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‘I didn’t have nothing to do with it,’ says man convicted in Cape killing

Christa Worthington in her New York apartment in 1997.
Christa Worthington in her New York apartment in 1997. GAMMA PRESS

Christopher McCowen adamantly denies killing Christa Worthington.

“I didn’t have nothing to do with it,” McCowen, who was convicted of raping and murdering Worthington in her Cape Cod home in January 2002, told the ABC news program “20/20.”

In a documentary titled “A Killing on the Cape” that focused on the case Friday night, McCowen said police manipulated him during an interrogation and that he was intoxicated on drugs when they questioned him about Worthington’s death.

“I really didn’t know what the hell was going on,” said McCowen, who has been imprisoned for 11 years for Worthington’s murder.

Christopher McCowen was led out of Barnstable Superior Court in 2006.
Christopher McCowen was led out of Barnstable Superior Court in 2006. Kevin Mingora, Pool/AP/file

Worthington, a 46-year-old fashion writer, was raped and murdered in Truro more than 15 years ago, according to prosecutors. Her 2-year-old daughter was found clinging to Worthington’s bloodied body in her Truro home, and the case made national news, yielded at least two books, and inspired a movie.

McCowen, who was working as a trash collector on the Cape at the time of Worthington’s slaying, has maintained his innocence since his conviction in 2006. He never testified during the trial.

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His attorney, Gary Pelletier, had previously told ABC that his client deserves a new trial.

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

Others, including McCowen’s father and a former boss told “20/20” they did not think McCowen was capable of such violence.

In the documentary, McCowen spoke to ABC by phone.

McCowen, in the ABC interview, said that on the day before authorities believe Worthington was killed, she invited him into her home to look at her Christmas tree and they had sex.

“One thing just led to another,” he said.

When pressed on what he meant by that, McCowen said, “It was just a mutual thing between two people.”

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That was the only time the two were intimate, he said, and he denied raping and killing her. He does not deserve to be in prison, he said.

In a statement to ABC, Cape and Islands District Attorney Michael D. O’Keefe said the evidence against McCowen in the rape and murder of Worthington was overwhelming. O’Keefe added that the state’s Supreme Judicial Court exhaustively reviewed the case and upheld the conviction.

The documentary also featured audio from the 911 call of Worthington’s ex-boyfriend and neighbor, Tim Arnold, who told police he discovered her body while attempting to return a flashlight that he’d borrowed from her.

“I’m sure she’s dead,” Arnold told the dispatcher.


Emily Sweeney and Mark Shanahan of Globe staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.