tv 2020 ABC November 24, 2017 9:01pm-11:00pm EST
a special two-hour true crime documentary event starts here on abss. >> here on cape cod, the summer is wonderful. this is a place where people leave the doors open. >> it's christa worthington. >> 2002, the worthington homicide scene. >> these things don't happen. >> everyone is thinking, oh, my goodness, we have a murderer amongst us. >> jealousy, sex and money. >> how does a glamorous fashion writer end up dead in cape cod? >> who did the police question? everybody. >> i couldn't imagine who could have done that.
in 2002, i was an emt on the truro rescue squad. the pager that i had went off and said that we had a rescue call from an unresponsive female at 50 depot road. i thought, "gee, i think that's the worthington residence." so i went in and just looked and christa was naked from the waist down, lying on her back, and very dead. >> she was stabbed through the chest. her cell phone was left on the kitchen counter with just the digit 9 punched in, as if she might have been trying to dial 9-1-1. >> 46-year-old christa worthington, an accomplished fashion writer, was found murdered sunday in her truro home. >> it was everyone's worst nightmare.
a woman alone in her home with her 2-year-old child in her beautiful cottage in cape cod overlookin' the atlantic ocean -- being found dead -- >> it involved a single woman, who was a mother with an out-of-wedlock child, fathered by a local, murdered with her baby daughter left beside her for 36 hours unattended by anyone. >> her 2 1/2-year-old daughter ava was found unharmed near the body. >> she had been with her mother's body for more than 24 hours. there's some evidence that she had taken her sippy cup and tried to feed her mother and she's trying to wake her mother up. >> ava had gotten a wash cloth and gone, wet it some how, gotten up on the stool turned on the faucet, swabbed her mother's body, you know, she had been trying -- she had been trying to clean up her mother. it's heartbreaking stuff. >> the cape had never seen or witnessed an event like this. ever. >> in truro, amalia barradat, newscenter 5 --
>> and it was big because it happened in truro. these things don't happen in truro on cape cod. >> the summer is wonderful. it is warm. all of the patti page songs about cape cod beaches, the sunsets -- all true. ♪ if you find a sand dune and salty air ♪ ♪ quaint little villages here and there ♪ >> for beauty, for beaches, for wonderful fishing, for shell fishing, for solitary walks, there's just nothing like it anywhere that i've ever been. >> people like to describe the cape is like an arm and provincetown is at the very end of the arm at the very tip, and truro is sort of at the wrist. cape cod alone is bucolic, but truro is really, they call truro the garden of eden of
massachusetts. >> truro is known today as the most rural town in cape cod. we have no town center. we have no streets. we have a post office and a general store. >> the people that see you every day are the same people. very much like "groundhog day," the same trash guy, the same milk guy, the same grocer. >> i mean, this is a place where people leave their doors open. this is not a place where people get killed. >> the worthington family goes back generations here in truro, where they are rich in property. christa inherited her mother's weather-worn cottage. it was here she came in search of solace, but instead, it was where she was savagely murdered. >> secrets, sex, and money. that was all in this story. but the story i was interested in was the real story. who was christa worthington?
>> christa was the only child. she grew up in hingham, mass, which is south of boston, kind of tony suburb. >> her father was a harvard educated lawyer. and it was a very privileged upbringing. after high school, christa went to vassar. >> i was a vassar classmate of christa worthington. christa and i were in this english thesis class. christa was someone you would know because she was so short and -- but interesting looking and pretty. she was brilliant in class. >> the first few decades of her life outside of college were high fashion, high society. >> she began a career in fashion writing. she actually was the bureau chief in paris for "women's wear daily." she wrote for all the major magazines. "cosmo," "harper's bazaar."
>> "the new york times," she worked for "elle" magazine. >> i met christa when we were editors together at "elle" magazine in probably 1990. >> "the devil wears prada," 25 years later is more or less what the life was like at the magazine. >> it was kind of an ongoing party disguised as a publication. >> she interviewed people like yves saint laurent, martha stewart. she even dated anderson cooper's brother. >> christa's writing -- oh, she could make anything just sound like magic. i mean, the most boring thing in the world was all fresh and exciting. >> smooth and refined prose style. >> the headscarf. the headscarf reveals as it conceals. the louder, the go away message, the more audible, the come hither -- isn't that great?
>> i remember talking to christa about her leaving new york city. there was nothing directly to predict that this could've happened to her. >> the question on a lot of people's minds is how does a glamorous fashion writer end up in some small town in cape cod dead in a bungalow? >> there are the immediate investigation of all of the relationships that the victim has and has had, as well as the putting together of the tracing of her movements in the last days and hours. >> there was nothing to indicate who it might have been. the house at 50 depot road is isolated. it isn't something that you happen to walk by because it sits well in on a long driveway, so you would have no idea of any activity going on in there. >> i couldn't imagine who could've killed her. i couldn't even think of it. >> there was so much talk about who did it, and who had the
motive. and believe me, everyone in this story had a motive. >> the whole thing was just really bizarre. >> january 6th, 2002, worthington homicide scene. >> this was the first murder in this town in 30 years. >> the media attention surrounding this is going to put enormous pressure on the police department to solve this and solve it fast. >> i was told by the state police that tim arnold was their number one suspect. her last live-in boyfriend. he lived next door. he's the one who found the body. >> why would he go there that night? is that true that he was going to return a flashlight? >> 9-1-1 what is your emergency? >> it's christa worthington. i am sure she's dead. shop kohl's cyber deals in store and online this saturday
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"20/20" returns with more of a killing on the cape. >> come the late fall, the weather turns vicious. the loneliness, the sense of isolation, definitely builds. the quiet is so thorough, so deep that i think it scares certain people. >> the cape is not a popular place in the winter because it's cold and it's isolated.
>> christa, as a writer, kept diaries. >> i do feel storm bound. the cabin fever is so intense and it has become part of my metabolism pumping like blood. >> this crime happened in the dead of winter, in january. there are even less people around in this small town. everyone is thinking, "oh, my goodness. we have a murderer amongst us." >> after the murder of christa worthington, there was this free-floating anxiety everywhere. >> people started locking their doors overnight. it was a transformation. >> stim arnold was the fwhunl suspect in the investigation. >> tim arnold is a former boyfriend of christa worthington. they dated for a while over a year. but at the time she was murdered they were actually broken up.
