Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Trials of Christian Longo

The Plan

Under such desperate circumstances, most people would take a serious look at where they are, where they want to be, and then make a plan for getting there. But Christian Longo didn't think that way. His plan was more dramatic. He had a better idea. Success begets success. The family moved out of the motel and into The Landing, an upscale condominium on Yaquina Bay in Newport. 

On November 30, he negotiated the rent down to $1,200 a monthalmost exactly his monthly pay working at Starbucks inside the Fred Meyer department store in Newport. Longo told the condo manager that he was working for Qwest and he would pay the rent as soon as a check arrived. Longo described the second floor condo as a "perfect spot," a place with a kitchen and washer and dryer and fancy enough to have friends over. "It was everything we needed," Longo said.

They moved in, but Chris had no way to pay the rent that was currently due. Nor the following month's rent. Again, his life was built on lies.

Lincoln CO Sheriff's patch
Lincoln CO Sheriff's patch

On December 14 it all came crashing down. He came home from work about 11:30, fixed himself something to eat, then stood in the rain on the balcony of their apartment. According to an interview with detectives Roy Brown of the Oregon State Police and Ralph Turre of the Lincoln County sheriff's office, "We didn't have any groceries again," Longo said. "And it was just payday and we were out of money that week on Sunday. I was thinking that [my family] were in that situation too long with me," Longo said. "That,  that they deserved much better. I didn't know if I could give it to them."

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