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Former teammate doubts Kenny McKinley committed suicide

Broncos wide receiver Kenny McKinley was found dead this week in what police say was a suicide, but one of McKinley’s former Broncos teammates, Giants defensive back D.J. Johnson, says he can’t believe that’s true.

“I don’t think it happened the way they’re saying it happened,” Johnson said, per Tom Rock of Newsday. “I just don’t. I don’t think it was a suicide. That’s my personal opinion on the situation. I think there’s something fishy about the situation.”

Johnson may not have all the facts available to him that the police have, and grief at the death of his friend may be clouding his view of the matter. But Johnson insists that McKinley had a lot to live for, including his love for his young son, and he suggested that there are criminals in Denver who target players on the Broncos.

“I know what the environment is like in Denver,” he said. “I knew Kenny and I knew the type of people that we all hung around. You just never know. You can’t trust nobody. He’s not from there, I wasn’t from there.”

Johnson worries that McKinley may have been involved in a situation similar to the incident that led to Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams being killed in a drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day 2007.

“In any environment when you have guys in our position who are out having fun, and we’re going to the same environments as normal people and some convicts, however it may happen, it’s going to be an issue,” he said. “We have the financial backing to be able to go in there, have a good time, buy some bottles and stuff like that. Then there are going to be others that are going to look at it, going to see the women gravitate to that, so they’re going to try to match you. Then you get into a pissing contest. And when you get into a pissing contest, people get upset.

“When you get into a pissing contest, people get upset and they get mad about the littlest things, petty stuff. Just jealousy. That can lead to it.”

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49 Responses to “Former teammate doubts Kenny McKinley committed suicide”
  1. Marv_Sleezy says: Sep 23, 2010 10:26 AM

    Johnson is nuts – Sounds more like hes talking about Kenny Powers in a pissing match.

  2. BarrySanders says: Sep 23, 2010 10:28 AM

    This should be left to the Family and Authorities. Why you guys keep bringing it up in the media is a diservice to his family and young son. Let it go. R.I.P Kenny

  3. mmdd1111 says: Sep 23, 2010 10:29 AM

    Mission Valley Mafia- here’s an idea…don’t read it. And what’s stupid is saying “This a stupid story”. I belive the correct English is “This IS a stupid story”.

  4. Chapnasty. says: Sep 23, 2010 10:30 AM

    I am not trying to minimize the severity of the death here but if living that lifestyle is commonly known to put you at risk then get the hell out of it! Hang out with people who earn their money legally like you and grow out of the “hood”.

  5. RaiderChile says: Sep 23, 2010 10:31 AM

    More reason and validation that the hip hop life style is garbage. They are the equivalent to the klan lifestyle: both are pathetic!

  6. jwstick says: Sep 23, 2010 10:37 AM

    I agree DJ. It seems to me that the newest and most fashionable way to kill someone nowdays is to stage it as a suicide, (ref: Steve McNair). The underpaid cops show up, see that it looks remotely like a suicide and quickly determine that it is so they can go back to the donut shop. Just sayin.

  7. damnvarmint says: Sep 23, 2010 10:37 AM

    Way to exploit this guys grief/denial/too much CSI for a “story”.

  8. Raider B says: Sep 23, 2010 10:37 AM

    I hate the Donkeys! But RIP McKinley.

  9. broncoMaineiac says: Sep 23, 2010 10:38 AM

    Grief is a strange thing. I’m inclined to trust a well-funded and highly professional police department than a friend in denial.

  10. chitown26 says: Sep 23, 2010 10:41 AM

    :(
    His poor little boy.

  11. tv says: Sep 23, 2010 10:41 AM

    Yeah, I’m sure that all physical forensic evidence was totally ignored by the authorities and that the opinions of this guy’s friends means so much more.

  12. ravenfan820 says: Sep 23, 2010 10:52 AM

    The important part to this story is that if you are hanging with people who may be of the ilk that would murder you, starting hanging with other people or in other places.
    If you have the where withall to have people get jealous of you, you also have the where withall to change your environment.

