Tag Archives: arson

OTD - June 24, 1973: The UpStairs Lounge Fire In New Orleans Kills 32. [VIDEO]

OTD – June 24, 1973: The UpStairs Lounge Fire In New Orleans Kills 32. [VIDEO]

Upstairs Lounge

Exactly 50 years ago on June 24th, 1973 the final day of Pride Weekend, thirty-two lives were lost when an arsonist set fire to the UpStairs Lounge in New Orleans, Louisiana.  

The UpStairs Lounge fire is the deadliest fire in New Orleans history and now the second largest mass murder of LGBT people ever in the United States

The gay club was, located on the second floor of a three-story building at the corner of Chartres and Iberville Streets in the French Quarter and L was one of a rare few left in the French Quarter that had a wooden exterior.

That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969, got together there for drinks and conversation and to celebrate the fourth anniversary of Stonewall . The club hosted free beer and dinner for 125 patrons. The atmosphere was evem welcoming enough that two gay brothers, Eddie and Jim Warren, even brought their mom, Inez, and proudly introduced her to the other patrons.

At 7:56pm, a buzzer from downstairs sounded; bartender Buddy Rasmussen asked Luther Boggs to answer the door. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor.  Boggs opened the door to find the front staircase engulfed in flames, along with the smell of lighter fluid. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.

The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.

Metal bars on the UpStairs Lounge windows, meant to keep people from falling out, were just 14 inches apart; while some managed to squeeze through and jump, others got stuck.  Reverend Bill Larson of the MCC clung to the bars of one window until he died.  When police and firefighters surveyed and began clearing the scene, they left Larson fused to the window frame until the next morning.

MCC assistant pastor George “Mitch” Mitchell escaped, but soon returned to try to rescue his boyfriend, Louis Broussard. Both died in the fire, their bodies clinging together in death, like a scene from the aftermath of Pompeii.

Thirty-two people lost their lives that Sunday 45 years ago — Luther Boggs, Inez Warren, and Warren’s sons among them.

A police officer at the time dismissed the French Quarter lounge as a place where “thieves” and “queers” hung out and their was little interest in solving the case.  There were no City Hall press conferences or statements of condolence from the governor, and no civil authorities publicly spoke out about the fire, other than to mumble about needed improvements to the city’s fire code.  The detectives wouldn’t even acknowledge that it was an arson case, saying the cause of the fire was of “undetermined origin.”

News coverage, both print and television, made every effort to omit the fact that the fire had anything to do with homosexuals in the community, even though a gay bar and members of a gay church congregation had been involved.  The stories that appeared included quotes from local citizens that can only be described as ignorant, such as a cab driver who said “I hoped the fire burned their dresses off,” and one woman who opined that “the Lord … cooked them.”  Local talk radio hosts were making jokes such as, “What do they bury the ashes of queers in?”  The answer:  “Fruit jars.”

To this day no one was ever officially charged with the crime. The only suspect in the attack was Rogder Dale Nunez, a local hustler and troublemaker who had been tossed out of the bar earlier in the evening.  Nunez escaped from psychiatric custody and was never picked up again by police, despite frequent appearances in the French Quarter. A friend later told investigators that Nunez confessed on at least four occasions to starting the fire. He told the friend that he squirted the bottom steps with Ronsonol lighter fluid bought at a local Walgreens and tossed the match.


 The List of Victims

Partners, Joe William Bailey & Clarence Joseph McCloskey, Jr. perished together. McCloskey’s sisters and two nieces attended the Memorial Service. His niece, Susan, represented McCloskey in the Jazz Funeral.

Duane George “Mitch” Mitchell, assistance pastor at MCC, died trying to save his partner, Louis Horace Broussard.

Mrs. Willie Inez Warren died with her sons, Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren.

Pastor of the MCC, Rev. William R. Larson, formerly a Methodist lay minister.

Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Several victims were his patients and were identified by his x-rays.

Douglas Maxwell Williams

Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida.

George Steven (Bud) Matyi, A rising young songwriter, perfumer and singer who had recently appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. His Body was Identified and buried through the help of his personal manger and his wife. The Cornman Family of New Orleans.

Larry Stratton

Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member, formerly a Jesuit Scholastic. Partner of entertainer Regina Adams.

James Walls Hambrick Horace “Skip” Getchell, MCC member.

Joseph Henry Adams

Herbert Dean Cooley, Upstairs Lounge bartender and MCC member.

Professional pianist, David Stuart Gary.

Guy D. Anderson

Luther Boggs

Donald Walter Dunbar

John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor’s Advisory Group.

Professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by Douglas “Buddy” Rasmussen, who led a group to safety.

Gerald Hoyt Gordon

Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal Government employee.

Glenn Richard “Dick” Green, Navy veteran.

Robert “Bob” Lumpkin

Four men were buried in Potter’s Field, Ferris LeBlanc, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, the City refused to release these bodies to the MCC for burial because they could not be identified.

