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Child Abuse Investigator Sets Example

June 8, 2007 permalink

How does London's top child abuse investigator end a love affair? With a murder-suicide.



Cops in murder-suicide had a relationship

The Canadian Press

Kelly Johnson
Acting Inspector Kelly Johnson, 40
The Canadian Press
David Lucio
retired superintendent David Lucio, 57

LONDON, Ont. (Jun 8, 2007)

Two police colleagues involved in a murder-suicide had a "relationship," police said yesterday as they struggled to come to grips with the loss of their own.

Flags in front of the police station in this southwestern Ontario city flew at half mast for the victims -- Acting Inspector Kelly Johnson, 40, and retired superintendent David Lucio, 57.

Police Chief Murray Faulkner said Johnson and Lucio had a relationship, although the exact nature of it was not immediately known.

Both were shot before the vehicle they were travelling in crashed into Johnson's apartment building early yesterday. Only two shots were fired.

Johnson's service pistol was found at the scene. She was off-duty and did not have permission to take the gun home, Faulkner added.

Johnson had been promoted only a few days ago from within the police sexual assault and child abuse section to the professional standards branch.

Source: Hamilton Spectator

Addendum: The police have not been forthcoming about this case. The parents of the dead man want an inquest to expose the facts about their son's killer. It could also give public insight into the life of a child abuse investigator.



Angry parents want inquest

Dave Lucio's parents seek details of how police handled the murder-suicide case.


The outraged parents of a former London police officer killed by another in a murder-suicide want an inquest into how police handled the case.

But while police Chief Murray Faulkner rejects that, yesterday -- for the first time -- he said he will ask an outside party to assess what happened and how police missed any signs of trouble brewing.

Just how formal such an outside examination would be, Faulkner couldn't say. "I am not sure of the process yet."

Those twists come a week after acting Inspector Kelly Johnson shot retired superintendent Dave Lucio then turned her gun -- a service pistol she wasn't authorized to have at the time -- on herself in his van. The two had been lovers who had left marriages.

An angry Doug Lucio, father of the slain retired officer, contacted The Free Press to vent his frustrations. "She killed him. She murdered him -- premeditated. Nobody's saying that," the father, 80, said.

Angry about the handling of the case, including what the public was told and when, the father insists discussion about the tragedy has been stifled.

"Out of discussion comes action plans. And out of action plans comes results," he said.

"I will not tolerate this. (An inquest could) let people stop it from happening again."

Regional supervising coroner, Jack Stanborough, said he's weighing whether to call a so-called discretionary inquest. "If a family writes me a letter and says, 'I want an inquest into this and here's why,' and it makes a lot of sense, I give it serious consideration," he said.

Among other things, Lucio wants to know why Faulkner met with the family of Johnson -- the shooter -- but didn't call he and his wife, the parents of her victim and a fellow although retired officer.

He also wants to know why police didn't erase any public doubts about which of the two was the shooter -- thus clearing Lucio's name -- when the truth was clear long before autopsy results were released five days after the shootings.

"They knew. So how come it just came out the day of his funeral (June 11)?" he asked.

Lucio described a dramatic confrontation with Faulkner at his son's funeral Monday.

"I said to him, 'You got a hold of (Johnson's former) husband and you got a hold of her father.' Then I said to him, 'Why didn't you call his mother and I?"

Johnson, cnsidered a rising star on the force, was the daughter of Merv Johnson, former London deputy police chief.

Faulkner said he told Lucio at the funeral he purposely dispatched an inspector close to the family to break the news, only hours afterward.

Faulkner also said there's no need for an inquest. "I don't think an inquest is the proper way to go about it."

Lucio, 57, and Johnson, 40 had had a relationship for several months.

Sometime the night of June 6, Johnson shot Lucio, then turned her service pistol on herself while Lucio was driving the pair to her condo on Picton Street.

Doug Lucio said he has great respect for members of the police force but also wants his son's legacy upheld.

"We still count our blessings but we want to hold onto our respect. And my son's reputation. We don't want to destroy the wonderful things he built up in his life, or see anybody else do it," said the retired Northern Telecom executive.

Faulkner noted family and friends of Lucio and Johnson are grieving and he won't publicly discuss either of their personal lives.

"There are different emotions at this time. Both people need to be protected because they cannot speak for themselves."

Among other concerns raised by Lucio, and Faulkner's responses:

- Why did police not set the record straight sooner about who shot whom?

Faulkner reiterated police couldn't release that until after a June 11 autopsy determined exactly what happened. "That is police procedure."

- Why did a London police officer write a letter, published Tuesday in The Free Press, urging people, on behalf of affected "families," not to talk publicly about the case?

"Families, friends, co-workers and anyone whose lives have been touched by tragedy have so many emotions to deal with as it is," read Const. Pam Matatall's Tuesday letter.

"Out of respect for them, please do not add to their suffering."

Lucio said he "resented" the letter and disagreed with its message.

"They should be talking about it to the high heavens," he said."Quit talking about it?

"That's exactly what you shouldn't do because feelings cannot mend unless you talk about it."

Faulkner said he had no idea a letter was being written by a constable and gave no direction to his staff to do so.

Other members of the Lucio family declined comment, but indicated they hold no ill will toward anyone on the London police department.

The loss of his son has been a heavy blow for the elder Lucio, who plans to spend the next couple of days with his wife at their cottage, privately wrestling with their grief and frustration.

"He was our light, my wife and I. He was the light in the complexities of life," he said. "Couldn't have got a better son, couldn't have got a more compassionate person, either.

"We loved him very much."

Source: London Free Press

Addendum: A curious footnote three years later. This case does not count as domestic violence.



Barbara Kay, London, Ontario Police statistics on domestic violence show classic signs of abuse

Posted: January 28, 2010, 12:08 PM by Jonathan Kay

After six years of service, Chief Murray Faulkner, 57, of the London police force is expected to announce his retirement at noon today.

He leaves with a statistical stain on his record. For 2007 his department's statistics under the heading of domestic violence (DV) show that there was one DV homicide of a woman by a man, but zero homicides of a man by a woman. Not true.

On June 6, 2007, in a shocking case of love gone awry, police inspector Kelly Johnson, inflamed by her lover, retired police superintendent David Lucio's ending of their affair the day before, shot Lucio in the head with a .40-calibre Glock pistol (which she was not authorized to have in her possession) as he was driving his van through downtown London, and then killed herself with the same gun as the van careened into an apartment building.

If Johnson were a man, the case would have been labelled a cold-blooded DV murder, and exploited as yet another example of the pandemic of male violence against women. But the incident was spun as a kind of bilateral tragedy with no villain, just two victims.

Critics of Faulkner have long grumbled about his preoccupation with male violence against women and his tendency to downplay or ignore female violence against men. Normally it's tough to get the evidence to back up such a claim. But the obviously purposeful refusal to classify the Lucio murder as a case of DV, when it so screamingly is a world-class example of DV at its worst, supports Chief Faulkner's detractors' claim of bias against male victims of DV.

Naturally this lapse calls all the other statistics in Faulkner's tenure into question. We all depend on statistics to help us make up our minds on issues, so it is extremely irresponsible to muck around with them in support of an ideological position. Presently the London police 2007 statistics tell us that DV-related homicide is 100% male on female and 0% female on male. In fact it is 50-50. It would be fitting if Chief Faulkner's last official act were to admit that the Johnson/Lucio homicide was indeed a case of DV, have the 2007 statistic formally changed, and give his successor the nod to review all the stats on DV posted during his tenure.

Source: National Post