Wednesday, August 27, 2003
'Shemale' is 34th murder
Transgender escort strangled in apartment
The murder of a "shemale" escort in her downtown apartment has friends and fellow escorts fearful they may be next. Cassandra Do, 32, of Toronto, known as Tula on the street, was found dead in her 11th-floor home on Gloucester St. on Monday at 10:30 p.m. by horrified relatives after failing to hear from her. An autopsy yesterday revealed Do had been strangled.
"I just can't believe it," said Tasha Jones, a transgender friend and former escort. "That's why I don't do what she did anymore. It just got too scary."
Jones is suggesting the transgender escort community come together and look out for each other when working.
"It could have been one of us. We need to bond and stick together," she said. "Being a transsexual is sometimes very lonely. We really can't trust a lot of people."
Jones said Do lived a reclusive life and only let a select few know her real identity and background, adding she was well-liked and well-known by others in the business, but only as Tula.
"I didn't even know her real name," Jones said, her voice breaking with emotion.
Do, the city's 34th homicide victim of the year, used to turn tricks out of her apartment and advertised on the Internet using the Web site www.shemaletula.com. She also advertised in local community papers.
Another fellow escort, who asked not to be named, said she was in a state of disbelief when she heard about Do's death.
"I still can't accept it," she said, adding Do was a loner.
"She was a very private person. All I really knew about her is that she loved cats."
Her brother was visiting her at the time of her death, but police wouldn't confirm if he was the one who found her. Friends are planning a memorial service.
Det.-Sgt. Craig Sanson from Toronto Police is asking anyone with information on Do's final hours to call 416-808-7400 or Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477).
Created: August 27, 2003
Last modified: August 30, 2003
Commercial Sex Information Service
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710