LGBT Community Center Torched By Arsonist In Dallas

Dallas firefighters are saying that someone intentionally started a two-alarm fire at an LGBT resource center in South Dallas Friday morning.

The fire was determined to be incendiary in nature, and was set at some point at the rear of the building,” he said.

The facility is operated by Abounding Prosperity, Inc. Representatives for the organization said the facility is heavily damaged and will affect the services that can offer to people in the community. Services included HIV testing, programs and other resources for the QPOC – LGBT community.

Abounding Prosperity, Inc. was founded in November 2005 with the express purpose of responding to social and health disparities that continue to have a devastating impact on Black men and their families in Dallas County. Our mission: to provide services to address health, social and economic disparities among Black men with a particular emphasis on gay, bisexual and male to female Transgender individuals.

Firefighters said they responded to a call about the fire at the center in the 1800 block of Peabody Avenue at about 6 a.m. They extinguished the fire within an hour.

No injuries were reported.

Dallas Fire-Rescue investigators asked anyone with information about the incident to call them at 214-670-4312.


Adult Store Set Ablaze And Destroyed In Michigan By Ax-Wielding Hair Dresser Because God Said To Do It



According to police, late Wednesday afternoon Mitchell Hapner, a self employed “hair designer” was arrested after police identified him as the ax-wielding man witnesses saw fleeing from an adult store that had been set on fire.  When they attempted to question him, Hapner led police on a brief car chase before crashing his vehicle.

The owners of the adult store Hollywood Nights have set up GoFundMe page to help recoup their losses:

“Hollywood Nights was maliciously targeted and unfortunately burnt to the ground by a confused individual who thought he was doing god’s work,” the statement on the GoFundMe page reads.

“Clearly this was not god’s work, this was the heinous actions of a very disturbed person who had nothing but destruction on their mind. This confused person never knew our family and we never knew him. He believed he was serving as god on a mission to not only destroy the business but to harm any employees and customers in the building.”

Fortunately no one was hurt as the store was closed “for weather related reasons.”

Head on over to the GoFundMe page and donate a dollar or more for dildos.

Source: Raw Story



Washington DC Church’s LGBT Affirming Rainbow Banner Set On Fire In Hate Crime Incident

St Lukes Mthodist Rainbow Banner

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church Mission Center, just blocks from the vice president’s residence at the United States Naval Observatory, was a victim of a hate crime last week when a pro-supportive rainbow banner with the words “Stop the Trials” printed on it was set ablaze. The banner was hung outside church to express support for Methodist ministers on trial for blessing same-sex unions like Rev. Frank Schaeffer and Rev. Thomas Ogletree.

In a statement, the church’s pastor, Rev. Charles Parker, asked for mutual respect from those who disagree with his church’s LGBT-affirming stance.

“I am clear in my own wrestling with scripture, tradition, reason, and experience that the current position of our church is wrong,” he wrote. “I am also clear that other colleagues of good will and integrity have likewise wrestled with the issue and come to a different conclusion. What I would like to ask is, ‘can we respect each other enough to allow each of us to act in accordance with our conscience?’”

DC Police have classified the incident as a “destruction of property-hate bias incident.”

Smells like KKK-ristian love…..

Sexual Assault Allegations Against SCOTUS Nominee Brett Kavanaugh Become Public

Seattle Police Arrest Suspected Arsonist Of Gay Nightclub “Neighbours”

On January 1st an unknown man poured gasoline over a staircase inside the gay bar Neighbours and lit it on fire as the nightclub was packed with more than 750 New Years Eve revelers. The blaze was quickly discovered and extinguished before it could spread, and the bar was safely evacuated and miraculously one was injured.  Detectives from SPD’s Arson/Bomb Squad, along with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, have since been investigating the case.

Yesterday Musab Mohamed Masmari was arrested as police say he was on his way to the airport. Masmari, was booked into King County Jail for investigation of arson, according to police.

Masmari has a record of Seattle assaults and arrests that increased in frequency starting last spring. Since the January 1st incident, several business owners in north Capitol Hill told CHS they have had run-ins with the man.

Last April Masmari put a cigarette out in a man’s cheek as he entered the Lookout bar,  “He was trying to come in with a cigarette, and the guy just told him he couldn’t do that, so he put it out in his cheek,” said Stevie Gayle, who was bartending at the Lookout that night.

A fight broke out outside the bar, but Gayle said Masmari fled before the police arrived.

Other gay business owner said that he and others were forced to “86″ Masmari from their venues after run-ins in recent months.

Here’s is the report on the arrest from SPD:

Seattle Police made an arrest this morning of a 30-year-old suspect wanted for the arson at Neighbours on January 1st.

This morning, Seattle Police arrested the 30-year-old man near Seattle as he was enroute to the airport. Detectives from our Arson/Bomb Squad, working along with members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), have been investigating this case since the early morning hours of January 1st. Detectives would like to thank the public for all the tips they have received on the person of interest. Following his arrest, the suspect was interviewed by detectives and later booked into the King County Jail for Investigation of Arson.

