Jennifer Laude was a Filipino transwoman. Her life was ended by former United States Marine private first class Joseph Scott Pemberton of New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA.
One of Laude’s friends was Roann Dollete Labrador. In an interview with Rappler in October 2014, Labrador described Laude as a “selfless” person who was “full of joy” and “did not get on bad terms with anyone.”
Laude was from Olongapo City, Philippines. Here are 13 things about her:
- She was born male with the name Jeffrey Laude on November 4, 1987. She was the youngest of three siblings.
- She grew up in Tacloban City, Leyte, Philippines, the hometown of her deceased father.
- In 2005, she moved to Olongapo City where her two elder sisters Michelle Laude and Marilou Laude are based.
- It was her dream to become a flight attendant. She was allowed to wear the uniform of female students at AIE College in Olongapo City, where she studied hotel and restaurant services. While studying, she worked in a beauty parlor.
- As the breadwinner of her family, she regularly sent money to her mother Julita Laude in Leyte.
- In 2012, she met Marc Sueselbeck, a Duisburg, Germany native who works in an accounting firm, in an online dating site. They started a romantic relationship in the same year and she decided to quit school and work while her boyfriend was sending her a monthly allowance.
- On December 24, 2012, Sueselbeck proposed to her at the jewelry section of a mall in Olongapo City and she said yes. They planned to get married in Europe but her visa application was denied repeatedly.
- In the afternoon of October 11, 2014, she sent a video of herself playing with her two dogs to Sueselbeck and told him via online chat that she would be going out at night to visit a friend. In the evening, she and her friend Mark Clarence “Barbie” Caguioa Gelviro, also a transwoman, went to the Ambyanz Night Life Club on Magsaysay Drive in Olongapo City. At around 10:00 p.m., they met Pemberton, who was on shore leave and was bar-hopping with three fellow Marines namely Sergeant Daniel Pulido, Lance Corporal Bennett Dahl and Corporal Christopher Miller.
- At around 11:00 p.m. on October 11, 2014, she and Pemberton checked in at room number 1 of Celzone Lodge, a motel just across the Ambyanz Night Life Club. Minutes later, he left the motel and she was found dead with her head leaning against the toilet bowl inside the motel room.
- She died “due to asphyxia by drowning,” according to the autopsy report released by authorities on October 15, 2014.
- She was supposed to fly to Germany in December 2014 and marry Sueselbeck in March 2015.
- Her nickname was Ganda, the Filipino word for beauty.
- She was a sex worker, according to BuzzFeed News reporter Meredith Talusan. The reporter was featured in “Call Her Ganda,” a documentary about her life which was released in 2018.