seattle weekly

Mia Zapata, 1965-1993.

Published January 15 - 21, 2003

Days of Our Nights

Man charged in 1993 Zapata murder; legal briefs on Pete Townshend, Billie Joe Armstrong, more.


Justice may not be swift for the killer of Mia Zapata, but god (and the Miami-Dade court system) willing, it will be final. The news broke last Saturday that a man had finally been arrested in connection with the 27-year-old Gits singer's 1993 murder, just six months short of the crime's decade anniversary mark. Family, friends (including the bold-faced names in Pearl Jam, Nirvana, and Soundgarden), and the organization started in her honor, Home Alive, spent $70,000 to keep a private investigator on the job for three years until the money ran out, but it was a simple DNA match that finally led authorities to 48-year-old Florida resident Jesus C. Mesquiza. His saliva matched traces found on the body--Zapata was beaten, raped, and strangled with the drawstring of her Gits hoodie sweatshirt. The King County Prosecutor's Office has already filed first-degree murder charges, and the rape could bring the charge up to an aggravated first-degree offense, making him eligible for the death penalty, but on Monday, Mesquiza told a judge that he will fight extradition to Seattle and wants his trial to take place in Florida. Daniel House, the owner of local label C/Z Records, which once released acts like 7 Year Bitch, Built to Spill, and the Gits, told The Seattle Times on the five-year anniversary of Zapata's death: "It was innocence lost. The brutal way she was killed changed the fabric of the community; we could no longer proceed with the same openness. Having that person [the killer] still walking around--maybe he's the guy at the bar, maybe he's someone at your own party--that changes the way you look at the world. People haven't recovered from it." Ten years is a long, long time to wait for justice, but it's a whole lot better than never. . . . The long arm of the law also reached out for two rock stars this week: Pete Townshend and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong. As you've very likely heard already, the hearing-impaired Who-sier was arrested by London police and released on bail Monday after admitting to looking at child porn Web sites. Townshend vehemently denies being the next Gary Glitter (the sad '70s glam rocker who gave the world eternal NBA stomper "Rock & Roll Pt. 2," then did hard time on similar charges, if you forget); according to Townshend, it was all "purely for research," as he is eager to fight Net pornography and pedophilia, and getting online to check it out was all part of "knowing his enemy" before he began. Now this is the part where we refrain from any and all "The Kids are Alright" jokes and tell you to check out his own explanation at As for Billie Joe, he was arrested for allegedly driving under the influence in Berkeley, Calif., last Sunday. BJ was pulled over in his black BMW (now that's punk as fuck), charged with a misdemeanor, and released on $1,200 bail. . . . Eminem, the next J.Lo? First he makes music, then he makes movies, now, the wardrobe (and dare we dream it, the perfume?). A clothing line to be called Shady Ltd. will arrive in stores in time for the 2003 back-to-school season, as Eminem joins the illustrious rapper/expensive-baggy-pants-maker club that includes P. Diddy (Sean Jean), Jay Z (Rocawear), the Wu-Tang Clan (Wu Wear) plus Snoop Dogg's Rough Ryders and Outkast's self-titled lines. . . . Speaking of Snoop and multitasking rappers, can you think of a hip-hop star who hasn't jumped to the big screen? Ice Cube, Ice T, Treach, DMX, and Ja Rule have, to varying degrees of success (too-late hot tip to Ja Rule: Steven Seagal vehicles = bad news bears), made Hollywood their second calling, but until now, the Dogg Father kept himself pretty much to video-only Girls Gone Wild offshoots. No more; Snoop says he's now ready to fo-schnizzel his nizzel on the highest level: "I want to play a superhero. SuperN****. He'd be bigger than life. Maybe the size of the Empire State Building, be able to see through girls' dresses, all that shit." We're ready if you are. . . . In the meantime, we had a few suggestions for the ever-aspirational Christina Aguilera in her own quest for a Spider-Man-type role (Superskank? The Amazing Underwear Repeller?), but it turns out she wants to get into acting via more serious avenues. Says the dirty bird: "Something edgy would be good. I like the kind of roles Angelina Jolie usually plays, like Girl, Interrupted." According to, she was so impressed by Eminem's performance in 8 Mile, she may be looking for her own autobiographical-type project. . . . Look for ever-ubiquitous artiste Jim O'Rourke's soundtrack for the upcoming Philip Seymour Hoffman film Love, Liza (no, not Minnelli, nelly). . . . In case you're wondering what will happen to some of I-Spy/Nation's regular events now that the club has closed its doors, we can tell you this: Rock/DJ extravaganza Revolver has found a monthly home at Chop Suey, and the ever-popular art happening Rummage took over the Alibi Room for their most recent edition, but they're still looking for a permanent home, so e-mail if you've got any hot ideas. . . . Just weeks after the funeral of Clash guitarist Joe Strummer, there's word that a posthumous album could be released as early as May in the U.S. The record will combine a number of songs from sessions Strummer had been working on both with and independently of his band, the Mescaleros. . . . Finally, a very sad goodbye to two oldies but goodies: The Bee-Gees' Maurice Gibb, who died of a heart attack in Miami last Sunday at the age of 53, and T. Rex drummer Mickey Finn, who breathed his last on Saturday, due to kidney and liver problems. Two remaining Bee Gees survive, but the Rex were a singularly unlucky band: Singer Marc Bolan died in a car crash in 1977, percussionist Steve Took choked to death in 1980, and bassist Steve Currie was killed in an auto accident one year later. We only hope Finn is up there with his old bandmates now, Banging a Gong.