Robin Langston, 1972—2000

Robin Langston was strangled to death in the alley off Third Avenue and Blanchard Friday, September 15, 2000 at 4 a.m.  Late in the afternoon that day I walked down the alley, just after I’d gone to a police briefing about the murder.

Two homeless women were in the alley, one whose legs were the only visible part of her body; she was dumpster diving.  Her friend was pacing in the alley, drunk, wracked with grief, talking to herself. Is this where it happened, I asked them. Yes, Roxanne replied; homeless women who spent the night in Regrade Park had heard a woman screaming.  Roxanne said she thought she’d known the victim; nobody knew, since Robin had been found without ID and was not identified until late that night.

Soon, Renee came out of the dumpster with her treasures:  a medium plastic pot, a small fake Christmas tree, a wilted flower they both kept calling a purple daffodil.  As I stood in the alley talking, these two women slowly constructed a memorial for their fallen sister, whoever she was.  They left their makeshift memorial in that alley, and we walked on together to the Women’s Referral Center.

Robin was a beautiful 27-year-old African American woman who was beginning to get her life back on track.  Her lovingly written obituary in The Facts says Robin, who grew up in Seattle, had many friends.  “Robin was a very kind and caring person who made friends and not enemies.  She had a smile that no one will forget.”  She is survived by her parents, her two young sons, her four siblings.

At her wake, friends and family told me, “she was a good person. Nobody had anything but good to say about her.”  Her friends used to fuss with her, but they obviously loved her very much.

Robin’s family and friends were heartbroken by the media coverage of her murder.  There was absolutely nothing of her life in any of the daily papers, which called her simply “a transient with a history of prostitution.”  When the story hit the news, family members phoned reporters repeatedly to complain about the coverage and to give more information about Robin’s life.  Their calls weren’t returned.  Without the recent muggings in downtown, Robin’s murder would not have gotten even this much coverage.

At the Referral Center one night, a homeless woman shared her grief with me:  “They found her by the trash cans like she don’t matter.  I read that a guy in the apartment building [the Cornelius] said ‘We hear those people all the time,’ like she deserved what she got.”

Did the residents of that apartment building call the police right away when they heard Robin’s screams?  Police and medics responded within four minutes, but couldn’t revive Robin at the scene.

Amos, one of Robin’s friends, believes that attitude makes it easier to feel it could never happen to us.

But of course it can, it does. WHEEL, the homeless women’s organizing effort, mobilized for Women in Black last Wednesday for just that reason:  this could have been me, this was my sister, my brother.  Twenty homeless women and their supporters stood silently for an hour at the Public Safety Building Plaza to honor Robin, and all homeless people, in the wind, the cold, the rain.  At the end of that silent hour, we gathered in a circle and prayed – for our safety, for the safety of our sisters and our city.  Diane, who is homeless now, closed the prayer:  “As cold and wet and miserable as we are,” she said, “I guess we’re the lucky ones.”

– by Michele Marchand

Robin Langston’s leaf is placed at Angelines

December 21, 2000 update

Featured Leaf September 2017


  • Darian

    My name is Darian.Anybody who knew Robin when she was 16 and a Freshman at Cleveland H.S. knew she was my baby.I gave her a card that said to my wife.I was a senior on the football team and we loved each other.She was my first girlfriend.
    I was so hurt and angry when I heard the news.
    I had left and gone off to join the Army and I saw her when I came back.
    All the girls hated on Robin at Cleveland because she snagged the hot Captain of the football team..haha I miss you baby..I know you are in Heaven.
    Funny story..when I called Robin and broke up with her in H.S. she called me back and said “we are not breaking up so I will see you tomorrow baby” I was like hmmmmm. actually scared me but we stayed together a few more months
    Darian+Robin=True Love Always

    • Malcom

      I appreciate your sorrow for my mother. Some months ago this year, I read some articles that shook me, I never knew who did it, where it happened, anything. I never even asked my grandmother. I was only 3 that day and all I can cherish now were pictures and my smile. I will never know what to do if her killer, Andre Stevens, were to leave after his prison sentence ends. Bottom line, I’m glad to know that she is continuously loved. May her soul rest with her loved ones that still think of her.

