List of unlawfully killed transgender people

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This is a list of transgender people who are proven to have died at the hands of others. It is claimed that around the world, 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.


Brandon Teena, a 21-year-old trans man, was raped and murdered in Falls City, Nebraska, on 31 December 1993.[2] 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.[2]


Chanelle Pickett, an African American 23-year-old trans woman, was strangled to death in November 1995 at William C Palmer's home after he realised she was transgender.[3][4] Palmer was later acquitted of murder, but served 2 years on assault and battery.[4]89


23 year old transgender sex worker Robyn Browne was found murdered in her London flat in 1997. She died of multiple stab wounds. James Hopkins was jailed for 17 years for her murder.[5]


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.[6]


Fred Martinez, Jr (15 March 1985 – 16 June 2001) Fred Martinez explained to his family that he didn’t want to have to choose between being a boy or a girl–that he wanted to be both. Fred self-identified as a gay male and commonly used the name Fred, as well as “F.C.” He also expressed a feminine aspect of himself in the way he dressed and presented himself, and sometimes wanted to be called Beyoncé, in honor of his favorite singer.

Martinez was a student at Montezuma-Cortez High School in Cortez, Colorado, when one evening, he was attacked and beaten to death by 18-year old Shaun Murphy. Murphy was at a party, visiting with friends at Cortez, Colorado, where he met Martinez, in violation of parole conditions, since Murphy had a juvenile criminal record.

Martinez' decomposed body was found 21 June, five days after his disappearance, in a desert canyon on the edge of Cortez, known as "The Pits".[7] Murphy was caught disposing of bloody clothing in Farmington, New Mexico.[8] He was held on $500,000 bail.[9]

She was featured in the documentary Two Spirits


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.[10][11][12] Two of the defendants were convicted of second-degree murder,[13] 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.[13][14]


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


Phool Chand of Lucknow, India was raped and murdered when his murderers discovered his FTM status.[15] India Times referred to him as a 'girl dressed in boys' clothes.'


Sanesha Stewart was a 25-year-old trans woman living in the Bronx, New York, who was stabbed to death on 10 February 2008.[16] An ex-convict was arrested for the murder. Police reported that he had visited her for sex and became enraged over the realization that she was not a cisgender woman.[16] Stewart's murder, initially reported by the New York Daily News as "Fooled John Stabbed Bronx Tranny", outraged transgender activists for the act as well as the reporting in the media.[17] A neighbor denied the police's assertion she was a prostitute.[16] The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) intervened to inform the Daily News that tranny is often considered pejorative and dehumanizing and that insinuating Stewart "fooled" her murderer was both defamatory and irresponsible.[18] The paper dropped both tranny and fooled in follow-up stories and changed the online version of the original report to address the concerns raised.[16]

Larry King of Oxnard, California, was a gay or bisexual[19] 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[20] and had come out as gay at school.[20] 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.[19] 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.[21] King was declared brain dead the next day but kept on a ventilator to preserve his organs for donation.[20] Prosecutors charged McInerney as an adult with murder as a premeditated hate crime and gun possession.[20] 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.[19]

Duanna Johnson, a 40-year-old African American transgender woman. In February 2008, Duanna was picked up and arrested by Memphis, Tennessee, police officers Bridges McRae and J. Swain. She was pinned down and beaten by the two men in a Memphis police jail after she refused to respond to anti-gay and anti-transgender slurs. The assault was captured on video, which aired on several regional newscasts. In an interview given to FOX 13, Duanna spoke about her experiences. “As [Officer McRae] was calling me, he said ‘hey he-she, come over here’” Johnson told FOX 13 reporters, “I knew he couldn’t be talking to me because that’s not my name.” Duanna Johnson received national media attention this past June when she went public about the brutality she suffered at the hands of two Memphis Police Officers. She became “the public face of our community’s campaign against racism, homophobia, and transphobia” according to a statement from the Mid-South Peace and Justice Center. On Monday 10 November, according to news reports, Duanna was shot “execution style” between Hollywood and Staten Avenue in Memphis, Tenn.[22]

Felicia Melton-Smyth, a 41-year-old transwoman, was stabbed to death on 26 May 2008 in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She was vacationing with a group of 20 people from Madison, Wisconsin. Francisco Javier Hoyos Reyes was arrested immediately afterwards.[23]

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.[24] 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",[25] and during his trial a tape was played of a phone conversation in which he told his girl friend "gay things need to die".[26] 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.[27]

LaTeisha Green was a trans woman who was murdered on 14 November 2008. The man who shot her, Dwight DeLee, was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime against gays. There are no laws protecting gender variant people in New York State.[28][29]


