Tag Archives: hate crime

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of "Upstairs Lounge" Inferno Through DNA

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of “Upstairs Lounge” Inferno Through DNA

 In New Orleans on a warm Sunday afternoon in June 24, 1973 an  afternoon arson attack on a gay bar called the Upstairs Lounge resulted in the deaths of 32 people. 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 after the Florida Pulse Massacre.

News coverage at that time, 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.”

Of the 32 victims  four of the bodies were buried by authorities in an unmarked grave in the local “potter’s field”. Sadly, a record of exactly where those bodies were buried was lost during the Hurricane Katrina tragedy of 2005. Now, officials in the city have announced that they plan to renew efforts to find the victims in the unmarked grave.

Last Thursday, NOLA city council passed a motion promising to renew efforts to find the lost bodies. Doing so opens up the possibility of carrying out DNA testing to identify those not previously named. It also means they can receive a proper burial after all these decades..

“The City’s callous and deeply inadequate response … rooted in pervasive anti-gay sentiment” made suffering worse for victims´ families and friends” states the motion written by Councilmember Jean-Paul “JP” Morrell.

The motion says the city has a moral obligation to do all it can to aid “the recovery and dignified interment of the victims of the UpStairs Lounge massacre.”

You can rad more about the UpStairs Lounge Inferno by CLICKING HERE.

New Orleans To Exhume And Attempt To Identify Unknown LGBT Victims of "Upstairs Lounge" Inferno Through DNA
Missouri Man Shoots Gay Teen 8 Times

Missouri Man Shoots Gay Teen 8 Times

A Kansas City, Missouri man has pleaded guilty to federal hate crimes charges after shooting a teenage boy 8 times because he was gay.

Malachi Robinson, 26, admitted this week to shooting the teen on May 29, 2019. After the boy approached him and asked to connect via Facebook. The two then began a conversation over Facebook Messenger in which M.S. asked about Robinson’s sexual orientation and suggested the meet in the library’s bathroom. Robinson told him that he was not gay but agreed to meet outside the library to engage in oral sex in exchange for $5.

All the while Robinson was sending screenshots of the chat to his girlfriend.

Robinson then left the library and followed the teen to a wooded area nearby,. That’s when Robinson shot the teen approximately eight times, hitting him three times in the chest, three times in his right arm, once in his left buttocks, and once in his right hand, almost detaching his finger.

On a June 2, 2019 Facebook message, he wrote, “I shot a ni**a. He was being gay af and following me like a mf.”

“This attempted murder is a reminder that hate crimes against the LGBTQI+ community are real and must be confronted,” Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said in a July 7 statement. “Violent acts targeting people based on their sexual orientation are heinous crimes that have no place in our country.”

The unidentified teen miraculously survived and spent two weeks in the hospital before being released.

Man Charged In Anti-Gay Assault Of Delta Flight Attendant

Man Charged In Anti-Gay Assault Of Delta Flight Attendant

Via The Daily Beast:

A first-class passenger flying home from Atlanta became enraged with a flight attendant who refused to continue serving the man alcohol, calling him a “fag” and a “queer” before throwing a glass of ice at him and hitting him with an onboard telephone, according to an FBI affidavit obtained first by The Daily Beast. Christopher Alexander Morgan was arrested when Delta Air Lines flight 2908 touched down April 22 at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, states the affidavit, which was unsealed Monday. He is facing charges of interference with flight crew members or attendants, a felony which carries up to 20 years in prison,

Morgan said the flight attendant was “homosexual and that this made him uncomfortable,” according to the affidavit. Morgan said that he is homophobic and that it is possible he could have been intimidating to the flight attendants.

Remember: First class only offers better service. NOT a better class of customers.

California Man Arrested for Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men on GRINDR

California Man Arrested for Targeting, Robbing 20+ Gay Men on GRINDR

A Compton, California man who allegedly targeted and robbed more than 20 gay men he met on GRINDR has been arrested according to authorities.

Via The Pride:

Derrick Patterson, 22, was taken into custody by the FBI and is charged in a federal criminal complaint. The robberies occurred between November 2019 and March 2022 after Patterson allegedly contacted people using Grindr and arranged to meet at their homes or hotel rooms, purportedly for sex, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office and KTLA. Officials said he would then draw different weapons, such as knives or a taser gun, and demand their wallets and cell phones. 

Patterson is accused of stabbing a man in the chest in October 2020. The victim survived and was able to identify Patterson to the police.

