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The Family Killer (Chris Coleman) - The Man That Wiped Out His Own Family

Chris Coleman - Evil and Denial 

In the realm of heinous crimes, few cases are as chilling and perplexing as that of Chris Coleman, a family killer whose actions shook a community to its core. 

An avid churchgoer, and active member of the Televangelist scene in America, as well as head of Security for one of the most famous Christians in the USA (Joyce Meyer - prophet/profit merchant extraordinaire). Chris seemed to be a normal family man, but Chris harboured evil intent behind the scenes. 

With an unquenchable sexual appetite, and a narcissistic selfish persona. Chris to this day and with his many supporters, lives in a deep denial of what he did. 

But he did do it. 

Chris Coleman appeared to lead a seemingly idyllic life. As security chief for prominent televangelist Joyce Meyer, he projected an image of faith, righteousness, and devotion to family. 

However, behind closed doors, a darker reality emerged. Coleman nurtured a secret affair with Tara Lintz (his wife’s old school friend) and began to harbour deep resentment and contempt towards his wife and two young sons. 

On May 5, 2009, in their suburban Illinois home, he ruthlessly murdered his family, ending their lives in a disturbing act of violence.

Chris Coleman's transformation from a seemingly ordinary family man into a remorseless killer raises profound questions about the nature of evil. What drives individuals to commit such heinous acts against those closest to them? In Coleman's case, a combination of deeply rooted resentment, a desire for personal freedom, and an inability to reconcile his desires with the constraints of family life culminated in an unfathomable act of violence. His actions showcased the darkest aspects of human nature, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.


Chris had been having an affair with the beautiful Tara Lintz for about six months before the murders. Promising his lover Tara that he would leave his wife, Sheri Coleman. Chris desperately wanted a fresh start. 

However; he was torn. Joyce Meyer would not have an adulterer nor a divorcee on her payroll, and Chris was earning over $100k as head of her security. The paradox was simple - divorce Sheri and leave his kids but lose his amazing, prestigious job. 

Instead, Chris elongated the affair with frequent rendezvous and crude messages, promises of divorce to Tara and abuse of Sheri. But he never had the guts to divorce his wife. Instead, he opted for making the worst choice possible. 

Annihilation of his own family. 

The Mask of Denial

One of the most unsettling aspects of the Coleman case was the veil of denial he maintained throughout his personal and professional life. Despite his escalating internal conflicts, he projected an image of devotion and piety, deceiving those around him, including his wife and colleagues. 

Coleman's denial, both self-imposed and projected onto others, allowed him to carry out his sinister plan without arousing suspicion. It is a chilling reminder of how individuals can skillfully conceal their true intentions, even in plain sight.

The investigation that followed the murder of the Coleman family unveiled a web of evidence that pointed unequivocally to Chris Coleman's guilt. Forensic analysis, electronic communications, and witness testimonies painted a damning portrait of a man consumed by his desires and willing to eliminate anyone who stood in his way. 

The Evidence

The evidence against Chris was clear and this allowed the detectives working on the case to narrow the walls around Chris Coleman. 

Initially, because of Chris’ professional relationship with controversial preacher Joyce Meyer, Chris began writing himself and Joyce death threats. These threats alluded to his relationship with Joyce and demanded that he stop working with her immediately. Given Joyce’s controversial position as a spiritual leader in the USA, the death threats were convincing. 

They went as follows: 


However, upon investigation (after the murders) it was determined that the messages were sent from an email address created using Chris Coleman’s IP address. He had been sending threats to himself. 

On the morning of the murders - May 5th 2009, Chris Coleman left his home at 5.45 a.m. Chris went to the gym, it was a gym he had not attended much over the last year. In fact, it seemed apparent that he only signed up for this specific gym to give himself an alibi. The drive was across the river in St. Louis. 

While at the gym, Chris called and texted Sheri. This is a woman that he had been avoiding and snubbing over the last six months or so. And on that morning, he was texting his wife and showing concern at her lack of response. 

At 6.56am Chris returned home. The police had already attended at this point, as Chris had called the police and a neighbour, expressing his concern over Sheri. 

At this point, the police had seen the carnage left behind. Chris’ two children and wife were strangled to death using a ligature in a slow and brutal act of murderous rage. Sheri and her two children were killed one by one. 

There were scrawlings on the walls in red paint, this was seemingly connected to the malicious “emails” sent previously.  

Chris had scratches on his arm, this was noticed at the scene, and when the police pointed this out to Chris at the time, he began hitting his arm against a gurney. 