  13. My Coke Can says: Sep 23, 2010 10:53 AM

    I am speechless… WTF is wrong with people. I do not know which way to go is worse but his teammate should think about this guys family before you go spouting off on something you do not know anything about. You are paid to play a game. Let people who investigate things like this make the determination on what happened. Geeze some people.

  14. realitypolice says: Sep 23, 2010 10:56 AM

    jwstick says:
    September 23, 2010 10:37 AM
    I agree DJ. It seems to me that the newest and most fashionable way to kill someone nowdays is to stage it as a suicide, (ref: Steve McNair). The underpaid cops show up, see that it looks remotely like a suicide and quickly determine that it is so they can go back to the donut shop. Just sayin.
    ================================
    And, here we go again.
    I am sure hoping you have more than one dubious example that “staging it as a suicide” is the “most fashionable way to kill someone.”
    I’m certain you wouldn’t make such as a negative statement about police officers if you didn’t have a mountain of evidence.
    So help us out. Please provide all of the in-depth research you have done that shows how often this happens. Shouldn’t be too hard to find the data, since it’s obviously happening so often, based upon how definitive you are in your statement.
    Examples from CSI (New York or Miami) or NCIS don’t count.

  15. thunkened says: Sep 23, 2010 10:57 AM

    Reality is that Denver has some of the worst crime in the USA.. somehow they let it fly under the radar.

  16. bgrubb7 says: Sep 23, 2010 10:58 AM

    The time delay involving this case is sounding alot like the Steve McNair case.
    In the McNair case the friend supposedly finds them dead, then waits several hours before calling the police? Doesn’t add up.
    The reports say the girlfriend went to the store for a half an hour, then came home from the store to find him laying in bed and thinks he’s sleeping, only to check on him 3 hours later and find that he’s dead? It was also reported that he was found with a pillow over his head and a gun next to his hand. Is that how most people go to sleep? Seriously those 2 reports just don’t add up.

  17. LunarPie says: Sep 23, 2010 11:01 AM

    Then WHY do you hang around these places?!?! Any normal person would avoid those kinds of situations after the initial experience. If you like that kind of attention, then you have your own internal problems and will eventually end up getting put in your place. Greed, Jealousy and Sex combined with alchohol and drugs are powerful elements to be messing with by a professional athlete…

  18. Hauschild says: Sep 23, 2010 11:09 AM

    Sad grown men act like this.
    The real question to be asked is how anybody in their right minds could allow their kids to be raised like this.
    Combine poor parenting with the public school system and this is what you get.

  19. Sandra Lee's Cans says: Sep 23, 2010 11:12 AM

    Fair or unfair, professional athletes and entertainers are targets when they go out in public. It goes with the territory. Anyone should be able to go out and have a good time but, unfortunately, there are people who see the success of others as a challenge to their manhood and try to out-macho the other guy. All too often, violence is the outcome. As much as it would suck, staying home with invited guests would be the smarter move. Won’t happen, though.

  20. realitypolice says: Sep 23, 2010 11:16 AM

    bgrubb7 says:
    September 23, 2010 10:58 AM
    The time delay involving this case is sounding alot like the Steve McNair case.
    In the McNair case the friend supposedly finds them dead, then waits several hours before calling the police? Doesn’t add up.
    The reports say the girlfriend went to the store for a half an hour, then came home from the store to find him laying in bed and thinks he’s sleeping, only to check on him 3 hours later and find that he’s dead? It was also reported that he was found with a pillow over his head and a gun next to his hand. Is that how most people go to sleep? Seriously those 2 reports just don’t add up.
    ======================
    Well, I certainly hope you called the Denver PD and pointed this out, because I am certain they never would have seen this clear evidence of conspiracy themselves.
    I was thinking maybe he had turned the lights off in the room and she just stuck her head in there and couldn’t tell what position he was in, or maybe the lights were on but for one of many possible reasons she couldn’t see the pillow or the gun.
    But those logical explanations wouldn’t be nearly as much fun, would they?

