Showing posts with label Gay Killer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gay Killer. Show all posts

March 5, 2019

The Killer of a Young Billy Jack on a Gay Hate Crime Full of Blood and Violence Received The Same in Jail

First, who was Billy Jack Gaither?

Image result for Billy Jack Gaither

On February 19, 1999, Billy Jack Gaither, a thirty-nine-year-old gay man who worked at the Russell Athletics apparel company near Sylacauga, Alabama, was brutally beaten to death. His throat was cut, and his body was bludgeoned with an ax handle before being thrown on top of a pile of tires and set on fire. In the weeks following the killing, two men came forward to police as the killers: Steven Mullins and Charles Monroe Butler. Butler, the younger of the two, came forward to police first. He described the night of the murder in great detail: how he had never heard of Billy Jack Gaither prior to the night of the killing; how his friend Steve Mullins found him at a bar playing pool and asked him to take a ride into the woods with himself and Billy Jack; how Billy Jack started "talking queer stuff" that set off a violent reaction in Butler; and then how he stood by as Mullins beat Billy Jack to death. In June of 1999, Steven Mullins pled guilty to capital murder; Butler stood trial and was found guilty of the same charge by a jury. In August of 1999, both Mullins and Butler were sentenced to life in prison without parole.

His killer is killed:

A 45-year-old man convicted in the 1999 hate crime murder of Billy Jack Gaither has been killed in an Alabama prison.
Steven Eric Mullins was found unresponsive Feb. 26 at St. Clair Correctional Facility, Alabama Department of Corrections officials announced Monday. About 6 p.m. that Tuesday, correctional officers responding to the assault found inmate Mullins unresponsive inside a housing area.
The inmate was airlifted to an area hospital where he was treated for multiple stab wounds. Hospital officials reported that Mullins had died from his injuries on Thursday.

February 8, 2019

After 40 Yrs The Police Release The Sketch of The”Doodler” Who Terrorized S.F. Gay Community in The 70’s

This pair of sketches provided by the San Francisco Police Department, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019, shows what a serial killer might look like now in a cold case involving at least five stabbing deaths of gay men in the mid-1970s in San Francisco. The killer was dubbed the "Doodler" after he told a person who later became a victim and survived that he was a cartoonist. It's one of several cases being re-examined after the capture last year of the "Golden State Killer" through DNA analysis. (San Francisco Police Department via AP)

Salt Lake Tribune

San Francisco • More than 40 years after a serial killer dubbed the “Doodler” terrorized San Francisco’s gay community, police released a sketch Wednesday of what the man might look like today and announced a $100,000 reward for details leading to his capture.

Police believe the killer stabbed at least five men to death from early 1974 to late 1975.
He became known as the "Doodler" after a victim who survived an attack told police the man was doodling while they talked at a late-night diner and said he was a cartoonist.

At a news conference, police released a pair of images that showed a 1975 sketch of the man and an "age-progression" showing what he might look like now.

"In the 1970s, this was gripping the gay community and San Francisco," police Commander Greg McEachern told the news conference, saying authorities were releasing the new sketch in hopes of bringing justice to victims of the "horrendous homicides."

It's one of several cold cases, particularly serial crimes, being re-examined after the capture last year of the notorious "Golden State Killer" through DNA analysis, McEachern said. Police have submitted DNA samples from some of the 1970s crime scenes in the Doodler case and were waiting for results from a lab.

Police described the killer as an African-American male, about 5 feet, 11 inches tall with a lanky build who was likely in his early 20s during the attacks.
At the time, a witness was able to give investigators a description of the attacker, leading to a man being detained in 1976 but never charged.

McEachern said police have interviewed the man since returning to the case and he remains a person of interest. His name was not released and authorities declined to say if he resembled the man in the sketches.

The killer targeted white men he met at after-hours gay clubs and restaurants in San Francisco. He usually sketched them before having sex and stabbing them.
The bodies of four men were found along the beach. Another stabbing victim was found in Golden Gate Park.

"Even now, the story gives me chills," said prominent gay activist Cleve Jones, who recalls how the string of killings terrified the gay community. "Imagine, you're out at a club having a drink, and someone hands you a sketch they've done of you. I can't think of a more disarming ploy to gain someone's trust."

An Associated Press story from 1977 quotes police as saying the suspect at the time could not be charged because three survivors, including a "well-known entertainer" and a diplomat were reluctant to "come out of the closet" to testify against him.

