Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Donald Herb JOHNSON





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Mutilation - Disemboweling
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 30, 1989
Date of arrest: Next day
Date of birth: May 25, 1967
Victim profile: Helen Madden, 61
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Perry County, Kentucky, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on October 1, 1997

JOHNSON, DONALD, DOB 05-25-67, was sentenced to death on October 1, 1997 in Floyd County for the stabbing death of Helen Madden.

Ms. Madden’s body was found on 11/30/89 at the Bright and Clean Laundry in Hazard where she was employed. It was determined that she had also been sexually assaulted.

Johnson was arrested on 12/01/89 and charged with murder, robbery and burglary. The charge of 1st Degree Sexual Assault was added later.


This killer stabbed the 61-year-old victim 24 times in Floyd County in 1989.   Before killing the victim, the killer mutilated her vagina and rectum with a ball point pen, bit her several times, and them disemboweled her with a knife.


Helen Madden


Stumbo asks for execution date for Helen Madden's killer

January 21, 2004

Attorney General Greg Stumbo is asking for an execution date to be set for the man who pleaded guilty to the brutal murder of a 61-year-old woman at a Hazard laundry mat in 1989. Donald Herb Johnson was sentenced to death for the murder of Helen Madden.

On November 29, 1989, in Hazard, Johnson came Bright and Clean Laundry and asked Madden if he could use the telephone. After Madden refused, Johnson allegedly stabbed her at least 24 times, repeatedly bit her, beat her beyond recognition and then disemboweled her. Johnson also allegedly sexually assaulted Madden during the attack. Johnson then allegedly went to a restaurant to have dinner directly after the murder.

The case was transferred to Floyd Circuit Court where Johnson pleaded guilty to capital murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. In correspondence forwarded to Governor Ernie Fletcher, Stumbo requested execution dates for Johnson and David Lee Sanders, who was convicted of two counts of murder in Madison County in 1987. Stumbo requested that Fletcher set the dates as soon as possible in order to carry out the sentence imposed in each case.

Stumbo later withdrew the request for Sanders' execution after learning  an appeal had already been filed in the case. "These were brutal and malicious murders," Stumbo said "I have pledged in my new position to be tough on criminals. By signing these orders, I am keeping that promise and helping ensure the safety of Kentuckians." Fletcher has not released a statement on how he plans to handle the death penalty request.



Donald Herb Johnson



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