March 18th, 1950
Baby-Sitter Raped, Slain In Columbia Columbia, Mo. (AP) — Officers studied footprints and fingerprints Monday in an effort to trace the assailant who raped and strangled a 13-year-old baby-sitter. The body of brown-haired Janett Christman, a high school student, was found early Sunday in a Columbia home where she was babysitting. During the last six months, another baby-sitter was raped and a college student was the victim of an attempted rape in the same neighborhood. On the night of March 18th, 1950 around 10:30 p.m., a girl’s jarring phone call was received by an officer at the police station. The girl on the phone screamed hysterically with the words “come quick!” that the officer heard. As soon as the girl was about to disclose her identity and mention her whereabouts, the telephonic connection was cut short, and it was only the dial tone that could be heard. The call is believed to have been made by Janett Christman. Mr. and Mrs. Ed Romack found her body when they returned home. Janett was found lying on a pool of blood on a shag carpet. She was brutally murdered and also sexually assaulted. Their 3-year-old son, Gregory, whom Miss Christman was baby sitting, still lay asleep. He apparently had slept throughout the evening. Investigators found that the landline phone was off the hook and was placed nearly a few feet away from the girl. The evidence proved the girl screaming on the phone earlier was none other but Janett. She had made that call to the police station as she was attacked. Prosecuting Attorney Carl Sapp said blood was smeared through, the house, indicating the girl put up a terrific struggle. Footprints were found in a sleet- covered area near a broken window in the house. Police believe the intruder crawled through the window. The murder of Janett Christman is still unsolved. It is the basis for several "babysitter in danger" legends and stories, including the urban legend "The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs" and the "When a Stranger Calls" movies. Note: This house was originally numbered as 1015 W. Stewart Road, but due to the enduring notoriety of the unsolved Christman murder it was re-numbered to 1121 W. Stewart Rd in the mid-1970s.