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William Branham, the Prostitute, and the Homosexual Transvestite Murderer

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William Branham, the Prostitute, and the Homosexual Transvestite Murderer:

New documents posted to our government records page! And more to come!

Recently, Facebook pages of Branham cult followers were ablaze with an onslaught of jokes, hatred, and condemnation of Caitlyn Jenner. Jenner recently had a sex-change operation, and under current message theology, even the thought of salvation is out of the question. To the Branham cult, this an an "unpardonable sin," and Jenner can never be forgiven. Not only does this defy (secret) Branham cult history, it is an outright stance against William Branham's ministry. Though he hid it well, William Branham was faced with the same situation. But rather than condemn what has been the debate of many Christians today, William Branham supported the 1963 version of Caitlyn Jenner prior to the sex change. Though it has long since been forgotten, William Branham supported a homosexual transvestite who later became a woman through a sex change operation.

In 1963, William Branham took a trip to the desert in Arizona that is fundamental in both cult history and cult theology. The results of that trip have been debated for decades, and his cult following has been programmed to believe that seven angels parted the heavens after an alleged "supernatural" experience in the wilderness. According to Branham’s recorded sermons, the trip was a result of a vision in which he saw five angels. This event was supposed to have happened during javelina season in Arizona, which was between March 1 and March 10 according to the State of Arizona.

But before the hunt, Branham mentions an event that is grossly overlooked in Message history. It was so significant to William Branham that he claimed the "humane society" gave him an "Oscar" for his performance. Branham left the state of Arizona to visit Houston, Texas, where a familiar face was sitting on death row and awaiting execution.

I was going hunting with a friend, not knowing what was going to happen. And someone called me, the one that criticized me about that picture of the Angel of the Lord, the one that took it. I had to go to Houston about his son, for he was going in the death row and was going to be killed in a few days. And he met me in there and throwed his arms around me, said, "Think, the very man that I criticized comes to save my only son!" The humane society give me what they call an oscar, or whatever you want to call it, for saving a life. Then we went back, I went up in the mountain to hunt.
Branham, 65-0725E

There's a boy who had done a murder. He done something wrong. Well, I was called on a case, the other day, you know, this over here in Texas. I got a little certificate from them the other day, "Saving a life," it said. We went over there for that little Ayers. That man that taken the picture of the Angel of the Lord, who, that night over there at Houston, and criticized me and said everything in the world about me. Throwed his arms around me, hugged me, said, "Just think, Brother Branham, the very man that I said was hyp-... practicing hypnosis, has come to save my son from the electric chair." That's right. I talked there before them all. And what did the governor do? Pardoned it.
- Branham, 63-0428

Leslie Douglas Ashley and Carolyn Lima were tried and convicted of murder in the Texas State court. During a three-party sexual orgy, Ashley and Lima killed a man in the real estate business. Ashley was the stepson of Mr. James Ayers that Branham mentions on tape. Ayers was one of the photographers who took a photograph of William Branham in the Houston Coliseum that has also made cult history. Born to Sylvia Kipperman Ayers, Leslie Ashley was actually Mr. Ayers stepson, not his son. The other photographer, Ted Kipperman, was related to the murderer’s mother.

The state's testimony shows that when officers of the City of Houston arrived at a vacant lot to extinguish a fire on the night of February 6, 1961, they discovered a burning, almost nude male body, later identified as that of the deceased. An autopsy revealed that gasoline had been poured on the body and ignited after the deceased had been killed as a result of being shot six times with a .22 caliber pistol.

Appellant Lima, an admitted prostitute, and Appellant Ashley, an admitted homosexual, both testified and in open court admitted killing the deceased but contended that they did so in self defense and in defense of each other.

The appellants testified that they were living together in December of 1960 when Lima met the deceased and began having paid sexual relations with him about once a week. Ashley first met the deceased while disguised as a woman, but later was introduced as Lima's brother. The deceased subsequently suggested that Ashley be a part of a perverted, three-way act of sexual deviation, and on February 6, the appellants went to deceased's office to engage in these acts with him. While discussing these sordid matters, deceased lightly stuck both appellants with his "bayonet", and when deceased proposed that he and Ashley engage in acts of sodomy he became very angry and cursed when Ashley refused. The deceased and Lima then partially disrobed and had been committing sodomy on each other when the deceased started "getting rough" and tearing at her private parts. When Lima began crying out Ashley intervened and deceased started hitting and choking him. During their struggle Ashley got the pistol out of Lima's purse and fired one shot before dropping it. Deceased grabbed the "bayonet" and started swinging it at the appellants, but Lima managed to grab the pistol and fire the remaining five shots which felled the deceased.

William Branham travelled to Houston, Texas to draw crowds that would sign a petition to the State of Texas to keep Ashley from the death penalty. On March 4th, he preached "An Absolute" for those "children" facing death.

And the other day, when I had arrangements made for something else, another place, and I knew that those children were facing death, I thought, "If something would happen to those children, I would never forgive myself," of not coming here to give my opinion and doing all that I could, to help this mother and father, and of these children, and to do all that I could for the saving of their lives.
- Branham, 63-0304 - A Absolute

On the 17th of that same month, Branham returned to his home church in Jeffersonville, Indiana and explained his trip to Houston.

