House of Horrors: Nancy Johnson and the Puzzling Murder-Suicide of Her Children

True Crime Lounge
3 min readOct 2, 2023
Nancy Johnson a 37-year-old woman from Semmes, Alabama, was the mother of two young children, Mia (5) and Jacob (2) murder-suicide


Nancy Johnson, a 37-year-old woman from Semmes, Alabama, was the mother of two young children, Mia (5) and Jacob (2). The family had recently gone through a divorce and custody battle, which raised concerns about Nancy’s mental health. Court records indicate that Nancy had exhibited signs of emotional instability, leading to a protection-from-abuse order being issued against her ex-husband, Derek Johnson.

The Tragic Events

On a fateful day, Nancy Johnson carried out a horrifying act that would forever change the lives of those involved. According to Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch, she drowned both of her children in the bathroom of their home before taking her own life. The details of the crime scene were chilling, with the mother slashing her daughter’s throat and using a silk belt to hang herself in a hallway closet.

The investigation into this murder-suicide revealed that both children died from drowning, but Mia’s cause of death was further complicated by the blood loss resulting from the knife wounds inflicted by her mother. The sheriff’s office described the scene as “more brutal than normal,” leaving the community in shock and searching for answers.

The Aftermath

Derek Johnson, the children’s father, made the heartbreaking discovery when he entered the family home. He found Mia and Jacob’s lifeless bodies on a sofa, covered by a blanket. The tragedy was compounded by the fact that the children had been submerged in water, leaving little to no evidence of the brutality of their deaths.

In the wake of this devastating event, the community rallied to support Derek and mourn the loss of Mia and Jacob. The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office launched a thorough investigation to understand the factors that led to this tragedy and to ensure that such a horrific event would not happen again.

Mental Health and Custody Battles

The case of Nancy Johnson raises important questions about the intersection of mental health and child custody battles. Court records indicate that Nancy had shown signs of emotional instability, leading to concerns about her ability to care for her children. However, despite these concerns, joint custody was granted, and the Alabama Department of Human Resources was assigned “protective supervision” of the children.

This tragic event serves as a reminder of the complex challenges faced by the legal system when dealing with custody disputes involving mental health issues. It highlights the need for better evaluation and support to protect the welfare of children in such situations.

Impact on the Community

The murder-suicide of Nancy Johnson and her children sent shockwaves through the community of Semmes, Alabama. Friends, neighbors, and community members came together to grieve the loss of Mia and Jacob, offering support and condolences to their grieving father, Derek Johnson.

The tragedy prompted discussions about mental health awareness and the need for improved resources and support for individuals facing emotional difficulties. It also raised questions about the role of the legal system in safeguarding the well-being of children during custody battles involving mental health concerns.

Seeking Answers

As the investigation into the murder-suicide of Nancy Johnson and her children continues, the community, law enforcement, and mental health professionals are left grappling with unanswered questions. The motive behind Nancy’s actions remains unclear, leaving loved ones and authorities searching for clues that could shed light on this devastating event.

In their pursuit of answers, law enforcement officials are examining various factors, including the history of the Johnsons’ relationship, the divorce proceedings, and Nancy’s mental health records. By piecing together these puzzle pieces, they hope to gain a better understanding of the events leading up to that tragic day.


The murder-suicide of Nancy Johnson and her two children has left a community mourning the loss of innocent lives. It serves as a stark reminder of the devastating consequences that can arise from unaddressed mental health issues and the challenges faced by the legal system in custody battles involving such concerns. As the investigation continues, the community strives to heal and find solace in their collective support for Derek Johnson and the memories of Mia and Jacob.

If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health issues or experiencing thoughts of self-harm, please reach out to a mental health professional or a helpline in your country.