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Best Villain 

Christopher Coleman

Prosecutors have led us to believe they'll go for the jugular in the case against Christopher Coleman. But Illinois has a moratorium on the death penalty. So as it stands, the best prosecutors can hope for is to put away Coleman and let the ghosts of his wife and two young sons haunt him for as long as he lives. Coleman is accused — and thus presumed innocent — of killing his wife, Sheri, and their boys, Gavin, nine, and Garett, eleven, in the early-morning hours of May 5. Coleman is believed to have strangled all three and scrawled obscene messages in red spray paint on his sons' beds before sallying forth for a workout at the gym, then calling police to alert them of trouble. Prosecutors say Coleman, the son of a minister, plotted the crime for months and went so far as to issue anonymous threats against his family, making it seem as if somebody was out to get them for the past year. They say he lived a double life, cavorting with an exotic dancer in Florida and promising to marry her by 2010. Court hearings to date have revealed a raft of evidence assembled against Coleman. On May 20, as he arrived at the Monroe County Courthouse to be arraigned, a large crowd assaulted the former father with cries of "murderer!" and "baby killer!" He appears to have lost miserably in the proverbial court of public opinion — which makes this year's Best Villain crown a natural fit, no?

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