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List of unlawfully killed transgender people

This is a list of notable events where transgender people are known to have died at the hands of others. Worldwide, one transgender person is murdered every three days.[1]

The list does not include deaths by suicide, accident, and other causes.


Venus Xtravaganza was found strangled and stuffed under a bed in a New York hotel room in 1988. Her body was discovered by a stranger four days after her death. She was featured in the documentary Paris is Burning.


Carla Leigh Salazar was found stabbed to death in her apartment in California.[2]


Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old trans man, was raped and murdered in Falls City, Nebraska, on 31 December 1993.[3] Two men were convicted of first-degree murder in the incident, which became the subject of the Academy Award-winning film Boys Don't Cry.[3]


Marlin Hunter, a 18-year-old trans man, was murdered and left dead in front of his mother's home in Cedar Grove Shreveport, Louisiana, on 19 August 1995.[citation needed]


Rita Hester, a transgender woman, was found on the floor of her apartment in Allston, Massachusetts on 28 November 1998. She had suffered multiple stab wounds and later died at the hospital.[4]


Gwen Araujo of Newark, California (died October 2002), an American teenage trans woman, was killed by four men, two of whom she had consensual sexual actions with, who beat and strangled her after discovering she was anatomically male.[5][6][7] Two of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder,[8] but not convicted on the requested hate crime enhancements. The other two defendants pleaded guilty or no contest to voluntary manslaughter. In at least one of the trials, a trans panic defense - an extension of the gay panic defense - was employed.[8][9]


Nireah Johnson was an African American trans woman who was murdered in Indianapolis, Indiana by Paul Moore, who was initially sexually attracted to her and then discovered that she was transgender.

Shelby Tracy Tom was a Canadian transgender women working as a sex worker in North Vancouver, Canada who was murdered by Jatin Patel on May 27, 2003.[10] According to Patel, while having sex with her he noticed her surgery scars and he panicked as a result and strangled her. The prosecutor attempted to classify her death as a hate crime, but Supreme Court of British Columbia Justice Patrick Dohm ruled that the crime was not motivated by hate because he not know of her transgender identity when meeting her and thus could have not targeted her for it.[11] Patel's defense attorney used a gay panic defense as part of his defense of Patel, who pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter and was sentenced to nine years. Tom was a successful, well off, sex worker who spent her time helping the disadvantaged in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.


Larry King of Oxnard, California, was a gay or bisexual[12] 15-year-old eighth-grade student who was shot to death at his school on 12 February 2008. He wore gender variant clothes, jewelry and make-up[13] and had come out as gay at school.[13] King was bullied and teased by his fellow students due to his effeminacy and openness about being gay, having come out at ten-years-old and while in the third grade.[12] On the morning of 12 February, Lawrence was in the school’s computer lab with 24 other students. Fellow student, fourteen-year-old Brandon McInerney was witnessed repeatedly looking at King during the class. At 8:15 a.m, McInerney shot King twice in the head using a handgun.[14] King was declared brain dead the next day but kept on a ventilator to preserve his organs for donation.[13] Prosecutors charged McInerney as an adult with murder as a premeditated hate crime and gun possession.[13] The crime was reputed to be the most high-profile hate crime case of 2008. Newsweek described it as "the most prominent gay-bias crime since the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard", bringing attention to issues of gun violence as well as gender expression and sexual identity of teenagers. On 21 November 2011 McInerney pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter and use of a firearm. He will receive 21 years behind bars, with no credit given for time served prior to the trial and no credit will be given for good behavior. He will initially serve his sentence in a juvenile facility and then be transferred to prison upon turning 18.[12]

