?Oh no, not AMARILLO……..what a crack of bull…. they psychic was also a music teacher who lost my respect once I knew who she was, and after allowing teens to have sex in her home….where was that story? For this being considered a horror story—-yes it is. But a spirit strong enough to withstand what the wrong was done, it’s possible that his Karma is strong enough to push the guilty people over the edge. Anything can happen. So, I say to the rest of the families who think Johnny was guilty……ask the families of those who convicted him? That would be a great read! LOVE THIS FAMILY! BEING POOR doesn’t make you a bad person! It makes our salvation stronger….I will remain friends til the end! Stay strong Ladies—-and gents! Justice will one day prevail!

  55. May 26, 2012 8:06 pm

    jess.

    this story truly breaks my heart. I just watched the documentary “The Last Word’ about the horrors that Amarillo Texas and the failing excuse for justice in our government let happen to Johnny. Every aspect of what the entire case was so ludicrously obviously wrong in every form of the word is not only despicable but also enraging. To hear that his name is still not cleared is absolutely insane- this is the twenty-first century! After all the proof that he obviously was wrongly convicted and executed, it makes no sense to me. The fact that the government is the one STILL keeping the evidence on lock-up & not allowed to be tested is one more hideous example of power & money being in the wrong hands- and for what? for the sake of some ridiculously fabricated ‘reputation’? This should be enough to make anyone sick, i don’t care who you are- your “social status”, your gender, age, race- ANYTHING: anyone should be able to see how wrong what happened to Johnny was. If only more people in this world weren’t so fixed on the things they are told to believe, and were able to truly put themselves in someone else’s shoes for awhile.

  56. June 5, 2012 5:39 pm

    larisa

    my heart goes to JFG and his family. They are in my prayers.
    Shame on Texas gov for their “murder” act. I think his family should get
    some compensation regardless how his childhood was. The compensation is the quantifiable way of Texas system to admit their mistake and its willing to clear his name. This family has gone through
    a huge ordeal , not to mention the guilt they bear for not being able
    to save him. May JFG be happy now with God!

  57. July 27, 2012 11:57 pm

    Chromeheart

    Attn: Lisa
    I am sick and tired of people coddling db’s like you. You are so wrong. The butter knife had no blood on it. And, you ignorant slut, how on earth could you kill someone with a butter knife??? Let us not even go into the fingerprints or the Pope getting involved.
    You, Stupid Lisa, were born a moron, live as a moron and will most likely die a moron. Let other people treat you with kid gloves, but not me. You do not deserve it. People like you should not be allowed to vote. Gee, I wonder if Johnny is coming f/ you next.
    Have a nice day. And please come f/ bbq on Sunday, we’d love to see you.

  58. August 8, 2012 11:16 pm

    Trina

    My mom and johnnys mom worked together and also were very close friends there for I spent lots of time around Gina Janet & Johnny I was young but I remember everyday as if it was yesterday and to answer the question as to “where was his mother” she was working as she always did to take care of her family , I think it is a terrible terrible thing that happen to Johnny and his family . And most of us will read this story and maybe even comment on it turn thier computers off and go on about thier business but that family still to this day feels and deals the pAin of this terrible tragedy . So who are you and I to judge , or to blame this one or that one . We haven’t been in their shoes and have never god willing had to go trew the pain and agony of all this . But we can pray for the soul of Johnny and for the family . It could have been as still could be anyone of us still ,, do unto others…… I love u Gina Janet & charlotte

  59. August 11, 2012 11:16 am

    agrlfrmMAINE

    WOW what an awful story! The family has been through enough LEAVE THEM ALONE! MAYBE ULL B NEXT TO DIE UNEXPECTLY!!!!! OPEN UR EYES AMERICA TEXAS NEEDS A CHANGE!!!!!!!

  60. August 23, 2012 9:35 pm

    LawMan

    @Lisa
    U are terribly wrong. You are prob one that would have thrown him under the bus even after his death…it was proven it wasn’t him. The butter knife was proven not to have been a weapon. U apparently didnt do ur research or you can’t read. I can’t even believe you would speak about something so currupt & sad if you don’t know the facts. Have some respect for the victim and the family. He had the Popes support for God’s sake. To the family. I am sorry.

  61. August 24, 2012 9:36 am

    UW Jackson

    I watched the documentary about Johnny and have been thinking about it for over a week now. I am absolutely certain that karma exists and whether or not those deaths that occurred were coincidental is irrelevant. Those liars still got theirs. From what I have watched and read, Johnny’s whole life was strewn with horror. I hope and pray Johnny is at peace now. He certainly deserves it.

  62. August 26, 2012 5:13 pm

    Cinderella

    To all you good people. Please go to the Witness to Innocence website.It’s an organization of death row exonorees. They travel the nation speaking to people about what happened to them. Most involve the same type of inhumane corruption by authorities.You can read their stories, but it’s better to hear them in person and even arrange to have them speak at your school, church, or other event. There are about 140 exonorees! They too could’ve ended up like this poor boy. How many more were innocent and executed? How many more will there be? It could happen to YOU!!! I would like Johnny’s family to contact me, I know a few contacts that might be helpful. I will never forget Johnny and will do all I can to help. My friends at WTI have been very busy fighting injustice in TX. Keep up the good work guys. Together we CAN make a change!!!

