Luck of the withdrawal

New York Daily News/September 28, 2006
By Alison Gendar

The snaggle-toothed stalker wanted for allegedly shooting a Staten Island commune leader was caught on videotape withdrawing cash from a Manhattan bank, police said yesterday.

Rebekah Johnson - who has been on the run since the May 29 shooting of Jeff Gross - was taped Sept. 20 at a Commerce Bank at 42nd St. and Madison Ave., police said.

Trying to hide her face with a hat, Johnson withdrew $2,000 from her own bank account, police said.

Before the sighting, NYPD investigators thought Johnson had fled the state. The investigators have been monitoring her bank accounts in a bid to track her down. Detectives took possession of the bank video last week after spotting the $2,000 withdrawal, authorities said.

Johnson, the daughter of a wealthy Presbyterian minister in Virginia, had accused Gross of being a sexual predator and stalked him for two years, police said.

Gross, 51, was shot in the stomach, neck, leg and arm outside the Ganas community's New Brighton commune. He has been been in hiding since being released from the hospital.

The Fox TV show "America's Most Wanted" will air a segment Saturday on Johnson in the hope that viewers will tip investigators to her whereabouts.

Cops believe Johnson practiced shooting an illegal .380caliber handgun before ambushing the commune leader. Investigators found a paper shooting target in her Staten Island apartment with bullet holes clustered around the throat and heart.

Cops also found angry rantings scribbled into books about cults and sexual harassment.

A well-worn copy of the book "Cults - The Hidden Menace in Our Everyday Lives" was among her possessions, police said.

Several of the roughly 100 Ganas members have adamantly rejected Johnson's allegations against Gross, calling her a madwoman.

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