On December 31, 1993, in Humboldt, Nebraska, a transgender man was brutally murdered in one of the most heinous hate crimes in American history. His name was Brandon Teena.
Hoping to start a new life where no one knew him, Brandon left his hometown of Lincoln for Falls City at the age of 20. He began dating Lana Tisdel and found a “family” in her circle of friends, including ex-convicts John L. Lotter and Marvin Thomas Nissen.
After discovering Brandon was biologically female, Lotter and Nissen became obsessed with proving his anatomy to Tisdel. They forced him to remove his pants in front of Tisdel on Christmas Eve and later raped him. To prevent him from pressing charges, they killed him along with two of his friends.
Lotter was convicted of the killings after Nissen testified against him. He remains on death row at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution. Nissen is currently serving three life sentences at the Lincoln Correctional Center. In 2007, he recanted his original testimony and admitted that he helped Lotter commit the murders.
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Gabriel, Davina A. (1996). Brandon Teena Murderer Sentenced. Janeway. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
“Nebraska Inmate Details: John Lotter”. Nebraska Department of Correction Services. Retrieved November 30, 2015.
“Nebraska Inmate Details: Thomas Nissen”. Nebraska Department of Correction Services. Retrieved November 30, 2015.