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Benny Johnson murder crime scene near Moorhead, Minn.
Benny Johnson murder crime scene near Moorhead, Minn.
TitleBenny Johnson murder crime scene near Moorhead, Minn.
Date of Original1954-12-25
CreatorOlson, Cal, 1924-2009
Creator RolePhotographer
DescriptionView of burned automobile parked on snow covered field. A hearse and two men are visible in the background.
Ordering InformationConsult:
General SubjectLaw
Subject (LCTGM)Automobiles
Forensic photographs
Personal NameJohnson, Benjamin Gregory, d. 1954
LocationMoorhead (Minn.)
Clay County (Minn.)
United States
Item Number2098.231
Negative Number2098.231
Format of OriginalAcetate negatives
Safety film negatives
Dimensions of Original10 x 13 cm.
Transcription"Death car: The body of Benny Johnson, an Indian from Sisseton, S. D., was found in this scorched car which stalled in a plowed field on a farm about 10 miles northwest of Moorhead, Friday afternoon. Cause of the blaze, which reduced Johnson's body to a charred skeleton, has not been determined." - caption with similar photograph published in the Fargo Forum, Dec. 25, 1954, p. 16.
NotesTitle supplied by staff.
Biography/HistoryOn the evening of Dec. 24, 1954, the body of Benny Johnson was discovered in a burning automobile on the farm of Swan Nelson, 7 miles north and 3 ½ miles west of Moorhead, Minn. According to reports, Benny Johnson and three other men, Joseph Johnson, Sam DeMarce, and Calvin Friniere from Sisseton, S.D. drove a Ford sedan through the Nelson farmyard and into a plowed field where it got stuck. After freeing themselves; Morris Nelson, son of the farm owner, told the intruders to get off the property. The men were all extremely intoxicated and appeared to have been fighting. One of the men was unconscious in the front seat. After being asked to leave the property, the men then drove back onto the plowed field where it once again became stuck. Meanwhile, another Nelson son went to a neighboring house to call the police. When he got back, the automobile was on fire. Two of the intoxicated men, Friniere and DeMarce were still standing outside the burning automobile, and Joseph Johnson had fled the scene on foot. He was later located on the C.C. Koltes farm, where he was taken into custody.
Repository InstitutionNorth Dakota State University Libraries, Institute for Regional Studies
Repository CollectionCal Olson Photograph Collection 2098
Collection Finding AidConsult:
Credit LineInstitute for Regional Studies, NDSU, Fargo (2098.231)
Rights ManagementCopyright held by Institute for Regional Studies.
Digital IDco000063
Original SourceNegative
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