meanwhile, back in suburbia…(the death of the vaughn family)

While Bobby Cutts, Jr. was being arrested and white America is now virtually jumping for joy at the prospect of possibly being able to have a lynching, another murder-mystery seemed to be unraveling as well.  This murder was not deemed as sensational and newsworthy by media executives because it didn’t involve 1) a pregnant mother (which incorporated controversial issues surrounding abortion and the conception of life), 2) a police officer,   or 3) an interracial couple (race is always a ratings-winner).  When examining what is currently known about the Chicago murders, you wonder why suspect Christopher Vaughn hasn’t achieved the notoriety (or infamy) that Bobby Cutts, Jr. has.

 christopher vaughn

Mr. Vaughn was arrested this weekend and charged with murdering his wife and three children in the family SUV.  The wife was shot once in the head, and the children were each shot multiple times.  Vaughn was shot in the thigh, and waved down a passerby who called police.  Even though his 9mm handgun was found on the scene, Vaughn was still given the benefit of the doubt by law enforcement and was even allowed to attend wake services for his slain family. 

During questioning, he told the police that his wife had committed the murders after he admitted to having an affair.  This, of course, was initially believed despite the fact that all appearances were that Vaughn himself had done the shooting and had administered a self-inflicted wound to give the appearance that he was a victim, not a perpetrator.

It would seem that in a situation such as this (in which the bodies are not missing and where the one person who was there owned the murder weapon found at the scene), Vaughn would’ve been immediately considered a suspect.  However, he was given the benefit of the doubt and his word was taken as truth.  Contrast this with the Bobby Cutts/Jessie Davis case in which most had already accused Cutts of murdering Davis before her body was even found.

Now, Vaughn hasn’t been convicted of murdering his family yet, so I can’t say that he’s guilty.  In my humble opinion, this case of murder was just as gruesome and sinister as any other garnering media attention, but it’s the kind of case that usually squeaks by under the radar and given very little air time by media outlets.  The mainstream media reflects what is important to the dominant demographic in this country, and the news is always presented from that perspective.  A white man charged with gunning down his family is just not newsworthy or sensational enough for most white Americans.

 the vaughn family

Vaughn (pictured above with his murdered family members) is currently in jail in Missouri awaiting extradition to Illinois where the murders occurred.

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~ by free71 on June 25, 2007.

6 Responses to “meanwhile, back in suburbia…(the death of the vaughn family)”

  1. I think race is perhaps a factor but not the only one. The attention to this case also has to do with the fact that Jessie was still missing when the story broke, and very pregnant, and so people start wondering if she can be found in time (just like the Laci Peterson case – she and her husband were both white, yet attention was enormous, so it argues for attention to these kinds of stories being less race-based). This case also attracts attention due to the fact that Jessie’s boyfriend was a cop, which adds to the scandal.

    As for that freak in Chicago, I sincerely doubt that the cops really bought his story, but it is often true that they will let a suspect go only to haul them back in several times to “talk” until they finally have the proof they need to nail that person. I also think the fact that the family was already dead when the story broke makes it less of an open-ended case for the public to get involved with, although I am sure there is going to be considerable attention to what this guy was really up to.

    I do agree though that the more coverage in the media often goes to white tragedies than black or other minority cases…

  2. Yeah, the Scott/Laci Peterson case was similar in many ways, but the race element definitely adds to the voyeuristic appeal of these types of missing persons cases; this is why the media jumped on it so hard in the first place (ratings).

  3. Sorry, but you haven’t added anything to your assertion that race is the reason it became a big case besides simply stating your opinion again. If that were so than the Laci Peterson case would not have been as popular, when actually it became a much, much bigger spectacle (remember Scott Peterson having his verdict read live on all the main news stations?).

  4. What more is there to add, Jen? If you go back and reread the initial post, you will see that race was one of three factors I listed as possible reasons why the media chose to focus so much attention on the Cutts/Davis case. Now, whether one case is more of a spectacle than the other at this point is debatable.

  5. Hi Jen, Hi free71

    You guys completely skipped the part of this story that really pisses me off. If a black man is suspected of ANYTHING he is immediately arrested and presumed to be guilty. Scott Peterson got the benefit of the (white) doubt over and over even tho everyone knew in their heart he was the obvious suspect. And there was a guy years ago in NC who did the same thing the guy in your story did, killed his entire family and stabbed himself and whined owey, I was attacked. It is so transparent. But adult white middleclass males are friggin’ off limits!!! You see it over and over. And dont get me started on Susan Smith!!!!!

    JaneK

  6. Wow! Instead of looking at the actual facts, all of you chose your sides befor every peice of eveidence was in. Guess What? Bobby Cutts… Was a cop in Canton Ohio. There it’s prolly 75% Black on the force. (I Know I live here!) I also know that Canton has had a horrible rep for at least 30 years. Because he was a cop he SHOULD have known better. Yes there are some biggets here as well on both sides. Who cares about the color of someones skin.
    “Ma’at
    A person who knows not and knows not that they know not is foolish – disregard them/ A person who knows not and knows that they know not is simple – teach them/ A person who know not and believes that they know is dangerous – avoid them/ A person who knows and knows not that they know is asleep – awaken them A person who knows and knows that they know is wise – follow them. (modern adaptation of an ancient proverb)”

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