AP interviewed gay rights advocate Harvey Milk at the time about the victims' refusal to testify.
"I can understand their position," Milk said. "I respect the pressure society has put on them."
The interview with AP came just over a year before Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in the U.S., was assassinated.

Police on Wednesday also announced a reward of $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the killer and released audio of an anonymous call made to police on Jan. 27, 1974, reporting a body found near Ocean Beach in San Francisco.
Responding officers discovered the body of 50-year-old Gerald Cavanaugh, the first of the killer's five known victims.

Police are seeking information on the identity of the caller, who declined to give his name.
“I believe there might be a dead person,” the caller said. “But I didn’t want to get too close to him because you never know what could happen.”

December 6, 2018

Kept Boy of Famous Jeweler Got The Maximum for Punching and Dismembering Body of a Young Man From Conn.

Follow up
You come from nothing but because of your looks you get a rich man on your work out at the gym to pay attention to you and to make you his son. He gives you everything most young guys can dream of but will never get. But He brows it away through drugs and killing an innocent man visiting NYC which made the deadly mistakento go for this guys' looks and his boy friend's and follow them after drinking and drugging all night to the luxury condo. Comes morning and the time in which Phychopaths awake without anything to control them becausse the booze and drugs are spent. Someone's head was the way he and his boyfriend would get their rocks off on that early morning before even knowing wether they were dreaming or just having a good time.
He will now have the other inmates make friends with him, most of his life if not all. Even if he gets out he will be an old man with no more rich guys paying attention to him, that is if he gets out after 28 years which is doubful when a parole board see the the kind of murder he commited.
Center is the victim Joseph Comunale, a 26-year-old Hofstra graduate from Stamford, Conn. Grisly murdered on a day visit to Manhattan. On the right side and left are accused murderers and lovers. Now one convicted of killing Joseph and getting max.
 James Rackover in Manhattan Criminal Court 
Pat Comunale stood at the podium before a packed courtroom across from James Rackover, the man convicted last month in the brutal murder of his son. He dabbed his eyes with a tissue and choked out his words.
“We wake up everyday with the horror of what happened to him,” he said. “There are no more holidays, no more birthdays, just days that go by.”
Mr. Comunale recounted his son Joseph’s final moments: He was beaten and stabbed to death after a night of partying in Manhattan. His body was pushed from the fourth floor window of an East Side apartment building. Later it was burned and buried in a shallow grave on the Jersey Shore. For that, Mr. Comunale told a judge in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, Mr. Rackover deserved the maximum sentence permitted under the law.
Justice James Burke agreed. He sentenced Mr. Rackover, 27, on Wednesday to a minimum of 28 and 2/3 years in prison and a maximum of life for the murder of Mr. Comunale and related charges.

“There remains no truly understandable reason that Joey Comunale is dead today,” Judge Burke said. “In a normal course of events, people drink and do drugs and party all night long all the time, and without being savagely murdered.”
Prosecutors maintain that Mr. Rackover did not act alone. They say the evidence shows another man, Lawrence Dilione, 30, beat Mr. Comunale, 26, until he was unconscious, and then he and Mr. Rackover stabbed him 15 times. A third man, Max Gemma, is accused of hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence. Mr. Gemma and Mr. Dilione are scheduled to be tried next year.
Two years ago, Mr. Comunale traveled from his home in Stamford, Conn., to Manhattan for a night out with friends. He met Mr. Dilione and Mr. Gemma at a nightclub.
Their night of partying continued at Mr. Rackover’s apartment at the luxurious Grand Sutton on East 59th Street, where a group of men and women drank alcohol and snorted cocaine.
What exactly happened inside of his apartment is a bit of a mystery. Prosecutors did not have any eyewitnesses who could describe what transpired before Mr. Comunale was murdered early on Nov. 13, 2016.

