Longo Finally Speaks; Talks About Life as JW on Stand

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    F Swan posted Thu, 27 Mar 2003 16:05:00 GMT(3/27/2003)

    Post 919 of 3166
    Joined 7/26/2002

    This article was in the Salem newspaper The Statesman Journal.

    Here is the link: http://news.statesmanjournal.com/article.cfm?i=59051

    Longo tells of money problems
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    He takes the stand and describes his church upbringing.
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    BRAD CAIN
    The Associated Press
    March 27, 2003
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    NEWPORT — Christian Longo, accused of killing his wife and three young children, took the stand in his own defense Wednesday and emerged as a proud but failed entrepreneur who resorted to stealing a minivan when his family’s financial situation grew desperate.
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    Longo made it plain that money woes and the burdens of raising a family also took a toll on his marriage to MaryJane Longo.
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    “Some of the passion was gone,” Longo said. “We were complacent with each other.”
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    Defense attorney Steve Krasik proceeded slowly, questioning Longo for more than three hours about his strict upbringing as a Jehovah’s Witness, his subsequent “shunning” by the church and the beginnings of his marriage. Longo was scheduled to resume testimony on Thursday.
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    Still, the defense team hasn’t explained Longo’s assertion that he is innocent in the slayings of two of his children.
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    And much of the testimony Krasik elicited seemed to reinforce the prosecution’s image of Longo as a self-centered killer who planned the slayings for months so he could pursue a wild lifestyle without the burden of his family.
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    Longo, 29, has pleaded guilty to killing his wife, 34-year-old MaryJane and 2-year-old daughter, Madison, around Christmas 2001 and dumping their bodies into shallow waters off the Oregon Coast. He has pleaded innocent in the deaths of his two older children, 3-year-old Sadie and 4-year-old Zachery.
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    In his testimony, Longo described his family’s increasingly dire circumstances as he struggled to start up a construction-related business in Michigan and he and MaryJane racked up more than $25,000 in credit card debt.
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    After one of the family’s cars was repossessed and the other blew an engine, he decided to steal a minivan using a fake driver’s license.
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    Krasik asked Longo why he didn’t try to borrow money from his mother and father rather than resorting to stealing.
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    “It was something that wasn’t even an option,” Longo said. “Pride has always been an issue to me. I wanted to be able to go on vacations and have nice clothes. It ended up burying us financially.”
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    Longo testified that starting at age 11, he and his brother went door-to-door to share their religion with others. They were not allowed to take part in extracurricular activities, he said.
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    Longo also told jurors that he first met his wife, MaryJane, when he was 16 and felt an attraction to her. Because of his faith, however, his parents would not let him date until age 18, he said.
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    He requested permission to date MaryJane one week after his 18th birthday and was denied, he said.
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    “My parents said I was not ready to date. I chose to move out the next week,” he said.
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    The marriage was almost derailed, Longo said, when he stole $108 from a camera store where he worked to help pay for an engagement ring for MaryJane.
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    Word of the theft got back to the elders at the Jehovah’s Witnesses, but MaryJane, “chose to stick it out with me,” Longo recalled.
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    Eventually, Longo worked his way back into the good graces of church elders, he testified. He began work at a Detroit-area newspaper distributorship, and MaryJane Longo worked as a clerk at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
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    Both Longos had a problem controlling their spending, continuing to go on trips to Jamaica and Toronto even as they had racked up $25,000 in credit card debt, Longo said.
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    When Zachery, their first child, was born in February of 1997, MaryJane quit her job, Longo said.
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    Meanwhile, he was traveling more for work and it was taking a toll on their marriage, he testified.
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    Under questioning from Krasik, Longo described how he was excommunicated — or “shunned” — from the Jehovah’s Witness faith at age 26. Other church members were not allowed to talk to him, he said.
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    Krasik also asked if Longo believed people go to a “better place” when they die.
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    Longo replied: “When someone dies, they are in the common grave. They are asleep until God decides otherwise.”
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    FBI agent Daniel Clegg testified earlier in the trial that Longo confessed to the crimes during an interview as he was being brought back from Mexico, where he was captured several weeks after the slayings. Clegg said Longo said of his family: “I sent them to a better place.”
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    Earlier Wednesday, defense lawyers called two witnesses who attended a party on the first floor of The Landings condominium the same night that police believe Longo killed his family in an apartment one floor above.
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    The testimony seemed intended to counteract earlier comments from a couple who awoke that same night to loud crashing and dragging noises in the apartment below them, where the Longo family was staying.

