Steven Johnson went saw shopping at Menards after first attempt to dismember wife failed
|Johnson shot his wife with a 9mm, then struggled to dismember her. He confessed the next day.|
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Johnson, 34, murdered his wife, Manya -- a Target employee who had a master's in counseling psychology from Bethel -- in St. Paul on January 6, then dismembered her, put her remains in plastic bins, and brought them to a friend's house in White Bear Lake. Before meeting Manya, he spent a dozen years in prison for brutally raping a woman after luring her into his car with pot in 1996.
A Pioneer Press report about search warrants connected to the case conveys the new details:
[Johnson] told police that he went to Menards to buy bleach, storage tubs and a rotary saw because the saw he was using to dismember her was not cutting easily, search warrants filed in the case disclose.The report also details how investigators discovered Manya's remains after being alerted to their presence in the White Bear Lake garage:
[Officers] found plastic bins beneath various objects along the garage wall. Tape sealed the bins. A White Bear Lake officer broke the seal on one of them and lifted its lid. Inside was a dark-colored garbage bag.Imagine how horrifying that was for the officer who first reached inside the garbage bag! Goodness.
"She lifted the garbage bag out with gloved hands, and upon doing so felt what she described as 'fingers' inside of the bag," the affidavit said.
A sergeant was called to the scene. He cut a slit in the bag. The officers saw "what appeared to be body parts."
Johnson blamed vodka for the couple's relationship problems, but it's clear his issues go much deeper than that.