TDoR 2001 / 2001 / June / 16 / Fred Martinez, Jr. (aka Fredericka, F.C.)

Fred Martinez, Jr. (aka Fredericka, F.C.)

Age 16

16 Jun 2001
Cortez, Colorado (USA)

TDoR list ref: Jun 2001/Fred Martinez, Jr. (aka Fredericka, F.C.)

Fred Martinez, Jr. (aka Fredericka, F.C.)
Fred Martinez, Jr. (aka Fredericka, F.C.) [photo:]

Fred's bludgeoned body was found near Cortez on 21st June 2001.

Fredwas a Navaho two-spirit student at Montezuma-Cortez High School in Cortez, Colorado, when she was attacked and beaten to death by Shaun Murphy, 18.

Murphy, who said in testimony he was drunk at the time, assaulted Martinez and crushed his skull with a rock, leaving him in a canyon outside of Cortez called The Pits, the Denver Post reports. Although he claimed not to have realized that the blows were fatal, Murphy bragged about the confrontation, and did not summon help.

Five days after the attack, when Martinez's body was discovered, the Post reported that Murphy was heard to say: "Killed that fool, huh?"

In 2009 the documentary "Two Spirits" described the events and context behind the murder.

Filmmaker Lydia Nibley explores the cultural context behind a tragic and senseless murder. Fred Martinez was a Navajo youth slain at the age of 16 by a man who bragged to his friends that he 'bug-smashed a fag'. But Fred was part of an honored Navajo tradition - the 'nadleeh', or 'two-spirit', who possesses a balance of masculine and feminine traits. Through telling Fred's story, Nibley reminds us of the values that America's indigenous peoples have long embraced.


Report added: 22 Dec 2018. Last updated: 13 Jan 2021

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This site contains reports of violence against transgender people, and links to detailed reports which contain graphic imagery.

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