Inside the mind of S.I. shooting suspect

New York Daily News/June 4, 2006
By Maureen Seaberg and Alison Gendar

An addled ex-Staten Island commune member meticulously planned her bloodthirsty crime and escape, sources said yesterday.

Papers seized from Rebekah Johnson's Jersey St. apartment showed how she planned to ambush Ganas commune co-founder Jeff Gross, the sources said.

The documents show that she knew where Gross would be the night of his shooting May 29 - and how she prepared for the moment by using her illegal .380-caliber handgun during target practice. Johnson's rambling notes also showed how she planned her escape, law enforcement sources said.

Police put out another alert yesterday to be on the lookout for her 1992 white Ford Escort, license plate CVE 4530.

Gross survived the ambush despite being shot at close range outside the Corson Ave. commune. He was struck in the stomach, neck, arm and leg and was recuperating at St. Vincent hospital.

The same crazy handwriting that Johnson, 43, used in her sneak-attack plans was found in letters mailed to Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan, 120th Precinct police brass and Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne, law enforcement sources confirmed.

The nutty letters outlined Johnson's complaints that Gross was a "rapist" who abused and manipulated women at the '60s-style biofeedback commune.

She accused the NYPD and the Staten Island district attorney's office of being in cahoots with Gross, sources said.

Ganas closed its Friday night meal yesterday - traditionally open for prospective members to come see how the diverse 100-member cooperative living arrangement works.

Some members were concerned Johnson would seek more vengeance against the organization that booted her in 1996.

But others saw the decision to close the meal to the public as a way to keep the media - fascinated with the group's reputation for free love - at bay.

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