On December 10, 1988, Scott Johnson’s naked body was found at the base of Manly’s North Head. The talented mathematician was just 27 years old.
The PhD student, who was originally from the United States, was completing his doctorate in Sydney.
For years after his body was found, authorities thought Scott’s death was the result of a suicide.
But today, 32 years after his death, NSW Police has announced that a man has been arrested by detectives in relation to Scott Johnson’s murder.
NSW Police explained that following lengthy investigations, “detectives arrested a 49-year-old man” in Sydney’s Lane Cove at 8:30 am on Tuesday, May 12. A search warrant was subsequently executed at a nearby home.
The man was taken to Chatswood Police Station, where charges are expected to be brought against him later today. Furthermore, police have today began a forensic search at North Head, where Scott Johnson died.
Commissioner Fuller says he personally notified Scott’s brother, Steve Johnson, who lives in the United States.
“Making that phone call this morning is a career highlight – Steve has fought so hard for so many years, and it has been an honour be part of his fight for justice,” the Commissioner said on Tuesday.
“While we have a long way to go in the legal process, it must be acknowledged that if it wasn’t for the determination of the Johnson family, which inspired me and the Strike Force Welsford team – led by Detective Chief Inspector Peter Yeomans, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”
It comes after a third inquest in 2017 led to then-state coroner Michael Barnes finding that Scott was a victim of a gay hate attack, and that he was either pushed or fell to his death while trying to escape one or more attackers.
The State Coroner has found Scott Johnson died as a result of a gay hate crime. His body was found at the bottom of North Head in Manly in 1988.
— Justice NSW (@NSWJustice) November 29, 2017