Russ Johnson Update: Cause of Death “Undetermined”

Cause of death to-be-announced…

That’s the official word from the Arapahoe County Coroner’s office re the passing of former KCMO 710 AM and 980 KMBZ talk show host Russ Johnson. Johnson, age 40, was indeed found yesterday in his car in the garage of his house in Aurora, Colorado. The office confirms that evidence points to Johnson having taken his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning from fumes generated by his car exhaust. However there was also evidence that some form of medication was involved, therefore the coroner will not issue a final determination of the cause of Johnson’s death until the toxicology report is received back. That process may take from 8 to 10 weeks.

Johnson had been incommunicado for several weeks starting around the first of September, friends say. I tried to contact him last month re a story I was working on at the time about radio personality Soren Petro but Johnson’s cellphone had been deactivated.

When I spoke with him last winter and he was about as chipper as I was after my mom, dog, job and marriage all had died in short order.

One of the last things I had read of Johnson online was a post from a “TV talk” blog in the Colorado Springs area where he’d had some sort of radio gig. It follows:

“Hat tip to

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9 Responses to Russ Johnson Update: Cause of Death “Undetermined”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I remember him — always interesting talk radio. He wasn’t afraid to stir things up.

    Don’t remember exactly what happened when he was forced off the air in KC. Some politically incorrect comment or phase that pissed off somebody if I remember correctly.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Two Words: Jon U

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bob & Lynda Hunt
    Russ was a great personality on radio. We followed him all over K.C. We listened to him from Colorado radio with an AM antenna. One Sat. morn from here, he did a memorable interview with a railroad engineer that was just the best. We wondered if Mike Murphy kept up with him through the years. They were great buddies here. Russ could have been a “Mike Murphy” if given a chance. He had hard luck with radio management. We only know that he was from Duluth, MN. We thought that he had married. Sorry that times were tough on him.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I spelt two years working with Russ on a talk show at KJHK in Lawrence, KU’s radio station. I had a good time working with Russ on our little talk show. I saw big things for Russ. He had a lot of talent. I’m sad that things ended this way for him. 🙁

  5. Anonymous says:

    Russ liked radio because Russ liked people. He liked talking to us, joking with us, needling us, teasing us, playing with us.

    He expected the best from us because that’s all he ever gave.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I went to college with Russ. He was a great guy, and he loved to talk. Never knew what might come out of his mouth, but he loved to talk.

  7. Anonymous says:

    To all the truth seekers and trend setters, We will miss you, O Master of the obvious…..

    I listened and participated with the Russ Johnson Experience in Denver on 850KOA. The in studio times were fantastic and truth be told, when he left Denver to go to KMBZ, the slot has yet to be filled. Russ your golden pipes are sorely missed, but the memories will always bring smiles to my face and tears to my eyes.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Russ was good on KCMO…He was fired because of a comment he made about “capping” someone with a gun and he got fired over the comment…He was also great on Saturday mornings doing a 4 hour show…But…there will be only one Mike Murphy..

  9. Anonymous says:

    Kris Zwolensky
    It’s nice to see people put effort into their posts, well done

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