I have not been able to blog for the Final Taxi the last week because I was out of town doing work. This was roadie-type work with heavy lifting and moving speaker and equipment around.
One of the people who helped me was a nice girl called Allison. She is a student at University of Tennessee in Knoxville. We talked about all kinds of things while setting up. I told her about the ‘Taxi’ and she asked if in my reading obits if I had read about a friend of hers, Channon Christian. I had not. She asked if we could sit down and she told me a tale of horror.
First, what I am going to reveal to you is real. It took place in a southern city in United States of America. Second, if you are weak in the stomach or are shocked easily do not read anymore – I will be graphic——-
Allison had been friends with Channon Christian for a while. They had the same classes in sociology. They are linked together in Facebook and also double dated with Channon’s boyfriend Christopher and another friend. During Christmas of 2006 they had swapped out presents. They shared other friends who were of several different races.
On a Saturday night in January, 21-year-old Channon Christian, and her boyfriend, 23-year-old Hugh Christopher Newsom were on a normal date when they were carjacked in Knoxville by three thugs. For some reason their attackers were not satisfied with the Toyota 4-Runner that they commandeered at gunpoint.
They kidnapped the two students and drove them to some apartments that they rented in a shady side of Knoxville.
There the 3 kidnapper were joined by another man and a woman.
It is not known what happened next, but according to police records, Channon was raped in front of her boyfriend by the four men, vaginally, anally and orally. She was torn in several places. The woman held her face to make her watch as the men then raped Christopher. They then took a knife to his penis and shot him to death, wrapped him in bedding, soaked him in gasoline and set him on fire.
Channon was then made to perform oral sex on all men and almost chocked on the semen she was made to shallow.
Sometime during this the ends of her breasts were cut off or bitten off.
Before she died, her murderers poured a household cleaner down her throat, apparently in an effort to kill the DNA they had placed there. She was left to die, either from the bleeding caused “by the tearing,” or from asphyxiation.
Christopher’s body was found by a Knoxville railroad yard wrapped in a bed comforter while Channon’s was found in the back of the apartments, in five dark plastic bags.
Allison was in tears as she finished this story. I asked her had these animals been caught.
She said they were but only four will go to trial. Letalvis Cobbins, Vanessa Coleman, George Coleman and Lemaricus Davidson all face more than 40 charges, including first degree murder, kidnapping and rape.
Now here is the question- why the hell have we not heard about this unimaginable crime?
The news is full of Paris Hilton, Anna Nicole Smith, or the latest star of the moment in trouble. Why would the national media treat America to full-immersion coverage of the Duke rape case or a missing Natalee Holloway while burying this horrible story?
The idea floating around is that it is race. Channon and Christopher were white while the attackers were black.
To even broach the topic of inner city crime is almost a social taboo, rather like discussing the bride’s old boyfriends at a wedding reception.
“There is a discomfort level [in the national media] with stories that have black assailants and white victims,” said Michelle Malkin, a newspaper columnist and TV commentator, on her Web site. “If it doesn’t fit some sort of predetermined narrative of how we view taboo subjects like race and crime, there’s a disinclination to cover it.”
Country-music star Charlie Daniels, who lives 150 miles from Knoxville, contrasted scant coverage of the Christian-Newsom murders with the national media frenzy that erupted last year when a black woman accused three white members of the Duke University lacrosse team of raping her at a party. The white players were cleared in April after the accuser changed her story several times and no evidence corroborated a crime.
“If this [Knoxville case] had been white on black crime, Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and their ilk would have descended on Knoxville like a swarm of angry bees,” Daniels wrote on his Web site.
This was a hate crime! Why are we not burning the name of Channon Christian into the national consciousness? Is it because we are not certain that her murderers used racial slurs during the commission of their crime? Why are reporters not camped out at the Knoxville court house with “Breaking News” reports every hour?
In a TV interview, Channon’s parents believe this was a crime of opportunity and that skin color wasn’t a factor. “We’re not racial people. That’s not what my daughter was about. She loved everybody she met,” Deena Christian said. As her parents try to move forward, they cling tightly to memories of Channon, describing her as a young girl majoring in sociology and hoping to help underprivileged kids.
Allison said they had planned to help out at a homeless shelter during the summer.
Why are we ignoring this terrible crime? Next time you see Paris Hilton or Al Sharpton on your TV this week, think about Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. That is the real news that should be covered.