>> the police, they always take a close look at the people who are in the orbit. he was a boyfriend. he was an ex-lover. sometimes that generates hard feelings. so that was one. two, he found the body. you always take a close look at the person who found the body. >> it was a sunday afternoon. there was an important patriots football game going on. >> tim arnold says that he was watching the game with his father and his father suggested that he return a flashlight to christa. his father drove him to christa's house. >> he's heading to the home, spots two unopened newspapers, immediately makes him wonder why are papers unopened? >> and he looked through the kitchen door window and saw christa lying on the floor. she was totally still. she wasn't moving. so he pushed his way into the house.
he went and he found ava next to her mother and he leaned over and he touched christa and she was cold. >> he picked up ava and she knew him, she responded to him. >> he takes her in her arms, he takes the child out to his father and he turns towards his father and says, "christa is d-e-a-d." doesn't want to say it out loud. >> 9-1-1, this call is recorded. what is your emergency? >> please send somebody to 50 depot road. >> okay. what's the problem? >> it's christa worthington. i don't know what happened to her. i think she fell down or something. i'm sure she's dead. i think she's dead -- is anyone there -- i am friend was just returning a flashlight, her 3-year-old there nursing on her body. >> i'll send someone right over. >> the police took tim arnold back to the station. to question him that night. they spent some time with him and then they drove him home. he walked into the house, and his father was in front of the tv, and i was very shocked when tim told me that his father said
to tim, "tim, did you do it?" his own father asked him that. from that moment on, the whole town was asking questions like that. did tim do it? >> it's clear that tim arnold and christa had a tumultuous relationship. >> they had an intense relationship. he lived with her for a while. >> ava started to call him tim mom, so he wasn't just tim. he was tim mom. >> he's a very sensitive, artistic, educated, well spoken, gentle, person. >> i think one reason christa connected with tim arnold is that he was a literary. he wrote a couple books, he wrote this book "the winter mittens," which is a children's book, but it's a very strange little children's book. it's very dark. >> when she pulled on the right mitten to take it off, it would
not move. she pulled frantically at them with her teeth, but the winter mittens held fast to her hands, as if with a life of their own. >> tim arnold and christa would fight. >> tim said about christa that she criticized everything. she would criticize him for humming and she would say she didn't want ava to become a hummer. he couldn't even hum. >> they had broken, but he still seems have affection for christa. now he lived nearby with his father, only 100 yards away. >> tim told the police that he was out running one day and he stopped by christa's house and knocked on the door, didn't get an answer. so, he walks around and he looks in a window, and she apparently got extremely upset with him. >> christa had voicemails left on her answering machine. they were left by tim. they seemed to show that he was
upset with their relationship. >> well, i think you made it very clear where you stand on the issue of friendship. so at this point don't expect me to be around. >> hi, christa, just to clarify if you wanted to call to try to arrange for a time for me to see ava that would be fine and i will see what i can do but i don't really think that we should see each other, even briefly. bye. >> is there was a way that when she talked about tim arnold, that maybe he snapped. she pushed him away. >> there was a way in which she talked about tim arnold that maybe he snapped and went berserk. the jilted lover who wanted her so badly that he would take her life to prevent her from being with another man. >> it affected him a lot. it was devastating. to be under suspicion is a terrible thing. >> he told me that the state police came over once and really grilled him. >> you get a jab from one side, and then a right-hook from the other, you know. more than once, he would say something like, "i had not killed christa." and he said they would come
right back and say, "oh, yes, you did." >> tim was a logical person to look at, but there was just nothing to support that he killed her, and so they moved on to other suspects. >> truro is a small town and christa wasn't really a small town girl. she had a very complicated love life. >> tim arnold wasn't the only person who christa had been involved with relatively recently, and most importantly, tim arnold was not the father of her child. >> they have to look at the father of christa's baby. the local shellfish constable, tony jackett. >> she knew that she was getting herself ensnared in a big, angry hornet's nest, she didn't care. >> definitely, tony had a motive. the initial thought was, "it has to be this guy." he has everything to lose. ("carol of the bells" playing)
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>> the first step in trying to solve a crime is to understand, get to know the victim. >> what is going on in their life, what is their personality? and you look at her life in new york, what went on in those relationships? >> when i first met christa, she reminded me of kind of an old soul. there was something sort of ethereal about her, maybe a little wistful. and mysterious. >> the paradox of christa worthington was that she presented as somebody who was really on top of things, who was elegant and refined, but there was a way in which emotionally she was disorganized, disorderly, undisciplined. >> she was no mild mannered, timid soul. she was an obsessive personality. she obsessed about books, she obsessed about money. she obsessed about sex. >> christa's love life was a mess.
there's no other way to describe it. the people that she was with became stranger and weirder. >> she was involved with a man named thomas churchwell. he was a magician. >> during the time that i was with christa, i was known as the amazing tarquin. i would go to a bar called the barfly on 23rd street. she would go and sit with her girlfriends and watch me perform. >> there was something deeply helpless and vulnerable about her. >> she had those eyes that would melt you. >> she brought out the protective feelings in friends, especially male friends. >> probably had melted every man that she was with. >> christa was somebody who was consumed with regret. there was always this regret elf sitting on her shoulder, whispering in her ear.
christa began to regret that she hadn't had a child, and so she began the process of trying to get herself pregnant. >> i later found out that we were having a sexual relationship for christa to have a child. we just broke away from each other. >> christa went public about her desire, as a single woman, to have a baby. this was the 1990s, at a time when women didn't really talk about these types of things. >> she wrote an article in harper's bazaar and it was, "am i selfish to try to have a child in vitro at age 40?" >> there is, at the moment, no father for a child of mine, no husband for me, and what if there never is? i have to stare this scenario in the face, and to my surprise it hasn't killed me. >> it was a defiant side of her -- i was very surprised that she'd gone so public with this. >> reporter: she went on a national tv show, the leeza show.
>> trying to figure out to be the best parent to your child, given there is no father. >> and then christa received a devastating diagnosis. she was told that she was in early menopause and likely would never be able to have a child. >> the worst has happened. the thing i dreaded and never really believed would happen, and yet, always knew would. >> it seemed she wanted a change in her life. >> christa decides to leave new york city to go to cape cod. >> christa grew up going to the cape in the summer. >> truro was a safe haven for her. >> the worthington family was truro royalty. they went way back in time. >> reporter: this is worthingtonville. you know, the worthingtons have houses all around there, as they have for two generations. >> in the cape, christa seemed to access the truro version of herself, throw the hermes and
the givinchy to the back of the closet and uh, just relax. >> she was living in a little, tiny cottage right on the harbor that had belonged to her grandmother. that was the first time she noticed tony jacket. >> i got to know her a little bit. i think there was a time she asked me helped her do something up at her house, and that was when i got to be more friendly with her. >> his title was shellfish constable, he really was sort of the police of the fish in the area. >> 20 bags taking out. >> he was good looking and dashing. people talk about his thick, black, curly hair. >> tony was like the kind of guy that women wanted and men wanted to be. >> before you know it, he was going over to her house for "tea." >> i remember thinking, go home, go home. then i would turn right, right up her driveway.
