NYPD Reopens Investigation Into Death Of Trans Activist Marsha P. Johnson

When the body of Marsha P. Johnson, a transgender entertainer and activist, was discovered in the Hudson River in 1992, the police declared it a suicide. But friends and community advocates felt there were still unanswered questions. (There were reports she had been harassed near the spot where her body was found.)

Now, 20 years later, the NYPD agrees and is reopening the case. Michael Musto reports the Manhattan D.A.’s office has assigned someone “to look more closely at what really happened.”

One of the city’s best known trans women of the times Johnson was a veteran of the Stonewall Riots and co-founded Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries (STAR) with Sylvia Rivera in the 1970s, providing shelter and support to young trans women in New York.

Johnson also left her mark on the Big Apple’s cultural scene, posing for Andy Warhol and posthumously providing inspiration for the name of Antony Hegarty’s band, Antony and the Johnsons.

Was Johnson’s death murder? Can the truth be discovered two decades after the fact? We’ll follow this story as it develops.

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One Comment

  • Thedrdonna

    The sad thing is, whether it is found to be murder or suicide, it’s still an indictment of our society. Either society vilifies trans folk to the point that someone felt it was their prerogative to take her life, or it rejects them so completely that she ended it herself. Either way, something’s got to change.

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