• http://www.stephanieschroeder.com invalid-0

    I’ve been interested in sex workers’ issues and rights since at least 2000 when I saw the film “Live Nude Girls Unite” However, I’ve always been well aware of violence against prostitutes, which is such a freighted word, by the way.

    It is sickening that any human being is deemed expendable, but women and in particular women who are prostitutes being targeted for murder simply b/c they are indeed deemed expendable and also because they likely will not be “missed” is terrifying.

    The prostitutes murdered by the “Green River Killer” are the US equilvalent of the “disappeared” in Latin America and elsewhere. And we here in the States should be ashamed of ourselves for treating anyone as and letting any sister human be treated as expendable without comment or action.

    I cannot make it to DC on the 17th, but I will be marking the day to end violence agaisnt prostitues with sisters in NYC.

  • http://www.baltimoreexaminer.com invalid-0


    Is the state covering up murder?

    By The Baltimore Examiner Newspaper
    – 12/7/08

    Why would the Maryland medical examiner refuse to release essential public information on hundreds of “undetermined” deaths?
    State law offers no exemption. The attorney general’s latest manual on our Public Information Act says these public records are open. Police have no objection. Families of the deceased want details out in the open.

    In fact, the attorney general specifically states legal exemption for private, personal medical records “does not protect from disclosure autopsy reports of a medical examiner,” and that even in criminal cases, “A custodian of investigatory records must nonetheless disclose them to any person, unless the custodian determines that disclosure would be ‘contrary to the public interest’ or unless other law would prevent disclosure.”

    State Medical Examiner Dr. David Fowler cannot or will not cite any “public interest” served by secrecy. He cannot or will not cite any statute or court ruling to justify withholding this public information.

    Spokeswoman Cindy Feldstein replied by e-mail to Reporter Stephen Janis only that “Location of incident is not public.”

    Wrong. For one thing, all government information is public. The only question is whether it is open or falls within precisely limited exceptions allowing secrecy.

    When in doubt about a government record, the attorney general makes it clear: “[The] general right of access to records is limited by numerous exceptions. … Given the PIA’s policy in favor of public access, and the requirement that the PIA ‘be construed in favor of permitting inspection of a record,’ these exceptions should be construed narrowly.”

    That means when in doubt, let it out.

    So, what is Fowler hiding? For whom and why? This government secrecy makes no sense.
    Here’s the story. In September, Janis filed an MPIA request for full names, ages, dates of death and locations of body for all women ruled “undetermined” in the past 10 years in Baltimore City.

    The medical examiner’s office provided only last names, and estimated dates and causes of death.

    Fowler won’t release the number of “undetermined” deaths since 2005, when there were 814 statewide. In 2004 Baltimore City had 341 of Maryland’s 807. That same year, Washington, D.C., had only 76.

    Undetermined deaths add nothing to the city’s murder rate. Police do not have to investigate them.

    In Baltimore three years ago, a community activist accused the city of covering up a serial strangler of prostitutes. Official response was vehement denial. Yet in 10 years, police solved only seven murders of 26 women with histories of prostitution.

    What we don’t know is how many of the “undetermined” deaths may have been murders. Families of some victims are convinced they were.

    Letting the public know their full names and where they died would be one small step toward either putting rumors to rest or killers behind bars.

    Killing streets
    Click on the headlines below for more from The Baltimore Examiner’s coverage of attacks against sex workers on the city’s streets.

    Who is killing the prostitutes?

    Prostitute tells harrowing tale of assault

    Dixon says city working hard to crack unsolved slayings

    Love of heroin greater than fear of danger for Baltimore sex worker

    Three minutes with Sidney Ford on protecting prostitutes

    ‘He thought I was dead’ – Baltimore woman identifies man charged with attacks on prostitutes

    Addiction, crime plague area where sesker’s body was found

    Baltimore police chief: Two of five stranglings probably aren’t related to others

    Allegations of serial predator shock Baltimore neighborhood

    Deaths on Baltimore City streets rattle local sex workers

    Suspected predator may face more charges

    Records: 5th Baltimore City strangling victim a prostitute

    Three more slayings of hookers remain unsolved from 2003, records show

    Special squad to investigate Baltimore stranglings

    Four prostitutes strangled since April

    Attorney: Police knew ‘serial rapist’ on the loose since ’05

  • invalid-0

    this was a wonderfully written article. i am now planning something for december 17th.

  • invalid-0

    I am the “community activist” referred to in the Baltimore Examiner editorial Frank Keegan posted. It has been my honor to work closely with Examiner reporter Stephen Janis, the author or lead author of the articles referred to above, to help draw attention to the deaths and serious assaults of prostituted women here. Twelve years ago, I founded YANA, You Are Never Alone, Maryland’s first organization serving women and children exploited through prostitution and human trafficking. Even though we may come at this from different perspectives, Annie, please know that I am (and YANA is) behind you 100% on the issue of no violence against people engaging in prostitution (or anyone, for that matter). On a related note, I am personally familiar with the attitude that Annie’s posted in her piece; the husband of one of my cousins (who was at that time an active EMT on an ambulance) met my passionate conversation about the deaths with the reply, “personally, I think the guy you’re talking about [the serial killer] is doing the world a favor.” I was nauseated by this, yet I’ve been on outreaches where objects have flown past my head, or where people have crossed the street to spit on the ground near my sisters-clients, or when I’ve been aggressed on, so I knew a little bit about the hatred. And that little bit doesn’t even touch the experiences women have told me and my volunteers about being beaten bloody, tied up against their will, cut, asphyxiated, sodomized, threatened with guns, knives and even injury to family members…the horrifying list of evil deeds just goes on and on. Anyway, thank you for addressing this; please be in touch with me if there is anything I can do to support your efforts. I wish I’d seen this before 12/17, although we’ve similarly done vigils/remembrances at various times. Time to do it again….

  • http://www.agencelaperle.com invalid-0

    All the stuff I read or I heard or I see about women or children abused made me sick. Why human nature is so unfair? I’ll pray for them.

  • http://escortbrisbane.com.au/ invalid-0

    Coming from Brisbane Australia i had never heard of the animal that is Gary Ridgeway; what he did is sickening… to say the least.

    One of the things i found really amazing was that many of the escorts, prostitutes, bf’s or pimps were aware that Gary was (or could be) the ‘Green River Killer’… and when they came forward noone listened or did any real investigation.

    Think of all the lives that could have been saved..

  • http://www.great-lawn.com invalid-0

    Why is it that we think less of sex workers than other people? Aren’t they people too? Shouldn’t we care about them just as much? This is an important article. Thanks!

Mobile Theme