The (Un)solved: Christopher Case
This month’s unsolved case is a bit different than any we have ever covered before – because it technically isn’t considered a murder. Not much information is widely known about the case, so this post will be structured a bit differently as well. We’re still on the topic of witches here, so let’s take a look at a case in which a man was supposedly cursed by one. What, exactly, happened to Christopher Case in 1991? Was he actually cursed by a witch, or did he scare himself to death? Let’s explore.
Christopher Case was 35 years old in 1991, and living in Seattle. He’d moved there from Raleigh, NC, where he has worked as a radio broadcaster. By the few accounts we have, Christopher Case was a well-liked man, though he did have his quirks.
Sometime around April 11, 1991, Christopher travelled down to San Francisco for a work conference – though I was unfortunately unable to figure out what he was doing for work at the time, it was likely something in the broadcasting field. On this trip, Christopher met a woman that he seemingly got along with right from the get-go. They were both into “ancient music” – not sure what, exactly, that means – and they talked for hours. Things were going well, until the woman made sexual advances towards Christopher, and he declined.
The woman became irate with his rejection. She informed Christopher that she was going to curse him, and that she had that power because she was a witch. She told him he would be dead within one week before they parted ways. This really shook Christopher. He called many friends to vent and ask their opinions about the situation. He called his friend Sammye Soder, who was said to have been a psychic, to express his concern over the curse. She said that Christopher was a stable person who had not expressed any beliefs in witchcraft or the occult prior to this call.
On April 18th, 1991, a friend of Christopher’s back in North Carolina called the authorities in Seattle for a wellness check on Christopher, as she could not get ahold of him and feared for his safety. She told the police of the alleged curse and of Christopher’s growing paranoia and fear. When the police entered the apartment, they found a confusing scene. There were lines of salt along the base of each wall in the apartment, as well as several crucifixes and about a dozen burned-down candles. And, unfortunately, they also found Christopher Case dead in his bathtub. His cause of death would eventually be ruled to be a heart attack, leading many to colloquially claim that Christopher Case scared himself to death.
There are really only two theories to consider here: either the curse was real or it wasn’t. Let’s say it was real, and this woman can somehow manipulate force or energy or spirits or what have you. Because that is the real mystery here – who was this witch, and was the power she claimed to have real? In regards to the curse, Christopher was clearly pulling out all of the known stops – the salt, the candles, the crucifixes – to prevent the curse. It could have become a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the stress of waiting for the other shoe to fall did lead to his heart attack. One thing I have not seen is whether carbon monoxide poisoning was investigated – because there were so many candles in such a small room, it does seem like a possibility. The closest I have seen is that they were running a tox screen after his death, but I am unable to find anything regarding the results of that. So while there is no way to prove the curse was real or not, what we can prove is that he believed in it, and that gave it very real power in a non-mystical way.