Thursday, December 29, 2005

a local killer

For better or worse I've ignored the immediate area in my posting of late, but obviously things are happening in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton area. One unfortunate development is the apparent serial killer of gay men in our midst. Reporter Rebecca Lopez of WFAA, the local ABC affiliate, did a story recently about this, here:

"Police probe if D-FW gay men's murders linked"

Five unsolved murders of gay men over the last few years have had the Dallas Police Department investigating the possibility of their connected.

On June 5, 2004, Dallas Planning and Zoning Commissioner Lawrence Wheat, 42, was found by his friends unconscious in his home on South Harvard Street. He later died at the Baylor University Medical Center. Wheat had been beaten to death.

"A person shouldn't be able to get by with this type of crime and go free," said Frances Wheat, Lawrence's mother.

A witness saw a man leave his home and police were able to create a composite drawing of the suspect.
1214suspect-suspect composite-lawrence wheat-s murder
Detectives have also contacted the Arlington police about a possible sixth connection in Arlington. The body of 28-year-old Samuel Lea, a University of Texas in Arlington student who was strangled to death, was found on Halloween.

"Based on the investigation we had so far, the similarities have been the lifestyles of the...the victims," Sgt. Lecesne said.

The City Manager's Office and at least one city council member have asked police to provide them with details of the investigation and to look into the possibility there is a serial killer targeting gay men who frequent gay bars.

"They were killed differently," Sgt. Lecesne said. "There is nothing that we can find to link those cases to any one particular individual."

1214victims-samuel lea and lawrence wheat
Samuel Lea, left and Lawrence Wheat, courtesy WFAA.