Fangze Wang/Scarlet Blake

Fangze Wang/Scarlet Blake (aka Alice Wang), a violent male who identifies as a transgender woman, was convicted at Oxford Crown Court in February 2024 of the murder of a 30-year-old Spanish man named Jorge Martin Carreno in July 2021.

The judge described the defendant as having an “obsession with harm and death” and sentenced Blake to a minimum term of 24 years in prison. The prosecution had earlier described Blake as “someone who derived sexual gratification from the thought of violence and the thought of death.” The murder of Mr Carreno had remained unsolved for two years until Blake’s American ex-partner came forward to police.

The ex-partner, referred to as Blake’s online ‘girlfriend’ turned out to be another trans-identified male named Ashlynn Bell who appears to have been similarly obsessed with sexualised violence. Blake insisted the murder and other violent acts were done to please Bell. Mr Carreno was stalked through the deserted streets of Oxford in the early hours of the morning before Blake brutally hit him over the head with a vodka bottle, strangled him and pushed him into the river to drown. Blake had apparently self described as a ‘psychopath’ and had a “fixation with violence and with knowing what it would be like to kill someone.” Blake also claimed to to identify as a cat and miaowed at the jury to demonstrate – oddly, Blake wasn’t described as a trans-cat by the court and media, but claiming to be a woman was taken seriously.

Four months before murdering Mr Carreno, Blake lured a neighbour’s cat with food before trapping it in a crate and then live-streamed killing, dissecting and putting it in a blender. A vet told the court that the animal would have suffered extreme pain for at least three minutes as Blake strangled it and cut out its heart to keep as a grotesque ‘memento’. Blake previously admitted to the killing in November 2023, and so was also convicted of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, criminal damage and theft. The court heard that Blake was inspired by a Netflix documentary called “Don’t F**k With Cats” about a depraved cross-dressing murderer named Luka Magnotta who also tortured and killed cats, and that this “played a part” in Blake’s actions. Magnotta (born Eric Clinton Kirk Newman) has now apparently begun identifying as transgender while in prison and calling himself Violette.

In initial coverage, all media outlets, including the BBC, called Blake a ‘woman’ and used female pronouns both in initial reports from August 2023 and during the trial, likely due to information issued by the local police that did not include the defendant’s transgender status as they clearly would have done if a victim of violent crime had identified as transgender. Local newspaper, The Oxford Mail, first reported Blake’s transgender status on the 19 February 2024.

As usual there was severe criticism of all the media outlets, particularly of the BBC (also here and here), who obscured Blake’s trans status – the BBC insisting it had referred to Blake’s trans status across their output apart from one report on News At One on 26 Feb. However, in a thread on Twitter/X, Richard Garside, Director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies, documented a large number of BBC articles which failed to include the fact that Blake is transgender. The Guardian was forced to update their headline description of Blake as a “Cat-Killing Woman” (see archive 23 Feb) to “Cat Killer” (see archive 26 Feb) following reader complaints.

Even worse, Thames Valley Police confirmed they have recorded Blake’s murder as perpetrated by a female (see research by Keep Prisons Single Sex, that Thames Valley is not alone in recording murders committed by males as if they were committed by females). Garside writes in The Daily Telegraph about how this dramatically skews crime statistics. Given the asymmetry in the number of females committing murder compared to males – just one male convicted of murder being recorded as female pushes up the total annual number of female murder convictions by around 5 per cent.

See CPS press release referring to Blake with female pronouns here and Thames Valley Police press release here. In 2021 it was reported that there had been 100 allegations of sexual offences made against serving police officers and staff in Thames Valley over the previous five years. Among several other recent appalling cases, Thames Valley Police officers sacked a whistleblower officer who highlighted that fellow officers had made grossly derogatory comments about a woman they had arrested and viewed footage of her unclothed, before realising she had been the victim, not the perpetrator of a sexual assault.

Image credit: PA/Thames Valley Police via Sky News

Media reports

The Herald archive archive

The Daily Telegraph archive

The Spectator archive

Unherd archive

The Daily Telegraph archive

Spiked archive

BBC Cat killer Scarlet Blake jailed for Netflix show-inspired murder archive

BBC Jorge Martin Carreno death: Murder accused pretended to enjoy killing cat – trial archive

The Guardian archive

The Guardian (archive 23 Feb, archive 26 Feb)

Daily Mail

Oxford Mail archive

This Is Oxfordshire archive

Daily Mail archive

ITV News archive

BBC archive

The Mirror archive

Sky News