Patterson faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

The FBI is looking for other victims of Patterson. They can contact the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office at (310) 477-6565.

PLEASE always be careful when using social media for sex hook-ups.

Florida Family Beats Gay Man For Dating Son. Man Nearly Killed, Loses Sight.

Florida Family Beats Gay Man For Dating Son. Man Nearly Killed, Loses Sight.

Via Florida’s local ABC affiliate

Members of a Ukrainian refugee family appeared in a South Florida courtroom on Wednesday. That’s where they are facing hate crime and attempted murder charges for an alleged family ambush against a gay man. Police say Oleh Makarenko was in a nine-month homosexual relationship, which would end with his lover being beaten so badly by Makarenko’s family that the victim became blind. Authorities allege that Oleh Makarenko, who is also known as Alex, was being forced to marry a woman by his mother. On Aug. 6, three members of the Makarenko family barged into the victims home, according to police. A police report stated that, “All four of the suspects continued holding him and began punching, kicking, and hitting him all over his face and body.”

While in the war between Russia and the Ukraine we are all hoping that the Ukraine wins. But the Ukraine, like Russia is a very dangerous place to be LGBT.

Since the fall of the Soviet Union and Ukraine’s independence in 1991, the Ukrainian LGBT community has gradually become more visible and more organized politically. But it is still a place of extreme prejudice thanks to  the Eastern Orthodox Church, which has a significant influence on the perception by society of members of the LGBT community. 

Ft. Lauderdale Man Victim of Hate Crime. "Are you gay?"

Ft. Lauderdale Man Victim of Hate Crime. “Are you gay?”

Fort Lauderdale resident James Garcia said that he was taking his dog for a walk around 8 a.m. on Sunday morning when a man approached him. “He came up to me and asked me, ‘Are you gay?’ and then punched me.” And the stranger continued to punch him.

The results of his injures led him to get multiple stitches, seven on the forehead and three above the lip and fractured the cartilages on both sides of his nose.

 After being treated at a local hospital Garcia was able to id his attacker after looking at pictures provided by Fort Lauderdale Police.

On Tuesday officers arrested thirty-six-year-old Maurice Antwan Charles of Fort Lauderdale, a man with a lengthy criminal history at a local hotel close to the victim’s home.

“This is a crime of hate. Whether he was targeting me, someone else he suspected as part of the LGBTQ community,” said Garcia  “Yes, definitely a crime of hate.”

Florida has become a problematic state for members of the LGBT community and use extreme caution when alone or in the company of strangers.

Gay History – March 9, 1969: The Tragic Death of Howard Efland By The L.A.P.D. At The Dover Hotel

The Dover Hotel was a rundown five-story brick building located in downtown Los Angeles.  The hotel operated as an early version of the soon to become popular bathhouse scene.  Gay men checked in, removed their clothing, and laid on their beds with the doors ajar waiting for others to walk by in the hopes of meeting someone.

The Dover not surprisingly, was also the scene of a number of raids by the LAPD’s Vice Squad and was known to them as an easy bust for “faggots”.

During a raid by the Vice Squad on March 9th, 1969, just 4 months shy of the Stonewall riots in NYC, Howard Efland, a male nurse who checked into the hotel under the pseudonym of J. McCann.  By the end of that day Efland would be brutally beaten outside the hotel by police in front of numerous witnesses and would later die.

LA vice officers Lemuel Chauncey and Richard Halligan claimed that Efland groped them so they arrested him, dragged him naked, bleeding and screaming down a flight of stairs by his feet and into the street.  In front of several witnesses the two police officers who were well over 6’2 inches  started beating the slightly built, unarmed and and non-resisting gay man to death while he screamed  “Help me! My God, someone help me!” The two police officers kicked him repeatedly, did  knee drops onto his stomach, and savagely beat him.

While several witnesses claimed that Howard Efland died at the scene. Chauncy and Halligan stated that Elfland was alive as they “threw” the body into the back of the police wagon. The claimed that halfway down to the station from where they had arrested him that Efland  had kicked open the door and fell out onto the Hollywood Freeway.

The Admissions Officer who was on duty at County General Hospital testified at the Coroner’s inquest that when they received Efland, they tied him down to the bed and he was in bad shape. The Nurse testified that she went into the other room with the cop because the guy had bitten his finger. Forty minutes later while she’s still working on the cop (?) another nurse came and said ‘hey, the guy in the other room died.’

