If only the title of this blog piece were as ridiculous as it sounds. Unfortunately, it is not.
Twenty-two-year-old Justine Johnson of Iosco County, Michigan told police investigators she had received and carried out orders from the fictional cartoon character SpongeBob, who commanded her to kill her daughter Sutton Mosser.
SpongeBob, according to Johnson, said she would die if she didn’t obey his demand. Sutton Mosser, the child, would have turned three just two days after her mother brutally stabbed her to death.
During an interview, Johnson told investigators that she didn’t remember exactly what happened to her daughter Sutton. But she did recall experiencing hallucinations due to a lack of sleep combined with heroin withdrawal. She told police that she’d not been sleeping well for approximately two weeks, and a few days prior to the murder she’d left her mother’s house walking and passed out in a graveyard.
Child Protective Services investigator Ryan Eberline interviewed Justine Johnson in jail after her arrest. He later testified that it was Johnson’s belief, through the TV, that she’d received specific instructions from SpongeBob to take her daughter’s life or “they” would kill her. SpongeBob, she said, was saying those things directly to her. At the time, Johnson said “she was hallucinating, was afraid for her life, and that she’d lost her mind.”
The child’s body was discovered when Johnson’s brother arrived home from work and saw a small foot protruding from a garbage bag outside the home. He reported his finding to police who found the remains of Sutton Mosser. Her body, dressed only in a pink and white disposable diaper, was wrapped in bedding and then placed inside the garbage bag.
Johnson was later located by police and arrested.
Justine Johnson is currently being held in jail without bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2022.
Since most of you are accomplished writers of crime fiction in some form or another, and many of you have backgrounds in journalism, I’d like to offer the follow paragraph for your review. Not to take away from the extreme horror of this case, but as a learning tool. It’s from a news source reporting the SpongeBob murder.
Please, read it carefully. I did not make this up. I copied and pasted directly from the article. Yes, this was in a national well-known news publication and was written by someone who actually received money for writing it, a journalist whose credentials read – “a multimedia journalist with more than 10 years of experience in broadcast, digital and print production.”
From the article written by the veteran journalist …
“Officers found Johnson hours after the discovery of her daughter’s body walking along railroad tracks. She told officers she did not want to talk about her child’s death, the affidavit states.”
That’s a line for a novel written by Stephen King or Dean Koontz, not one for real news.
I’m still shaking my head.
Writers’ Police Academy Registration to Reopen Very Soon!
After a week off to repair a severe break in our registration system, we’re pleased to say those fixes are nearly complete and the sign-up process will be back online in a couple of days—hopefully, Thursday or Friday. So stay tuned. We’ve also planned a nice bonus as our way of saying thanks for your patience and understanding during this situation, a first in the 14 years the WPA has been in operation.
Bonus details TBA soon!
Please tell all your friends and ask them to tell their friends!