But the police found evidence that prosecutors said showed Mr. Rackover and Mr. Dilione had stabbed Mr. Comunale and then tried to clean up the scene. Mr. Comunale’s blood, for example, was found throughout the apartment and his wallet was in the building. The police also tracked Mr. Rackover’s car with cellphone data and license plate readers to a wooded area in Oceanport, N.J., where the body was buried.
During the trial, Mr. Rackover’s lawyer, Maurice H. Sercarz, argued that it was not his client who killed Mr. Comunale, but rather Mr. Dilione. He said Mr. Rackover was drunk and high at the time and only helped in moving Mr. Comunale’s body out of his apartment because he worried his rich lifestyle was in jeopardy.
Before his client was sentenced, Mr. Sercarz asked the judge for leniency, pointing to Mr. Rackover’s troubled childhood in Florida, where he was born to a young mother and an abusive father. “He left Florida to put behind him his childhood and the hardship he suffered,” Mr. Sercarz told the judge. He added that his client has been “hungry for family” and that was why he helped Mr. Dilione get rid of Mr. Comunale’s body.
Mr. Rackover, who was born James Beaudoin II, changed his last name in 2015 to that of his intimate partner, Jeffrey Rackover, who legally adopted him, court papers said. Jeffrey Rackover is a jeweler whose clients include Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Lopez and first lady Melania Trump.
The lead prosecutor, Antoinette Carter, described Mr. Rackover as a liar who had stolen from Jeffrey Rackover to pay off drug debts. Ms. Carter noted that Mr. Rackover had done a stint in prison for gun possession, but it “did nothing to rehabilitate him.”
“He lived a life of unmerited privilege, the likes of which most New Yorkers can only dream of,” Ms. Carter said. “He chose to throw all of that away.”

December 1, 2018

Closeted man Kills His Lover to Keep The Secret

 BROCKTON, Mass. —Kian Willis,21
A Brockton murder defendant’s desire to keep his gay relationship on the down low may have motivated him to kill his former lover, according to the prosecution.
Kian Willis, 21, of Brockton, was arraigned on a charge of murder late Wednesday afternoon at Brockton District Court following his arrest by Brockton police at 2 p.m. Willis is being accused of pulling the trigger, or at least being part of a joint venture, in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Patrick Sequeira-Ferreira on Nov. 12 on Keith Avenue in Brockton, the Enterprise reported. 
Plymouth County Assistant District Attorney Jessica Kenny told the court that text messages show how Willis lured Sequira-Ferreira outside right before the shooting, falsely telling the murder victim that he arranged him an Uber ride. Willis was the last person to have contact with the victim by phone, Kenny said. Then, there were three gunshots, recorded by the city’s ShotSpotter system, Kenny said.
Willis was later interviewed by police, and he expressed concerns about people finding out about the nature of his sexual relationship with Sequira-Ferreira, Kenny said. On top of that, the prosecutor said, Willis was worried that he could lose his job, working at the Office of Community Corrections, a subset of the state’s probation department. That’s where Willis originally met the murder victim, who was a client of the agency, Kenny said.
"They struck up a friendship, which was against the policies and rules of the OCC,” said Kenny, as Willis hid himself from view, standing behind a partition on the side of the court room. “The defendant also told police that he had sexual relations with the victim previous to that. It appears that no one in the defendant’s family may have been aware that he was homosexual and bisexual. It appears that the defendant before you may have been concerned that the victim was going to tell people about their relationship.”
Judge Julie Bernard ordered Willis to be held without bail. Willis, who pleaded not guilty, is now due back in court on Jan. 2 for a probable cause hearing.
Willis was represented by Boston-based defense attorney Christopher Belezos, who was granted requests to defer his argument for bail and to preserve notes made during the course of the murder investigation.
During the arraignment, family members of Sequira-Ferreira consoled each other and looked on quietly. They walked in together, and his mother wore a button with the 27-year-old’s picture on it, but they declined to comment about Tuesday’s arrest in the murder case.
Sequeira-Ferreira was walking down Keith Avenue, adjacent to the CVS Pharmacy parking lot, when sources told The Enterprise he was ambushed from behind and shot in the head on the night of Nov. 12. The 27-year-old was rushed by ambulance to Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton, then flown by medical helicopter to Boston Medical Center, where he died shortly before midnight.
Kenny said surveillance video shows Sequira-Ferreira being followed by another man, but there’s no footage of the shots being fired. Other surveillance footage then shows the suspect running down Keith Avenue toward Warren Avenue, in the direction of where Willis was picked up by another friend immediately after the shooting, based on his phone records, according to Kenny.

November 4, 2018

Young Man Killers to The Uninitiated~~ A Murder Story in Manhattan Upper East Side

Man who went missing after attending Midtown party found dead
Joseph Comunale, 26 from Conn. allegedly killed and dismembered by James Rackover 
in 2016, 59 st Manhattan.

 Left: Lawrence Dilione sitting in a courtroom; center: Joseph Comunale (victim) Right, James Rockover (alleged killer and lover of 

Alleged killers and lovers. (L) Dillone and (R). Rockover (real last name Beaudoin)
{Introduction}  by 🦊Adam Gonzalez:

This is a story I have been following for a year. Last Friday the number one defendant, James Rockover, accused of being the one who went for the head to kill Joseph Comunale was found guilty in court. Hereafter this introduction I have pasted the newspaper reports of how the story evolved and is almost finished. I am giving an introduction to ease you into the story that way the newspaper reports will make sense to you.

