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Gay killings in
Texas may be linked

Gay killings in
Texas may be linked

Texas investigators are trying to determine whether seven unsolved murders of gay men--going back five years--are related, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday. So far, there is no direct evidence, but "we're not ruling anything out," Sgt. Kenneth LeCesne, a Dallas police homicide supervisor whose unit is investigating five of the slayings, told the newspaper. "The similarities have been the lifestyles of the victims. We can't say it's a serial killer or anything like that." Concerns about a connection were first raised by a local gay newspaper and Dallas city councilman Ed Oakley. The city's homicide detectives have prepared a report for the assistant city manager but have not yet formed a task force, the newspaper reported. All of the men were found in or around the cities of Dallas, Garland, and Arlington. One of the victims, Lawrence Wheat, was found dead in his loft on June 5, 2004. He had been beaten and likely strangled. "Hopefully, this will get the case back out there," Frances Wheat, Lawrence's mother, told the Morning News. "There's a part of me that wants to know [who killed him] because I don't want anyone to suffer like this. There's a part of me that doesn't want to go through a trial." According to the newspaper, the other victims are: --Samuel Jarnigan Lea, 28, a University of Texas at Arlington student whose body was discovered October 31 and who appears to have been strangled; --Craig Ceson, 46, whose body was discovered October 11 and who died of blunt-force injuries to his head; --James Stephen Watts, 64, whose body was discovered March 12, 2004, his death likely due to head trauma;

--Agustin Fernandez Jr., 44, who was found critically injured with head injuries in a field on July 27, 2003, and died four days later;

--Bobby Dalton Berry, 63, who was found dead April 23, 2001, in the corner of a garage several days after his family had reported to the police that he was missing; --Keith Alexander Calloway, 33, who was found fatally stabbed on December 22, 2000, inside his Garland apartment. The newspaper reported that police in the city of Arlington have a suspect in the death of Lea, but they have no proof that suspect is connected to the other killings. The suspect is described as a Dallas man in his early 20s with a violent criminal past and no permanent address. "He's a hustler. That's how he's taking care of his drug habit," said Arlington detective Tommy LeNoir, who is investigating Lea's slaying. "Gay, straight--there's hustlers everywhere who want to go home with people and rip them off." (

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