>> and then of course it became a little deeper. >> i think i got caught up in the idea of a romance. it was just exciting, you know? >> the thing that makes the relationship with tony kind of tricky is that he had been married for 27 years and had six kids. >> if there was a sweeter person on earth between the hours of 8:00 and 9:15 i would not believe it. tony became tender and we were made new, spellbound. i love him. >> it was a small town. you're nervous or at least aware that you could be seen. >> the thrill of ordering pizza in public, that is adultery, when ordering pizza becomes a thing of beauty. >> reporter: this was no secret. you know, gossip, gossip, gossip. everybody knew.
>> she tells me that, "i think you should sit down. i have something to tell you and i'm pregnant." so, i'm thinking, "how could i be so dumb?" >> she had been told that she couldn't have babies. she became pregnant at 42. >> now i'm at my desk looking at three sonograms of the baby, tony's baby. >> once she gets pregnant, they decide to end the relationship. and christa initially says that she's going to have the baby, but not tell anyone. it's going to be their secret. from her diaries, it's clear that as her pregnancy progresses she's becoming more frustrated with tony's lack of involvement. >> i wonder if it will always be like this. the emptiness around me, miles and miles of it, while my lover lies with his wife.
i feel abandoned. he will do anything to tread water, to stay afloat on a way that makes no waves. that is what he is doing now. >> what i actually most remember is receiving the birth card of ava and just marveling that she pulled it off. >> i would babysit monday to friday, 9:00 to 4:00. she was just very, very sweet to ava. i never heard her raise her voice to ava. very loving mother. >> christa adored being a mom. finally, there had been something in her life that she didn't regret and never would. >> when ava is about a year and a half years old, she decides that she does want tony to tell his wife, susan, that they have a child together.
>> she decides, "i want ava to know who her father is. and telling your wife, that's your problem, that's your job." >> i know he is preparing his denials every which way. i feel like ruining the joyful christmas with a little letter on my birthday. why should he get off so lightly? >> reporter: christa wrote a letter addressed to susan. >> she details the affair that she was having with her husband. >> the first day we slept together we were in bed from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. >> reporter: this was a letter written by one woman to another meant to hurt, to injure. >> the letter would definitely be important for police. >> there were all kind of rumors as to who did it, is it tony, was it his wife? >> i suspected him as a suspect, the first suspect, and then her as the second.
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my darling daughter, i am interested only in your welfare, only in you. >> reporter: in her diary, christa talks about her adoration and her love for her baby, ava. >> we took you to the ocean today, it was the waves! you are so brave and zoom straight for the water fearless and joyful. >> she also feels tremendous resentment towards ava's father, tony jackett. she feels abandoned by him. >> i get so upset that that creep is her father.%-phow he h. >> reporter: they decided that they would tell no one about the baby, but when ava is about a year and a half years old,
christa demands that tony tell his wife, susan. >> the baby got to an age where she started to talk and was about to start asking questions like, "where's dad?" and that's when she wanted me to tell my wife. >> i was totally devastated. i was so shocked. he never wanted to leave. he was never unhappy. he was just a naughty boy. >> susan, god bless her, welcomed christa and ava into their lives. >> reporter: tony and susan and christa would have sunday dinners together, and the theme of this was "let's give ava a home." >> she wanted to develop a relationship with little ava, knowing this is her husband's daughter. >> the last time christa is seen alive for certain is in a surveillance video from a stop and shop friday afternoon.
>> we see her with her daughter, ava, pushing a cart. >> it's always eerie, sad to see video of a victim in the last moments of the person's life. little did she know that within a day she would be dead. >> christa worthington, found stabbed to death in her truro home. her then, 2 1/2-year-old daughter clinging to her lifeless mother. >> george malloy was one of the first medical personnel, emt, to arrive at the scene. most importantly, he's the one who has to comfort ava. >> i just sat down and tried to communicate with this little girl. i didn't know whether she had witnessed her mother's death or what had gone on. >> i was asking her when was the last time you were changed? when was the last time you had anything to eat? there was no response really. >> different people started to show up.
tony's wife and tony showed up. and jackett's wife said to me, you know, "don't listen to anything this little girl has to say, she's a [ bleep ] liar." and i'm thinking to myself, "what the [ bleep ]?" >> susan says she never called ava a liar. she was making a lighthearted comment about her fibbing and that's been taken completely out context. >> at this point, you've got a dead woman who he's had an affair with. you've got his wife in front of me telling me that the 2-year-old is a liar. i suspected him as a suspect, the first suspect, and then her as the second. >> the investigators find a letter that christa wrote to susan about the affair. >> she never sent the letter in which she said, "when you thought tony was taking your son to the bus station, he was [ bleep ] me. this was a letter written by one woman to another meant to hurt, to injure. >> from september to the day
your mother-in-law died, i was sleeping with your husband. i thought you should know. >> the letter would definitely be important for police because they're going to be wondering if christa was so angry at susan, was susan so angry at christa? they asked susan to take a polygraph test and she agreed and she passed. >> as the investigation turns towards tony jackett, the investigators realize that there may have been a lot of pressure on tony jackett. >> she wanted him to help her bring up this child, putting her on his health insurance and providing financial support. >> she got herself a lawyer and said, "you're gonna support this kid or i'm gonna sue you." >> maybe tony wanted to get christa out of the picture so he could just take ava and raise her himself.
>> why would i want to kill her? but, they're getting information that says otherwise. that christa wanted money, that christa was gonna go back to court. >> at the same time of the murder investigation begins, tony has a custody battle. amyra chase was christa worthington's very good friend. christa had a will and in it she named amyra guardian of little ava. >> she is like a light in our family. >> she's a beautiful little girl and we love her. >> the d.a. was there. he had gotten up to speak. he said we can't rule mr. jackett in or out as far as being someone that could've committed this crime. >> he didn't want to put his family though even more pressure. so he stepped back and amira stepped forward.
