Murder of Marilou Johnson by David Wright investigated on ID

Mugshot of David Wright
David James Wright is serving a life sentence for murder. Pic credit: MI Dept. of Corrections

Where Murder Lies on ID is investigating the murder of Marilou Johnson by plumber David Wright, who slashed the throat of his victim at her home in Washington Township, 30 miles north of Detroit, Michigan.

The 50-year-old mother of three sons was last seen alive on June 14, 2007. She was living with her sons and her wealthy boyfriend, Roger Blanchard, at a mansion in an exclusive neighborhood when she suddenly vanished.

Blanchard reported Marilou missing the following day. Her purse and cellphone were missing, but her car was still at the house. The cops searched the premises but couldn’t find any sign of her.

The police became suspicious of Wright after they learned he’d telephoned Marilou twice just before she died. A search of his van revealed he had five diamonds that appeared to come from one of Marilou’s necklaces that was now missing.

The killer was known to the family; he had done work for them, and Blanchard had even lent him $50,000, which he never paid back. Wright admitted he blew the money gambling and on the van he used in Marilou’s murder.

Macomb County Sheriff Mark Hackel told the press, “We know he knew the family and probably knew about their financial situation and took advantage of them in a desperate time. Marilou is dead as a result of this guy wanting some money.”

David Wright said he accidentally murdered Marilou Johnson during kidnapping

Wright subsequently admitted to the cops that he had killed Marilou in a botched kidnapping attempt. He had attempted to force her into his van in the hope of claiming ransom money from her rich boyfriend.

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He claimed they had slipped, and he accidentally cut her throat.

The killer said he initially buried the remains at a family cottage but then decided to dump the body into Lake Cass in Oakland County. He weighed the body down with cinder blocks.

David Wright later blamed Roger Blanchard for Marilou Johnson murder

Despite this initial confession, Wright pleaded not guilty and ended up on trial. During the trial, he claimed that Blanchard had actually killed Marilou and that he had only helped to dispose of the body. He said Blanchard had promised him some unspecified reward for his help.

Wright theatrically doubled over in the witness stand as he spoke about supposedly seeing Blanchard cutting the victim’s throat. However, the jury saw through his bad acting skills and convicted him of felony murder, kidnapping, and larceny. He was sentenced to life.

Where Murder Lies airs Sunday at 10/9c on Investigation Discovery.

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