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True crime podcast brings light to NC cold case: Who killed Denise Johnson?

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CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — It’s only a several minutes, but there are people wonderful sunrises that slow down and transform every thing. They have a way of long lasting because they are not certain by time, but by the recollections of individuals blessed adequate to experience their warmth.

“Just believe of her helps make me smile,” reported Donnie Johnson. “She was like a light.”

Donnie didn’t will need to wake up early to enjoy the dawn, she had her individual private sunlight.

Her small sister, Denise.

“This shows her radiance,” claimed Donnie, pulling out a image of Denise. “This a single just reveals who she was with animals and the seaside girl.”

Donnie, Denise, and their other sisters put in their summers on the drinking water and on the pier in the town of Destroy Satan Hills. Their compact seaside city was the backdrop for all their joyful reminiscences.

Right until, July 13, 1997.

“Then growth,” explained Donnie. “I was so stunned.”

The contact arrived early in the morning. Their childhood property experienced been set on hearth and Denise, who nonetheless lived there, had been murdered.

“I make confident there is an article in the paper about it, these are all the article content,” mentioned Donnie.

20-4 several years later on, the newspaper clippings are starting up to present their age.

“When it to start with occurred a lot of papers just wrote the identical previous factors,” stated Donnie, pointing to aged article content in the papers.

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Just after years with no answers, Denise’s circumstance turned cold.

Until finally yet another cell phone connect with, that changed all the things.

“I was not confident, I’ve been a minor careful, and we talked about what she wanted to do, and she just seriously felt pulled to it, I could notify,” claimed Donnie.

“Hey Counterclock listeners, thank you for listening to season one particular, the circumstance of Denise Johnson,” said Delia D’Ambra.

Delia started her vocation as a television journalist, but now she’s one of the major true crime podcasters in the region.

“I had a lot of relativity to her as a individual. She comes from all sisters, I appear from all sisters. So there was this kindness that located that I thought a wider audience would enjoy,” claimed Delia.

Property for Delia is the Outer Banks. She did not have to seem as well far to come across her very first tale for her to start with podcast, the unsolved murder of Denise Johnson.

“I came to the realization of, do police know this, what is likely on below? That comes by in the ultimate story simply because that’s exactly how it transpired to me,” stated Delia.

Delia used two yrs doing work on her podcast about Denise’s tale. CounterClock listeners traveled with Delia as she interviewed people shut to the scenario, like Glenn Rainey.

“One of the fellas asked me, explained, that’s been a prolonged time ago and I explained I really do not consider I have overlooked everything that is happened that working day,” said Glenn.

However he’s a chief at the Colington Volunteer Fireplace Department now, back in 1997, he was the firefighter who pulled Denise from her household.

“When I pulled her outside and was going to consider CPR, it was rapidly evident that was not heading to transpire,” remembered Glenn.

Everybody required to know the exact same matter, who killed Denise Johnson?

“i feel individuals truly want to master about factors they just can’t realize, that they cannot grapple with. Criminal offense tales just have that pull,” stated Delia, talking about the acceptance of her podcast.

But with that pull, arrives a duty. Delia explained, men and women who are obsessed with real criminal offense have to have to don’t forget, there’s a particular person at the heart of it all.

If you’re listening to the display, “You ought to be eager to participate and interact in the advocacy get the job done that’s a outcome of it,” said Delia.

For the initially time in several years, Donnie was not the only a person inquiring inquiries. Thanks to Delia, prosecutors are getting a different look at what happened to her sister.

“That podcast helped give me a good deal of peace and it assisted my intellect to give up going, maybe it is you, it’s possible it’s you, maybe it’s you,” mentioned Donnie.

But soon after almost everything, living in Destroy Devil Hills grew to become as well significantly for Donnie.

“Of study course, it tends to make your head race and you appear up with all types of factors why any individual will not go in advance and say,” claimed Donnie.

A person else lives in their old family home now and Donnie finds her peace in the region. 

“Butterflies. Denise cherished butterflies, which is why that very little butterfly is up on my fridge, which is Denise’s butterfly,” stated Donnie.

Even though she can’t talk to Denise any longer, she has a way of seeing her, because some folks are so beautiful and so warm, that even when they’re long gone, their memory is sufficient.

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