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The self-obsessed ex-girlfriend of the Dayton shooter speaks out
In a chilling 2000 word post on Medium, Johnson outlines the short but eventful half-year spent with the Dayton shooter.
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The self-obsessed ex-girlfriend of the Dayton shooter speaks out 

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They met in a Social Psychology class, described as a “perfect gentleman” throughout a relationship that continually showed interest in morbid topics like serial killers and mass shootings. For Adelia Johnson, these things weren’t abnormal for a psychology student to be interested in.

Most of his problems categorized under “unchecked symptoms of mental illness,” periodic mentions of hurting people that never raised a red flag, and mentions of suicide. Sadly, these weren’t so much a quirk of his behaviour, but rather a grim indicator of what was to come.

In a chilling 2000 word post on Medium, Johnson outlines the short but eventful half-year spent with the Dayton shooter.

“He knew he was the product of a failed system. A system that stigmatized mental health and recovery. A system that makes the mentally ill feel broken and unworthy of help. He didn’t want to seek help because of the stigma, he just wanted to better and he didn’t know how.”

Though the writer is attempting to sound sincere, at several points she sounds self-obsessed. “My ex-boyfriend was a mass murderer. My ex-boyfriend was a mass murderer. I still don’t know how to wrap my head around that. That man who was so sweet to me and told me he loved me was a mass murderer. I kissed a mass murderer,” she writes, as if her having kissed a mass murderer matters to anyone.

Johnson uses the word “I” 91 times, as she outlines her experience with the mass shooter. Though her experience seems to start out normal enough, there are clear red flags that continue to pop up over their short time together. Hindsight is 20/20, unfortunately.

Johnson’s main focus, though, was mental illness. 

“People go every day being perfectly fine with having a mental illness, me included, and he just got the short end of the stick,” she said in an interview with TODAY. “No support system.”

Her ex was killed by police after killing nine people in 30 seconds early Sunday morning.

“This isn’t about race, this isn’t about religion, it’s none of those things,” Johnson said. “This is a man who was in pain and didn’t get the help that he needed.”

That is a note that Johnson hits repeatedly, all but absolving him from his actions. Though she begins her article by saying that it is not an “excuse” for her ex, but rather telling us about the person she knew.

“He knew he was the product of a failed system. A system that stigmatized mental health and recovery. A system that makes the mentally ill feel broken and unworthy of help. He didn’t want to seek help because of the stigma, he just wanted to better and he didn’t know how.”

Mental health is important. The strives that society has made to destigmatize mental health have been impressive given how quickly the topic became clear. SSRI’s are undoubtedly a major factor in the problems America faces with violence. But what’s also important to remember is how viciously people go after any attempts by media to humanize mass murderers. 

Johnson’s ex was not a misunderstood gentleman. He was a monster, who—while in desperate need of help—committed a horrible act.

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