In Court With Mother Accused of Murder

Kristina Buckley in court

It’s something I’ll never understand.

How do parents kill their kids? It goes against nature.

As I watched Kristina Buckley plead not guilty yesterday in the murder of her 11-year old daughter, Cecilia, I reflected on all the family killers I have covered in my KATU career.

There was Eddie Morris — we called him Crazy Eddie. I remember driving out to the logging road in Tillamook County where Morris shot and stabbed his wife and three children, and feeling haunted by the horrific scene that had played out there.

There was Christian Longo, the shunned Jehovah’s Witness who drowned his two kids in Alsea Bay along the Oregon Coast, and strangled his wife and baby, stuffing them into a suitcase and depositing it into waters off Newport. That was early in my career. I still have the video of my breathless report, as I broke in with news of the divers searching the waters near the Embarcadero resort, and recovering the suitcase. At 24, I was shaking as I described the scene to our viewers.

What a weird business I”m in — conveying to an audience the actions of the best and worst among us. You come closer than others to people convicted of the most heinous crimes. You sit just feet away from them in a courtroom, studying their expressions. You talk with them on the phone as they sit on death row. You retrace their steps.

It’s a visceral experience, witnessing the dark side of humanity in this way.

Just another day on the job, I guess.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laurie
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 11:13:33

    I will never forget you covering Ward Weaver and being at the house when the Medical Examiners van rolled in, how you kept it together was beyond me.


    • annacanzano
      Jun 17, 2011 @ 17:02:27

      Laurie, I really didn’t keep it together at all…one of the few times I broke down and full on cried on live television. What was encouraging was the positive response from viewers who were surprised that reporters are human too…


  2. Dennis Anderson
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 13:44:50

    “Just another day on the job”? Not really. Some days stick with you forever, as you are learning.
    I guess the one that is most vivid in my mind is the day I watched a Charles Manson copycat sentenced to death FIVE TIMES IN 10 minutes. He turned his chair so his back was to the judge and jury and grinned at the spectators, showing no other emotion. His sentence, and all death sentences in California in those years, was commuted to life and I think he remains in San Quentin today.
    Anna, some things just stick with you. You are a good reporter, on the journey to being great.
    Keep up the good work. Ho`o maika`i. Keep growing. Imua.


  3. Nick Clark
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 08:36:10

    As the father of two amazing kids it is inconceivable to me how someone can kill their own offspring. Thanks for another great post.


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