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Christopher C. CHURCHILL





Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Juvenile (16) - Sex with corpses
Number of victims: 5
Date of murders: February 11, 1998
Date of arrest: 6 days after
Date of birth: December 18, 1981
Victims profile: His half-brother, Jonathan Lloyd, 17, his brother's girlfriend Debra Smith, 32, and her three children, Kenny, 12, Jennifer, 7, and Corey, 5
Method of murder: Hitting with a hammer
Location: Noble, Illinois, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without parole on May 3, 1999

In February 1998, 16-year-old Chris Churchill of Noble, Ill., was arrested on charges he killed Debbie Smith, 32, her boyfriend, Jonathan Lloyd, 17, and Smith's three children, Kenny, 12, Jennifer, 7, and Corey, 5. The Friday the 13th slayings occurred in a single-story frame house on North Noble Avenue in the small Richland County village of Noble.

Churchill was sentenced to life in prison and is serving his time at Menard Correctional Center in Chester, Ill.


Christopher Churchill admitted in a videotaped statement that he killed his half-brother, his brother's girlfriend Debra Smith, and her three children to "relieve stress.'' He was 16 at the time of the murders, February, 1998.

Churchill said he played cards with the family the night of the killings, then stayed up drinking at their home in Noble, in southern Illinois. He told police he had fantasized about killing his brother and "acted out a little anger'' on the others because they teased him.

The victims were his brother, Jonathan Lloyd, 17, his brother's girlfriend, Debra Smith, 35, and Ms. Smith's three children: Jennifer, 12; Korey, 10; and Kenneth, 6.

He attacked all five with a hammer, watched some television, then had sex with the 12-year-old girl as she lay dying. He was arrested six days later.

Churchill recounted killing Korey and Kenneth first, then knocking Jennifer unconscious before attacking his brother and Debra Smith. Churchill acknowledged in a videotaped statement having sex with Jennifer before she died. Police testified that Churchill also told them that he had sex with Kenny. He also acknowledged sexually molesting the bodies of Kenny and Debra Smith.

When asked why he sexually abused the bodies, Churchill said that he "felt like being sick."

Police said Churchill told them that he had been fantasizing about killing his brother for more than a year, saying he wanted to use his sibling like a "guinea pig" on which he could release his pent-up anger.

The hammer was found behind the living room couch.

Prosecutors said blood found on a T-shirt that Churchill is believed to have worn during the killings matched Ms. Smith's.

Churchill's lawyer said someone else was responsible for the killings and that Churchill was protecting his friends in a misguided attempt at altruism.'' But as this friend never actually appeared it would seem a pretty silly argument.

Churchill faces a maximum sentence of life without parole at his sentencing, scheduled for April. And I'll update the page as soon as I find out what that sentence is.

Some quotes

"I think it's a just verdict. He's going to suffer for the rest of his life for it,'' said James Shelton, father of Ms. Smith.

"The defendant knew what he did. He wasn't ashamed of it, and he happily told police about it,'' Assistant Attorney General Allen Lolie said.

The Wacky World of Murder



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