Larry Johnson (author)
|This article relies on references to primary sources. (October 2009)|
Larry Johnson (born in Albuquerque, New Mexico) is an American author and former employee of the Alcor Life Extension Foundation (Alcor), a cryonics company for whom he once served as chief operating officer. He received notoriety with the release of the August 13, 2003 issue of Sports Illustrated. Sports Illustrated sportswriter Tom Verducci, along with Johnson's input, published an article about “What Really Happened to Ted Williams?" Immediately following the Sports Illustrated article, Johnson agreed to an interview with Diane Sawyer of Good Morning America.
Alcor has accused Johnson of engaging in profiteering and attempting to sensationalize his experiences at Alcor as a means of making money.1 In 2003, CNN correspondent Gary Tuchman noted: "Johnson certainly doesn't mind using his connections as an ex- employee to make a buck. Johnson has started a Web site, where for a so-called donation of at least $20, graphic photographs were displayed, photographs, he said, documenting the fate of Ted Williams.2 Johnson won't talk on camera about Ted Williams, but his attorney acknowledges Sports Illustrated was not told about his client's money making plans." During the fall of 2003, while Director of Clinical Services for Alcor, Johnson did an interview in Cryonics Magazine.
On September 28, 2003, an article was published in the Phoenix, Arizona newspaper East Valley Tribune with the headline "Scottsdale company’s role in death probe.” This article reports that Larry Johnson speaks of a 1992 death of a North Hollywood, California man whose remains are frozen at Alcor. According to Johnson he has audio taped evidence that personally recorded, of an Alcor employee who may have hastened the death of one of their members. Johnson later stated that the police were not interested in pursuing an investigation. The nurse who pronounced the 1992 death has denied Johnson's claim that there was any hastening of death.3 The nurse's description of the events surrounding that death contradict Alcor's published case report. The nurse claims his patient died in the bedroom, while Alcor's case report and Larry Johnson's version of the story agree the patient died in a "makeshift operating room" in the garage. In October 2009, "Alcor's CEO at the time, (1992) Carlos Mondragon, told ABC News that the allegation that the patient's death was hastened was brought directly to him, and that his response was to cut Alcor's ties with the employee accused of administering the injection." 4
During the Fall of 2009, Johnson released a book called, FROZEN: My Journey into the World of Cryonics, Deception, and Death. This book has received heavy criticism from those working in the field of cryonics.56
Alcor’s lawsuits against Larry Johnson have been ended by his bankruptcy and various concessions. In 2009 Alcor sued authors Larry Johnson, Scott Baldyga, and publisher Vanguard Press in New York for their book Frozen, which purported to be about Alcor. The lawsuit was filed to obtain damages for the false and defamatory content of the book, to enforce prior court orders and agreements which publication of the book directly violated, and to protect the privacy of Alcor members. Bankruptcy papers filed by Johnson end Alcor’s ability to collect damages related to this lawsuit from Mr. Johnson, unless there is a subsequent violation of terms by Mr. Johnson. All court orders remain in force to prevent future violations.
In connection with the end of litigation, Larry Johnson has issued this public statement:
“When the book Frozen was written, I believed my conclusions to be correct. However information unknown to me and a more complete understanding of the facts furnished by ALCOR contradict part of my account and some of my conclusions. In light of this new information from ALCOR, some parts of the book are questioned as to veracity.
“For example my account of the Ted Williams cryopreservation, which was not based upon my first-hand observation as noted in my book, is contradicted by information furnished by ALCOR. I am not now certain that Ted Williams’ body was treated disrespectfully, or that any procedures were performed without authorization or conducted poorly.
“To the extent my recollections and conclusions were erroneous, and those recollections and errors caused harm I apologize.”
Allegations of mistreatment of member remains were the centerpiece of sensational publicity sought by Mr. Johnson in 2003, and subsequently during his promotion of the book Frozen in October 2009. Alcor claims these are just a few of many falsehoods contained in the book Frozen and the surrounding publicity. The lawsuit against the book’s coauthor, Scott Baldyga, and publisher, Vanguard Press, continues in New York. Alcor is seeking money damages against Mr. Baldyga and Vanguard Press for aiding and abetting violation of court orders, ignoring valid court injunctions, and otherwise assisting in the distribution of allegedly false information about Alcor.
Alcor CEO, Max More, stated, “We are very pleased that Mr. Johnson has publically retracted his allegations about Alcor. Alcor feels vindicated from the falsehoods perpetrated by Mr. Johnson. Alcor is a professional cryopreservation facility dedicated to the well-being and privacy of its members.”
Mr. Johnson appears to have retracted few of his allegations about Alcor, in his statement associated with the settlement agreement. No judge, nor jury, has ruled on the veracity of the contents of the book. The NY court has ruled against Alcor's claims of conversion and exposure of trade secrets,7 and in May of 2014, the case was dismissed in favor of the publisher and authors in New York Supreme Court 8
- Cryonics Wikipedia discusses cryonics
-  Alcor director disputes Larry Johnsons claims
-  Cryonics Magazine - Interview with Larry Johnson (Page 14)
-  Is Sports Illustrated Out to Get John Henry Williams?
-  Baseball great Ted Williams dies.
-  Sends chills up his spine.
-  Missing: Samples of Ted Williams' DNA.
-  Former Exec: Ted Williams' Corpse Beheaded.
-  Ted Williams Frozen In Two Pieces.
-  Ex-employee: Alcor threatened to dispose of Ted's body.
- "Alcor: Response to Media Allegations". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- "CNN TRANSCRIPTS The Story of Ted Williams". Retrieved 2009-10-15.
- Hennes, Ronald (November 11, 2009). "I WAS THE NURSE/I WAS THERE". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2009-12-12.
- Web Civil Supreme; Index number 113938/2009