Whoa...stumbled upon this in the obits today:
BRIAN KEVIN BOOTHE
Born 3/5/67 - Murdered 12/25/02 Still unsolved. We remember you today and every day. You live forever in the hearts of your Family and Friends.
It is an old story but still unsolved.
N.Y. man’s penis slashed after Internet hook-up
Case highlights potential perils of cruising online
Friday, September 19, 2003
NEW YORK — “Get on. Get off.” That’s the slogan for one of the most popular hook-up sites on the Internet for gay men. On one weekday afternoon last week, 2,359 men were logged on at one time.
The vast majority of meetings resulting from such online cruising don’t result in anything more harmful than a bruised ego. But for one man who sought sex through Manhunt.net on Sept. 2, a hook-up nearly cost him his life.
A 37-year-old man had met another man “in his 40s” online, according to the New York Post. They arranged to meet in Manhattan, police said.
While they were having sex, the older man pulled out a knife and lacerated the other man’s penis, according to police. The victim was taken to St. Vincent’s Hospital where he was listed in stable condition.
According to Basil Lucas, coordinator of bias crimes at New York City’s Anti-Violence Project, his experience is not unique.
“We definitely see an increase in crimes being committed via the Internet,” Lucas said.
The most recent such victim is unusual in that he reported it to the police; most such cases aren’t reported, according to Lucas and others.
Lucas said that more than 10 percent of all bias crime calls are what he terms “pick-up crimes,” or those that are derived from meeting with the sole intention of having sex.
“Maybe 50 to 75 calls a year come from those who met their attackers online,” Lucas said.
Killing may be Net-related
A recent New York City killing, that of Brian Boothe, is currently under investigation as being an Internet pick-up crime. Police have confiscated the victim’s computer to look for suspects.
On Christmas Day last year, Boothe, 35, was found stabbed to death at his apartment in Manhattan’s Stuyvestant Town.
“He is a classic example of someone found through” the Internet, Lucas surmised. “Initially, they thought it was a suicide.”
But police now agree with Lucas’ theory.
“It has the elements of a pick-up crime,” Lucas said. “There was no robbery and his Christmas gifts were still there.”
Lucas and other crime watchdogs complain that it is difficult to track and prosecute attackers because of the circuitous and hidden route of cyber connections. In addition, said Lucas, a lot of gay men do not report such crimes because they often feel ashamed at how the offense occurred.
“Even if something happens, and the victim reports it to the service provider,” Lucas said, “in many cases, they respond that they cannot help.”
The assailants are often serial perpetrators, he added.
Caution is the watchword
In the Manhunt.net incident, an e-mail was sent to all Manhunt users that stated, “We heard that a Manhunt member was harmed by another Manhunt member, and we are concerned. Please remember to take every precaution possible when meeting someone new. We suggest having a first meeting in public and communicating clearly and in depth. Never let anyone talk you into doing anything you do not want to do! Should you ever feel in danger, do not hesitate to contact the police. We care about your safety! Happy hunting and be SAFE!”
Officials with Manhunt responded to a media inquiry by indicating only that, “We contacted the police but have not received a call back.” The service did not respond to additional requests for information about the case.
Harold Copus, president of Investigative Solutions, a private investigative security consulting firm based in Atlanta, is currently investigating a missing persons case in Atlanta in which the victim met an attacker online. Although Copus could not disclose the name of the site, he did say it was targeted to gay sexual encounters.
After the missing individual was beaten by an unknown man whom the victim apparently met online, the abused victim refused treatment, according to his brother. After that, he mysteriously disappeared.
Copus assumes the man was killed.
Copus’ investigation eventually ground to a halt after attempting to trace the victim’s e-mails.
Copus suggests that users employ what he calls, “due diligence,” or doing what is necessary to vet the individual’s credentials. He also suggested leaving an address or phone number of a potential partner at home, with a friend or a roommate.