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JAMAICA: Anglican priest brutally murdered in Kingston

By Dan Wooding
11/15/2006
[ASSIST News Service]  The Rev. Richard Johnson, 45, was found stabbed to death on Sunday, November 12, at his home in Kingston, Jamaica, a short distance from St. Jude's Anglican Church in Stony Hill, where he had served as rector since 2003.

According to Salem Voice Ministries, the Constant Spring Homicide Unit reported that a caretaker at the house heard Johnson screaming for help. When the caretaker ran into the house, he found his body on the staircase, with more than 25 stab wounds.

"The main suspect in the killing, a man known only as 'Bomber,' turned himself into the police late Monday and was being questioned by senior detectives," Salem Voice reported.

"We know 'Bomber' was known to pay frequent visits to the priest's dwelling," said the head of the Criminal Investigation Department, Denver Frater.

Dave Dennie, senior server and member of the church committee, said with tears in his eyes: "It has been a huge loss. He was like a Mother Teresa to us. I don't understand why someone would take a life like this..."

Parishioners recalled that in his last sermon on the morning of November 12, Johnson had preached about the Good Samaritan, the biblical figure who assisted a wounded man left for dead at a roadside by bandits, when others had only passed him by. The underlying message was about loving one's neighbor.

A graduate of the United Theological College of the West Indies, Johnson was ordained a priest in 1992. He was married to Heather Johnson, a high school principal, who was not home when the murder took place.