Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Trials of Christian Longo

Bizarre Testimony

As MaryJane's grieving family looked on, Longo recounted that on December 17, he and MaryJane had an emotional, four-hour early morning discussion, in which he revealed his lies and crimes to her for the first time. Devastated, heartbroken by the deception, MaryJane had refused to communicate with him for the rest of the day.

Christian Longo in custody
Christian Longo in custody

That night, Longo testified, MaryJane picked him up from work at 11 p.m., wearing only her bathrobe. She turned away from him in the car and wouldn't speak. When they reached home, MaryJane was crying and mumbling, and then she backed up against the railing, refusing to go inside.

"That's when I started to get alarmed," Longo said. He hauled MaryJane into the apartment and she became hysterical, then fell to the floor. He ran through the condo, to find tiny Madison motionless on their bed. "I ended up grabbing her shoulders and shaking her, and she wasn't moving at all." He went back to MaryJane, picked her up and began shaking her violently against a hallway wall in an attempt to find out what had happened to Zachery and Sadie.

"She started to say, 'You did this to us. You did this. It's your fault,'" Longo testified. "It wasn't until she said, 'You killed us,' and that's when it became extremely difficult. That's when she said something about, 'They're by the house. They're in the water by the house,'" he said. "That's when I lost it."

With one hand on the lapel of her robe and the other hand around her neck, he lifted her off the floor and began squeezing, then dropped her. Then he grabbed her around the neck with both hands, lifted her off the floor and again began squeezing.

"I didn't stop until I couldn't hold her up anymore," Longo testified. Then he went to Madison and saw her chest move. During the course of a few minutes he said he watched her draw breaths periodically. He shook her again, trying to revive her, but she remained unresponsive.

"I didn't know what to do," Longo said. "Even though she was breathing I thought of her as dead at that point." He said he put his hand on her throat to cut off her air supply and squeezed until "I knew she couldn't breathe anymore." And then he detailed putting their bodies into the suitcases, carrying them down the dock and throwing them into the bay.

In closing statements, the defense pointed to the fact that the bodies of MaryJane and Madison were 12 miles from the bodies of the two older children, indicating the distinct possibility of two murderers. All the evidence against Longo, they said, was circumstantial.

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