Excerpt: Chapter 3
Believing Michelle Johnston held family secrets, Chief Carter questioned her at the Logan High School, where she attended classes. According to the chief, Michelle claimed after Annette left Dale’s trailer, Dale sold her 4-H horse immediately and padlocked her room so she “couldn’t get the rest of her things” without seeing Dale or Sarah.
Michelle also admitted she “saw Annette and Dale in the nude on several occasions” inside the trailer and saw them “hug and kiss.” When pressed, Michelle denied seeing her sister and stepfather do anything else when nude.
Another officer assigned to the case to question Dale Johnston was the tall, slim “Golden Boy” of the police department. Twenty-nine-year old Detective James Thompson was a handsome and arrogant blonde.
According to Thompson, when he and Lt. Mowery questioned Dale about Michelle’s allegations, Dale admitted he and Sarah were “very hurt” when Annette moved out without saying goodbye. He admitted to padlocking Annette’s bedroom, but removed the padlock after he talked with Annette when she still worked in the mining office.
When questioned about Annette’s 4-H horse, Lt. Mowery claimed Dale said, “If Annette really cared about that animal, she would have taken it with her.”
The officers claimed when they asked Dale why he “lied about his family being nudists” and Annette “being permissive with local boys,” Dale said, “’cause parents are always the first to suspect,” and Sarah “Don’t need the whole town whisperin’ behind her back that her daughter’s a tramp.”
When Thompson asked Dale why he “talked of the kids in the past tense,” he claimed Dale said it was because Sheila Shultz told him she “knew Todd was dead and in the river.” When questioned, Sheila denied that allegation.