Edward Johnson: Where is the Killer Now?

When Edward Johnson was imprisoned for killing Brooke Thompson, the authorities did not have any clue that it would lead to the loss of a prison officer. The episode titled ‘Johnson’ of ‘World’s Most Dangerous Prisoners’ profiles the murderous journey of Edward and how he continued his streak of violence during his time in prison. It also features exclusive interviews with several officials and victims’ loved ones, helping the viewers to gain intricate details about the cases.

Edward Johnson Was Charged With the Murder of a Friend in His Apartment

Brought into the world by two cops who worked for the Chicago Police Department, Edward Johnson Sr. and Celina Johnson, on June 14, 1976, Edward Muhammad Johnson was raised in a rather toxic household in Chicago along with his younger sister. The two siblings saw his parents indulge in domestic violence as his father had serious problems with alcoholism. Due to his father’s negative behavior, Celina tried to leave him on a number of occasions. Finally, in June 1988, she filed for divorce and kept custody of her children. A few months later, on September 13, Edward Sr. broke into his estranged wife and attacked her.

Image Credit: 11Alive

As things got heated between them, the 12-year-old Edward witnessed his father beating and shooting his mother to death. The two siblings went to their neighbor’s house and informed the police about it. As the police closed in on Edward Sr., he had died by suicide in a local motel. After losing their parents in a traumatic and tragic manner, Edward and his sister relocated to Minneapolis, Minnesota, where they were raised by an aunt. By the time he was 26, he had been to prison several times for minor charges. But in 2002, when he crossed paths with Brooke Thompson, both of their fates were going to change in the next few months.

In the summer, she reached out to Edward to help her get out of an abusive relationship with her then-boyfriend. So, Edward offered Brooke and her 5-year-old daughter, Taylor, a place in his Bloomington, Minnesota, apartment. Soon, he started becoming a controlling figure in her life, which she found creepy. Before she could think about her next move, he stabbed her to death in his bathtub after banging her head on the bathroom door multiple times, which was witnessed by Taylor. It didn’t take long for the authorities to arrest and charge him with the crime. While awaiting trial, he assaulted a detention deputy who got a cut under his left eye at Hennepin County Jail.

Edward Was Found Guilty of Killing a Prison Officer

After several months, Edward Johnson’s trial for the murder of Brooke Thompson commenced on February 13, 2003. After accepting a plea deal, he was sentenced to 29 years and life in prison for second-degree intentional homicide and locked up in Minnesota Correctional Facility in Stillwater. About a year later, Edward was in the middle of a serious scuffle with an inmate who stabbed him in his right eye in the Stillwater prison. Following the incident, he sued the Department of Corrections as they had failed to protect him from another inmate. He received half a million dollars in compensation, most of which was given to the family of his victim, Brooke Thompson.

Joseph “Joe” Gomm//Image Credit: Minnesota Department of Corrections

Over the years, with revenge in his mind, he kept looking for opportunities as he walked the corridors of prison. After spending about 1700 days in segregation, he was allowed to join the industry program at the prison facility in 2018, which turned out to be fatal for one of the prison officers — Joseph “Joe” Gomm. As he blamed Joe for the eye incident that occurred in 2004, Edward capitalized on the one chance he found him all alone in the metal shop. On July 18, 2018, with a prison hammer and a makeshift knife, he ended up bludgeoning Joe and stabbing him twice in the chest, leading to his tragic demise.

Almost immediately, Edward was transferred to a high-security prison — Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights. Just a month after the murder, a grand jury officially indicted him on the crime. The killer pleaded guilty to the first-degree murder charge before the trial and received a life imprisonment sentence without the possibility of parole in October 2020. He was reportedly ordered to serve his two life sentences at the Minnesota Correctional Facility in St. Cloud.

Edward Johnson is Currently Incarcerated at a Non-DOC Prison Facility

In July 2021, the family of Joseph “Joe” Gomm was reportedly set to sue MINNCOR Industries, the Minnesota Department of Corrections division responsible for handling the industry building where Edward Muhammad Johnson killed him. They also alleged that the officials of the Department of Corrections knew that the convict was dangerous to the officers present on the scene as he had openly stated that the fight that lost him his eye broke out due to negligence from the officers and had been out for revenge.

The lawsuit stated that due to Edward’s “violent nature, continued threats of revenge, lack of security, access to dangerous tools, and understaffing of industry” caused Joe’s death. As of writing, the murderer is serving his two consecutive life sentences at a non-DOC facility, possibly at USP Florence Admax in Colorado.

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