Just days after their wedding, Jordan Graham became terrified of having sex with her husband Cody Johnson, texting a friend that she "totally had a meltdown."
Jordan Graham always dreamed of her perfect wedding — she just wished the husband wasn’t included.
To many of their loved ones, Graham’s relationship with Cody Johnson was a blissful one. Following their wedding on June 29, 2013, however, friends said Graham became increasingly upset. The cause of the belated cold feet? According to a source close to the bride, she was terrified of having sex with her new husband.
One evening, just eight days after the wedding, Graham and Johnson took a hike along a cliffside in Glacier National Park, just a short trip from Graham’s hometown of Kalispell, Montana. She returned alone, and when Johnson was reported missing the next day, she said he had been out with friends.
Over a week later, with evidence and pressure mounting, Graham finally admitted the truth to the police: She had pushed Cody Johnson off a cliff to his death in the ravine below.
Jordan Graham And Her Relationship With Cody Johnson
Born in August of 1991, Jordan Linn Graham lived with her family in Kalispell, Montana. Only a stone’s throw from Glacier National Park, Kalispell is a rural town in one of the United States’ most scenic areas.
Throughout her life, Graham was deeply religious. She regularly attended the Faith Baptist Church every week for worship and special events. The church was central to Graham’s life, and she told friends there about her dreams of getting married and starting a family.
According to NBC Montana, Graham told her friends “I want to meet a nice guy, get married. I want to have kids and I want to be a stay-at-home mom. And just have my family.”
Graham shared this dream with Cody Johnson, an outgoing 25-year-old car enthusiast from California. The two met on Halloween in 2011.
Graham’s friend told NBC Montana “For the longest time, Cody just always talked about how he wanted to have a good church girl. Instantly that just summed up Jordan.”
Johnson joined Graham’s church and quickly made friends with everyone in Graham’s circle. Friends said Johnson appeared absolutely smitten with her, and the two officially began before the end of the year.
The couple’s relationship moved quickly, and in December of 2012, Graham posted a photo on Instagram announcing her engagement to Johnson, and the two began planning their wedding.
Jordan Graham And Cody Johnson Get Married
The couple wanted their wedding to be memorable, so they hired professional songwriter Elizabeth Shea to compose a custom song for the big event.
Regarding Jordan Graham’s behavior during her interviews with the couple, Shea told CNN, “She was excited when she talked about the wedding. When she talked about surprising Cody, she would light up, and that seemed very genuine to me.”
Using information she gathered from the couple, Shea composed Graham and Johnson’s wedding song with ominous lyrics:
“Everyone wants a safe place to fall, and you’re mine…You helped me to climb higher for a better view. You’re my safe place to fall. You never let me go.”
On June 29, 2013, Graham and Johnson married, and friends noticed that Graham seemed a little off. To the couple’s friends, Johnson had always seemed more interested in Graham than she was in him. Her defense attorneys would later write that witnesses saw that Graham “cried too much walking down the aisle and appeared to not want to be there.”
According to a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office, Graham reportedly texted friends a day after her wedding that she had “totally had a meltdown” and was having second thoughts about her marriage; she texted her friends wondering “what the heck I just did this all for.”
Those close to the couple just brushed off these feelings by believing that Graham was the average bride — nervous about her wedding and her new husband — but her nerves would eventually settle down. They truly believed that the couple would find normalcy in time, but that moment never arrived.
Eight days after the wedding, Cody Johnson vanished without a trace.
Cody Johnson Goes Missing
On July 8, 2013, Cody Johnson’s friend and boss, Cameron Frederickson, reported him missing after he failed to show up to work. Frederickson had driven to the couple’s home to look for him but found that no one was home.
Investigators were immediately suspicious that Jordan Graham had not reported her own husband missing, and they initiated an interview with her. She stated that she did not know where Johnson was and that he had texted her the night prior to his disappearance regarding his plans to go out with friends.
On July 10, Graham reported to police that she had received a suspicious email from an account named “carmantony607” confirming her husband’s death. The email read:
“My name is Tony. There is no bother looking for Cody anymore. He is gone. I saw your post on Twitter and thought I would email you. He had come with some buddies and met up with me on Sunday night in Columbia Falls. He was saying he needed to be with his buddies for a bit and take them for a joy ride. 3 of the guys came back saying that they had gone for a ride in the woods somewhere and Cody got out of the car and went for a little hike and they are positive he fell and he is dead Jordan. I don’t know who the guys were, but they took off. So call off the missing persons report. Cody is gone for sure. -Tony.”
The next day, police initiated a search of the Glacier National Park area based on the information in the email. Graham participated in the search, but witnesses said she appeared uninterested and stoic the entire time.
While driving around Glacier National Park, Graham stopped on a secluded stretch of road leading up to a mountain overlook. She told friends and family she “just [had] a feeling” about the location.
This spot, known as “The Loop” is a dangerous 200-foot cliff overlooking a ravine.
“Very steep area, very treacherous. Full of rocks,” said park spokesperson Denise Germann about the area to NBC Montana.
Despite the treacherous terrain, Graham hopped over jagged rocks to get a closer look at the ravine. Peering over the cliff, Jordan Graham yelled that she found a body.
Police would later confirm that the body belonged to Cody Johnson.
Jordan Graham Admits The Truth About Her Husband’s Disappearance
On July 16, investigators brought Jordan Graham in for another interview after park rangers relayed their concerns about Graham’s discovery of the body; for her to immediately go to that location, both park rangers and police figured Graham knew more than she was letting on.
Investigators started by digging deeper into the email from the mysterious “Tony.” Ultimately, they were able to trace its origin to a computer at Graham’s parents’ house.
Furthermore, investigators became more suspicious of Graham after her friend came forward with ominous text messages from the night before Johnson’s disappearance.
According to ABC News, the friend told investigators that she received a text from Graham that night stating, “Oh well, I’m going to talk to him. But dead serious if u don’t hear from me at all again tonight, something happened.”
Confronted with all the evidence, Jordan Graham finally broke down and admitted to pushing Johnson off the cliff.
“I just pushed… I wasn’t thinking about where we were,” she said in her police interview.
Jordan Graham said that she was unhappy after the wedding. In part due to her strict religious upbringing, Graham was terrified of having sex with Johnson.
The night of Johnson’s murder, Graham and her husband had hiked up to the “The Loop.” According to the affidavit, Graham stated that the two began arguing near the ravine, and when Johnson grabbed her by the arm, Graham pushed him away from her with both hands, causing him to stumble and fall off the 200-foot cliff.
After her confession, Jordan Graham was arrested and eventually accepted a plea deal for second-degree murder in exchange for full transparency about what happened. The courts sentenced Graham to 30 years behind bars with a five-year observation period upon her release. In 2015, lawyers for Graham appealed her sentence, arguing that it was excessive. The court sided with prosecutors, and she remains incarcerated in Alabama.
After the truth of Johnson’s death came to light, the family and friends of the couple were heartbroken. “I never ever expected her to be capable of hurting someone,” Jordan Graham’s friend said. “Especially someone who would worship her. He would have given her anything at the drop of a hat.”
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