>> the decision was that amyra was going to get custody. >> the investigation seemed stalled. >> so, what you do is you make the circle bigger. >> the state police drove down to new york to see churchwell, the magician. >> they said, "well, we feel that you did this." i'm like, "why?" they said, "well, because it's something that a magician could do. he could create this mystery." i said, "just because you can't figure it out does not mean that it was a magician that did it." >> there were so many different possible suspects. this case almost becomes like a game of clue. >> even christa's father and his girlfriend were potential suspects in this case. >> christopher toppy worthington, 72-year-old harvard-educated lawyer, turns
out had a 29-year-old girlfriend who was a former prostitute and heroin addict. >> toppy was taking money and supporting elizabeth porter. >> the names on apartment are porter as in elizabeth and worthington as in toppy. >> on top of the social embarrassment of having her dignified, elderly dad cavorting around was the fact that she was watching her future share of the estate go away. >> she wanted this stopped. >> elizabeth porter kept her hood up and her head down today. state police questioned her in the investigation of stabbing death of fashion writer christa worthington. >> perhaps the girlfriend offed christa as a way of continuing the gravy train. >> interestingly enough, toppy and elizabeth did not pass their polygraph tests. >> unfortunately for the police, they had no evidence to link either one of them to christa's murder. so now they keep looking. >> the police and the district attorney were desperate. >> they found no evidence that
any of the people they had been investigating were involved in christa's murder. >> every one of the initial set of possible suspects denied having any role in christa's death. >> the pressure was mounting to bring someone in. no one elects prosecutors to have crimes remain unsolved. >> they turned to what many people call a forensic hail mary. >> investigators took the controversial step of launching what's called a dna dragnet. >> i mean, it's like, are you kidding me?
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2002, worthington homicide scene, truro, massachusetts. >> crime scenes are extremely important in figuring out potentially what happened, where did it start, where did it end, and what occurred in between, christa's house is just a mess. there's things stacked. it's disorganized. things are put away.
if you don't know her and know how she lives, you would think that the bad guy has rifled through her stuff. >> she lived in a disorder that's almost impossible for you to understand. >> her emotional life mimicked the way the house looked. it was topsy-turvey. >> there's nothing about this case that looks like this was a breaking into her house to steal things. this was all about her death. >> so, here's this murder scene and cheerios and a sippy cup and little foot prints of ava's through the blood in the floor. >> christa's vehicle, it was in the driveway. her keys are outside. and some other personal items. there appears to be some sort of
tussle or drag marks up to the door. the door was damaged, like potentially somebody kicked it. it tells you that there was a fight outside, and that she ended up on the ground, so there's a disagreement. >> it's very difficult without any eye witnesses. so, what you have to turn to in a case like this is the body itself. you're looking for some sort of evidence from beyond the grave. >> she's got some defensive wounds on her hands, and other places, suggesting she did put up a fight. >> she was stabbed through the chest, through the trapezius muscle to where the blade nicked the floor. >> the murder weapon has never been found, but there is a strong suggestion that the murder weapon was from her butcher block in her kitchen. what you try to do is sort of follow what you think the bad guy did. where did he go? what did he do? what did he touch? >> they have problems here,
'cause this crime scene was managed very poorly. >> people have made lots of accusations about the crime scene. >> police interviews, forensic tests. >> peter manso wrote about the investigation in his book "reasonable doubt" >> the police here have not had to deal with a murder in maybe a generation, two generations, three generations, who knows. these people are not trained to handle a murder scene. >> a blanket was thrown over the victim. that contaminated the body. >> i can tell you one of the rules of protocol is not to take a piece of evidence from a crime scene and cover the body with it, even for decency's purposes. >> people were moving things around and touching things. >> the floor wasn't taped off for safe ways to walk on the crime scene. >> there was so many fingerprints from everybody touching everything. >> there's a huge difference between csi and cape cod csi.
>> the district attorney michael o'keefe told us first responders have to assess the threat and treat the injured. no crime scene is pristine. this one was better than many. >> while the crime scene was not pristine, they found critical evidence. >> dna. sperm and saliva. >> we believe that christa worthington was involved in an intimate relationship with a person prior to or relatively contemporaneous with her death. >> investigators and worthington's family say they hope the $25,000 reward they are now offering will help establish the identity of that person, presumably the last to see her. about that mystery man, the district attorney will only say he is not necessarily worthington's killer.
>> all we'd like is a resolution and some closure for christa, and for her daughter ava. >> the police and the district attorney were desperate. they had not solved this case, so they decided to do a very unusual thing. >> investigators took the controversial step of launching what's called a dna dragnet. they asked all of truro's roughly 800 male residents to voluntarily give dna samples. >> who did the police question? everybody. and they did so indiscriminately. so literally hundreds of people, myself included. >> the post office, the filling station coffee shop, and the highland grill are all locations in truro where police asked men this morning to use this kit and voluntarily give saliva samples containing their dna. >> they approached you and asked to be able to swab you. men only. >> almost everyone in town was a suspect. i mean, have you ever heard anything so ridiculous in all of your life? i mean, it's like, are you kidding me?
>> the reaction was swift. >> this dna sweep is what catapulted the case to a national profile. >> a national debate invigorated. police tried to find the killer by asking every man in a small town to submit dna. civil bibry were outraged. >> it wasn't so much to get the dna, it was to find out who's reluctant to give it. >> the district attorney says investigators will look more closely at those who do not cooperate. >> i would just say to any member of the public that they should have no trepidation about cooperating with the police. >> this is big brother. this is 1984-type stuff. >> after three years of investigation, the police finally get this dna break and they make an arrest, but they arrest someone that no one would have expected. >> we were stunned, especially since the person who was arrested was not anybody we had ever heard of. it's like he came out of nowhere. how do you chase what you love
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>> christa worthington, found stabbed to death in her home. >> shy had been with her mother's body more than 24 hours. >> secrets, sex and money. that was all in the story. >> there were so many different possible suspects. >> this case almost becomes a game of clue. >> who do the police question? nobody. >> they arrest somebody that no one would have expected. >> it's like he came out of nowhere. >> i think there is so much mystery that still surrounds this case.
