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|KATU 2 News - Portland, Oregon|
Longo Testifies Wife Killed Two Children
April 1, 2003 - Updated 6:38 P.M.
NEWPORT – Accused family killer Christian Longo returned to the witness stand Tuesday, and testified that his wife told him she had killed their three children, then he strangled her in a rage.
Longo gave detailed testimony of the fight that lead to the death of his wife MaryJane on December 17.
Longo said that on that day, MaryJane dropped him off at his night job at Fred Meyer. Longo said that it was unusual for her to request the car. Later that night, at 11pm, she picked him up and the pair returned to their home in Waldport.
Longo said that when the pair returned home, MaryJane did not want to go into their apartment.
While arguing, Longo said that MaryJane told him, "You've killed us all."
Inside the apartment, he noticed that Zachery and Sadie were not there, and Madison lay unresponsive on the couple's bed. Longo said he thought Madison was dead, and that his wife had killed her.
When he asked MaryJane where the other children were, he said she replied, "they're in the water, by the house."
Now enraged, Longo said he became violent with his wife. He said he grabbed her by the neck and said he didn't stop until he "couldn't hold her up any more."
After strangling his wife, Longo said he collapsed on the bedroom floor. He said that he got to a point where he got up and thought about calling the police.
"I didn't know what I was going to do at that point," Longo told the court. "I didn't hear anything else in the house."
Longo said he couldn't call police because he said he had "been violent" with his wife. He said that he did not think what he had done with his wife was fatal, and that he "thought he could fix it."
Longo said that he knew that he did call police, he would be in jail for some time. Longo eluded to his criminal history, including stealing the van the family had.
After some time, Longo said he returned to the bedroom, MaryJane still lying motionless on the floor.
That is the point when Longo said he knew she was dead, and that he would have to do something.
Longo said he took two suitcases, one for MaryJane, the other for Madison, and began the gruesome task of putting them in the bags.
After placing his wife in one bag, Longo said he prepared to do the same thing with Madison. Longo then said he dumped clothes out of Madison's dresser to take up space inside the large suitcase. During this time, Longo said he saw Madison take a breath.
Thinking she may still be alive, Longo shook his daughter in an attempt to wake her, but she was unresponsive.
"Even though she was breathing, I didn't know what I could do at that point," Longo said.
Longo then admitted to strangling his daughter, before closing the suitcase.
Earlier testimony from a former state medical examiner may strengthen Longo's case.
Dr. William Brady contradicted a report from a medical examiner who said it was unclear if Zachery and Sadie Longo were drowned, strangled, or smothered.
Dr. Brady said Zachery had foam around his mouth and nose when his body was pulled from a shallow inlet along the Oregon coast.
"Two died as a result of drowning," Brady said. "Throughout the child's airways, we found foam which is caused by physical damage when water is inhaled."
Longo has pleaded guilty in the murders of MaryJane and Madison.
But he has always maintained his innocence in the deaths of four-year-old Zachery and three-year-old Sadie. Today was the first time their deaths were explained.
The prosecution says Longo killed his whole family December 2001. He was captured partying in Mexico weeks later.