Dorothy Davis Murder: Where is Christian Davis Now?

Image Credit: Doug Gerard/Find a Grave

Oxygen’s ‘Accident, Suicide, or Murder: In Her Words Oxygen’ takes us decades back in time to a mysterious yet gruesome murder case of a pregnant wife and mother named Dorothy Davis in 1991. Initially deemed to be a suicide case, several twists and turns emerged that pointed towards the perpetrator. Apart from detailing the investigation through the perspective of the experts, the episode also gives an insight into the pain of the victim’s family and friends through their exclusive interviews.

Dorothy Davis’ Death Was Declared a Suicide Originally

Born on December 28, 1955, in Oregon, to Fay McMahan, Dorothy Davis grew up in a seemingly loving home surrounded by her loved ones, including her sister Patty Schlip. From her childhood, she was quite fond of poetry and known to be a rather shy and happy child, according to her loved ones. Later on in life, she fell head over heels in love with an army soldier named Christian Davis. The two tied the knot in the presence of their family and friends, beginning a new chapter of their lives. During their marriage, the couple gave birth to two daughters, and at the time of her tragic demise, she was pregnant with their third child.

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Living at Fort Lewis base in Washington, her children were the apple of her eye, and she loved them unconditionally. However, it turned out that the seemingly picture-perfect life of Dorothy wasn’t perfect after all. On March 13, 1991, the police received a call from her distressed next-door neighbor, informing them of the critical condition of Dorothy. As the authorities rushed to her residence, they found Christian acting all hysterical, claiming that his 35-year-old pregnant wife had died of suicide in their North Fort Lewis house. The first responders immediately stretchered her off to Madigan Army Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead. The cause of her death was a gunshot wound to her head.

Meanwhile, the investigators got to work and began collecting evidence in and around the crime scene. Soon, they came across three suicide notes, out of which a couple were addressed to him and one to her beloved sister, Patty Schiip. One of them began with, “You said suicide was the chicken way out. I guess I’m a chicken.” Since everything pointed toward suicide, including the suicide notes in her handwriting, Prozac near the body, and the gun in her hand, the police did not take much time to deem Dorothy’s death as a case of suicide. Besides her notes, they also found and went through her diaries, which indicated that she was battling depression at the time.

Dorothy Davis Was Brutally Murdered By Someone She Trusted

With the help of the interrogation process, the authorities gained insight into Dorothy Davis’ personal life by interviewing her family, friends, and neighbors. They soon found out that her marriage with Christian Davis was deteriorating at the time of her demise. So, the detectives brought the victim’s husband into questioning, who admitted their marital troubles and the fact that she had been seeing a therapist for her clinical depression. He used to work at an NCO club as a part-time DJ at the time, so on the fateful day, he claimed that he came home to find his wife dead. After hearing from Christian, the police decided to learn more about his marriage with Dorothy from her sister, Patty.

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So, upon interviewing her in Portland, the detectives found out that a few years after the marriage, Christian began fat-shaming Dorothy and used to throw insults at her about not being a good mother, but in private. As per Patty’s claims, he also had a habit of leaving the house in the middle of the night, something he used to cover up by telling his wife that he was a secret assassin working for the army due to the Gulf War. The sister had also noticed a significant decline in the mental health of the mother of two. A month prior to her demise, Dorothy reportedly found out about Christian’s extramarital affair. Moreover, back in 1987, when Dorothy was six months pregnant with their second child, she woke up to a huge fire in their mobile home in the middle of the night. As she looked for her husband and 2-year-old daughter, they were nowhere to be seen.

Fortunately, she got out of the incident alive and unharmed. The fire marshal present at the scene claimed that it was an accidental fire caused by the television. However, it was later revealed that Christian had talked to Penny just a few hours before the incident. She admitted that they were having an affair at the time, and she had asked him to choose between her and Dorothy. In the 1991 case, the reports did not show any gun residue on Christian. So, since the authorities could not find incriminating evidence against him or anyone else, they declared Dorothy’s death as a suicide. But about a year later, the case was forced to be reopened when a woman named Audrey revealed that Dorie Morris, Christian’s affair partner, was at the NCO club where he worked on the fateful night.

That night, he allegedly asked for a divorce from Dorothy. When she did not take the news well, he claimed that he went outside to call her to check on her. But he returned to the club after 20 minutes, all out of breath and without the purple jacket he was seen wearing that night. That same purple jacket could be seen hanging in the background in a crime scene photo, indicating that he had returned home and murdered his wife. The authorities also learned that right after Dorothy’s passing, Christian supposedly received $150,000 as life insurance money. Given all these developments in the case and several pieces of evidence against him, the detectives arrested Christian Davis and charged him with the murder and attempted murder of his wife, Dorothy Davis.

Christian Davis Was Also Convicted of Attempted Murder of Dorothy Davis

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A couple of years after Dorothy Davis’ murder, in 1993, Christian Davis stood on trial. After the prosecution and defense presented their respective arguments in front of the jury and the judge, it resulted in the conviction of Christian in March 1993 for murdering Dorothy Davis. Not only that, a court martial panel also found him guilty of attempted murder related to the May 1987 fire at the couple’s mobile home. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole and ordered by the court to give up all pay and allowances.

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