>> last night at approximately 7:15 p.m., detectives from the massachusetts state police, arrested christopher a. mccowen, age 33, for the murder of christa a worthington. >> christopher mccowen was christa's trash collector. >> i remember seeing the film of him, and being brought out of his house. and he was just completely lost. he's been arrested for murder of the most high-profile case in cape cod in half a century. >> we have matched the dna to the person. >> it turns out that the dna dragnet did not find them their killer, the dna they got a hit on, they had had for maybe over a year. it had been sent to the dna lab and it's taken that long to finally get it processed. >> i think some of the town
wondered why did it take so long for the police to look at this person who picked up christa's trash every week. >> they did talk to him. they talked to him not that long after the murder. it would be standard that you're going to look at people who logically had interaction with her. >> one time three months after christa's killed, another time two years. in both cases, he basically says he hardly knew her. >> he was cooperating with them he wasn't fleeing. he wasn't hiding. he's volunteering his dna. he didn't act like somebody who was guilty of this. >> when the trash collector at her home has twice denied even knowing really christa worthington, and then you match sperm and saliva found on her body back to him. prosecutors and police are going to be thinking, we've got our guy. >> who is christopher mccowen? my wife knew him. >> it wouldn't be til quite some time after that, that we really
learned who christopher mccowen was. >> he just seemed like a quiet, low-key kind of guy. >> little-known person. had previously worked for a moving company on the cape. >> christopher mccowen was 33, had three kids with three mothers and had moved to the cape from florida. >> family wasn't on the cape, because that's the first place you go to, the family, for a reaction. "what do you think about your son being arrested for murder?" >> that's chris, see him? he's 7 years old here. he wanted to be friends with everybody. >> i'm roy mcgowan, i'm the father of chris mcgowan. >> i said to myself, "christopher is a player. he's not a murderer." >> when i read about the knife in the woman's chest, stuck it so hard where it stuck to the floor. i said, "there's no way in the world that's chris." christopher loved his job. he always wanted to move up, wanted to get his own truck and he wanted to partner with his boss, so i thought that was great.
>> i met with chris mccowen. in my mind, he was not a person capable of this type of crime. there was no motive. >> chris's daughter was the same age as ava. >> this is not a cold, deliberate, calculating person. this is not a person who had a reason to do harm to another. >> there are a number of people who don't believe that christopher mccowen could have or would have done this and that includes his boss. >> they've got the wrong person. this person just would not do that. when he would get in an argument with another driver over some silly thing, and chris would just walk away from it. he would not fight. >> his appearance was outside the norm for outer cape residents. over six feet, dark skinned, muscular, the automatic thought i think that chris would be a scary or intimidating man. when you got to know him, he was
so much the opposite. as far as i'm concerned, chris has no violence in him. >> 33-year-old christopher mccowen had no comment as he arrived at orleans district court this morning on his arraignment for charges of raping and murdering 46-year-old christa worthington. >> christopher mcgowan is charged with murder, but he's also charged with rape. and that turns out to be a very controversial charging decision. >> between the time of the murder and the arrest of chris mccowen three years later, there was not a word about rape. not one word about rape. >> they were never looking for a rapist here. they wanted to know who her boyfriends were, because they knew there was semen in her. >> the sperm sample that they found, it was degraded, that the sperms had no tails. it might have been a couple of days old. it might have been from not on the night of the murder but from prior to the murder.
>> there was a rush to judgment. you had a black garbage man. the cape is not very heterogeneous. >> nationally, black people make up 13.5% of the population. cape cod, you know, the home of jack kennedy, the figure is 1.2%. >> there was no question that there was a dna match, but there was, in a lot of people's minds, a question of whether there could have been a consensual relationship. >> he says that he had a number of consensual relationships with women who were on his route when he was collecting garbage. >> chris was quite the ladies' man. he was very charismatic. >> he had many, many girlfriends. he was pretty much of a stud. >> the question is, would christa worthington have a consensual sexual relationship with the african-american trash collector?
some say, well, why not? >> christa's need for love and affirmation was so great that it wouldn't surprise me in the least if she had slept with him. >> despite mccowen being well liked, when police did a background check what they found was disturbing. mccowen had a criminal history for grand theft and burglary and had served time. most importantly for this case, he had five restraining orders out against him from women who he knew. the allegations ranging from grabbing someone's neck, strangling, pushing, scaring. >> restraining orders, i think when the general public look at them and go, "he did what?" you have to look at the nature of this homicide. i mean, stabbing somebody, you've got to literally be right
on top of them. does he have the capacity to do that? there's nothing in his history that would suggest that. i mean, typically people who commit these types of homicides they've used knives before. he doesn't really sort of fit a person that would commit this type of homicide. >> 33-year-old christopher mcgowan was arraigned today in barnstable superior court. charged in the felony of murder in the first degree. >> how do you plead, guilty or not guilty? >> not guilty. >> not only does christopher mccowen say he didn't kill christa worthington but he points the finger directly at someone else. >> good afternoon, sir. in a nice loud voice tell us your name. >> jeremy frazier. probiotics, and fiber, it could be wearing on you. tell your doctor what you've tried and how long you've been at it. linzess works differently from laxatives.
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>> much needed relief for residents. >> for cape cod this was the trial of the century. >> this is a small town in massachusetts. it hadn't had a first-degree murder case in 30 years. >> the parking lot is chock-a-block full. satellite tv trucks, reporters all over the place with cell phones, computers. >> the courtroom and the barnstable court house is this sort of antique space, and hanging from the ceiling is this beautiful silver codfish. as if everything that goes on here has this cod god above it. >> 33 year old christopher mccowen was arraigned today in barnstable superior court. the prosecution claiming mccowen's dna links him to the violent stabbing of fashion writer christa worthington. >> robert walsh is the lead prosecutor, and he's going to
make an argument that they can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that chris mccowen raped and murdered christa worthington. >> please raise your right hand. >> the first witness is tim arnold. he was the ex-boyfriend. he's the one who found her body. >> there was blood around her head. her knee was up in the air. >> were her legs together or spread apart, sir? >> somewhat spread apart. >> reporter: it's not just that she was stabbed to death. she was also horribly beaten, and there's bruises all over her body. >> the photos were very graphic. i think those photos helped us to get the reality of the crime scene, to get the reality of a murder was committed. >> the defendant was completely indifferent to her suffering, and that's based on the statement that you'll hear that he made. >> a major component of this case was christopher mcgowan's statement given to the police during a very long interrogation. the prosecution relied upon it. >> christopher mason, the lead
detective from the massachusetts state police, was a professional police officer who presented very well, and he was credible. >> and did you have occasion to interview a christopher mccowen? >> yes, i did. >> the first two times that mccowen was questioned by the authorities, he basically denied knowing her, but then they hand him the dna report. and everything changes. >> and i informed him that the report from the state police crime lab concluded that it was his dna on the body of christa worthington. >> all right. and after you showed him that report, slid it across the table to him, what did he do next, sir? >> mr. mccowen then stated, it could have been me. >> it could have been me. >> it could have been me. >> so mccowan is saying it could have been me who had sex with christa, because it was his dna. >> some of the strongest evidence against christopher mccowen is his statement. i mean, he denies knowing her, and then his semen is inside her. i mean, hello? and then his statement gets more
and more incriminating. >> in his statement to police, chris mccowan first says that christa asked him to help dispose of a christmas tree. >> mr. mccowen explained to me that he had had a discussion with christa worthington that evening in that house about getting rid of the christmas tree. >> that friday night, is that correct? >> that's correct. >> mccowen's statement to the police progressed to the point where he admitted that he had consensual sex with christa worthington on the living room floor. >> his response was, i [ bleeped ] the [ bleeped ] out of her. i don't know. >> is that a direct quote, sir? >> yes, it is. >> reporter: he changes the story, and introduces another person, a friend of his that he would socialize with. >> he goes on to say, i wasn't the only one there. jeremy frazier and i went up there. >> jeremy frazier becomes a player in this case. he's young, under 21, knows chris mccowan because they apparently hang out and run in the same circles. >> jeremy frazier admits that he
was with chris mccowen earlier in the night, the night that christa worthington was killed, and there's video in this bar where you can see them. >> reporter: in his statement to police, mccowen says that he and frazier leave the juice bar and go to christa's house. >> mr. mccowen stated that he gave jeremy frazier directions, and that jeremy frazier drove him -- drove them to christa worthington's residence. >> mccowen claims that he asked jeremy to drive him to christa's so he could have sex. he didn't want to drive himself. he was afraid of getting busted for drunk driving. he was wasted. >> he then indicated to me that -- that christa worthington was startled to see us. he stated that he probably said something like, i'm tipsy. i just wanted to get some -- real quick. mr. mccowen informed me, she was cool with it.
