Archive for the ‘murder’ tag
The story is here. Trans panic isn’t what saved the killer this time, but the successful defense was based on assassinating Kellie’s character, painting her as some kind of sexual deviant who got off on life-threatening sex games, and this was just one such game gone wrong.
Kellie Telesford worked as a florist and a beautician
A teenager has been cleared of killing a transsexual woman found strangled in her south London home.
Shanniel Hyatt, 18, denied that he killed Kellie Telesford in a rage after discovering she was a pre-operative transgender female who was born a man.
Her body was found after they engaged in sexual activity at her Thornton Heath flat, the Old Bailey heard.
Mr Hyatt, from Norbury, south London, was found not guilty of murder and an alternative count of manslaughter.
The teenager, a father-of-one whose girlfriend was away at the time of the incident, admitted meeting Ms Telesford for a date and going back to her flat.
He was filmed on CCTV leaving Ms Telesford’s home in the early hours of 18 November last year, using her Oyster travel card to board a bus.
Ms Telesford, who worked as a florist and beautician, was found dead at the flat three days later. She had been strangled with a scarf.
Prosecutor Sally O’Neill told the court that Mr Hyatt stole Ms Telesford’s mobile phone and electronic equipment as well as her Oyster card.
The worst part:
Defending, Joanna Greenberg said Mr Hyatt was a “cheap and nasty thief” but that Ms Telesford was “fit and well” when he left her flat.
She suggested that Ms Telesford may have died during a consensual sex game which went wrong, or that she may have inflicted her fatal injuries herself.
Mr Hyatt said he only realised Ms Telesford was born a man shortly before police interviewed him.
Ms Greenberg said there were no signs that Ms Telesford fought Mr Hyatt, even though she had “a man’s strength”.
Mr Hyatt was remanded in custody on separate immigration matters.
“Ms Telesford may have died during a consensual sex game which went wrong, or that she may have inflicted her fatal injuries herself.” . As Helen G points out (having more information than I do about the trial),
ETA: I can’t figure out where this leaves us with regards to knowing how Kellie Telesford died.
Earlier in the trial, the defence barrister wanted us to believe that Kellie died while playing “kinky sex games” – so, what now? – on her own, after Hyatt had left, taking with him her cellphone and travelcard?
And did she strangle herself before or after she covered her body in the white blanket? – Remember that “the scarf was tied so tightly around her neck [the paramedics] could only get the tips of their fingers inside“…
And what of the “potentially partial DNA evidence” on the scarf that may have come from three or even four people?
Later edit: The more I think about this, the more I…
I mean, they even had the guy on CCTV, leaving her flat, using her Oystercard – and he’s not even guilty of identity theft?
Perhaps we should remember that “Mr Hyatt was remanded in custody on separate immigration matters“. Oh right, yes. That’ll help…
Three days Kellie Telesford lay dead on the floor of her flat.
Three frickin days...
…If you call that ‘justice’…
So, this guy is seen leaving Kellie’s flat, steals her Oystercard, steals other items belonging to her. He is the last person to see her alive, but he goes free because his defense successfully introduced the victim-blaming “she probably died during a sex game gone wrong,” and insisted that Kellie was into kinky sex games. She also suggested that since Kellie was born male, she “had a man’s strength,” even though years on estrogen does affect muscle mass.
So, I realize this is another variation on the “It was her fault” victim-blaming lie. “If she hadn’t worn those clothes, she wouldn’t have been raped,” or “if she hadn’t lied about her genitalia, he wouldn’t have killed her.” Or, “if she hadn’t been playing those immoral kinky sex games, they wouldn’t have killed her.”
I can’t help but think that this has something to do with the idea that trans women are sexually obsessed fetishists, that just being who we are is enough to claim we’re interested in dangerous sex games.
Edit: The petition has 3000 signatures. Thank you to anyone who followed the links from here and signed.
