In a lengthy YouTube video, 32-year-old Justin Mohn ranted about the Biden administration and the "woke mob" before displaying his father's head in a plastic bag.
A 32-year-old man is in police custody after allegedly murdering his father, cutting off his head, and displaying it on camera during a 14-minute rant on YouTube in which he espoused right-wing conspiracy theories.
Justin Mohn of Levittown — a suburb just outside of Philadelphia — has been officially charged with first-degree murder and abusing a corpse. At the time of his arrest, he was armed and had just jumped a fence at a National Guard facility roughly 100 miles away from his home.
Police said he did not resist arrest.
His father, Michael Mohn, was a federal employee who worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In the video rant that Justin Mohn posted on YouTube, which remained live on the site for hours, he held up his father’s decapitated head and declared him a traitor to his country.
The video was taken down several hours later, but it was viewed more than 5,000 times before it was removed.
Among the various rantings in the video were extremist right-wing conspiracy theories regarding the Biden administration, immigration and the border, urban crime, and the war in Ukraine. Mohn also declared himself the new acting U.S. president under martial law before calling for the bloody execution of all federal employees, whom he also deemed traitors.
The grisly case is disturbing in its own right, but experts are also concerned about what this gruesome act of violence could signify for the upcoming political season.
The Discovery Of Michael Mohn’s Body
Around 7 p.m. on January 30, Michael Mohn’s wife, Denice, returned home to discover her husband’s body lying in their bathroom. The couple’s adult son, Justin, was nowhere to be found, nor was Michael Mohn’s car or head.
Denice Mohn called the police, who arrived at the scene and discovered a large kitchen knife and machete in the bathtub, according to an affidavit obtained by CNN.
“Officers also located the deceased male’s head inside of a plastic bag which was inside of a cooking pot in a first floor bedroom next to the bathroom,” the affidavit says.
Shortly thereafter, police were made aware of the YouTube video posted by Justin Mohn. He identifies himself in the video and appears to be reading from a pre-written statement. At one point in the video, he holds up a clear plastic bag, inside which is his father’s head. He identifies his father, Michael Mohn, as a 20-year federal employee and a “traitor.”
Michael Mohn was an engineer with the geo-environmental section of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Philadelphia District.
“America is rotting from the inside out as far left, woke mobs rampage our once prosperous cities,” Justin Mohn says in the video.
In a statement, YouTube said the video was removed for violating the site’s graphic violence policy. It also terminated Justin Mohn’s channel in accordance with YouTube’s violent extremism policies.
“Our teams are closely tracking to remove any re-uploads of the video,” YouTube said.
A History Of Dangerous And Extremist Views
Justin Mohn reportedly has a history of extremist and paranoid beliefs. As the Associated Press notes, Mohn threatened and harassed employees at a Colorado Springs credit union where he was previously employed.
He threatened to sue the business for $10 million unless it agreed to a $2 million settlement. He also said he would make false statements to provoke police to attack its employees, which he planned to film.
While employed, Mohn accused co-workers of tampering with evidence in a disciplinary matter against him. Co-workers also identified lines from a song or poem written by Mohn as threatening. The title of the piece was “Men Don’t Get No Warning Shots.”
Mohn’s former roommate, Davis Rebhan, said that while the two were living together around 2016, he often heard Mohn proclaiming wild conspiracy theories.
“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,” Rebhan told CNN. “He would never give specific examples. He would tell me these stories that always seemed exaggerated, so it was hard to take anything he was saying seriously or know what he was saying the truth about.”
The two lived together for about a year, during which Mohn only ever received a single visitor: his father.
“I got nothing from that visit that would have made me ever think this would happen,” Rebhan recalled.
Later, Mohn sued Progressive Insurance after he was fired, alleging that he had been discriminated against for being a man who was “intelligent, overqualified, and overeducated.”
A federal judge said Mohn provided no evidence to indicate that this was true. Rather, the company said he was fired for kicking open a door.
According to Rebhan, it wasn’t out of character for Mohn to violently lash out.
“At one point he had a hysterical fit and smashed the apartment,” Rebhan said. “I wasn’t home when he did it, so I don’t know what triggered it. But we had a long conversation after that, and he told me had undiagnosed PTSD.”
The Concerning Potential Effects Of ‘Extreme Rhetoric’
Mohn’s case is certainly a disturbing outlier, but some experts fear that there are others like Mohn who could be provoked to violence due to “deeply politicized, extreme rhetoric.”
“The bigger picture is extremely concerning, I think, as we go into what will be an incredibly heated political season,” CNN Law Enforcement Analyst and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said.
It is fair to assume that Mohn was clearly motivated by politics, as evidenced by his video diatribe. The larger concern, according to McCabe, is that the sorts of things Mohn said are reflective of “overheated, deeply politicized, extreme rhetoric that you hear sometimes in this country from politically elected officials and leaders.”
McCabe raised concerns that this kind of rhetoric could have a genuine impact on “marginalized people with extremist views who might be… driven to embark in acts of violence.”
Given that 2024 is sure to be a heated year politically, with the upcoming presidential election, stories like Mohn’s serve as an example of how the propagation of extremist conspiracy theories and violent rhetoric can impact vulnerable and violent portions of the population.
After reading about Justin Mohn, the man allegedly driven to kill his father due to fringe beliefs, learn about Sherry Shriner’s alien cult that spread via YouTube — and the grisly murder it led to. Or, read all about the bloody history of beheading and decapitation.