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Jennifer Papain Vanishes After Craigslist Meeting, Chad Johnson on Trial for Her Murder


A Troubled Past

When asked why he killed Papain, Johnson responded that he “‘just snapped’” and he “‘is f*cked up,’” according to Soto’s testimony.

The detective told jurors Johnson had given police the details of his violent past before his confession, while showing police where he drove with Papain. Johnson said he was living on the streets of Brooklyn when he was 13 years old and that he was raped repeatedly by his two older brothers, both convicted murderers who are currently in jail for other crimes, according to Soto.


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Aside from cheating with prostitutes, Johnson told detectives he had sex with his girlfriend’s sister, who also shared the Medford house with them, and that his mother was in jail for stabbing her. Things had gotten so bad at the house, Johnson told investigators, that he no longer used the front door and instead would come and go through a window.

“He told us that he needed help, that he had anger problems especially with women and sex,” Soto testified. “That he had hurt some of his girlfriends in the past and even choked them.”

One girlfriend still has a restraining order against him and police said Johnson told them that when she broke up with him, he slit his wrists in front of her. He was ordered by a court to go to anger management classes three times a week for $70 each but couldn’t afford it, they said.

“I know what I did was wrong and I don’t want any forgiveness,” Johnson said in his written murder confession. “But I have a very bad anger problem that I’ve had my whole life. I sometimes get very violent and do things I regret.”

Johnson, a criminal justice major who told police he wanted to be an FBI profiler to get into the minds of criminals, claimed he had been honest about everything he told police in the multiple times he was questioned after Papain’s disappearance.

“I was honest with you guys,” Johnson allegedly told detectives. “The only thing I didn’t tell you is that I killed her.”

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