scorecardresearch Skip to main content

Fifteen years later, Christa Worthington’s murder is focus of new series

Christa Worthington in her New York apartment in 1997. Gamma Press

The murder of Christa Worthington in January 2002 made national news and shook the seaside community of Truro to its core.

The gruesome details of how Worthington was raped and killed at her home, and how her 2-year-old daughter was found clinging to her bloodied body, left an unforgettable mark on this small Cape Cod town and the public at large.

Now, more than 15 years later, a new podcast and documentary from ABC revisits Worthington’s murder and takes a closer look at how the case was handled by authorities.

Worthington was 46 years old when she was found stabbed to death at her home in Truro on Jan. 6, 2002. Her ex-boyfriend and neighbor, Tim Arnold, told police he discovered her body while attempting to return a flashlight that he’d borrowed from her. Authorities followed leads and ran into dead ends for years until their investigation led to the 2005 arrest of Christopher McCowen, a local trash collector who was ultimately convicted of the crime.

Titled “A Killing on the Cape,” the six-part podcast series takes a deep dive into the murder investigation and explores the question of whether the right man was caught, by looking back at the list of possible suspects, the evidence that was collected at the scene, and McCowen’s attempts to get a new trial.


In the first episode of the podcast, which came out Wednesday, McCowen’s attorney, Gary Pelletier, tells ABC News correspondent Mark Remillard that he believes his client is innocent and deserves a new trial.

“I believe that they convicted the wrong person here, that the real killer is out there,” said Pelletier.

The initial episode also features interviews with Peter Manso, a longtime Truro resident and author of “Reasonable Doubt: The Fashion Writer, Cape Cod and the Trial of Chris McCowen,” and Maria Flook, the author of “Invisible Eden: A Story of Love and Murder on Cape Cod.”


Listeners will also hear the chilling recording of the 911 call that Arnold made when he discovered Worthington’s body.

ABC’s “20/20” teamed up with ABC News Radio to produce the series. In the podcast, Remillard explains how people have reacted to their reporting of the 15-year-old murder.

“People still have really strong opinions about what happened in this case. In our reporting for this story, I’ve been glared at, hung up on, we’ve had producers yelled at for asking for interviews,” Remillard said, “but we’ve also been thanked for looking at the case again.”

New episodes of the podcast will be released every Wednesday at , and the “20/20” presentation of “A Killing on the Cape” will air at 9 p.m. Nov. 24.

Emily Sweeney can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.