BOSTON (CBS) - After more than 30 years of holding onto hope and fighting for answers in the 1988 death of Scott Johnson, his American family was in Australian court, finally facing convicted killer Scott White at his sentencing.
Their hearts are forever broken by what was taken from them - yet also filled with gratitude for investigators who finally saw this through.
"They're miracle workers. They had almost no evidence to work with and they figured out how to solve it," said brother Steve Johnson of Cambridge.
Johnson's death was originally dismissed by police as a suicide. But decades later, new investigators took a fresh look at Johnson's death - and others like it.
"The coroner in that inquest determined two of them were murders and the other was probably a murder committed by gay hate gangs who would come to these places where gay men would meet," Steve explained.
The violent murder took the life of a brilliant 27-year-old mathematician. His life so full of promise. Scott's brother still talks to him running the streets of Cambridge - just as the two did so many years ago.
"Scott was easily the kindest, gentlest person I've ever known. At the same time being the most brilliant and the most modest," Steve remembered, proudly.
White, who admitted to pushing Johnson off a cliff, was sentenced to at least 8 years in prison.
"We'll never have closure," Steve said. "We'll always be thinking of Scott. He'll always be with us."
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