Gerald Carnahan (mug shot St. Louis County)

A murder case that began a quarter century ago has come to an end with a jury saying Gerald Carnahan did indeed rape and murder 20 year-old Jackie Johns in 1985.

Carnahan was always the chief suspect in the June 17, 1985 disappearance and murder of the former beauty queen from Nixa, but he wasn't officially charged with her murder until August of 2007 when new DNA evidence was submitted to the state crime lab in Jefferson City.

Johns, who was last seen at a convenience store in Nixa, was reported missing after her sports car was found abandoned with the drivers side door ajar on the side of U.S. 160 in Nixa.  Her body was floating in Lake Springfield by fisherman four days later.

Carnahan was questioned early in the investigation after it was reported that his distinctive truck was seen parked behind the 7-Eleven where Johns was last seen and, near Johns' vehicle on U.s 160 the night she went missing.  However, no charges were filed against him after he was indicted by a grand jury for perjury in the case. 
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Jackie Johns (family photo)

It wasn't until 2007 when a detective with the Highway Patrol had time on his hands to investigate cold cases that Carnahan was charged.  Sgt. Dan Nash obtained a warrant to obtain DNA from Carnahan in August of that year.  Two days after that warrant was served, Carnahan was arrested after his DNA matched semen found in Johns' body at autopsy.

Investigators had attempted to close the case in the late '90's and again in early 2003 using DNA, however, it wasn't until advances in the science in 2007 that they were able to obtain the match.

When Carnahan is sentenced it will be just a formality because the only sentence available to him on the first-degree murder conviction is life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The jury has also recommended a life sentence for the forcible rape conviction to be served consecutively (after the life sentence,) which means in all likelihood Gerald Carnahan will never set foot outside a prison alive.

Carnahan is scheduled to be sentenced October 25th in St. Louis County where the case was moved on a change of venue.
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Defense attorney Dee Wampler says he plans to file a motion for a new trial or an appeal.

8 comments:

Kris in KC said...

I have a weird question. What did
Gerald Carnahan look like when all
of this happened?

Anonymous said...

Until he was finally arrested, he was a staggering drunk. He had to hold up the walls as he stumbled his way to his job at Springfield Marine in Nixa, MO. Staying drunk and spending as much time in his wife's home country of China was his best escape from the horrors that haunted his conscience. Now, he has years of sober time to comptemplate the man he was or the father, husband or business man he could have been.

Anonymous said...

Yeah bcuz he didn't look nothing like the preppy n slim guy portraying him on tv.

Anonymous said...

When he murdered Jackie he was a lot younger, thinner, a whole lot better looking, extremely cocky, and a mean SOB. Just being in the same room with him would give you the creeps, something always seemed "off" about him.

Anonymous said...

Well...in prison it is likely he is living with a bunch of other mean SOBs.. Perhaps he has known a smidgen of the fear he put that precious young lady through. Yet even still, may our good Lord, who wishes that none perish, have mercy on him

Anonymous said...

Do it really matter

Dana Pitts said...

I was just wondering what ever happened to her boyfriend? It had to be hard all of those years. People had to think all those years about him ?

Anonymous said...

At least some states in USA have death penalty.. Here in GB is a joke!! Prison is a 5star hotel. .

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