Posted On November 2, 2014 By In Buzzworthy, Issues, The Scene

Justice for Scott Johnson


On December 9th, 1988, 27-year-old Scott Johnson, a gay American mathematician, was found dead and naked on the rocks near Blue Fish Point in Sydney, Australia. No unusual conditions were noted. It was reported a suicide. A judge corroborated this theory.

Scott’s older brother, Steve Johnson, thought differently.

After hiring a private investigator, it became clear to Mr. Johnson that suicide was most likely not the case. Instead, it was discovered that Blue Fish Point was, in fact, what was known in Sydney as a ‘gay beat’, which is to say, a location where gay men met up to have anonymous sex. Often times, violence erupted at these events, compliments of homophobic straight men whose idea of a fun Saturday night involved physically hurting a couple ‘poofs’. Yet, when Scott Johnson died, police informed the local court that Blue Fish Point was not an area visited by gay men. And so the case was tabled until 2005 when a deputy state judge found that the deaths of a handful of other gay men were the result of severe violence. She went on to chastise local police for their gross mishandling of these investigations (the deaths, in this case, were considered accidental).

Since this discovery, Johnson has spent the past nine years raising money independently for investigations rooted in discovering the truth of his brother’s death, and all other deaths that occurred near gay beats at the time. Unfortunately, recent police inquiry into Scott Johnson’s case found no compelling new evidence, sources say, and local police have refused to conduct any further investigation. To this day, Scott Johnson’s death remains a mystery. Today, Johnson continues to independently campaign on his brother’s behalf.

In the words of Johnson’s son, Ruben: “The best we can ask is for civilians to spread awareness of this atrocity. It is well established that hate crimes have occurred and will continue to occur, as extremist factions of society will always exist and pray upon the marginal members of society. What people need to be aware of is that, for whatever reason, the (Sydney) police were likely to simply cut corners whenever a body surfaced near a gay beat.”


If you’d like to support the current ‘Justice for Scott Johnson’ campaign, you can find the pertinent information here:

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Will is the Co-Founder and CEO of Taken Films. He holds an MFA in Film Production from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He wrote a book that you haven't read. It's called 'My Blood Feet.'