Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, is the first known transgender homicide victim in 2018. She was an active member in New England’s transgender community, and was the founder of the Miss Trans America and Miss Trans New England pageants.
Confessing to her murder was her husband, Mark Steele-Knudslien, 47, who walked into the Adams Police Department on Friday evening and asked to speak with an officer. According to a report by MassLive, he said he had done “something very bad," and that he should be put in handcuffs. "[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 said. "Steele-Knudslien later wrapped Christa's body in a tarp and moved her to the basement which is where the body could be found." According to a police statement, Mark Steele-Knudslien admitted to killing his wife during their initial interview.
The police then conducted a 29-minute recorded interview with Steele-Knudslien after they read him his Miranda rights. According to the police, he told the officers that he and his wife got into an argument, claiming that she was “always belittling” him, and that following the argument he “snapped” before killing her. Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, had posted on Facebook last January indicating that that the couple was having troubles, saying “My husband and I are going to try to work things out.” According to a report by The Berkshire Eagle, the police department was familiar with the couple from responding to their Adams, Massachusetts home on several occasions for "neighborhood" issues.
Police officers entered the couple’s home at around 9:20 PM on Friday to check on Christa and found her dead as her husband had described. Mark Steele-Knudslien was arraigned Monday on a count of first-degree murder for the killing of his wife. He pleaded “not guilty” and is being held without bail.
Rest in power Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien!