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 Brandon Teena

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Brandon Teena

Original Name Teena Brandon
Birth
Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, USA
Death 31 Dec 1993 (aged 21)
Humboldt, Richardson County, Nebraska, USA
Burial Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, USA
Memorial ID 11925 View Source
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Murder Victim. Born a female named Teena Brandon, he never knew his father, who died eight months before his birth. He was described as a tomboy at youth, and identified as a male in his teens; at times he would identify as intersex. He was expelled from school without graduating. After his eighteenth birthday, he enlisted in the United States Army in hope of serving a tour of duty in the Gulf War, but was rejected after listing his sex as "male." In 1992, he underwent psychiatric evaluation and was diagnosed with severe "sexual identity" and was admitted to an inpatient facility for three days on suicide watch. In 1993, he started dating an 18-year-old named Lana Tisdel. She did not realize that Brandon was born a female until December 19, 1993, when he was arrested for forging checks and was incarcerated in the female section of the jail and his birth name of Teena Brandon was in the newspaper. On Christmas Eve of 1993, two former prison inmates, John L. Lotter and Thomas Nissen, who already had a history of raping and humiliating Brandon, raped, shot and stabbed him, and despite emergency medical treatment, died of his wounds a week later on New Year's Eve of 1993. A week earlier, he had reported being raped by these two men to the authorities but nothing was done except the victim of a crime being treated as the criminal. Two other people in the household were killed during Brandon's murder. Nissen immediately shifted the blame on Lotter, and in return for a reduced sentence, he testified against Lotter at Teena's murder trial. Nissen was given life imprisonment and Lotter was given the death penalty after being found guilty. The men were found guilty of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of second-degree murder. Nissen has since recanted his testimony, claiming he was solely responsible, and Lotter was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite this, both of their appeals have been rejected, the most recent being in January 22, 2018, by the U.S. Supreme Court. In 2015, Nebraska abolished the death penalty, thus giving Lotter a life sentence. In 1999, the story of Brandon Teena was adapted to a movie, directed by Kimberly Pierce, entitled "Boys Don't Cry". Hilary Swank played Brandon, receiving an Academy Award for her performance. A 1998 award-winning documentary, "The Brandon Teena Story" told the details of this hate crime on American cable television.

Bio by: "Andrew"


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 27 Aug 2000
  • Find a Grave Memorial 11925
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/11925/brandon-teena : accessed ), memorial page for Brandon Teena (12 Dec 1972–31 Dec 1993), Find a Grave Memorial ID 11925, citing Lincoln Memorial Park, Lincoln, Lancaster County, Nebraska, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .