My Kendrick Johnson Questions

The name of Kendrick Johnson was unknown to me until a few hours ago, and since then I’ve been looking at videos on YouTube and reading stuff here and there. My questions might have been answered already by someone intelligent and knowledgeable, and I’m hoping to be steered in the direction of solid information (not emotional rhetoric, of which there is plenty).

I swear I don’t have time to get obsessed with this, like I did once did with another case, and ended up spending years on it. (http://freetimmastersbecause.blogspot.com/)
So please, somebody, direct me to the smartest and most comprehensive source of information where I can absorb it all at once.

First
Am I understanding this right? The official story is that, to retrieve a pair of shoes inside the rolled-up mat, KJ got up above the vertical roll and DIVED HEAD-FIRST INTO IT? Supposedly, lots of kids stored shoes in this manner – was this the customary way of getting them? Really? Because it’s the most ludicrous thing I’ve heard in a month of Sundays, and in my line of work I hear a LOT of ridiculous things. Why would he not just tip the damn thing over? And why has no kid ever died before getting his stored shoes?

Second
If he were trapped upside-down inside the mat, alive and conscious, couldn’t it be made to rock back and forth and gain enough momentum to eventually fall over? Okay I’m not an expert on physical feats, but this was a strong dude, an athlete. Wouldn’t that be possible? Please, no guessing. I want to hear from somebody who has duplicated the experiment and TRIED IT, and with the exact same kind of mat, and after entering the cylindrical space BY DIVING INTO IT HEADFIRST.

Okay, let’s take this video made by the police.

Third
Why does it start with 12 seconds of staring at the piece of paper with the address and date written on it? One second would have been more than sufficient. Is this what they teach in police photography school? Why? I’m serious.

Fourth
What’s up with all the gazing around and focusing far/near in the first few minutes of the video? Are they investigating a crime, or making a floor-wax commercial? The Vikings’ logo is impressive, but how many seconds of it are needed to establish the locale?

Fifth
There’s so much space inside that rolled up mat, you can see the wall through it on the other side. After having read the descriptions of how tight the space was, I’m astonished to see this, and don’t understand the meaning of it.

section of wallLATER REVISION – Okay, this one is answered. When someone tipped the rolled mat from vertical to horizontal, Kendrick Johnson’s body slid partway out. The shoulders and torso are bigger around, the legs are the slimmer part of the body. So yes, there is space in the tube to see through to the wall. Because the other end of the tube looked like this:

m s t 3 no captionSixth
A basketball on the floor, way over by the door, is shown in loving detail. But the trash in the corner BY THE BODY is given a once-over-lightly. Or in this case, darkly. Why don’t the police bring some goddam LIGHTING to the scene? The debris in the corner, the shit in the wastebasket, the various stuff strewn on the floor – why is it photographed in ambient light? Why are there not hundreds of watts beamed on the objects in this environment?

Seventh
So the police photographer takes shots of the various surveillance cameras in the gym. Wouldn’t it make more sense to photograph those cameras FROM THE FATAL CORNER, from as close to the body as possible? Seems like that angle would be a lot more meaningful.

Eighth
Why did it take 5 DAYS to hand over the surveillance videos? (Source -this CNN video, at 1:31)

Ninth
Quoting Grant Fredericks, Certified Forensic Video Analyst, regarding the 4 cameras in the gym. He says they “record motion from when the lights turn on in the morning until when the lights are turned off at night. Except for the area of interest.” WTF?
And what’s with the huge gaps of time when there’s nothing on the cameras at the exact time when KJ was in there with at least 3 other people? Again, WTF???

Tenth
Reporter Victor Blackwell says, “There is no video showing the initial discovery of a body in the gym.” What’s the official story on that supposed to be, anyway? Some other kid was up on top of the vertically rolled mats? Looking down into one of them? Why?

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About Pat Hartman

Before publishing the two books "Call Someplace Paradise" and "Ghost Town: A Venice California Life", my main project was "Salon: A Journal of Aesthetics. " I wrote extensively for "Scene," a monthly arts and entertainment magazine with a circulation of 25,000. Also proofread, sold ads, put together the music calendar and, for a couple of years, served as editor. Presided over a couple issues of the local NORML newsletter, as well as being featured speaker at chapter meetings. Wrote a complete screenplay; collaborated on another one; worked on a couple of scripts (additional dialog and general brainstorming) with an indie film producer. Booked the talent for a large music festival. Wrote, designed, illustrated and produced various catalogs and brochures for small businesses. Spoke at a high school as a panelist on Women in the Professions; was a featured speaker at the 1991 Women in Libertarianism Conference; presented public programs on "Success in One Lesson" and "The Bloomsbury Group: What's It To Us?" Created the website VirtualVenice.info and wrote many politically-oriented pieces for Earthblog.net
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12 Responses to My Kendrick Johnson Questions

  1. JustaPasserBy says:

    Nobody has ever said Kendrick “dove in head first”. The explanation is he was on his hands and needs on top of a group of about 20 vertically stored mats and was reaching down into the opening of one and he slipped and got stuck.

  2. JustaPasserBy says:

    Videotaped scene walk through by the crime lab https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHI4Zaudbv4

  3. Pat Hartman says:

    Then, how did he expect to reach items at the bottom of the cylindrical hole, on the floor, without diving in headfirst? Was his arm 6 feet long? Or was his arm magically extendable, like one of those guys in comic books? Interesting!

