Mia Zapata (August 25, 1965 - July 7, 1993) was the lead singer for the underground rock band The Gits. Highly influential in the Seattle, Washington music scene, she was considered a dynamic live performancer and a uniquely gifted lyricist and painter.
She and the other band members founded The Gits at Antioch College in the late 1980s. Zapata was influenced by: Bessie Smith, Billie Holliday, Jimmy Reed, Ray Charles and Hank Williams; television entertainers the Three Stooges; hardcore punk; imaginal poetry such as Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations; and artwork by Egon Schiele and Willem De Kooning.
She was raped and murdered while walking home one night in Seattle. In the aftermath of her murder, friends created a self-defense group, "Home Alive," which exists to this day. "Home Alive" produced fundraising concerts and CDs with the participation of many of Seattle's music elite, such as Pearl Jam, Heart, and the Presidents of the United States. Joan Jett recorded an album with the surviving members of The Gits called "Evil Stig" ("Gits Live" backwards.)
A jury convicted a Florida fisherman, Jesus Mezquia, of her murder on March 25, 2004. Her case was featured on Unsolved Mysteries and on 48 Hours. In 2005, a documentary was completed on her life, The Gits and the Seattle music scene. It aired at the Seattle International Film Festival in May of that year.