The idea for the compilation came as a result of the actions of Jesus Mezquia – now sentenced to life in prison – “when he attacked 27-year-old Mia Zapata, raping and beating her before strangling her to death with her own sweatshirt cord. Zapata was the frontwoman for the great Seattle blooz-punk band the Gits, who only had time to release one album, Frenching the Bully, before her death.”
Zapata’s murder sent shockwaves through the alt-rock community at the time. Directly in response, friends of Zapata founded Home Alive, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching women self-defense, and the Gits’ labelmates 7 Year Bitch recorded their seriously whoop-ass 1994 album ¡Viva Zapata! in tribute. Joan Jett joined up with the remaining members of the Gits under the name Evil Stig (“Gits live” backwards) and released a live album in 1996. Home Alive released two benefit compilation albums featuring artists like Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden, and the Gossip. Last year, a documentary about Zapata and the band, called The Gits, was released.
And now, 16 years later, Mezquia will finally go to prison for that murder, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. (Via the Daily Swarm.) It’s been a long time.
The investigation of Zapata’s murder took ten years. TV shows like “Unsolved Mysteries” and “America’s Most Wanted” covered the case. Police finally linked crime-scene DNA to Mezquia in 2003. The attack, it turned out, was completely random.
In 2004, a jury convicted Mezquia, and a judge sentenced him to 37 years in prison. In 2005, his sentence was thrown out due to a U.S. Supreme Court decision. According to the Post-Intelligencer report, though, Mezquia returned to court last Thursday and asked the judge who originally sentenced him to reimpose his sentence. His attorneys gave no reason for Mezquia’s request, but he’ll finally serve his 37 years.