Philadelphia: In a shocking incident, a 32-year-man in suburban Philadelphia is accused of beheading his father and posting a gruesome video on YouTube showing his severed head and ranting against the US government, according to authorities on Wednesday. The suspect was identified as Justin Mohn, who was armed and jumped a fence at a National Guard facility when he was arrested on Tuesday.
Justin was charged with first-degree murder and abusing a corpse for killing his father Michael F Mohn. The father’s decapitated body was found in the bathroom of the home in Levittown where his son also lived. The shocking 14-minute-long video on YouTube showed Justin picking up his father’s head, encouraging violence against government officials and calling his father a traitor to his country.
Michael Mohn was a federal employee, an engineer with the geoenvironmental section of the US Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District. His wife Denice arrived home and found the body on Tuesday evening, while officers found the body, a machete, and bloody rubber gloves, according to police. YouTube said the video was removed for violating its graphic violence policy and Justin Mohn’s channel was shut down, after remaining online for five hours.
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the tragic death of our teammate Michael Mohn. … Our thoughts and prayers are with the Mohn family and we are focused on supporting our grieving employees at this time,” the Philadelphia district said in a statement.
Why did Justin kill his father?
According to reports, Justin Mohn embraced violent anti-government rhetoric in writings he published online going back several years. In the gruesome video, Justin ranted against the Biden administration, immigration and the border, fiscal policy, urban crime and the war in Ukraine, while espousing several conspiracy theories.
He described his father as a 20-year federal employee and referred to him as a traitor while calling for violence against the Biden administration, the Black Lives Matter movement, the LGBTQ community and antifa activists. “He is now in hell for eternity as a traitor to his country… America is rotting from the inside out as far left, woke mobs rampage our once prosperous cities,” he says in the video.
Justin was also arrested on a weapons possession charge and was arraigned on Wednesday. He was held without bail with a hearing scheduled for February 8. Police and prosecutors were expected to release additional details at a news conference. In August 2020, Mohn published an online “pamphlet” in which he tried to make the case that people born in or after 1991 — his birth year — should carry out what he termed a “bloody revolution.”
He was arrested 100 miles from his home after carrying out the killing, driving his father’s car to Fort Indiantown Gap. He was walking and had a gun when he was caught, said Angela Watson, communications director for the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Neighbours described Justin Mohn as a regular walker in the development, someone they recognized for his odd behaviour.
Justin’s odd behaviour
While living in Colorado in 2017, Justin allegedly harassed employees at the Colorado Springs credit union where he once worked, threatening to sue the business for $10 million unless it agreed to a $2 million settlement. He also allegedly threatened to publish false statements about them or come to the credit union and make false statements to provoke police to attack the employees and then film them.
According to NBC News, Justin has filed at least three lawsuits against federal agencies, including the US government, claiming they negligently caused him to take out student loans between 2010 and his graduation from Pennsylvania State University in 2014, a court filing shows. He paid a filing fee of $2,000 and, after his claims were dismissed, he sought to have the judge recused from the case because of what he claimed was a personal bias, which was denied.
In one email submitted as evidence, Justin accused his co-workers of tampering with evidence in a disciplinary matter against him in 2016 and said the state’s civil rights division was investigating. Three employees sought protection orders against Mohn but dropped the case under a settlement in which he promised not to contact them and they paid him $10,000.
Justin worked for Progressive from October 2016 until August 2017 and sued the company in 2018 after his employment ended, alleging he was discriminated against and later fired from a job at an agency in Colorado Springs because he was a man who was intelligent, overqualified and overeducated.
A federal judge said Justin provided no evidence to indicate he was discriminated against because he was a man — in the length of his training or in being denied promotions to jobs. Progressive said it fired him because he kicked open a door and an appeals court upheld the finding that Justin did not suffer employment discrimination.
Justin had shown signs of paranoia and believed the government had been “out to get him,” his former roommate Davis Rebhan told CNN. “Even back then he had very clear issues. He would always talk about how the government was out to get him, and it was always like these vague stories about it. He would never give specific examples,” Rebhan added.
(with inputs from AP)