The other day I was called to Houston, Texas, to try to get a pardon... I gathered some people together to preach a message to get people there to sign a pardon of—of this young fellow and young girl, you know, that got in that trouble (I guess you've read about it in the paper) and that was Mr. Ayers' step son.
- Branham, 63-0317M

In June of 1963, a rehearing was denied. Evidence was clear, the transvestite living with the prostitute killed their victim in his own real estate office:

"The facts upon which the appellants base their claim for a new trial in the Texas State Court are not seriously in dispute. The appellants were tried for the murder of a real estate man in. The city of Houston, whose killing they admitted, after, or during, a three-party sexual orgy in the office of the deceased. Appellant Ashley was a homosexual and transvestite (he frequently dressed in women's clothes for the purpose of attracting men). Appellant Carolyn Lima was a seventeen year old prostitute, who had been living with Ashley. Both of them had been supported by their earnings in prostitution."
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - 319 F.2d 80 (5th Cir. 1963) June 25, 1963

Leslie Ashley finally made a successful appeal. In 1965 after Carolyn Lima was freed, Ashley made an appeal pleading insanity. His defense was successful, and he was sent to a minimum security mental institution, from which he quickly escaped. Disguised as "Bobo the Clown" in a travelling carnival, Leslie would evade the FBI for over six months.
In April 6, 1965, Leslie Douglas Ashley made the FBI’s top ten most wanted fugitives.,_1965#Leslie_Douglas_Ashley

After several people signed the petition, Leslie Ashley changed his name to Leslie Elaine Perez and went on to have a sex change operation. Many newspaper articles and books were published to describe the horrific tale of sex, murder, and transition. One such book, "Dangerous Games," was published in 1993 by author Robert Bentley. Two reviews of the book summarize the gory tale:

From Publishers Weekly:
In this unusual story, engagingly told by screenwriter Bentley, Leslie Douglas Ashley met Carolyn Lima at a lesbian bar in Houston. In February 1961, soon after moving in together, the pair, who had turned to prostitution, were charged with fatally shooting a customer named Fred A. Tones, leaving his burned body in a vacant lot. A legal battle and media circus ensued. Ashley was sentenced to death; Lima was imprisoned and eventually released. Ashley's verdict was overturned because the prosecutor improperly hid psychiatric records. Ashley was sent to a mental hospital, escaped and was captured six months later. After serving five years in prison, he was released and underwent a sex-change operation, becoming Leslie Elaine Perez. In a stranger than fiction twist, she became politically active in Houston's chapter of ACT-UP. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:
A startling portrayal of life at the frayed edges of the American Dream--of drag shows, transvestite hustlers, teenage hookers, flophouses--and murder most foul. Free-lance writer Bentley centers his narrative on Leslie Douglas Ashley, a flamboyant drag performer who in the early 60's fled Houston for Manhattan. Failing to make it in the Gotham clubs, Ashley, still in drag, took to the streets as a prostitute. Returning to Texas, he encountered Carolyn Ann Lima, a slightly retarded 17-year-old hooker. The two joined forces, servicing clients from schoolboys to traveling salesmen. One of the pair's johns was a local real-estate agent who--according to their later testimony--became threatening during an assignation. Lima pumped six rounds into the man, then helped Ashley drag the body to a nearby vacant lot, where they set it on fire. Taking their victim's car, the two set out for Manhattan, pausing briefly in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. Picked up in N.Y.C. on a minor charge, Ashley and Lima were returned to Texas on murder charges. Ashley was condemned to death, despite an insanity defense; Lima plea- bargained and received time. During an appeal, it became clear that the prosecution had withheld evidence regarding Ashley's mental condition, and, after a new sanity hearing, the transvestite was put in a mental institution. Ashley was eventually pardoned; today, after a sex-change operation, she's politically active as a spokesperson for ACT UP--although Bentley indicates that her abrasive personality goes unappreciated even by that organization. An engrossing look at a shadowy area of American life--and the dark underbelly of the Reagan years. (Eight pages of photographs) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

When one hears William Branham refer to this "spiritual event" in which he won an "oscar," one would be led to believe that William Branham had led a wandering soul to salvation. Was he not saved from instant death at the hand of the mighty "prophet?"

But when you review the life story of this homosexual transvestite man (or now woman) and his prostitute roomate, there are many questions raised. Even in the extra-biblical and unbiblical doctrines of William Branham, this type of lifestyle is condemned. For what purpose would a "prophet of God" leave five (or seven) angels to save these two? Was it to save their soul? Or was there some other purpose, which involved money or power?

Full article can be found on our website:

The court document can be viewed here:

The appeal can be viewed here:

Our government documents page:

The video:


U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit - 319 F.2d 80 (5th Cir. 1963) June 25, 1963
Mike Vance, "Murder & Mayhem in Houston"
Bently, "Dangerous Games"
Independent Film: "Burn, Baby, Burn: The Carolyn Lima Story",