Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Another Cross-Dresser Found Dead
By T.J. Wilham
Journal Staff Writer
Three cross-dressers have been found beaten to death on the city's Southeast side in the past four years.
Two of the men were found in the past month.
All the victims were apparently American Indian, and their bodies were lying in the middle of streets or alleys.
But police said Monday that they have no information to lead them to believe the three homicides are related. Investigators said two victims were prostitutes. The latest deaths occurred in a neighborhood just east of Presbyterian Hospital, three blocks from each other.
"At this point, it is still very early in the investigation to determine if there is a correlation between these homicides," Albuquerque police spokeswoman Nadine Hamby said. "As this investigation continues, we will see if there is a link. Because they were all dressed as women doesn't mean they were all related, but we can't rule that out, either."
The latest killing occurred Saturday when police found Teri Benally, 42, beaten to death shortly after 1 a.m. in the 500 block of Maple SE. Investigators said they do not have a motive in the killing, but believe Benally was meeting someone he met online.
Benally was found three blocks from where Fredrick Watson, 32, was killed June 9. Watson was dressed in women's clothing. Investigators are looking into the possibility that Watson was killed by a customer. According to court records, Watson had four prior prostitution arrests.
Ryan Shey Hoskie, 23, had three prior prostitution arrests when he was found beaten to death in January 2005 in the 1600 block of Ridgecrest SE. Hoskie was partially clothed in women's attire.
Janice Devereaux of Transgender New Mexico Support Group said many transgender prostitutes become victims when they don't make their sexuality clear and their customers "don't realize what they are getting into" and retaliate.