Breaking News
More () »

A brutal double-murder in the suburbs: Questions remain in the killings of Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub

10 years ago, boyfriend and girlfriend Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub were killed in the prime of their lives. What happened that day shook the community to its core.

Brian Dugger

Play Video

Close Video

Published: 2:42 PM EDT May 24, 2021
Updated: 10:53 PM EDT May 28, 2021

If you know any information about this case, please call CrimeStoppers at 419-255-1111 or the detective's bureau at 419-213-4917. Or reach out to Brian Dugger at bdugger@wtol.com.

On the day of his murder on January 30, 2011, Johnny Clarke's phone was blowing up. He was called 51 times.

That wasn't an unusual day. The 21-year-old man had a lot of friends, and phone logs show it was a pretty normal call volume.

At 8 p.m., his mother, Maytee, called him to check in. She often called him multiple times a day. It was an overwhelmingly matriarchal characteristic born out of her Cuban heritage.

He jokingly chided her, "Yes, mom, I'm still alive."

In the days before, Mother Nature dropped five inches of snow on the Toledo area. But by Sunday afternoon, the roads were clear, and Johnny headed to his friend's house to watch the Pro Bowl.

Credit: Clarke Family

At 10 p.m., he picked up his girlfriend, Lisa Straub, from her job at TGI Friday's. They then returned to the home of her parents in Holland. Mary Beth and Jeff Straub were on a cruise, celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary.

Credit: WTOL 11
Lisa Straub

A phone log shows that Johnny called a friend at 10:41. That friend, who is not being named to protect his identity, later told Johnny's family that Johnny was waiting for Anthony Watson.

Also at 10:41, Clarke clicked over to talk with Tiffany Williams. Johnny and Lisa were planning to leave to pick up Tiffany and friend Zack Burkett, then return to the home to play pool.

Tiffany Williams later told Detective Jeff Kozak of that conversation.

“So you call him and he answers after 1 or 2 rings and you hear, ‘Bro, what are you doing?' or 'BRO, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" Kozak asked her.

Williams confirmed it was the latter - that Johnny angrily responded to someone he saw. She said it appeared as though Johnny knew the person and that she heard another man's voice in the background. Johnny then told Tiffany that he would call her back.


Twenty-two calls to Clarke's phone after 10:41 p.m. go unanswered.

"That's how I knew something was wrong, when he didn't answer," Maytee Vazquez Clarke said.

Something was very wrong. At some point during the night or early morning, the lives of two young people were snuffed out in a double homicide that would shock the normally quiet southern Lucas County neighborhood.

Credit: Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation

Before You Leave, Check This Out