Murder, Mystery & Makeup - It WAS a Cover Up: LaVena Johnson

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hi guys how are you today

my name is Bailey Syrian

and it’s Monday

which means it’s murder Mystery and makeup Monday

if you’re new here

every Monday I’ve been sitting down getting ready

doing my makeup

and then talking about a true crime

or murder that’s happened

or something that’s true crime related

I know the 2

don’t make sense

but I mush them together

and this is what we got today

I want to talk about Lavina Johnson

have you heard about this story

so the thing is

this story like pisses me off to to the core

it makes me so angry

and I don’t know

I guess it’s just the whole idea of

when somebody bigger tries to

take advantage of somebody who’s much smaller than them

and they get away with it

that drives me absolutely up the wall

and so this story just like

pisses me off

and I will leave in the description box

the links if you want to look further into the story

or read up about it on your own

I’ll leave that in the description box as well

because there’s only so much I can cover to be

to be honest

so let’s just get into it

now here I go

the Johnson family grew up in Missouri

lavina in high school

she was an honor roll student

she was very smart

and she obviously wanted to go to college

when she graduated

so she told her family that

after high school

she actually want to join the military

and that way her college would be paid for

if she joined the military

her parents had no problem paying for college education

and paying for college in general

but she wanted to go to school out of state

so she lived in Missouri

and she wanted to go to college in California

and she wanted to work in the movie industry

since her father was in the military

and he was a retired veteran

she would follow in his footsteps

and join the military

have school paid for

just take initiative herself

and she didn’t want it to be a burden on her family

for them to pay

you know when you go to college out of state

all those fees that they add

she said I’m joining the military

let’s flash forward to 2005

lavina was stationed in Iraq

and she was a private

first class in the United States Army

at this point

she had been in Iraq for about 07:53 weeks

she would call home as often as she could

was pretty often

because she worked in the communications building

so she was around a telephone

all the time

so she would check in with the family

she would even write letters as well

and just see how the family is doing

she always sounded very positive in her letters

and from what her family said

just very upbeat positive

she was always trying to look at

the bright side

she was always excited to hear what was going on

with the family

she didn’t give off the impression that like

she wasn’t doing well at all

based off of what the family said

but also based off her letters

yeah she just seemed very positive

and I applaud her for that

because being in

I couldn’t imagine being in Iraq

being away from your family

it would be so scary

and she just seemed very positive though

so Lavina did mention early on

that there was some disrespect happening

in her letters

she mentioned that her fellow soldiers would call her

and any other of the women there

female warriors

and then they would call them

just females

and then they would call

them a soul

cause soul was half of a soldier

so July 14th 2005

um lavina called home

and she talked to her dad

about her day

she said she was locking up the communications building

just like any other night

but this night

the soldiers

that were inside of the communications building

were not listening to her

so she was saying like

that they had to leave

because the building was closing down

and that they needed to get out

this day like

the soldiers just were not listening to her

they were ignoring her

they weren’t moving

they weren’t getting up

they just were not listening to her

and then the general had showed up

and he ended up having to

kick the soldiers out

the general did not get upset with the soldiers

that weren’t listening to her

instead he got a little upset with Lavina

because she wasn’t being stern enough with the soldiers

the General told Lavina that she was too soft spoken

and nobody was going to listen to her

if she spoke

the way she did

that’s why nobody listens to her

is because she’s too soft spoken

and that she needs to

be more aggressive

lena’s dad was upset

hearing this

because he knew that

a general shouldn’t be

speaking to a private

the way that he was

speaking to her

so he just knew like

it wasn’t right

for the general

to be speaking to her

Lavina and her

in her position

the way he was

and it was upsetting to lavina’s father

that the general

didn’t get upset with the soldiers

instead getting mad with Lavina

so it just made her dad upset

dad is kind of worried for her

just like you need to get

a battle buddy

is what he told Lavina

so a battle buddy

is pretty much

someone that’s with you

all the time

who has your back

who is like

