‘I Am A Killer’ Season 4: Episode 5, Explained – Is Gary Black Racist? What Happened To Jason Johnson?

In the previous episode of “I Am A Killer,” Season 4, we come across the violent crime of Nasim Irsan. In the next episode, i.e., Episode 5, the series brings forward the story of Gary Black, a man who is one of the most dangerous criminals in the state of Missouri. Gary has attacked his fellow inmates and made their lives a living hell. Let’s find out why he is a danger to society and what happens to him next.


Spoilers Ahead

What Is The Episode About?

The fifth episode of “I Am A Killer,” Season 4 starts with Gary Black introducing himself. He has spent more than 80% of his adult life in prison. When Gary was a child, his parents got killed in an accident, and he was the only survivor. Soon, he was adopted. At first, he was treated very well in his new house. However, things went south after six years. Gary’s adoptive mother started drinking heavily. According to Gary, she also threw a bottle of vodka at him on one occasion. Gary was traumatized as a child after being treated so badly. He left his house before he turned 17. He soon started living with prostitutes.


Gary said he started feeling like he needed to protect the girls from the outside world and soon became a pimp. He started looking out for the women he was surrounded by, and even they started caring for him. When you hear Gary talking about the prostitutes he used to work with, you get a sense of who he is as a person. He started working as a pimp growing up, and one day he was driving around Joplin with Tammy.

Tammy had forgotten her cigarettes and needed to smoke. She asked Gary to stop at a convenience store, and while she was coming out of the store, she looked upset about something. When Gary asked her why she was upset, she said a man had sexually assaulted her. Upon hearing this, Gary was enraged. The man who allegedly sexually assaulted Tammy was Jason Johnson. Jason was a 28-year-old man. According to Gary Black, Jason first hit Gary when he went to confront him. This turned into an ugly fight, and Gary stabbed him with a knife. Tammy got scared, and Gary and she fled from the scene. 


What Happened To Jason Johnson After The Attack?

After the attack, Jason Johnson was left in his truck. Jason was soon rushed to the hospital, where he was kept on life support. We also see his mother and father in the episode. Their side of the story is the opposite of Gary Black’s. Gary described Jason Johnson as an evil man who assaulted a woman because he thought she was easy to get. However, upon hearing the other side, you start getting confused about your opinions of Jason. When you hear a story that involves sexual assaults, you feel for the victim. However, upon seeing the CCTV footage from that day, we find out that nothing as such had happened. Jason Johnson had not grabbed Tammy or sexually assaulted her. Jason Johnson’s parents had to make a very hard choice when he was put on life support. For any parent, it is hard to see their child suffer, and when someone is on life support, we only see a non-functional body. According to Jason’s mother, Jason was not the same. Collectively, Jason’s parents decided to take him off life support. After Jason was pronounced dead, Gary Black was arrested.

Did Gary Black Have A History Of Violence?

Yes, Gary Black had attacked a man before he attacked Jason Johnson. In 1976, Jackie Clark was attacked by Gary Black. According to Jackie, Gary is as scary as the Boogeyman. One day when Jackie Clark was with his girlfriend, Gary Black and an accomplice came to his car and robbed him. Not only did Gary rob the man, but he also shot him. Jackie Clark was left alone on the road to die. Luckily for him, the paramedics showed up on time and he survived the fatal attack. For this attack, Gary Black was in jail for 12 years and then was out on parole. According to the officials that worked on this case, letting a man out who is as dangerous as Gary Black was a big mistake. Gary Black is not only a vicious man but also very racist. Killing a black man was surely racially motivated. He repeatedly said the “n-word” in the episode when he referred to Jason Johnson. When Gary Black was out of prison, he became violent again. Indeed, one can never tell whether prison will change a person, but according to the officials, Gary Black showed no remorse. 


What Does Gary Black Say About the Death Penalty?

Gary Black says he does not deserve the death penalty. However, according to the detective working on the case, it was a premeditated murder. Gary Black says that it was not first-degree murder because he was attacked first. However, according to the detective and the eyewitnesses, Gary Black attacked Jason Johnson while he was in his truck. All the evidence also shows that Gary Black brutally attacked Jason Johnson first. Even though Gary Black is on death row, Jason Johnson’s mother says she has forgiven him. Being a Christian, she has started her own prayer ministry in order to help others who go through things as she has suffered. Christians are strong believers in Jesus, and they think God serves justice. So naturally, Jason Johnson’s mother is against the idea of the death penalty. She said she wants Gary Black to feel remorse every day till he dies. However, we do not see any change in Gary’s behavior. He admits that he is a racist, but he still says he did the right thing by killing Jason Johnson.

Ever since he has been in jail, he has also attacked inmates. Violence seems to be in his blood. The official records also show that whenever there is a man of color with him in jail, he makes their life a living hell. Gary Black says if he hadn’t gotten the death sentence, he wouldn’t be so violent. This makes no sense because his behavior was the same even before he got the death penalty; he has shown a pattern of violent behavior and letting him out in society even now is dangerous. 

Tarushi Patali
Tarushi Patali
Tarushi is an English Literature graduate, who is currently doing master's in mass communication from Mumbai. She loves making lists and is an avid reader. Also, she likes judging people by their movie taste. In her leisure time you would find her digging random conspiracy pages on Reddit!

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