The Playboy Murders on ID: How did model Christina Carlin-Kraft die?

Christina Carlin-Kraft
Former Playboy model Christina Carlin-Kraft was found strangled to death in her Philadelphia apartment in 2018 (Image via BBC)

Christina Carlin-Kraft, 36, a former Playboy model, was found strangled to death in her Philadelphia apartment in August 2018. Her body was reportedly found in a first-floor unit of the apartment at 9:15 pm. The coroner's office revealed the cause of death was homicide by "ligature strangulation."

An ensuing investigation revealed that a 30-year-old man named Jonathan Harris, who had just been released from prison, was behind Carlin-Kraft's murder and was only arrested in Pittsburgh after attempting to flee following the former model's tragic killing. He eventually admitted to committing the crime, revealing that he had left her so badly wounded that he couldn't even look at her slain body.


An upcoming episode of The Playboy Murders on ID will chronicle the beating and strangulation death of former Playboy model Christina Carlin-Kraft. The all-new episode, titled Moth to a Flame, will air on February 6, 2023, at 9 pm ET.

The official synopsis of the episode states:

"The murder of Playboy cybergirl Christina Carlin-Kraft in her Pennsylvania condo takes police on a search for her killer, from the streets of Philadelphia to a psychiatric ward; detectives rely on surveillance video to find the culprit."

Former Playboy model Christina Carlin-Kraft was engaged when she was found strangled to death


Christina Carlin-Kraft grew up in a small town in New Jersey and worked her way up to modeling for Victoria's Secret and other cosmetic businesses, along with prominent publications like Vanity Fair and Maxim. She once worked as a Playboy model and was even photographed at events with the late Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy Magazine.

In 2018, Christina was engaged to Alexander Ciccotelli, who had gifted her a condo in the upscale Ardmore neighborhood of Philadelphia. She had only been in the apartment for a little while when she called the police to report that a man named Andre Melton had spiked her drink at a bar, followed her to her home, and stole her expensive belongings.

Despite being shaken up by the burglary, Christina refused to stay at home and, on August 22, she allegedly called a Lyft taxi to get to the city in the early morning hours. Later that day, when her fiance Alex arrived at the apartment, he was unable to enter as it was dead-bolted from the inside. On top of that, Christina wasn't answering her phone.

According to reports, Alex then contacted the police out of concern. Upon entering the flat, they discovered Christina dead in a grisly crime scene with a blanket covering her bloody body. Her nose was broken and eyes blackened from all the beating and punching she suffered. An autopsy later revealed Christina had died from strangulation.

How did authorities catch Christina Carlin-Kraft's killer?


Authorities soon found CCTV footage of Christina Carlin-Kraft meeting a man outside a pizza shop in downtown Philadelphia in the early morning hours of that day. Later, the Lyft driver verified that they had returned to the victim's apartment together. CCTV from the property also showed them entering the building.

Multiple tips led them to Jonathan Harris, a man who had recently served time in prison for armed robbery. Records revealed that he even messaged a friend in the early hours of August 22, claiming that he had just met a woman and was at her house. Jonathan, a suspected drug dealer, was caught fleeing as he boarded a bus in Pittsburgh.

Following his arrest, Harris admitted to murdering Christina and told authorities that they had consensual s*x that night, drank wine, and used cocaine. He stated that when she refused to pay for the drugs, which were worth $1,200, they got into a fight. He claimed that the model hit him with a wine bottle, after which he punched her several times and only strangled her when she tried to call 911.

Jonathan Harris was found guilty of murdering former Playboy model Christina Carlin-Kraft during a 2019 trial. He was sentenced to life with an additional 22-and-a-half to 45 years of consecutive time for the other charges.

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Edited by Priya Majumdar
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