Barring another successful federal court appeal, one of Iowa’s most notorious killers and meth kingpins will be executed on Friday.
Dustin Honken murdered his five victims in 1993, but their bodies were not found buried near Mason City, Iowa, until seven years later, in 2000. The victims included a federal witness, the witness’ girlfriend, her two young daughters and another potential witness.
Honken and his accomplice, Angela Johnson, were convicted of the drug-related killings several years after Mason City anchor Jodi Huisentruit was abducted in 1995. Both received the death penalty, but Johnson’s sentence was later reduced to life in prison.
For years, there has been speculation about a possible connection between the 1993 murders and Jodi’s case, in part because Johnson had worked as a server at the Mason City Country Club in 1995.
Jodi attended a Chamber of Commerce golf fundraising event at the Country Club the night before she disappeared, leading to media reports and speculation that Johnson was on duty as a server at the same time Jodi was there.
Our FindJodi team has received several tips on this “lead” over the years, and we have spent a lot of time exploring it. If Jodi and Johnson had, in fact, directly crossed paths just hours before Jodi was abducted, and given Johnson’s later-revealed involvement in horrific crimes, it would be, at minimum, a bizarre coincidence.
As part of our investigation, in March of 2019, we reached out directly to Johnson, who is serving a life sentence at a federal women’s prison in Waseca, Minnesota.
Johnson quickly responded to our letter, saying:
“In response to your letter I just received I am sad to say I don’t have any information to help you. I was no longer working at the M.C. Country Club on June 26, 1995. I quit shortly before then and was employed at the Waterfront in Clear Lake, IA. Good luck in your search. I’m so happy you are still looking. I wish I could be of some help.”
We also interviewed another Country Club server who said she personally knew Johnson, and who was working that Monday night in June 1995. The server, who said she met Jodi at the dinner when she stopped by the kitchen, told us she does not remember Johnson working at the Chamber dinner. She said Johnson typically worked Thursday, Friday and Saturday shifts.
We tried to reach the manager in charge of the Country Club serving staff at the dinner but, sadly, learned she had passed away. Other club servers have not responded to our requests for information.
As Honken faces execution for the 1993 murders, we have found no one who can provide evidence Jodi ever met him or Johnson. Neither was in the news for the murders until several years after Jodi was abducted.