Fugitive convicted of murdering gay man is found slain

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 15 2002 12:00 AM ET

A fugitive sought for his role in the 1990 killing of a gay man in Queens, N.Y., has been found shot to death in Mexico, according to The New York Times.

Esat Bici, 30, was one of New York's most wanted fugitives for his role in the murder of Julio Rivera, a bartender who was beaten and stabbed to death in a Jackson Heights school yard in 1990 because he was gay. Bici was killed on October 2 in Tijuana in what appeared to be a drug-related shooting, said Queens district attorney Richard A. Brown.

Bici was convicted of Rivera's murder in 1991 along with another man, Erik Brown. The two had conspired with a third man, Daniel Doyle, to attack a gay man in the school yard--known as a gay cruising spot--at Public School 69 in Jackson Heights, according to Doyle's testimony. After luring Rivera into an isolated corner of the yard on July 2, 1990, Bici beat him with a beer bottle and a hammer, and Doyle stabbed him, according to court testimony.

Bici disappeared in 1996 while awaiting a retrial. He was featured on America's Most Wanted twice, and the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

Rivera's brother Theodore said the news of Bici's death was a relief. "I don't think there's a day goes by that either my brother's name or his passing does not affect my family," he said.