The L.A.P.D. first informed Efland’s parents that their son had merely died of a heart attack. Later the L.A. County Coroner ruled Elfland’s death an “excusable homicide” and the story was withheld from the mainstream media. However the once great gay newspaper the Advocate picked up the story and responded strongly by calling the L.A.P.D. “psychotics” 

The  Rev. Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church would lead 120 marchers in a rally to the the site of Dover to commemorate Efland’s fatal beating and murder.

“I had told my congregation over and over that our church was built on a three-prong gospel: the gospel of Christian salvation,  the gospel of Christian community and the gospel of Christian social action. Absolutely: Christian social action. We are meant to go out and bring deliverance to people. So I told them ‘I want you to come and march with me’. Perry said.

In the end no one was ever held accountable for the murder of Howard Efland.

After publishing this story in 2014 the nephew of  Howard Eflland contacted Back2Stonewall.com  Being very young when it happened he was never told the true nature of his Uncle’s death.

Back2Stonewall has attempted to call the L.A.P.D. numerous times in the hopes of  getting an apology for Howard Elfland’s surviving family.

There has never been an official response to any of them.

We continue to try.

#NeverForget.

The Jenny Jones Show "Secret Crush" Gay Panic Murder Subject of NETFLIX's "Trial by Media"

Gay History – March 5, 1995: The Jenny Jones Show “Secret Gay Crush” Episode Leads to Murder. [Video]

Jonathan Schmitz was 24-years-old when his acquaintance Scott Amedure revealed he was romantically interested in him during the March 5th, 1995  taping of “The Jenny Jones Show,’ on secret admirers.

Schmitz, who said he wasn’t gay, later fatally shot Amedure in Lake Orion. Michigan three days later.

Schmitz turned himself in to police, saying he killed Amedure because he was embarrassed on national television.

Schmitz stated that he went on the show out of curiosity, and he later claimed that the producers implied that his admirer was a woman, although the producers of the show claim that they did tell Schmitz that the admirer could be male or female.

According to footage of the murder trial, it was later stated by a friend of Amedure’s that Amedure and Schmitz went out drinking together the night of the taping and an alleged sexual encounter occurred.  According to the testimony at the murder trial, three days after the taping, Amedure left a “suggestive” note at Schmitz’s house.  After finding the note, Schmitz withdrew money from the bank, purchased a shotgun, and then went to Amedure’s mobile home. He questioned Amedure about the note. Schmitz then returned to his car, took his gun, and returned to Amedure’s trailer. He then shot Amedure twice in the chest, killing him.

Schmitz was sentenced 25 to 50 years for second-degree murder.

Schmitz, now 47, was granted parole after a March 2017 hearing and was released from Parnall Correctional Institution after serving 22 years.

Scott Amedure’s older brother, Frank Amedure Jr. said he’s troubled by the parole decision and that he’s unsure Schmitz ‘learned what he should have’ in prison.

‘I wanted assurance that the (parole board’s) decision was not based on just good behavior in prison,’ he said.

‘I’d like to know that he learned something, that he’s a changed man, is no longer homophobic and has gotten psychological care.’

In 1999, the Amedure family sued The Jenny Jones Show, Telepictures, and Warner Bros. for the ambush tactics and, as the Amedure family saw it, their supposedly negligent role that led to Amedure’s death.  In May of that year, the jury awarded the Amedures $25 million dollars. The jury found that The Jenny Jones Show was both irresponsible and negligent, contending that the show intentionally created an explosive situation without due concern for the possible consequences.

The judgment was later overturned by the Michigan Court of Appeals in a 2-to-1 decision. The Michigan Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

The episode was never publicly aired in it’s entirety until many years after the incident.

Gay History – February 19, 1999: The Horrific Murder of Billy Jack Gaither And How It Changed A Small Alabama Town Forever

On February 19, 1999, Billy Jack Gaither went to The Tavern, a Sylacauga, Alabama nightclub, where he had been friends with the owner, Marion Hammond, for twenty years. Gaither was a regular there, if he wasn’t at the Tool Box in Birmingham forty miles away. Hammond remembered that he was nonchalant about his sexuality. ” If they walked over to Billy Jack and they say, ‘Are you gay?’ he’d say, ‘Yes, and I love it.’ You couldn’t hurt his feelings on it, so we wasn’t worried about it.”

