The Full Wiki

LaVena Johnson: Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LaVena Johnson
July 27, 1985(1985-07-27) – July 19, 2005 (aged 19)
Replace this image female.svg
LaVena Johnson
Place of birth Missouri
Place of death Balad, Iraq
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Army
Years of service 2003-2005
Rank Private First Class
Awards Good Conduct Medal; Army Commendation Medal [1]

LaVena Johnson (July 27, 1985 - July 19, 2005) was a Private First Class in the United States Army whose death, officially ruled a suicide, has attracted international attention amid claims she was raped and murdered. She was the first female soldier from Missouri to die in Iraq.

Contents

Biography

The daughter of Dr John Johnson, a service veteran and Linda Johnson[2], Johnson was born and grew up in Florissant, Missouri. The 5'1" African American honor student enrolled in the Army immediately after graduating from Hazelwood Central High School. She was sent to Iraq and stationed in Balad. She had been there for 8 weeks before her death on July 19, 2005.[1]

Death and controversy

Johnson's death was officially ruled a suicide by the Department of Defense. However, her father became suspicious when he saw her body in the funeral home and decided to investigate. The Army initially refused to release information, but did so under the Freedom of Information Act after Representative William Lacy Clay, Jr. raised questions about it at the congressional hearings over Pat Tillman's death.[3]

The autopsy report and photographs revealed Johnson had a broken nose, black eye, loose teeth, burns from a corrosive chemical on her genitals, and a gunshot wound that seemed inconsistent with suicide. Several reporters have suspected that the chemical burns were to destroy DNA evidence of a rape.[1][3][4][5]

A spokesman from the House Armed Services Committee said in June 2008 that the committee was looking into Johnson's death, but they were not yet committing to a formal investigation. Christopher Grey, chief of public affairs for the U.S. Criminal Investigative Command for the Army has said that the case remains closed as far as they are concerned.[6]

Following a February 2007 KMOV news report on Johnson's death, an online petition addressed to the House Armed Services Committee and the Senate Armed Services Committee was launched. This was followed by the creation of an official LaVena Johnson website dedicated to developments in prompting a new Army investigation of her death. The petition closed on May 24, 2008 with nearly 12,000 signatures; preparations are being made for delivery to the two committees.[7] In July 2008, the online Black activist group Color of Change launched an online petition[8] calling on Henry Waxman, chair of the House Oversight Committee, to conduct a hearing into LaVena Johnson's death and the Army's handling of her case and others like it.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Jordan, Sandra (June 17, 2008). "Who killed Private First Class LaVena L. Johnson?". New Pittsburgh Courier. http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/articlelive/articles/40956/1/Who-killed-Private-First-Class-LaVena-L-Johnson/Page1.html.  
  2. ^ Stein, Ginny (29 May 2009). "Dark Secrets". SBS Datellne Program. SBS. http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/transcript/id/600044/n/Dark-Secrets. Retrieved 2009-05-24.  
  3. ^ a b Documents and photos suggest foul play in death of Private Johnson. Sandra Jordan. The St. Louis American. June 4, 2008 10:43
  4. ^ Women GIs in fear of the enemy in their army. Tracey Barnett. Wednesday June 25, 2008. The New Zealand Herald.
  5. ^ The tragic story of LaVena Johnson Kate Harding. Salon. June 27, 2008
  6. ^ House panel reviewing death of area soldier. By Elizabethe Holland. St. Louis Post-Dispatch. June 4th, 2008.
  7. ^ Parents question their daughter's mysterious death in Iraq. By Matt Sczesny. KMOV-TV. February 21, 2007.
  8. ^ ColorOfChange.org petition ColorOfChange.org

External links

Advertisements

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message