Losing a child is probably a parent’s biggest nightmare, but it becomes all the more tragic when a young life is abruptly cut short due to someone’s cruel actions. Charley and Oscar Johnson went through this traumatic ordeal when their young son, Jason Oscar Johnson, was fatally attacked in October 1998, leading to his untimely death. Netflix’s ‘I Am A Killer: The Bogeyman’ chronicles his shocking murder and its impact on his loved ones. If you wish to know more about how Charley and Oscar are doing presently, here’s what we can tell you.
Who Are Charley and Oscar Johnson?
In the ’90s, Charley Kibby Johnson and Oscar B. Johnson lived in Joplin, Missouri, with their three sons, Brian, Darrin, and Jason. Charley is a renowned dancer who established her dance academy, Charley’s Body Shoppe, in 1985. The family had an idyllic life, and the couple had great hopes for their children, especially their youngest son, a star athlete. Unfortunately, their dreams were shattered on October 2, 1998, when the 28-year-old decided to go out at night with his friends.
Some hours later, Charley and Oscar received the news that Jason had been stabbed and taken to the hospital due to excessive blood loss. According to his friends and other bystanders, he had bumped into a woman named Tammy Wilson at a convenience store, who allegedly misunderstood he had groped her. Hence, she complained about this to Gary Black, the man accompanying her at the time. Known for his violent tendencies and racist behavior, he decided to take revenge and tailed Jason and his friends in his car.
At the stoplight at Joplin and 5th, Gary stopped next to the truck Jason and his friend were in, got down from his car, and stabbed the 28-year-old in the neck through the passenger window before returning to his vehicle. Bleeding profusely, the latter staggered out of the truck and reached Gary’s car, trying to hit him with his fist and throwing his beer bottle at him. Eventually, the perpetrator drove away, and a gravely injured Jason was helped by his friends and the bystanders.
By the time the paramedics arrived, the 28-year-old had lost consciousness due to extreme blood loss. Gary stabbed Jason once in the neck, causing a 4.5 to 6 inches deep wound that completely severed his jugular vein and damaged 75 percent of his carotid artery. This caused blood to come out of his mouth and block his airway, resulting in an oxygen shortage when he reached the hospital. Despite emergency surgery, Jason’s health deteriorated, and he suffered a stroke, which rendered him brain-dead.
Charley shared on the show that her son was put on life support for the next three days, forcing her and Oscar to take a drastic step that broke their hearts. On October 5, 1998, Jason’s health complications indicated no improvement, and the devastated parents decided to take him off life support to end his extreme suffering. Charley and Oscar were with their son as he breathed his last that day, becoming the most painful moment in their lives. Luckily, Gary was arrested in Oklahoma that day and was booked for Jason’s murder.
Where Are Charley and Oscar Johnson Today?
During the lengthy legal proceedings, Gary Black was twice sentenced to death, yet both times the conviction got overturned. Eventually, the court offered him a plea deal with Charley and Oscar’s consent, and he was sentenced to life behind bars without parole. Today, it has been more than 24 years since Jason tragically passed away, but his parents have carefully preserved all his memories and still remember their youngest child very fondly.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck the Johnsons again in 2014 when their eldest son, Brian, passed away. Charley spoke on the show about how she turned to her religious faith to cope with her sons’ deaths. She started her prayer ministry and is now a Pastor with the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The couple currently resides in Saint Louis, Missouri, and Charley still runs her dance academy, which teaches liturgical dance to youth and women. Moreover, she and her husband engage in several philanthropic activities to help the community.
In June 2021, Oscar celebrated his 80th birthday with his grandchildren, family, and friends. Charley stated on the show that even though Gary may have no remorse for his actions, they have forgiven him. She believes a life sentence is more befitting for him than a death penalty, as it may remind him daily about what he did to Jason. Nevertheless, we pray that Charley and Oscar have a peaceful life ahead.