Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick, born January 4, 1935, died last month, to the relief and comfort of the children whom she spent a lifetime (in their words) "torturing in every way possible." Those children, now grown, marked her passing by submitting the most chilling obituary you will ever read to her local newspaper, the Reno Gazette-Journal. While it appears to have been scrubbed from the paper's website, here's the full text, as it appeared online earlier today:
Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick born Jan 4, 1935 and died alone on Aug. 30, 2013. She is survived by her 6 of 8 children whom she spent her lifetime torturing in every way possible. While she neglected and abused her small children, she refused to allow anyone else to care or show compassion towards them. When they became adults she stalked and tortured anyone they dared to love. Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit.
On behalf of her children whom she so abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty, and shame that she delivered on her children. Her surviving children will now live the rest of their lives with the peace of knowing their nightmare finally has some form of closure.
Most of us have found peace in helping those who have been exposed to child abuse and hope this message of her final passing can revive our message that abusing children is unforgiveable, shameless, and should not be tolerated in a "humane society". Our greatest wish now, is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America.
We placed a call to the paper to find out whose decision it was to take down the obituary. A very polite woman told us that the man we needed to speak to was "in a meeting right now" but "might be able to give a call back." We will update if he is able to give a call back.
A search of Marianne's name suggests that perhaps she is the same Nevada-based Marianne Reddick who, in 1970, testified before the Nevada Equal Rights Commission that the employment agency she ran printed "White Only" on certain referrals so that black people would not mistakenly apply for jobs where they were not welcome.
No one had signed her online guestbook at the time of its deletion.
UPDATE: We received the following response from John F. Maher, the Gazette-Journal's publisher in response to our inquiry:
The obituary you reference was a paid placement that was submitted via our self-service, online portal. It appeared in today's Reno Gazette-Journal and also online.
From the text of the obituary, it is clear that the date of death is inaccurate. The Washoe County Public Guardian’s office has confirmed that Marianne Theresa Johnson did, indeed, recently pass away.
We've removed the online listing of this obituary as we continue our review of the circumstances surrounding its placement. Once we've completed our review, we'll determine what, if any, further actions are required.