Catherine Davis Murder: How Did Johnny Lewis Die?

Image Credit: California Department of Motor Vehicles

Police officers in Los Angeles, California, responded to an assault complaint on September 26, 2012, when circumstances triggered a homicide investigation. Upon arriving at the said property, officers found the landlady, Catherine “Cathy” Davis, murdered, while her cat, Jessie, was also horribly dismembered. Investigation Discovery’s ‘Death by Fame: Man of Anarchy’ chronicles the gruesome incident and follows the investigation that tried its best to get to the bottom of the matter. Let’s delve into the details and find out more, shall we?

How Did Catherine Davis Die?

Catherine Davis was an 81-year-old landlady who owned a residential property in Los Angeles, California. She mostly rented the property out to creatives, including writers and actors, who were visiting the city and needed a place to crash for a few days. People who knew Catherine described her as a kindhearted and generous individual who never hesitated to help others and always welcomed everyone with a smile. Besides, while she was pretty well respected in her community, she mainly lived by herself and was on amicable terms with most of her tenants, making her sudden demise all the more shocking.

Image Credit: The Daily Mail/Facebook

On September 2016, 2012, authorities in Los Angeles received a complaint in which a tenant living on Catherine’s property was accused of attacking two neighbors. Surprisingly, when police officers arrived at the scene, they were surprised to find that the top floor of the house had been completely ransacked, suggesting a possible burglary. Yet, when investigating further, officers came across a badly mangled body of a cat before locating Catherine, who lay unresponsive on the floor.

An initial medical examination indicated blunt force trauma to the head, and an autopsy soon determined that the homeowner had been beaten mercilessly to death by a heavy, blunt object. Additionally, the cops identified the cat as Catherine’s pet, Jessie, and affirmed that she was also killed by the same person who had attacked the 81-year-old.

Who Killed Catherine Davis?

When authorities reached the residential property, they learned that a tenant named Johnny Lewis had allegedly attacked two neighbors, which prompted the initial 911 call. Quite surprisingly, the police soon came across his deceased body in the courtyard and realized that he had jumped to his death from the roof. Besides, an autopsy confirmed that he had strangulation marks on his neck, hinting at a possible fight right before his fall.

Once authorities began their inquiries, they learned that Johnny, a well-known actor and singer Katy Perry’s ex-boyfriend, was a regular at the residential property. They further discovered that he shared a seemingly amicable relationship with Catherine, and the two were never involved in an altercation before the incident. Initially, Johnny’s death was treated as a homicide, and once authorities began looking into him, they learned how he had suffered head injuries from a motorcycle accident in October 2011.

Unfortunately, these injuries were too severe, and reports claim that Johnny had been showing signs of strange and irrational behavior since then. Additionally, detectives even discovered his struggles with drug abuse and realized that he had been paroled from prison on unrelated charges of assault and burglary just days before the incident. On top of that, people living at the same property claimed they had heard a woman scream shortly before calling the police, and most believed that Johnny had attacked Catherine.

This theory became quite likely as Johnny was linked to Catherine’s death through forensic evidence. Furthermore, detectives used DNA evidence to confirm that the 81-year-old had caused the strangulation marks around Johnny’s throat, although they were confident that she had done so in self-defense. Hence, the nature of Johnny’s death was changed to an accident instead of a homicide, and detectives officially announced that the actor killed Catherine and her cat but accidentally fell to his death from the house’s roof.

How Did Johnny Lewis Die?

Once investigators confirmed that Johnny had murdered Catherine and her cat, they began theorizing a possible murder-suicide. Moreover, they were aware of his history of drug abuse and wondered if he had consumed any such substances, which might have caused him to behave erratically. Nevertheless, further investigation ruled out the murder-suicide theory, and a medical examination confirmed that Johnny did not have drugs or alcohol in his system at the time of his death. Thus, the police believed that after killing Catherine and her pet, the actor tried to escape the crime scene through the roof but lost his footing before falling to his death below.

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