When Linda Jensen was discovered murdered, an entire listing of potential suspects emerged. The particular killer was someone nobody initially suspected.
“My wife is dead!” a caller told 911 operators in Big Lake, Minnesota soon after 4:00 p.m. on February. 24 1992, based on audio acquired by “An Unpredicted Killer,” airing Fridays at 8/7c on Archiweekend. “I simply got home and my young boy is here now and that i checked within the bed room and she’s been stabbed. I acquired the 2 kids here. My god, what’s happened?”
The caller was Charlie Jensen, and also the dead lady on the ground from the couple’s bed room within their home within the forest was his wife, Linda Jensen, age 39.
“She was naked, she’d a comforter over her body having a large knife pinning the comforter to her body, getting been stabbed through her chest,“ Alan Pendleton, the now-former district court judge for that tenth judicial district of Minnesota, told producers. “The victim have been stabbed not only once, but multiple occasions in stomach.”
The weapon was resolute to become a steak knife from her very own kitchen. But little else in the home have been disturbed there weren’t any other indications of forced entry. There have been also no fingerprints with no bloodstream that did not seem to be Linda’s.
Charlie was initially to become interviewed by police. He and Linda have been childhood sweethearts and also got married in 1971, when she only agreed to be 18. They welcomed their boy, Andrew, in to the world in 1973 but, in 1978, Linda declared divorce because of Charlie’s consuming problem. In 1982, Linda is at a brand new relationship with Robert Beard, and also the two were built with a boy together, Joey, but separate as he was very youn.
Then, in 1986, she married John Silliman and moved with him to California, where he adopted Joey (a scenario which would’ve needed Beard to legally relinquish his parental legal rights). However that marriage also soured within a few years and she or he and Joey had moved to Minnesota by 1990. There, she reconnected with Charlie, who’d quit consuming, and also the two told their own families they’d never stopped loving one another. They remarried on April 4, 1991 and, two several weeks later, she delivered their daughter, Lisa.
Charlie told police that he’d left for work that morning at 6:15 — his usual time — and left Linda aware of the infant and Joey, who would’ve left for college at 7:45 a.m. He’d attempted to her about something around 9:45 a.m., but she didn’t get and, by noon, he’d known as three occasions without any answer. She got mad, presuming she was home but ignoring his calls, so he left work just a little early and also got there around 4:05 p.m.
As he showed up, Joey, who’d become home from soccer practice, was doing his homework and Lisa is at the playpen. Then he found Linda’s dead body.
Police could verify his alibi, however they still requested him to consider a polygraph — that they passed — and to supply a DNA sample, that they did.
The following day, police had a tip from the rural mail carrier who stated she’d been through the Jensen house your day from the murder.
“The mail carrier showed up in the house around 11:30 that morning,” stated David Unze, a reporter for that St. Cloud Occasions. “And she stated at that time she saw a guy inside a pickup pulling from the front yard and stated she got an excellent description from the man.”
She stated the18 wheeler was a mature, tan model, and described the person like a “scruffy” Caucasian male in the late 30s or early 40s. They had her sit having a sketch artist plus they released that sketch towards the media.
Officer also re-canvassed the neighbors, and heard the Johnson family might’ve seen the18 wheeler.
“Kent Johnson would be a Scout leader, he’d four children. I was wishing he could name the person who the mail carrier observed departing the Jensen residence,” stated Sherburne County Sheriff’s Department investigator Gary Poslusny.
He wasn’t home once they came by but his wife, Deborah Johnson, was. She said excitedly she’d seen the pickup round the neighborhood but she didn’t know who the motive force was.
Cops then began searching into Linda’s ex-boyfriend, Robert Beard. Beard missed a lot of his boy — he’d quit child custody and didn’t pay supporting your children — but police learned he’d been looking to get more visitation rights before Linda’s dying. He’d contacted Linda a minimum of two times within the days before her murder, demanding more visitation rights and threatening to try and gain full child custody of Joey.
Beard was introduced set for questioning and denied being in contact with Linda — despite police faced him using what her husband stated about his calls. Still, he stated to police he didn’t have vehicle and couldn’t walk to Linda’s.
The autopsy report came within the next day and demonstrated that Linda was initially strangled and just subsequently stabbed with the chest the coroner thought the reason for dying was probably strangulation. Additionally they discovered she’d been sexually assaulted, producing a assortment of the perpetrator’s DNA.
Because of the brutality from the situation, police then investigated the ex-husband, Silliman, who Linda’s family stated have been abusive throughout the marriage and enraged through the order from the court to pay for supporting your children for Joey, who he’d adopted at Linda’s request, in addition to by her last pregnancy, which happened before their divorce was finalized.
Investigators travelled to California to interview him, but ultimately determined that he’d been teaching at the time from the murder. They can investigated his financial records to find out if he’d hired anyone to kill Linda, but found zero evidence for your.
By May 1992, the situation was cold.
