Christa Gail Pike was the youngest woman ever condemned to death in the United States. She was born on March 10, 1976. She was only 18 years old when she committed the act of murder. At the age of 20, she received the death sentence by lethal injection.
Pike’s upbringing plagued with difficulties. She was exposed to substance of abuse alongside her mother before reaching her teenage. With behavioural challenges, including dual personality disorder, she dropped out of high school. She enrolled in the Job Corps program in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1994. It’s a government initiative designed to aid troubled youngsters by providing vocational training and career development. Pike encountered Tadaryl Shipp there. He was a young man and one year her junior. They both delved into the realms of the occult and devil worship.
The jealousy of Christa Gail Pike towards her fellow job corps student, Colleen Slemmer grew. She was 19 years old. Despite Slemmer’s friends denied the accusations, Pike firmly believed that Slemmer sought to “steal” her boyfriend. Consequently, Pike embarked on a vendetta and began to harass Slemmer. One day, Pike surreptitiously entered Slemmer’s dorm and saw her sleeping. The situation escalated to such an extent that some days before the murder, Slemmer called her mother and expressed her desire to return home. However, due to 2 year contract, her mother regretfully informed her that it wasn’t possible.
Subsequently, Pike, Shipp and their companion Shadolla Peterson, who were all in their late teens, devised a scheme. They decided to entice Slemmer to an abandoned steam plant in a secluded woodland area near the Campus of University of Tennessee. They chose this location for its isolated nature.
Photo of Victim Colleen Slemmer
Pike, Shipp, Peterson and Slemmer signed out of the dormitory on January 12, 1995. They all proceeded to the woods. They led Slemmer to believe that they intended to reconcile by offering her marijuana. As they arrived at the selected spot, Slemmer started feeling apprehensive. She started questioning Pike about their true intentions regarding drug use. However, Pike abruptly turned on Slemmer, beating and physically assaulting her.
Over the next 30 to 40 minutes, Slemmer endured torment, vicious beatings and slashes. Christa even carved a pentagram into Slemmer’s chest using a box cutter, while also employing a meat cleaver during the assault. At some point during this torture, Pike uttered the words, “The bitch won’t die”, followed by the chilling statement, “I want to witness her cerebral matter flow.” It was at that moment Pike lifted a sizable chunk of asphalt paving. She relentlessly bludgeoned Slemmer’s skull until brain matter spilled out. Pike then retained a piece of her victim’s skull and proudly exhibited it around the school. It resultingly ended up in their arrest within 36 hours.
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