$1 million is being offered to anyone who can provide helpful information to solve a murder from the ‘80s.
In December of 1988, 27-year-old Scott Johnson met his untimely demise. At the time, Australian police believed that Johnson, who was openly gay, had committed suicide by jumping off a beach cliff. As such, the investigation into Johnson’s death was half-hearted.
The family of the US-born mathematician weren’t convinced that Scott ended his life. They believed, and still do to this day, that Scott was murdered.
“Unfortunately, like many other gay men in the 1980s, he got tragically unlucky…assailants killed him because he was gay,” Scott’s brother Steve Johnson told reporters, according to Ten Daily.
Throughout the next three decades, Steve and his family would advocate for a thorough investigation into Scott’s death. This includes a second inquest in 2012 that resulted in an open finding and a third inquest that found that Scott fell from the cliff’s top not because of a suicide attempt but because of actual or threatened violence based on sexual orientation.
This new discovery resulted in the creation of the Strike Force Welsford three months ago. This task force, led by Detective Inspector Peter Yeomans, is trying to re-investigate Scott’s murder with an intent and focus unseen in the last three decades.
In addition, Steve flew to Sydney to join the task force and New South Wales police as they announced a monetary reward for anyone who can provide valuable information for this case.
“There is someone out there who knows the truth, they know how Scott died and there’s a million dollars on the table for you to have the courage to come forward and help us solve this crime,” said NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller at the press conference.
“Someone knows what happened to Scott, either because they were present or because they heard of what happened from others who were present,” added Steve Johnson.
“It is likely that those who were involved in Scott’s death would have bragged about it given the culture of gay-hate among groups in Sydney at the time.”
“It’s 30 years to the day since Scott’s death. I encourage anyone who has any information to come forward and provide it,” he said.
“It’s horrendous to believe that these people are still out in our community – existing, living, free, while Scott … has died a terrible death.”