NEARLY 16 YEARS AFTER A-LIST FASHION WRITER CHRISTA WORTHINGTON WAS MURDERED ON CAPE COD, THE MAN CONVICTED OF KILLING HER IS SEEKING A NEW TRIAL
"48 Hours" Investigates "Murder on the Cape"
Saturday, Nov. 18, 9:00 PM, ET/PT
Nearly 16 years after A-list fashion writer Christa Worthington was murdered in her Cape Cod home, the man convicted of killing her is seeking a new trial. 48 HOURS and Susan Spencer investigate in an updated encore of "Murder on the Cape" to be broadcast as part of a double feature, Saturday, Nov. 18 (9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
48 HOURS has been covering the case since 2002 when Worthington was found stabbed to death in her Cape Cod, Mass. home, while her 2-year-old daughter was in the house. Worthington had ditched the glamorous New York fashion world for the slower pace of Truro, Mass. There, she dreamed of being a mother.
Soon after she arrived, she met Tony Jackett, a married father of six. They fell in love, and eventually the two had a daughter, Ava. Worthington reportedly found everything she wanted on Cape Cod.
That changed on Jan. 6, 2002, when she was raped and brutally murdered. She was found 24 hours later by an ex-boyfriend returning a flashlight. Ava's bloody handprints were all around the house. She was unharmed.
Investigators started checking on suspects, including Jackett. The investigation extended to Jackett's son-in-law, who took showers outside at Worthington's home, and a past lover with whom she had a contentious relationship. By the spring of 2005, locals were beginning to believe the police would never crack the case, despite having DNA evidence. The district attorney then took the unusual step of seeking DNA samples from every man in town.
That move produced a hit. Christopher McCowen, a local trash collector, was arrested and charged with murder. He admitted having what he said was consensual sex with Worthington, but he said a friend killed her. He was convicted in 2006. He's maintained his innocence ever since.
However, the case was - and remains - far from over. The verdict in McCowen's trial was called into question over allegations over racial bias in the jury, resulting in all 12 being summoned back to court for questioning. The judge upheld the 2006 decision. Today, though, even after three denied appeals, McCowen's legal team is pushing for a new trial.
48 HOURS: "Murder on the Cape" is produced by Patti Aronofsky, Josh Yager and Martin Zeid. Linda Martin is the update producer. Greg McLaughlin, Gary Winter, Kent Harrington, Mary Alfieri, Phil Tangel and Marcus Balsam are the editors. Anthony Batson is the senior broadcast producer. Nancy Kramer is the executive story editor. Susan Zirinsky is the senior executive producer.
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