Crime | News | Seattle | Teresa Butz

Lesbian Sister of Tony Award-Winning Actor Murdered in Seattle

Teresa Butz (pictured below), the sister of Tony Award-winning actor Norbert Leo Butz, was stabbed to death by a male intruder at her apartment in the South Park area of Seattle. The intruder gained access to the apartment through an open window. Butz's partner, a 36-year-old woman who is not identified by name, was stabbed during the attack but survived.

The Seattle Times reports:Butz

"The Seattle couple, who had been together about two years, were preparing for a commitment ceremony in September and planned to travel to Barcelona, Spain, to celebrate Teresa's 40th birthday in October, he said...Tim Butz (the victim's brother, pictured) said Teresa's partner told family members that Teresa had sacrificed herself to save the partner's life during the attack. A detective related the same information, he said, but Butz said he couldn't elaborate because of the investigation. A next-door neighbor in South Park, Albert Barrientes, said Tuesday that the two women were able to get outside after the attack. The partner was hysterical, Barrientes said. Teresa Butz, before she died, said of the attacker, 'He told us if we did what he asked us to do he wouldn't hurt us. He lied, he lied,' Barrientes said."

Butz's killer remains at large, however, police released a sketch:

Sketch "Seattle police through most of Monday continued to call the attack random, but officials Monday night said it's too early to rule out a hate crime and that the sexual-minority task force has taken an interest in the case. Interim Police Chief John Diaz said the 3 a.m. attack at the house in the 700 block of South Rose Street was the most brutal crime he and his officers have seen in some time and vowed to put every available resource into catching the man. Detectives will be able to catch him through 'science, good police work and community,' Diaz said, and urged anyone with information to call the Seattle Police tip line at 206-233-5000, or Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound at 1-800-222-TIPS. Tips can also be texted to TIPS486, with a message to "crimes" (274637)."

About 400 people attended a neighborhood meeting in South Park on Monday night.

Teresa Butz was the ninth of 11 children.

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  1. Norbert Leo Butz is also in Seattle right now, working on a musical version of "Catch Me if You Can" at the 5th Ave Theatre. The first two preview performances have been cancelled so that he can help tend to the needs of his family.

    Posted by: Chris M | Jul 22, 2009 9:56:54 AM

  2. This is just heartbreaking--and anger-provoking, especially happening on the day John McCain tries calls the hate-crimes bill "an abuse of power."

    There is reason to suspect a hate crime because of the ferocity of the the attack, which the Seattle police chief has called "the most brutal crime he and his officers have seen in some time."

    They have already ruled out robbery as a motive. Such brutality is usually seen only in a crime of passion--or a hate crime.

    Our sympathies go to the grieving families and friends.

    Posted by: Jeff NYC | Jul 22, 2009 11:18:04 AM

  3. the intruder broke into teresa's house, not apt, and she was 39, not 36.

    Posted by: tina | Jul 22, 2009 11:54:17 AM

  4. If he didn't rob anything, then why was he there? This totally makes me think it was a hate crime. If my partner died this way, omg, I would be hysterical myself.

    Posted by: Genevieve | Jun 10, 2011 3:22:12 PM

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