He loved her, he loved her not

Reportedly James Curtis Johnston, 45,  (some articles spell the last name Johnson) didn’t like it when his girlfriend Barbara Allison Campbell, 46, was drinking. The couple had been together for 6 years, and it has been said that Johnston thought she had a drinking problem.

Allegedly Wednesday Campbell was drinking and  the two argued about her drinking, Allegedly Campbell hit Johnston in the back. Johnston reportedly responded by pushing her to the floor and choking her to death.

Reportedly he then put her into the bed and changed her clothing and placed a plant near her. Reportedly a neighbor attemted to speak with Barbara Campbell several times, but Johnston told the neighbor that Campbell was passed out from drinking.

Reportedly Johnston then fell asleep in the living room. Awakening at 4 am he reportedly cleaned the apartment then gathered up Campbell’s 5 cats. At about 10 am  he took those to a local animal control and requested they be euthanized. He allegedly told workers there “the cats belonged to his girlfriend who had recently passed away in the hospital.” Reportedly he wanted the cats to be with Campbell. It is not clear if the cats are still living or whether they have been euthanized.

From there, Johnston reportedly went to a Vetrans Affairs Clinic and asked for a certain doctor. When told the doctor was busy, he insisted on seeing the doctor. Johnston allegedly told the doctor that he had harmed his girlfriend.

Law enforcement were called and they went to the apartment. Reportedly they found Campbell in the bedroom. Reportedly Johnson confessed to the murder in interviews with sheriff’s detectives.

Johnston has been charged with first degree murder.

ocala.com                  local6.com               news-press.com

He didn’t like her drinking. Unknown if that was because of concerns for her or himself. Then he allegedly kills her. He dresses her and puts her to bed, then goes to sleep himself. (It is unknown why he dressed her or how he dressed her.) He cleans their apartment, and takes her cats to be put down allegedly “so they could be with her”. Then goes to a clinic and tells a doctor. So he was comfortable with her after death, he cared for her after death, yet he is the one who killed her.

In my opinion, there will be some mental health issues coming out on this one. Possibly even more information after the autopsy.

And a big thanks to Lilo at Lost in Lima Ohio  for this one.


More details. Reportedly Johnston had gone for a walk, and when he returned he found Campbell intoxicated. She allegedly began arguing with him, allegedly he reamained silent. Then allegedly she hit him in the back and he allegedly  threw her to the floor and began strangling her.

After killing her, he allegedly picked her up and put her on the bed, dressed her, placed family photographs around her,  and a flower around her on the bed.

Reportedly he left two notes. One was a handwritten note which stated in part “she begged me” and  “I sacrificed my life for her.” Reportedly the second note explains his reasoning for the murder. Both notes have been sent for analysis.

Johnston reportedly told the court that he had a message for Barbara Campbell’s children that he loved their mother very much.

Reportedly Johnstan was a vetran of the Marine Corps, he served from 1979 to 1982 and was honorably discharged. He had been a patient at the medical center since July.




  1. keb said,

    October 8, 2006 at 2:21 am

    If he goes to the VA to request and then demand a certain doctor by name, and then semi-confess to this doctor, it’s dimes-to-donuts a psychiatrist (or psychologist – but the VA, from my SW experience, does meds more than therapy – though that may have simply been the poopulation I worked with). Could be schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, or BiPolar Disorder … when I saw VA, I looked back up top to see if he was of an age to be a Viet Nam vet – high incidence of PTSD in that population – but he is too young, I think.
    Too bad he didn’t confide in his VA doc before he killed her.

  2. October 8, 2006 at 3:26 am

    I thought he was too young for ‘Nam also. I looked for an update, and it says he served from ’79 to ’82. I believe the US pretty much pulled out of ‘Nam in ’73 or ’74 didn’t they?

  3. keb said,

    October 8, 2006 at 4:35 pm

    1975 – end of Viet Nam combat, all US troops out
    1978 – Pol Pot & Kmer Rouge in Cambodia
    1980 – Operation Eagle Claw to rescue Tehran hostages (small operation but ended badly – could he have been involved? Someone must have been …)
    1982-1984, Beurit, including suicide attacks on Marines barracks

    I can easily see how combat conditions make people crazy.
    A Viet Nam vet I worked with was very very mentally ill, but he was denied service-related benefits because there was no specific single incident to which to attribute his psychosis (like being trapped under a fallen wall, or taken hostage, etc.) The psychiatrist who met with us said, “If it were up to me, I’d give ALL the Viet Nam vets their benefits,” meaning, just being there at all was THAT BAD.
    {The vet did qualify for disability, but w/o the service-related part the amount was much less.}

  4. keb said,

    October 8, 2006 at 4:36 pm

    p.s., I don’t know how that smiley face thing got in my comment; I would not have used one in that way – really, no disrespect intended

  5. October 8, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    They say Korea was bad and many came back ‘shell shocked’ which is the same problem PTSD. But it seems that so many ‘Nam vets were affected. I don’t think that I have ever met a ‘Nam vet who didn’t have some flashbacks and nightmares from it.
    You are right we were there longer than I thought.
    And I didn’t consider the smiley disrespectful.

