US: Trans-Identified Male Killer Who Fed Victims to Pigs Serving Life Sentence in Women’s Prison

A trans-identified male convicted of the grisly murders of two men is serving his 50-year sentence in a women’s correctional facility. Vietnam war and US Navy veteran Susan Monica, born Steven Buchanan, had dismembered the bodies of his victims and fed them to pigs at a 20-acre farm he owned in Wimer, Oregon.

In 1991, Buchanan purchased a 20-acre farm in Oregon where he would kill two handymen in 2012 and 2013 before feeding their corpses to the pigs he owned at the property. He was sentenced to a minimum of 50 years in prison in 2015, and multiple new outlets reporting on the case referred to Buchanan simply as a “woman,” without mentioning his transgender status or the fact he is a biological male.

“You shot two people and fed them to your pigs,” Judge Tim Barnack told Buchanan during sentencing. “I don’t know how else I can put it. You valued pigs more than you value people. It may sound harsh, but you are a cold-blooded killer.”

According to the Oregon state Department of Corrections, Buchanan is incarcerated at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, a women’s facility. He is listed under his feminine name, Susan Monica, and is described as being “female” in official records.

In 2012, Buchanan hired 59-year-old Stephen Delicino to assist him with tasks on the farm in exchange for financial compensation and accommodations. According to Buchanan’s testimony, the two became involved in a physical altercation after Buchanan discovered that Delicino was in possession of two of his guns. During a confrontation over the alleged theft, Buchanan claims that a gun misfired, striking Delicino in the back of the head and killing him.

However, Buchanan’s story regarding the death of Delicino was inconsistent. He variously claimed that Delicino shot himself in the head, and that he had shot the victim in self-defense — before his remains were eaten by Buchanan’s pigs.

What was left of Delicino’s corpse would later be found by investigators in plastic bags on the property, but not before Buchanan killed again.

The following year, Buchanan hired Robert Haney, 56, as a handyman by placing an advertisement for hired help. In the summer of 2013, Haney’s children became concerned when they could not contact their father, and filed a missing persons report with the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.

Haney’s son, Jesse, revealed in a documentary for Oxygen about the killings that he visited Buchanan’s farm on January 1, 2014 inquiring as to the whereabouts of his father, and to retrieve his belongings. “We hadn’t seen or heard from my dad for two months. We just all started to panic,” he said. “His leather jacket was there. His dog was still running around and all his tools were there… It made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.”

When officers initially questioned Buchanan about Haney’s disappearance, he told them that the handyman had quit and left the farm. Yet suspicions were raised when Buchanan was caught on security camera footage using Haney’s Oregon Trail Electronic Benefits Transfer card (EBT) to pay for items at a Walmart the day after he claimed that Haney had left his property.

Law enforcement officers executed a search warrant on the property and were shocked by the dilapidated conditions of Buchanan’s farm, which included piles of garbage, rotting food, and industrial waste. 

“I would describe that property as eerie. There was a very strong order there, a lot of decay,” former Jackson County Sheriff’s Detective Julie Denney told Oxygen.

Steven Buchanan / Susan Monica, mugshot via Jackson County Sheriff’s Office

Then, investigators discovered the remains of a human leg. “It was clear that it was not an animal bone. It appeared to me to be a human leg that had been severed mid-femur, down to the toes,” Denney said.

Detectives brought Buchanan in for further questioning, at which point Buchanan told a bizarre story about putting Haney “out of his misery.”

Buchanan claimed that a few months prior, he had discovered his pigs in a feeding frenzy, devouring Haney’s intestines “with his guts all over the place.” 

“He was being eaten, what I believed to be, alive,” Buchanan told detectives during the interview. “I put him out of his misery. I do that for my animals and this was the first time I did it for a human being and I knew it was wrong but if it were one of my pigs suffering out there, I would have done the same thing.”   

State Police forensic anthropologist Veronica Vance testified that Haney had suffered three to four gunshot wounds to the head. His legs had been chopped off with an ax, though it was unclear whether this occurred before or after Haney’s death. Additionally, his thigh bones showed signed of having been gnawed on by an animal.

Buchanan stated that he didn’t inform authorities about the incident because he feared that his pigs would be put down. When investigators asked whether they would find anything else on his property, Buchanan drew a map with an “X” and said, “Right there. That’s where you’re going to find Steve,” referring to Delicino.

“I do not value human life very much,” Buchanan would admit during a taped confession. “My feeling is the only thing wrong with the planet is there’s people on it. If not for us, all the other animals, even dodo birds, would be here.”

The lead detective involved with the case told the court that Buchanan had admitted to killing over a dozen victims in a similar manner. “She told me that if she told me about the 17 others that she would spend the rest of her life in jail,” said detective Eric Henderson, referring to Buchanan as a woman.

Delicino’s daughter Eva told Oxygen that she also believed there were more unidentified victims.

“I think there’s more people… I don’t know what the motive would be… I don’t think that you kill two people in that manner and that it wasn’t premeditated. I think [he] did it to other people, too… and even the investigators believe that there are more people out there on [his] property.”

Buchanan was arrested on January 14, 2014 and charged with two counts each of murder and first-degree abuse of a corpse as well as one count of identity theft, the Mail Tribune reported at the time. Dozens of crime scene investigators searched the property, digging over 100 holes over the following weeks. Though they uncovered the remains of both Haney and Delicino, as well as the victims’ personal belongings, no other bodies were found.

A former cellmate of Buchanan’s at the Jackson County jail testified to getting “chills” after receiving a birthday card from Buchanan signed, “from the sweetest murderer in Jackson County.”

It is unclear how many men claiming a transgender status are currently being held in women’s facilities in Oregon state. As Reduxx previously reported, a man in custody for the brutal murder of his ex-girlfriend had been briefly transferred to the Coffee Creek Women’s Correctional Facility, but was quickly moved back to the male estate just weeks later for unknown reasons.

Zera Lola Zombie, born Daniel Lee Smith, has received a “vulnerable” designation by an Oregon Court, entitling him to special protections and privileges due to his gender identity. He is classified as a “female” inmate in the Oregon inmate directory.

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Genevieve Gluck

Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.

Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve Gluck
Genevieve is the Co-Founder of Reduxx, and the outlet's Chief Investigative Journalist with a focused interest in pornography, sexual predators, and fetish subcultures. She is the creator of the podcast Women's Voices, which features news commentary and interviews regarding women's rights.