Kidnapped! Johnny Allison Describes Shocking Incident That Changed His Life

by John Haman and David Smith  on Monday, Mar. 31, 2014 12:00 am  

In June 1997, a man walked into the Conway office of Spirit Mobile Homes and kidnapped Johnny Allison. “It changed my whole complexion on life,” Allison said. “My calendar was booked that week and I had lots of things to do, and suddenly nothing was important.” The wife of Allison’s friend Alex Lieblong, inset, had previously been kidnapped by Slack.

Charges Filed

Slack was charged Thursday in Faulkner County Circuit Court with kidnapping, terroristic threatening and being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded innocent to the charges. The trial was set for Nov. 4, and pretrial hearings were scheduled for Sept. 22 and Oct. 20.

“It changed my whole complexion on life,” Allison says of the kidnapping. “My calendar was booked that week and I had lots of things to do, and suddenly nothing was important.”

“The erroneous thing was that he thought I was the guy that helped get him the 88 years,” Allison says. “He asked me why I was there [at the trial], and I said I was supporting my friend. I looked him in the eye and asked him if he wouldn’t support one of his friends in that situation.”

Slack agreed, Allison says.

Though Slack had a gun, Allison says he was sympathetic to his captor.

“He didn’t threaten my wife and kids; he didn’t want to hurt me unless he had to. I honestly felt sorry for him.”

When the two drove by a construction site, Slack mentioned that he used to be a construction worker. “He said he’d give anything to be out there working,” Allison said. “When he found out that I was a real person and that I started with nothing, he said, ‘Johnny, how are you going to get that money back?’” referring to the $100,000 ransom. “I said, ‘I’m going to work.’”

That seemed to impress Slack, Allison says.

“The guy told me ‘... you know, I really like you.’ I said I thought I could really like him under different circumstances. He said, ‘A lot of people, you stick a gun to their head and they go yipping and yapping.’ He said, ‘You’re different.’”

Slack didn’t know that Allison owned and was capable of flying an airplane, Allison says; he was just trying to get some money and get out of town.

“He said Mexico to me; he said Louisiana; he said Dallas. At one time, he told me he wanted me to wire some money to some bank, which I couldn’t do.



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