compiled by Patrick H. Moore
Being married has always been a challenge and we are all familiar with cases of spousal abuse that go on for decades and sometimes end disastrously for both parties. In my experience, it’s rare, however, for a newly-wed to loathe his or her spouse so much that he or she resorts to murder. Strangely, that appears to be exactly what has happened in the case of Jordan Linn Graham of Kalispell, Montana and her deceased husband Cody Lee Johnson.
According to a newly-released Federal affidavit, when Johnson vanished on or around July 7th, a mere eight days after their nuptials, Graham originally told the authorities that when the couple arrived home from a dinner party, she realized her cell phone was going dead and she left the house to collect her phone charger which she claimed she had left at another location:
“Graham said while she was retrieving her cell phone charger … she received a cellular text message from Johnson’s phone saying he was going for a drive with a friend from out of town,” the complaint states. “When Graham arrived back at the house she advised she saw a dark-colored car pulling out of the driveway. Graham stated she is sure Johnson was in the dark car.”
At a later date, Graham allegedly told authorities she could not produce the text because “she and Johnson routinely delete their text messages.”
Graham was taken into custody in Kalispell where she made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Missoula Monday afternoon. She is charged with second-degree murder.
According to Johnson family friend Tracey Maness, “Nobody is shocked at all” that Graham is suspected in her husband’s murder. “She’d been telling people she knew she never wanted to be married, she just wanted to have a wedding, and that’s apparently what they were arguing about.”
In the affidavit dated July 16th, Graham states that after having had an argument on the evening of July 7th, they decided to travel to Glacier National Park, perhaps to attempt to iron out their differences. Based on the affidavit, their plan clearly didn’t work:
“Once there, they walked on The Loop hiking trail for a while and were arguing. Then they walked to the other side of the trail to an area that was very steep and proceed(ed) down the rocks near a stump. Graham stated their argument intensified.”
Graham allegedly stated that she turned to walk away, but that Johnson grabbed her by her arm.
“After removing Johnson’s hand from her arm, Graham stated she could have just walked away, but due to her anger, she pushed Johnson with both hands in the back and as a result, he fell face first off the cliff,” the complaint says.
An autopsy on July 19 confirmed Johnson’s injuries were consistent with a fall from a cliff.
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The back story is as follows:
On July 11, a friend of Graham’s identified only as “K.M.” informed the authorities that Graham had told her she was having second thoughts about having gotten married, and was going to talk to her husband about it.
Graham’s text to K.M. read:
“Oh well, I’m about to talk to him.”
“I’ll pray for you guys,” K.M. responded.
Graham replied to that by saying, “But dead serious if u don’t hear from me at all again tonight, something happened.”
Tracey Maness told Alice Walker, a reporter at the Missoulian last week that Johnson’s family was sure he had been murdered, and was frustrated the investigation had dragged on into September without any apparent results.
It’s always a sad thing when one member of a couple deeply loves his or her partner but the beloved does not reciprocate:
“He was very in love with Jordan,” Maness said last week. “And he was really excited about starting the next chapter of his life.”
Oddly enough, the couple had dated for two years, according to Maness, before Johnson proposed last December.
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Another oddity (and inculpatory factor) is the fact that it was Graham herself who reported that she had found her husband’s body below The Loop four days after his “disappearance.”
The park ranger who met Graham there with the body “commented to Graham he thought it was unusual that she had found the body,” the affidavit says. “Graham replied, ‘It was a place he wanted to see before he died,’ and, ‘He would come up here with friends to drive fast when his friends were visiting from out of state.’ ”
There were other suspicious pieces of the puzzle. Graham told a friend of the couple, “A.H.”, that she had received an email while working at a daycare center that read:
“The email said Johnson had left with three friends, went hiking, had fallen, was dead, and the search should be called off.”
Maness insists that family and friends suspected Graham “from the day (Johnson) went missing.”
“She kept continuing to lie, she kept changing her story,” Maness says. “She showed no grief and she would not speak to Cody’s mother.”
* * * * *
I guess that seals the seal. If you won’t talk to your spouse’s mother after he dies mysteriously, it’s a strong indication that your hands are not clean.
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