Their friends from Ingleside High School and the neighborhood Taco Bell fast food restaurant where Olgin worked are distraught over the attack. Samantha Garret, Olgin’s roommate, told KRIS-TV reporters, “You always hear, ‘They never did anything wrong. Why was it them? They were so innocent.’ In all actuality, Mollie and Christine were innocent. They never did anything wrong.” Olgin and Chapa had been discrete about their blooming relationship according to their close friends. They wanted to avoid anti-gay negativity in their Coastal Texas town. While no one has yet suggested the attack was an anti-lesbian hate crime, it is on everyone’s mind as the community seeks to cope with the horror at the popular Violet Andrews Park where the couple was found by two sight seers around 9 a.m. on Saturday. Their motionless bodies lay just below the observation deck overlooking the bay, in an area of knee-high grass. Shell casings from a high caliber handgun were found at the scene, but the murder weapon has not been located. Local residents said they heard two loud cracks around midnight on Friday, but dismissed the noises as firecrackers. Kiii TV3 reports that authorities are pressing forward in an investigation of murder and aggravated assault in the case, with no mention yet of a hate crime motive.
Originally tight-lipped about the ongoing investigation, Portland Police Chief Wright admitted to KRIS-TV reporters that the case showed the hallmarks of a “targeted attack.” Investigators surmise that their assailant walked the couple down into the grassy area before shooting them. The tall grass has frustrated attempts to recover any footprints. Added patrols are being added to area parks in the aftermath of the shootings. MSNBC reports that the friends of the couple are now concentrating on praying for Chapa’s recovery, and on collecting blood for her transfusions. At the time EMS personnel arrived at the scene, officials say, Chapa could communicate, but no word on any account of the attack she might have given police has yet made the media.
Norfolk, Virginia – With little or no privacy, and nowhere to escape from his anti-gay torment, a sailor targeted for harassment aboard nuclear submarine USS Florida (SSBN/SSGN – 728), became the center of a homophobic hazing case that has created a public relations nightmare for the U.S. Navy. The Associated Press revealed that the Navy released its report in March detailing months of anti-gay taunts against the unnamed submariner–leading to the dismissal of the Chief of the Boat, the submarine’s top non-commissioned officer. Master Chief Machinist’s Mate Charles Berry was fired by Captain Stephen Gillespie “for dereliction of duty” related to his failure to report and advise the commanding officer of the boat on issues arising among enlisted men.
The targeted sailor whose identity and sexual orientation have not be released in the investigative report, suffered incessant anti-gay jokes, was subjected to anti-gay epithets and nicknames, and was the victim of an alleged attempted rape at knife point by a man while the Florida was in a foreign port of call–Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. Prior the the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, the sailor was constantly taunted to “come out of the closet” as a gay man and jeered at for having a Filipino boyfriend, the ethnicity of the attempted rapist. He was labeled “Brokeback” for the famous gay-themed motion picture, Brokeback Mountain. The Navy report said that the sailor endured the harassment because he thought it would cease at some point. After eight months of constant homophobic harassment in 2011, the sailor finally passed along a note for help, saying that the combination of the attempted rape, the hounding, and the constant pressure put on him by crew members was driving him to suicide, or to an act of violence against his tormentors.
The Navy report says that sailors who participated in the hazing did not appreciate the psychological harm their actions caused their shipmate. The report also states that Chief Berry did not participate in the anti-gay hazing of the sailor, but did not report what was going on to his superior officers, either. As background to the embarrassing revelations of anti-gay abuse, the report also detailed that the Florida had developed a whole culture of heterosexist and homophobic prejudice, and detailed a number of examples.
In response, the Navy ordered training and counseling up and down the line to prevent anything like this from happening again. Besides the chief of the boat, several junior crew members who participated in the anti-gay harassment have also faced disciplinary actions, including loss of rank and pay. In its March 30 statement to the public, the Navy said: “The Navy’s standards for personal behavior are very high and it demands that sailors are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. When individuals fall short of this standard of professionalism and personal behavior, the Navy will take swift and decisive action to stop undesirable behavior, protect victims and hold accountable those who do not meet its standards.”
This week, Vice Admiral John Richardson who commands the Norfolk-based submarine force, issued a blog post in response to the scandal this incident had created in the submarine service in which he focuses attention on the importance of character in Navy life. “A violation by one seems to be a violation against all,” the admiral wrote.
The USS Florida, an Ohio-class nuclear submarine homeported at Naval Submarine Base King’s Bay, Georgia, participated in action against Libyan forces loyal to Col. Muammar Gaddafi in March 2011 by launching scores of Tomahawk missiles, the only one of the four Ohio-class SSGNs available to serve in Operation Odyssey Dawn. Apparently, the senseless anti-gay torment of the sailor in question was going full tilt during the period of combat operations.
Durham, North Carolina – The leader of an anti-gay sect has pleaded guilty to murder for killing a 4-year-old boy because he thought the toddler was gay, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Peter Lucas Moses, 27, the leader of a polygamous group known as the “Black Hebrews,” has agreed to testify against his mother, brother, and sister in order to avoid the death penalty for himself. He faces two life sentences for the murders of Jadon Higganbothan, 4, and Antoinette Yvonne McKoy, 28, if convicted of the crimes.
WRAL-TV reports that members of the Black Separatist cult addressed Moses as “Lord,” and lived together in a house in Southeast Durham. In October 2010, because he believed he saw Higganbothan touch one of his sons “inapproriately” (the boy had allegedly spanked Moses’ son on the bottom), he ordered the boy’s mother to take him into the garage, where Moses shot the child in the head. The women in the group had arranged computer speakers in the garage to play the Lord’s Prayer in Hebrew loudly enough to drown out the sound of the gunshot. Two months later, when Moses found out that his consort McKoy could not have children and had decided to escape the cult, he shot her to death in a bathroom of the house. On June 8, 2011, investigators found the bodies of Higganbothan and McKoy buried in trash bags in the basement of another house belonging to the sect. Moses’ fingerprints were found on the tape used to secure the trash bags, and his handgun was proven to have been used in both murders.
The father of the little boy, Jamiel Higganbothan, told WRAL-TV News that he was furious the District Attorney had offered Moses a plea deal to save his life. “Me and my family wanted the death penalty,” Higganbothan said after the deal was announced. Moses’ brother, P. Leonard Moses, his sister, Sheila Moses, and his mother, Sheilda Harris, have been charged with accessories to the murder of Antoinetta McKoy. Jadon’s mother, Vania Sisk, and two other women who lived with Peter Moses, Larhonda Renee Smith and Lavada Quinzetta Harris, have been charged with murder in McKoy’s killing, and as accessories to the murder of the little boy.
The Black Hebrews, according to the SPLC, have roots going back to Black Separatist and Black Nationalist movements in the 19th century. They hold that they, not the Jews, are the true descendants of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. While most members of the modern movement in the United States are non-violent, a growing number of cells have become increasingly anti-Semitic, anti-gay, and prone to violence. They hold that modern Jews are imposters. These extremists also condemn whites for enslaving Blacks, and say that they are worthy of death or slavery because of it.