From All Over: GenderNews Posted
June 19

From the InYourFace news service. For other IYF press releases, check the GenderPAC website at

Transwoman Murder/Suicide in San Diego

[San Diego, CA: 13 Jun 98] Transsexual woman Julia Kate Morgan, 27, shot and killed her therapist, Rita Powers, on Wednesday afternoon (June 10) and then turned the gun on herself, committing suicide.

Witnesses report hearing gunshots sometime after 5:20 p.m. at the Cognitive Therapy Institute in San Diego. SWAT team members later found the bodies of Powers and Morgan. Powers had been shot numerous times; Morgan had one gunshot wound in the head.

Police speculate that Ms. Morgan was distraught over Powers's refusal to write a letter recommending Morgan for Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS). Current medical procedure requires transexuals to obtain written recommendations from psychotherapists in order to get SRS.

Ms. Morgan, a Navy veteran, had been involved in therapy with Ms. Powers for six months. Friends of both women report that there had been tension between the two and that Morgan felt frustrated by the "system" (The Benjamin Standards of Care) that prescribes the steps transexual people must follow to gain SRS. Friends say that Julia had lost all hope of completing her transition.

More. . .

For more details, there are June 12 and June 13 articles in the archives of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Search for stories containing "Rita Powers."

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Just before posting, we found this open letter [excerpts follow] from Cathryn Curtis and Susie Longsworth on the June 17th release from Gender Advocacy Internet News(GAIN).

Dear Friends

It has come to our attention that what appeared, or was presented as a intentional planned murder/suicide was a suicide gone wrong. My source who was in the building at the time of the incident said that it appeared that the therapy session was over. There had been no yelling or loud voices as some of the media has claimed. Julia was in the hall, and Rita followed her. Rita was attempting to talk Julia into returning to her office as Julia appeared "scared". There was no anger and if Julia said anything it was not heard. Our source was about to enter the hall when Rita's voice called out in a frightened tone. There were several shots fired.

It seems to us, as well as the source, that Julia had planned to take her own life, but not Rita's. When Rita took the brave step of trying to intervene, Julia must have snapped, and out of the frustration of the attempt of Rita to keep her from that plan, she shot Rita first. We that knew both of these ladies believe that Julia never meant to harm anyone other than herself, and that Rita's brave and well-intentioned, but wrong attempt to stop her without help may have caused her own death.

Susie and Cathy

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