Christopher Vaughn had set a plan in motion to start a new life in the Yukon with an unwitting Chicago stripper on whom he had a secret crush.
Instead, he will be starting a new life in prison, and he will be staying there until he dies.
Vaughn, 38, faces an automatic life sentence for killing his wife, 34-year-old Kimberly Vaughn, and three children—Blake, 8, Cassandra, 11, and Abigayle, 12—in June 2007.
The Oswego man will still go through what is expected to be a lengthy sentencing hearing today. Members of Kimberly Vaughn's family are scheduled to testify.
The Vaughns were making an early morning trip to a Springfield waterpark when Christopher Vaughn pulled off Interstate 55 and stopped on the frontage road outside Channahon. He exited the family sport utility vehicle under the pretense of checking a luggage rack on the roof, then gunned down his wife and children as they sat in the family's sport utility vehicle.
Vaughn stuck his pistol under his wife's chin and pulled the trigger, putting a bullet through her brain. Then, with clinical precision, he shot each of his children in turn—once in the torso and once in the head—as they sat buckled in the back seat amidst bedclothes and children's books.
Once his family was dead, Christopher Vaughn shot himself in the thigh, inflicting a minor injury.
But Christopher Vaughn told detectives—and claimed throughout his trial—that it was actually his wife who shot their children, wounded him in the leg as he fled for his life, and then turned the pistol on herself and committed suicide.
Christopher Vaughn explained to detectives that he had confessed to his wife about an extramarital dalliance and that was what led to the unhinged Kimberly Vaughn's killing spree.
Christopher Vaughn also told investigators that the medication his wife was taking for migraine headaches contributed to her becoming both homicidal and suicidal.
During his murder trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Vaughn killed his entire family so he could get a fresh, unencumbered start on life in the Canadian wilderness. He aspired to bring a stripper on whom he had dropped thousands of dollars along with him.
The jury selected for Christopher Vaughn's case sat through a month-long trial, then took only 50 minutes to return a guilty verdict.