Ten is the number of bodies that have been found on Long Island's southern beaches since December. The first four, all found between December 11 abd 13, were confirmed to be the remains of women who had had some experience in sex work. The next was found on March 29. Three more were found on April 4, and two were found today. The identities of those most recently found have not been determined, and police have not made a definitive statement about whether all of the murders are connected.
So far, none has turned out to be Shannon Gilbert, the search for whom turned up these other victims.
I suspect they will turn out to be related, victims of a serial killer who targets women who, among all of the other things that they do in their lives, also exchange sex for money.
SWOP-NYC has responded with a statement that rightly reminds us that the dangers of sex work are the dangers of stigmatization and isolation, and not particular to the exchange of sex for something else of value.
I just spent three days at my statewide union's Representative Assembly where health and safety was one of the key concerns.
Editor's Note: M. P. Clark is a new guest contributor at Sex In the Public Square and I'm grateful for her contribution. That it comes on International Sex Worker Rights day is all the more fitting. -Elizabeth Wood
Yesterday, March 2, 2009, the Albuquerque Journal featured on its front page photographs of a number of women reported missing from the area over the last decade or so. Exactly one month earlier, a woman walking her dog discovered a human bone at a worksite being cleared for new housing development in a part of Albuquerque known as the West Mesa. An investigation of the area turned up other bones—five sets, six, then eleven, and now thirteen. Twelve sets of bones are believed to belong to women, the thirteenth to a fetus of about four months old. Yesterday’s Journal article speculates whether there’s a connection between the women in the photographs and the bones.
Sanesha Stewart, a young black transwoman in the Bronx was murdered in her apartment on Saturday, February 9th. You can read about her story at Feministe and New York Blade. Meanwhile, I just received this message from Queers For Economic Justice organizer Reggie Gossett, announcing a vigil to be held in Stewart's memory:
~~~Join Family, Friends and Community Members Saturday, April 5 for a Community Vigil to Honor the Memory and Celebrate the Life of Sanesha Stewart~~~
See no evil, see it everywhere: The cloak of invisibility renders child porn more terrifying and harder to do anything aboutSubmitted by Elizabeth on 21 October 2007 - 1:16pm
Debbie Nathan raises a taboo but important point yesterday morning: We must be allowed to see the child pornography that exists. Why? Because we can't accurately report on that which we can't see. It's a simple and obvious observation, really, and profound in its implications.
She is writing specifically about her investigation of the Kurt Eichenwald/Justin Berry story (PDF from Counterpunch), but the point applies broadly and it deserves to be amplified.