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Cross-dresser's killing a possible hate crime

Cross-dresser's killing a possible hate crime

Police in Daly City, Calif., said they are investigating as a possible hate crime the slaying of a local gay man whose body was found Monday in women's clothing a short distance from his home. Investigators have had difficulty obtaining leads into the killing of Eddie Chung Chou Lee, 42, who died of multiple stab wounds and appeared to have been killed late Sunday night or early Monday morning, police told the San Francisco Chronicle. Police said they are considering the possibility that the attack might have been motivated by hate or perhaps by someone who reacted violently to discovering that Lee was a man. "We're looking at the possibility that the suspect did not know what they were getting into," Daly City detective Albert Cisneros told the Chronicle. "It could be that someone responsible was caught unaware and it ended in the heat of the moment. That's one theory we're looking at, that it played a role, but maybe it had nothing to do with it." Cisneros said Lee's cash, watch, necklace, and ring were found at the scene, ruling out the possibility that robbery was the motive for the attack. Lee, who was apparently unemployed, was not sexually assaulted, police said. Lee's ex-partner of 10 years, David Knopf, 44, of San Francisco, told the Chronicle he was stunned to hear about the slaying. He said he met Lee in 1991, not long after Lee emigrated from Taiwan to study graphic design at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. The pair lived together in San Francisco before splitting up more than two years ago, Knopf said. Knopf described Lee as outgoing, a person who made friends easily and enjoyed art and traveling. He said Lee began wearing women's clothes toward the end of their relationship on outings to clubs. He said he wondered whether Lee was targeted for his sexual orientation or his clothing. "I want to know what happened here," said Knopf. "He didn't deserve to be killed."

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