The Victim here Joseph was from Connecticut. A young guy commensurate in age with the ages of the lovers Lawrence and James Rockover (mid and upper 20's).

What happened in this apartment in the swanky Sutton place in Manhattan it's happened before maybe not with the uncalled violence of this particular one but it's happened before and it will happen again if not there somewhere in Manhattan. I grew up in Manhattan as a gay man and the dangers we face when there was recognition we were a decent community. I wonder how I made it alive? Through punches, sticks settling on my head and gunshots I made it thru my youth alive but with scars only I know where they are. We had to take awful chances to be with people like us and maybe meet a friend. Now is just natural but guys straight and gay keep making stupid decisions and we keep finding time in the Hudson River or buried somewhere in Long Island or jersey. There has always been an element from other states coming here to do what they can do where they are from because is not big like NYC. As you read this murder story we can clearly see the lessons. If you don't know what they are I'll be happy to tell you.

For those 21-28 who come to Manhattan from the neighboring States like NJ, Connecticut who sometimes decide to make a particular weekend extra special by coming to New York City, they must understand that they are potential victims if they are alone and meet very friendly people they never met before. You will be on the losing end unless you have traveled a lot but if you are like this young man Joseph Comunale, you will have a sign on your head. Cute, single and visitor. The cuteness will work against you because you will have more people looking at you and probably more invitations to go to "this other bar which is hot and much better than this dump we are in". This is what happened to Joseph. Cute, in his twenties where you are a man full of testosterone but in most cases able to control it and already talk like a man and the conversation tends to be interesting. The problem with Joseph as he was alone and he had no experience dealing with the scum of Larence and James. With James, he even had taken the last name of a rich old guy, a jeweler who set him up in a multi-million apartment in Uptown in the very rich East 59 Street on Sutton Place. He met him at a Sauna uptown where people like these two went not to get muscles but to meet the people they were lucky to have met.
So in practicality James had no apartment of his own, prone to violence and loving the drugs. He had a boyfriend who was the follower or the Curly or Larry to Moe in the three stooges. This was Lawrence and ex-con from Florida, These guys were cheap to make hookers, drugs and sex was the glue that kept them together.

I don't know what this two scums of the earth offered Joseph but there was sex from two very friendly guys, not bad looking and there were drugs. Whatever attracted him to stay with these two strangers, he had to know they were different than him. They were not educated like him but street people living well.

Originally there were three girls and two other men in the group. No problem. Joseph was invited to come to uptown to Sutton place. There are dugs and plenty of beer and vodka there. Joseph and the entourage including the girls took a cab to go there. They partied, they drank until early morning. The girls left with the other two guys and Joseph stayed (the worse mistake he will ever make and the last one). 

