Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Trials of Christian Longo

This is where the trouble began.

Christian had an idea of himself, his family and his role as provider. He, too, wanted to live the ideal American dream. He needed to provide, and provide well. MaryJane looked to him, their babies looked to him, and the pressure to keep up with his ideal began to build. He wasn't going to have a poor family, living in a rundown home. He wanted a new minivan every two years for MaryJane to drive. He wanted nice clothes, good toys for the children, nice vacations, and all of those things that telegraphed "success" to the outside world. He deserved that. His family deserved that. Christian Longo was a master of justification, and he resented the lengths he had to go in order to provide what he considered to be the mere basics.

And what of MaryJane's involvement in Christian's petty crimes? All the evidence pointed to MaryJane turning a blind eye to Chris' machinations. According to later testimony, it was Chris' job to provide for his family. MaryJane was continually fed lies and half-truths about their situation. She carried on, blissfully ignorant. According to Carlton Smith of Willamette Week, she stayed home and tended the household, and her husband brought home the money, the cars, the things they needed. She asked no questions, or if she did, she asked the wrong ones, because Christian had begun his life of conning, scamming, stealing and forging checks.

Longo family photo
Longo family photo

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