Ohio Church Burned Down Because It Accepted LGBT Members – FRC Gives Arsonist License To FIRE!

Washington Township volunteer firefighters were called to the scene of a blazing fire  at a South Bloomingville, OH  historic landmark early Friday morning as a LGBT friendly church was burnnt to the ground in what the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Hocking County Sheriff’s Office are calling a case of arson.

According to one South Bloomingville resident, a man was seen at the site when the fire began, fueling the theory that the blaze was intentionally set.

The Rev. Scott Davis bought the church in 2010 and opened it to the community for services in 2011. Davis said he suspects arson because he has received many death threats in the past. “It’s because this is a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender church, and people around here don’t agree with it.” Davis said he welcomes all people to the church, regardless of faith, sexual orientation or race. There are approximately 30 locals who attend on a regular basis.

Davis said the residents of the small town are very upset with the orientation of the church, but doesn’t understand why someone would destroy the last historic building other than for revenge.

But we understand though don’t we?

The Family Research Council gave the arsonist a “license to fire!”

The Smoking Gun Identifies the “Right Wing Loving Christian” Who Set Fire To General Mills’ Lawn

The Smoking Gun has identified the “loving Christian” who set fire to the General Mill’s company’s lawn in protest over the company supporting same-sex marriage as Michael Leisner who works for  Greater Midwest Properties and has a YouTube Channel Live4Chr1st where he claims that President Barack Obama has “bent forward to accommodate the sodomites of New York.” and makes numerous reference to “gay perverts,”

The gay marriage opponent seen in a viral video accidentally setting a fire outside the General Mills headquarters is a Minnesota real estate broker who has previously recorded a series of anti-gay YouTube clips. Michael Leisner, 65, can be seen outside the General Mills corporate campus in Golden Valley. He is carrying a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in one hand and a blowtorch in the other. On Michael Leisner’s YouTube page (Live4Chr1st) he can be seen attacking Representative Barney Frank and Bill Maher, while noting that President Barack Obama has “bent forward to accommodate the sodomites of New York.” He also makes reference to “gay perverts,” “fierce faggots,” and the “depraved, debasing debauchery of gay activists.”

Leisner has disabled the embedding of his video but not before mirrored copies were made and posted.

Still waiting for NOM, Mike Huckabee, Dana Loesch, et al to denounce Leisner’s arsonist actions  and hateful words……… *crickets*

Loving “Christian” Sets General Mills Lawn On Fire In Anti-Gay Same Sex Marriage Protest

*You can still see this video by CLICKING HERE

“One out of every boxes of 8 boxes of cereal in this country is Cheerios. This is  really the treat now for the homosexuals. And this is our protest of General  Mills. They’re advocating same-sex marriages. So we are gonna torch some cereal.”

I don’t remember anyone “torching” a Chick-fil-A?

“And they’ll know we are Christians by our acetylene torches and our love…..”

Chicago Gay Nighclub Goes Up In Flames As It Falls Victim Of Anti-Gay Arson

The Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge a gay nightclub located in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park was destroyed by a fire early Sunday morning.  A fire which Oak Park Police is calling “suspicious” despite the fact that anti-gay messages were found scrawled on the bars inside walls.

Chicago Tribune reports:

The  fire was reported at about 6:25 a.m. in the Velvet Rope Ultra Lounge, 728 Lake  St., after a person in the area smelled smoke, said Oak Park Police Sgt. Anthony  Thomas. Flames charred the inside of the club, but not injuries were  reported.

While Oak Park police and fire investigators wouldn’t comment  beyond saying that they were investigating, owner Frank Elliott said authorities  were calling the morning fire suspicious.

He pointed to negative messages  written on a wall that authorities have since covered up. He also noted that a  safe hadn’t been removed from his office.

Responding Emergency workers cut out slabs of the nightclub’s walls to preserve as “key  evidence

Eight Horses Burned To Death In Anti-Gay Arson Attack In McConnelsville, Ohio


Eight horses were burned alive this weekend in an anti-gay arson attack when vandals struck the farm of a gay man in McConnelsville, Ohio.

Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire at 874 West Richards Road in McConnelsville just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late. “I couldn’t get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn’t get them out in time,” he said. Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started. “They obviously don’t know him very well, because he’s a sweet-hearted person and how he lives his lifestyle is nobody’s business but his own,” said friend Bobbie Nelson.

The words “Fags Are Freaks” were found spray painted on the remnants of the side of the barn.

Horrible and disgusting. It illustrates the deep hatred that permeates homophobes. Killing animals like that is as brutal as killing a person

As for Ohio in general.  Make no mistake OHIO is a redneck state, with some of the most restrictive laws in the US against civil unions and equal marriage.  It’s the Alabama of the Midwest and has suffered a brain-drain over the last 20 or so years.  Public attitudes are openly homophobic, with “religious” groups such as “The Citizens For Community Values” who have deep ties to the not only the American Family Association,  the Family Research Council and the states Republican Party fueling much of the hostility.”