The police took Chris in for questioning and spun him around in circles at his inconsistent stories. Chris’ father Pastor Ron Coleman would later describe this interview as a “lamb to the wolves”. 

Before charges were brought, Chris’ callous behaviour was apparent to neighbours and well-wishers. 

He threw away a memorial for the victims, cleared out all the belongings of the wife and kids’ and tried to bury Sheri as soon as he could, without informing Sheri’s own family of the arrangements, leaving them cast aside immediately. 

Police, however, had enough evidence to charge Chris. They had an AmEx card with proof of purchase of the red spray paint cans used on the wall, they had the address linked to Chris’ own laptop, and the handwriting experts could link the handwriting at the scene to Chris, including the grammatical errors being consistent with Chris’ syntax and they had the motive of his affair with Tara Lintz. Tara was a witness in the case and did the right thing by dumping him after he was found guilty. 

After all - she could have been next? 

There was enough evidence for a jury of twelve to convict Chris for each individual murder and sentence him to life in prison. Despite this, the entire Coleman family believe Chris was framed and is completely innocent. To this day, there has been no admittance of guilt from Christopher Coleman. 


The case of Chris Coleman serves as a sombre reminder of the potential for evil that resides within individuals, often concealed behind facades of normalcy. It also underscores the importance of vigilance, empathy, and open communication within families and communities. By recognising the signs of inner turmoil and emotional distress, we can intervene and potentially prevent such tragedies from unfolding. 

Coleman's story catalyzes discussions about mental health, domestic violence, and the complexities of human behaviour.

The case of Chris Coleman stands as a haunting testament to the depths of evil and denial that can lurk within seemingly ordinary individuals. His calculated act of annihilating his family and his deceptive façade remind us of the profound darkness that can reside in human hearts. As we grapple with the horrors of such crimes, it is essential to foster empathy, understanding, and vigilance within our communities, striving to prevent future tragedies and protect those vulnerable to the corrosive forces of evil and denial.

To quote the brilliant Michael W. Cuneo who wrote the thrilling book One Last Kiss (about the Coleman murders):

Sheri weighed all of ninety-five pounds when Chris battered her into submission and strangled her to death. Garett and Gavin were skinny little kids.

After murdering them all, Chris scrawled FUCK YOU in red spray paint on nine-year-old Gavin’s bedsheets. He likely would’ve scrawled something similarly lurid on eleven-year-old Garett’s sheets had he not run out of paint.

In the end, this is all that we need to know about Chris Coleman. This tells the whole story.

1. May 5, 2009: The Murder:

  - In the early morning hours, Chris Coleman brutally murdered his wife, Sheri, and their two sons, Garett and Gavin, in their suburban Illinois home.

  - The killings were executed with intense violence, using ligatures to strangle the victims. The crime scene displayed signs of struggle and resistance.

2. Discovery and Investigation:

  - Later that morning, a neighbour grew concerned when he noticed the family's garage door open for an extended period and no signs of activity.

  - The police were alerted and arrived at the scene, discovering the bodies of Sheri, Garett, and Gavin.

  - A thorough investigation was immediately launched to uncover the truth behind the tragedy.

3. Unraveling the Evidence:

  - Forensic analysis and electronic communications played a pivotal role in establishing Chris Coleman's guilt.

  An examination of the family's computer and cell phone records revealed a pattern of threatening messages sent by Chris to himself, attempting to fabricate evidence of an outsider's involvement.

  - Digital forensics further exposed his affair and the depth of his resentment towards his family, providing crucial insights into his motive.

4. Trial and Conviction:

  - In April 2011, Chris Coleman faced trial for the murders of his wife and children.

  - The prosecution presented a compelling case built on extensive evidence, including the digital trail, the complex web of lies and deceit, and the forensic analysis.

  - After a thorough examination of the evidence, the jury found Chris Coleman guilty on three counts of first-degree murder.


One Last Kiss by Michael W. Cuneo


Ex-Marine and bodyguard Chris Coleman was a family man with a secret: He wanted to leave his wife for another woman, Tara Lintz. But as head of security for the world-famous Joyce Meyer Ministries―an evangelical organization that frowns on divorce―Coleman had to make other plans. 


On May 5, 2009, Illinois police received a call from Coleman, who claimed he was unable to contact his family. When investigators arrived at his home, they found Coleman's wife and two sons strangled in bed. Across the walls, spray-painted in red, were various obscenities―the word punished among them. 


Who could have done something so sinister? As Coleman played the part of a grieving husband, forensic evidence at the crime scene told a different story. Key testimony from Lintz afforded yet more evidence of Coleman's guilt―and soon a jury would find him guilty of three counts of murder in the first degree. 


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