>> mccowen's account was the he went up there, and he and christa got it on and jeremy meanwhile was taking her possessions. >> he indicated that following the sex, christa worthington confronted jeremy frazier about -- about what he was doing. he and jeremy frazier then left the residence, and that christa worthington followed them out. >> at which point, again this is the mccowen account, christa comes barreling out of the house and starts screaming at frazier, you [ bleep ], you thief. i want me stuff back. >> what did he say, sir? >> he stated, jeremy lost it, and i just followed suit. it was pandemonium. >> they get into a fight, which starts outside. they get into it in the driveway. >> he stated that jeremy beat her. he beat her. he said, we put the boots to her. he said, i still can hear her hit the ground. she hit the ground hard. he states that jeremy frazier then dragged her under the arms and dragged her into the house.
>> frazier was beating on her, and he punched her in the face, and in the chest, and he said it was frazier who took a knife, and stabbed christa through the chest. >> i asked mr. mccowen, well, what would he say if the troopers in truro, and i determined that jeremy frazier was somewhere other than truro on that evening? >> and what was his response to that, please, sir? >> his response was, then it's all -- then it's all on me if jeremy can account for his time. >> that was the final version that emerged from the six-hour interview. >> you have all of those versions, which was from, i did have sex with her, to being around, but wasn't involved in the homicide, to literally sounds like being in the same room when the homicide occurred. he changes the version, but he never puts a knife in his hand. >> he never vacillated from the fact that he never killed christa worthington. >> the defense said he cannot be trusted. >> the statement is not worth the paper it's written on. >> led him to self confession. >> he was putty in their hand.
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>> at the courthouse is actually a sculpture of lemuel shaw. >> it was lemuel shaw who formulated, more than anyone else, the doctrine of reasonable doubt. >> if these jurors think it is reasonable to believe that someone else might have done it, that's reasonable doubt and that's an acquittal for chris mccowen. >> the defense said that christopher mccowen's statements to the police could not be trusted. >> the statement is not worth the paper it's written on. >> mccowen was spoken to for about six and a half hours. that interrogation was reduced to a 27-page report by state trooper chris mason. >> the interview was about six hours. is that right?? >> that's correct. i took notes. >> now, six hours of talk translates more to 300 to 400 pages. >> they should have recorded him, at minimum audio recorded him, preferably video recorded him. because it was too crucial a statement.
>> mr. mccowen indicated, "i decline to have my interview electronically recorded." >> apparently under massachusetts law someone being interrogated can refuse to have it recorded. >> and i indicated to mr. mccowen that -- that the courts prefer that the interview be recorded to insure accuracy. but that it was his decision to make. >> christopher mcgowan says that he did not say the things that the investigators say he said and he says that he was under the influence of percocet, cocaine and marijuana. he doesn't even really remember giving the statement. >> he was completely wasted when he was taken into that police station. >> i know he wasn't comprehending what was going on. >> and there was testimony about his iq being 76, 78, 80. >> just above mental retardation. >> having an iq of 78 and being
subjected to that kind of stressful, prolonged interview, makes him susceptible to manipulation. >> he has a personality as a lot of children do, where he, they wanna please their interviewer. they wanna please the adult in the room. >> bob george wasn't just saying he didn't do it and they can't prove their case, he was saying that there are a lot of other, much more credible suspects out there. and mccowen's attorney is raising other issues about the evidence in the case. >> there's no forensic evidence tying christopher mccowen to the scene, except the degraded semen in christa worthington's body. and skin cells on her breasts. >> the seminal fluid could have been on her body for three to five days. >> the physical evidence does not match up. >> there were no fingerprints. there were no footprints. >> they had palm prints that were unidentified, and they had unknown male dna from three
individuals under her fingernails. >> from the prosecution perspective, the key is not what other evidence they could've found or might've found. it's the evidence that they did find. it's his dna at a scene he'd initially said he'd never been at. >> the most important evidence in the case that was ignored was there were blue and white fibers found in her vaginal area, which came from clothing. >> did you conduct any testing on some trace material recovered from christa worthington's pubic area? >> yes. from the pubic area, there was various colored fibers. most of them were blue and white. >> chris mccowen was not alleged to have been wearing anything that was blue and white on the evening of the homicide. but he was with somebody who was wearing a blue and white sweater. and that was jeremy frazier. >> reporter: jeremy frazier took the stand as a witness for the prosecution. >> are you a member of any gang or group? >> no. >> reporter: the defense is trying to portray jeremy frazier
as this dark, shady, gang-affiliated young man who would be the type of person to commit a horrific crime. >> his demeanor, his presence -- he was arrogant. >> did you kill christa worthington? >> no, i didn't. >> reporter: jeremy frazier's getting on the stand and saying i wasn't at christa worthington's house. >> and did the police ask you where you had been that day? >> yes. >> and did you remember? >> no. >> it was very clear that he claimed that he didn't remember anything. he couldn't recall anything. >> in fact, you didn't even remember where you had been after the juice bar the first time they talked to you, right? >> yep, until they fed me pieces of information. where i was that night. >> when you say feeding you pieces of information, who was feeding you pieces of information? >> the state police. >> reporter: jeremy frazier is a prosecution witness who is now
saying that the state police were feeding him information. >> jeremy frazier's testimony was like an early christmas present for the defense. in all of the trials that i have covered, i don't remember a prosecution witness ever sending up red flags like jeremy frazier did. >> jeremy frazier admits that he was with chris mccowen earlier in the night, but he says that everybody split up. chris went one way and he went another, and he stayed at sean mulvey's house, a friend of theirs. >> you can see them together at that juice bar on the video. >> mulvey alibis frazier. >> jeremy was probably the most intoxicated out of everybody. so, i told him to come with me. >> did jeremy remain at your house? >> the whole night.
