During the winter of 2002, a shocking murder left the residents of Truro, Massachusetts, in utter disbelief. Christa Worthington, a famous fashion writer, was murdered at her home, leading to a lengthy investigation to find the killer. That ended with the police zeroing in on Christopher McCowen, who provided multiple stories regarding his involvement in the murder. So, if you’re wondering what really happened, here’s everything you need to know.
Who is Christopher McCowen?
On January 6, 2002, Christa was found stabbed to death in her home with her young daughter by her side. The authorities collected DNA evidence from her body, suggesting she had sex with someone sometime before her death. To narrow down suspects, the authorities tried the controversial move of attempting to collect a DNA sample from every male in Truro. Eventually, more than three years later, the lab had a hit for the biological evidence; it matched Christopher, who was arrested in April 2005.
Christopher used to collect Christa’s garbage, and at the time of the arrest, he was working for a moving company. Initially, he was interviewed as a potential suspect and willingly provided a DNA sample in March 2004. Then, more than a year later, the results pointed to him being the contributor of the semen and saliva from Christa’s murder scene. Initially, Christopher said he didn’t know her, yet his story kept changing as the interrogation continued.
After being confronted with the DNA evidence, Christopher claimed that he had consensual sex with Christa. He added that he had been having an affair with her just like he did with several other women on his trash route. Then, Christopher claimed to have gone to her house after drinking heavily on the night she died. He was with a friend, Jeremy Frazier, and the two went to Christa’s place. Christopher admitted to having sex with her that night but said his friend killed her after the two beat her up.
As expected, the circumstances surrounding the interview became crucial at trial. Christopher later stated that he had taken Percocet, cocaine, and marijuana at the time. In addition, the defense said he had a low IQ and pointed out that the interview was not recorded. A six-hour interrogation only boiled down to a 27-page report, with Christopher’s lawyer saying it was impossible to know for sure what his client said.
The defense also criticized the investigation and discussed evidence not being tested at the lab, including unknown DNA from three people under Christa’s fingernails. While Christopher pointed the finger at Jeremy, his DNA was not found at the crime scene, and he had an alibi. In the end, the defense argued that Christopher went to the victim’s house on January 3, 2002, and they had consensual sex, with someone else killing her later.
Where is Christopher McCowen Today?
In November 2006, Christopher, then 34, was found guilty of first-degree murder with extreme atrocity, aggravated rape, and aggravated armed burglary. He was handed down three consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. Just before Christopher’s sentencing, he said in court, “This case here is a very horrendous case. I feel sorry for the victim’s family, her daughter, and her. I have never meant for this to ever take place. But, your honor, all I can say is that I am an innocent man in this case…and that’s all I got to say.”
There were allegations of racial bias within the jury, though the Supreme Court eventually ruled to uphold Christopher’s conviction. Then, years later, he changed his story again, admitting to having had sex with Christa on January 3, 2002, after she asked him to come inside to dispose of the Christmas tree.
Christopher said he didn’t remember talking to the police or going to her home with Jeremy. In this new story version, he attended another party after hanging out with Jeremy at a local bar before heading home. Currently, Christopher remains incarcerated at the Old Colony Correctional Center in Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Read More: Where is Christa Worthington’s Daughter Now?