A groomsman in Cody Lee Johnson’s wedding warned him not to marry Jordan Linn Graham, who authorities now say pushed her husband of one week off a cliff in Glacier National Park.

“Their interaction with each other, it didn’t seem like a happy, loving relationship that you would normally see. It was just very awkward, I guess,” said Cameron Fredrickson, who knew Johnson since 2006.

“She was just very distant and reserved,” said Fredrickson, who worked with Johnson at Nomad Global Communication Solutions in Kalispell.

On Monday, federal authorities took 22-year-old Graham into custody under a criminal complaint that contends she killed Johnson just days after their wedding, during an argument on a trail near Glacier’s iconic Going-to-the-Sun Road.

As of Tuesday evening, Graham remained in the Missoula County jail. It was not immediately clear if she has waived her right to a grand jury hearing. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, alleges second-degree murder.

The case is the first murder in Glacier National Park’s history.

Although another suspicious death did occur in the park in 1983, Johnson’s death is the first to result in murder charges, park spokeswoman Denise Germann said.

The story drew international media attention Tuesday, with photos and a story in Britain’s Daily Mail and three separate segments on CNN – in addition to Associated Press accounts published nationwide and commentary on Internet news sites and talk shows.

*****

The gregarious and outgoing Johnson proposed to the shy Graham shortly before Christmas 2012, after a year of dating. The Kalispell couple had been together about two years when they married, Fredrickson said Tuesday.

Graham rarely spent time with Johnson’s friends during their courtship, and when she did, she was antisocial and unfriendly, he said.

Fredrickson felt so strongly that the couple wasn’t right for each other that he warned the 25-year-old Johnson not to marry Graham – and said he wasn’t the only friend to do so.

Johnson, though, was sure of his love for Graham and showed it on their wedding day, Fredrickson said.

“He was ecstatic. We knew it was what he wanted. There was no doubt about it,” he said.

Graham, however, did not look at Johnson while they recited their vows at the wedding, Fredrickson said.

If Johnson had reservations about the marriage, he didn’t reveal them in the eight days before his death – and probably wouldn’t have since his friends had expressed their own misgivings about the union, Fredrickson said.

In an interview with investigators, though, a friend of Graham’s identified only as K.M. told officers that Graham confided in her that she was having second thoughts about the marriage.

When Johnson didn’t show up for work on July 8, Fredrickson said he knew something was wrong and called and texted Johnson and relatives, trying to find him. He even called local media outlets, seeking help in getting out the word to look for Johnson.

Changes in Graham’s stories to him and to police fueled his suspicion that foul play was involved, and Fredrickson said he went to authorities with text messages he exchanged with Graham.

Initially, Graham told him that she hadn’t been at the house when Johnson left on the evening of July 7. Then, she told authorities that she had seen Johnson get into a dark-colored vehicle with Washington plates.

Johnson hadn’t indicated anything was wrong during the numerous times friends saw him between the wedding and his disappearance, Fredrickson said.

“There wasn’t anything different,” he said.

*****

Johnson wanted to spend his life with an honest, wholesome Christian girl, and Graham, who worked as a nanny, embodies that, said Lytaunie Blasdel, who has known Jordan since childhood and was a mutual friend of the couple.

“That was just Jordan, that just summed her up,” said Blasdel, whose brother introduced the couple.

Johnson was smitten with Graham immediately, she said, and the couple rarely fought.

Blasdel said things seemed a little off during the wedding, but that could have been because Graham was a painfully shy person and uncomfortable with the day’s attention. Graham sobbed before the ceremony, but Blasdel said she never learned why.

Graham’s arrest was unexpected, said Blasdel, who added that she and Graham had a falling out and hadn’t been particularly close for about a year, but that she attended the wedding.

“You don’t expect that to happen. It’s not like she was a disturbed person by any means,” she said.

Her behavior after Johnson’s disappearance was strange, though, Blasdel said.

“I just kept telling myself, maybe it’s a coping mechanism or maybe it’s because she’s around children all day and she doesn’t want to upset them,” Blasdel said.

The evening of July 11, Graham told authorities that she had found Johnson’s body in Glacier, according to the affidavit. His body was located by park officials on July 12, and had to be retrieved by helicopter – so steep was the terrain.

When authorities interviewed Graham again on July 16, she admitted giving false statements previously and said she had gotten in an argument with Johnson the night of his death.

The night of July 7, the couple drove to Glacier, where they walked along a trail in The Loop area, before they walked to the other side of the trail where the terrain was very steep, Graham said.

Their argument intensified and, at one point, Johnson grabbed 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 affidavit said.

When, days later, a park ranger responded to Graham’s call that she had found her husband’s body, he remarked that it was unusual that she was the one who located Johnson.

She replied: “It was a place he wanted to see before he died,” and added, “He would come up here with friends to drive fast when his friends were visiting from out of state.”

******

Graham’s arrest brings some closure to his family and friends, but opens up a whole new battle, said Tracey Maness, a close family friend.

“Basically, we’re just holding onto hope that it will be resolved, that charges will stick and someone will be punished,” Maness said Tuesday.

Like Maness, Fredrickson said the charges aren’t a surprise and that the ordeal is a long way from finished.

“Everyone’s like, OK, finally. It took long enough,” he said.

Why Graham would go so far as to kill Johnson remains a mystery, although there has been plenty of speculation, he said, adding he questions whether Johnson ever grabbed Graham’s arm during the argument.