During a subsequent fight over cigarettes, Dilione knocked out Comunale, leading James to pummel him further — then strangle him and stab him in the head, and attempt to dismember him with a serrated knife, according to a confession Dilione allegedly made to cops.
The new lawsuit says surveillance video shows Jeffrey — who lives on the 32nd floor — visiting James later that day in his fourth-floor apartment, which cops said was splattered with blood and which court papers say “smelled from cleaning chemicals and the stench of death” from Comunale’s “decomposing body.”
In addition, Jeffrey — whose A-list clients have included Oprah Winfrey, Diana Ross and President Trump — allegedly let James use his black 2015 Mercedes-Benz to haul Comunale’s corpse to Oceanport, NJ, where authorities say James and Dilione burned it and buried the remains in a shallow ditch.
The suit, filed Sunday by Comunale’s father, Pat, alleges the elder Rackover was involved in an “intimate relationship” with James, who legally changed his last name from Beaudoin to Rackover in March 2015 after claiming to have learned Jeffrey was “my real father.”
Pat Comunale said he sued Jeffery Rackover to “get justice for my son” and “hold everybody involved accountable for this horrific crime.”
“These guys need to go away for a long time. All of them — and whoever else,” he told The Post.
Comunale’s lawyer, Bob Abrams of Abrams Fensterman, said he was “very confident that once we’re done prosecuting this civil action,” there will be “sufficient evidence” to bring criminal charges against Jeffrey.
The Manhattan Supreme Court filing says Jeffrey Rackover gave James, an ex-con from Florida, “drugs, money and other benefits” in exchange for “sexual pleasure” while they lived together in Jeffrey’s high-rise for about two years.
The jet-setting jeweler later rented apartment 4C for James, court papers say.
The suit demands unspecified damages on grounds of “violation of the right of sepulcher,” or preventing the dead man’s kin from taking immediate possession of his body for preservation and burial.
The same legal claim is being pressed against killer real estate heir Robert Durst in the unsolved 1982 disappearance of his first wife, Kathie Durst, whose family is represented by Abrams.
Pat Comunale’s suit also accuses Jeffrey Rackover of “intentional infliction of emotional distress,” claiming his alleged role in covering up Joey’s slaying caused his family “mental and physical anguish” over the three days before his body was found.
Reached Sunday at the Grand Sutton, Jeffrey Rackover declined to comment on the suit.
Pat Comunale, who remains president and CEO of a nationwide security products distributorship that he and other investors sold for $420 million in 2014, noted that the suit “is clearly not about the money.”
“I don’t need the money — anything that comes from this goes to charity,” he said.
“But these people should rot in hell.”
Joey Comunale, a Hofstra grad who worked as a salesman for his dad’s company, was repeatedly stabbed inside James Rackover’s apartment following an all-night party there, authorities allege.
Jeffrey had been paying for the place — where the rent was listed at $3,600 a month in February 2016 — in addition to a $10,000 monthly “allowance” he gave James, the suit alleges.
According to a criminal complaint, surveillance video shows Joey and several others arriving at the Grand Sutton in the early morning hours of Nov. 13.
Joey then briefly left with Dilione and three women before returning at 6:50 a.m. with just Dilione, the complaint says.
the video also shows Joey and Dilione riding an elevator back to James’ apartment, marking the last time Joey was seen alive, according to the complaint.
The suit notes that celebrity private eye Bo Dietl, who has served as Jeffrey Rackover’s spokesman, has said Jeffrey went to James’ apartment to walk his dog the morning of Nov. 13 — but didn’t notice anything awry.
Dietl made the claim, the suit says, “notwithstanding the fact that Joey’s decomposing body was in the apartment at that time.”
Dietl, a New York City mayoral candidate, did not return a call seeking comment.
Jeffrey allegedly authorized his garage in the building next door to release his Mercedes to James, whose driver’s license was suspended at the time. James called the building staff for a luggage cart sometime after 6 p.m.
A video shows James later wheeling four duffel bags and a backpack out of the building, with cops have said they suspect he and Dilione dumped Joey’s body out a window in James’ apartment.
“I’ve been involved in some really vicious, heinous cases,” Abrams said. “This is the worst.”
Sometime in the late evening, a police informant saw James “place a large duffel bag into the trunk of a black vehicle with tinted windows which was parked outside of the building,” the criminal complaint says.
An NYPD investigation revealed the car — allegedly carrying James, Dilione and Comunale’s body — traveled through the Holland Tunnel at 9:45 p.m. that night.
It returned to the city at 3 a.m. the next day, with a video showing James dropping it off at Jeffrey’s garage 15 minutes later, according to the complaint.
The suit also alleges that Jeffrey and James “further discussed the coverup as they watched the Dallas Cowboys football game inside of [Jeffrey’s] 32nd-floor apartment . . . just hours after [James] and Dilione killed Joey.”
James Rackover’s lawyers, Maurice Sercarz and Robert Caliendo, declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Joe Marino
The murder trial of a man accused of stabbing a friend and dropping his body from a window after a night of cocaine-fueled partying began Monday in New York City.
James Rackover is accused of beating, stabbing, and choking 26-year-old Joseph Comunale to death on November 13, 2016, then throwing his corpse out of a fourth-floor window, stuffing it into the trunk of a car, and burying the remains in a shallow grave in New Jersey, according to the New York Daily News.
James, 27, is considered to be the “surrogate son” of Jeffrey Rackover, 58, a jeweler whose A-list clientele includes Jennifer Lopez, Oprah Winfrey, and Melania Trump, the Daily News reports. The elder Rackover announced years ago that he had a long-lost son turn up and was embracing him as his own, according to DNAInfo.
However, the younger Rackover's lawyer, Maurice Sercasz, would later confirm that James was not Jeffrey's biological son after all, even though Jeffrey treated him as such. Instead, they actually met at an Upper East Side sports club, where Jeffrey decided to help the younger man, whose born surname is Beaudoin, "straighten his life out." However, the relationship may have been more than just "father and son" — James and Jeffrey were also allegedly lovers, according to a lawsuit brought by Comunale’s father.
“Jeffrey was in the whole hog for James,” an anonymous friend of the elder Rackover told DNAInfo. "He gave him his name, the best things life could afford," the friend said, "and he now feels betrayed."
“Everything about the kid went bad,” he added. “He feels taken for a ride, emotionally and financially.”
Lawrence Dilione, 30, a friend of Rackover’s, is also charged with killing Comunale, but a judge ruled he should be tried separately because both blame each other for the murder.
A third man, Max Gemma, 30, was also allegedly in the apartment when Comunale was murdered but did not take part in the killing. He is, however, accused of helping the two dispose of Comunale’s remains, and will also be tried separately.
Court transcripts show that Dilione testified in an April 2018 hearing for the case that the four were drinking and snorting cocaine at the Sutton Place apartment the elder Rackover rented for his son when Comunale accused Dilione of mooching cigarettes off him, causing Dilione to feel “disrespected."
“I got up and I hit him,” Dilione testified. “I hit him again two times, three max. I picked him up and I slammed him to the ground, which rendered him unconscious.”
That’s when Rackover — who has a lengthy criminal record from Florida, where he served time in jail — stepped in, Dilione said, “kicking, punching, slamming his head into the ground.”
Rackover was concerned they’d “go to jail for a long time for what we just did,” Dilione testified. “I’ve got to get rid of him. I’ve got to kill him,” Rackover allegedly said, according to Dilione.
Dilione said that after beating Comunale, Rackover told him to take off his jeans, and Rackover used them to strangle Comunale to death.
“My pair of jeans was used in strangling Joseph Comunale … I turned around and then I saw a knife being pulled out of Joey’s head,” Dilione testified.
At that point, Dilione said, he told Gemma to leave. Rackover then tried to dismember Comunale in the bathtub, but failed to get the blade through his shoulder, Dilione testified.
“That’s when he got angry and stabbed him in the body multiple times,” Dilione said.
But Dilione admitted that he helped Rackover conceal evidence of the crime and bury Comunale’s remains. He said they wrapped Comunale’s body in sheets, then dropped the corpse out of a window from the fourth-floor apartment.
“I pushed the body out the window,” Dilione testified.
On the street below, they bundled Comunale’s corpse into the elder Rackover’s 2015 Mercedes and drove it to Oceanport, New Jersey where, Dilione testified, they buried the remains in a shallow grave behind a flower shop.
Rackover denied the charges in a 2017 interview with the New York Daily News.
Dilione "threw me under the bus to save his own ass," Rackover said.
"What motive would I have?" Rackover argued. "What trouble would I be in? Does it make sense to you?"
But prosecutors painted a portrait of Rackover that looks not so much a like a long-lost son reuniting with his father, but that of a grifter.
Among his many alleged misdeeds, Rackover stole $50,000 in cash and a $30,000 watch from the elder Rackover to pay off a drug debt, prosecutors said at a pre-trial hearing in the case. According to the New York Post.

