Scott Johnson Scott White Australia city Canberra information death Scott Johnson Scott White Australia city Canberra

Australian court quashes conviction for man who previously confessed to killing Scott Johnson

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An Australian court overturned the conviction of the man who confessed to killing gay mathematics student Scott Johnson. Content warning: This story may include topics that could make some readers feel uncomfortable.

Back in 1988, the 27-year-old’s naked body was found at the bottom of a cliff in the Sydney suburb of Manly in December. Before his death, the doctoral student had applied for permanent residency to be with his partner and was a doctoral student at the Australian National University in Canberra.

At the time, local authorities ruled Johnson’s death as a suicide despite pushback from his family – who told the BBC in 2018 that it was “inconceivable” that he would jump off a cliff.

After a 2017 enquiry concluded that Johnson was likely killed in a gay hate crime – due to other similar cases at the time – his family announced an AUS $2 million reward for information in the cold case.

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