Tessa Majors was an 18-year-old talented freshman at Barnard College who was stabbed to death in a horrific sequence of events in Manhattan. She managed to make it to a school security booth while wounded, but it was empty.
In what is now an extremely sad post, in May 2019, her dad, Inman Majors, wrote on his Facebook page, “18 years ago today my life got redefined in all the right ways when this little bundle of fun came into the world. Happy Birthday to Tessa Rane Majors, a fantastic young lady. I can’t wait to see what the next 18 years have in store.”
Tessa was in the class of 2023 and is from Virginia.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Tessa Was Stabbed After Being Robbed by a Group of Suspects, Police Say
According to the Columbia Spectator, police say “a group of suspects approached Majors and demanded her property before stabbing her several times.”
A security guard made the 911 call at 5:36 p.m. on December 11, 2019 after finding Majors “unconscious with multiple stab wounds.”
ABC7 journalist CeFaan Kim wrote on Twitter, “18-year-old Barnard College student found stabbed to death was robbed by group of suspects. She managed to climb stairs wounded from Morningside Park, collapsed in front of school security booth, empty as guard made rounds. Found 30mins later. Too late.”
According to ABC7’s story, “The booth was empty at the time as the guard was making his rounds. He found the woman there when he returned and called 911.”
2. Tessa’s Dad Is an Author & Writing Professor Who Gushed on Facebook About His Daughter, Who Interned at a Local Newspaper
Tessa’s dad is Inman Majors, who is a professor at James Madison University in Virginia and a novelist.
“Majors is a novelist originally from Knoxville, TN who is now a creative writing professor at James Madison University,” says a press release on Inman. “His novels include: ‘Swimming in the Sky,’ ‘Wonderdog,’ ‘The Millionaires,’ ‘Love’s Winning Plays,’ and the recently released ‘Penelope Lemon: Game On!’” Tessa’s mother’s name is Christy. She also has a younger brother. Her father wrote on Facebook that “she took (her brother) under her wings from the first day, and loved and supported and included in all the games she played.”
In 2016, he shared photos of Tessa and wrote, “You are truly one of a kind and the best daughter a father could hope for.”
Inman also wrote, “For my daughter’s senior internship she is working as a freelance reporter for the Augusta Free Press, an independent paper in Waynesboro VA. Here is her piece on attending a city council meeting.” You can read the article Tessa, who was also called Tess, wrote here. The May 2019 article was titled, “Local government matters: Civic engagement at Waynesboro City Council.”
Here’s an interview with Tessa about the internship and some of her stories, such as surveying the local music scene.
“I’m going to Barnard…I’m really excited about that,” she said in the podcast. She said she had no idea what major she wanted to declare.
“I’ve always loved writing,” she said. “I’ve been writing in various forms since I was a little kid. Journalism was a field that I never delved into before… but I thought it would be a really interesting experience.”
3. Tessa Played Bass & Sang Back Up in a Band
Tessa’s dad wrote on Facebook that “Tess plays in two bands. This one, The Company, just dropped their first single on Spotify. Tess plays bass and sings back-up. Fans of 80s funk music might like this one.”
You can listen to the track here.
Eight weeks ago, she wrote on Instagram, “Safe to say the first NYC show went well ;)” A few weeks before that, she wrote, “Anyway, for those of you who’ve been seeing my posts, my band, Patient 0, has an album coming out tonight at midnight!! This is very exciting, and it’s basically a showcase of all my favorite songs I wrote in high school…There are also lots of people I’d like to thank for making this possible…It’ll be available on Spotify and Apple Music. Also, I would appreciate any streams, Instagram stories, and shoutouts from you all. Thank you 💘 #punk #newmusic #riotgrrrl.”
4. Barnard College Called Tessa Majors an ‘Extraordinary Young Woman’ Who Experienced ‘Unthinkable Tragedy’
Barnard College President Sian Leah Beilock released and a statement.
“Dean Grinage and I have spoken to her parents and Tessa’s family is enroute to NYC,” she wrote.
“We are also in close touch with the New York Police Department as they conduct this on-going investigation and seek to identify the assailant in this horrible attack. Tessa was just beginning her journey at Barnard and in life. We mourn this devastating murder of an extraordinary young woman and member of our community. This is an unthinkable tragedy that has shaken us to our core. Please know that we are all grieving together and I am thinking of you as we process this awful news as a community.”
5. Police Are Investigating a Suspect in a Green Jacket
There are some leads in the murder.
ABC7 reported that Tessa’s uncharged phone was found on a sidewalk, and a woman’s hat and a “closed gravity knife” were found in the park. A suspect was reported to be wearing a green jacket and, ABC7 reported, police encountered a similarly clad robbery suspect earlier in the day, and they found a blood trail at a spot where he hangs out.
It’s still being investigated whether that suspect is tied to Majors’ slaying.
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