Tyli A Nana Boo Mack, a 21-year-old transgender woman, was attacked and fatally stabbed in broad daylight on the street in Washington, D.C. [30] The attack occurred on the 200 block of Q Street, NW around 2:30pm, near the offices of Transgender Health Empowerment, a transgender support group.[30] Mack was walking with an unidentified transgender woman when they were attacked.[31] Both victims were rushed to Howard University Hospital, where Mack died.[32] The Metropolitan Police Department advertised up to $25,000 in compensation for any information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Mack's murder.[33] Some problematic coverage of Mack's murder led the D.C Transgender Coalition to issue a statement regarding respect for the gender identities of trans people.[30]

"Jorge Steven" López Mercado had her throat cut after a 26-year old, who later confessed to the murder, noticed that she was trans. The murderer has since been imprisoned for hate crime.[34]

Camilla (surname unknown) was murdered by her boyfriend in Russia when he was enraged after discovering her trans status.[35]

Destiny Lauren, a 29-year-old transwoman who was a sex worker, was strangled to death in her home. A 22-year-old man was found guilty of murdering her.[36]


Victoria Carmen White, a 28-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot at an apartment in Maplewood, New Jersey, on Sunday, 11 September.[37] White went to the apartment with her killers, Alrashim Chambers and Marquise Foster, whom she had met earlier that night.[38] Investigators believe that White's killers shot her upon learning that she was transgender and are considering hate crime charges.[38] Many transgender advocates were confused and upset by the Essex County Prosecuter's Office's initial report that White was male, despite the fact that her documentation and genital configuration confirmed she was female.[39]

Monchi de Jesús Crisóstomo de León was a sex worker who was murdered in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The suspected perpetrator, a 24 year-old client, explained that he killed her in a fight that started after he realized that “she wasn’t a woman”.[40]


Ramazan Cetin, 24, was shot by her brother in a Turkey hospital in front of other patients. The murder was considered to be a transphobic hate crime. The brother confessed to the police that he killed her, because she "was engaged in transvestism" and that he "cleansed his honour".[41]

Didem, a 26 year old trans woman, was a sex worker killed in Istanbul, Turkey by a client after he discovered that she was not a cisgender female.[42]


Thapelo Makutle, a 23-year-old who was also known as 'Queen Bling', was an LGBT activist who got into an argument with men regarding her sexuality at a bar in Kuruman, South Africa. The men followed her home, broke into her apartment and killed her by slitting her throat. She was also mutilated; her genitals were cut off and put into her mouth.[43]

Victoria da Silva Costa, was a 21-year-old trans woman living in Brazil, who was murdered in what police considered to be a hate crime, as she was decapitated, with her penis and one ear being cut off.[44]

Demetrio Apaza Mayta was tortured, beaten, burned, and stabbed to death by a mob of hundreds of people in El Alto, Bolivia for no reason other than her gender identity. The police claimed that they had no leads and arrested no suspects, although the murder took place in broad daylight.[45][46]

Brandy Martell, a 37-year-old transgender woman, was fatally shot in the torso and genitals on a street corner in Oakland, California.[47][48] In 2013, health organization TransVision announced that a HRSA grant for enhancing engagement and retention in quality HIV care for transgender women of color would be named in her memory.[49]

Deoni Jones, a 23-year-old woman, who died on February 3, from a fatal stab wound at a Washington, D.C. bus stop.[50]