yes, he did. >> and there was an initial meeting with the police where you told them you basically didn't remember anything. is that correct? >> yeah. that was the first time on advice from my father. >> so, was that a lie? >> in the first statement, yes. >> and then he changed his story. he then suddenly provided an alibi for jeremy frazier on the night of. it doesn't take sherlock holmes to figure out that there's something shaky about that alibi. >> reporter: but the police and prosecution were satisfied with jeremy frazier's alibi. the dna at the crime scene does not match jeremy frazier. and so that suggests that the only person at christa's home that night, is chris mccowan. adding to the mystery was an incident that occurred the day before christa's body was found. >> the car was coming down here, didn't even put on brakes. >> reporter: christa's neighbor, a guy named girard smith, says he saw a black vehicle speeding out of christa's driveway. >> it went right out through here, and kept on going. >> it was clearly somebody that was trying to desperately get away from christa's house, but why? ♪
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>> gerard smith was a very well respected member of the community in truro. >> he was taking his morning constitutional on depot road. >> it was saturday -- the day before christa worthington's body was found. and smith saw a car tearing out of her driveway. >> the car was coming down here, didn't even put on brakes, it went right out through here, and
kept on going. just went 'woosh.' like that, and that was why it drew my attention. i turned around to see who was driving the car. >> according to gerard smith, the driver of that car was a white man, not a black man. >> gerard smith was a compelling witness. >> can you describe the person? >> he was caucasian. he was a little dark, but he was not black. >> it wasn't really given great weight by the commonwealth, because it didn't fit the scenario that they went to trial on. it's like, well then who could that have been? >> one thing is clear. that person who killed christa worthington or had something to do with killing christa worthington was white, and he wasn't chris mccowen. >> at trial, bob george presented a different scenario for what happened the night christa was murdered.
he says mccowan never went to the house after the juice but he was there the day before on thursday that was garbage pickup day. >> he says he was on his route on a thursday, christa called him into her home because she wanted him to remove her christmas tree. he says that one thing leads to another and they do have this encounter, but that it's consensual. >> and he didn't rape her because there's no evidence of rape. >> chris says he didn't tell the police because she wanted it to be kept private. he said she wanted it to be a secret. >> it's absolutely possible that he had sex with her on thursday, was not there on friday, somebody else killed her, and then that's your bad guy, not him. >> there is nothing to suggest on her body that she was violently sexually assaulted. >> the autopsy did not use the word rape.
>> there is no bruising. there is no tearing. >> there is no evidence of any violent sexual contact with the victim in this case in the form of injury, is there? >> there's no report of injury, right. that's correct. >> he says she came on to him, and that was just too much for some people to believe that christa worthington, this vassar-educated woman, would have sex with a garbage collector. >> as soon as they see the black garbage man, it's rape. >> the truth is that he went up there looking for sex, christa worthington confronted him and it got very ugly. >> i went into closing argument believing i had, at the very least, a case of reasonable doubt. >> the 12 members of the jury sat in this box. there was only one african-american woman on the jury. so it wasn't really considered to be much of a jury of his peers. >> the government's case is
based on assumptions that aren't true. and it's based on incorrect and ignored evidence. >> mr. george has tried to play the race card during this trial and said that the police couldn't accept the idea of consensual sex between a black garbage man and christa worthington. and i would suggest to you this defendant would be facing the same evidence and the same trial with the same jury if he were white. >> the jury in this case reported themselves deadlocked. deliberated for eight days before coming to a verdict. >> after many days the verdict comes in. it's a stampede up here to the courtroom. >> we the jury to return the following verdict. guilty of first-degree. guilty of murder in the first-degree in extreme atrocity, and cruelty, and also, felony murder. >> after the verdict was delivered, mccowen, of course, was devastated. and he started to cry. >> i watched the verdict come in.
having been a prosecutor, i always look at the defendant for a reaction. this reaction was completely unusual. he shook his head, vehemently, and cried. >> i'm peopling sorry for the worthington family, her daughter and her. i never meant for this. all this time, i have been innocent. >> the court, hereby extends you to be in prison for and during the term of your natural life without the possibility of parole. >> three life terms. holy moly. >> three jurors submitted affidavits charging they were coerced into their guilty verdicts by other racist jurors. >> soon after the trial, bob george hears from a few of the jurors who had information that was potentially a game changer. >> i immediately filed a motion to set aside a verdict as a result of racial bias in the jury room. >> it is incredibly unusual to
have a hearing to look back at how a jury reached a verdict that it did. it almost never happens. >> according to these jurors, two other jurors repeatedly described mccowen as big and black. >> the "black" man this and the "black" man that and he's so big and he scares me when he looks at me. >> peter manza aligned himself with the trial but he was researching the book. >> this is part of the files from my book. >> in researching his book called "reasonable doubt", he recorded an interview with the sole black juror who felt racism was at play during the deliberations for some of the majors. >> they all are attacking me every day anyway, all of them, like i'm the only one in that room who gave this man the benefit of the doubt that -- you know, suggests that maybe he's innocent. i don't know if he did it, but i know it hadn't been proven to me. that's all i know. show me the evidence.
>> race did not play a part at all in deciding christopher mcgowan's guilt or innocence. it had no effect on the verdict. there's just no way around the dna. >> the judge found that the words big and black were just e descripti descriptions. >> chris has never spoken before, but chris wants to get his story out there. >> this is a global tel link prepaid call from christopher mccowan, an inmate at a massachusetts correctional institution. >> hi, chris. >> hello? >> so, you had sex with her on the thursday, and then she ends up dead on a friday. can you understand why people think that that's odd? take a deep breath in and exhale. aflac. and a gentle wave-like motion. liberate your spine. aflac.
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>> christopher mccowen has been in prison for 11 years now. he's maintained his innocence the entire time. >> chris didn't testify. so you've never really heard from chris as to what he said actually happened. >> at this point, chris wants to get his story out there. chris wants to explain. chris regrets not testifying. >> we're sitting in a hot room instead of in a prison interviewing your client in person. why is that? >> the department of corrections wouldn't allow an interview on camera with chris. >> this is a global tel link prepaid call from -- >> christopher mccowan.
