Did Police Bungle This Gay Man's Murder?

By Diane Anderson-Minshall

Originally published on Advocate.com October 19 2013 11:13 AM ET

A  year after the killing of Lou Rispoli, a much-loved gay rights activist in New York, police have no leads and no evidence, but they're re-releasing sketches of the two suspects along with a new $22,000 reward in hopes of catching the killers. According to Metro's Danielle Tcholakian, the news "only added to the frustration of Rispoli’s friends and family including his husband of 30 years, as the investigation into his death appeared to have been badly mismanaged from the start."

Tcholakian reported that police who responded to Rispoli's assault did not tape off the crime scene or collect evidence. Councilman Jimmy van Bramer, a friend of Rispoli's, told Metro that once Rispoli (who was bleeding and unconcious) was taken away by paramedics, police simply left the scene of the Oct. 20, 2012, attack. 

Rispoli died five days later, when surgery failed to stop the bleeding on his brain, without ever having ever regained conciousness. 

An unamed law enforcement official told Tcholakian there is "no physical or video evidence connected to the investigation." An eyewitness reported that Rispoli was speaking with two men that he seemed to know when one suddenly hit him with an object that could have been a bat; the two men fled in their vehicle and the witness called 911.

Police Commissioner Ray Kelly told Tcholakian that he believed that officers were disciplined for their failures in the case.  

“[Kelly] told me personally that every single person that responded that night was being interviewed and questioned and these things take time and there was no way they were releasing [the requested materials] until, at the earliest, the investigation was complete,” van Bramer told Metro. “We need to find out what happened that night and why the police left when Lou was put in the ambulance.”

According to Gothamist, investigators believe Rispoli was attacked in what could have been a hate crime by three men who "fled in a white or grey four door sedan with a loud muffler." In the two re-released sketches, there is one white male in his 20s while and another is a Latino male in his 30s. 

Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS (8477), log on at NYPDCrimeStoppers.com, or text to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.

 

Watch this video that Rispoli's friends and family put together: