Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sidney Loofe (2017)

Sidney Loofe was murdered in the state of Nebraska, USA in November 2017.

Sidney Loofe

From Metro News (UK):

Lesbian ‘dismembered after being tricked into Tinder date with couple who wanted a threesome’ 

Jimmy McCloskey
Wednesday 13 Jun 2018 1:53 pm

A woman was murdered and her body dismembered after she was tricked into a Tinder date with another woman whose secret boyfriend wanted a threesome. Sidney Loofe, 24, was found chopped up in several garbage bags after meeting Bailey Boswell for a date on the app, with Boswell and her boyfriend Aubrey Trail charged with first-degree murder Monday.

Loofe, of Lincoln, Neb., vanished after the date on November 15 last year, after telling a co-worker how excited she was about going on the date.

A day later, a landlord called police to report a strong smell of bleach coming from the basement where Boswell and Trail lived.

They executed a search warrant there, and eventually found Loofe’s dismembered remains stuffed inside several garbage bags scattered along a road in rural Nebraska early December. Aubrey Trail reportedly strangled Loofe with an extension cord after his girlfriend Bailey Boswell tricked her into meeting them to fulfill his fantasy of having sex with two women.

Her alleged killers were soon tracked down in Branson, Mo., with Trail claiming he had strangled Loofe with an extension cord after his threeway fantasy went wrong.

He told the Omaha World-Herald: ‘It wasn’t supposed to go to the extreme it went, of course not. ‘It wasn’t meant that she was to die.’

He began calling the paper even before he was charged, and even said he should be put to death

Trail told reporter Paul Hammel: ‘Try me. Charge me. Let’s get justice for Sydney Loofe.

It was suffocation.

‘It happened in Saline County.

‘A life for a life — that’s the rules in my world.

‘I should be put to death.’

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Anne Mikaelly (2018)

Anne Mikaelly was murdered in Brasilia, Brasil in January 2018.

Anne Mikaelly

From jornaldebrasilia:

Girl is murdered while trying to ask her girlfriend's hand in marriage

The father of Anne Mickaelly's girlfriend is accused of the crime.

A 23-year-old girl was stabbed to death on Saturday night (Jan 7), on the 519 block from Samambaia. The main suspect in the crime is a 46-year-old man, the father of the girl with whom the victim had a romantic relationship. Anne Mickaelly had gone to her girlfriend's house to ask her to marry her.

The suspect picked up a knife and ran after the victim. She was stabbed in the head and the face. The young woman died at the scene and the man fled. He remains at large.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Unathi Bixa (2017)

Unathi Bixa was murdered in November 2017 in Capetown, South Africa.

Unathi Bixa
From The Citizen:

22.5.2018 09:30 am
CT protest over police handling of lesbian murder

Vincent Lali, GroundUp

Gender and gay rights organisations marched to Delft police station in Cape Town on Saturday.
About 150 people marched to the Delft police station, Cape Town, on Saturday, demanding that police take action in the murder case of Unathi Bixa, who was shot dead in broad daylight last year.

“We demand that the investigator handling Bixa’s case be removed, failing which we will take the matter to another level. We want progress reports on the case on a monthly basis,” said Funeka Soldaat, coordinator of Free Gender, a black lesbian organisation based in Khayelitsha.

“The investigator seems to have no clue about how to go about probing the case,” said Soldaat. “We keep on correcting him when he refers to Bixa as a ‘he’.” Soldaat says they must refer to as a she, and acknowledge that she’s a lesbian.

“We gave the police our cell numbers and email addresses so they could keep us informed about the investigation, but they never bothered to contact us,” she said.

Free Gender, End Rape, Triangle Project, Khaya Vac and Affirmative Ministries participated in the march. The marchers sang, “We will go forward even if they rape and beat us up”. They carried placards that read: “Rape culture must fall”, “We need justice”, and “Long live the spirit of Noxolo Klaas”. A leader of the march shouted, “Be strong, lesbians and gays. Be strong!”

“How many times must a man kill lesbians before he is judged a killer?” asked Soldaat. “A reveller slapped Noxolo Klaas on her bum during New Year festivities in Strand. When she complained about the slapping, he stabbed her to death … The man is out of jail now but I don’t know why.”

In 2016, GroundUp reported on how no arrests had been made in the murder of Phumeza Nkolonzi, a young lesbian woman shot in 2012. GroundUp has also been following the murder case of Noxolo Xakeka, who was lesbian and allegedly stabbed to death by accused Bongile Joni after he made homophobic comments. The accused will appear in court on Wednesday.

Captain Sizwe Tyala received a memorandum of demands and said he would hand it to the station commander who was not present at the time.

Velisa Jara, chairperson of Free Gender, said lesbians were raped and the “rapists said they wanted to change them from being men into being women”. She mentioned two incidents, last year and another early this year in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. “They [the victims] are undergoing counselling now, but they are still too traumatised to open up about their experiences. Even counsellors are battling to get them to talk.”

Phumeza Runeyi said the protests were slowly shifting attitudes towards lesbians and gays. “We are here to pressurise cops to arrest the man who killed Bixa because we want justice for her. Lesbians and gays get maltreated and raped every day in the townships, so we want cops to protect us.”

Among the marchers were victims of homophobic attacks. Sinoxolo Nqwenani said: “At one time thugs robbed me of my cell phone and money in Mandela Park. They beat me up and told me to fight back because I’m also a man.”

Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andrè Traut said: “This office can confirm that a group of about 150 community members staged a peaceful march to Delft police station and handed over a memorandum to a representative of SAPS regarding gender based violence.”

GroundUp are awaiting comment from police on the Bixa case.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Justice for Charlene Ranstrom and Brenda Warner

From Intomore:

New Hampshire Man Gets 15 to 40 Years In Prison For Murdering Lesbian Couple in 1988


On Tuesday, 56-year old David Caplin was sentenced to 15-40 years in prison after pleading guilty to the murders of Charlene Ranstrom, 48, and Brenda Warner, 32, a lesbian couple he lived underneath in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1988.

Caplin was found guilty on two counts of second-degree murder in Hillsborough County Superior Court this week after admitting to harassing, torturing, and stabbing Ranstrom and Warner to death, partly because they were gay. Ranstrom and Warner were found bound by their ankles and wrists in their bed, having sustained several stab wounds.

After Caplin's alleged accomplice, Anthony Barnaby, sees his own trial in August, this horrific cold case may finally come to a close after decades of misfires. Three previous trials that took place in 1989 ended in hung juries, and the case remained open until new evidence was collected in 2010, leading to the charges against Caplin and Barnaby, Canadians who moved to Nashua for construction jobs. They both returned to Canada after the mistrials, but were extradited back to New Hampshire in 2015 after a ruling from the Supreme Court of Canada.

Caplin’s semen and hair were found on Warner’s hand, placing him at the scene. Until that evidence was discovered, Caplin maintained his innocence, despite charges first brought against him nearly 30 years ago. They were dropped after a superior court ruled that the physical evidence and statement he made couldn’t be used against him, despite a former girlfriend telling authorities Caplin had previously admitted his crimes to her.

In 2011, The Boston Globe reported that prosecutors at Barnaby’s trials "argued that he killed the women because he disliked their lesbian lifestyle and had a longstanding feud with them over parking spaces and damage to their apartment."

“You butchered my sister,” Brenda’s sister, Leslie Warner, cried in court. “What a monster you are.”

"Our family has longed for this closure, and we deserve that," Warner's niece, Amy Boisvert, said. "The disgusting acts that you inflicted upon my aunt will forever be with us, but we have decided it will not define our life."

After Caplin serves his sentence, he will be deported back to Canada upon his release from prison, and he will not be allowed back into the U.S. He is expected to testify against Barnaby as part of his plea deal.

“I am very sorry. I haven’t dealt with what I did since it happened,” Caplin said during his sentencing.

Additional reporting by Trish Bendix

Monday, April 9, 2018

Cassie Hayes (2018)

Cassie Hayes was murdered in Southport, Mercyside, England in January 2018. 

Laura Williams (left) and Cassie Hayes

Excerpt from the Guardian:

Man jailed for murder of travel agent over relationship with ex-girlfriend
Andrew Burke, 31, sentenced to minimum of 26 years for cutting throat of Cassie Hayes at Tui branch in Southport

Josh Halliday North of England correspondent

Mon 9 Apr 2018 07.06 EDT

A man has been jailed for a minimum of 26 years for murdering a travel agent in a “cold-blooded execution” at her workplace following the break-up of his relationship.

Cassie Hayes, 28, who died in hospital from a wound to the throat, was attacked in front of customers, including children, at a Tui branch in Southport.

Liverpool crown court heard that Andrew Burke, 31, had made repeated threats to kill Hayes and himself before the murder on 13 January.

Burke’s former partner Laura Williams, 29, had begun a relationship with Hayes since breaking up with Burke, the court was told.

On Monday, in front of members of Hayes’ family, he pleaded guilty to murder and having an offensive weapon in a public place.

The judge, David Aubrey, told Burke the killing was an “act of unspeakable savagery”. “This was a cowardly act of revenge designed to kill and did kill a totally innocent person in broad daylight in front of, and witnessed by, so many,” he said.

The court heard that in January 2017, a year before the killing, Burke was charged with making malicious communications over repeated threats to kill Hayes or himself. He pleaded guilty to that offence and received a fine and an unpaid work placement, the court heard.

Gordon Cole QC, prosecuting, said Burke blamed Hayes for the break-up with Williams and was given a police harassment warning in May 2017, eight months before killing her.

On 12 January, the day before the murder, Burke appeared at Sefton magistrates court, where he was convicted of harassing Williams and released on bail before sentencing.

