Monday, 8 December 2008

On Ways Not To Report Murders

Yesterday, I mentioned Kelly Telesford (and misspelled her name, apologies). I was going to write a bit more, but felt that firstly, it wasn't directly on-topic, and secondly, that she deserves her own post.

I am pretty behind the curve on this one - her case has already been covered by many women more qualified and articulate than me.

However, this is, sort of, my point. These are all bloggers who have a particular knowledge of transgender issues, and care about them. I have heard virtually nothing in the mainstream media, besides occasional mentions on the BBC. Shanniel Hyatt was acquitted in August this year, and Kelly has now been dead for a year – a year in which her sister and mother have gone through hell, and a lot of us have shivered in the chill of prejudice coming from the attitudes surrounding this case.

You know how this guy, Shanniel Hyatt, was acquitted? The court found that she strangled herself. Queen Emily lays out the evidence clearly and concisely:

“His successful defense which "proved" he didn't kill Kellie Telesford was:
    1. We had consensual kinky sex. And she might have died from that.
    2. Except she was alive when I left her and robbed her.
    3. Also, she might have done it to herself,
    4. And then covered herself with a blanket.
    5. Also, I had kinky sex with her but didn't discover she was trans til after she was dead and the police told me (those "deceiving" trans women.)

You see, trans women have MAGIC POWERS. We can kill ourselves with scarves with partial DNA matches of the suspect. Who was placed at the scene by CCTV and stole her phone and stuff. But, like, totally didn't strangle her, even though the doctor said there was no evidence of kinky sex gone wrong.”

You see, when gender comes into a case, as it does whenever and only when a non-cis-male is involved in some shape or form, this usually means that sex was involved. Because, of course, anyone who identifies outside the heteronorm, is doing so purely on the basis of what they do in bed. Which is kinky, obv. And when sex comes into the picture, it has a habit of obscuring everything else, particularly when that ‘something else’ is evidence of bigotry and hatred. Which means, QED, that Kelly Telesford killed herself. Personally, I favour Occam’s razor – the simplest explanation (i.e. that she was killed by the person with whom she spent the night with, and who was proved to have stolen her things and was caught on CCTV leaving her apartment, leaving his DNA on the blanket covering her dead body). But then what do I know?

The series of post titles on the BBC website for Kelly Telesford are horribly telling. As the details came out, she was routinely dehumanised – not by the killer but the media, who seemed to be determined to do the defence counsel’s work for them:
    News - England - Woman is found strangled in home
    News - England - Strangled woman was murder victim
    News - London - Man denies transgender killing
    News - London - Man cleared of transsexual murder

Notice, how, as Kelly was deemed less ‘woman’ and more ‘object’, the case against the killer seems ever stronger, and acquittal ever more likely? And also, the case in general seems to be deemed less interesting to the public (it becomes ‘London’ news, rather than ‘oh-holy-fuck-yet-another-trans-woman-has-been killed-and-we-still-haven’t-got-the-balls-to-call-out-transphobia-and-misogyny-as-loudly-as-possible’ news?

This is a case where racism, sexism, transphobia and also homophobia are linked so inextricably that it seems pointless to call attention to the interconnectedness of ‘isms’, and yet it has never been so vital. A woman died, and her killer walked free. The oldest story in the book, and yet few seem to realise yet that until we are all free from oppression, none of us are. And the people most likely to suffer in this hierarchy are the ones least able to defend themselves and obtain justice.


  1. Good post, thank you. The BBC website headers reminds me of a serial killer case twenty odd years ago in the UK where the Guardian had a map of where the victims were found labelled '1st woman' '2nd woman' and 'prostitute'. Agh..
    fimg x

  2. Yes, because prostitutes are not women - merely sperm receptacles. Sadly, this is not an uncommon view - I don't know if you watched Celebrity Big Brother, but Coolio at one point said proudly that "his kids knew the difference between hos, bitches, and women."

  3. Forget the BBC and their lies. I can tell you anything that you would like to know about Kellie (the name which she prefers),contact is always open through me. Hyatt made a big mistake when he murdered Kellie in order to try and escape detection after a petty robbery carried out to feed his crack habit. And so did Pillai-Jones & Greenberg Et Al plus selected anti-Kellie witnesses who connived by generating lies and concocting slanderous defamation of Kellies character in order to get Hyatt off. Kellies soul has formidable power dating back firstly to the 19th Dynasty where she existed as Gibsefa under the rule of Seti 1st, and further back into antiquity where she existed as King Becifakap erroneously known as Terah (Genesis 11(25)) and now I have great difficulty but it seems kellie as we call her first allighted on this world 17500 years ago. Kellies plight on the 18th of November 2007 was known before it took place and was brought to the notice of a powerful Queen who does exist and was feared in Greek mythology she took Kellies soul into her protection , now Kellie as we know her has no enemies and a true and lasting love. I have put quite a few comments on QUEERTY i.e ,The Last Moments of Kellie Telesford, some earlier ones need some correction as I have made a few mistakes before I really got Kellies full trust as communication was hard at first, but she has free will and hence will only let me know what pleases her. Never Ever be afraid to die. Yours, Rodney A Ballard,(YELHSA). Nottingham,NG3-6FT (Nr31).