Missed? More like ignored.
Early in the morning of Jan. 7, 2007, two young people were kidnapped after leaving a friend's apartment, tortured for days, murdered and dumped. The couple suffered untold agony, and the families have endured multiple murder trials, still with no resolution five years later. But you've probably never heard the victims' names.
The murders of Channon Christian and Christian Newsom stand in stark contrast to the killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by a neighbor of his father's fiancee.
A commentary like this barely must mention Martin or his shooter, George Zimmerman, before you can recall most of the facts: Neighborhood watch, Skittles, hoodie, 911, "suspicious."
Very few cases are identifiable by their names alone. The Christian-Newsome case is not one of those.
One morning in January
It is probably safe to say most people do not remember the details of their story unless they live in or near Knoxville, TN.
Early that January
morning, Christian and Newsom, who had only been dating a few months,
left a friend's apartment after spending most of the night out. They
were carjacked, kidnapped, tortured for days, and killed.
Three men and one
woman were convicted of raping both Christian and Newsom inside a house
just a few miles away from where they were kidnapped, and another man
was convicted as an accessory to the crime. The group is accused of
burning Newsom's body and leaving him for dead on the railroad tracks
near the house.
They allegedly raped
Christian during the course of two days, poured chemicals down her
throat and on her body to destroy DNA, wrapped her in garbage bags and
stuffed her in a trash can inside the house, where she apparently
These crimes were gruesome. But other aspects about the case also raise questions.
First, the couple's
brutal killing barely earned a mention on national news. Second, few
media outlets made mention of the racial aspect of the case.
All five of the defendants were black; the victims were white.
Some major networks
picked it up, and thanks to YouTube, it's possible to see some of those
stories. But it hardly got the lead story or break-into-a-live-broadcast
treatment that the Trayvon Martin shooting and other similar events
"We've heard from
people all over the country," said Mary Newsom, Christopher's mother. "I
guess there would have been national coverage if it hadn't been black
on white. We're constantly reminded about it. We don't mind talking
about it, but people know us wherever we go, so that keeps it fresh."
National media even had the chance at a do-over for this story.