  4. Pat Hartman says:

    Why would you recommend me to watch a video that I just got done complaining about in this blog post? I already watched this one, more than once. That’s why I wrote about it and asked questions. Watching it again ain’t gonna make those questions go away.

  5. Jane Doe says:

    Do you really get paid to write stories and books? Because most people pick up the phone and interview public officials, and they get the case file before they publicly impugn the professionalism of law enforcement and forensic investigators. You can get a copy of an exhaustive case file from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Dept, it will cost about $65. You can read some actual professional journalism from Christian Boone at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel, Ray Glier of USA Today, and the most extensive stories were written by Adam Floyd of the Valdosta Daily Times. I recommend you start with Kendrick’s Final Walk by Adam Floyd. There are clear compelling reasons why he couldn’t tip the mat up, which you’d know if you bothered to educate yourself. If you want to be spoon fed, visit facebook Stand Up for Brian Bell. If you want to see dozens of idiotic lies told by the cult of conspiracy theorists, visit Topix Valdosta and check out Lies Told by Johnson family. You call yourself an author? Seriously?

  6. Pat Hartman says:

    Thank you for visiting. Actually, what I call myself is somebody who just became aware of this unfortunate series of events, a little over 24 hours ago, and responded by noting down the first group of puzzling questions that immediately came to mind. The reactions have been lively and enlightening.

    The professionalism of law enforcement officers and forensic investigators is a topic way too broad to go into here. I think anyone who has deeply studied a single complicated legal matter will never look at a courthouse with the same eyes again. Metaphorically speaking, sometimes a tour of the sausage factory can turn a person into a vegan.

    Thank you for all the research suggestions, and especially for mentioning where to find the “dozens of idiotic lies told by the cult of conspiracy theorists.” Respect.

  7. D. Marie Gage says:

    Ah man. Jane Doe – PUHLEEZE! Do you think that officials actually grant interviews and reveal information to every person that holds a press pass? LOLOL. Because some MSM corporate hack will just repeat verbatim, and not really question, whatever the policeman says happened. Because if they don’t, they won’t have a job. The Orlando Sentinel is a Tribune owned paper. USA Today is, and always has been, the paper for those that can’t read above 6th grade level. It’s one thing to disagree with an opinion, it’s another to inpugn an author when you have not read their works.

    There is nary a honest and intelligent investigative journalist left in MSM anymore. Of course, anyone that won’t even post their real name and hides behind a Jane Doe moniker is highly suspect.

    Pat, keep asking questions.

  8. Billy Williams says:

    Pat, thank you for your post, and yes KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS. Also, expect bullying, name calling, ridicule and intimidation by some people who don’t hold the same beliefs as you. Also, they are the ones who get real angry when you ask questions. You will see.

    “Jane Doe” recommended – Christian Boone at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, David Whitley of the Orlando Sentinel, Ray Glier of USA Today, and the most extensive stories were written by Adam Floyd of the Valdosta Daily Times. I recommend you start with Kendrick’s Final Walk by Adam Floyd – I recommend these too, but you will see that most of these authors are biased, that’s why only they were mentioned. Valdosta Topix is one of the most disgusting forums out there – if you want to see how vile some people can be, then go there.

    I can see several possibilities of what happened that day. I am still torn on what I believe actually happened. I wish there was video footage of what happened, so we would know for sure.

    I expect a fair amount of ridicule and name calling due to this post – don’t worry, I’m used to it. They really hate when you ask the tough questions.

  9. Pat Hartman says:

    Thank you for the input. My usual procedure is to read everything I can find, because often a lot can be learned in the most unlikely places.

    If somehow it is unequivocally proven that this tragedy was an accident caused by the victim’s own bad judgment, and if I and the other questioners end up with egg on our faces, so be it. I’d far rather see that outcome, than to know for sure that the tradition of lynching has moved from clearings in the woods, into high school gyms. Believe me, I’d really like proof that that theory is wrong.

    It amazes me why anyone should be angry when one lone citizen feels the itch of curiosity. If nothing is out of line, no one should mind having any part of the story known. These posts are to track the progress of scratching that itch. Thanks for dropping by to say howdy.

  10. Sigourney says:

    I think Billy Williams was on to something when he said “I expect a fair amount of ridicule and name calling due to this post – don’t worry, I’m used to it. They really hate when you ask the tough questions” – It’s very well written and true. You’re questions are extremely valid and its great that you posted this blog to share your suspicions with others. I believe this to be amazing step in finding out the truth

  11. Pat Hartman says:

    Thanks. I got kind of bogged down. There’s a lot of material to look at and it’s not like I don’t have other stuff to do. But the grand jury — apparently — is still looking into it, and when they come down on one side or the other, I hope I’ll have caught up enough to be able to write about it coherently, whichever way the grand jury goes. My feeling is that, whatever happens, people are not going to forget about Kendrick Johnson and in fact, the more time that goes by, the more people will become aware of this totally bizarre death and wonder about it.

  12. Sharon Wendt says:

    Hi 🙂 I too have stumbled onto this story very recently, and am looking at everything I can find…there seems to be ALOT of grey areas…my heart goes out to the Johnson’s..such a sad, sad story…I continue to follow and hope for closure for the family soon.

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