Transgender Day of Remembrance 2015: A Reporter’s List

tdor2015x755xLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS (Published previously in The Huffington Post) I did this for the first time four years ago. The 20-odd transgender deaths that passed my desk during 2012 were compiled into a post presenting the victims’ names and how they’d died in order to convey the importance of observing the Transgender Day of Remembrance on Nov. 20. I did the same for 2013 and 2014. I’m doing it again now for 2015.

This is by no means a complete list. Most transgender deaths are unreported or lost due to misgendering. I should also point out that not everyone agrees on which types of deaths ought to be included in such lists. I’ve included domestic violence and suspicious deaths but excluded suicide. I’m starting with the most recent death and working my way back to November 1, 2014:

Zella Ziona: Lured and shot to death near Gaithersburg, Maryland in October, 2015. A suspect Rico Hector Leblond, was charged with murder.

Diana Sacayán: Prominent Argentine trans activist was stabbed to death in Buenos Aires in October, 2015. Police are looking for 2 suspects.

Rafaela Capucci: Killed at her place of work in Vogtsburg, Brazil in October, 2015.

Melvin:  Shot to death in Detroit, Michigan on October 5, 2015.

Kiesha Jenkins: Shot to death in Philadelphia in October after being assaulted by a group of men. A suspect, Pedro Redding has been arrested. Police are looking for 2 other suspects.

Chocobar Marcela: Reported missing in Argentina in September 2015. Her burnt and dismembered skeletal remains were identified by DNA a month later.

Keyshia Blige: Declared dead at a hospital in Aurora, Illinois on March 7, 2015 after being shot while driving a car and subsequently crashing the vehicle. Death went unnoticed due to media misgendering until reported in UK media in August, 2015.

Jasmine Collins: Stabbed to death in Kansas City, Missouri on June, 2015. The killer prevented others from offering CPR. A suspect, Tia Townsel is charged with murder.

Tamara Dominguez: Kansas City, Missouri police say she was hit by a SUV, then run over twice as she was lying on the ground in August, 2015. Pronounced dead on arrival at a hospital.

Elisha Walker (aka Angel Elisha Walker): Reported missing in November, 2014, body found in crude grave in Johnson County, North Carolina in August, 2015. A suspect, Angel Dejesus Arias is charged with murder.

Kandis Capri: Shot outside an apartment complex and pronounced dead upon arrival at a hospital in Phoenix, Arizona in August, 2015. Police released a video in hope of finding the killer.

Ashton O’Hara: Brutally murdered in a Detroit, Michigan field in July, 2015. A suspect, Larry B. Gaulding, is charged with first degree murder.

Shade Schuler: Severely decomposed body discovered in a field in Dallas, Texas on July 29th, 2015. Cause of death unclear. Possibly shot. No suspects.

Amber Monroe: Shot to death in Detroit, Michigan, during the summer of 2015 (exact date unclear). No other information. Police still looking for a suspect as of October, 2015.

KC Haggard: Stabbed to death in Fresno, California in a July, 2015 incident that was captured on surveillance video. Her pleas for help were ignored by passerbys. Police are looking for suspects.

Nephi Luthers: Shot in the head in Georgetown, Guyana in July, 2015 by a person she was talking to. Police have arrested one suspect, Ron Forde, and are looking for a second suspect named Kanand Ojha.

India Clarke: Found shot to death in Tampa, Florida in July, 2015. A suspect, Keith Lamayne Gaillard, has been arrested.

Daya Rani Kinnar: The victim, a well-known trans politician, was shot to death in Uttar Pradesh, India in July, 2015. Two suspects were arrested and police are looking for a third.

Mercedes Williamson: DNA confirmed that a body stabbed to death and buried in George County, Mississippi in May, 2015 was that of the victim, a resident of Alabama. A suspect who knew the victim, Josh Brandon Vallum, was arrested after being turned in by his father.

Laura Vermont: Died in a São Paulo, Brazil hospital in June, 2015 from injuries not clearly specified. Two military police officers, Ailton de Jesus, and Diego Clemente Mende were arrested for their involvement in the death.

Francela Méndez Rodríguez: Noted trans activist murdered while visiting a friend in Sonsonate, El Salvador on May 31, 2015.

London Chanel (aka Londyn “Kiki” Chanel-Washington, London Banks): Stabbed to death in Philadelphia on May 18, 2015. A suspect, Raheam Felton, was arrested and charged with murder.

Yosvani Muñoz Robaina: Stoned to death in a public park in Pinar del Rio, Cuba on April 26, 2015. Three suspects were detained.

Almaroof Bijli: Burned and mutilated body was found on May 5, 2015 in Gungal, Pakistan.

Saima Shahzadi, Shah Zaib and Billi: Shot by motorcyclists in Rawalpindi, Pakistan in May, 2015.

Vanessa Santillan: Found in a London apartment strangled and beaten on March 28, 2015. A suspect, Joaquin Gomez-Hernandez, was arrested.

Two unidentified trans women: Gunned down after performing at a wedding in Pakistan in April, 2015.

Kristina Grant Infiniti: (aka Kristina Gomez Reinwald) Found dead in her Miami Florida home in Feb. 2015. Police classified the death as a homicide.

Sumaya Dalmar: (aka Sumaya Ysl) Found dead in Toronto, Ontario on Feb 22, 2015. Cause of death not released. Unclear if it is a homicide.

Bri Golec: Killed by her father during a domestic dispute in Akron Ohio on Feb. 13, 2015. The father, Kevin Golec was charged with murder.

