Mass. Man Kills Transgender Activist Wife, Goes to Police Station to Confess, 'I Did Something Bad'

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien was a beloved figure in the Massachusetts transgender community, known for her years of activism

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien
Photo: Facebook

A 49-year-old Massachusetts man was sentenced last week to life in prison after pleading guilty to the brutal 2018 slaying of his wife, transgender activist Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien.

Mark Steele-Knudslien was in Berkshire Superior Court last week, acknowledging with his plea that he stabbed his wife and beat her with a hammer in their North Adams residence on the night of January 4, 2018.

A heated argument preceded the deadly violence.

According to investigators, Mark walked himself into a police station after the murder, and told cops he had done “something very bad.”

Mark allegedly admitted to the killing during his initial interrogation with police, telling detectives he “snapped,” according to MassLive. He also allegedly told police his wife belittled him constantly, the site reports.

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien
Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien with her husband, Mark. Facebook

Days after his arrest, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

PEOPLE confirms through online court records Mark pled guilty to Christa’s second-degree murder on Thursday. It will be 25 years before he will become parole eligible.

Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, 42, was a beloved figure in the Massachusetts transgender community, known for her years of activism.

In 2008, she launched the first New England Trans Pride event, and later created the Miss Trans New England Pageant.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Sign up for PEOPLE’s free True Crime newsletter for breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases.

Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington issued a statement following last week’s sentencing.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to those who loved Christa dearly and the entire transgender community who looked up to her as a leader,” the statement reads.

“This is yet another horrific domestic violence homicide in the Berkshires,” it continues. “My office focuses on holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable and this sentence will keep a very dangerous person away from the community for years to come.”

Related Articles