Author Topic: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996  (Read 10282 times)


  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 7215
  • The Webmaster
    • View Profile
Name: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON

Location: Turner Valley, Alberta

Details: Jane JOHNSON and her daughter Cathryn were murdered in their home on the evening of September 3rd, 1996. The culprit(s) set fire to the residence in an effort to conceal the crime.

It is believed that this was not a chance or random act perpetrated by someone committing a break-in or an assault as evidence gathered does not support this. Further, it is believed the killer(s) knew the victims and were aware of their day-to-day patterns.

Jane and her daughter infrequently stayed at the house as Jane was involved in a relationship and both mother and daughter spent a good deal of time with this person at his residence.

On the night of the murder it is alleged Jane and her daughter returned to the residence so Cathryn could start school the next day from her own home.

Sometime during the night or early morning, the suspect(s) entered the residence, committed the murders and set fire to the house. The fire smouldered for some time before its discovery by neighbours.

Several suspects were identified but there is insufficient evidence to conclusively implicate or eliminate them from suspicion.

A reward of $50,000.00 is being offered for information leading to the arrest of person(s) responsible.

Contact: If you have any information about this case please contact

Crime Stoppers @ 1-800-222-8477,
Major Crimes Calgary @ 403-735-2550, or
RCMP Turner Valley Det. @ 403-933-7227.


  • Guest
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2008, 12:44:53 AM »
Killer likely knew victims
Dave Breakenridge
Calgary Sun

November 6, 2005 
Somewhere out there, somebody knows something.
CRIME SCENE ... Firefighters attack the blaze at Jane Johnson?s home on Sept. 3, 1996. After the fire had been doused, investigators found the bodies of Jane and her daughter, Cathryn.
Investigators of unsolved cases in southern Alberta hang onto that belief as they follow up on every new tip that comes in, even in cases that are more than 20 years old.

There is always the hope that eventually, the right piece of evidence will fall into place and lead to an arrest and conviction.

While police are clearing a majority of their homicide cases, there are instances when they can't catch a break.

Leads go cold and tips go nowhere, leaving investigations open and families without that sense of closure that would come from an arrest.

In a five-part series, Sun reporter Dave Breakenridge takes a look at cases still begging for resolution: Southern Alberta's Unsolved Mysteries.

In the Calgary area, the murderer of a well-liked mother and daughter is still walking free, nearly a decade later.

That's a thought that gives Sam Johnson pause.

He has lived more than nine years trying to get over the loss of his eight-year-old daughter, Cathryn, killed by the same person who murdered her mother - and Sam's ex-wife - Jane, 36.

On Sept. 3, 1996, firefighters battled a blaze at Jane's house in Turner Valley, and when it was under control, they found the two bodies inside.

Autopsies revealed both had died before the fire, Jane having been stabbed to death.

Investigators have never revealed how Cathryn was killed.

"The hardest part is I don't have a daughter anymore," said Johnson, who after the killings, submitted to a lie-detector test to clear his name and to make sure the investigation didn't get off track.

"You don't move on - you get used to living with it, but you for damn sure don't move on."

Police believe the night of the killings, Jane and Cathryn had left the house of Henry Reichert, Jane's boyfriend at the time, and returned to Turner Valley, so Cathryn could start school the next day from her own home.

Sometime that night, the killer or killers entered the home, killed the mother and daughter and set the house on fire, a blaze that smouldered for some time before being discovered by neighbours.

An autopsy also revealed Jane was five months pregnant.

Police have focused on the theory that whoever is responsible was known to Jane, said Calgary RCMP Cpl. Dan MacLean.

"The evidence from the scene would indicate it wasn't likely to be a random act   it doesn't seem plausible," said MacLean, the lead investigator on the file for more than two years.

But MacLean said, despite past assertions by the previous lead investigator, there isn't one person on whom the blame for these murders can be cast.

"I have not seen anything in my review of the investigation that would allow me to name any one person that is more suspect than anyone else at this point," he said.

MacLean said there are a number of persons of interest, and the investigation has moved forward since he took over the file.

"We were able to learn the identities of witnesses that were not spoken with originally," he said, adding there has also been new information volunteered by people.

"At the end of the day it is still not enough to generate a charge against any one person or persons.

"I still maintain if there was enough evidence to support charges, we'd be through the court process."

MacLean said a couple of fresh leads are being looked into, but for investigative reasons he would not elaborate.

Those developments are of little comfort to Johnson, who said he is convinced he knows who is responsible.

He was involved in a poster campaign in 2000, asking people to come forward with information, and is hoping the $50,000 reward will draw more tips.

He said he has to have hope, despite the nagging concern that the killer might never be brought to justice.

"All of this stuff isn't going to bring her back, but I don't see what was so important that it was worth taking Jane and Cathryn's lives over, so I want to know why," Johnson said.

"But you think anyone that could have come forward with information would have helped on their own."

Meanwhile, Reichert, Jane's boyfriend at the time, said he's convinced the police have the right evidence, but haven't been able to link it to any one suspect.

"How could they not have something?" he said, adding he's trying to put behind him the fact that police had previously named him as a suspect.

"I can't control what they're doing. All I know is that I didn't do it." He said he cared deeply for Cathryn and Jane, but despite previous reports, said there were never plans on the couple getting engaged.

"The whole thing has been a frustrating time," he said.

"I've just tried to move on and leave it up to the police - you can't dwell on what happened."

He still maintains he was at his home, in the area between Okotoks and Black Diamond, saw the two alive for the last time when they left his home and has done his best to co-operate with police.

