Unfinished Lives

Remembering LGBT Hate Crime Victims

Gay Man Murdered in Buffalo; Hate Crime Suspected

Buffalo, NY – Christopher Rudow, a 32-year-old gay man, was found murdered in his Buffalo loft apartment on Tuesday, January 5.  His friends suspect a hate crime motive in the killing.  Rudow was a well-liked employee of GEICO who moved from New York City to Buffalo six years ago.  He was known throughout the LGBT community largely because of his expertise as a DJ, his avocation on the side.  Friends describe Rudow as a real professional who had the equipment and the know-how to be a great tune-spinner.  He owned expensive audio components that he kept in three trunks inside his Elk Terminal apartment, but none of it was disturbed by whoever killed him.  WIVB Television reports the coronor determined Rudow’s cause of death to be blunt force trauma.  No suspects have surfaced in the investigation thus far.  Rudow’s murder took place hot on the heels of two other possible anti-LGBT hate crimes in the Buffalo metro area.  In nearby Cheektowaga, two women were charged with assaulting a 20-year-old gay man on December 31 at the Walden Galleria while yelling homophobic slurs.  On New Year’s Day, Lindsay Harmon, a 29-year-old lesbian was stabbed in the face and eye by a young woman shouting similar slurs at her.  LGBT activists in Buffalo say that many more hate crime attacks have occurred in recent months but go unreported, either because of fear of exposure, or out of a sense of despair that law enforcement will ever prosecute the crimes under New York’s hate crime law.  As Kitty Lambert, President of Outspoken for Equality, a Buffalo LGBT rights organization said to The Buffalo News, “I personally know of 10 unreported hate crime assaults in the city in the past two months. Why? Because people are frightened to report it.  Why should they bother reporting it?,” she added.  “It won’t be prosecuted as a hate crime.”  The LGBT community is alarmed and on their guard, expecting more attacks.  In the meanwhile, the investigation into Christopher Rudow’s murder goes on.  His case has yet to be designated as a hate crime, but human rights advocates throughout Western New York are demanding answers as to why authorities seem so reluctant to employ the hate crimes laws in the battle against violent homophobia.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Anglo Americans, anti-LGBT hate crime murder, Beatings and battery, Bludgeoning, gay men, harassment, Hate Crimes, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Lesbian women, New York, Slurs and epithets, Social Justice Advocacy, stabbings, Unsolved LGBT Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Woman Stabbed In Eye by Homophobe

Buffalo, NY – Amidst a spate of recent anti-LGBT assaults in the Buffalo area, a 29-year-old lesbian was stabbed in the face and the eye by a woman shouting anti-gay slurs.  Lindsay C. Harmon was leaving a club on New Year’s about 2 a.m. when a woman assailed her and her friends with anti-gay slurs, and stabbed her in the right eye.  No one has been arrested for the crime.  While local law enforcement has not designated the case as a hate crime assault, Harmon has no doubt as to the reason she was targeted.  She is gay.  The Buffalo News reports that Harmon had never feared for herself or her friends until the attack, which authorities are calling “unusually severe.”  Harmon and her friends were leaving a New Year’s celebration at Roxy’s, a popular downtown nightclub, when a group of men and two women began shouting at them.  The exchange of words let to a confrontation.  Harmon related to SheWired.com, “I just remember saying, “What did you say?’ It’s just crazy to me. I’d never think anyone would say that in the main gay area of Buffalo. I’ve been going to Roxy’s for like 10 years.”  Then Harmon says she tried to break up the argument when a young woman in her late teens or early 20s stabbed her in the eye.  “Let’s go home,” I said. “Let’s get out of here,” Harmon recalled.  “I was walking away, and she [the attacker] came behind me, and I got nailed. I thought I’d been punched, and I fell. I just sat there waiting for her to kick me or something.”  Her friends started to go after the assailant, but hesitated when one of them shouted warned that the attacker had a knife.  At that moment, Harmon began crying out that she was blind in her right eye.  Police are searching for two women who fled the scene after Harmon was stabbed.  Following three hours of surgery, she has only recovered the ability to see shadows with her injured eye.  No one knows whether she will ever be able to see normally with it again.   According to Jay Tokasz of the Buffalo News, Harmon has stitches in her eyelid, cheek and arm and has to take three kinds of eye-drop medications every two hours. “I sleep as much as I possibly can,” she said in a phone interview, “because my eye gets really sore.”  The story of the brutal assault on an innocent lesbian has resonated far beyond the Buffalo metro area.  As of this writing, more than 17,000 Facebook members have joined a support group for Harmon online. A former resident of Buffalo, an anonymous insurance broker, was so deeply touched by Harmon’s plight that he put up a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attacker.  Harmon says she intends to write in response to every comment on her Facebook page.  “I never thought it would get this big out into the world,” she said.

January 12, 2010 Posted by | Anglo Americans, Anti-LGBT hate crime, harassment, Heterosexism and homophobia, Law and Order, Lesbian women, New York, Perpetrators of Hate Crime, Slurs and epithets, stabbings, Unsolved LGBT Crimes, women | , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Woman Stabbed In Eye by Homophobe


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