“EVIL STIG was a small chapter in a 10 year struggle endured by THE GITS, Mia’s family and the Seattle community to understand a brutal and horrendous rape and murder. THE GITS would never be able to replace Mia Zapata. We were more akin to sibling than just friends or band-mates. Jett did not try to replace Mia Zapata as singer for THE GITS.” (Steve)
Evil Stig, was a new band formed by THE GITS and Joan Jett with the support of Jett’s manager Kenny Laguna. What started as a series of benefit concerts to fund the investigation into the death of Mia Zapata evolved into an album (CD and Vinyl 7 inch) on Warner Bros. Records entitled EVIL STIG . The name of the project and the album EVIL STIG is Gits Live backwards; “as in give.”
The album, also called EVIL STIG was recorded by Steve, Matt, Andy and Joan live and in-studio. The album songs were written by THE GITS intermixed with songs by Joan Jett and Kathleen Hannah of Bikini Kill and Le Tigre. Kenny Laguna and Desmond Child contributed to the record. Joan Jett and Joe Spleen (aka Andrew Kessler) wrote and recorded an original song for the album called, “Last to Know” in the Vancouver studio of Desmond Child.
All the proceeds from the recording and the live shows were to fund the private murder investigation into the murder of Mia Zapata two years earlier and still unsolved.
More than a fund raiser, the EVIL STIG tour served to raise awareness about the prevalence of rape and violence on college campuses and in general across the US. During a U.S. concert tour in the Winter of 1995, there were numerous radio interviews and press coverage highlighting these issues. The case was used on Unsolved Mysteries, America’s Most Wanted, A&E’s City Confidential, Court TV and others, seeking information on the killer’s identity and whereabouts. Jett’s personal contribution and her name recognition elevated the crime to international concern and led to further outpouring of support by musicians and THE GITS fans across the US and the world.
THE GITS made it clear that Seattle Police Detectives and County D.A.s office would be held accountable for keeping this “cold” case, an active investigation. In 2000 Seattle hired two experienced Cold-Case Detectives to re-open some of the cities over 300 cold case homicides still unsolved. THE GITS and their friends were relentless in their insistance to Seattle Police that these dedicated cops would address the (now 7 year ) unsolved killing of Mia Zapata. Of the 300 + cases, only 13 could be re-opened and worked aggressively. The Zapata case was given priority and re-opened in 2001.
THE GITS were exhausted and had spent upwards of $50,000 on the private investigation. There were reams of evidence and files on dozens of suspects that Seattle police overlooked. All this information was turned over to Seattle Cold Case Detectives and the Tim Bradshaw and Steve Fogg, Assistance District Attorneys. Bradshaw and Fogg would later prove tireless advocates of the case and personally witness the apprehension of a suspect hiding out in the Florida Keys in 2003. He was extradited to Washington State and stood trial for 2nd degree murder and rape in King County Court in May 2004. He was convicted and sentenced to 36 years in state prison.
“Mia could not be emulated or replaced.” (Matt) Nor did Joan Jett intend to replace her band The Blackhearts, with the 3 surviving members of THE GITS. Despite speculation and press reports to the contrary. The mission of EVIL STIG was as written above, to find a killer and honor Mia Zapata’s music and THE GITS.
Released: August 22, 1995
Label: Warner Brothers, Blackheart Records
It is currently available from Blackheart Records, NYC, USA
A multitude of bands and individuals supported the Investigation Fund. A partial list of these bands and people follow. Please contact Steve Moriarty Steve@THEGITS.COM if you have additions to, or know of others for purposes of gratitude and THE GITS Archive.
Blonde Redhead, Nirvana, Courtney Love, Love Battery, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, TAD Doyle, Hootie and the Blowfish, The Gossip, 7 Year Bitch, Maria Mabra, Poison Idea, Militia, Kathleen Hannah, Hater, Presidents of the United States of America, Cristien Storm, The Comet Tavern, Supersuckers, Dancing French Liberals of ’48, Julian Gibson, Amy Ray, Lisa Fay and Michael Millett.