RARA-AVIS: E. Richard Johnson

From: Bill Crider ( abc@wt.net)
Date: 04 Aug 2001

Sue Feder posted this info on DorothyL the other day. I think it would be of interest to a lot of people on this list.

Bill Crider

Those of you who occasionally visit Magical Mystery Tour for the reviews may not have noticed that there are also several essays which I present for your entertainment. There's one on Ellis Peters (of course), Thomas H. Cook (of course), Brooklyn, NY (of course), and a brand new one on E. Richard Johnson, which contains information not previously published anywhere, including news of his 1997 death. My decision to update an old (1988) article on him led to quite the bit of detection work of my own, I humbly offer: he was released from prison
(where he'd been since 1964, mostly) in 1991, and died (unbeknownst to anyone in the mystery community) in 1997. I spoke with his old publisher, agent, the prosecutor who had notified the agent about the death, prison and parole officials, couldn't get any info on the guy's final years. Finally, after getting his death date from the agent, I checked him out in the Social Security Death Index and found out where he was living when he died -- a small city in Minnesota. I learned the name of the local paper, prevailed upon a very nice lady to see if there had been an obituary, and from that got the name of his surviving relatives. One had an unusual name, and I tracked her down through the
'Net. From her daughter I got the name of Johnson's girlfriend of his final years, and therein got the "rest of the story." I definitely think I missed my calling in life! Anyway, links to the essays can be found by scrolling down the site index page (that's the first page you hit) at

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