The Brutal Murders of Christopher Newsom and Channon Christian-Truth!
Summary of eRumor:
The eRumor tells of the horrific kidnapping, torture, and murder of Christopher Newsom and his girlfriend Channon Christian from Knoxville, Tennessee. The story claims that she was forced to watch as Christian’s penis was cut off, he was set on fire, and shot several times. Then she was allegedly tortured and sexually assaulted for 4 days, chemicals put into her mouth, her breast cut off, then murdered. According to the eRumor, five people have been arrested for the crimes. The eRumor asks questions like why the media has not covered the the story more widely such as the Duke University rape case, why people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not helping the victim’s families, why the ACLU and the NAACP are not calling for an investigation, and why the FBI is not looking into it as a hate crime. Then it answers those questions by saying that it must be because the victims were white and the suspects were black.
Although some of the details of the eRumor are not confirmed, the tragic story of the murders of Christoper Newsom and Channon Christian is true.
Authorities say both were raped, tortured, and murdered after being kidnapped on the morning of January 7, 2007. Four people were convicted and sentenced for their involvement in this crime. Letalvis Cobbins was found guilty of first degree murder and rape in August 2009 and was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Lemaricus Davidson was found guilty of first degree murder and rape in October 2009. Davidson is on death row awaiting his death sentence by lethal injection to be carried out. George Thomas, after having been found guilty of first degree murder and rape in December 2009 was sentenced to life in prison without parole. In May 2010 Vanessa Coleman was found not guilty of first degree murder but was found guilty of being a facilitator in the rape and death of Channon Christian. Coleman was sentence to 53 years in prison.
According to published reports, Newsom and Christian went out for dinner on the evening of Saturday, January 6, 2007. Police say their car was hijacked and the couple was tired up and taken to the apartment of one of the suspects. There Christian was reportedly raped in Newsom’s presence then Newsom was shot and his body burned. Police have not confirmed that his penis was cut off and we have not found any credible source for that information. Police later found a fingerprint on an envelope in Christian’s abandoned car, which led them to the apartment and where they found Christian’s body in a trash can in the kitchen. She had been dismembered. Again, police have not confirmed the mutilation of her breast. Investigators say they later determined that she had been held for at least two days during which she was tortured, raped, and murdered. Newsom’s body was found by a railroad worker near some railroad tracks in East Knoxville.
The story has been covered by both local and national media but not with the intensity of something like the Duke University rape case, in which three white students were charged with raping a black stripper at a party in March, 2006. All the charges against the students were eventually dropped but the case generated a lot of visibility and controversy along racial lines.
The murders of Newsom and Christian have become better known through forwarded emails and blogs than from national media. It would be difficult, however, to argue that it is because of racial bias. The O.J. Simpson murder trial was one of the most intensively covered crimes involving a black defendant with white victims. Rich Buhler, the founder of TruthOrFiction.com, has worked in the news media for more than 40 years. He said, “There are heartbreaking and horrifying crimes all over the nation every day that you don’t hear about until, for example, you watch a true crime show or read a true crime book. Newsom and Christian were not only victims of human monsters but also became crime statistics that are, very tragically, all too common.”