Article from the past, written by Bob Miller

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Christa Pike

Republican Governor Bill Haslam signed a bill allowing Tennessee prison officials to send death row inmates to the electric chair if the state is unable to obtain drugs used for lethal injections. The measure is sure to draw legal disputes, at great expense, given the constitutional attacks now being waged across the nation. Death by electrocution first became the method of execution in Tennessee in 1916. There were no executions in the state from 1972-78; in 1998, lethal injection became an option for the prisoner and in 2000 became the default method for crimes committed after January 1, 1999, although inmates could still opt for electrocution if the crimes occurred before the January date. Daryl Keith Holton was the first person to be electrocuted since 1960 on September 12th, 2007. The breakdown of the race for those currently on death row in Tennessee is as follows: 39 white; 32 African American; 1 Hispanic; 1 Native American; and 1 Asian. The cost per day of housing an inmate on death row is $103.74 in 2012-13. There is one female on death row- her name is Christa Pike.


Christa Pike (37) is the youngest female to be sentenced to death since the Supreme Court case in Furman. She was convicted, along with her accomplices, Tadaryl Shipp and Shadolla Peterson of the brutal murder of Colleen Slemmer (18); Pike and Peterson were 18 and Shipp 17 on the date of the murder which was January 12th, 1995. Shipp was too young to be sentenced to death and received life, Peterson testified against her co-defendants and received a probationary sentence; Pike received the Death penalty after a trial.

Testimony at the trial and various reports show that all of the defendants were students at the Job Corps, a facility for troubled youth in Knoxville, TN; the entity is now defunct. Pike apparently became convinced that Peterson was making moves on her new boyfriend Shipp and convinced him and Peterson to help lure Slemmer out to an abandoned steam woods plant formerly operated by the University of Tennessee, located deep in the woods- far from any other people. Once there, Slemmer was kicked by Pike and then slashed, stabbed and beaten for 30-40 minutes. Pike allegedly smashed her in the head multiple times with a chunk of asphalt finally killing her; a meat cleaver was used to carve a pentagram (the mark of the devil) on her chest. Pike showed the skull to students at the school, and a piece was found in her jacket pocket. During a search of Shipp’s quarters, police found a Satanic Bible and Altar- Pike and Shipp had been reading and dabbling in the area of satanic cults.

The jury deliberated a short time before finding Pike guilty. She had openly wept during the trial. One juror purportedly said she had aAngel’s face and a Devil’s Heart. She had an on-and-off appeal process at times electing not to challenge her sentence and conviction. Eventually, she did perfect an appeal and exhausted her state appeals without success. To this point, her federal appeals have been unsuccessful where she argued that the sentence of lethal injection was “a cruel and unusual punishment” because she was “a mentally ill, cognitively impaired, immature adolescent” at the time of the killing. She has been convicted of crimes while in prison. An execution date has not been established.

COMMENT 2:  Given Pike’s youth, and apparently disturbed mind at the time of the horrible murder, and the complicity and influence of her boyfriend (who did not receive the death penalty), and her level of representation at trial, the death penalty is not appropriate in this case based on the facts alone. There also needs to be more studies and research conducted in the area of satanic cults and crime in general. The issue continues to present itself in many cases across the nation, yet many unanswered questions remain. We do know that the very mention of the topic causes fear in the general public. The “Memphis 3” suffered from the allegations, and Miranda Barbour’s alleged association with satanic cults caused a worldwide stir and interest. How is it that an 18-year-old girl can slash someone 100 times, smash them in the head with cement and then carve an insignia on the chest of a person she lived with? As a tolerant society, we need to stop focusing on how severely we can punish these people; we need to find answers instead of clinging to the notion that some people are too evil to keep alive.

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  1. Verena says

    She needs to die!!!! Regardless of how mentally challenged she is she knows right from wrong.
    Just resently she attact another prisoner and cause bodily harm then bragged about it via phone conversation to mommy dearest. That alone says to me that christa pike is dangerous.

