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Panic: A Deeper Dive

I thought two mob stories in one piece was one mob story too many so here it is. Be sure to stick around to the end.

One of the lesser known stories connected to Bruce McArthur is the way in which the investigation got started. One other little known thing is that the “cannibal” in this case was also hired the escort services of the murderer and animal abuser Luka Magnotta.

brucemcarthurvictims
The victims of Bruce McArthur

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Soroush Mahmudi

50-year-old Soroush Mahmudi was a refugee from Iran and reported missing by his wife. In a statement to the court, Mahmudi’s wife called him her “soul mate” and said she has been overwhelmed by grief at his brutal slaying.

skanda
Skandaraj (Skanda) Navaratnam was McArthur’s first victim. The 40-year-old had moved to Canada from Sri Lanka in the 1990s as a refugee and settled into life in The Village. He has been described as someone who was very social and jovial, and always ready to help out his friends.
selim esen
44-year-old Selim Esen is originally from Turkey. Esen struggled with drug addiction but before his murder, he had begun to live clean and sober looking forward to helping others.
58-year-old Majeed Hamid Kayhan Like Faizi, Kayhan was believed to have led two separate lives, one with his family and one in the Village. Kayhan was the youngest of many siblings, he had a wife and children.
42-year-old Abdulbasir Faizi During McArthur’s sentencing, his wife said his daughters, who were aged six and 10 when he disappeared, often cry for their father. She said she is struggling to support the family.
Kirushna Kumar Kanagaratnam, 37 came to Canada on a ship carrying almost 500 Sri Lankan asylum seekers after a six-week journey from Thai. Kanagaratnam’s refugee claim was denied and he was ordered to be deported. Though his family searched for him on Facebook and social media they didn’t report it because they assumed he was in hiding. Kanagaratnam was close with his family and talked to them regularly. Family members in Sri Lankan live in shock and pain.


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Dean Lisowick, 47
Lisowick kept in touch with his parents until his struggles with mental illness landed him on the streets. Even then he would still occasionally send cards to his mother. “He was a loving and caring man,” his uncle said. “He was not alone in the world.”
 
In a statement read in court, his daughter said: “I will always have to live with knowing that I will never have a relationship with my father”. His cousin told the court that his face “lit up” when he spoke about his daughter and that he hoped to get his life together so he could do more for her.
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Andrew Kinsman, 49
Kinsman was active in the city’s LGBT community, and like the others, his disappearance did not go unnoticed. Friends rallied to demand action from the police. They hung posters of the missing man around the Village and nearby areas. In response the police launched a task force, Project Prism, to investigate his and Esen’s disappearance.
Missed and Missing a multi-page report into procedures in place to track and find people who go missing. Though the report references the relationship between the LGBTQ community and police it dismisses outright bias while indicating to a breakdown.

The four men killed by Stephen Port.

23-year-old Anthony Walgate lived at home with his parent and was studying to become a fashion designer. He crossed paths with Port when he agreed to an overnight 800-pound escort date. He was the first of Port’s murder victims.

22-year-old Gabriel Kovari was a Slovakian national who moved to London after university hoping to become a translator for the NHS.

21-year-old chef Daniel Whitworth worked at London hotspots like One Moorgate Place and Canary Warf.

25-year-old Jack Taylor was a forklift truck driver and adored by his family. His sisters and parents were the ones who demand the police release the CCTV footage that finally solved the case. In a twist particular to LGBTQ folks, Jack’s father only found out that Taylor was bisexual after his son’s death.

Click to open pdf
Click to read the fake suicide note found on Daniel Kovari
Letter from MP with concerns about the investigation

Here is a partial list of the failures the inquest called out. Quite a damning list.

Stalked to Death: The murder of Thomas Whitney and Lawrence Wong

Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear. Victimconnect.org

Thomas Whitney came out late in life and when he met Lawrence Wong he thought his life had finally begun. Instead, a relentless campaign of obsession would culminate in an act of violent brutality. Whitney and Wong were murdered one day after Wong’s 51st birthday. The pair were both classical musical talents and seemed to everyone who knew them a happy pair.

According to his mother Vincent Choy Cheung had led a troubled life including emotional tumult and theft charges that led to an order of deportation. You might ask yourself, what would I do if my date wouldn’t stay away, inundated you with gifts and cards? How long would it take you to call the police? If you are a victim of stalking or any other act of aggression and domestic abuse please use the links below.

Victim Connect Resource Center (VCRC) is a weekday phone, chat, and text-based referral helpline for all victims of crime in the United States and its territories that provide emotional support, information, and individualized referrals. Call or text us: 1-855-484-2846

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA The DC Victim Hotline can provide you with emotional support, information, and individualized referrals. Call or text us: 1-844-443-5732

Online Counseling at https://ohl.rainn.org/online/ Love is Respect Hotline 1-866-331-99474 (24/7) or Text “loveis” 22522 The Anti-Violence Project– serves people who are LGBTQ Hotline 212-714-1124 Bilingual 24/7

LGBT National Help Center National Hotline (1-888-843-4564) or National Youth Talkline (1-800-246-7743) Online Peer Support Chat (https://www.glbthotline.org/peer-chat.html) or Weekly Youth Chatrooms (https://www.glbthotline.org/youthchatrooms.html)

National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233 Text LOVEIS to 22522 FORGE Serves transgender and gender non-conforming survivors of domestic and sexual violence; provides referrals to local counselors

Eight Transgender Women Murdered: Unsolved

The murders of transgender women of color are alarmingly high once again this year. Frequently, transgender murders go unsolved. Here are eight transgender women of color whose murders remain unsolved. Courtney Eshay Key, Tyianna Alexander, Bianca “Muffin” Bankz, Keeva Scatter, Iris Santos, Nedra Sequence Morris, Duval Princess, and Kitty Moore were all murdered by gun violence between 2020 and 2022.

