News & Resources

Background check catches murderer 30 years later

Feb 17, 2011 Matt Roesly

A 34-year-old murder case in Missouri was recently closed, thanks to a routine background check
 Johnny Wright, who was convicted of murder in January, had asked Georgia police to run a background check as part of a job application, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. He had been living for years under a different name, but handed over a state-issued photo ID for the screening, the paper reports. Police took him into custody in September 2009 when the check turned up a 25-year-old Missouri warrant for his arrest. Wright was a suspect in the August 1986 disappearance of Rebecca Doisy, a 23-year-old waitress working to pay for college, and was found guilty of second-degree murder in January. Pre-employment screening can flag potentially dangerous behavior, and is used in industries ranging from retail to healthcare to education. Recent legislation across the country is making these checks even more important for small businesses hiring new employees. In an effort to prevent theft from patients and hospitals, Georgia may soon require that people applying to become licensed practical nurses submit to a background check. State employers in Illinois, Massachusetts and other states also require employers to screen applicants for criminal histories before hiring.