Angie Zapata was a trans woman who was murdered on 17 July 2008, in Greeley, Colorado. Her death was the first ever case involving a transgender victim to be ruled a hate crime.[15] Colorado is one of only eleven states that protect transgender victims under hate crime laws in the United States. Allen Andrade, who learned eighteen-year-old Angie was transgender after meeting her and spending several days with her, beat her to death with a fire extinguisher. In his arrest affidavit, Andrade calls Zapata "it",[16] and during his trial a tape was played of a phone conversation in which he told his girl friend "gay things need to die".[17] Andrade's attorneys used a gay panic defense, implying that Andrade suddenly "snapped" when he learned Zapata was not born biologically female. On 22 April 2009, Andrade was found guilty of first degree murder, hate crimes, and car/ID theft. He was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.[18]


Dee Dee Pierson was murdered on December 24, 2011. Kenyon Jones confessed to the murder, telling police that he had paid Pierson for sex and when he found out she was transgender, he became angry and killed her.[19][20]


Deoni Jones was stabbed in the face and killed on February 2 in Washington, DC.[21][22][23]

Coko Williams was found dead in Detroit April 4. She had been shot and her throat had been cut.[23]

Brandy Martell was shot to death on April 29 in Oakland, California.[24]


Dwayne Jones, murdered in Jamaica.

Ashley Sinclair was murdered in April.[25]

Evon Young was a trans man went missing on January 2 and was tortured and murdered by 5 men[26]


Mayang Prasetyo, murdered in Brisbane, Australia by her husband.[27]

Aniya Parker, killed in October in California.[28]

Jennifer Laude was murdered in Olongapo, Philippines, on October 11.[29]

Deshawnda Sanchez was shot and killed on December 3 in Los Angeles.[30]


Lamar "Goddess" Edwards of Indianapolis Indiana, and Louisville, Kentucky, died of a single bullet wound to the chest at Fern Valley Motel on January 9. Henry Richard Gleaves was arrested for Lamar's murder and is being held on a $500,000 bond. The Advocate has confirmed that Lamar Edwards identified as a gay man who likely participated in drag.[31]

Lamia Beard of Norfolk, Virginia was found with life-threatening gunshot wounds on the morning of January 17. She was taken to the Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where she died.[32]

Ty Underwood of Tyler, Texas was found in her car, dead from three gunshot wounds, on January 26. Her roommate feels she may have been targeted because she was a transgender woman.[33]

Yazmin Vash Payne of Van Nuys, California was found stabbed and burned to death in her apartment on January 31. The following day her boyfriend confessed to the murder and surrendered to police.[34]

Taja DeJesus was stabbed to death in San Francisco, California on February 3, 2015. She was 36 years old. The man believed to have stabbed her, James Hays 49, was found dead hanging a short distance away.[35]

Penny Proud of New Orleans, Louisiana was fatally shot multiple times on February 10.[36]

Bri Golec of Akron, Ohio was stabbed to death by her father, Kevin Golic on February 13, 2015.[37] Bri was 22 years old. According to a bandmate, Brian dropped the trans identifier about a year ago. He now identified as an androgynous pansexual man. His father called 911 after the stabbing claiming it was "the cult" that had broken in and stabbed Brain. The cult he referred to is believed to be a local trans support group. Police determined that no one had broken in. Kevin Golic is being charged with murder and felony domestic violence.[38]

Kristina Gomez Reinwald of Miami, Florida, was found dead in her apartment on February 15. She was 46 years old. The case was initially considered a suicide, but news broke on February 19 that police are now treating it as homicide.[39]

Sumaya Ysl of Toronto, Canada, was found dead on February 22. She was 26 years old.[40]

Vanessa Santillan, a 33 year old from Miami, Florida, was fatally beaten on the head and neck in an apartment in Fulham, London, England on March 28, after responding to a neighbor's phone call.[41]

Mya Hall, a twenty-seven-year-old transgender sex worker from Baltimore, Maryland, was killed by police on Monday, March 30, after taking a wrong turn in a stolen SUV and crashing into a security post on the National Security Agency's campus.[42] Police assumed that the accident was a terrorist attack and immediately opened fire on Hall and her companion, Brittany Fleming, aged twenty. Fleming survived.

