Correctional Officer John W. Johnson

Correctional Officer John W. Johnson

United States Department of Justice - Federal Bureau of Prisons, U.S. Government

End of Watch Sunday, September 29, 1974

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John W. Johnson

Correctional Officer John Johnson was stabbed to death at USP Leavenworth in Leavenworth, Kansas. While locking up inmates for the night at 9:00 pm one of the men struck him with a large piece of strap steel, knocking him to the ground. When another officer came to his aid the inmate stabbed him. The inmate then stabbed Officer Johnson 117 times.

The inmate, 47, was charged with murder and assaulting two correctional officers in the same incident. He had been sentenced in 1968 to 15 years for kidnapping. The state of Kentucky had a detainer against him for a life sentence for robbery. Seven more inmates were charged with assaulting correctional officers in the same incident. Officer Johnson's killer was removed to the Wyandotte County Jail, charged with murder, and there to remain until his trial. In May of 1975, he and another inmate overpowered the jailer, obtained two pistols and held the jailer and three deputies hostage. He shot the jailer in the shoulder until they were talked into surrendering an hour later. On October 1, 1975, he was convicted of Officer Johnson's murder, but before he was to be sentenced the next day he escaped from the Wyandotte County Jail again. He was apprehended by FBI agents three days later in at a trailer park in the Kansas City Suburb of Muncie. He was sentenced to life plus 20 years for Officer Johnson's murder. Six months later he committed suicide in prison.

Officer Johnson had served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for eight months. He was survived by his wife and daughter. He was a Vietnam War Veteran.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 8 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Stabbed
  • Location Kansas
  • Weapon Edged weapon
  • Offender Committed suicide in prison

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On this anniversary of your death we never forget you.

Rest in peace brother, we're still holding your watch.

Senior Officer Specialist
Federal Bureau of Prisons

September 29, 2021

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