Johnson was light-hearted, loving, selfless and easy going, Fredrickson said.

“He was just one of those great friends who was always a pleasure to have around. He was an overall great, good-hearted guy,” he said.

“My thought is that it’s really not closure because I suspected her from the beginning,” he said. “I want to know the whole story – in the affidavit, it said that she could have walked away but she didn’t.”

Questions remain as to why Johnson was killed, Blasdel said.

Johnson was the man every father hopes his daughter will marry. Graham was just naturally a quiet person, she said.

“And why not just walk away?” she said.

Reporter Alice Miller can be reached at 523-5251 or at alice.miller@missoulian.com.

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(9) comments

listen
listen

Big question "Why did it take more than a month to file the complaint after she confessed? Another example of the Feds in action?

be129
be129

Here's a good read as for how she will get little if any time:

Women Who Kill Too Much
and the Courts That Free Them:

The Twelve 'Female-Only' Defenses
http://www.harrysnews.com/tgWomenWhoKillTooMuch.htm

be129
be129

The Truth About Domestic Violence

The most recent large-scale study of domestic violence was published in the American Journal of Public Health in 2007. (Differences in Frequency of Violence and Reported Injury Between Relationships With Reciprocal and Nonreciprocal Intimate Partner Violence) The researchers analyzed data concerning 11,370 respondents. According to the researchers, “[H]alf of [violent relationships] were reciprocally violent. In non-reciprocally violent relationships, women were the perpetrators in more than 70% of the cases.” (This study is illustrated in the diagram below from the Psychiatric News, 8/3/07).

A quarter of the women surveyed admitted perpetrating violence, and when the violence involved both parties, women were more likely to have been the first to strike.

Such findings are consistent with decades of domestic violence research. The National Institute of Mental Health funded and oversaw two of the largest studies of domestic violence ever conducted, both of which found equal rates of abuse between husbands and wives.

Martin Fiebert, a professor at California State Long Beach University, maintains an online bibliography summarizing 219 scholarly investigations, with an aggregate sample size exceeding 220,000, which concludes “women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men in their relationships with their spouses or male partners.”
A meta-analytic review of 552 domestic violence studies published in the Psychological Bulletin found that 38% of the physical injuries in heterosexual domestic assaults are suffered by men.

Dr. Jennifer Langhinrichsen-Rohling of the University of South Alabama says that as she and other researchers grappled with this research, “Every time we tried to say that women’s intimate partner abuse is different than men’s, the evidence did not support it.”

According to Dr. Donald Dutton, author of Rethinking Domestic Violence, research shows that domestic violence is actually more common in lesbian relationships than in heterosexual relationships.

For example, one study of 1,100 lesbian or bisexual women who are in abusive lesbian relationships found that the women were more likely to have experienced violence in their previous relationships with women than in their previous relationships with men.


Domestic violence treatment providers justify their exclusion of male victims by citing crime and/or crime survey statistics which show that most reports of domestic violence are by women. Dr. Dutton explains:
“Domestic violence ‘research’ has been misleading, in that data has been extracted from crime reports and/or crime victim surveys, in which men under-report more than women, and have been publicized as indicating domestic violence is a gender issue, (male=perpetrator / female=victims.)


“In fact, when larger surveys with representative samples are examined, perpetration of domestic violence is slightly more common for females…”

Gadfly
Gadfly

I have been saying this to non-receptive audiences for 30 years. I am a therapist. I have been saying domestic violence is most often reciprocal or just as much women as men and we are not going to solve the problem until this is recognized and women take some responsibility. Men do not usually report attacks and women often do, and police typically go after the male in reciprocal domestic violence. The media portrayal of it complicates and distorts the problem.

reality checK 13
reality checK 13

what a bunch of made up propoganda! if that guy who wrote that false book, if it even exists, isn't cast out of the scientific comumunity, then there is no scientific community.
and from what i understand of this case, she has alot more reason on her side than o.j. simpson did, and he got off just fine and dandy didn't and for a far more brutal and calculating murder, with jealosy as the motive. in her case she had real reasons to be afaid of him. and what would her motive be? did she inherit a life insurance policy or a house on the hill? no, i don't think so. i think he intimidated her and had seriously imbalanced her on an emotional level as well as spiritual and she reacted badly to the abuse. out of not knowing what else to do in a state of semi shock and confusion.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

yeah, she's a "wholesome Christian girl"...NOT. She's a dangerous lying sociopath. Poor guy and his family, what a terrible tragedy. The thought of her working as a nanny makes me shudder.

jeffak
jeffak

Ditto, due to others falling to their death in the park the local papers had ran back to back stories of such happenings for a few weeks prior to Johnson getting pushed off a cliff. Don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure where she came up with idea...

Roger
Roger

I still believe the charge should be premeditated murder in the first degree - she planned the murder in advance and carried it out - but fortunately she's not very bright, as when she purportedly "found" his body in Glacier NP.

sabrose
sabrose

Society is replete with women with father based pathology who feel enabled to harm men that are unfortunate enough to love them, As the number of women growing up without loving fathers or with sexual abusive fathers increases in society the percentage of these women will increase. They operate by seduction then castration as they can never become stable and content with their male partner.
Jordin Graham was most likely such a creature -it would be interesting if someone who knew her would chime in in this regard to confirm this.

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