The man accused in a deadly stabbing in an Upper East Side apartment was found guilty of all charges Friday, following a trial during which the victim's family was in the courtroom watching and crying through some of the testimony.

James Rackover was convicted of second-degree murder, concealing a human corpse and tampering with evidence, and he is the first to be convicted in the murder of 26-year-old Joey Comunale.

Rackover and Lawrence Dilione were accused of killing the Hofstra graduate in 2016, before burying him in a shallow grave in New Jersey.

Authorities say Comunale attended a party at Rackover's apartment on November 13, where police said he was stabbed 15 times in the chest during an argument.

Rackover and Dilione allegedly attempted to dismember Comunale and then threw his body out a window.

His father reported him missing the next day, and his body was found in a wooded area down the Jersey Shore in Oceanport two days later.

"I want to the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, who we supported 100 percent from the very first day," said dad Patrick Comunale, as he and his wife fought back tears outside court. "I couldn't be more proud of the NYPD and what they did. I couldn't be more happy for...all of Joey's friends and everybody else who supported us over the last two years."

As testimony got underway, authorities revealed pictures of the shallow grave. Several of Comunale's relatives, including his parents, sobbed through the testimony given by investigators with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office, each picture revealing more of the body.

Rackover's defense attorney said in his opening statement that it was not his client but Dilone who was responsible for the murder. But prosecutors said Rackover showed a "monstrous indifference for human life."

Witnesses described a hard-partying night that included alcohol and cocaine. The most serious charge is second-degree murder, which means Rackover would spend the rest of his life behind bars.

