Real Names: Michael A. Johnston and Rochelle L. Robinson
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Date: June 27, 1994
Case[edit | edit source]
Details: Michael Johnston and Rochelle Robinson were two friends who had a secret relationship. Michael was twenty-five, married, and the father of two; Rochelle was nineteen, working at a fast food restaurant, and studying to be a teacher. They shared an evening in June 1994 playing "Magic: The Gathering," a fantasy game, but six hours later, they were found dead. Police believed that the motive was jealousy over a love affair. On the morning of June 28, Michael was found dead near Rochelle's car on a quiet road near a popular shooting range named the Tacoma Sportman's Club; he had been shot in the head and his throat cut. She was found on a remote road five miles away; she had been slashed across the throat and stabbed several times. She was wearing his t-shirt inside out. Her body was partially covered by a large cardboard box, presumably belonging to the killer.
Police believe that around 1AM, the couple pulled over to the secluded area near the Sportman's Club to have a romantic encounter. It is believed that they were discovered by their killer during their romantic tryst. Michael was briefly handcuffed and shot as the killer abducted Rochelle. Knife pricks on her throat indicate that the killer forcibly held a knife to her throat in an attempt to take her to another location. It is believed that she was the target of the killer and that it was a crime of passion.
A friend of hers came forward with the fact that she believed she was being stalked by an unidentified man that had come into her work about three months before the murder. She told her friend that she had lunch with him once and after that, the man would not leave her alone. She also told her friend that the man had followed her home several times. The man also apparently came into her work several times and just stared at her. Based on the police theory, it is believed that the stalker might have killed them both.
After the murder, Michael's wife Janet hired a private investigator, Jim Wright. Jim first wanted to make sure that she was not involved. He was somewhat suspicious because they had large life insurance policies for each other. However, Janet stated that the policies were at her insistence, as she was worried that Michael would not be able to care for the children if she died. Jim could not find any evidence that she was not involved. The police had already cleared her after she passed a polygraph. He next suggested that they may have been murdered due to his involvement in fantasy games, black magic, and the occult.
Jim soon turned to psychic Nancy Myer to help with the case. He brought her to the road where Michael was murdered. She postulated that three people were involved in the murders and that they were connected to his fascination with the occult and fantasy games. She believes that the killer and the two accomplices had come upon the two lovers in the car and stabbed Rochelle. They then drove him to the Sportsman's Club where they proceeded to kill him. According to her, a dragon-wing medallion was also involved somehow.
The police, however, believe the killer is among her friends and associates and has nothing to do with the occult. They believe that a key to solving the case is the cardboard box that was placed over Rochelle's body. Originally, the box held large sheets of high-grade paper used only by professional printers. Forensic tests have convinced investigators that it was brought to the site by the killer. Further evidence suggests that for several years, the box may have been in the killer's home or vehicle. The double murder remains unsolved.
Suspects: Investigators believe that the couple was murdered by either a jealous ex-boyfriend or stalker of Rochelle. A friend confirmed that she had been stalked by an unidentified man in the months prior to her murder. The man was described as white, 25 to 30 (in 1994), 5'10", 170 pounds, with brownish-blond hair and acne. He walked with a slouch and may have worked for a glass company.
However, psychic Nancy Myer and private investigator Jim Wright believe that the couple was killed because of their involvement in the occult. Three composites were made of the killer and his two accomplices by Nancy Myer. According to Nancy, the killer was in his 30s in 1994 and was a college professor; he may have killed before. His accomplices were much younger and were under great control of the killer. According to Nancy, they are in danger of being murdered themselves. It is unknown if they are the actual killers.
Extra Notes: This first aired on the March 15, 1996 episode. Some sources spell Rochelle's last name as "Robison".
Results: Unsolved. In 1998, the case was re-opened by cold case investigators. However, it is unknown if any new evidence was found.
- Michael Johnston and Rochelle Robinson at Unsolved.com
- Bodies of man, woman found in Puyallup
- Police Search For Clues In The Fatal Stabbing Of Pierce County Pair
- Tip May Help Solve Double Homicide
- Forum Discussion of the Case
- Discussion of Case on Unresolved Mysteries Reddit
- Rochelle Robinson at Find a Grave