  21. divine says: Sep 23, 2010 11:21 AM

    Well, I figured that’s common sense that someone killed him. Taking something out of context like “I’ll kill myself if I don’t ever play football again” seriously? C’mon man. The police have said what is initially what it seems. But I’m sure they will continue to investigate and what seems obvious will come out eventually….someone murdered that kid. He was high on marijuana. You think he was smoking by himself? Puhlease…someone murdered that kid. Obvious.

  22. norseman69 says: Sep 23, 2010 11:23 AM

    Too many ‘hits” on players who do not follow protocol and play the ‘game” or sometimes someone is used as an example for a more “higher profile” player not playing “ball” sooner than later all these deaths, suicides, drive by’s, breaking etc will be uncovered…
    The “family’ is alive and well in America institutions!

  23. JoeSchmoe says: Sep 23, 2010 11:32 AM

    So you people are saying that this guy isn’t entitled to an opinion, and that we should “let it go”??? Let him RIP??? How do you RIP if your death was not as it was made out to be, and there is someone guilty of foul play allowed to run free? That’s no RIP, and frankly I agree with DJ, the story just doesn’t add up.

  24. broncoMaineiac says: Sep 23, 2010 11:34 AM

    @ thunkened: LMAO.
    Denver is higher in crime-rates than:
    New York? No.
    Baltimore? No way.
    DC? No.
    Philly? No.
    Boston? No
    LA? No
    Dallas? No
    Houston? No
    A-T-L? No.
    Clearly, you are quite the thinker.

  25. WeAreLuckyToHaveMikeFlorio says: Sep 23, 2010 11:38 AM

    to take pot shots at a man whos grieving over the loss of his friend/former teammate is smallminded and classless.
    Folks in that situation arent always thinking rationally, they are remembering their friend the way they were when he last saw him.
    give the guy a break.
    it seems alot of the folks on PFT havent either experienced traumatic events, have no sympathy for those who have or are either too damned clueless to understand what a death to a close friend can do to ones train of thought and ability to think clearly.
    As small as the chance is that he’s right i wonder out loud how many of the buffoons on here would be man enough to stand up and say,
    ‘i was wrong, he was right,we should have let ALL the facts come out before spewing hatred and nonsense at someone you didnt know existed until his friend died.
    Kenny, RIP dude

  26. HomelandDefense says: Sep 23, 2010 11:45 AM

    the comments people leave on this site confirm our society is truly in serious trouble.

  27. jwstick says: Sep 23, 2010 11:48 AM

    Reality Police
    Here’s some evidence below another person has pointed out. And remember, its easy and lazy to take conclusions at face value. One has to use effort, to call upon their wisdom and common sense when determining the validity of conclusions.
    bgrubb7 says:
    September 23, 2010 10:58 AM
    The time delay involving this case is sounding alot like the Steve McNair case.
    In the McNair case the friend supposedly finds them dead, then waits several hours before calling the police? Doesn’t add up.
    The reports say the girlfriend went to the store for a half an hour, then came home from the store to find him laying in bed and thinks he’s sleeping, only to check on him 3 hours later and find that he’s dead? It was also reported that he was found with a pillow over his head and a gun next to his hand. Is that how most people go to sleep? Seriously those 2 reports just don’t add up.

  28. MuskyHunter2542 says: Sep 23, 2010 11:51 AM

    Never the less, still a ver sad story. His child now has to grow up knowing that (unless anything changes) his father killed himself in the prime of his career.

  29. Dave says: Sep 23, 2010 12:11 PM

    @Joe Schmoe – you say “the story just doesn’t add up”. Is this coming from your extensive investigation at the crime scene? Your detailed psychological profile of Kenny? Your years of experience solving crimes and making America safe? Oh, wait, @$$clown, you didn’t do any of that. You’re just an idiot that likes to see his words in print.