  • Sabrina (MomBina)

    Robin Annette Langston…My sister, my best and ONLY girlfriend. The memory of that day that changed my life forever is still fresh in my mind. Robin was thinking of me during her attack because I was awaken out of my sleep fighting with someone so tough I was disturbing my fiance and had to get up from the bed. Robin wouldn’t allow me to lay back down. She fought she fought until her last breath. I felt all of it. As the news was coming on, my phone rang and mom was calling me to tell me my baby was gone. I made it from Kent to lake City in rush hour traffic in what seemed like 8 minutes. I couldn’t believe it. Though I know Robin is with OUR FATHER, I still feel her sometimes. I remember Li’l Malcolm asking me “Mom Bina can you go find Robin?” I could always find her when she was MIA(LOL). The look in his eyes and the sound of his little voice…(tears flowing). My baby I love her so much. She would come in and have me cook for her my spaghetti which she loved. We shared things I’ve never shared with anyone else. My baby I love her so much. I miss my baby. The funny thing is the first time I actually came in contact with Robin, it was to fight her for my older cousin. Who knew a couple years later we would meet again and become best friends? Robin Annette Langston will always be my baby and my love for her is everlasting. I’M MISSING YOU STILL

  • malcom sr

    It’s been 15 year’s since I lost my soul mate I met robin June 30th 1996 she ran outside hair un combed little short’s on and asked me if I lived around there I stated yes we spoke briefly and I ask for her number.after which I did not call for two months when I finally did we connected immediately.and didn’t part until Sept 1999 almost one year to her death.. Robin gave me a handsome son that we affectionately call boogie. I also fell in love with her first born Anthony.I promised robin I would look after the boys if anything happen to her she had premonitions of her death.. I miss her beautiful smile and her witty sense of humor.she deserved so much more out of
    .our son is 17 now and a smart and strong young man with his mothers good looks. And I have kept my promise to her and raised him alone with her mothers help .i will not give energy to the tragedy or the evil person that perpetrated this crime but just missing her and wanting to express how much we love her..

  • Sabrina (MomBina)

    Robin my baby, it’s coming up on 18 years since you were taken from us. There’s not a day I don’t think of you and cry because miss you so. Every time I hear that song by Puffy “I’ll be missing you”, no matter where I am I have to stop what I’m doing and have a moment alone. I’m so alone without you my baby. Nobody can and will never take your place. So many days, hours, minutes, months, years have passed since you were stolen from us all, yet the pain in my heart is as if it were today, right now.! I get angry all over again. I know our spirits will cross again. I miss my little sister, my baby. HELP ME LORD. I’m still suffering from the tragic murder of my bestie. I LOVE ROBIN ANNETTE LANGSTON

  • Sabrina (MomBina)

    My baby, my dearest heart, I miss you so so much. It’s still so fresh, the day we were robbed of you. NO matter how many days go by, I always think of you. It’s been 19 years now and that jerk who took you from us will be out in 7 years. It’s not long enough dammit!!! I don’t know how I feel about him being able to walk around a free person when he stole MY BABY!!! LORD PLEASE HELP ME! GOD knows how I feel about my babies. I’ve been struggling trying to move past your death, your murder and still I cry. I hurt. I’m distraught. What we’ve shared and our love for one another, like no other female friend on this planet and you know I don’t do girls/girly. lol Missing you still my baby. Forever and always MOMBINA.

    • Sabrina Mombina

      My dear Babygirl Robin, my sister, best friend whom I love so much. I awoke this morning as I did 23 years ago, time flies but I remember it like it just happened. I woke and you and my memory of that morning hit my mind but there was finally a peace for me. Some tears fell but there’s peace finally in my spirit. God has really been showing me that HE truly is a healer over the past few years, even if a crushed spirit. I know you’ve been at peace but with the way my life has been since you were taken, I’ve just been numb and existing. I love you so much my baby, and to think the first time I saw you, I was ordered to beat you up. God had other plans. 4ever in my memory you are and I miss you.

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