Oakland, Michigan, US – By age 33, Harry Von Lee Titlow had been passing as a woman for many years, and had spent $15,000 on breast enhancements. He went by the name Vonlee Nicole. Vonlee longed for, but could not afford, surgery to reconfigure his genitalia.
Vonlee had many male suitors, but told none that he was male. He limited how far he allowed sexual liaisons to go in order to prevent his suitors from discovering his penis.
Vonlee moved in with his 60-year-old aunt, Billie Jean Rogers, who had married a millionaire named Don, and could introduce Vonlee to rich men. Don warmly accepted Vonlee into his home.
One night, Billie called police to report that she and Vonlee had found Don unresponsive on the bedroom floor. His cause of death was later determined to be death by asphyxiation as a result of blood alcohol poisoning.
Vonlee confessed to his boyfriend, Danny, that he was born male, and had an intact penis. Vonlee also claimed that he had agreed to help his aunt kill his uncle Don in exchange for $100,000, which Vonlee intended to use to fund gender-affirming genital surgery. Vonlee said he had poured vodka down Don’s throat and “put his hand over Don’s mouth,” but had left the room while Billie suffocated Don with a pillow.
Danny, shocked and incredulous, demanded Vonlee remove his clothes to prove that he was a man, which Vonlee did.
Danny went directly to police, who had Danny wear a wire. He caught Vonlee’s next murder confession on audio tape.
There was no physical evidence implicating Billie, who dismissed Vonlee’s claims as “stories.” Vonlee’s aunt was ultimately acquitted of the crime and released, and died of cancer six months later.
Vonlee is serving 20-40 years for second-degree murder.
While housed in a prison for men, Vonlee’s silicone breast implants had to be removed as a medical emergency due to pain, tenderness and bloody discharge. Vonlee is upset that the legal system did not provide him with new breasts following the loss of his first pair, and had never permitted him to consume hormones that would allow him to maintain his feminized physique behind bars.
Vonlee has since been relocated to a prison that has a higher transgender population.
Read more about Vonlee Nicole Titlow in the news
A Chicago man will be extradited to Michigan to face charges that he killed his uncle for $100,000, according to Michigan authorities. Harry Von Lee Titlow, 34, of the 1500 block of West Fullerton Avenue, waived his right to fight extradition at a hearing today in Cook County Criminal Court.
Before BATCHELDER, Chief Judge; CLAY and GILMAN, Circuit Judges.ARGUED:Laura Kathleen Sutton, Manchester, Michigan, for Appellant. Laura Graves Moody, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellee. ON BRIEF:Laura Kathleen Sutton, Manchester, Michigan, for Appellant. John S. Pallas, Office of the Michigan Attorney General, Lansing, Michigan, for Appellee.
United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. – Titlow v. Correctional Medical Services, Incorporated
Defendants-Appellants Dr. Gregory Naylor, Dr. Haresh Pandya, and Dr. Jeffery Stieve, doctors in the Michigan Department of Corrections (“MDOC”), and correctional officer Craig Withrow appeal the district court’s denial of their motion for summary judgment seeking qualified immunity. Plaintiff-Appellee Vonlee Titlow, an MDOC prisoner, sued the defendants under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that their deliberate indifference to her serious medical needs violated her Eighth-Amendment rights. For the following reasons, we AFFIRM in part and REVERSE in part the district court’s decision.