||8.37" l x 5.42" w x 1.28"
In January 2002, forty-six-year-old Christa Worthington was found stabbed to death in the kitchen of her Cape Cod cottage, her curly-haired toddler clutching her body. A former Vassar girl and scion of a prominent local family, Christa had abandoned a glamorous career as a fashion writer for a simpler life on the Cape, where she had an affair with a married fisherman and had his child. After her murder, evidence pointed toward several local men who had known her.
Yet in 2005, investigators arrested Christopher McCowen, a thirty-four-year-old African-American garbage collector with an IQ of 76. The local headlines screamed, “Black Trash Hauler Ruins Beautiful White Family” and “Black Murderer Apprehended in Fashion Writer Slaying,” while the sole evidence against McCowen was a DNA match showing that he’d had sex with Worthington prior to her murder.
There were no fingerprints, no witnesses, and although the state medical examiner acknowledged there was no evidence of rape, after a five-week trial - replete with conflicting testimony and accusations of crime scene contamination - McCowen was condemned to three lifetime sentences with no parole.
Rarely has a homicide trial been refracted so clearly through the prism of those who engineered it. Bestselling author and biographer Peter Manso dug deep into the case, and the results were explosive. The Cape DA indicted the author, threatening him with fifty years in prison. In this exhaustively researched and vividly accessible book, Manso bares the anatomy of a horrific murder, a botched investigation rife with bias, and one of the most grossly unjust verdicts in modern trial history.