Rackover is the surrogate son of celebrity jeweler Jeffrey Rackover, whose clients include Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez.

Dilone will be tried early next year. A third man is also charged with helping in the cleanup effort but not the actual killing. 

418 E. 59th St. was rented for James Rackover by Jeffrey, who has been accused of engaging in a drug-fueled “intimate relationship’’ with the younger man. Two murders have been committed there. Its for rent right now!

September 5, 2018

A Judge Ordered A Man To Stand Trial on Murder with Hate Crime on The Death of Gay Student


— A Southern California man was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges that he murdered a gay University of Pennsylvania student in a hate crime after prosecutors linked him to the stabbing through DNA and showed he had troves of homophobic and hateful material on his mobile phone.

Samuel Woodward is accused of stabbing Blaze Bernstein at least 20 times after the two former high school peers met at a park last January. He has pleaded not guilty.

Woodward, 21, told investigators he was disgusted when Bernstein kissed him on the lips in his SUV and pushed him back, but didn't say he did anything violent toward him.

Investigator Dylan Jantzen testified during a one-day preliminary hearing in Orange County Superior Court that Woodward wanted to call Bernstein an expletive and slur for homosexual men. Bernstein, 19, went missing Jan. 2 and Woodward was arrested about a week later after the body was found in a shallow grave in the Lake Forest Park where the two had gone that night.

Blood stains from the blade of a knife found in Woodward's bedroom, under his watch and on the visor of his car matched Bernstein so closely that the chance of the genetic material coming from someone else was 1-in-a-trillion, forensic scientist Corrie Maggay testified.

Defense lawyer Edward Munoz didn't present any witnesses but showed on cross-examination that Woodward revealed he had autism and was socially awkward and sexually confused. He argued there was no evidence of a hate crime because reprehensible writings found on Woodward's phone were not shared with others, but in emails to himself.

"I think in a hate crime instance you have to have an outward manifestation of your loathing to the world," Munoz said after the hearing.

(Homicide suspect Samuel Woodward. Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Investigator Craig Goldsmith testified that Woodward had over 100 pieces of content related to the violent hate group Atomwaffen. The group's insignia was the wallpaper on his phone.

One email he sent himself was called "Sam's Diary of Hate," and he chatted
online with a group about attending a "Death Valley Hate Camp" that included 
mention of weapons, Goldsmith said. Two weeks before the slaying, next to an illustration
of a bloody knife, he wrote on Snapchat: "Texting is boring, but murder isn't," 
according to Jantzen. 
His phone also included pictures with Nazi references.

Bernstein, who was gay and Jewish, was visiting his parents in Lake Forest, California, during winter break from his sophomore year at Penn.

If convicted of first-degree murder and the hate crime allegation, prosecutors 

could seek a sentence of up to life in prison without parole. 

February 28, 2018

The Murder of a Member of The LGBT Community in Toronto Exposed The Killer

 One was homeless, smoked crack cocaine and worked as a prostitute. Another was from a conservative Muslim family and hid the fact that he was gay from his family. Another was a recent immigrant with a drug problem.
Some of the known and suspected victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur fit a pattern: people on the margins of Canadian society whose disappearance attracted little attention.
n poses in an undated photo released by the Toronto Police Service after landscaper Bruce McArthur was charged with his murder in Toronto, Ontario, Canada January 29, 2018. Handout Via Reuters

 Andrew Kinsma  

But then Andrew Kinsman vanished. The 49-year-old LGBT activist and former bartender in Toronto had many friends. When he suddenly went missing the day after Toronto's gay pride parade, his friends noticed quickly, and so did the police.
"There's a part of me that says Bruce wanted to get caught because he broke that pattern of preying on the vulnerable," said Haran Vijayanathan, a community activist and the executive director of the Alliance for South Asian AIDS Prevention in Toronto.
Police set up a special task force to look into the disappearances of men in the "Gay Village" area of Toronto shortly after Kinsman went missing. McArthur was arrested six months later.
Police have found the remains of six men, but say they believe there are more victims.

