Disabled Army veteran Jack Irwin, 71, went missing from Upland, California on September 13, 1999. About nine months earlier, Jack sold his cabin at Mt. Baldy to Judy Gellert and Marcia Johnson who also befriended him. Apparently he let them make payments on the mortgage at the cabin because they were low on cash and he wanted to move to a warmer climate. At one point he had confided in some close family friends that the couple were no longer making payments and the whole situation was making him feel uncomfortable. Then Marcia reported Jack missing. She told police he went on a trip to Seattle, Washington to visit the Space Needle.
Jack’s other friends informed police they suspected Judy and Marcia because of their large purchases since moving to Mt. Baldy, including a corvette. At the time of Jack’s disappearance in 1999, he had about $230,000 in the bank. By January 2000, his bank account was down to $14. Police learned the couple sold Jack’s home in Upland and bought a luxury home in San Diego. And the cabin at Mt. Baldy burned to the ground in August 2000 resulting in an insurance pay out of $170,000. The pair had access to half a million dollars and spent almost all of it. Detectives also discovered Marcia sued a therapist for emotional distress and was awarded a $30,000 settlement.
Marcia became involved in a sexual relationship with another therapist after claiming she broke up with her girlfriend. Her partner Judy found out about the affair and convinced Marcia to file yet another lawsuit against a therapist. In the course of the depositions for the lawsuit the therapist claimed Marcia was delusional because she admitted to killing her brother and sister and an old man who lived on Mt. Baldy. As a result of this information, detectives put a wire tap on Marcia and Judy’s phones and started turning up the heat. As a result, Judy Gellert was arrested for accessory to murder because she admitted to knowing about what happened.
Marcia Johnson was arrested for murder after acknowledging she murdered Jack Irwin. Marcia told detectives Jack Irwin showed up to the Mt. Baldy cabin, mostly likely to confront Marcia about the money she owed him. Marcia admitted that she got angry and just wanted him to shut up. So she went into the house, grabbed a gun, and shot him in the back of his head. She then grabbed a chainsaw and cut off his head, hands, and feet. Afterwards, Marcia sealed the body parts in plastic bags and dumped them in a remote location on Mt. Baldy. On November 2, 2004, Marcia Johnson was found guilty on twenty-six counts including first degree murder, arson, grand theft, elder abuse, and insurance fraud.
On December 15, 2004, Marcia Johnson was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. Judy Gellert accepted a plea bargain in exchange for her testimony against Marcia Johnson and was sentenced to 180 days in jail, five years probation, and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution. The detectives considered this one of the most cold blooded crimes they had ever heard of. Marcia Johnson was a con. She was greedy and didn’t care about anyone but herself. She is the type who does not accept responsibility for their actions and everything is always someone else’s fault. Jack Irwin was an unsuspecting victim who didn’t realize that he had been targeted for his disability benefits, bank account, and assets from the get go.
Source: ‘Come Back Jack’ Murder Book
ID Go: Four years after a 71 year-old Korean War hero goes missing near Upland, California, a DA’s investigator picks up a trail of clues that seem to lead to the victim’s closest friends. -Come Back Jack, Murder Book (S2, E13)
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Beheading on Mount Baldy
Beheading on Mount Baldy Part 2
Come Back Jack | Murder Book | Investigation Discovery (S2, E13)