From Sylvia at Problem Chylde:
As of this moment, this petition is only 55 signatures away from its goal of 3,000 signatures. Its purpose: asking Congress to launch a full investigation into the mysterious death of Pfc. LaVena Johnson, a 19-year-old Missouri native. For a little over three years, the family of LaVena Johnson has not received answers regarding the circumstances surrounding her death. Danielle at Modern Musings has more information; please digg, stumble, link on del.icio.us, and propagate her post and this petition as far and wide as possible.
Both Branches of the United States Congress and President G.W. Bush
In July 2005, Ms. Johnson was found dead in a military army base in Iraq. The military ruled her death as a suicide. There was evidence found on her body however of a physical struggle consisting of two loose front teeth and a bruised lip which had to be corrected at the funeral home.
Despite her father, Dr. John Johnson’s inquires into her body’s physical condition, the army responded that the case was closed.
More evidence that did not support the military’s ruling of Ms. Johnson’s death was a suicide was revealed by a local Missouri news network. Ms. Johnson’s mental state was quite stable according to reports before her death, there was a trail of blood leading to the barracks where her body was found as well as evidence that a perpetrator attempted to set her body on fire.
Despite years of Mr. John Johnson’s dedicated efforts to have the army reopen the case, they continue to refuse.
Philip Barron, an independent activist, dedicated his effort toward military justice and full disclosure with the website http://www.lavenajohnson.com/ and also started a petition that has recently expired which targeted the Armed Services Committees of the Senate and the House.
There is a renewed interest surrounding the call for justice for LaVena Johnson with more and more people becoming educated of the facts.
Let us utilize this renewed interest and demand our Congress to call for investigations, and full disclosure of the events surrounding the death of such a beautiful soul.
Also see the resources and information provided by Color of Change concerning the ongoing denial from the armed forces to investigate LaVena Johnson’s murder.
I know I’m late on this, but still: Get those 55 signatures out there. Make noise, get the investigation started – this is not acceptable.
If you decide to post about this, link to Sylvia’s or Danielle’s posts, not mine.
Elly of Red is Undead posted this and I repost the call to action here:
Portugal, Transphobia kills again: international call for action!
Two years after the brutal murder of Gisberta, in Oporto, another transsexual woman was murdered and her body placed in a rubble dumpster in the Lisbon area last month.
Other crimes followed, shocking the country. However, the surge of violence cannot hide neither the victims nor the nature of these crimes. This is the case of Luna, 42, partially deaf, of Brazilian origin, for many years resident and worker in Portugal, prostitute at Conde de Redondo area (in Lisbon).
Two years after Gisberta, transsexual people are still targets for hatred and violence based on prejudice and ignorance. The crime is under investigation and under justice secret, so we know very few about its circumstances or about its motivation; we hope the investigation undertaken by the Police can provide answers.
Nevertheless, we know that transphobia kills and that trans people are more prone to suffer violence than the majority. We know prostitution is often a job for those who have no other way of earning a living, and that it is hard to have a gender different from the one your body suggests. We know prejudice and discrimination are pervasive, that ignorance feeds hatred and generates violence. We know the State, society, all of us, have responsibilities towards the deadly victims, and mainly towards all those other people in whose life the fight for survival coexists with fear and the risks that cause it.
Luna was born a woman although her body suggested otherwise; her body, masculine, didn’t fit her identity. She was being followed at Hospital de Santa Maria by the multidisciplinary team in charge of helping trans people change their bodies; she had projects, wishes and frustrations just like anyone else. She was dear to some people and maybe wished to go back to Brazil, where her family lives. Luna was a woman who fought against many obstacles and, according to newspapers, died victim of great violence, possibly fed by hatred, prejudice and ignorance. Her body was left in a dumpster, hidden by rubble and dust, as if it was garbage, as if her life had not been worth living.
