Interesting story in today’s L A Times entitled “Quest For Truth.” The story is told by 60 year old Lynn Johnson whose twin brother Lyle was struck and killed by an automobile in Torrance fifty two years ago. It’s the story of one man’s quest to learn the truth about his brother death and whether justice was served. The truth Johnson discovered after pouring over a full copy of the original police report, autopsy reports, newspaper articles, and maps and photos of the accident site, was painful and hard to take, particularly when the coroner’s report stated that the driver was “probably” criminally responsible for the boys death and the police traffic investigator determined that although the death was accidental, “the driver should be held criminally responsible for failing to yield to a pedestrian in an unmarked crosswalk.” But the case was never presented to the district attorney and no charges were ever filed. Johnson couldn’t understand why the female driver was never charged with vehicular homicide or at least manslaughter when the facts seem to support the charges.
Armed with his findings the surviving twin met with prosecutors from the Torrance District Attorney’s Office who reviewed the materials and concluded that even if there was evidence that a crime had occurred, there was nothing they could do, as the statue of limitations had expired. Johnson was discouraged but vows to fight on, for although the statue of limitations on this incident has long since expired, there is no statue of limitations on the pain and emotion malaise associated with it.
Truly an incredible story, has all the makings of a TV movie. but it doesn’t end there. Johnson in his quest for justice tracked down the driver who is now 83. And, because he felt that the truth must be known, he mailed his findings to her and her adult children.
Wow! Can you imagine? after 52 years the voice of truth calls out from the the past looking for justice! But to what end? Other than a selfish need to set the record straight, I can’t imagine what Johnson hopes to accomplish with his pursuit. I can understand his pain. I have read about the special relationship shared by twins, the psychic connection, but still, his quest seems to be misguided. It’s been 52 years! That’s a hell of a long time to be haunted by demons.
I sense that there are some much deeper personal issues at stake here, deep seeded issues that poor old Lynn needs to deal with. His quest would be better served on a therapist’s couch, where he might actually be able to get the help he needs. What purpose did his mailings serve? What’s to be gained by forcing an 83 year old woman to relive an incident you know she has never forgotten but has learned to live with. Don’t you think that each time she looked at her own children she wasn’t reminded of the child’s life she took. What purpose does opening up old wounds serve Mr. Johnson? Leave this old woman alone. Your vendetta is unwarranted. It was an accident. Accidents happen…
“There is a higher court than courts of justice and that is the court of conscience. It supercedes all other courts.”