See also


  1. ^ Balzer, Carsten (2009). "Every 3rd day the murder of a trans person is reported" (PDF) (3). 
  2. ^ Kellaway, Mitch. "After 25 Years, DNA Leads to Arrest in Trans Woman's Murder". The Advocate. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Chris Summers, The victims of prejudice, BBC News, 26 December 2003
  4. ^ De Jong, Lynda (19 February 1999). "Police seek information in Allston slaying". The Boston Globe. p. B5. 
  5. ^ McElroy, Steven (19 June 2006). "What's On Tonight". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 9 P.M. (Lifetime) A GIRL LIKE ME: THE GWEN ARAUJO STORY 
  6. ^ Wollaston, Sam (27 May 2005). "Body politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  7. ^ Marshall, Carolyn (13 September 2005). "2 Guilty of Murder in Death of a Transgender Teenager". The New York Times. p. 20. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Zak Szymanski (15 September 2005). "Two murder convictions in Araujo case". Bay Area Reporter. 
  9. ^ Shelley, Christopher (2 August 2008). Transpeople: repudiation, trauma, healing. University of Toronto Press. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-8020-9539-8. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b c Setoodeh, Ramin (19 July 2008). "Young, Gay and Murdered". Newsweek. Archived from the original on 22 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008. 
  13. ^ a b c d Cathcart, Rebecca (23 February 2008). "Boy’s Killing, Labeled a Hate Crime, Stuns a Town". New York Times. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  14. ^ "" remembers Lawrence "Larry" King - A Young Hero"". Miami Herald. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  15. ^ Spellman, Jim (23 April 2009). "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN (DENVER, Colorado). 
  16. ^ Whaley, Monte (31 July 2008). "Transgender victim referred to as "it"". The Denver Post (Greeley). 
  17. ^ "Trial hears 'gay things must die' tape". Logo (Greeley, Colorado: 21 April 2009. 
  18. ^ "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  19. ^ Jindasurat, Chai (20 November 2012), Transgender Day of Remembrance; Remembering Dee Dee Pearson, retrieved 29 October 2014 
  20. ^ Aegerter, Macradee (4 October 2012). "Man Sentenced in Transgender Murder Case". WDAF-TV (KANSAS CITY, Missouri). 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ a b Anderson-Minshall, Diane. "13 Transgender Americans Murdered in 2012". The Advocate. Retrieved 3 January 2015. 
  24. ^ Elmusa, Karmah. "Murder of transgender woman Brandy Martell raises concerns about hate crime". Oakland North. Retrieved 11 March 2015. 
  25. ^ Rodriguez-Jimenez, Jorge. "Florida Man Gets 30 Years in Prison for Murdering Trans Woman". The Advocate. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Brisbane trans murder: Mayang Prasetyo killed and cooked by chef husband". Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  28. ^ McCormick, Joseph Patrick. "Teenager arrested in murder of trans woman". Pink News. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  29. ^ "'I think I killed a he/she': American soldier 'confessed he murdered Filipino transgender woman after checking into a hotel and then finding out his date wasn't born female'". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  30. ^ Ryan, Kennedy; Cheng, Kimberly. "Transgender Woman Shot, Killed While Pounding on Door of South L.A. Home for Help". KTLA5. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Trans Woman of Color Lamia Beard Murdered in Norfolk". Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. 
  33. ^ "Transgender woman killed in Texas". The Washington Blade. 
  34. ^ "Boyfriend sought in stabbing death of transgender woman in Van Nuys, Calif.". LGBTQ Nation. 
  35. ^
  36. ^ "New Orleans Sees Fifth Trans Woman of Color Murdered in U.S. in 2015". 
  37. ^ "22 Year Old Ohio Trans Woman Stabbed to Death By Father". Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. 
  38. ^
  39. ^ "Death of Miami Transgender Woman Now a Homicide". 
  40. ^ "Sumaya Ysl death: Toronto police investigate death of young Somali trans woman in Canada". 
  41. ^ "London Police Search for Suspect in Murder of Trans Woman Visiting From U.S.". 
  42. ^ "Baltimore's Transgender Community Mourns One of Their Own, Slain By Police".