Who were Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom?
It has been more than 10 years since the
. Many people know about the details of their deaths, but who were they in life?
Mary Newsom, the mother of 23-year-old Christopher Newsom,
, two years after her son was discovered murdered in Knox County in January 2007. "I put my arm around the body bag and told him, 'Chris, I will not say goodbye to you because I know somebody I will see you again.' That's what I believe. And that's what gets me through," she said.
Christopher had been on a date with his girlfriend, Channon Christian, on January 6, when the two were
"He just really enjoyed life and that's what hurts so bad that his life was taken away and he was way too young for that," Mary
Christopher enjoyed golf, fishing, tennis and baseball. "He was either at the golf course, or he was out fishing or he was playing tennis," Mary said. Christopher loved being with Channon. "He was so much in love with her," Hugh, Chris' father, said.
Mary said the day before the couple was killed, they played a round of golf together. "I hope he really enjoyed it that day," she said. She also said Chris had golfed the day of the murders. "He had golfed all that day and came home to change...and had a big smile on his face when he came down the stairs and we knew he had a date with her."
Chris also enjoyed baseball. “Chris grew up in the Halls community and he played baseball his entire life,"
. The Halls park holds a baseball tournament in Chris' honor every year.
Channon, 21, had been driving the night that the couple was killed. Her family eventually
. "We found it, the 4-Runner, she wasn't in it," Gary Christian, her father, said. "I didn't know at the time that she was four houses down from me." Channon's body was discovered later at a home on Chipman Street. Gary said the last thing he told her was 'I love you.'
"Everybody that knew her has got a big hole in them where she was," Gary said. Channon, like Chris, loved to play golf. "She grew up on this golf course, following her brother and her daddy and us playing, and she finally decided that she wanted to play," said Channon's mom, Deena Christian. Chris' mom said the two "spent as much time out there as they possibly could" on the course.
Channon was just as in much in love with Chris as he was with her, according to her family.
"I know Chris had fallen pretty hard, and I know she was very happy," Deena said at one point. Deena described Channon as more than a daughter: "She was my best friend." Deena said her daughter was a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul.
It took Channon's father ten years to gain a small bit of peace after her death. In 2017,
saying, "I just now got to a point in my life where I actually think about and talk about the times I had with my daughter that were good memories and visualizing the way she was."
Channon was a senior at the University of Tennessee at the time of her death and was from the Farragut community. A scholarship in her honor helps send a senior from Farragut High School to college.