  6. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 8, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    The victim Alison Campbell is my sister. She was somewhat estranged from myself and her other sister at the time of her death due to her alcoholism and the fact she was with Curtis. I know he served in the military and told my sister he was a sniper in special ops. I do not know if he embellished in order to make himself more impressive or if this were actually true. He also had a severe drinking problem as well and also a history of pedophelia. The two of them visited my home together on one occasion and we knew he was not a very sane person however I still feel he needs to be held accountable for his actions. He has taken my sister from me and her family and his statement about how much he loved her makes me sick. The relationship was off and on for a long time and I am not sure why my sister stayed with him as I dont feel she really even cared that much about him. It was a very sick relationship but she certainly did not deserve to have her life taken by him. I hope justice will be served in this case and I know my sister is in Heaven. May she rest in peace! God Bless! Patti Campbell Hopkins

  7. October 8, 2006 at 11:11 pm

    I am very sorry about the loss of your sister Patti. Alcoholism does take a toll on families, not just on the immediate family but also the extended family. You are right, she did not deserve this. If he didn’t like her drinking, he could always have walked away from her.
    Though it may be slow, I believe that justice will come in this.
    You mentioned that he had a history of pedophilia. Has he been prosecuted for a sex crime against a child?

  8. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 9, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    The charges were in Brevard county and he was picked up for DUI in Broward county when he was living with my sister in Ft. Lauderdale.They found out he had an outstanding warrant for some child sex charges but he somehow got them reduced to improper contact with a minor. I think he just got time served.This was back in 2003, that he was picked up and I am not sure what year the charges were in. Thanks for your condolences. Patti

  9. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 9, 2006 at 5:51 pm

    Many more details are slowly emerging but due to the upcoming trial the detectives are limited in what they can tell us. I am sure he will probably use the crazy card as he was in an institution back in the 1990″s. I do think he will never be a free man again in this lifetime!

  10. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 9, 2006 at 5:54 pm

    One more thought. He was in the military from 1979-1982 and always told my sister that he had killed people but did not like to talk about it. Said he saw alot of bad things but who knows. Lots of people embellish when talking of there military careers!

  11. keb said,

    October 10, 2006 at 2:08 am

    Patti, I am very sorry for your loss. I have three sisters, and we are not all equally close but to lose any of them through such violence would be beyond terrible.

    I do wonder about his military service then, because 79-82 was not a time of active engagements for the U.S. military. I know there are covert operations not made public, but …?

    Again, you have my sympathies.

  12. Whiskas said,

    October 11, 2006 at 4:47 pm

    This is a terrible event that has taken place. I hope that the crazy card can’t be used here. Drinking is not a reason to murder someone and her cats. If you don’t like the drinking you simply leave and go on with your life.
    The only justice for this murderer is death. Tax payers don’t need to give this person I easy life in a mental hospital.

  13. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 11, 2006 at 7:24 pm

    Thank you very much for your support. her memorial service is tommorow(my 40th) birthday. I never imagined I would spend it burying my sister. The detectives have given us some info but I think there is still quite a bit that has not come out yet! The toxicology report may prove very interesting but thats all I can say at this time. Its also very ironic that he was so disturbed by her drinking as the one occasion he was at my house he sat on the floor and drank himself into oblivion. he had as much of a drinking problem as her. again l think the toxicolgy may proove a suprise!! We will see. Regards! Patti

  14. Whiskas said,

    October 12, 2006 at 3:15 am

    I spoke to I C, she at a loss because of the death of Allison…
    She would love to talk with you and asked me to give you her phone number.
    Best wishes for tomorrow.

    Edited per HSH for Privacy Reasons.

  15. October 12, 2006 at 3:53 am

    Patti, please keep me updated when you can. And if you will let me know when you have viewed the above post, I will edit it due to privacy reasons.

  16. Patti Hopkins said,

    October 12, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    I just returned from Ocala and read your post. Was Irena a friend of Allisons? If you could fill me in I will be happy to call and talk to her. It was a difficult day and her kids were amazing! They handled the day with such grace and dignity. I know she is watching from above and is so proud of the fine young men and ladies they are. Patti

  17. Whiskas said,

    October 12, 2006 at 9:59 pm

    Hi Patti,
    Yes Irena was a fellow cat lover. Allison would always help out with her pets when she went away.
    Irena was always there to give Allison a hand and Allison was always there to give Irena a hand. Oh yea lots of advice….

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