According to the HRC Foundation’s “Dismantling a Culture of Violence” report anti-transgender stigma, denial of opportunity, and increased risk factors compound to create a culture of violence. One of the things that shocked me in putting this piece together is how many of these victims are misgendered in local police statements and media reports. Aside from being deeply disrespectful, on. a practical level of misidentification can delay investigation efforts. I know it can sometimes seems impossible to know how to show support particularly when violence is involved.

While there are concrete steps to take, see below, I think one of the very first steps is to be aware of the reality on the ground. I will return to these murders and other murders of transgender and non-gender-conforming people. My love and condolences go out to the families and loved ones of the people in this story and all the human beings whose only crime is living the truth of their lives.

Resources: Advocacy and a safe space in Chicago: https://www.bravespacealliance.org/

Keeva Scatter’s case: Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.

Iris Santos Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477) or submit a tip online at Crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers app.

Nedra Sequence Morris Miami Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS

Duval Princess Crime Stoppers at (866) 845-TIPS Kitty Moore North Port Police Department, North Port Florida

Courtney Eshay Key https://www.bravespacealliance.org/

Tyianna Alexander https://www.bravespacealliance.org/

Bianca “Muffin” Bankz Albany Police Department at 229-431-2100 or Crime Stoppers at 229-436-TIPS.

Links:

https://www.hrc.org/resources/violenc… https://www.sisterspgh.org/rememberin… https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1… https://www.hrc.org/news/hrc-mourns-r…

Five Gays to Make You Proud

In addition to covering crimes committed against gay people, I wanted to also celebrate LGBTQ+ people who are inspirational. One of the byproducts of homophobia is silence, in that silence is the lives of people, some in the closet, who make enormous contributions. In this episode, five gay men you should know about.

The musician Billy Strayhorn, Tomatsu Yato and his stunning photography of Japanese men, Sadao Hasegawa and his bravura graphic art that put Asian men in the center of an erotic frame, fashion designer Willi Smith revolutionized fashion, and sculpture Richard Barthe’. Love and inspiration. Happy Pride!

“Take the ‘A’ Train” was composed in 1939, after Ellington offered Strayhorn a job in his organization and gave him money to travel from Pittsburgh to New York City. Ellington wrote directions for Strayhorn to get to his house by subway, directions that began, “Take the A Train”. Strayhorn was a great fan of Fletcher Henderson’s arrangements. “One day, I was thinking about his style, the way he wrote for trumpets, trombones and saxophones, and I thought I would try something like that,” Strayhorn recalled in Stanley Dance‘s The World Of Duke Ellington.

Tamotsu Yato was a self taught photographer his three books Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan (1967), Naked festival: A Photo-Essay (1969), and Otoko: Photo-Studies of the Young Japanese Male (1972) are still available and more than worth hunting down.

From the book Otoko. Yato’s images are often called homoerotic but I think they are fine works of photographic art.

Yukio Mishima from Young Samurai: Bodybuilders of Japan (1967). Mishima introduced Yato’s work to the world writing the forward for several of Yato’s books.

A photo from Naked Festival. Yato wanted to document these ancient Japanese rituals that continue to this day.

Sadao Hasegawa was also self-taught but he taught himself to work in many graphic mediums.

Both of these books are available today.

Barthe’ with his matinee-idol looks worked in a classical sculptural form. Many of his work is of male nudes at the time, the 1940s nudity was a bit frowned upon, especially in the black community.

The Satyr

Willi Smith

Here’s a link to a phenomenal site put together by the Cooper Hewitt Museum in its tribute to Willi Smith.

HAPPY PRIDE!

Graveyard Love: The Murder of Jamie Carroll

What interested me, in this case, is how disposable we tend to treat people who have a background of drug use and abuse. Jamie Carroll was a loved member of a family headed by his mother who was/is devasted by his loss.

The other thing is the fact that despite the parading of every single one of Jeffrey Mundt’s kinks in an effort to prejudice the jury it didn’t seem to work. The third thing is though this murder is particular to the individuals involved it does highlight the epidemic of “partying” drugs and their abuse among a certain group of gay men. While it would be wrong to make it seem like every gay man is doing drugs with sex it is a problem. Resulting in higher rates of HIV infection and other STDs and higher rates of sexual assault.

The other aspect of this murder is the issue of same-sex domestic violence. In this case, there was evidence that there was no domestic violence even though Mundt used the claim to raise the alarm to get the police to his house. Same-sex domestic violence is underreported so any opportunity to offer resources for help I’m takin em.

On the more shallow side of things, this case is mindboggling. How much did drug use affect Mundt’s decision to call the police knowing there was a dead man no one was looking for buried in his basement?

Why???? Was it to get at Banis, to punish him? We’ll never really know.

Love to know what you think.

Here’s a newspaper article about Banis’s time on the stand.

Here’s Jaime Carroll as his stage persona Ronica Reed. He fashioned her after the real high-school prom queen. When told about his invention the real Ms. Reed loved it.

Click the link above to read the appeal and the dismissal made by Joseph Banis mid-trial

Here’s the link to part one of the two-parter A&E/Amazon video that I refer to in the episode.

The house where the murder occurred is in the historic section of old Louisville, Ky, and has a storied history of violence. It’s also up for sale. Here’s the Zillow link.