Man who killed Scott Johnson bragged about bashing gay men

The ex-wife of the man who pleaded guilty to murdering Scott Johnson in the 1980s has told a court her husband would brag about bashing gay men.

Scott White’s former partner Helen dobbed him into police in 2019 and recounted conversations they had more than 30 years earlier.

Johnson was found dead at the bottom of a cliff at Blue Fish Point, near Manly’s North Head, on December 10, 1998.

The last known photo of Scott Johnson.
The last known photo of Scott Johnson. (NSW Police)

Today Mrs White told the court she and her ex-husband discussed Mr Johnson’s death after she read an article about it the year it happened.

“I remember asking him if this is one of the gay men he bashed?”

“He said ‘that girly looking p—–r'” she said, adding: “he quite often bragged about bashing ‘p—–rs’.”

When it came up again in 2008, “I just asked him ‘did you do this?'” Mrs White said.

She told the court he said: “the only good p—–r is a dead p—–r”, to which she responded: “So, you threw him off the cliff?”

Mrs White said Mr White told her: “It’s not my fault the dumb f—k ran off the cliff.”

“Well it is, if you chased him,” she said she replied.

Mrs White also denied knowing about a million dollar reward before coming forward.

Helen White and Stephen Johnson today told the court of Scott White's bragging over bashing gay men.
Helen White and Stephen Johnson today told the court of Scott White’s bragging over bashing gay men. (9News)

Today the court also heard statements from Mr Johnson’s siblings and his partner at the time of his murder about the impact the tragedy had on their lives.

His older brother Stephen spoke about growing up in a poor neighbourhood in California in the US, and how his younger sibling always had “big dreams”.

“We all reacted to Scott’s death with disbelief because it was too huge and awful to be true,” the older Mr Johnson said.

“I’ll never forget the wailing cry of our mum when I called her to tell her that her youngest child had died. I believe her agony over losing Scott never left her for the rest of her life.

“Our mother was never the same after Scott died. She spent her last 24 years grieving; and worse, she spent those years wondering what happened to her son.”

Scott Johnson, a US national who was based in Sydney, was discovered at the bottom of Blue Fish Point near Manly's North Head in December 1988.
Scott Johnson, a US national who was based in Sydney, was discovered at the bottom of Blue Fish Point near Manly’s North Head in December 1988. (NSW Police)

Michael Noone had been in a relationship with Scott in the years before he died and faced the unthinkable task of identifying his partner’s body. 

“Unless you’ve experienced it, there is no way anyone could understand the sheer horror of receiving a voicemail from police asking you to identify the body of a loved one,” he told the court today.

“No one can imagine what it was like to be shown his lifeless and hideously disfigured body,” he said, adding “I’m so glad I was there to say goodbye”.

He spoke about his own parents, who welcomed Mr Johnson into their home when he stayed in Sydney, giving him his own key, and how when he died they lost a son.

“Suddenly, I was without the very person I needed most. Our dreams and our plans and our future died with him. He was everything to me and now he was gone,” Mr Noone said.

Mr Johnson’s sister Rebecca Johnson told her brother’s murderer that the fight for justice has now eclipsed her memories of his life.

His other sister Terry demanded the maximum sentence for Mr White, saying: “I believe he deserves life in prison”.

The convicted killer and father-of-six now has plans to appeal the guilty plea he entered.

Mr White will be sentenced tomorrow.

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