GenderPAC Press Release - April 11, 1996
In what appears to be one of the most brutal hate crimes in years, Christian Paige, a beautiful 24 year old transsexual woman, was found savagely murdered in her apartment, Friday, March 22, at 10 PM. Ms. Paige had been brutally beaten about the head and ears, then strangled, and finally stabbed deeply in her chest and breast area between 15 and 2 dozen times. Prior to fleeing the scene, her assailant set fire to the apartment only a few feet from her prostrate body, apparently in an attempt to destroy evidence. Her body had been so savagely assaulted that some friends at first believed she had been deliberately mutilated. Ms. Paige’s body was discovered when the Chicago Fire Department responded to reports of arson at her residence. The premises, which Ms. Paige shared with 2 friends, was also ransacked and valuables were stolen.
Chicago PD Detective Gildea, who was assigned to Ms. Paige’s case, was interviewed over the phone by Deputy Sheriff Tonye Barreto-Neto of TOPS, the national group for transgender police officers. Gildea noted that all Ms. Paige’s stab wounds were so deep and severe that any single one would have been sufficient to kill her. In addition, preliminary results showed no defensive wounds on her body, consistent with a theory that she was struck unconscious from multiple blows to her head prior to being strangled and stabbed.
Police told Windy City Time reporter Lisa Neff that the murder is not being investigated as a hate crime. Their initial report that the victim was a "white female" was later amended to that of a "white male."
Ms. Paige had apparently met her alleged assailant through a telephone dating service only a few days before. She told roommates she had spoken with him twice by phone on the Wednesday and Thursday prior to her murder, eventually making a date with him for 8:30 PM Friday evening, the 22nd.
Police discovered glasses in her apartment still on the table where the two of them had apparently shared a drink together before she was killed. Unfortunately, the fire destroyed any fingerprints and police are still trying to trace her alleged assailant through the dating service phone records,
Ms. Paige, a native of Nashville, TN, had only recently moved to Chicago where she was working to save money toward sex reassignment surgery. She was employed at Chicago’s trendy downtown Baton Lounge, where she was well regarded. She had already had a highly successful career in clubs as a former Miss Gay Nashville and Miss Midwestern Continental.
Said one of her best friends, Marisa Richmond of Tennessee Vals, "Nashville is a community that is still in a state of shock. Everybody, whether they knew Christian or not, is crying either on the outside or inside. All of us cared about her because she was so genuinely likable. I’d be hard pressed to think of another person who enjoyed life and just like people. It’s hard to fathom that somebody who like to see people laugh and smile so much could bring so many tears, but that is how much we were touched by her."