Like all potential victims, trans people need forms of protection that guarantee equality of opportunities and the possibility of a dignified life. They need, like everyone else, of being able to exercise their rights to the development of personality and to self determination – of being able to freely choose their name; they don’t need (nobody does!) identification documents that insist on the use of criteria so voided of real content such as “sex” (even if disguised only as “name” and “justify”, e.g., placing a trans woman in a detention cell with men. Trans people need being seen as people with rights and duties, no more and no less than all other people. Trans people in Portugal need the pedagogy of visibility, way beyond the prostitution or night shows circles. And Portugal needs to see these people without prejudice and fear.
Gender identity is subject the State should have already legislated about; this delay aggravates many trans people’s living (or survival) conditions. When will the legal amendments that allow the actual exercise of civil rights by transsexual and transgendered people come? When will we have legislation that overcomes many politicians’’ retrograding and conservatism and stops to impose petty restrictions? When will we have legislation that stops feeding the daily psychological violence against these people? When will we have legislation that clearly considers that transphobia constitutes aggravating grounds for discrimination, harassment and violence? When will we have a serious commitment towards stopping cases like those of Gisberta and Luna, murdered out of transphobic hatred? When will police forces be provided with more human resources and more and better civic and technical training? When will cooperative approaches substitute the aggressive attitudes lingering among members of the various police forces?
Panteras Rosa – Frente de combate à GayLesBiTransfobia (Pink Panthers – Combat front against GayLesBiTransphobia) reaffirm their commitment towards fighting against transphobia in all of its forms and pay tribute to Luna, prostitute in our city, woman just because!
Lisbon, March 13 2008
Proposal for International Action: on the 24th, 25th or 26th March
That vigils are held, with candles, in special memory of Luna and all of the trans people victim of transphobia.
To be developed by numerous small and big groups in the most (small to big) cities possible.
With banners, just in front of Portuguese embassies or consulates in the cities where they may exist or, for other cities, in squares in front of European ministries, in front of psychiatric hospitals or whichever places contribute to transphobia.
We suggest the following phrases:
Luna trans 42 years old Brazilian, prostitute murdered in Lisbon.
Statistically, how many times more is a trans person in risk of being victim of violence compared to you? And murdered?
According to the context of each country we suggest the phrase:
Stop transphobic laws. How much longer for a law against transphobia?
Or for countries that still haven’t turned transphobia into law:
How much longer for a law against transphobia?
This case is not Portugal specific, it is international and the fight efforts should be done together.
(In practical terms, it should be simpler to organize small groups in different places instead of asking people to mobilize to the Portuguese embassies that are concentrated on the capital cities)
We ask you to publicize this action, to participate in big numbers and to forward testimonials, photos, articles, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org
The media strengthen transphobia
After the recent murder of one more transexual woman, Luna, occurred in the area of Lisbon, the media focus on the physical aspect of the victims in the most sensationalist manner – thus making it more important than the murder itself. A few words about the murder follow, as if this is was a clear and natural explanation of the cause of such murder – lingering in the detaileded description of the unusual physical aspect of the victim. At the hands of the media the most important becomes the victim’s unusual body, placing the murder on the background.
Speaking – depending on the attempt (or not) not to seem transphobic – of a transsexual with a man’s body (a pruddish way to say “with penis”, of a man dressed in women’s clothes, or of a transvestite with breasts. Some even speak of homophobia.
The picture emerging of such articles is that the victim is a monstrosity displayed to feed the public curiosity, without any respect neither for her gender nor for the intimacy of her body, and giving the impression that it is almost (or even absolutely) normal that these people be murdered.
The other image conveyed in this way is that being trans is wanting to mislead “the world” by using a disguise particularly well arranged to give a misleading appearance of men and women… And if they deceive the world is of course natural that the deceived people react.
This kind of speech from the media is, unfortunately, far from applying only to murder — it is used in almost all broadcasts, articles, and interviews on trans subjects.
