AN A-LIST FASHION WRITER LEAVES HER FAST-TRACK CAREER AND BECOMES A SINGLE MOM, BUT SHE ALSO BECOMES THE ONLY MURDER VICTIM IN 30 YEARS IN HER SERENE CAPE COD TOWN "48 HOURS MYSTERY," ON A SPECIAL NIGHT -- TONIGHT, TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT
Christa Worthington was a powerhouse in her fashion reporter career, even at the age of 26 when she landed an interview with industry icon Yves Saint Laurent. She later decided to slow down the pace of her life and settled on Cape Cod, where she happily became a single mom. So how did Worthington wind up stabbed to death in her kitchen on the all-American Cape while her two-year-old was in the house? 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Murder on the Cape" will be broadcast tonight, Tuesday, March 6 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Worthington was a Vassar graduate who covered the runways of New York, London and Paris for top fashion magazines. But some people close to Worthington at the time claim she never felt fully comfortable in that posh world. So, she eventually decided to move into a small bungalow owned by her prominent New England family in a town called Truro on Cape Cod. It was also the perfect place for her to live her dream of becoming a mother. The only problem for the beautiful Worthington was that she didn't have a husband or a boyfriend.
But Tony Jackett, a charismatic local and longtime married man and father of six, reportedly fell for Worthington not long after seeing her on her porch one day. The two eventually had a child together, Ava.
The small town gave Worthington everything she wanted: the perfect escape from the fashion world and the perfect place to raise a child. But on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2002, Worthington was found stabbed once through the chest. The knife exited her back and was driven into the kitchen floor by the killer.
Police began their investigation, but days turned into months and years. By the spring of 2005, townspeople were starting to think police would never crack the Worthington case, and townspeople were often suspecting one another since outsiders typically didn't visit the Cape in January. The police focused their investigation on the DNA found in Worthington's body from a recent sexual liaison. But even with such narrow evidence in a tiny New England town, the list of suspects was not short.
Cops had to look at Jackett, Ava's father; Jackett's son-in-law, Keith Amato, who was seen taking a few outside showers at Worthington's home; and Tim Arnold, a past lover with whom Christa reportedly had a contentious relationship; even Worthington's elderly father's girlfriend. The girlfriend had an alleged heroin problem and Worthington was insisting her father cut her off financially.
Soon the district attorney from Truro asked for a DNA sample from every man in town. Truro police were taking voluntary saliva samples outside of coffee shops and the local post office.
What seemed like a cattle call of small town proportions eventually produced a hit - and it seemed the district attorney had finally caught his killer.
Who is Worthington's killer and did he manage to hide in the open among his fellow townspeople for years? Or is he someone from the outside? But the bigger question for the prosecution is: if the DNA found inside and outside Worthington's body matched one specific suspect, what explains the DNA under Worthington's fingernails from three other donors?
48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Murder on the Cape" is produced by Josh Yager and Martin Zied. The senior producer of "Murder on the Cape" and the executive editor of 48 HOURS is Al Briganti. The executive producer is Susan Zirinsky.