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He Plunged From Cliff in 1988. 32 Years Later, an Arrest

Police in Australia make arrest in death of American mathematician Scott Johnson
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 12, 2020 11:00 AM CDT
Updated May 16, 2020 1:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Police in Australia have made an arrest in a high-profile cold case that has strong ties to the US. In 1988, a young American mathematician named Scott Johnson died after a plunge from a cliff in Sydney. Now, police in New South Wales have arrested a 49-year-old man in Johnson's death, which is believed to be a gay hate crime, reports the BBC. Coverage:

  • The victim: Johnson, 27, was found at the base of a cliff 32 years ago, and police initially brushed it off as a suicide. A second inquest in 2012 raised doubts about that, and another inquest in 2017 concluded that Johnson was killed as the result of a homophobic attack, reports the AP and the Washington Post. Johnson, who studied at the California Institute of Technology and Britain's University of Cambridge, was close to completing his PhD when he was killed.

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