Lists Recaps Reviews Interviews Explainers

20/20 asks: Is Christa Worthington’s real murderer the man serving time?

Christa Worthington
Christa Worthington

This week in a two-hour special 20/20 examines the murder of Christa Worthington in a tranquil town on Cape Cod.

Jan. 6, 2002, in Truro, Massachusetts, and 46-year-old single mom and fashion writer Worthington was found dead in her cottage by the sea. She’d been stabbed to death and her two-year-old daughter was found alive next to her body.

The whole community was shocked and yet despite a large investigation and many suspects,  the case went cold. Then almost three years after the murder and in a somewhat unusual move the investigation put out a request for voluntary DNA samples from every man in the area.

Following a DNA match, Chris McCowen, a garbage man whose route included Worthington’s house, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder, rape and burglary. In 2006 he was found guilty and sentenced to three life sentences with no possibility of parole.

However, McCowen says he is innocent and although he has had one appeal and carious motions for a retrial denied, he is now hoping that some new evidence could prove he did not kill Worthington.

Speaking to ABC News 20/20 he said: “There’s a lot of speculation on the exact timeline of when she was killed.”

“I’m not guilty of anything … this is a nightmare for me.”

The documentary features interviews with McCowen, first responders and Worthington’s family and friends.

20/20 airs on Fridays at 9:01 PM on ABC.

James has worked for Monsters and Critics since it started back in 2003. He oversees the business and technical side of things. You can contact or follow him on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

Portrait of Karen Adams
Murder of Karen Adams by Robert Meyer and Charles Webber examined by On The Case With Paula Zahn