Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was beaten and stabbed to death inside her North Adams, Massachusetts home on Friday night. According to a police statement, her husband Mark Steele-Knudslien walked into a local police department that same night, declaring that he did “something very bad.”
Mark allegedly said he “snapped” while embroiled in an argument with Christa.
"[He] stated he killed Christa by striking her numerous times with a hammer and then finally killed her by stabbing her in the back with a large knife," the police report states. Then, Mark allegedly used a tarp to wrap up her body which he put in the basement of their home, the police report states.
Masslive.com reports that Christa, 42, is the first known transgender person killed in 2918. She founded the Miss Trans America pageant. She also founded Miss Trans New England.
Dru Levasseur of Lambda Legal’s Transgender Rights Project called Christa “a powerful organizer and fierce activist” according to the New York Daily News.
“I am so sorry to those who were very close to her. We must all support each other in this time of horror and sadness. She deserved better. She deserved life and happiness. Rest in Power, Christa,” Levasseur stated.
Mark has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder charges. He is expected to be back in court next month. It is unclear if he has a lawyer at this time who can speak on his behalf. He allegedly told police that they fought often.
One year ago, Christa hinted at marital problems on her Facebook page.
"My husband and I are going to try to work things out," she wrote.