Is there a serial killer targetting gay men in New York City? Gay City Council member Daniel Dromm thinks there may be. According to Clare Trapasso of the New York Daily News, three out gay men, all middle-aged, have been strangled and murdered within days of each other in Queens and Manhatten. None of the crime scenes showed forced entry, so police suspect that the victims went to the rooms willingly with their killer(s) who they may have met through an online or app-based hookup site.
Trapasso reported that the three victims are: David Rangel, a 53-year-old junior high school teacher who was discovered dead in his Jackson Heights apartment on Jan. 26; Charles Romo, 48, who discovered bound with a bag over his head in his Manhattan apartment a few days later; and 54-year-old Joseph Benzinger, who was found strangled to death last weekend at a Crown Motor Inn on Queens Boulevard.
Dromm told Fox he wanted gay and bisexual men to use "caution when using online dating services and when meeting someone for the first time."
Trapasso also reported that the police say that the cases "don't appear to be linked" but did divulge that "two of the victims may have met their attackers online," something that worries Dromm, a Democrat from Jackson Heights.
“It’s frightening. I fear that there could be somebody out there targeting gay men,” he said at a press conference on Wednesday. “People need to exercise extreme caution.”
We'll report more details as they surface.