  63. September 18, 2012 4:35 pm

    synclaire

    What is truly frightening is that this kind of prejudicial railroading happens all the time. Prosecutors take advantage of the poor and the outcast. They will do anything to get a conviction except use honesty and moral judgement.This is the shining example of why there should be no death penalty.
    Shame on them all.
    My sympathy to the family and to Johnny Frank Garrett

  64. September 25, 2012 3:31 am

    Margaret Fu

    I know that you are in God’s hands now, Johnny. My heart goes out to you and our family. I hope that everybody that was involved with your wrongful execution get theirs.

    The case of Johnny Garrett proves how corrupt the legal system is.

  65. September 25, 2012 3:43 am

    Margaret Fu

    *my heart goes out to you and your family.

    I am so happy that your innocence has finally come to light.

  66. April 4, 2013 10:10 pm

    Acappellla

    Very sad documentary “The Last Word (2010)” really emotionally bruised me. I also have a son who is somewhat mentally disabled and I can’t imagine him being in this situation and having a different outcome in Texas. His mother had to be hurt beyond belief not to be able to help her innocent son she has had to protect from bullies all his life only to have the state of Texas murder him. I really am sorry this happened to him and to his mother and family. This story definitely changed my life. I can’t say I feel sorry for whoever got what came to them as a result of what they did to this man either.

  67. May 1, 2013 10:55 am

    amarillo is still the same....

    I live in Amarillo and its the same now as it was back then. Our local gov. protects the afflunent while persecutes the poor. The police force is filled with douche bags and the same old people are elected everytime, reguardless of voter outcry. This city is corrupt. God bless johnny. May he rest in peace. Remember, folks, Jesus loves us all, but Karma is a bitch and she’ll bite you in the ass one day…

  68. August 6, 2013 10:59 am

    Spitbite

    Feel free to take a gander at this blog; http://hacklawyer.net/?p=1517

    written by one of Johnny Garret’s writ attorneys himself, Warren Clark. He has acted as defense attorney to about 5 other capital murder trials, including this one. Pretty sure his word is credible.

  69. August 9, 2013 8:23 pm

    MsPow

    The documentary The Last Word really changed my life and how I feel about capital punishment now. Its so hard to think this could have happened to someone in the real world. Everyone needs to know this mans story. This never should have happened! I am still outraged since I saw this! God Bless this man and his family.

  70. September 14, 2013 1:26 pm

    go4gayleon2

    I vaguely remember this story as it was happening in 1992…. I work in the film industry now and will be working on the feature film that will start production soon to expose the truth to a lot more people…. Texas is very proud of the fact that they have an express lane to the execution room table…. After reading the script and watching the documentary from 2008, I have not thought of much else except the wrongful conviction and execution of Johnny and his family left in disbelief….. We are supposed to be a society of compassion and understanding…. Whether or not Johnny cursed others that wronged him or not….. we all are guilty of things that others view more horrible than others….. I am extremely proud to be a part of the production of this true event…. I can tell you that the crew is VERY passionate and will do our best to honor Johnny’s story and give a peace to him and his family that they were denied for years….

  71. September 23, 2013 11:13 pm

    Hansel

    Jeff Blackburn’s wife was a Russian mail order and her “suicide” is questionable. As per officers who were there.

  72. October 20, 2013 10:12 am

    Anonymous

    Hasn’t anyone on this comment board read Dr. Dorothy Otnow Lewis’ book “Guilty by Reason of Insanity” which talks in great detail about the case and her interviews with Johnny Frank Garrett? He was SO abused and SO tortured over the course of his young life—starting with his own grandparents and on down the line throughout his whole freakin’ family system. It’s sick what was done to him! Scar along his buttocks from a severe burn when placed on a stove as a 2 year old—by his grandmother! Give me a break! NO empathy for his family of devils who perpetuated the lie that he had a “normal” family. What a load of sh**! And I DO believe the hicks in Amarillo (Judges, cops, and other prominent male city officials who raped him as part of a child-sex ring) will ALL burn in hell for what they did to him and the other children—not to mention whatever the hell they are doing now in 2013! Whomever lives there now—watch the hell out! You DO live in hell!

  73. November 1, 2013 1:38 pm

    CL

    WOW! I don’t know what bothers me more as a Texan; that the justice system is so corrupt, or that the majority of people claiming to be from TX and commenting here are woefully illiterate!

  74. December 9, 2013 3:36 am

    Anita Lay

    Texas: worst place in the United States. First, the weather. Purgatory hot from April 1st through and including October. But the bargain is winter, right? WRONG! It’ll drop to 30 degrees ever phucking night. So after suffering all summer, you’ll need two blankets all winter long. Meanwhile, it’ll be 80 in Orlando, Florida, which coincidentally, is on almost the exact same latitude line as that chit stain town of Houston.

    The people? The worst. They don’t want to be Americans. They want to be Texans. Seriously deluded from birth that Texas is Heaven on Earth and to live anywhere else is legal proof of insanity,

    I could go on, but it’s 1:30 a.m. Suffice to say: Texas – please, Mexico, take it back! And take those idiot cowboys who walk through Target with cowboy hat, boots and belt buckle, but walk their items to an SUV with 4 wheel drive, and plush bucket seats with a bun warmer.

  75. July 28, 2014 12:56 am

    jay p

    I knew the garrettes to.THE WHERE FUCKIN SCUM Mt.F.S….jesse tortured anamals to death in garages .
    sure tje fuck did


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