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Horror in Knoxville update: Victims families’ speak

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By Michelle Malkin  •  May 22, 2007 08:08 AM

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Continuing to follow the Christian/Newsom murder story, local TV station VLT8 has a new video interview with the family of Chris Newsom. Watch here.

The events of January 8th, 2007 turned the lives of two families upside down…

A young couple, 21-year-old Channon Christian and 23-year-old Christopher Newsom were brutally murdered when five suspects allegedly carjacked, raped and killed them. Volunteer TV spoke with Christopher’s family on Monday who say even four and a half months later…losing their son is still no easier to deal with.

“He just really enjoyed life and that’s what hurts so bad that his life was taken away and he was way too young for that,” Mary Newsom says.

As Chris Newsom’s parents imagine what may have happened one fateful day in January…

“I sit in that chair at night and look over at that picture and I just cry… tears roll down my cheeks… I think of what they did to him… him just laying there burned,” Mary says.

They lean on each other… reading each other’s thoughts… finishing the other’s sentences…

“Both of them suffered… tremendously… they had to… in their last hours of life,” Hugh & Mary Newsom say.

As they support each other… they are also supporting a promise they both made to Chris in death.

“I would be present when any one of those animals made their appearance. I would be there to represent him and I intend to keep that promise,” Hugh says.

Channon Christian’s family also spoke out:

For the first time since their daughter’s murder, the family of Channon Christian is speaking out about their grief.

Police say 22-year-old Channon Christian and her boyfriend, Christopher Newsom, were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured, and murdered this past January.

That night the couple was having dinner and watching a movie at a friend’s apartment off Washington Pike. It is the last time they were heard from.

Channon’s father, Gary Christian, says he was the last one to speak to his daughter. She called home just after midnight, telling them she was going to be late.

“I said. ‘Alright, be careful, and I love you.’ That’s the last thing she said to me, that she loved me,” he said.

Gary and Dina Christian say life has been a living hell since that last phone call…

…The family has religiously attended every court hearing. Gary says it’s the only thing he can do now to honor his daughter’s memory.

He talked about how tense he gets when the accused killers are brought in. “That’s pure hate. That ain’t tense. I mean, they took our baby girl.”

He refers to the suspects as a pack of “wild animals.”

“It’s no different from hunting back in East Texas, sitting in a deer stand and looking at a pack of wild dogs. They just bring them in one at a time,” he says.

The Christian family says it hopes the prosecutor seeks the death penalty.

John Leo in the NYSun today covers the case, blog coverage, and the politics of news. John remembers the double standards in coverage of the awful Jesse Dirkhising case, which I also covered in 2001.

The Newsom family is requesting prayers.

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Previous:

Video: Fox covers the Christian-Newsom murders on BYA
Covering the Christian/Newsom murders
The horror in Knoxville
Race, crime, and media taboos
La Shawn Barber: Media Blackout On Christian-Newsom Murders?
Newsbusters: PC at work?
Rob at Flopping Aces: Rape, Mutilation and Murder
Winona and the Wichita massacre

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