Krissy Bates murder: Last voicemail message of transgender victim
Krissy Bates, the first murder victim in Minneapolis this year, was a transgender woman who'd been in town only a few months.
Krissy came from the South. She didn't share much about her past. Some of her neighbors thought she was from Atlanta, others remembered her hometown as New Orleans.
But Krissy had moved to Minnesota from Kentucky. She took up residence at a small studio apartment at 1302 Linden Ave. in November. By January 11, she was dead, the city's first murder victim of 2011.
Three or four times a day, Krissy spoke on the phone with her dear friend Janice Polson, of Closplint, Kentucky. The women had never met--Polson had been introduced to Krissy by her brother, and the women had formed a close bond despite the distance. Until Krissy was murdered, Polson didn't know that her friend had transitioned genders.
"It's been bad for me," Polson says. "I love her to death. She was real nice to me. We talked and she listened to me--I have an autistic kid."
Krissy Bates, in a self-portrait posted online
When Polson hadn't heard from Krissy in several days, she called the neighbor across the hall, Chezron Jones, to check on her. Chezron notified the building caretaker.
On Tuesday, January 11, the caretaker at 1302 Linden went into Krissy's apartment and found her dead. She had multiple injuries, including possible stab wounds, according to Minneapolis police.
Detectives quickly came to collect the evidence. The body went to the Hennepin County Medical Examiner.
Around 1 a.m. on Jan. 13, a sheriff's deputy and a state patrol officer went to a home in Jeremiah, Kentucky, to notify Krissy's brother of her death.
That morning, the medical examiner released Krissy's name, identifying her as Christopher Paul Bates, a white male aged 45. (The medical examiner identifies only male and female--no third category for transgender exists with the office).
The voice of murder victim Krissy Bates on her voicemail message:
On November 28, Krissy posted an ad for a roommate on Backpage.com, an online classifieds website owned by City Pages' parent company, Village Voice Media.
"Small intimate studio apt. i need a roomie whos compatable with me asap if interested call krissy" she wrote.
On December 16, Krissy posted another ad on Backpage, this one advertising sexual services: "attractive tranny offering full service massage therapy," she wrote. Another ad on Backpage offered intimate services for $100 an hour.
Neighbors were familiar with Krissy's line of work and saw johns coming in and out of her door. She had both male and female clients, one neighbor said.
"She was a person who was bubbly, cheerful, spiritual, religious," says Bryant DeVine, her neighbor across the hall. DeVine said Krissy was always made up and well-groomed. "She always made sure she gave her clients her best."
A few weeks before her death, Krissy looked as though she had been beaten up. "She had a black eye," says DeVine.
Krissy had come to him a couple of times asking him to protect her, saying she was concerned for her safety. DeVine says he helped out as he could, picking up alcohol or cigarettes when Krissy wanted them.
Police are investigating the murder and haven't released more information about her.
"I just pray to God that they catch whoever did this," says Chezron Jones. "Her soul is still with us."
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