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Killing Has Vancouver Gays On Edge


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Killing Has Vancouver Gays On Edge

by Rich Peters 365Gay.com Vancouver Bureau

Posted: October 14, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Vancouver, British Columbia) The murder of a 51 year old disabled gay man on a Vancouver street has the city's gay community on edge as it recalls a similar slaying four years ago.

Tony Robertson was beaten and left for dead only seven blocks from his home. Robertson had left the Dufferin Hotel, a well known gay spot. As he left he told the doorman he was taking a bus home.

Police say he was seen walking with two other men about 3 am. At one point an altercation broke out. Then, one of the men began to beat Robertson. A small group of people reportedly stood by and watched.

A witness in car called police on his cell phone, but by the time police arrived Robertson was lying unconscious on the pavement and the men and witnesses were gone.

The 51-year-old, who lived on a small disability pension, died later in hospital.

"These parties didn't flee immediately, they kind of sauntered and went southbound on Main, not hurrying away from the area," police spokesperson Sgt. Richard Akin said.

The attacker is described as a white male in his mid-20s, heavy set, about six feet tall with a blond crew cut.

Nine detectives are now working the case.

Akin said that investigators have ruled out robbery as a motive for the attack and said that so far there is nothing to indicate Robertson was the victim of a gay-bashing.

Gays along Davie Street, the city's LGBT neighborhood, are not so sure, pointing to the 2001 murder of Aaron Webster.

The naked blood covered body of Webster, 41, a local photographer, was found in Stanley Park in an area frequented by gay men. He had been beaten with a baseball bat.

At the time police also said it appeared that Webster had not been killed because he was gay.

The city's LGBT community was highly critical of the investigation. For a year there were no breaks in the case.

Then after a local Crimestoppers broadcast police got a tip and arrested a teen. Three additional suspects were charged several weeks later. Evidence at their trials showed they had gone to the park looking for a gay to beat up.

A 22 year old was sentenced to six years in prison. Two teens were sentenced to two years in custody and one year's house arrest. The four man was acquitted.

©365Gay.com 2005


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