Boston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on November 29, 2023
Justice on Hold, Boston Cops Seek Break in '98 Cold Case of Slain Transgender Woman Rita HesterSource: Boston Police Department

The Boston Police Department is renewing its plea for justice in the unsolved killing of an African-American transgender woman, Rita (William) Hester, whose life was brutally taken in 1998 in her Brighton apartment. The plea, issued ahead of the anniversary of her death, underscores the lasting impact of a crime that propelled the LGBTQ+ community into a collective reckoning with violence against one of its own. 

As police revisit the case, they remain hopeful that new leads will emerge, shedding light on darkness shrouded for too long. "Rita was last seen at about 5:00pm leaving the Silhouette Lounge on Brighton Avenue," the Boston Police Department stated, as they called for witnesses to break the silence that has haunted the case.

The murder, as much a personal tragedy, pushed the community into an unrelenting fight against the transgressions borne by transgender individuals, ultimately giving rise to the now annually commemorated Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

Authorities are determined to provide information, with assurances that the Boston Police Homicide Unit at 617-343-4470 and the anonymous tips through CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1 (800) 494-TIPS or by texting ‘TIP’ to CRIME (27463) will be the vessels carrying secrets to the shores of justice. For those scarred by the ordeal or finding themselves in need of emotional succor, the Boston Neighborhood Trauma Team (NTT) remains a beacon, offering free, private support 24/7 at 617-431-0125.