your shadow

so if she needs to

stand up to somebody

she has his partner there

who has her back

she kind of just told her dad like

I don’t feel comfortable

getting one of those

or I don’t feel comfortable

asking for a battle buddy

because I don’t

wanna ruffle anyone’s feathers

I don’t want

you know to bring more attention to myself

I don’t want to make it seem like I need help

she wanted to be able to do it on her own

and she didn’t want to ask for help

so she expressed that

she wasn’t comfortable doing that

and lavina’s father said

like you need to do this

I’ll give you some time

I’ll give you a chance to step up

and ask for one

but if you don’t

I’m gonna step up

and ask that

you have one

because you know

how you’re being treated

isn’t right

let her handle it

she’s grown up

just step away

like he was

just letting her

daughter do it

like he knew

she could do it

on her own go do it

and if you don’t

I’m gonna step up and do it

so it would come to

light later

maybe the reason

Lavina didn’t wanna

like speak up

and say anything

was because

lavina was recently

or had been recently

sexually assaulted

and she was also being

treated for an STD

it’s unknown

who the assaulter was

or whether it

had been fully reported

or documented

but it was not

known to the

Johnson family at all

that this had happened

she didn’t say anything

I think probably

because she didn’t want them to worry

so once after it happened

she was trying her best

just to lay low and not

cause any more

issues I mean

we don’t really know

what happened

like as far as

after she reported it

and she was being

treated for an STD

like we don’t know

did they blame her

did the person who did this to her

get in trouble

because there was no documents

there was just

nothing showing

that anything

really happened

she was sexually assaulted

and then it was just kinda

like moving on

so I’m assuming

when her father

had asked her

to get a battle

buddy that probably

went through her mind

like I don’t

wanna say anything

because I just

caused this

issue about

being assaulted

and you know

now I have to ask

for a battle buddy

like they’re just gonna

something was

obviously going on

where she didn’t feel safe

to even ask

for any type of help

so 3 days following that

last phone call

Lavina called home

saying that

she might get

to come home early

that she would be home

around Christmas time

and to not decorate

the Christmas tree

because that

was something

that she really

enjoyed doing

with her family

and that she was

gonna be home very sadly

that was the last time

the family spoke to Lavina

a couple of days

after that phone call

the family at home

the Johnson family

they got a knock

on the door

and it was a soldier

and he came to tell

the Johnson

family that

Lavina had died

family obviously

in complete shock

lavina’s mother

is just on the

floor crying

lavina’s father

is asking well

how could this be

how could she be dead

like we just talked to her

she lavina wasn’t in active combat

so they didn’t understand

how could she

how could she be

how could she die

she’s in a safe

place she worked

in the communications building

nothing was

going on over there

they kept asking

for more details

trying to figure out how

how could she be dead

there’s just

no way like

we need answers

the soldier

who was at the home

he think he


slipped and said

that Lavina

took her own life

lavina’s father

just kind of

looks at the soldier like

are you telling me

that my daughter

killed herself

and the soldier

kept trying

to backtrack

like no I didn’t say that

they don’t know

how she died

I didn’t I didn’t say that

she took her own life

you know word vomit

that’s not what

they said at all

she they just wanted me

to tell you that

she passed away

so this kind of

raised obviously

some red flags

like why would he

randomly say that

she committed suicide

that just doesn’t make any

sense sorry

if I’m having a hard time talking

I’m having a very hard time talking

so the following day

they get a phone call

which is gonna

better explain

what happened to Lavina

the mother and father

of Lavina are

first of all

they’re just

your heart breaks for them

the mother is more of

she shows all of

her emotion

she’s crying

obviously she lost

her daughter

she lost her baby

she’s just very upset

her father is

upset as well

but he’s more of the

like I know

how this goes

I’ve been in

the situation

like I know that

they’re hiding more

I’m gonna talk to them

I’m gonna handle all this

and don’t worry

about it like

I don’t want

you to be more

upset by it

so let me handle

all of this

and then you just mourn

and I’m gonna find

the answers

so her father

steps up and

he is such like

a just a well

spoken calm

he’s upset but

like he’s just

you’re just

rooting for him

because they

just seem like

such good people again

I’m gonna list

links down below

where you could see

interviews with them

and you will just

like you just

wanna hug them

and help them

and yeah anyway

so her father

