- "Tyger, Tyger."
- ―Todd Johnson's last words[bron]
Todd Johnson was a serial cop killer and associate of Red John who appeared in Red Moon, and was mysteriously killed in jail at the end of the episode, after he was arrested. The investigation into who killed Johnson was the main plot line throughout season 3. In the season finale, Strawberries and Cream, it was revealed that his killer was Craig O'Laughlin, Red John's mole in the CBI and FBI.
Not much is known about Johnson's background or why he became a psychopath, but he claims that his father, who was a police officer, was a kind and gentle man and that his mother was a saint. Johnson killed at least two cops over a period of three months and had, according to Patrick, probably killed other random people before that. At some point before that he came into contact with serial killer Red John, who apparently, for some reason, convinced Todd to start targeting police officers. Johnson seemed to know Red John pretty well since he knew about his obsession with Patrick Jane and about his reciting The Tyger poem by William Blake to him. At one point, Johnson killed CHP Officer Rance Howard, the ex-lover of the head of the CBI, Madeleine Hightower.
In Red Moon, Johnson killed two cops and his own fiancee to divert suspicion from him. The investigation was handled by the CBI team, and Johnson met Red John's nemesis, Patrick Jane. An astrologer named Ellis Mars was believed to be the killer and Jane had made sure to make it look that way. However, Jane knew that Johnson was the real killer and was preying on Johnson's supposed grief over his fiancee's death to make him reveal himself. Johnson was arrested by the CBI as he was about to kill Jane. Back at the CBI, he asked to talk to Jane as, he claimed, they had something in common.When Jane arrived at his holding cell, Johnson was on fire. He later died at the hospital but not before he could tell Jane about the first verse of The Tyger, revealing his association with Red John.
Johnson's death had big consequences and became a recurring theme in the series. The CBI appointed Agent JJ LaRoche, head of CBI Internal Affairs, as lead of the investigation. LaRoche returned many times and interviewed all the members of the team focusing mainly on Jane, Rigsby and Van Pelt. Jane because he had been the last to see him alive, Rigsby because of his past as an arson expert and his father's criminal background, and Van Pelt when he offered to expunge her record after she made a career breaking mistake if she agreed to spy on her team members for him. He was unable to pin the blame on them for Johnson's death though.
Unknown to anyone however, was that Johnson had been killed because he was about to betray Red John. Jane, who was the only one to know, guessed that this meant that Red John must have a spy in the CBI and that it was the mole who killed Johnson. He asks Virgil Minelli, the retired head of the CBI, if he can give him the list of the suspects due to his influence. Minelli does so to help him.
The investigation into Johnson's death comes to a head in the episode Red Queen. LaRoche had narrowed down his suspect list to five names, one of which was Hightower due to her former relationship with one of Johnson's victims and her proximity to the cell where Johnson was killed on the night he died. A murder investigated by the CBI was revealed to be that of an arms dealer who was an old friend of Johnson's and the one who had given him the weapon with which he could accomplish his murders. All evidence pointed to Hightower and she was forced to flee with Jane's help.
Knowing that Hightower was innocent, Jane guessed that the only reason the mole would want to frame her was because LaRoche was getting close to finding him. Knowing that there were four other names on LaRoche's list, Jane tried to get the list to find the mole.
During his first two (or three) killings, Todd used a .45 handgun. Targeting police officers, he would attack them on highways at night and shoot them to death in their cars. He struck on the days Keeley's father received his VA pension checks, spent it on alcohol and got so drunk that he passed out, leaving Todd free to sneak out without him noticing. During the triple murder, he shot one victim, burned the other to death in a car and slashed Keeley's throat. For unspecified reasons, the bodies were left in a triangular pattern.
- Officer Jeff Ortiz (shot)
- Officer Rance Howard (shot)
- The triple killing
- Deputy Nelson Caper (burned to death in his car)
- Deputy Lance Connor (shot)
- Keeley Farlowe (his girlfriend; slashed her throat)
- Officer Mullery (shot)
- Note: In Jolly Red Elf, LaRoche mentions that Todd killed a total of six policemen, though Red Moon only names five victims who were cops. Patrick also remarks that Todd probably killed other, random people prior to the events of Red Moon.