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article imageDad charged in family killings

By Brandigal (Donna)     Jun 24, 2007 in Crime
What could bring a man to gun down his entire family? A Chicago man has been charged with shooting his wife and three children in their sports utility vehicle. Did he get the idea from a television show "Law and Order"?
Christopher Vaughn, 32, has been charged with eight counts of first-degree murder for the murder of his wife and 3 children.
His wife, Kimberly, 34, was shot once, and all three children, Abigayle, 12; Cassandra, 11; and Blake, 8 were shot twice on June 14.
His handgun was found at the scene and is now determined to be the murder weapon. The bodies were discovered after Christopher stopped a driver on a road near Chicago. He had been shot in the thigh.
Police arrested and charged him a few hours before their memorial service was to be held. The prosecuting office has 120 days to decide if they will seek the death penalty.
Kimberly's family was told about the charges after the memorial service.
The mother and 3 children had been buried earlier in a private ceremony to avoid the media. The service in the church was a memorial one with no caskets, instead they had posters made up of photographs of the mother and her three children playing.
Rev. Christopher James, the pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church said "Sometimes death is a friend, but not today," "We should not be here today. Our minds cannot wrap themselves around such a tragedy. What we're experiencing here is indescribable and unspeakable."
Christopher claims his family left home before 5 a.m. to go to a Springfield water park. When his wife complained of feeling sick, he pulled their SUV onto a secluded access road in Channahon Township. He claims he got out, noticed that his leg was bleeding and went for help. He told police he could not remember what happened after he was wounded and did not hear any gunshots.
Police said whoever killed the family was in the SUV at the time. Christopher had said his wife shot the children and shot him in the thigh and then killed herself.
The police also looked into a recent "Law & Order" episode that featured the fatal shootings of a family. They were checking to see if anyone in the family watched the show. The show was about a wife and children killed and the husband wounded. The husband in the show said his wife did it but in the end it turned out to be the husband that shot himself and killed his family.
The charges were laid after interviewing Christopher on three different occasions and after lab results came back of forensic evidence. Also computer files and phone records from the home were also obtained.
Vaughn will be extradited from Missouri to Illinois as soon as the paperwork is signed. He had been arrested in Missouri where they once lived and where the service was held. The murders were done in Illinois.
Kimberly had just 1 1/2 credits left toward her bachelor's degree in criminal justice but took part in the graduation march on June 9th at the at the University of Phoenix.
I hope they send this man away for life. I am sure his stay in prison will not be a picnic.
Sources found here and here.
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