Friday, April 17, 2015

Revisiting the Resurrection of Desmond Johnson

Nothing upsets the apple cart like coming back from the dead.

Three years ago St. Louis mourned the death of Desmond Johnson, who hung himself over a volatile relationship. In a dramatic January plot twist he resurfaced, alive and well, living in Northern California.

Police found a dead body hanging in that South County garage and cut him down like a slab of meat, but miraculously paramedics were able to revive him. When he woke from his coma, family whisked him away to the West Coast.

The revelation sent shockwaves that are still reverberating through the city's LGBT community, which divided into camps- some celebrating, but others fuming about the negative light cast on his ex who, along with a handful of others, knew he was alive all along. Defenders of his ex argued Desmond was at least equally to blame for the relationship's domestic violence, while others pointed to subsequent displays of violence by his ex in the past three years, some quite public.

Old friends turned against one another, Gassy, a disgruntled gas station attendant, declared war on friends of Desmond, sending letters to people's employers and boasting about getting people kicked off of Facebook, and attempts at blackmail were made. My book became a target, with Gassy and apparently Margarine Schnapps leading the charge to get my Facebook account pulled in advance of the summer release.

Some are still angry at me for not telling "both sides" of the story regarding the rocky relationship, but my thought was only one side was told for three years (that side being the ex was the victim and Desmond's suicide was the ultimate manipulation tactic), and the point of the story was that Desmond was alive, not hair splitting over the fights.

Few have suffered more from the fallout than Jolene "Gotcha." She had been friends with all involved, and even cleaned up the blood from the garage floor.

Shortly before Desmond resurfaced she was unfriended by the ex, who took to Facebook and called her a thief for not driving across town at four in the morning to return a backpack he'd forgotten in her car. Still, some think she owed loyalty to her former friend, and should have been more vocal about his side of the story. She's been accused of pursing "fortune and fame" at his expense.

So, that's the backstory. Desmond's resurrection set off a chain of events that are still unfolding.

Today is his birthday, and he's happy and healthy two thousand miles away.

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