Another regular, Steve Mullins, 25, also started to hang out at the Tavern. His presence wasn’t so benign. He sometimes showed up wearing racist t-shirts and harassing African-American customers. He was known locally as a wannabe tough-acting skinhead. “He tried to walk around like a bully, but he wasn’t,” Hammond said. “He was mostly talk.” His buddy, a construction worker named Charles Butler, Jr., was quieter.

Gaither had a reputation for getting along with pretty much everyone, so nobody’s eyebrows were raised when Gaither left The Tavern that night with Mullins and Butler. The three drove to a remote area where Mullins and Butler beat Gaither, stuffed him into the trunk, and went for supplies: kerosene, matches, an axe handle and old tires form Mullins’s home. They then drove to the banks of Peckerwood Creek in neighboring Coosa County. They poured kerosene on the tires and set them ablaze. Then they pulled Gaither out of the trunk of his car. He tried to stand up and they beat him with the ax handle, cut his throat, and threw him onto the pile of burning tires. They moved Gaither’s car to another dirt road and set it on fire. It was found the next day.

After spending a night in jail for an unrelated offense, Butler went to police to tell them about the murder, saying God told him to confess. Butler claimed the gay panic defense, telling the police, “Well, sir, he started talking, you know, queer stuff, you know, and I just didn’t want no part of it.” Mullins also confessed, with the two blaming each other for taking the lead in the killing, but neither expressing remorse. In June, Mullins pled guilty to capital murder to avoid the death penalty and agreed to testify against Butler, who was also found guilty. he victim’s father, Marion Gaither, had asked that Mr. Butler not be sentenced to death, saying, “I can’t see taking another human beings life, no matter what.” Both men were sentenced to life with out parole.

Marion Hammond a resident of Sylacauga described the affect Gaither’s death had on both herself and her small town:

Well, I think the loss of Billy Jack has opened a lot of people’s eyes. Any town you live in, there is a gay person here. On February 19, 1999, Billy Jack Gaither went to The Tavern, a Sylacauga, Alabama nightclub, where he had been friends with the owner, Marion Hammond, for twenty years. Gaither was a regular there, if he wasn’t at the Tool Box in Birmingham forty miles away. Hammond remembered that he was nonchalant about his sexuality. ” If they walked over to Billy Jack and they say, ‘Are you gay?’ he’d say, ‘Yes, and I love it.’ You couldn’t hurt his feelings on it, so we wasn’t worried about it.”, there, and yonder. And they didn’t realize it. It’s like there was no gays nowhere but in the big cities. They’re everywhere. They’re all over this country. And until then, I don’t think it was ever realized that they were in a small town.

I have two sons. It’s opened my eyes that one day they might have been gay. They’re 20 and 18, so I don’t believe they are. But if they was, I could live with it, when one day I might cried for three hours or more.

I remember thinking whenever they was so little, “Please, never be gay.” But now it’s like a part of nature. . . . He taught me that it just happens. It’s nothing you do. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just the way you are.

For the past 20 years there has been an annual vigil to celebrate Billy Jack Gaither’s life, mourn his death, and remember all the victims of  hate & violence on the steps of the Alabama State Capitol.

#NeverForget

Nazi Flyers Delivered To Hundreds Of Miami Beach Homes

South Florida authorities are investigating the origin of hundreds of anti-Semitic Nazi flyers that were distributed overnight in Miami Beach and Surfside neighborhoods.

Miami Beach police increased patrols in neighborhoods and religious institutions following the first report received shortly after 7 a.m., Ernesto Rodriguez, the department’s spokesperson, told Miami Herald via email. The anti-Semitic flyers appear to have been distributed by the Goyim Defense League, or GDL — a loose network of anti-Semites and white supremacists with leaders in Florida, New York, California and Colorado, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

the miami herald

The Goyim Defense League (GDL) is a small network of virulently antisemitic thugs led by Jon Minadeo (above pictured right) of Petaluma, California. GDL parodies the Anti-Defamation League’s name and logo by replacing “Anti-Defamation” with “Goyim Defense” — “Goyim” being a disparaging Yiddish and Hebrew word for non-Jews.    

Home to a thriving Jewish community for decades, Miami Beach counted about 60,000 people in Jewish households in 1982, 62 percent of the total population. Today, that number has shrunk to less than 16,000, or less than 19 percent, according to surveys conducted by the University of Miami.

You can read more about them by CLICKING HERE (Safe Link at ADL)