Person of Interest in Hollywood Publicist Murder Kills Himself

RONNI CHASEN X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMA person of interest in the killing of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen fatally shot himself Wednesday night after being approached for questioning by police in the lobby of a Los Angeles hotel. Daily News

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Teen Gets 40 Years for Murder of Gay DC Principal Brian Betts

In May I posted about the murder of beloved gay D.C. school principal Brian Betts, who met his killers over a phone chat line. Yesterday, a 19-year-old was sentenced to 40 years for the murder:

Betts "Alante Saunders was sentenced Tuesday to 40 years in prison in Montgomery County Circuit Court. He pleaded guilty to felony murder earlier this month. Prosecutors said Saunders and Brian Betts, the principal of Shaw Middle School, met through a sex chat line and Betts agreed to leave the door of his home open for Saunders. Betts was found dead in his Silver Spring home April 15 after failing to show up for work. Three other teens have also been charged."

Gloria Allred, who served as attorney for the Betts family, says she'll request that the U.S. Justice Dept. probe Betts' murder as a hate crime.

Said Allred: "Brian’s family retained me to represent them as victims in the criminal case. The family has also retained me to explore whether or not Brian’s murder should also be prosecuted under the new Matthew Shepard federal hate crimes law. Brian was a gay man and we believe an investigation should be opened under that law to determine whether a hate crime has or has not been committed by defendant Saunders and if it has whether it is appropriate to proceed with a federal prosecution under that law."

Towleroad News #gay

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Hung Jury in Murder Trial of Satanist Killer of Gay NYC Newsman

The murder trial of a satanist hustler who murdered New York newsman George Weber after they met on Craigslist has ended in a hung jury, the NY Daily News reports:

Katehis "One lone juror was the holdout, refusing to vote with the 11 others who stood ready to convict 18-year-old John Katehis of murder. The broadcast journalist, 47, went online to hire Katehis, then 16, from craigslist to act out a smothering scene at his Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, home. Despite the 50 stab wounds Weber suffered, the unidentified female juror holdout 'didn't believe they proved intent,' said fellow juror Darryl Turner, 52, of Cypress Gardens, Brooklyn. 'There was a lot of fighting this morning, but she wouldn't budge,' he said. 'It is what it is.'"

Prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi says she'll pursue a new trial.

Towleroad News #gay

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Trans Murder Suspect Goes to Cops

VICTORIA CARMEN WHITE X180 (GRAB) | ADVOCATE.COMOne of the suspects for the killing of Victoria Carmen White
(pictured), a transgender woman who was found dead in her apartment
September 12 turned himself in on Saturday night. Daily News

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NJ: Murder of trans woman Victoria Carmen White – disrespected by law enforcement

From Pam Spaulding:

People are mourning the tragic suicide of 18-year-old Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi; over in Maplewood, NJ, the young life of another person was taken from this earth as the result of a fatal shooting that should also receive your attention. (Maplewood Patch):

The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office reported today that the victim of a fatal shooting in Maplewood on Sunday was Victoria Carmen White, formerly James White. White had legally changed her name to Victoria Carmen following sex reassignment surgery.

The Prosecutor’s Office and Maplewood Police had originally identified the victim as James White. However, as stated in a release from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office this afternoon: “Following an examination by the Medical Examiner and further investigation, it has been confirmed that the victim was a post-operative transgender female having undergone sex reassignment surgery.”

Looking at the numerous photos of Victoria, I have to agree with Monica Roberts of Transgriot.

Take a look at the photos of Victoria interspersed throughout this post. Does she look like a ‘man’? When are you peeps going to get it through your heads, especially in the law enforcement and criminal justice communities that genitalia does not necessarily equal gender?

There is nothing indicating that IDing her in that manner is relevant to the shooting.

Fair point. Why mention it if it’s not relevant to the case?


—  John Wright

NOM: We Don’t Support The Murder Of Gay People (Even If Our Followers Do!)

NOM is EVER so pissed that people are calling them out for holding anti-gay rallies in which supporters freely wave signs calling for the murder of LGBT people.

“The New Hampshire Democratic Party has slurred NOM’s good name and the good people of New Hampshire who rightly believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman,” said Brian Brown, NOM’s president. “They’ve escalated their inflammatory rhetoric beyond their customary insulting charge of bigotry and discrimination, and now are actually saying that NOM and supporters of traditional marriage want to murder gays. It’s totally outrageous and should be condemned, as should all violence and threats of violence.”

“First of all, the lone sign that the NHDP mentions was not a NOM sign, but something briefly displayed by a single individual at a rally,” Brown said. “Secondly, NOM immediately told the individual to take the sign down because it was disgusting and not reflective of NOM’s message or mission: we love marriage and call on all our supporters to respond to incivility and threats with love and respect. NOM immediately issued both nationwide emails and a nationwide press release condemning the sign, as well as threats mounted by gay marriage radicals against NOM. What’s particularly interesting about the press release with its murder slur is that in their zeal to score political points, the Democratic Party has shown itself to be nothing more than a tool of national gay marriage groups.”

