Episode 273:

Live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland (2018)

Murderer Christian Longo


The KOIN Tower Hostage Situation


Episode 273: Live at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland (2018)

On this week’s former Fan Cult exclusive episode, Karen and Georgia cover murderer Christian Longo and the KOIN Tower hostage situation.

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Murderer Christian Longo

Murderer Christian Longo Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Andy Li on Unsplash 

Other Images:

Longo Family Portrait (via Independant.ie)

Christian Michael Longo at trail (via Murderpedia)

Michael Finkel (via Penguin Books/Christopher Anderson/Magnum Photos)

True Story Murder, Memoir and Mea Culpa (via HarperCollins Publishers)

True Story starring Jonah Hill and James Franco by Regency Enterprises (via The Wrap)


"Christian Michael Longo (born January 23, 1974) is a convicted murderer who killed his wife and three children in Oregon.

Originating from Ypsilanti Township, Michigan, he married Mary Jane Baker at age 19 and they had three children together. He and his family often encountered financial difficulties due to his reckless spending habits

The Longos were a seemingly normal, middle-class family, and resided in Waldport, Oregon. Christian Longo was employed as a manager at a local Starbucks, and Mary Jane worked part-time as a Walmart cashier. Both were Jehovah’s Witnesses and were active members of their church, having been born into the faith. By all accounts, the two were greatly consumed with raising their three young children (aged 2–4). The Longos were married in 1993; at the time of the murders the couple had been married for eight years and enjoyed sailing and jigsaw puzzles in their spare time. Mary Jane's friends later revealed to police that the couple had planned to divorce, but continue living together, in order to separate their finances due to Longo's frivolous spending habits.

On December 17, 2001, the Longos' children were marked absent from school, and Mary Jane did not show up for work, which was uncharacteristic of her. A neighbor reported seeing her 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan parked in the driveway outside the Longos' home. Her keys, purse, and cigarettes were left on the vehicle’s dashboard. The family was last seen together at church on Sunday morning, the day before. Once neighbors and friends realized that all five of the Longos were missing, a frantic search began. After the body of the Longos' four-year-old son, Zachery, was found on December 19, 2001, divers located that of his three-year-old daughter, Sadie, less than a mile offshore in the Pacific Ocean. Those of his wife, 34-year-old Mary Jane, and their two-year-old daughter Madison were found five days later. An autopsy revealed the children were killed by smothering prior to entering the water, while Mrs. Longo had been stabbed numerous times. All four victims were bound with different lengths of chain which were tied to cinderblocks. Police have stated that if Zachery’s body had not washed ashore, they would not have recovered the bodies of his sisters and mother for another 10–15 years due to the tide. By that time, Longo was wanted in connection with the murder of Mary Jane and their three children.

After he fled the United States, he was recognized at a hotel in Cancún, Mexico on December 27, 2001. The next day, in Lincoln County, Oregon, a federal arrest warrant issued in the United States District Court for the District of Oregon charged him with multiple counts of aggravated murder and unlawful flight. He left the hotel on January 7, 2002, and was captured six days later without incident in the small town of Tulum, Quintana Roo, about 80 miles south of Cancún. He was taken into U.S. custody at George Bush Intercontinental Airport on January 14, 2002.He was sentenced to death in 2003.

Years later, Longo admitted to being a narcissist in a letter he wrote to KATU-TV, a television station located in Portland, Oregon. He wrote that he eventually began "studying what a psychologist said I was and came to terms with it, almost totally agreeing that he was right... his conclusion was the narcissistic personality disorder which he called 'compensatory' – basically self-centeredness related to a damaged core sense of self."

When in Mexico, Longo used the name of Michael Finkel, the former New York Times reporter who later chronicled their experiences in his memoir True Story, which was adapted into a 2015 film starring James Franco as Longo and Jonah Hill as Finkel.

Longo is currently incarcerated on death row at Oregon State Penitentiary. Capital punishment is still legal in Oregon, but there has been a moratorium on executions since 2011..."

— Source: Christian Longo Wikipeida

The KOIN Tower Hostage Situation

The KOIN Tower Hostage Situation Notes:

Header Image Source: Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash 

Other Images:

KOIN Tower (via Wikipedia)

James Rincker (via KOIN)

Bystanders running from the tower by KOIN (via KOIN)


"PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — We cover the news on a daily basis, but on rare occasions we in the news become part of the story.

For KOIN, it happened on Jan. 4, 1996 when a gunman — 24-year-old James Rincker — took hostages in the KOIN Tower and shot 2 people, forcing employees to scramble to safety and hundreds of people to evacuate Portland’s 3rd tallest skyscraper. 

“I don’t know how many times he actually shot — fire that rifle, but I do know it jammed on him, or I wouldn’t be here today,” survivor Howard Barley said. “That’s basically what I think saved my life.”

Barley nearly lost his right leg from the AK-47 rifle blast as he made a delivery to the KOIN Center Cinemas. 

Gunman Rincker entered the KOIN Tower through the basement loading dock, fired off dozens of rounds — wounding one man — and came face-to-face with Barley at the elevators.

Barley ran.

“All I heard was ‘Bam, bam, bam,’ and like I said, I don’t know how many times,” Barley said. ” I went to plant my leg down and that’s when I went straight to the ground.

As Barley dragged himself to safety, Rincker made it to the lobby, took a hostage and fired at responding officers. 

Rincker tried to get to the upper floors and to the 2 women at a law firm who he blamed for getting him fired as a courier. Fortunately, the gunshots in the loading dock triggered a safety feature — locking the elevators down.

Rincker held several hostages at the Charles Schwab Brokerage Firm — adjacent to the lobby. He eventually released them and surrendered..."

— Source: KOIN