Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Talana Kreeger

Talana Kreeger



Talana Kreeger

September 25, 1957—February 22, 1990

Wilmington, NC


“In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.

Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.

~ Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant

Law enforcement told leaders of the Wilmington, NC LGBT community that it would not be in their interest to be too visible in the days following the murder of Talana Quay Kreeger by manual disembowelment.  Fearing reprisals, a quiet funeral was planned for Talana at a church in nearby Ogden.  Forbidden to post signs directing mourners to the church, organizers tied bunches of white balloons along the route up Market Street, leading out of town.

At the last minute, the service was called off in Ogden.  Somebody had gotten to the pastor, and explained that Talana was a lesbian.  Wilmington Police stopped the procession of cars, and told them to turn around.  Scrambling to find any place for the better than 200 grief-stricken, frustrated mourners, someone contacted a sympathetic Episcopal priest in downtown Wilmington who opened his church for the memorial service.

Talana, 32, was well known and well regarded in the closely-knit lesbian and gay community.  She was a skilled journeyman carpenter, and had volunteered her time to remodel the Park View Bar and Grill, a haven for coastal Carolina lesbians.  Her murder by long haul trucker, Ronald Thomas, terrorized and enraged the entire LGBT population of New Hanover County.  Talana’s gruesome death caused Eastern North Carolina queer folk to find their voices.  They vowed never again to have to rely on straight people to lend them a church for the funeral of one of their own.

The result of that vow is St. Jude’s Metropolitan Community Church, www.stjudesmcc.org , a thriving congregation founded the year after Talana’s murder as a testimony to LGBT faith and resolve.  Independent filmmaker, Tab Ballis, is documenting the story of Talana Kreeger with the film, “Park View,” www.parkviewproject.com.   Few other LGBT hate crimes murder victims, if any, have not only a film dedicated to their memory, but also have a church that exists today as a living reminder that hatred does not have the last word.  Rest well, sister.  Time was on your side after all.  You did not die in vain.  We will not forget.

March 4, 2009 - Posted by | Hate Crimes, Lesbian women, North Carolina, Remembrances, Torture and Mutilation, Uncategorized | , , ,


  1. Thanks to Stephen Sprinkle’s tireless efforts, the legacy of Talana Kreeger and many others, as martyrs of the senselesness of homophobic hate crimes, will not be forgotten, in our time.

    Comment by Tab Ballis | March 13, 2009

    • Thanks to you, as well, Tab. Talana’s memory is still evergreen thanks to your dedication and filmmaking excellence.

      Comment by unfinishedlives | March 14, 2009

  2. […]  Wilmington, the largest city on the Carolina coast, is no stranger to anti-LGBT murder.  Lesbian Talana Quay Kreeger, 32, was manually disemboweled by a trucker in 1990.  Tab Ballis, a local documentary filmmaker, […]

    Pingback by NC Gay Bashings Alarm Wilmington and Greensboro « Unfinished Lives | August 26, 2009

  3. I knew a Talana Kreeger in Jacksonvile, NC back in 1975-1976 but am not sure if she was the one I knew, She had a bithmark on her face and very bad teeth. I’ve often thought about her and by a whim typed her name and found out she was on the internet. I think her father was in the Marine Corps. If anyone happens to read this I would be grateful to know if this might be her. This is more than sad. i

    Comment by Tom Caulfield | December 10, 2011

    • Dear Tom,

      This could very well have been Talana. She had dental difficulties. If she was a blonde, the chances are greater that it was indeed she. I have a chapter on her murder in my book, Unfinished Lives. Thanks for contacting us.


      Comment by unfinishedlives | December 10, 2011

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