Kendrick Johnson: Accident or Murder?

by Kate Barton

On January 1, the body of Kendrick Johnson was found in the center of a rolled up mat in the gymnasium of Lowndes County High School in Georgia. Allegedly, he was reaching for his shoe that had fallen into the center of the mat and he fell in upside down and had become asphyxiated and died. His body was found the next day when Kendrick’s parents reported him missing. After the initial autopsy, the coroner announced Kendrick’s death an accident. But Kendrick’s family believed that he was murdered and urged further investigation, which they did not get until recently. Kendrick’s family sent his body in for a second autopsy from a private pathologist, named Dr. William Anderson, who returned with the results that Kendrick had been killed from a fatal blow to the neck that appeared to Anderson in his report to be “non-accidental.”

Also from this autopsy, it was found that all of Kendrick’s internal organs from the waist up were replaced by newspaper. Kendrick’s parents were completely unaware of this and the father commented in a CNN interview, “When we buried Kendrick, we thought we were burying Kendrick, not half of Kendrick.” The people who performed the initial autopsy said that they returned all the organs to Kendrick’s body before his body was given to the funeral home, who say that Kendrick’s internal organs, according to the CNN article “Gym mat death shocker: Body stuffed with newspaper,” “were destroyed through natural process” and “discarded.”


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