The parents of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom, a young couple horrifically raped, tortured and murdered in Tennessee in 2007, have one message for parents: teach your kids to protect themselves, because the unthinkable can happen to anybody.
Glenn Beck has been drawing attention to the case on radio and television for the past several weeks, scolding the media that overlooked or failed to tell the whole story as either shielding themselves from the truth, or passing on a story that doesn’t fit an agenda.
On the Glenn Beck Program Tuesday night, Beck spent the entire hour with the victims’ parents, letting the family tell the story in its entirety.
“Tonight’s story is beyond horrifying,” Beck said at the start of the show. “It is proof that evil exists. But the part, also, that I think no one is showing you, is the proof that good actually exists. I believe the people we’re about to talk about are who America really is, who we are in our hearts. We are not brutal killers, but there are those brutal killers that live amongst us.”
Hugh and Mary Newsom, the parents of Christopher Newsom, and Gary and Deena Christian, the parents of Channon Christian, began by emphasizing that their children weren’t just murdered, they were tortured.
It all began when the children were carjacked in Knoxville, Tenn., in what the parents said wasn’t a bad area of town.
They described the assailants as bad people who didn’t work, had no money, did nothing but sit around and smoke and sell drugs, then rob people for money and food. They had the mentality of, “‘I don’t need to work for it; I’ll just take what you’ve got.'” The ringleaders had been in prison before, and one of the attackers’ girlfriends actually participated in the attack.
After the carjacking, though, matters quickly escalated. The couple was taken to a house. Channon was horrifically raped and, not wanting to be discovered through their DNA, the attackers poured bleach down her throat. When they were done, her parents said, the attackers attempted to snap her neck, but didn’t actually kill her. “So they hog-tied her,” Channon’s parents said, stuffing her into five garbage bags and then in a trash can.
The coroners said, though, that she never lost consciousness throughout all of this, and you could tell from the way her hands were fixed in the trash can that she was trying to get out, but couldn’t breathe.
“She died in that garbage can,” they said.
Christopher’s parents said their son was taken to a railroad track. His ankles were tied with his own belt, and a sock was shoved in his mouth. He was forced to walk there naked, except for his underwear, because the men had taken everything else (one of the men was so desperate for Chris’ shoes that he forced his own feet into them, despite them being roughly three sizes too small).
The attackers tied him to a tree, raped him, beat him and shot him three times, once in the back, neck and head.
But they weren’t done, the parents said.
“Then they wrapped him up, and set him on fire.”
The parents said they can speak all day about how horrific the deaths were, but you can’t fully comprehend it until you see the pictures. They would haunt you “for the rest of your life,” they said.
“I haven’t slept for almost seven years, because all I can think about is those pictures,” one said.
Visibly shaken, Beck comforted the family with the reminder that “vengeance belongs to the Lord, and it will be swift and severe…The Lord’s justice will be absolute.”
Gary Christian says he doesn’t want to take the Lord’s vengeance away from him, he just “wants to be the man to send them to him.”
“As a father,” he continued slowly, “you better teach your children how to protect themselves. You can call it whatever you want to call it, but there are evil people out there that will hurt your daughter. They don’t care that it’s your daughter. They will hurt her beyond your comprehension. You better choose some method to teach her to protect herself….”
“The other thing is that our justice system is a total, complete joke,” he added. “What we had to go through to get some sort of justice for our children is as bad as the crime itself. Nobody should have to go through what we went through to get five guilty verdicts, and three of them are not even close to being what is just. Veritas aequitas. Truth and justice — there is none in the courthouse. You have to fight too hard and too long to get it.”
Watch more from the heartbreaking interview, below:
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