>> hi, chris. >> hello? hey. >> let's go back to how this all started, okay? >> being a garbage man, you know, i get to go by everybody's houses and you know get to talk to them briefly. she asked me to come in the house and to look at her christmas tree. >> were you attracted to her? >> she had something with her. standing there, that close in her vicinity with her you know one thing just led to another and -- >> what do you mean, one thing led to another? >> it just like it was just a mutual thing between two people, i guess, and we started kissing. then we winded up, ended up having -- having sex. >> so how many times were you intimate with christa? >> just one time. >> you had sex with her on the thursday. >> right. >> and then she ends up dead on a friday. can you understand why people think that that's odd? that you must have killed her?
>> there's a lot of speculation on the exact timeline of when she was killed, but i didn't have nothing to do with it. >> you've told your defense that the police manipulated you. what do you mean by that? >> because they kept on switching everything up. i was so intoxicated off of all of them drugs that i really didn't know what the hell was going on. >> were you at christa's house on the night of friday, january 4th, 2002? >> no, no. >> after the juice bar, where did you go? >> we went to an after hours party. >> and what did you do after that? >> i went straight home. >> do you ever remember going to christa's house with jeremy? >> no. >> but you also named jeremy as christa's killer. >> that's what they said that i did. i didn't do that. >> so you don't remember telling the police that jeremy stabbed christa? >> no. >> the district attorney michael o'keefe made a statement
to abc news, which said, "the evidence against christopher mcccowen and only christopher mccowen for the rape and murder of christa worthington was overwhelming. the jury unanimously convicted the defendant. the supreme judicial court then exhaustively reviewed the case and upheld the conviction. >> the defense is always believing there is more evidence that suggest a new trial. >> at the trial the defense tried to suggest that jeremy frazier was very close, cozy almost, with the state police. >> the defense says that jeremy frazier got special treatment from the police. >> you see the phone numbers there on the paper?
>> on the night of the murder, jeremy frazier got a call from the state police barracks. >> now, it says that you received a phone call from someone at the state police barracks here in south yarmouth at 12:03. you see that, don't you? >> yes. >> why would somebody from the massachusetts state police be calling jeremy frazier on a friday night, when he's out partying? and, if you believe the defense, probably on his way to truro at that moment. > do you have any memory whatsoever of talking to a state police trooper -- >> no, i did not talk to no state police. >> he said, "i don't talk to the police. i didn't talk to the police." but phone records don't lie. >> much was made about this mysterious phone call to jeremy. the defense wants you to believe that jeremy frazier was some informant and that he's somehow getting a pass on a murder charge because he gives information on marijuana or drug cases? i would suggest to you reject that. >> what's interesting in looking at the telephone records of jeremy frazier, he keeps calling a 978 exchange repeatedly on january 4th. including around the time of the murder. >> see these highlighted phone calls to a beeper pager?
>> yes. >> jeremy frazier says it was actually him calling his own pager because he'd lost it and he was trying to find it. >> do you see the pager here that says 978? >> that's my pager, yes. >> you told the police that when they talked with you? >> that's my pager. >> we suspect that that is not the case. and if that's not his pager number, that certainly raises a lot of questions. >> did you ever run these numbers to find out who was carrying that pager? >> i don't believe a subpoena was done for that pager number, no. >> they didn't consider him a possible suspect. and so, his phone records, to them, weren't that relevant. >> i've asked for subpoenas to show a couple of things. to show cell phone towers to see where he was that particular evening, but also to see the identity of the person who's number that traces back to. >> this is really a last-ditch and long-shot effort by mccowen's attorney to try to find some sort of new evidence
that might get him a new trial. >> are you optimistic about your attorney's new motion for a new trial? >> i don't deserve to be in here, so yes. >> now when you were questioned by the police you told -- >> or anything because she asked me not to say anything because she didn't want people to know about her personal business. >> didn't you realize that, perhaps, they would find out that you had had sex with her? >> i didn't have nothing to hide. if they were to ask me if i had any of kind of intercourse with her, i would have told them, "yeah," but they never asked me that question. >> what do you think happened to christa? >> that's a good question, i wish i knew. >> whether or not you believe that christopher mcgowan is an innocent man or a convicted killer, the tragedy here is that ava worthington was deprived of a relationship with a mother who
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>> i think there is so much mystery that still surrounds this case. this case still has fog around it that needs to be cleared. >> we often say, cases as they get older, do not get better. memories fade and more importantly evidence disappears. >> mccowen's attorney has been told that now, this many years after the fact, jeremy fraser's phone records had been destroyed. they don't exist any more. >> that is a significant blow to this defense and this motion for a new trial. >> can you at least confirm if you knew christopher mccowen? >> i don't know anybody. >> since the trial, jeremy frazier's gotten himself in a lot of trouble. >> jeremy frazier's been charged with rape of a child with force, of course, that's gonna be of interest to mccowen's defense team -- >> i'd asked for an entry of a plea of "not guilty." >> this tells us that jeremy frazier may be a horrible
person. but it doesn't tell us that he killed christa worthington. >> in the 15 years since her death, i think about her regularly. if i were to tell christa's daughter who she was, i would say she is a person of great loyalty and intelligence and generousty and humor. >> ava's little with a bunch of curls here. >> christa was still alive. when that picture was taken. >> that little girl who was two and a half at the time is now 18. >> she's a college freshman. she was raised by one of christa's friends. she did get to see tony jackett and susan and her brothers and sisters growing up. >> she's very popular and she seems to be well adjusted. and we're very happy for that. >> she's fun. she's very affectionate.
very smart. and she's just very well-rounded, wonderful girl. amyra did a wonderful job raising her. >> it's unfortunate that christa didn't have the opportunity to watch her grow into a young, lovely woman. it will the forever be marked by the fact of her death. >> ultimately, i don't know that we will ever really know what really happened at 50 depot road that night. >> coming up on "action news," a weekend warm up across the region.
cecily tynan with details. heavy smoke and flames destroy a beloved delaware county home. that's next on "action news" tonight. ♪ ♪ ♪ put a little love in your heart.♪ ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart... ♪ in your heart. (vo) going on now, our subaru share the love event will have donated over one hundred fifteen million dollars to those in need. >> "action news," delaware valley's leading news program, with jim gardner. ♪ >> this is what it looked like just a terrible way to start the holiday season in clifton heights. flames attacked a home on the 200 block of