  2. Carrie says

    Kill this vile piece of shit already. This thing has been permitted to live far too long. She almost killed another inmate and caught an attempted murder charge and conviction. She mercilessly beat another inmate with a sock filled with soap and has committed several other acts of savagery against other women. She conned a former CO and another man to help break her out of prison
    She’s pure evil and will never be anything but evil and a danger to everyone.

    Colleen’s mother still awaits the release of Colleen’s skull. It is beimg held as evidence. Give that poor woman some peace. Allow her to put her daugjter to rest. Give her some closure. Allow her to move past this as much as she is able. It’s cruel to force Colleen’s mother to not be able to lay her child to rest just because the animal that murdered her is playing games. Kill that evil savage thing already! Her execution is long overdue.

  3. Billy Jack says

    She has lived over 20 years in prison. Why? All her appeals have been exhausted. Burn her now. I hope she suffers like Colleen did. Burn in hell Pike.

  4. Marlene says

    She should be put to death. The USA is spending too much money keeping alive someone who clearly is not normal. I’d ask anyone if you were the mother or father of the dead girl how you’d feel. I feel sorry for Christa that she had such disfunction in her life but lots of people do. They do not decide to brutally kill someone and keep a piece of their skull in their coat pocket as a souvenir. She doesn’t deserve to breath.

  5. Togodbe the glory says

    I am on fence about death row 99% of the time, but in this case she deserves to DIE! A horrible death, by electrocution sounds just about right. Colleen died a A horrible death and did nothing to deserve that! I don’t care about a troubled up bringing , or mental illness! The consequence Should be death by electrocution as soon as possible . so Colleen’s mother can witness her put to death! No legal injection just pump up the juice and Fry her !

    1. Jay says

      On the fence what even makes it right for a murderer to spend the rest of his life in prison why we pay for it ur retarded

  6. robert says

    christa may not understand but she wont find it very funny when she dies

  7. Jay says

    Fu*k the whole system, are u kidding me, how long is everyone gonna put up with this shit I mean look at all murders and the amount of murderers that get what 25 to life. Not only do thousands of murderers get to see life outside prison again but the family’s of the daceist pay with there own hardworking money for these murderers to live in prison its fu*king stupid, it’s retarded whatever u wanna call it but I’ll tell u what someone murders any of my family I’ll kill that fucker in the court room u can bet on that.. U take a life ur life should be tooken bottom line the ppl in the court system or whoever runs that house of fu*king idiots should be shot himself, I can’t watch another first 48 and watch a fu*king loser who thinks he’s a man and take another mans life get 25 years it’s bullshit ppl need to take a stand we need to go back to the olden days start hanging these idiots we fu*king pay out of our taxes to keep alive what a fu*king joke the United States has become ..

    1. Heidi Kahl says

      I’m Colleen’s sister and your all right. She is the devil and should be taken out the same way she took my sister’s life. Colleen was a good person who only wanted to improve her life and education. She loved all people and gave her all to anyone who asked. I know for a fact she had no love interest in the other piece of trash. She solely thought some nice kids invited her to a party and was looking forward to making friends. As far as the third piece of trash who only got 5 years probation, well she watched for over an hour of this horrific crime and said and did nothing.
      She got away with murder and went on to have kids of her own. I wonder if she will ever tell her kids about the monster she is.
      RIP my baby sister, my only sibling.

    2. Kevin says

      Your absolute right my pal just in England we have bout 40 prisoners never ever getting out costing tax payer bout ten fkn grand a week to keep chop the fkn heads off n put all that money into nhs .eye for a fkn eye that wot I say government not got a clue

  8. Brian says

    I am glad I live in a country that does not deliberately torture prisoners. I also have mixed emotions about the death penalty, but in this case it is appropriate and should be carried out. I wouldn’t want her tortured to death, but she should walk to the death chamber with full knowledge of what is to take place. Then, she needs to be deceased so the victims families and the people of TN can have closure.

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