Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Neo-Nazi’s Trial Begins for Murdering Boy He Thought Was Gay

Kristofer King, murdered at 17

New Port Richey, FL – John Allen Ditulio, Jr., 23, is on trial in Pasco County Florida for the 2006 stabbing murder of a 17-year-old boy he thought was gay.  Kristofer King, the victim, was a houseguest of Patricia Wells and her son, Brandon Wininger, on the night of March 23, 2006 when Ditulio, a member of the American Nazis, allegedly invaded the Wells home angered by her relationship with an African American man and by the fact that her son was gay.  At midnight, according to Crime News 2000, a man wearing a military-style gas mask broke into the Griffin Park area trailer and attacked Wells, who was dozing on a futon.  The assailant slashed Wells in the face and hands, and then turned his murderous attentions to King, who had been on a computer in another room, and tried to escape from the home.  He stabbed King repeatedly, and then fled the scene.  Patricia Wells remembered that the boy cried out in the midst of the attack, “Why are you doing this to me?”  King died from blood loss the next day at an area hospital.  Charlene King, the victim’s mother, believes that her son’s murder was a case of mistaken identity.  She told the St. Petersburg Times that the attacker must have thought Kristofer King was Wininger, whom the Neo-Nazi hated because he was gay.  “What makes it so awful for being killed by someone like that is that Kris never judged anyone by their skin color or sexual preference,” the grieving mother said.  “If you were his friend, you were his friend. They thought it was Brandon because Brandon is gay.  What kind of a man would do this?  Even if Kris had been Brandon, how can you just take a young man’s life?”  The King family acknowledged that Kristofer and Brandon were good friends, and that their son would sometimes stay overnight at his friend’s trailer.  Wininger was away from his home on the night of the attack.  Wells and Wininger had trouble with the “Teak Street Nazis” before.  Their trailer home was adjacent to the swastika-draped Nazi compound, and on at least one occasion members of the hate group had tried to break into their home.  They had shouted racial and anti-gay epithets at them for weeks before the double stabbing.  The St. Petersburg Times also reports that Guy King, the murder victim’s father, received a Christmas card from Ditulio, decorated with a tombstone drawn on the front that read, “Rest In Peace. Here Lies Dead Faggot.”  The message inside: “I hope your Christmas is full of memories of your dead gay son. Merry f—— Christmas.”  The card was signed, “Syn,” Ditulio’s nickname among the Nazis, according to Pasco County prosecutors.  Authorities are treating the case as a hate crime as well as murder and assault.  Ditulio, who was 20 at the time of the attack, is charged with first degree murder and first degree attempted murder.  If convicted, he may face the death penalty.  The year following his arrest and imprisonment pending the trial, Ditulio attempted to escape, using hacksaw blades and a makeshift rope made of bed sheets. He was stymied by a tangle of pipes as he tried to saw his way out of his cell through a metal toilet, according to the Tampa Tribune.  Defense attorneys have tried to sew doubt about the identity of the attacker, as well as attempting to play up the mistaken identity aspect of the case in order to lessen their client’s liability.  They successfully argued to the judge that Ditulio’s offensive tattoos covering his face and neck, which he acquired while in prison awaiting trial, would prejudice the jury against their client.  The judge, in a controversial ruling, ordered that a makeup artist would be hired for ten days at the rate of up to $125 a day to cover Ditulio’s tattoos.  Before and after photos of Ditulio may be seen below, courtesy of the local Fox affliliate.  

December 9, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Anglo Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Florida, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, home-invasion, Law and Order, Mistaken as LGBT, Neo-Nazis and White Supremacy, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, stabbings | , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


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