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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.
Longo was a wanted man in connection with the murder of Mary Jane and their three children. After the body of his four-year-old son, Zachery, was found on December 19, 2001, divers located that of his three-year-old daughter, Sadie. Those of Mary Jane and their two-year-old daughter, Madison, were found five days later. After he fled the United States, he was recognized in Cancún on December 27, 2001, at a hotel. 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 Portland, Oregon, television station. 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."
- "Oregon Man Guilty Of Killing His Family Gets Death Sentence". The New York Times. New York City: New York Times Company. April 17, 2003. Retrieved September 13, 2018.
- Dodd, Johnny (April 17, 2015). "Murderer Depicted in Movie True Story Tells PEOPLE: 'I Don't Feel I Can Be Redeemed'". People. New York City: Meredith Corporation. Retrieved January 26, 2016.
- "FBI Agents Transport Christian Michael Longo Back to the United States" (Press release). FBI.gov. January 14, 2002. Retrieved December 22, 2011.
- Duin, Steve (May 2, 2011). "His victim's sister calls Christian Longo a 'monster' who won't let the family heal". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon: Oregonian Media Group. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
- Canzano, Anna (August 9, 2012). "Christian Longo writes about his dead family". KATU. Archived from the original on May 26, 2015. Retrieved May 26, 2015.
- Wiegand, David (June 11, 2005). "After getting fired by the New York Times for lying in print, a reporter stumbled on the story of his life". San Francisco Chronicle. San Francisco: Hearst Corporation. Retrieved April 14, 2015.