Zapata was born in Louisville, Kentucky, on August 25, 1965, and she grew up in a musical family. She began singing and playing guitar at a young age, and she eventually moved to Seattle to pursue a career in music. In the early 1990s, Zapata formed the Gits, a punk rock band that gained a devoted following in the Seattle music scene. The band released several albums and played numerous shows, and Zapata’s powerful and emotive vocals earned her widespread praise and admiration.

The lead singer for the Seattle punk band The Gits. Mia was murdered in Seattle in 1993. Her murder would go unsolved for almost a decade before DNA linked a suspect to the murder.

On that Tuesday evening, July 6, Zapata rehearsed at Pancreas Production Studio, behind the Pike Street and 11th Avenue Winston Apartments. At 8:30 p.m., she joined friends at the Comet Tavern, a block away at Pike and 10th Avenue. Zapata had been drinking all day, and continued drinking at the Comet, even venturing a few blocks to Piecora’s Pizza for hard alcohol. She returned to the tavern, and kept drinking until midnight.

At midnight, she left the Comet to look for her boyfriend at the studio. He wasn’t there, so she went upstairs to a friend’s apartment. At 2:00 a.m., Zapata left, saying she’d catch a cab to her Rainier Valley apartment.

At 3:20 a.m., a prostitute found Zapata’s body where the dead-end 24th Avenue met Yesler Way, near an empty field. The prostitute said Zapata’s body was in the street, next to the curb, positioned with her arms outstretched. Zapata had been raped and strangled with the drawstring of her black Gits sweatshirt.

Poster looking for Mia Zapata’s Killer.

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