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- Brenda shot Stroh multiple times in self-defense but did not kill him
- She had the opportunity to finish Stroh off but chose not to
- Brenda called an ambulance instead after getting Stroh’s confession
- She was haunted by memories of a past case and her conscience
- The evidence indicates Brenda did not actually kill Stroh
Introduction: Did Brenda Johnson take the law into her own hands?
The question of whether Brenda Leigh Johnson, former head of the LAPD’s Major Crimes division, killed serial rapist and murderer Philip Stroh has been hotly debated among fans of the show Major Crimes. Stroh was shot multiple times at the end of the series, leaving his fate unclear. With Brenda’s fierce devotion to justice, many have speculated that she took matters into her own hands when the law failed to put Stroh away. This comprehensive analysis will examine the available evidence to definitively answer: did Brenda kill Stroh?
Understanding the full context is crucial when evaluating Brenda’s actions. Philip Stroh was a slippery serial killer who she had become obsessed with bringing to justice after he evaded imprisonment on legal technicalities. Her fury was understandable – Stroh had brutally raped and murdered many young women, including an LAPD officer. He seemed to take pleasure in taunting Brenda and the LAPD’s inability to definitively link him to the crimes.
This article will thoroughly investigate the shooting scene, Brenda’s state of mind, her moral stance on murder, and the aftermath at the hospital to establish whether she crossed the line when confronting Stroh. By weighing the complexities of the situation, this examination aims to provide conclusive proof regarding Brenda’s culpability in Stroh’s presumed death. Settling this important question will provide closure for invested fans.
Ultimately, this comprehensive evaluation will demonstrate that despite ample motive and opportunity, Brenda remained within the boundaries of the law when dealing with Philip Stroh. While shocking developments occurred, she did not stray from her principles. The full story that emerges shows the strength of Brenda’s integrity when tested to its limits.
Did Brenda’s actions at the fatal scene prove she killed Stroh?
When analyzing the climatic shooting scene between Stroh and Brenda, it may initially appear that she took his life. Upon closer inspection, however, the evidence shows restraint on her part despite incitement to murder from those around her. She had clear opportunity to kill Stroh but stopped short of doing so.
What happened when Brenda confronted Stroh with a gun?
Brenda did shoot Stroh multiple times, but testimony from others at the scene provides context for her actions. Lt. Provenza stated that Stroh attacked Brenda when confronted, wrestling a letter opener from her hands and slicing her arm. In the ensuing struggle over her gun, she managed to turn the weapon on Stroh and fire in self-defense. Her priority was disarming him before he could seriously injure or kill her.
Did Brenda have the chance to kill Stroh if she wanted?
Even after being shot multiple times, Stroh was still alive. He taunted Brenda, daring her to finish him off. At this point, she refrained from firing any more shots despite having the means to kill him.
In addition, Deputy Chief Howard urged Brenda to “end this” and shoot Stroh while he was down. Brenda notably did not take this opportunity to fatally shoot him either.
What led Brenda to eventually call an ambulance?
A key development occurred when Stroh offered to confess in exchange for medical help. Desperate to finally get a definitive confession, Brenda agreed to call an ambulance only after securing this concession from him. She recognized the importance of gathering solid evidence against him within the legal system.
So although the scene was chaotic, Brenda maintained restraint when she could have easily killed Stroh. Her priority was getting his confession, not murder. The evidence aligns with Brenda ultimately upholding the law despite upheaval around her.
Did Brenda’s morals and principles prohibit killing Stroh?
Given Brenda’s fury at Stroh evading justice, what motivated her to spare his life during their final confrontation when she seemed to have a righteous opportunity to end him? Analyzing Brenda’s morality and mindset leading up to the shooting reveals a lot about why she showed unexpected mercy.
How did past cases impact Brenda’s stance on murder?
Earlier in Brenda’s career, she had tampered with evidence to cover up an unlawful police shooting. The guilt haunted her. When Phillip Stroh later starts taunting her about becoming a murderer like him, she is deeply shaken.
This likely caused Brenda to realize that stooping to unjustified killing, even of someone evil like Stroh, would be a moral transgression she could not come back from. Her past mistakes made her extremely wary of overstepping legal bounds again.
What made Brenda determined to uphold the law with Stroh?
Brenda had previously bent rules to get justice but over time came to believe upholding the integrity of the justice system was correct, even if it meant some criminals went free. She did not want to corrupt her own morality and institutional legitimacy by killing Stroh extralegally.
In fact, Brenda maintained her anti-murder stance under duress. Even when Stroh sliced her arm, she still instructed her associates not to shoot him afterwards unless absolutely necessary for self-defense purposes.
How did personal conscience affect Brenda’s actions?
Though Brenda felt killing Stroh was morally justified on some level, she realized on a deeper level that she could not live with becoming a killer outside the law, no matter how deserving the target. Her conscience would not allow her to directly take a life, especially after reassuring her associates that she would not give in to that temptation.