is the one who mainly


this more and

presses for answers

so he gets on the phone

and gets some

answers okay

well what happened

how did she die

on the phone

they explain

well she had

a normal day

she was at the

communications office

working and then

she got off

about 4 or 5 p m

So she locked up

the building

from the building

she would walk

to her physical

training but

she was found

in her physical

training sweats

so they assumed

that she was

on her way to

the physical

training the guys

on the phone

they told him

well she didn’t show up

to physical

training so

somebody went

looking for her

and she was just

kind of nowhere

to be found

eventually Lavina

was found in

a contractors room

and she was laying

on her back

in a pool of blood

with her arm

covering her face

why she was in her


room I don’t

I don’t know

there were photos

released now

that you can see

and it’s just such an

awful scene

so I will explain the photo

as best as I could

so lavina’s

laying on her back

and her left arm

I believe is

covering her face

on her right side

was a pile of

burned papers

on the left of Lavina

on the right hand

side of the

frame was a

green caught

and on the other

side of the

green caught

was an M 16 rifle

so right away

you’re thinking

well if she

killed herself

how did the gun get on

the other side

of the caught

doesn’t make any sense

the holidays

are just around the corner

are you looking for

the perfect gift

for your loved ones

well I mean

this past year

has really reminded us

of the importance

of sharing special moments

with our family

and friends

but sometimes

it could be

difficult to

stay in touch

when family

is far away

I totally know

that feeling

for a really

special gift

for the special people

in your life

check out before

lavina’s body

was sent back home

the army does

an autopsy and

they rule it

as a suicide

they say that

she Lavina she

took notes from

her boyfriend

at the time

they had been dating

for about 6 months

she then lit

them on fire

then she put

the M16 rifle

in her mouth

and she shot herself

the army said that

she was having

a hard time

with this boyfriend

and that’s why

she did it cause

she was just very

upset over this

boyfriend once

lavina’s body

had come back home

the army had


that they do

a closed casket

because of how

bad lavina’s

body was in

shape I mean

she took an M16

rifle and she

shot herself

you know do

significant damage

there should be

a lot of damage

if that is what

happened so

they recommended

that the family

do a closed

casket just

because of how

traumatic it was

but naturally

because her

parents are like

hmm there’s

just something

fishy going on

they decide to go

against that

and they do

an open casket

and I’m glad they did

because her

father notices

right away her

face was in

pristine condition

he did notice

a few things

so her nose

looked like

it had been broken

and shifted

to the side

but then it

looked like someone

tried to pop it

back into place

he also noticed

a bunch of small cuts

and bruises

on her face

and around her lips

and her teeth were

loose as well

like she had been

punched her

the only sign

that she had died

of a gunshot wound

was because

she had a small

bullet wound

on the left side

of her head

and it was small

first of all

and secondly

it was on the left

side of her

hand and she’s

right handed

I mean it was

on the left side

of her head

and she was

right handed

so the position

doesn’t make sense

plus it’s an M 16

if you don’t know

what an M 16 is

it’s pretty

effing huge

I can’t give you the

exact dimensions

because I don’t know

but I have seen

pictures of it

and it’s humongous right

lavina is 5ft one

she’s little

it it’s if your

if your M 16

is almost as

tall as you

how is she even

gonna reach

it pull the

trigger not

completely blow

her head off

I’m sorry but

you know it’s

just none of

it’s making

sense also they

were telling

the family that

she put the gun

in her mouth

how did she

put the gun

in her mouth

and on the left side

of her brain

left side of her

brain have a

small hole the

whole thing

none of it makes

sense it’s like

they didn’t

even try to

cover this up

properly they

were just like

suicide out

her dad was a vet

like he knew

what an M16

exit wound should

look like and

he knew the

small hole was not

was not that

and right away

he knew that

it was a 9mm

that was used

to shoot her

but there was nothing

about a 9mm

on the report

at all but wait

there is more

when they got

her body and

they opened

up the casket

they noticed that

her gloves were

glued onto her hands

when the family

had talked to

the funeral

director about this

they mentioned

the funeral

director they

mentioned like

gluing gloves

onto a hand

isn’t even a thing

so why they

glued these

gloves onto

lavina’s hand

they don’t know

I don’t know

if they ever

took off the

gloves from

her hands I’m

assuming they did

I didn’t really

see anything

or read anything

about like what

