Steph's Place

March 21st - Every Three Days - Vanessa Santillan

On average every three days a woman is killed by a man.

Every third day, in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man. Previously in this campaign, which started on the 2nd of May 2021, I have remembered 111 women, the last being Janet Muller who was just 21 years old.

Today I remember Vanessa Santillan, 33, a trans woman - who her husband Joaquin Gomez Hernandez, killed in February 2015 after an argument.

Charged with murder, Hernandez appeared at the Old Bailey in October of that year. The court heard that unemployed Gomez Hernandez was jealous and resented relying on Ms Santillan for money since their arrival in London from Mexico, two months before her death.

The jury was told that he became angry when Ms Santillan entertained a client after the pair had been out with friends, later attacking her, inflicting massive head and neck injuries. He then pretended to find her body and suggested to the police that one of her clients had killed her.

Sentencing him to a mandatory life term, Judge Richard Marks QC told Gomez Hernandez:

"Vanessa had extensive head injuries and suffered manual strangulation. You left her on the floor, naked from the waist down. You then engaged in a pretence and lied to the police. Your subsequent conduct - taking Vanessa's property including money and telephones and visiting prostitutes after the attack - was callous in the extreme."

An impact statement from Ms Santillan's family said: "This loss cannot be remedied or changed. It is something that has greatly affected us and hurts us a lot. Our family will never be the same again without Vanessa. We cannot stop thinking how unjust her death was."

Vanessa Santillan


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