BENNDALE, Miss. – Billey Joe Johnson Sr. opens the driver’s-side door of his dead son’s Silverado and begins to examine some of the leftover splatter. It clings to the dashboard, leeches out of air conditioning vents. Some of it even found a resting place on the truck’s exterior.
“There goes a hunk of meat right there,” the father said, pointing to a nickel-sized fragment of his son’s brain. “How’d it get over here?”
In the back seat, a geometry book rests next to camouflage clothing and empty boxes of buckshot. Billey Joe Johnson Jr. often woke up at 4 a.m. to hunt before heading to George County High School, where everyone knew him as the football star who would escape crushing rural poverty by running from it.