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Episode 53 | Rita Hester & The Murder That Started A Movement, Allston, Massachusetts




EP 53 | Rita Hester & The Murder That Started A Movement, Allston, Massachusetts

This is a true crime, local history, and storytelling podcast. I write about crimes, I set the scene, connect story themes, I talk about things that happened here, in Massachusetts and New England.


This episode is about violent crime, society, the LGBTQ+ community, Trangender women, unsolved murder, and the impact on the community. Listen with care. And always about where the events of the story take place.


Chanelle Pickett and Rita Hester were murdered three years apart. Chantelle in 1995 in Watertown, Mass, and Rita Hester in 1998 in Allston. Both were brutal crimes. Neither of them got justice. The attitudes and the language around gay and transgender lifestyles were very different back then. How the media covered violence against transgender people was cruel, if they covered them all. As a result of the mistreatment they got event in death, their murders were instrumental in the creation of the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance on Novemer 20th. Rita Hester's murder is still unsolved.


Mallery Jenna Robinson, transgender and HIV advocate and host of A Hateful Homicide podcast, joins me to talk about the violence transgender women face - then and now. We talk about the fight for justice for transgender victims, the urgent need for laws to protect the transgender community from hate crimes and the critical role empathy and compassion play in our society.





2021 was the deadliest year to date. In the US, a record of 57, there are likely many more deaths that go unreported or inaccurately reported due to deadnaming and misgendering.


2022: At least 32 transgender and gender-nonconforming people have been killed in the United States

2023: 14 Trans and Nonbinary People were Lost to Violence in 2023


There is no relief in lower numbers, certainly we do not want them to go up. It needs to be zero,


Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR) is Monday, November 20




Photos: Chanelle Pickette and sister Gabrielle, Gabrielle and Chanelle on the Jenny Jones show. Rita Hester, Rita with some of her many friends,



Rita Hester memorial mural in Allston, Massachusetts
Rita Hester memorial mural in Allston, Massachusetts

Gabrielle and Chanelle on Jenny Jones, 1992


Sources

updating



Hots Dogs for Life at The Silhouette



Human Rights Campaign






GLAAD




The Panic Defense



Chanelle Pickett



Chanelle Pickett on Jenny Jones






Rita and Chanelle




Bay Window reporting on Rita Hester https://www.baywindows.com/_Search?q=rita+hester&p=1


Bay windows misgendered Rita




Boston Phoenix reporting on Rita Hester, by Sarah McNaught https://bostonphoenix.com/archive/features/98/12/10/cityscape.html


Deadliest Year on Record for Trans and Non Binary people


Public Files Request, Rita Hester


NBC News report by Kate Sison, 2020 - Rita background story


A Murder That Started A movement - Rita Hester



Boston.com - Rita's memorial mural


19th News



PBS 2021 Deadly Year



Fenway Health


The Boston Globe


My South End


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