MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (AP) – Johanna Justin-Jinich seemed to have it all. Attractive, smart and caring, the Wesleyan University student had a bright future.

But Stephen Morgan’s unwelcome contact created a dark cloud. Morgan shared a summer class at New York University with Justin-Jinich in 2007, and she filed a harassment complaint against him for repeated unwanted phone calls and insulting e-mails.

She decided not to press charges, but that wasn’t the end of it.

On the run

Morgan left his father’s Massachusetts home late Tuesday, leaving behind only an empty handgun holster and boxes of ammunition. He arrived on the Wesleyan campus after checking into a hotel Wednesday morning, his car parked behind the bookstore where Justin-Jinich worked.

Less than two hours later, she was dead. And Morgan was on the run.

Morgan, 29, was arrested Thursday night after seeing his photo in a newspaper and asking a convenience store clerk to call police. Officers found him standing outside the store, 10 miles from the bookstore where Justin-Jinich was gunned down by a man wearing a wig.

Justin-Jinich, of Timnath, Colo., came from a Jewish family, and her grandmother was a Holocaust survivor.

Planned ‘killing spree’

Morgan remarked in a journal entry before the killing about all the “beautiful and smart” people at Wesleyan, an elite liberal arts university of 3,000.

“I think it okay to kill Jews and go on a killing spree at this school,” he wrote.

Morgan was arraigned Friday in Middletown Superior Court. A judge increased his bond from $10 million to $15 million.

Morgan’s parents and two sisters attended the brief hearing. Morgan, who spent four years in the Navy before being discharged in 2003 with the rank petty officer second class, was scruffy and unkempt. One sister wept as he was escorted from the courtroom in shackles by judicial marshals.

Outside court, defense attorney Dick Brown said Morgan would plead not guilty.

“He denies any effort to target the Wesleyan campus or anyone else,” Brown said Friday.

According to the arrest warrant, Morgan ducked into the bookstore’s basement and threatened three employees before fleeing. Police recovered a T-shirt, a wig, a cap and eyeglasses they say Morgan used to disguise himself, as well as a pistol.

The warrant confirms that an officer detained Morgan outside the bookstore shortly after the shooting, spoke to him and let him go.

Police found Morgan’s journal inside the bookstore, according to the warrant. In Marblehead, Mass., Morgan’s father, James, identified his son as the man seen in bookstore surveillance photos, and described him as a loner who kept a journal and was known to make anti-Semitic comments.

James Morgan told police his son told him he had decided to move to Newport, R.I., and had taken all his belongings. Police checked Morgan’s bedroom, where they said they found a box full of ammunition and an empty handgun holster.


Police said they found a red 2001 Nissan Sentra – with Colorado license plates and registered to Morgan – in the bookstore parking lot. They said there was a handgun case partially opened in the vehicle and two handgun magazines.

Authorities in New York said Morgan and Justin-Jinich have known each other since at least 2007, when she filed the harassment complaint.

One of the e-mails warned: “You’re going to have a lot more problems down the road if you can’t take any (expletive) criticism, Johanna.” Both were interviewed by university police, but Justin-Jinich decided not to press charges.

Wesleyan students mourned her at a memorial service on Friday as the campus, which has been nearly shut down for two days while police sought Morgan, slowly returned to normal.

“She was just an amazing person,” said Ali Eccleston, shelter manager of the Animal House dog rescue and grooming service in Fort Collins, Colo., where Justin-Jinich worked as an animal care technician and customer service representative last summer. “She had a great aura, always positive. She just was a passionate hard worker. She was really going to go places.”

Justin-Jinich would have graduated next year from Wesleyan. She was a 2006 graduate of the Westtown School, a Quaker boarding school outside Philadelphia where she was a straight-A student who participated in model UN and was known to organize meals and make travel arrangements for the varsity tennis team.

“She was great person. A lot of people loved her,” said Andrew Jaycox, junior from Philadelphia.

In Massachusetts, Morgan’s neighbors are stunned.

“I know the Morgans very well. They’re wonderful people and so is Stephen,” said Penny Wigglesworth, who lives in the same upper-middle-class neighborhood as Morgan’s parents in Marblehead. “They’re so kind. They’re wonderful neighbors. We brought up our kids together.”

Wigglesworth said she knew Stephen less well, partly because he wasn’t the same age as her children. But she called him pleasant and polite. She remembered him being “so cute” when he played with his nieces and nephews in the neighborhood of stately brick houses.

“I still can’t believe it. I probably won’t believe it,” Wigglesworth said. “I’m absolutely shocked.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.