On Monday, 49-year-old Scott White confessed to the murder of Scott Johnson, whose body was found at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney in 1988
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An Australian man was convicted of murder this week after he confessed to killing American mathematician Scott Johnson more than 30 years ago.

The case has been one of the country's longest-standing cold case murders, according to Australia's ABC News.

On Monday, 49-year-old Scott White confessed to the murder of Johnson, whose body was found at the bottom of a cliff in Sydney in 1988, ABC News, The New York Times, and The Age report.

White was charged with the crime in 2020 and had previously pleaded not guilty. However, in court earlier this week, he reportedly said: "Guilty, I am guilty, guilty."

White's attorney had attempted to have the plea struck from the record, arguing that White was unfit to make the admission. On Thursday, the Australian Supreme Court rejected the argument and convicted White of murder, according to ABC News.

Johnson was 27 years old studying to earn his PhD at the time of his death. He was a gay man, and was often referred to as a math "genius," The Age reports.

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Police had originally ruled his death a suicide. His brother, Steve Johnson, continued to urge officials to re-examine the case until it was officially ruled a hate crime killing in 2017, according to the news outlet.

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Steve spoke to The Age following White's conviction on Thursday, telling the publication: "Suddenly it was over. This man finally found the soul to confess and put an end to this. My family are all in tears."

In an interview with ABC News, Steve described his brother as "brilliant."

"The last conversation we know he had was with his [university] professor," Steve said. "As far as his professor was concerned, my brother could get a job at any university in the world."