Ultimately, Brenda stayed true to her principles and moral identity as someone who seeks justice, not vengeance. Past regrets and her conscience kept her from crossing the line into murder.
Did Brenda’s behavior at the hospital prove her innocence?
After an ambulance took Stroh and Brenda away from the scene, Stroh ended up comatose in critical condition at the hospital. Brenda’s actions in the aftermath provide more pieces to the puzzle about whether she had intended to kill him during the confrontation.
How did Brenda react upon realizing Stroh might survive?
When interviewing witnesses at the hospital, Brenda expressed dismay that Stroh might not die from his wounds. This may initially signal that she shot him with lethal intent. However, she did not attempt any action to precipitate his death such as by tampering with medical interventions or poison.
What precautions did Brenda take related to Stroh’s confession?
Brenda made sure to quickly involve the District Attorney’s office at the hospital to record Stroh’s confession in case he woke from his coma. She knew it might be ruled inadmissible otherwise.
Rather than hoping Stroh died to keep him silent, she wanted accountability through proper legal channels. This demonstrated faith that the justice system could permanently put Stroh away with an ironclad confession.
Why didn’t Brenda try to kill Stroh herself at the hospital?
Being distraught at Stroh’s possible survival is very different than actively making sure he died. Brenda had access to Stroh’s hospital room but nevertheless did not attempt to smother him or interfere with his treatment.
Since she already had Stroh’s recorded confession, killing him asleep in his hospital bed would have no benefit. Having lost her only possible motive, she let the situation play out legally.
Ultimately, Brenda allowed doctors full opportunity to save Stroh’s life rather than sabotaging it. Her aim was getting justice through his confession, not murdering an incapacitated suspect.
Conclusion: Did Brenda remain within legal bounds when confronting Stroh?
A full analysis of the evidence – the shooting scene, Brenda’s mindset, and the aftermath – leads to the conclusion that Brenda did not ultimately kill Stroh. While she shot him multiple times in self-defense, she refrained from finishing him off despite having the means and motive to do so. Calling an ambulance rather than letting him bleed out demonstrated Brenda’s commitment to lawful conduct.
Testimony from other major crimes members verified she turned down the opportunity to directly end Stroh’s life. Brenda’s past regrets over misconduct made her wary of becoming a vigilante killer like Stroh said she was. Her conscience compelled her to uphold moral principles rather than stoop to Stroh’s level by murdering him.
At the hospital, Brenda did not interfere with efforts to save Stroh’s life. Her goal was securing his confession through proper channels, not killing an unconscious suspect. Despite intense emotions, she found the strength to rein in her fury and not betray her ideals of lawful justice.
The full events definitively indicate that Brenda spared Stroh’s life. Her restraint showed incredible integrity given the extreme circumstances. In the end, Brenda’s morality and principles triumphed. She navigated her highest-stakes test without compromising her commitment to justice. Not killing Stroh proved her character was truly unbreakable.
What made Brenda so desperate to convict Stroh?
Brenda became obsessed with convicting Stroh because he boasted about violently raping and murdering many women, including an LAPD officer. He seemed to take pleasure in the inability of Brenda and the LAPD to find conclusive evidence linking him to the crimes. Brenda’s inability to put him away legally ate at her.
Did Brenda have PTSD related to Stroh?
Yes, Brenda exhibited signs of PTSD resulting from Stroh evading imprisonment despite his obvious guilt. His taunts that she would have to kill him herself triggered traumatic flashbacks for Brenda about covering up an unlawful shooting years earlier. This caused her mental distress but also strengthened her resolve not to cross lines again.
What ultimately led to Stroh’s downfall?
Ironically, Stroh was brought down by his own arrogance when confronting Brenda. When he sliced Brenda’s arm with the letter opener, it enabled her to get DNA evidence linking him to his previous crimes. This finally gave Brenda the physical evidence she had desperately lacked.
Did Brenda face consequences for shooting Stroh?
No. The shooting was deemed justified self-defense after investigation, since Stroh attacked Brenda with a deadly weapon before she shot him. Brenda faced no charges or disciplinary action for the shooting.
Could Stroh’s confession have been used if he died?
If Stroh had died immediately, his confession would likely have been inadmissible hearsay. This motivated Brenda to swiftly involve the DA’s office at the hospital to get it on record in case Stroh didn’t recover. Brenda’s quick thinking ensured the confession could be used to convict Stroh later.
The full body of evidence exonerates Brenda of unlawfully killing Stroh despite having means and motive. Her restraint showed integrity and commitment to lawful conduct. Securing Stroh’s confession for legitimate prosecution was her aim, not extralegal murder. Brenda emerged from her greatest test with her morality intact, demonstrating an unshakable dedication to justice