Investigation Discovery’s ‘Signs Of A Psychopath: He Didn’t Know I Was There’ chronicles how 44-year-old Brent Morrison was murdered in cold blood while jogging in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in early July 2015. While the authorities arrested the perpetrator on the spot, they could not find any motive for the senseless killing. If you’re interested in finding out more about the case, including the killer’s identity and current whereabouts, we’ve your back. Let’s begin then, shall we?
How Did Brent Morrison Die?
Brent Morrison was born to Jackson Dale Morrison in Little Rock in Pulaski County, Arkansas, on April 7, 1971. Employed by Aerotek in Tulsa, Oklahoma, he lived every day like he was living his dream, with a perpetual smile and an unsinkable attitude. He loved running, and biking, and his friends, especially Tonya and Robert Gambill of Conway, Arkansas, and his wife, Dianne Morrison. Brent was a member of Spa Pacers in Hot Springs and Western Arkansas Runners in Fort Smith. Dianne described her husband as “always the happiest, go-lucky person.”
She added, “He always wanted to get in his run and help runners.” The wife recalled how Brent used to wake up at 4:30 am to train other runners, volunteer at race aid stations, and help pace other athletes. Family sources claimed he was trying to find another 50K to race at the time of his death. Hence, it was shocking when the 44-year-old was killed while jogging on his favorite route near Wells Lake Road in Fort Smith, Arkansas, just before 7:00 am on July 11, 2015. The autopsy report determined the victim was shot nine times with a .22-caliber rifle.
Who Killed Brent Morrison?
According to police reports, a passerby found Brent fatally shot multiple times and lying on the road around 6:45 am on July 11. He called 911, and the emergency responders arrived at the crime location to declare the victim dead. However, the police arrested the perpetrator on the scene — a former Marine named John Suleski, then 24. He was a staff sergeant for a year in the 188th Wing of the Arkansas Air National Guard, serving as a photojournalist in the public affairs office. He had previously served in the Marine Corps but not overseas.
The investigators took him into custody after seeing him languishing in his car on the spot. The show noted how John voluntarily agreed to let the police search his car before they found the .22-caliber rifle and multiple shell casings inside his automobile before he was arrested. When brought to the police station, John offered several stories about what had happened. He initially claimed he was driving by when he saw a passerby waving him down and asking him for help. He was insistent that he did not know about Brent’s murder.
However, when the detectives confronted him with the firearm and shell casings found in his car, John quickly changed his story. He then claimed he had seen a squirrel while driving his car and decided to shoot it with his gun. The former Marine asserted it was a “silly thing” to do in retrospect, with people and traffic on the road. He alleged he shot Brent by mistake while attempting to hunt the rodent. But the police again called his story fraudulent as they told him the victim was shot multiple times — which was impossible to happen accidentally.
Finally, John broke down and claimed he was depressed due to financial trouble and marital issues. He claimed his erstwhile wife, Melissa, had been talking about divorce recently, with them already attending a couple of counseling sessions for the second time. He told investigators he was in his black Chevrolet HHR and stated he had previously loaded his .22-caliber rifle with ten rounds. The interview tapes also showed him confessing to sitting in the backseat of his black Chevrolet HHR and putting the barrel inside his mouth.
However, as he struggled to pull the trigger, John claimed he saw a cyclist ride past his car and contemplated shooting the rider. But he did not find his aim and returned to his suicide attempt again when he saw 44-year-old Brent jogging past his vehicle. John rolled down his backseat window before firing a shot toward the jogger’s back as he ran past. An almost disappointed John recounted how the jogger turned around and said, “Ouch.” Police reports stated Brent cried out in pain and fell to the ground, but John continued shooting him.
He said in a recorded interview, “I shot him in the back, and then he turned around, shot him again and again.” When asked how many times he fired his firearm at the victim, John claimed he had lost count. The Arkansas State Crime Lab stated the medical examiner found nine gunshot wounds in Brent’s body, including one to the back of the head. Cpl. Barbara Williams said, “It’s quite complicated to understand how or why this happened. I think the victim was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And the suspect also — wrong place, wrong time.”
Where is John Suleski Now?
John claimed he had thought his “pain would go away” if he killed a stranger, but it did not. He alleged he tried to kill himself again unsuccessfully and tried to help Brent. However, he alleged he could not find his first-aid box in his vehicle. He was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and discharging a firearm from a car. During his December 2016 trial, John’s defense attorney provided expert testimony that their client had recurrent major depression, a schizoid personality disorder, and an adjustment disorder with anxiety.
However, the prosecution’s witness — Paul Deyoub, a forensic psychologist who conducts tests for the Arkansas State Hospital — testified John was not psychotic and exhibited high intellect. Paul stated, “You can’t be psychotic one minute and not the next minute. Unless you’re on LSD.” With ‘temporary insanity’ not a legal defense in Arkansas, the court convicted John of both charges and sentenced him to two life sentences. The 32-year-old is incarcerated at the Cummins Unit of the Arkansas Department of Corrections prison.