Oct 24, 2008

DOUBLE HOMICIDE in Indiana, GAY HATE CRIME executed as threatened?

Two elderly men found brutally murdered in their Decatur Township home are believed to be the victims of a hate crime. Both men were gay. Friends of Milton Lintgren and Eric Hendricks tell WRTV that the couple had been recently targeted because they were gay. WRTV reports:

The friends of two elderly men found dead in their southwest-side home on Monday said they believe the men were killed because they were gay.

Milton Lindgren, 70, and Eric Hendricks, 73, were found dead Monday morning in their home at 9160 Middlebury Way. Police would not say how they were killed or how long their bodies had been inside the home, only that their deaths came by "violent means."

Patrick Beard, a friend of the victims, told 6News' Rick Hightower that he believed the men were targeted.

"I firmly believe it was definitely a hate crime. Milt was 70 and his partner was 73 and to go into someone's home and do something like that, it's just too coincidental," he said.

Police reports show that the men had their phone and cable lines cut twice in the past few months, and that anti-gay statements were posted on their front door.

Investigators said that while they do believe the vandalism was related to Lindgren and Hendricks being gay, that they didn't know if their killings were.

Beard's son, who also knew the victims, said he believes police will eventually reach the same conclusion he and his father have.

"I'm not a genius, but if someone's being harassed like that and fagot gets stamped on their door on a piece of paper, it's not that hard to connect the dots two months later that these two people are brutally killed in their home," Lee Beard said.

The friends said Hendricks was ill and confined to a wheelchair.

News of the mens' murders spread quickly through Indianapolis' GLBT community, which quickly identified the men as being gay in e-mail exchanges posted through a local list serve. "Many of us knew Milton, John Cannady wrote. "He was active in a number of GLBT organizations and a very nice man." Oddly, the Indianapolis Star has so far refused to report the obvious. While Vic Rychaert's story in today's Star acknowledges the men had been harassed recently and a note with a slur on it was left on their door, he makes no mention of the two men being gay or the fact that the slur used was "fagot."

Indiana remains one of only four states in the country without a hate crimes law. Efforts in recent years to enact one has been fiercely opposed by the religious right. The Indianapolis Star, too, has editorialized against such a law. When a Jackson County man, Aaron Hall, was beaten to death over a several-hour period by two young men last year after the man made a comment suggesting a gay sex act to one of the men, his case received little mention from the Star or other Indiana media. The so-called "gay panic defense" worked for the killers in this case. Both men were allowed to plead guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter instead of first degree murder charges and could be free in as few as 15 years.¨

Read it all, click here from Advance Indiana:

Read it all, click here from The Advocate:

Thanks to Advance Indiana
Thanks to The Advocate
Thanks to Flickr Photosharing


Anonymous said...

Clearly, there are no words for this. Except to say that we must remember them in every act of justice we do. Requiescat in pace.

Cany said...

Just how many times will this have to happen before people understand what 'hate' is?

This is just horrible.

Don't we just have so far to go to make people understand that difference is just different?

There are just no words for things like this.

Leslie Littlefield said...

What a horrid tragedy. My prayers are with the family members of these two men.
I will never understand this kind of hate.

Tim said...

Hi Leonardo, caught your mention of this post on Fran's blog and linked over.

This is appalling on so many levels. I can't begin to imagine the horror these two men experienced, especially the one subjected to knowing how his partner died before he was killed. I pray everlasting peace for their souls.

I'm also aghast at how tight-lipped the Indiana media are about this. I live 200 miles from there in Chicago and my partner is a TV news writer, yet it took your blog, which originates thousands of miles away, to tell us about it.

And as for Indiana's not having a hate crime statute--that's inexcusable. After I leave here, I'm headed directly to Evan Bayh's web page with this link and a question why he isn't leading an effort to change that.

I thank you for this--reluctantly, since it's inexcusable we live in a world where such mindless tragedies and ignorance happen and require our attention.


Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thanks for joining in, Tim. I´ve added your blog at the sidebar...happy to have you with us...afterall and friend of Frans is a friend of ours!

Bonnie said...

Hi Leonardo--Prayers for Milton and Eric and their families.

I've sat here for a couple of days reading and re-reading this post and wondering if it is possible that some people have never actually evolved. This type of savagery can only be perpetrated by a demented lunatic. I hope they catch the person(s) who are responsible for this and lock them up for a very long time.

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Dear Bonnie, as a friend of mine would say, ¨unthinkable¨...unfortunately, unthinkable has become the approved voice of people who are represented by Ann Coulter and Fox News...truly dispicable re-ordering to make disgusting behavior palitable for lunatic extremists...so they can do/say vile things and pump themselves up in some sort of twisted righteous self-deceit...I think it is good that we know who they are, they need the comfort of traveling in little ugly mobs in person or on T.V.

Tim said...

Hey, Leonardo--thanks so much for the link! I'll do the same. Although I hate that this tragic story is what brought us together, I'm glad to have found you.

Peace, Tim

Leonardo Ricardo said...

Thanks Tim,

Thanks for the inspirations...very nice.