Arnold Waukazo charged with murder, may not have known victim was transgender

Categories: Homicide Files

Waukazo Double Mug.JPG
How much did Arnold Waukazo know about his love interest, Krissy Bates?
​Arnold Waukazo was charged today with killing transgender woman Krissy Bates by stabbing her multiple times in the torso and neck.

Waukazo allegedly demonstrated to Minneapolis cops exactly how he stabbed his victim. He now faces felony second-degree murder charges that could land him in prison for as long as 40 years.

A family friend talked to City Pages about why Waukazo may have snapped, suggesting that perhaps he didn't know she was transgender. 

But people who knew Krissy well say it's unlikely that Waukazo would have been ignorant about his victim's gender.

Waukazo, a mechanic who worked for a few years stocking merchandise at Harbor Freight Tools in Minneapolis, was known to be a straight man. Although he had never married, he'd been in a relationship with one woman for close to 20 years. Together, the couple had two children. But the relationship ended, and she moved to Florida late last year.

In early January, Waukazo told a family friend he'd met someone new.

"He didn't tell me her name, but he said he had met a really cool woman, and he seemed excited--happier than I'd seen him in a long time," says Kurt Sowers, the stepfather of Waukazo's best friend.

Waukazo told Sowers he'd met this woman through Craigslist personals. She was the first woman that Waukazo had been interested in since his long-term relationship had ended.

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Krissy Bates posted this photo of herself online
​On Jan. 4, Waukazo visited Bates at her apartment, at 1302 Linden Avenue. A neighbor dropped by, and Bates introduced Waukazo as her boyfriend. Bates poured brandy and the trio kicked back and chatted.

Two days later, Waukazo stopped at Haskell's Liquor Store, bought a bottle of E & J brandy, and headed for Bates's apartment.

After Waukazo arrived, the couple got into an argument, according to the police report. Waukazo became so angry that he put his hands around Bates's neck and strangled her, hanging on until she lost consciousness. Waukazo laid the body on the floor and watched as it began to convulse.

It was then that Waukazo decided to finish the job.

He grabbed a folding knife, popped open the four-inch blade, and stabbed Bates in the torso. Over and over--four times in the torso, and once on the left side of her neck.

As if that wasn't enough, Waukazo pummeled Bates's torso with his fists, fracturing several of her ribs.

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Waukazo posted this picture of himself on Facebook
Waukazo placed the bloody knife back on the hutch, picked up Bates's keys and her laptop, and fled town. He ended up back in his hometown of Blaine, returning to his kids and his job.

When Janice Polson, of Closplint, Kentucky, hadn't heard from her good friend Krissy Bates in several days, she started to worry. The women spoke to each other several times each day.

Polson called one of Bates's neighbors and asked her to check on her friend. The neighbor called the building caretaker, who opened Bates's door. Inside, she found the blood-soaked body.

It was January 11, and it had been five days since Bates was killed.


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