  30. mama tried says: Sep 23, 2010 12:28 PM

    :(
    His poor little boy.
    DITTO!!!!!
    I got chill bumps man, cause I got a little 3 yr old boy!!!
    sux for him, regardless!
    RIP Kenny!

  31. Laura D says: Sep 23, 2010 12:30 PM

    One question: was an autopsy done? I hope so. It could answer a lot of questions, like did McKinley’s brain show signs of CTE? Was there gunpowder residue on his hand?
    Hope one was done. In any event, truly, Kenny, RIP.

  32. tfunk says: Sep 23, 2010 12:46 PM

    Leave it alone message boarders, imagine someone you love being talked about like this. Johnson is talking about the realities of life in Denver and its totally reasonable to say what he’s saying. He actually knew the guy. To judge Johnson for his statements at this time is ludicrous, and proves ones character or lack there of.

  33. jeremyeatworld says: Sep 23, 2010 12:50 PM

    We’ll see how nuts Johnson is when it comes out that this thing isnt a suicide…all u ppl better be on here saying how wrong u were.

  34. Profanity in ALL CAPS says: Sep 23, 2010 1:00 PM

    always ask questions.

  35. Philly99 says: Sep 23, 2010 1:29 PM

    Someone stuck him up for his gaudy jewerly and spinner rims? There isn’t much ghetto trash in Denver, some but not like other cities. I was surprised that any blacks lived there.

  36. NUSprinter says: Sep 23, 2010 1:32 PM

    This happened in Centennial, which is where I live and it’s been the safest city in Colorado for the last half decade. Murderers usually don’t stop by that often without being seen or heard, especially in the middle of the day. So if he was murdered it probably was done by someone he knew. So my most likely suspect is the female friend who was at the store with the kid at the time. I don’t think he was murdered. D.J. Johnson probably said what he said because he remembers Kenny just as everyone else did, a fun loving guy who would never do this. Which is why it’s a tragedy.

  37. winslow says: Sep 23, 2010 1:34 PM

    There was a study that showed eighty percent of NFL players are broke within five years after they retire. It turns out that contrary to the stereotype, most football players just aren’t that bright. I tutored a couple of them at Cal Berkeley, which is a pretty good school academically. Even so, if that experience was typical it is amazing that only eighty percent of ex-jocks go bust. These guys started getting an academic free pass before they hit puberty, which explains why most – though certainly not all – are basically functioning at an elementary school level.
    I read that the Jerome Brown class at Miami had seven illiterates in the starting line-up, so who can be surprised that Williams and McKinley led dangerously irresponsible lives.

  38. In & Out Burger says: Sep 23, 2010 1:39 PM

    I knew absolutely nothing about this case, or the player when it came out, but the first thing I thought was “there is no way he killed himself.” Some of the case facts mentioned continue to steer me in that direction. But no one knows for sure now, and we may never know. So lets not argue over it. Lets just let the facts come out.

  39. realitypolice says: Sep 23, 2010 2:07 PM

    jwstick says:
    September 23, 2010 11:48 AM
    Reality Police
    Here’s some evidence below another person has pointed out. And remember, its easy and lazy to take conclusions at face value. One has to use effort, to call upon their wisdom and common sense when determining the validity of conclusions.
    ======================
    Ummmm…….yeah, I dealt with earthshaking “evidence” in an earlier post.
    I’m not going to waste too much time on this, because I don’t want to spoil everyone’s conspiracy theory fun. This will be my last post on this article:
    1) I don’t mean any of this as a shot at DJ Johnson. My wife and I lost two people close to us recently to Suicide and in both cases there were family members who refused to believe it. Denial is a natural reaction in a case like this. My criticism is only directed at the people on here who are clueless.
    2) I am not in law enforcement and don’t particularly even like cops that much. But I don’t think they are as lazy and stupid as people on here seem to think- do you honestly think that you can pick up on something from a newspaper article that a detective would miss?
    3) For the idiot who said it was obvious he was murdered because he was high on marijuana. Um…….his girlfriend said she was gone for a half hour- they couldn’t have gotten high together before she left? And I hate to tell you this, Sherlock Holmes, but plenty of people smoke pot by themselves.
    5) The fact that there was a three hour lag time between when the girlfriend got home and when she called police is not “evidence”. It’s an anomaly that I am sure was checked out by police since it was so obvious. There are also plenty of reasonable explanations why she would assume he was asleep- especially if she knew he was high.
    4) For those saying that not doing a thorough investigation could leave a murderer on the street: You’re right, there are over a hundred murderers walking the streets of Denver (155 unsolved homicides from 2000-2009). So how is it a good idea to spend hundreds of man hours and ten of thousands of taxpayer dollars trying to disprove the obvious in this case?
    5) If you are going to get your education on police investigations from television, turn off CSI and turn on 48 hours on A&E, where they follow actual cops during investigations. You will find out that in most cases, things almost always turn out to have happened exactly the way they appeared to have happened.
    Res ipsa loquitur

  40. edgy1957 says: Sep 23, 2010 2:09 PM

    It could be grief BUT and but it’s quite possible that he was murdered. One of the things that some people like to do is jump to conclusions right away and then move on and it takes more than just an hour or two at the scene to determine the cause of death (Think of the celebrities that have died from REAL natural causes and their families having to endure the weeks of wild rumors until toxicology tests come back to prove that there were no drugs involved in their deaths).
    That being said, you never know with a suicide. I’ve only known one and he was a happy go lucky guy and he did it because a girl that he really loved dumped him. Outwardly, he was all smiles and happiness and it was a real case of no one seeing it coming but one day, he had a little too much to drink and decided to end it all and he succeeded. He had money, he was making good grades in college and he was well liked but his first real love broke his heart and in a moment of weakness, he let it get to him.

  41. Ray Guy says: Sep 23, 2010 2:35 PM

    Never liked the Broncos, but like the city. I would never wish this on anyone, their family, friends or their team.
    Playing football is one thing and rooting for your team is expected. There is a time to lay off. This is one of them.
    RIP man.

  42. bob says: Sep 23, 2010 3:37 PM

    What’s a Pissing contest

  43. jwstick says: Sep 23, 2010 3:56 PM

    Realitypolice
    Now you are trying so hard to get the public to buy the suicide theory that it makes one wonder if you have personel interest in this case. Where were you the day McKinley died?

  44. LuvHeat says: Sep 23, 2010 5:47 PM

    OK I was “ok another money maker in sports can’t handle setbacks” but then I read where a PILLOW was over his head?!!! HELLOOOO?!! Who commits suicide in a empty house would put a pillow over his head to “muffle” the sound?!! Holy @#$! are Denver cops really THAT stupid?!!
    SOMETHING is wrong here

  45. LuvHeat says: Sep 23, 2010 5:49 PM

    Hey “bob” you are truly a dumbass

  46. COLONATIVE says: Sep 23, 2010 7:49 PM

    What the issue is here is a young man is dead and what happened in the home is for the police to decide. I live in Centennial, Co we have problems like every other city has as a metro community of a Large City. The crime rate for our city is small. Yes we lost another Bronco several years ago to a VIOLENT GANG CRIME, that was in the inner city of Denver not the burbs. Let’s wait and see what the Forensics say about what happened right now they have ruled suicide, it happens and with no notice.

  47. comment_submission_error says: Sep 23, 2010 8:01 PM

    I think we now know all we need to know about D.J. Johnson. By “we” I mean normal people.

  48. superb owl says: Sep 23, 2010 8:36 PM

    …well… where was floyd mayweather’s crew…

  49. AWal1014 says: Sep 24, 2010 9:14 AM

    Ya’ll sound completely ignorant. I went to school with Kenny growing up all the way thru high school. He was ALWAYS a happy guy. He would NEVER kill himself. The truth will come out. Until then..shut up and let the detectives to their jobs. Ya’ll are talking about this like you know the guy..and it pisses us people off that actually do know him. So quit being ignorant and throwing out speculations that make not since and have no basis.

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