Piu da Silva: Disfigured body was found January 24, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, one day after a video showing the victim being tortured surfaced.

Penny Proud (aka Penny Proud Johnson): Fatally shot on Feb. 10. 2015 in New Orleans. Police believe it may have been a robbery attempt. Two suspects are being sought.

Taja DeJesus: Stabbed to death in February, 2015, in San Francisco. A suspect, James Hayes, committed suicide before being found by police.

Marisol Almeida: Found dead in her place of business on Dec. 24, 2014, in Ecuador.

Yazmin Vash Payne: Found by firefighters stabbed to death in Los Angeles on January 31, 2015. Her live-in partner, Ezekiel Jamal Dear, is charged with murder and the setting of their apartment on fire.

Papi Edwards: Shot to death in Louisville, Kentucky on January 9, 2015. A suspect, Henry Richard Gleaves, was charged with murder.

Hande Ö: Found strangled in her Vienna apartment on January 19, 2015. DNA evidence resulted in the arrest of an unnamed suspect.

Unidentified trans woman: Found shot to death in Badhber, Pakistan, in January, 22, 2015.

Lamia Beard: Died in a Norfolk, Virginia, hospital of gunshot wounds in January, 2015.

Ty Underwood: Shot to death on Jan. 26. 2015 in North Tyler, Texas. A suspect, Carlton Ray Champion, Jr., is charged with murder.

Gizzy Fowler: Gunned down in Nashville, Tennessee in November, 2014. A suspect, Mallory Antoine Porter, turned himself in to police.

Deshawnda Sanchez (aka Tata): Shot to death in Los Angeles in December, 2014. A suspect, Robert James Spells, has been arrested.

Keymori Shatoya Johnson: Shot to death in her Albany, Georgia (USA) home in December 2014. A suspect, Kuyaunnis James has been arrested.

Unidentified trans woman: Found murdered in Tblisi, the former Soviet state of Georgia in November, 2014.

Transgender Day of Remembrance is Nov. 20.

Feel free to share your comments or new facts on any of the trans people on this list.

My TDOR 2014 list and photo array.

TDOR 2013

TDOR 2012


  1. While I do occasionally report on suicides, I don’t keep track of them as it is a difficult task. You are welcome to take on that task yourself.

2. Due to space limitations not all photos of victims made it to the photo array.


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Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post:

Categories: Deaths, Murder, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

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13 replies

  1. What did we, in the transgender community, do to deserve this? We are not out to hurt anyone, but yet we’re the people who are under attack. We can’t, in all reality even walk from our front door without wondering, ‘is this going to be the day?’ I hope with all my heart and soul that this is the last time a list like this is presented. Not because I don’t want to honor the people that have passed who are transgender, but that those that have passed, have gone to paradise because of natural causes. Not by the hand of another, or driven to suicide by hate filled and uncaring members of the community where we live.

  2. God Bless each and everyone of you y’all are very beautiful people and we thank you for your service I would love to get to know each and everyone of you

  3. R.I.P Kristina Infinniti Grant ,you were my Godmother and helped me Transition without ever having your Hand out!!!!! You will never be Replaced 😢 it bothers me that there has been no justice😑😑😑😑 R.I.p to all the Trans women on this List and I pray I never make it on it.

  4. You guys may not like what I say but, these girls are the heroes, not no DAMM CATELYN JENNER she never had to deal with the shit these girls did. RIP my children.

  5. I believe this is backlash from Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out, because I have never seen so many of our transpeople killed in the U.S. in one year. I do not blame Caitlyn, but her ability to create gender dysphoria as a front burner issue has awakened a monster of rage from those whose hate was in the form of apathy, but now they are lashing out literally at a fear they cannot truely define which transpeople embody. There is a deep hatred for transpeople by the greater population which is fed by ignorance, lies and innuendo that is difficult to overcome.

    • Thanks for your comment. I believe if anything, it’s the same sex marriage ruling that pushed the religious right over the edge, causing them to unleash their hate on the only thing that isn’t tied down legally.

  6. December 3, 2014 I been a vitus of a hate crime being beaten and attacked violent punches, pepper sprayed and beaten with a metal 5ft unbrella 20 mins as people watched me get beaten. No charges. Lack of evidence. attacked

  7. Another possible trans person: Fernando “Fern” Gonzales, strangled in the early hours of Nov. 1, 2015 in Madison Heights, Michigan. Police have said that they lived an “alternative lifestyle” (no details given about what that meant).Fern appears to be feminine-presenting in Facebook photos, and while some friends use male pronouns to describe Fern, others have commented on Fern’s photos with feminine adjectives (“guapa,” “beautiful,” etc).

  8. It is not just by guns or stones or knives that they kill us, it is also through denial of meaningful jobs, housing, respect and freedom that some seek to remove us from the face of the earth. If we commit a minor crime, we may as easily be consigned in some states to a prison of the wrong gender, which frequently leads to abuse, rape and death, and many of the good citizens of this country think that we deserve to die or be raped and beaten because of our gender, not because of our crime. Fear has great power over the weak and ignorant, which is why it is such an effective weapon in a skilled politician’s hands to garner votes. I fault my fellow citizens of this country less than I do the demagogues in government, industry and religion who whip up fear and hatred to marshal votes, money or power.

  9. Gregory champagne Howard wellons murder in Miami still unsolved makes you rest in peace


  1. Today is an annual Transgender Day of Remembrance: So, let’s memorialize those who we’ve lost | Meaws
  2. Transgender Day of Remembrance - In Memoriam

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