The Portuguese media, with no exception, satisfy also with the description of the trans person’s precarity situation – wether it is on prostitution, drugs, having HIV, no papers, no house – as if these lives were a choice of the victims, describing them hiding that it is transphobia that generates this precarity, and presenting as scandalous not only the “choice” of being trans, but also the choice of the life style, turning the victims into immoral and chocking persons and continuing in this way to promote transphobia, the precarity of the trans lives, and the fact that they are among the persons most likely to suffer agression. The presence of the trans person in the Mental Diseases List, to frequently legitimates the media, when they concede expression to the trans, to credit or discredit it trough persons of the medical corps, reinforcing the idea that the word of a trans has no value for itself.
23rd November 2007 13:45
Steve LengA forty-year-old trans woman has been found dead at her home in south-east London, according to reports.
Kayiode Dexter Telesford, who had been living for several years under the name of Kellie Telesford, died of strangulation at her home on Leander Road in Thornton Heath.
The police are treating the death as suspicious, and have asked anyone who saw Telesford between the 15th and 21st of November to contact them immediately.
One neighbour told thisislocallondon.co.uk “There’s been a lot of police activity round here. I can’t believe something like that has happened.
“I heard the police breaking in through the door the other day but I didn’t know why. Now I’ve heard what’s happened, it’s made me feel very uneasy.” he added.
Anyone with information should call 020 8721 4205 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
All of the news stories reference her birth name even though she hasn’t lived by that name for a very long time. What disappoints me about the above is that it’s from a GLBT news service.
Police found the transsexual’s body in Leander Road, Thornton Heath, on Wednesday evening, officers have revealed.
Detectives believe it is 40-year-old Kellie Telesford, who was formerly known as Kayiode Dexter Telesford.
The Metropolitan Police are treating the death as suspicious and want to speak to anyone who had sexual contact with the victim.
Why is her birth name relevant? why is she “the transsexual” instead of “the woman” or even “the transsexual woman?”
Erase her gender, erase her name. Make her into a nonperson who was possibly murdered because she tricked a man into having sex with her.
Also, “suspicous death?” She was strangled. Why are they unwilling to clearly state whether it’s homicide or suicide?
I don’t normally do memes like this:
But I wanted to go ahead and post this one because of the words that tagged me as NC-17:
This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:
- suicide (6x)
- death (5x)
- murder (4x)
- sex (2x)
- queer (1x)
The Transgender Day of Remembrance is November 20th, but I think that one day is really insufficient to contain all the lives lost because of transphobia and transmisogyny. Trans people – usually women, usually of color – are frequently murder victims. Elizabeth McClung’s math in comment 4 indicates that trans women in North America are 14 times more likely to be the victim of a violent crime. While this isn’t a formal study, that the disparity in numbers is that high is hard to avoid.
The Transgender Day of Remembrance website has a page devoted to trans people who were either murdered or otherwise died because they were trans.
Nakia Ladelle Baker
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Cause of Death: Blunt force trauma to the head
Date of Death: January 7, 2007
Location: Rassada, Thailand
Cause of Death: Beaten by 9 Youths who then slit her throat
Date of Death: January 31, 2007
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
Cause of Death: Stabbed 5 times by a street vendor
Date of Death: March 5, 2007
Michelle Carrasco “Chela”
Location: Santiago, Chile
Cause of Death: She was found in a pit with her face completely disfigured.
Date of Death: March 16, 2007
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cause of Death: A car repeatedly struck her
Date of Death: March 23, 2007
Unidentified Male Clad in Female Attire – I can’t find any news stories for this one, unfortunately.
Location: Kingston, Jamaica
Cause of Death: Gunshot wounds to the chest and lower back
Date of Death: July 7, 2007
Location: Daytona Beach, Florida
Cause of Death: Shot to death
Date of Death: July 29, 2007
Maribelle Reyes – I can’t find a news story.
Location: Houston, Texas
Cause of Death: AIDS; Reyes was turned away from several treatment centers due to her transgender status.
Date of Death: August 30, 2007
I’ve spent a lot of time on the words used against trans people, but not the consequences. It’s considered acceptable to discuss trans lives as if they’re disposable, and that means that our lives are treated as if they’re disposable. Transphobia is the theory, murder is the practice.