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.

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