Permanent Record: Tracking a Murder Suspect Through Social Media

by Dax-Devlon Ross

Part 1 in a series

In the early morning hours of July 28th Garland, Texas police received a 911 call regarding a possible domestic dispute at the Country Creek Apartments. Upon arriving just short of 1:30 a.m. they discovered the body of a 45-year-old resident named Zulema McColgan. She’d been beaten to death. Her vehicle, a Black Dodge Durango, was missing. The primary suspect in the murder was the dead woman’s boyfriend, 39 year-old Sisro Johnson. He was no where to be found. An interstate manhunt began. Less than a day later Zulema’s Durango sped past a Nebraska State Trooper. By then, the vehicle had traveled close to 600 miles from its point of origin, clearing two states – Oklahoma and Kansas – in the process. The vehicle’s most likely path North had led up the President George Bush Turnpike and onto one interstate highway after another until finally landing on I-75 North just outside of Richardson County.

Where was he going?

“He was just running,” Greg Newsome said in a phone interview from Plano. Until Greg’s mother informally adopted him at age 18, Sisro had spent most of his adolescence bouncing between fosters homes. “He was just driving ‘til he couldn’t drive no more.” Greg has known Sisro since the latter’s days at Plano East High. Back then, according to Newsome, Sisro was the state’s top linebacker prospect. His combination of size, strength and speed had major college football programs drooling. But then he caught a theft charge that delayed his graduation a year and effectively ended his football dreams. Though Sisro would go on to graduate, the theft signaled the start of a string of arrests the most recent of which culminated in a chasm between Sisro and the Newsome family. Greg wasn’t even aware that his younger brother had been released from prison until after he received a call from a former neighbor informing him that his mother’s old house had been ransacked by the police. Once he heard Sisro was on the run, he prayed. “He wasn’t going to go down just easy.” That wasn’t Sisro. Greg just hoped his brother didn’t give the police a reason to shoot.

Sisro initially pulled the vehicle over to side of the road when he saw the troopers swirling lights. Perhaps he thought he’d just get a ticket and be on his way. But then something happened. Maybe he thought better of it. Maybe he realized the trooper was running the plates and figured he may as well make a run for it. Maybe he didn’t think at all. The Durango sped off, leading the trooper on a high-speed chase the likes of which most of us have only seen on shows like Cops. The driver proved such a formidable absconder reinforcements had to be called in. The Durango reached 110 mph, traveling nearly a half hour and thirty miles before spike strips laid down by the Otoe County Sheriff derailed the getaway. Still, the chase lasted three more miles. Only then did the Durango come to a halt. Read the rest of this entry »