Live fast, die young and leave a good-looking corpse!
–John Derek, Knock on Any Door (1949)
The quote is often erroneously attributed to James Dean.
Some of the murder victims whose stories are told after the break may have tried to live with that philosophy, but the violence visited upon them almost assuredly negated the last part. Being set on fire, run over by a car, shot in the face, or stoned to death usually preclude a “good looking corpse.”
A few comments of note: In Brazil, where most of the murders took place, those who would probably be regarded as transgender women here are referred to as travesti (transvestites) and so male pronouns are most often used. I tried to correct that as much as possible. It is also the case that the Police in Brazil are whole-heartedly in favor of blaming the victim, so revenge, drug involvement, “working the program” (prostituting), revenge, or “reckoning” are almost always given as the suspected motives. Gay men in drag, on the other hand, are usually thought to be victims of homophobia. Finally, an autopsy of a transgender woman in Brazil is usually called a necropsy…a word which we reserve for non-sentient animals.
All of those comments may shed light on why there are so many murders in Brazil (77 out of the 118). The United States is second, with 10, (but we try harder…I’m sure we can catch up). Mexico is third with 9.