her hands look like

oh you know

what you know

I just thought of

they probably

glued it on

her hand so

they couldn’t

get any DNA

underneath her nails

or maybe they

like burned off

her fingers

or something

to make sure

they couldn’t

get any DNA

evidence from

her hands cause

you know if

look real talk

if somebody’s

attacking you

try your best

to scratch the

shit out of

them and get

as much DNA

under your goddamn

claws as you

possibly can

you hear me

if you learn anything

I pray that

it does not

happen to you

but if it does

make sure you

scratch the shit

out of them

okay don’t let

them get away

so lavina’s

family knew

this is not

a suicide okay

this is not a suicide

this is a cover

up one thing

that really

bothered lavina’s

father was that

there was no

rape kit done

they didn’t do

any fingernail

testing so they

hire a criminal


to take over the case

they know that

they’re not

gonna get anywhere

with the Army

they’re not

gonna get the

answers they want

and they just

have to do it

themselves they find

themselves up

against the

United States

Army who will

not budge on

their findings

they want nothing to do

with the case

they’re not just

gonna willingly

hand over any


about Lavina

unless they

have the proper

documents family

eventually does

get some documents

regarding Lavina

and like what

had happened

so these documents

contain the crime

scene images

they haven’t

even seen the

crime scene

yet I’m sure

nobody wants

to see that

but it’s important

they finally receive

these images

they are just

the worst and

lowest quality

you can think of

I’m talking

if you look at

these images

it’s like black and white

Xeroxed grainy

can’t really

make out what

anything is

nothing’s in

color it’s like

they just didn’t

even try to

give the family

the proper images

I mean why would they

they’re obviously

hiding something

but it was just

kind of it’s just

ridiculous it’s

like really

this is what

you’re sending me

all you can

see is like

shadows but

even from the

shadows they

could tell it

doesn’t make sense

so they see

like the grainy

like a shadow

of livina’s body

but they notice

that the gun

is on the other

side of that

cot so it’s

like okay this

right away yeah

you sent me this

grainy photo

but I can tell

right here this

doesn’t even

make sense so

another finding

in these documents

that the family

received was

that there was

no gunpowder

on her hands

on lavina’s

hands there

were witness

reports saying

that Lavina

was raped and

that she was also

being treated

for an STD so

this is the

first time now

that the family

is hearing about this

so what happened

what was the outcome

who did it it

just left him

with so many

more questions

no answers when he

asked anybody

from the army

they would always

just give him

the run around

I mean even

with all this

evidence thrown

in his face

in their faces

they still were

like no she

committed suicide

nothing we can

do about it

case closed

so in the documents

that they received

there was a

random page

and it was a

Xerox copy of

a CD ROM now

a lot of people

would say that

the Xerox copy

of the CD ROM

was an accident

that somebody

just mistakenly

like xeroxed

this CD ROM

and threw it in there

but the family

believed that

this was like

somebody trying

to give them

a hint or a clue

like there’s

actually a lot

more to this

and they’re

hiding it from

you and it’s

on the CD ROM

so of course

the battle begins

trying to get

this CD ROM

because US Army

is not just

gonna hand it over

no they’re not

lavina’s fathers

asking okay

I need this CD ROM

and they’re

giving him push

back like we’ll

give it to you

but you need

to get like

you need to

go to court

and get the correct

paperwork to


get this and

it’s not just

an easy process

of course the

army comes back

and says that

they can’t release the CD

ROM because

it has you know

other people’s

names on there

and they have the

right to to

their own privacy

you know and

then levine’s

father comes back

saying well

now I want the

CD ROM even

more because

if this has

to do with my

daughter’s death

or giving me answers

as far as what

happened to

my daughter

and these names

are in there

then I have

the right to

these people’s


and their names

because they

had something

to do with my

daughter’s murder

the US Army

still said you know

what we’re not

gonna give this

to you and if

you want it

you can get

a lawyer and

come after us

Johnson family

ended up going

straight to


for help so

they just like

one of them

so they went to


Lacey Clay 2

years later

they finally

get the CD ROM

2 years later

it had the original

pictures in color

of the scene

of the crime

and it pretty

much showed

um it was all

photos of Lavina

her body her


the gun her body

are said that

the autopsy

like her body

laid out um

with no clothing on

before they did

the autopsy

her body after the

it was just

like picture

by picture of

the whole process

these photos

were just hardcore proof

that she did not

commit suicide

which the family

already knew

in these images

on the CD ROM

on levine’s

body you could

see that she

had bruising

and cuts to

the face like

she had been

struck by a

blunt object

or instrument

her elbow it

had been popped

out of place

like you could

tell it was

dislocated on

her backside

it was covered

in mud dirt

debris like

she had been

dragged like

across the floor

pictures of

blood outside

of the tent

the images of her

where she was

fully undressed

showed even

just more there

were burn marks

on her hand

and her back

as if someone

was trying to

set fire to

her body she

had so much

like bruising

on her stomach

it looked like

when she was down

on the floor

somebody or

people were

trying to like

beat her up

on the floor

kicking her

and if that’s

not bad enough

the worst part of all

her lower regions

her genitals

there was acid

poured into her

lower regions

as if somebody

was trying to

get rid of any

type of DNA

evidence so

once again here’s

the family like

calling them up

like okay so

you’re telling me

that Lavina

beat herself

up I’m sorry

this isn’t fun

lavina beat

herself up okay

she took off

all her clothes

attempted to

set herself

on fire then

she poured acid

into her lower

regions put her

clothes back on

she then must

have dragged

herself across

the dirt and

then finally

after all of

that torture

she shot herself

so you’re telling me that’s what happened

what a joke right

so you know the US Army is like

well this case is closed

it’s a suicide

we’re not reopening it

okay so there’s actually more

as if that all wasn’t bad enough

so on the CD ROM

there are more images

and in these images it shows that lavina’s tongue

anus and part of her vagina were cut out

none of this

was even reported on the original autopsy report

and the theory is

based on the cuts and wounds around these areas

is a material called wound stat

was used on her

this material wound stat

is used in the field when someone is shot or hurt

it’s a liquid that goes into your open wound it hardens

and what it does is it prevents more bleeding

or just blood loss in general

in order for it to be removed from the body

it does have to be surgically removed removed

so you can’t just take it out

on your own

so it was believed

that the wound stat

was placed into these areas

it would cover up any more DNA evidence

because it would have to be cut out

like you can’t just take it out

so her family

they have done everything they can to keep fighting

and they are still fighting

the entire US government

to try and get answers

as to what happened to their daughter

they just want the US government

they just want this to go away

and they want absolutely nothing to do with it

they still have it listed as a suicide

and they report that there was no foul play

with lavina’s

I don’t know if they have fully gotten closure

on what had happened to their daughter

I was kind of trying to figure out like

where the family is now

and I couldn’t really find too much

that’s recent

they were doing a lot of interviews for a while

up until like 2009 2010

and then they just kind of

like stopped

so I hope they’re okay

lavina like stepped up

she went to the army

she was paying for her own school

she was really smart

she was an honorable student

she was just doing the right thing

she was following like

her father’s footsteps

she just wanted to go to school

that’s the only reason why she signed up for it

and in return

she gets murdered

and then covered up

and then like

the family is just completely dismissed

like nothing

they are saying

is credible

and that they’re crazy

for even doubting

what benefit does the military have

by not acknowledging this

like that’s what I have a hard time understanding

I mean yeah

I’m sure it doesn’t look good on them

this where they’re covering it up

and not even acknowledging that they have issues

going on inside the military

it’s like makes it look worse

so I don’t understand

why why why

I don’t get it

anyways I hope a lot of my rambles make sense

and I’m not trying to discredit the military at all

like if you were in the military

or if you know

someone who was in the military

I’m not trying to say like

they’re bad people at all

that that’s not what I’m trying to get at all

um I applaud you

joining the military and serving the country

because it’s honestly

something that I could never do

um I just don’t have the balls

I’m a bitch

like realistically

it takes a very strong person to do that

but I do think like

there are issues going on in the military

and why can’t they bring it to light

and why can’t they fix it

I just don’t understand

I’m very confused

again I apologize that this was kind of like

all over the place

I was really trying my best here

but I’m Day Quill

I’m not feeling well

rest in peace alina

and I really hope her family

found some kind of peace

I hope that you have a good day today

please make good choices out there

be safe I think that’s it

and I’ll see you guys later bye