 In this combo of file photos provided by the Toronto police shows five men who Toronto landscaper Bruce McArthur is accused of killing, from left: Selim Essen, 44, Sorush Mahmudi, 50, Dean Lisowick, Andrew Kinsman, 49, and Majeed Kayhan, 58. Toronto Police Via AP

McArthur, a 66-year-old landscaper, was arrested on Jan. 18 and charged with murdering Kinsman and Selim Esen, 44, who was last seen in the Gay Village last year. Esen, an immigrant from Turkey, came to Canada to be with a partner he'd met in Turkey, but the relationship didn't work out. He was unemployed and struggled with drugs, friend Richard Harrop wrote on Facebook.
Not long after the January arrest, McArthur was charged with the murders of three more men, including Dean Lisowick, a homeless prostitute who struggled with drugs, and Majeed Kayhan, a 58-year-old Afghan immigrant with a family and children, who was reported missing by his son in 2012. Friends said Kayhan had a sexual relationship with McArthur. The third was Soroush Marmoudi, a 50-year-old immigrant from Iran who was reported missing by his wife in 2015. His remains were found during the search for other alleged victims, but his relationship to McArthur is unknown.
 Released by Toronto Police shows Skandaraj Navaratnam, a Sri Lankan refugee known as "Skanda" to his friends, who was reported missing in 2010. Toronto Police Via AP


Just this past Friday, police announced McArthur is charged with the murder of Skandaraj Navaratnam, a refugee from Sri Lanka. Friends said McArthur employed and had a sexual relationship with Navaratnam, who was last seen in 2010 leaving Zipperz, a now-closed gay bar.  
McArthur's Facebook profile also showed he was friends with Navaratnam.
Lisowick, who was in his mid-40s, hadn't even been reported missing when police announced he was one of the victims.
"He was pretty much a loner most of the time," said Jeff Tunney, a friend who rented the common area of his apartment to Lisowick for two months. "He really didn't know too many people. He had a hard time trusting people, which I can understand now why." 
Kinsman, on the other hand, had search parties and scores of friends looking for him when he went missing in late June. Kinsman was a superintendent and a long-term volunteer at the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. Friends and family figured he must have been dead after they gained access to his apartment two days after he went missing.
"He would never leave his cat. He would never shirk his duties. He was a superintendent and he didn't take the garbage out on Wednesday so I knew at that point," his sister Patricia Kinsman said.

 In this Feb. 13, 2018 photo, people hold a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur in Toronto, Canada. Rob Gillies / AP

Todd Healey, a former roommate and co-worker of Kinsman's, described Kinsman as salty, and grumpy if you rubbed him the wrong way, but a loyal friend to many.
"He was well known. When we saw his face on missing posters we were like 'What is going on here?'" said Charles Cuschieri, another friend.
Police said Kinsman and McArthur had a sexual relationship.
"It baffles me to think that Bruce could think he could get away with it," Healey said. "If Bruce is predominantly attacking marginalized people, then Andrew is obviously a mistake or he is tripping up because he wants to get caught."
 File photo, crime scene tape surrounds a property where police say they recovered the remains of at least six people from planters on the property which is connected to alleged serial killer Bruce McArthur, in Toronto, Canada. Rob Gillies / AP

 In this Feb. 3, 2

Police found the remains of at least six men inside planters found at a home McArthur used as storage for his landscaping business. Authorities have also checked at least 30 other places he was known to have worked, including in some of Toronto's wealthiest neighborhoods, but did not find remains in the planters taken from those homes.
McArthur has not entered a plea. He is under suicide watch and is due back in court Wednesday. Edward Royle, a lawyer for McArthur, has previously declined to comment on the case and didn't respond to messages for comment this weekend.
Police set up a task force, Project Houston, in 2012 after Navaratnam, Kayhan and Abdulbasir Faizi, an Afghan who immigrated to Canada from Iran, went missing. The three are South Asian or Middle Eastern and frequented gay bars in Toronto's Gay Village. A relative said Faizi hid that he was gay from his family.
An assistant machine operator at a printing company, Faizi went missing on Dec. 29, 2010. Trying to determine why, his Muslim family accessed his computer and was shocked to discover he had been secretly going to bathhouses in the Gay Village and was on gay dating apps for older and large men with names such as "SilverDaddies" and "Bear411" — sites police later linked to McArthur as well. 
When they then went to police, officers suggested he had probably just left, the relative said. Faizi's wife divorced him, thinking he abandoned her and their two young daughters.
"Police were so convinced that he just decided to leave and start another life. It made the family pretty convinced that that was the case as well," said the relative, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to a lack of permission from the family to speak publicly.
"Nobody really looked for him."
Vijayanathan, the community activist, believes the police didn't get anywhere in their investigations until Kinsman, a prominent white man in the community, went missing.
"Until that point, all the South Asian men that went missing kind of fell by the wayside and nobody paid attention until something happened in the white community," Vijayanathan said.
Story obtained through Associated Press and NBC News

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