Dwayne Jones, murdered in Jamaica.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Balzer, Carsten (2009). Every 3rd day the murder of a trans person is reported (3). 
  2. ^ a b Chris Summers, The victims of prejudice, BBC News, 26 December 2003
  3. ^ Prasarttongosoth, Pamela. "New Jersey trans woman dies from stab wounds". The Thistle 9 (15). ISSN 1058-8507. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Lisa M. Cuklanz; Sujata Moorti, eds. (2009). "Media Coverage of the Murder of U.S. Transwomen of Color". Local violence, global media : feminist analyses of gendered representations. New York: Peter Lang. p. 80-. ISBN 9781433102769. 
  5. ^ Summers, Chris (26 December 2003). "The victims of prejudice". BBC. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  6. ^ De Jong, Lynda (19 February 1999). "Police seek information in Allston slaying". The Boston Globe. p. B5. 
  7. ^ Electra Draper (4 June 2002). "Cortez teen's killer gets 40 years". The Denver Post. p. 5B. 
  8. ^ Electra Draper (12 July 2001). "Tip led to arrest in Cortez". The Denver Post. p. B1. 
  9. ^ "Teen held on $500,000 bail". The Denver Post. 11 July 2001. p. 6B. 
  10. ^ 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" 
  11. ^ Wollaston, Sam (27 May 2005). "Body politics". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 July 2010. 
  12. ^ 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. 
  13. ^ a b Zak Szymanski (15 September 2005). "Two murder convictions in Araujo case". Bay Area Reporter. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ "Murder victim turns out to be a girl". India Times (Lucknow). TNN. 14 March 2005. 
  16. ^ a b c d Paddock, Barry; Jess Wisloski, Tina Moore (11 February 2008). "Slain transgendered neighbor 'a friend of whole building,' Bronx man says". New York Daily News. Retrieved 21 November 2008. 
  17. ^ Andrews, Erline (21 February 2008). "Trans Bias in Bronx Murder: Slain woman became a victim of ‘sensational and disrespectful’ media coverage.". New York Blade. Retrieved 21 November 2008. [dead link]
  18. ^ Creager, Cindi (11 February 2008). "GLAAD Action Prompts New York Daily News To Change Defamatory headline, Problematic Story About Transgender Woman's Murder". GLADD. Retrieved 21 November 2008. [dead link]
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ 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. 
  21. ^ "" remembers Lawrence "Larry" King - A Young Hero"". Miami Herald. 19 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  22. ^ Brown, Robbie (18 November 2008). "Memphis Killing Revives Anger at Assault by Police". The New York Times. p. A15. Retrieved 2 November 2010. 
  23. ^ Smith, Megan (30 May 2008). "US gay rights activist stabbed to death in Vallarta". Guadalajara Reporter. 
  24. ^ Spellman, Jim (23 April 2009). "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN (DENVER, Colorado). 
  25. ^ Whaley, Monte (31 July 2008). "Transgender victim referred to as "it"". The Denver Post (Greeley). 
  26. ^ "Trial hears 'gay things must die' tape". Logo (Greeley, Colorado: 21 April 2009. 
  27. ^ "Transgender murder, hate crime conviction a first". CNN. 23 April 2009. Retrieved 11 May 2010. 
  28. ^ Mariani, John (11 July 2009). "Friends, family honor murder victim LaTeisha Green". Post Standard. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  29. ^ O'Hara, Jim (18 July 2009). "Dwight DeLee convicted of manslaughter as hate crime in LaTeisha Green". Post-Standard. Retrieved 14 March 2010. 
  30. ^ a b c GLAAD (28 August 2009). "Two Transgender Women Stabbed in Broad Daylight, One Dead". GLAAD. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  31. ^ Duggan, Paul (28 August 2009). "Stabbings Probed as Possible Hate Crime". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  32. ^ Chavez, Roby (28 August 2009). "Q Street Double Stabbing Leaves 1 Dead". My Fox DC. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  33. ^ "$25K Reward Offered in Q. Street Stabbing". My Fox DC. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2011. 
  34. ^ "List of names of 197 reported murdered trans persons in 2009". Trans Respect Versus Transphobia. Retrieved 3 April 2012. 
  35. ^ Stewart, Will. "Furious man shoots dead girlfriend after discovering she had once been a man". Daily Mail. 
  36. ^ "Man guilty of killing trans woman Destiny Lauren". Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  37. ^ Mann, Mary (12 September 2010). "Updated: Homicide on Jacoby Street". Maplewood Patch. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  38. ^ a b "Second Arrest in Murder of Transgender Victim Victoria Carmen White". On Top Magazine. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  39. ^ Spaulding, Pam (3 October 2010). "NJ: Murder of Trans Woman Victoria Carmen White - Beloved by Many, Disrespected by Law Enforcement". Pam's House Blend. Retrieved 28 February 2011. 
  40. ^ "1 List of 93 reported murdered trans personsfrom January to June 2010 (in chronological order". TGEU. 
  41. ^ "List of 221 reported murdered trans persons from November 20 th 2010 to November 14 th 2011 (in chronological order)". 
  42. ^ "Transgender Woman Murdered in Istanbul". 
  43. ^ Conway-Smith, Erin. "Thapelo Makutle, gay man killed in South Africa, 'severely mutilated'". Global Post. 
  44. ^ Luciano Moura (2012-09-18). "Travesti é brutalmente morta em Votuporanga" [Transvestite is brutally killed in Votuporanga]. Rede Bom Dia (in Portuguese). 
  45. ^ "Witness Human Rights: Bolivian transgender woman attacked, tortured and killed by large mob". Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  46. ^ "Erbol Digital". 2012-11-08. Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. Retrieved 2013-03-15. 
  47. ^ "Transgender woman shot to death in Oakland". Cox Media Group. 3 May 2012. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  48. ^ Pinto, Vanessa L (21 August 2012). "Brandy Martell's Unsolved Murder Continues to Ignite the Fight for Trans Justice". SF Weekly. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  49. ^ Owen, Elliot (10 January 2012). "Grant Named For Brandy Martell To Help Trans Women". The Bay Area Reporter. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  50. ^ Chibbaro, Lou (2012-02-04). "Police identify trans woman fatally stabbed at D.C. bus stop". Washington Blade. Retrieved 2013-11-09.