Cole said the murder was a premeditated and planned attack carried out in a “totally ruthless way”. “It was essentially an execution of a young woman in her place of work,” he said.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Marielle Franco (2018)

Marielle Franco was murdered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 1918.

Marielle Franco
From the Guardian:

Protests held across Brazil after Rio councillor shot dead
Marielle Franco, known for criticism of police tactics, was killed in apparent assassination

Dom Phillips in Rio de Janeiro
Thu 15 Mar 2018 16.51 EDT

Protests were held across Brazil after a popular Rio city councillor and her driver were shot dead by two men in what appears to have been a targeted assassination.

Marielle Franco, 38, was a groundbreaking politician who had become a voice for disadvantaged people in the teeming favelas that are home to almost one-quarter of Rio de Janeiro’s population, where grinding poverty, police brutality and shootouts with drug gangs are routine.

Richard Nunes, Rio’s head of public security, said there would be a “full investigation” into the deaths, which came despite the military taking charge of policing in the city last month after a surge in violence.

Two police officials told Associated Press that two men in a car fired nine shots into the vehicle carrying Franco and her driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes on Wednesday night. A press officer in the back seat was injured, but survived, the officials said. Both officials said it appeared Franco was targeted.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International condemned the killings, while friends, colleagues and politicians paid tribute to Franco.

On Thursday afternoon crowds gathered outside Rio de Janeiro’s council chamber chanting “not one step backwards” ahead of a ceremony in honour of Franco inside. Many wept as her coffin was carried inside.

The spontaneous demonstration brought together union members, feminists, leftists and residents of the city’s poorer communities.

Camila Pontes, 30, a communications officer, sheltered from the hot sun under an umbrella. “I feel lost, without hope,” she said. “It is a very tough blow for anyone who fights for justice, for freedom, for equality.”

Franco was a gay black woman who defied the odds of Rio politics to win the fifth-highest vote count among council members when she was elected in 2016. She was an expert on police violence and had recently accused officers of being overly aggressive in searching residents of gang-controlled shantytowns. A member of a leftist party, Franco was also known for her social work in favelas. She was in her first term in office.

“She was a symbol of the politics we believe in,” said communications student Jefferson Barbosa, 21, who worked with Franco at the state legislature.

“I have never been so scared,” he said. “People are shocked with what happened. They did this to Mari, one of the most popular lawmakers in Rio. What will stop them doing this to others?”

“The reaction is of indignation, revolt and sadness,” said Matheus de Santos, 20, a truck driver’s assistant from Rio’s Cidade Alta neighborhood. “She was a great representative for the black movement, for the LGBT movement.”

Daiene Mendes, 28, a journalism student and an activist from the Complexo do Alemão favela, said: “More than a friend, Marielle was a symbol of our biggest conquests. A woman like us, black, from the favela, who had a lot of strength to face the institutional challenges of the politics that always kept us distant.”

Marcelo Freixo, a member of the Rio legislative assembly from Franco’s Socialism and Liberty party, said he went to the crime scene in the Estácio area as soon as he heard his friend had been killed.

“The scene is clearly of an execution,” he said. “The shots were all directed at her. They were all from a professional.”

Brazil’s former president Dilma Rousseff described Franco as a “tireless social warrior”. “Sad days for a country where a human rights defender is brutally murdered,” she said in statement.

Redes da Maré, a non-profit group based in the favela where Franco grew up, described the killing as “an irreparable loss”.

Franco had criticised police killings. In January, 154 people were killed as a result of police action in Rio state, according to state government figures, a 57% increase from January 2017.

In February, President Michel Temer signed a decree putting the military in charge of security in Rio de Janeiro. An army general, Walter Braga Netto, was put in charge of public security and soldiers have carried out operations in gang-run favelas in a controversial attempt to curb rising crime.

One of Franco’s final posts on Twitter called attention to police violence. “Another homicide of a young man that could be credited to the police. Matheus Melo was leaving church when he was killed. How many others will have to die for this war to end?” she wrote.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Elke W. and Beate N. (2016)

Elke W. and Beate N. were murdered in December 2016 in Gersthofen-Hirblingen, Germany.

Excerpt from the Turkey Telegraph:

Double murder of greed? Defendant Silent in court 

04 October 2017 Wednesday 06:14 - 9 reads.

Overnight in December 2016 two women from Gersthofen in district of Augsburg disappeared. Friends and relatives of Elke W. and her partner Beate N. were worried for days, when the two could be located. The 49 and 50 year old women travelled happily and often, but this time they had not told anyone about any plans. Their house in the district of Hirblingen was tidy, their car found after police searched near their place of residence. Evidence of a violent crime was not revealed at first. But then investigators discovered blood stains in house that someone had thoroughly cleaned before. Almost two weeks later, there was a sad certainty: Elke W. and Beate N. weredead. Their bodies, which had a multitude of knife wounds, were found buried on the banks of the Schmutter River. Their neighbor Waldemar N., who had always been friendly to them, was to have accused of killing them out of greed.