10:08 AM

Les Johns (courtesy Springfield News-Leader)

The father of murdered beauty queen Jackie Johns has died.

Les Johns, 85, thought he would never live to see Gerald Carnahan, his daughter's killer, convicted.  Carnahan kidnapped Jackie off a road in Christian County back in in 1985.  Her body was found floating in Lake Springfield several days later, but Carnahan, who was always the prime suspect in Jackie's murder, was not arrested until over two decades later.

Jackie Johns was 20 years-old when she was murdered
Former Greene County prosecutor Darrell Moore took the death penalty off the table for Carnahan so that Les could see his daughter's murderer brought to justice.  A jury in St. Louis county convicted Carnahan, 54, of first-degree murder in 2010.  He was sentenced to two life sentences, one for the rape and the other for the murder of Jackie.  He is appealing those convictions.

Gerald Carnahan (mug shot St. Louis County)

Les, who bravely battled diabetes and other illnesses, is now with his beloved wife Shirley (he always maintained that she died of a broken heart not long after Jackie's murder) and Jackie.  He will be buried next to them on January 9th.

Jackie's sisters fought tirelessly with their father to bring Carnahan to justice and visited him regularly at the Veteran's home in Mt. Vernon where he was moved last year.  His daughter Jeanne frequently stayed with him during severe weather, which terrified both of them.

Late last year a book about Jackie's murder, "Murder on a Lonely Road", was published. The two writers of the book did not interview anyone from the Johns family, and in my opinion, there are several factual errors in the book.

I will always remember him with a smile as he had a wicked sense of humor.

UPDATE 01-06-13:

Visitation services for Les Johns are scheduled for January 8th from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Barnes Funeral Home in Ozark. A graveside service will be held the following day at 2 p.m. at Sparta Cemetery. 


Theresa said...

Hi I just read the book "murder on a lonely road". Can you be more specific about the factual errors you mention?

Kathee Baird said...

Most of the information about the Three Missing Women is wrong.