    F simplesally posted Fri, 28 Mar 2003 19:01:00 GMT(3/28/2003)

    Post 585 of 3722
    Joined 1/30/2002

    How could you kill your very own children??? How could you do that??? It sickens me to even let my mind go there. I am not saying you could kill a spouse, but in an argument, anger, an accident, etc. But your child? How do put a little baby to death??

    M Buster posted Fri, 28 Mar 2003 19:59:00 GMT(3/28/2003)

    Post 425 of 899
    Joined 10/5/2002

    I saw a news report on this last night. I was impressed that they used the term 'disfellowshipped' in the report. Up until that report, I had only seen pictures of the murderer. But when I heard him talking, I had a small flashback or two. That prick sounded like just about any other smarmy, know-it-all, I-should-be-an-elder, and we're-better-because-we-have-the-truth asses that I walked away from so long ago.

    Did anyone else hear him say that the reason that he didn't come clean with the authorities earlier was that he was not willing to be apart from his family as much as a year while he was doing time? So he killed them, put them in suitcases and threw them in the ocean instead.

    Yup, JWs are the happiest people in the whole earth.

    M SixofNine posted Fri, 28 Mar 2003 20:14:00 GMT(3/28/2003)

    Post 4055 of 14410
    Joined 12/17/2000

    Christian Longo's logic is impecable. All the more so if he had lost hope for (hope for his own chances), but not belief in, the doctrine of eternal life in paradise on earth. Heck, he may have even had a bit of hope left for himself, odd as it may sound. After all, provided he can repent before armageddon, it is just a game of timing, right?

    Why more witnesses don't love their families enough to kill them is the real mystery.

    Nathan Natas posted Fri, 28 Mar 2003 21:28:00 GMT(3/28/2003)

    Post 2517 of 9598
    Joined 4/25/2001

    I agree, SixOfNine, with your comment that Longo's logic is impeccable. I think that he would have a chance with the jury if he wasn't such a completely unsympathetic amoral creep.

    His story falls apart as soon as you get to the part that goes, "...so I killed them all so they would have the hope of paradise, then I took off for Mexico so I could bang a german tourist gal."

    I don't know if Oregon offers the death sentence, but if it does, I hope he gets it. Then HE can sleep in HIS grave "awaiting the resurrection."

    blakky posted Tue, 29 Nov 2005 02:16:00 GMT(11/29/2005)

    Post 9 of 54
    Joined 10/21/2005

    I disagree strongly.

    To blame the JW's for the murders Longo committed is bullshit. We all know the JW's do not stand for this type of thing.

    This guy was not a JW when he killed his family. He was the an average joe from the streets who couldnt provide for his family.

    Its his fault, and no one elses

    M ozziepost posted Tue, 29 Nov 2005 09:23:00 GMT(11/29/2005)

    Post 11349 of 11623
    Joined 2/5/2001
    Why more witnesses don't love their families enough to kill them is the real mystery.

    Yeah, come on Sixer, how 'd you think that?

    F misspeaches posted Tue, 29 Nov 2005 09:52:00 GMT(11/29/2005)

    Post 1229 of 2810
    Joined 3/1/2005

    Hi Blakky

    To blame the JW's for the murders Longo committed is bullshit. We all know the JW's do not stand for this type of thing.

    I don't think anyone is apportioning the blame to the JW's. I think rather they are pointing out the irony in the way that Longo wanted to kill his family so they could get a resurrection in paradise. Additionally I think there was commenting on the circumstances relating to him growing up as a JW and if they had any influential factors in his crimes.

    M Phil posted Sun, 08 Jan 2006 23:59:00 GMT(1/8/2006)

    Post 234 of 335
    Joined 2/2/2003

    simplesally

    When a child who joins the JWs and shuns their parents, that action is very close to having your child die. I know. I would call it a milder form of murder for the parents.

    F jgnat posted Mon, 09 Jan 2006 00:21:00 GMT(1/9/2006)

    Post 8014 of 24599
    Joined 7/4/2002

    Holy thread resurrection, Phil! I don't know. There are worse things. I have a son with a chronic mental illness and drug problems. There's not a month goes by I don't grieve for him one way or another. If he is having a good month, on the prescription drugs and off the street ones, I suddenly get my child back! I kind of go all crazy, grabbing every happy moment to store in my memory banks.

    Maybe there are ways you can slide through the slights and the cancelled get-togethers to grab a few moments with the child you remember. If they'll let you.

    Bangalore posted Mon, 27 Feb 2012 09:24:00 GMT(2/27/2012)

    Post 1695 of 2734
    Joined 3/9/2009

    Bump.

    Bangalore

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