Mug Shot Monday! John Elgin Johnson, 1953Home | Mug Shot Monday | Mug Shot Monday! John Elgin Johnson, 1953
John Elgin Johnson, 1919 to 1953, was a career criminal who ended up in the federal prison system for robbing banks. After a failed escape attempt from Fort Leavenworth that left one guard severely injured, Johnson was sent to Alcatraz in 1944. He served nine years there and was released in 1953. During his time in Alcatraz, he underwent a religious conversion that, although sincere, did not stick.
After he was released, he was suspected of murdering a new friend he had made after he had gotten out. The FBI began hunting him and caught up with him while he was in a telephone booth inside a movie theater in Baltimore, Maryland.
According to an interesting story written by the FBI, here is what happened next:
“Inside the booth, Johnson, his criminal cunning ever alert, sensed his impending apprehension. Two shots rang out from the booth. One bullet crashed into the abdomen of agent J. Brady Murphy. Another tore into the hip of Murphy’s fellow agent. All four agents opened fire on the phone booth; and, though mortally wounded, Agent Murphy emptied his revolver at the figure of the desperate man behind the glass and wood partition. Fifteen times the agents fired, and 15 deadly slugs ripped into the booth. Johnson toppled toward the floor, but his head, crashing through the broken glass of the door, held him partly erect. Before he stopped moving forever, he tried vainly once or twice to lift his head.”
When the shootout occurred, Johnson was on the phone with Los Angeles Mirror reporter, Sidney Hughes.
The entire story of John Elgin Johnson’s life can be found, here, on the FBI’s website.
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