Miss Brown, we ALL saw the video. Your loyal devoted fan most definitely did NOT take his sign down, in fact he happily and proudly brandished it for the cameras of the Courage Campaign. Actually, since your Babble clearly DOES call for every homosexual to be put to death, (Glory! Praise His Name!), it’s shocking that you are denouncing the Word Of The Lord! “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” – Ecclesiastes 12:13.

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Killer who preyed on Montrose gays set to die

Derrick Jackson (TDCJ)

Derrick Jackson is scheduled to be put to death on Tuesday, July 20 for fatally slashing, stabbing and bludgeoning two Houston opera singers in 1988.

Jackson was a predator who preyed on patrons of gay bars in the Montrose area, and one of the victims, Forrest Henderson, had picked him up at one.

“He just picked up the wrong person and brought him back to the house,” Houston homicide Sgt. D.D. Shirley said after Jackson’s arrest.

On the night of the murder Henderson and the other victim, Richard Alan Wrotenbery, attended a rehearsal of Bizet’s Carmen. Wrontenbury, a first-grade music teacher who’d just been through a divorce, was staying with Henderson until he could find another place to live. After the rehearsal, Wrotenbury returned to the apartment while Henderson went to the bars.

Henderson was found naked and face down in his bed. He had been stabbed repeatedly. Wrotenbury was found in another bedroom with his throat slashed. Both had been bludgeoned with a heavy metal bar.

A day later Police spotted someone driving Henderson’s stolen car, and a chase ensued. The driver got away, and it wasn’t until seven years later that investigators used new fingerprint technology to identify Jackson, who was already in prison for aggravated robbery.

Jackson, who maintains his innocence, would become the 15th person executed to death in Texas this year.

—  John Wright

Police: Oak Lawn murder wasn't a hate crime

The motive for the murder of a man found dead Tuesday morning in an Oak Lawn apartment was robbery, according to Dallas police.

Sr. Cpl. Kevin Janse, a spokesman for DPD, said in an e-mail Thursday afternoon that investigators don’t believe the victim’s sexual orientation was a factor in the crime.

“The motive in this case is robbery,” Janse said. “There is no indication that this was a hate crime. His sexual orientation does not play into our investigation.”

The body of 33-year-old Sheldon McKnight was found at the Oaklawn Heights Apartments in the 2600 block of Arroyo Avenue. The apartment where McKnight was found had been set on fire. It’s unknown whether McKnight was gay.

Ricardo Beltran, 18, and Victor Ramos, 19, have been arrested and charged with capital murder in McKnight’s death. Each was being held on a $1 million bond.

Beltran and Ramos were arrested after they wrecked the victim’s car late Wednesday morning.

—  John Wright

Fort Worth PD releases photos of 'person in interest' in April murder near Rainbow Lounge

Suspect combo

Fort Worth police have just released three images of a man described as “a person of interest” in connection with the April 30 murder of 72-year-old Grady Fairbairn in the 500 block of West Cannon Street, about a block and a half from the Rainbow Lounge.

The “person of interest” is a white man captured on surveillance video at the Downtown ITC transportation terminal at 1001  Jones St., four days after the murder. Police say the man had just tried to use a credit card belonging to Fairbairn.

Anyone with any information on the identity of the man in the photos, or with any other information related to the murder of Grady Fairbairn, is asked to call the Fort Worth PD Homicide Unit at 817-392-4335. Tipsters can also call Crimestoppers at 817-469-8477.

Suspect 2

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Trans women murdered in Puerto Rico


This morning I got an e-mail from Oscar Lopez with the Latino Commission on AIDS regarding the recent murders of two trans women in Puerto Rico.

Angie Gonzalez Oquendo’s body was found Monday, May 24 in Caguas, and Ashley Santiago was murdered in her home in Corozal on April 19. Lopez says police are investigating both murders and have not ruled out the possibility that these were hate crimes.

If these latest killings are determined to be hate crimes, Lopez says, they will be “the continuation of a disturbing trend,” noting that these murders come less than a year after gay teen Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado (right) was murdered, dismembered and his body set on fire by a man who said the teen was wearing a dress when he picked him up looking for sex, and he thought the young man was a woman.

Juan Jose Martinez Matos confessed to killing Lopez Mercado and earlier this month was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

The e-mail from Oscar Lopez included a statement from Latino Commission on AIDS President Guillermo Chacon, who urged his fellow Puerto Ricans to fight the violence by working to end homophobia, transphobia and all kinds of discrimination.

Chacon said: “I urge the Latino community to be united as one voice and with our personal actions reject any type of homophobia, transphobia and discrimination. We are one family; we must pursue the well-being of all our members. We must address homophobia and transphobia by putting a stop to the jokes, slurs, discrimination and hatred faced by our LGBT brothers and sisters, not just in Puerto Rico but across the entire country. Hatred and violence are never the answer.”

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