Years ago, Mark Johnson was a train and stagecoach robber, who was wanted across the American West. He decided to put his past behind him to live with his family, and disappeared for years while he and his wife raised their son. Despite this, he is still a wanted man, and is labeled "at large" by the law.
Events of Red Dead Redemption 2
At Siltwater Strand, Johnson in seen teaching his son how to ride a horse. When confronted by the player, Johnson asks to say goodbye to his family, before turning around and quietly speaking to his son. Johnson seemingly hands himself in: he doesn't attempt to run away or make any kind of escape when confronted.
Johnson is placed on the back of the player's horse, and the two ride back to Rhodes. However, despite Johnson apparently turning himself in, he manages to wriggle free of his binds and jumps off the player's horse. As he attempts to flee, armed bandits arrive on horseback and threaten the player, demanding that Johnson is let go. If these men are killed, and Johnson is hogtied and taken to Rhodes Jail, the player is rewarded $25 by the sheriff.
A few days later, Johnson's execution can be spectated behind the Sheriff Office. During Johnson's hanging, the player has the choice to watch him die or kill the lawmen and save his life. If he is saved, Johnson says to the player that he doesn't understand his reasons for doing such a thing. The player responds by telling him to take care of his son, to which Johnson replies by thanking him and saying that he will. The player loses honor for saving him from execution.
- If Johnson's wife is killed, he becomes outraged at the player.
- Despite his wife's mortality, the player can not harm or kill Johnson's son or the mission will fail.
- His name, past and fate seem to be a play on John Marston.
- His initials reversed are identical to Marston's (MJ for Mark Johnson and JM for John Marston).
- His backstory of becoming a rancher after running from a life of crime is also identical.
- His difficult relationship with his son mirrors the one between Jack and John.
- If captured by John, his remarks after being thrown in the cell could be seen as foreshadowing Marston's eventual fate.
- If the player does not let him say "goodbye" to his son, the armed bandits do not appear.
- Mark Johnson is hanged despite only having a $25 bounty. This is likely because he is deemed non-threatening and easy to catch.