Linda’s sister, Sandra Moving, was resolute to discover who wiped out her sister, and she or he known as the sheriff’s office each week. In 1999, her persistence compensated off: A brand new sheriff reopened the analysis.
Sheriff Anderson had investigators review all of the evidence — such as the DNA collected from Linda’s sexual assault package and also the 80+ DNA samples they’d collected although not had the ability to test in 1992. They tested the rape package DNA against Charlie in addition to Linda’s exes and compared these to known sex offenders within the DNA database.
No DNA in the men in Linda’s existence matched.
The situation went cold for an additional year but, in 2000, police received some advice from the lady named Angela Hennen.
“Angela identified herself like a ‘prior acquaintance’ of Kent Johnson,” stated Pendleton — through which she meant she’d had cheating using the Boy Scout leader immediately after Linda’s murder. She stated she’d introduced in the murder sooner or later, and he’d become livid and denied knowing Linda.
“A couple of several weeks later, Angela established that, when she was speaking to Mr. Johnson, he established that he understood Linda very well, he saw her jogging past his residence, he visited together with her and that he essentially altered the storyline directly from what he informed her formerly,” stated Poslusny.
It had been also an alteration from what he told police once they interviewed him like a potential witness in 1992. Police then began investigating the church-going family man and Scout leader.
“Jones had lots of skeletons in the closet,” states Polusny. “Outwardly, he appeared just like a family man and inwardly, he’d a really, very negative side to him.”
Police discovered his wife, Deborah, had once attended the ER having a stab wound, claiming that she’d tucked close to the open dishwasher and arrived on the knife that were packed with the handle lower police were suspicious about whether or not this really happened this way. It had been one of many domestic violence calls police had become about Johnson, based on court papers
Police visited interview him again and, again, he denied knowing Linda. But Jones eventually altered his story and accepted Linda accustomed to jog by his house and they’d had conversations previously. Police then requested him if he’d had cheating together with her, and that he grew to become angry and defensive, stated investigators. He ended up being requested to provide a DNA sample, but declined to do this — the very first part of eight many years to refuse.
Investigators had a warrant for his DNA — also it matched the DNA from Linda’s sexual assault package.
Johnson was arrested on This summer 25, 2000 for first-degree murder. He was ultimately indicted with a grand jury on three counts — first-degree murder, second-degree intentional murder and criminal sexual conduct within the first degree — and visited trial on May 31, 2001.
“Under oath, in the court, while watching jury, he testified he had really been getting cheating with Linda Jensen,” stated Pendleton. “The family were outraged. You can have the chill within the courtroom.”
He stated yesterday the murder, they’d consensual sex, which was why his DNA was discovered on her behalf, according to court papers. The medical examiner testified that the health of the sperm available on her body managed to get fairly unlikely it absolutely was deposited yesterday the murder.
“No means by hell,” stated Linda’s sister Sandra. “No way could which happen. He murdered my sister and he’s attempting to murder her status — and just how dare he.”
Johnson, based on court papers filed in the appeal, decided to argue at trial there were two other potential perpetrators, pointing the finger at Joey’s father, Robert Beard, and the other man, Richard Christy, from Linda’s fitness center who’d apparently expressed a desire for her. Prosecutors objected, noting the two men have been investigated, removed by DNA, which there is zero other evidence tying with the idea to the scene. The judge ruled within their favor, and Johnson wasn’t permitted to accuse Beard or Christy at his trial.
On 12 ,. 8, 2001, the jury found Johnson guilty on the 3 charges, and that he was later sentenced to existence imprisonment.
However, in 2004, Jones won a retrial on appeal, based positioned on the judge’s decision not to permit him to present evidence that Beard or Christy may have wiped out Linda. In November. 2006, Johnson continued trial all over again and, rather of pointing the finger at Beard or Christy, claimed that Charlie Jensen or even the never-identified man supposedly observed in a pickup was the killer.
Johnson also testified that he’d had sex with Linda the morning from the murder, not yesterday as he’d formerly testified. Based on court papers in the appeal, he claimed he’d lied concerning the timing in the previous testimony, stating that he “feared he’d be charged if he accepted being with Linda around the morning of her dying.”
Court papers also reflect that “Johnson claimed at trial he would be a skilled lover which Linda had arrived at him for ‘more spice.'” (Johnson known as his wife like a defense witness, court papers say, and under mix-examination, accepted that Johnson wasn’t an experienced lover. Johnson appealed his conviction partly according to that type of questioning, but lost.)
Johnson was again charged of charges and, again, sentenced to existence imprisonment. His benefit of his second conviction was denied in 2008, based on court public records.
Johnson remains incarcerated at the Minnesota Correctional Facility – Stillwater in Bayport, Minnesota. He’ll become qualified for parole in 2030, but Jensen’s family members have vowed to battle to help keep him imprisonment.
For additional about this situation yet others enjoy it, watch “An Unpredicted Killer,” airing Fridays at 8/7c on Archiweekend, or stream episodes here.