Michael Johnson / Tiger Mandingo

Truer Crime
Truer Crime
Michael Johnson / Tiger Mandingo

In the winter of 2013, Dylan King-Lemons went to the doctor with stomach pains. His diagnosis? HIV. A few months later, one of his former sexual partners, Michael Johnson, is arrested. But why? Today’s episode explores identity, crime, and our societal obsession with punishment.

Please be aware that today’s episode contains references to anti-Black racism, homophobia, and incarceration.

A full transcript of this episode is available here.

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Action Items Related to Today’s Episode:

Learn about and donate to the Center for HIV Law and Policy

Learn about and donate to For The Gworls

Key Research Mentioned:

Buzzfeed News: ‘Tiger Mandingo,’ Accused in HIV Case Says He’s Being Held In Solitary, by Steven Thrasher

BuzzFeed: How College Wrestling Star ‘Tiger Mandingo’ Became an HIV Scapegoat, by Steven Thrasher

BuzzFeed News: A Black Body on Trial: The Conviction of HIV-Positive “Tiger Mandingo,” by Steven Thrasher

Buzzfeed News: HIV Conviction Of “Tiger Mandingo” Has Been Thrown Out, by Steven Thrasher

BuzzFeed News: ‘Tiger Mandingo,’ Who Got 30 Years For Not Telling Sex Partners He Had HIV Is Free 25 Years Early, by Steven Thrasher

Sources Used:

Police Report – Dylan King-Lemons, Contributed of Steven Thrasher

Probable Cause Statement- Michael L. Johnson, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Police Report Medical Records, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Final Letter to MO Prosecutor April 21 2015, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Erik Lawrenz St Charles Police Department Email on Arrest Timeline, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Missouri HIV Confidential Disclosure Form, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Lindenwood Campus Announcement, Contributed by Steven Thrasher

Court of Appeals Ruling: State of Missouri vs. Michael L. Johnson

The New York Times: He Emerged From Prison a Potent Symbol of H.I.V. Criminalization, by Emily S. Rueb

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About HIV

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: AIDS and Opportunistic Infections

United States Census Bureau: Quick Facts St. Charles County, Missouri*

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: More potential victims in LIndenwood U. student HIV virus case, by Mark Schlinkmann

The Nation: The Reckless Prosecution of Tiger Mandingo, by Rod McCullom

Former Lindenwood Wrestler convicted of transmitting HIV speaks out, by PJ Randhawa and Erin Richey

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Half of black gay men and quarter of Latino gay men projected to be diagnosed within their lifetime

American Psychological Association: HIV laws that appear to do more harm than good, by Stephanie Pappas

NBC News: LGBTQ History Month: The early days of America’s AIDS crisis, by Tim Fitzsimons

National Library of Medicine: Estimating per-act HIV transmission risk: a systematic review, by Pragna Patel, John T Brooks, Arielle Lasry, Amy Lansky, Jonathan Mermin

*Correction: In the episode we mentioned St. Charles, Missouri has a Black population of less than 2%. This was an error. The most recent U.S. Census data shows that St. Charles County, Missouri has Black or African American population of 5.3%.

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