Cathryn would have been in Grade 12 this year, and her father still reflects on how she's missed out on life. Nine years of Christmases and birthdays have come and gone without his little girl.

Johnson still keeps a picture on his desk at work of Cathryn and her half-brother, just months old in September 1996.

"It's funny, I look at the picture of her and her brother, and it hits me, he is already older than she was when she was killed," he said.

"It amazes me that someone is still walking around with this."

He still holds to the hope that someone in the community of 3,000 in Turner Valley and Black Diamond may have heard or seen something over the years.

If you have any information about the murders of Jane and Cathryn Johnson, please call Cpl. Dan MacLean, Calgary RCMP Major Crimes at (403) 699-2646, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 12:58:42 AM by kindheart »


  • Guest
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2008, 12:57:17 AM »
Crime - Suspect in Johnson case breaks silence
?I didn?t hide from anything because I didn?t feel I had anything to
hide from.?
-Henry Reichert

By Pamela Roth
Staff reporter

After nearly 10 years, one of the primary suspects in the murder of Jane Johnson and her eight-year-old daughter is breaking his silence.
Sept. 3 marked the 10th anniversary of the Johnson murders. The pair were discovered in their partially burned home on Royalite Way following a house fire.
Police originally ruled Jane and her daughter Cathryn died of smoke inhalation, however, autopsy results later determined the 36-year-old pregnant mother was stabbed before the house was lit on fire.
Even though police have interviewed hundreds of suspects during the last decade, the person responsible for the Johnsons? deaths remains a mystery. The unsolved crime has not only been frustrating for the Johnson family, but also for Jane?s ex-boyfriend, Henry Reichert.
Reichert, who was, and possibly still is, one of the suspects in the case, has been trying to live life as normal as possible with his family in the foothills.
But as friends and family agreed to undergo polygraph tests years ago to prove their innocence in the double homicide, Reichert refused at the advice of his lawyer, raising suspicion from police and several other members of the community.
Even to this day, if Reichert was asked to undergo a polygraph again, he said the answer would still be no due to the questionable accuracy of the test.
Police would not confirm if Reichert has been eliminated as a suspect, but as far as Reichert is concerned, he is not a murderer.
?I have been under a microscope as much as you can be investigated,? said the 47-year-old contractor. ?I have been investigated so thoroughly a polygraph at this point is redundant. There is nothing there as far as I am concerned. There is not going to be any charges laid against me because I am not guilty.?
Having two young children of his own, Reichert remained in the area after the murders and tried to continued a normal life, even though members of the community accused him of committing the deadly crime.
According to Reichert, his name was the only one mentioned to the public as a suspect, even though he claims there wasn?t any evidence against him.
The stress of the case at times has been terrible, said Reichert, but there was nothing he could do except wait for the storm to pass with the comfort of family and friends.
?I couldn?t avoid it. I was forced into it,? said Reichert. ?I didn?t hide from anything because I didn?t feel I had anything to hide from. I?ll let the police do their job and they are going to do what they are going to do, but you have to move on with your life. You can?t dwell on it or your life falls apart because of it.?
As for the tragic day in question, Reichert tries his best to forget.
Instead, he tries to focus on the memory of Jane, who he described as a beautiful person who didn?t deserve to die.
Before their untimely death, Cathryn was about to enter Grade 3 at Turner Valley School; Jane worked with special needs children at the Millarville Community School and had been dating Reichert for four years.
The Calgary Major Crimes Unit, along with the assistance of the Turner Valley RCMP, is still actively investigating the case and receives approximately 30 to 40 tips from the public throughout the course of the year.
Although police feel they are getting closer to solving the case and have persons of interest, there are no prime suspects at this time.
Nonetheless, Reichert hopes the killer will be found soon in order for Jane and Cathryn?s loved ones to find closure once and for all.
?It?s just more frustration we haven?t been able to close this thing yet,? he said. ?We?ve all been hurt a lot over this, so I don?t see it is necessary for anybody to suffer anymore than they already have. In a way it seems like it was just yesterday, but in another way it seems like it?s been a long time.?
« Last Edit: January 01, 2008, 12:59:37 AM by kindheart »


  • Guest
Well, I can't contribute anything from the newspaper archives except for one thing.

Acording to reports, police have never revealed how Jane's daughter died.

It appears whatever info they have of her manner of death could be vital to the case.


  • Member
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 11:52:38 PM »


  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 7215
  • The Webmaster
    • View Profile
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2011, 12:53:56 AM »
wow that is stunning!

I think the police are aware there is someone in particular that is holding information and are hoping this person will now come forward. sometimes people are scared but over time don't feel scared anymore.

I hope this person is brave enough to do the right thing!


  • Member
  • Posts: 1031
    • View Profile
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2011, 02:38:12 PM »
Yes Chris, It does seem police just need that one bit of info to put this to rest.  Such a senseless thing to do to anyone.  Good luck police!

I care about Canadians

  • Member
  • Posts: 96
    • View Profile
Re: Jane and Cathryn JOHNSON - Unsolved Murders - Turner Vallery AB - 1996
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 05:23:59 PM »
RCMP won't close book on 18-year-old murder
18 years Jane was 36 and Catheryn was eight-years-old when they were killed.

Their remains were found by Turner Valley firefighters after they put out a house fire near the Turner Valley golf course on Sept. 3, 1996.$100,000 reward


  • Member
  • Posts: 8204
  • Tired of Crime not doing their time
    • View Profile
Jane was 5 months pregnant at the time, according to Cold Case USA.