Badpuppy Gay Today

Wednesday 30 July, 1997


Gay Suspicions of Police & FBI Lies to Public Confirmed
Bob Kunst Tells Miami Beach & NYC Mayors: "Its the Reward, Stupid!"

By Jack Nichols


An 11 p.m. Tuesday newscast over Miami's WFOR-TV now reports Miami Beach police are claiming that the FBI did not forward photos of Andrew P. Cunanan to Miami Beach authorities or to the Metro Police until minutes after famed designer Gianni Versace was slain in daylight.

This means that FBI denials to the contrary, as well as those broadcast by Miami Beach Mayor Penelas on Larry King Live, namely that the gay community had been amply forewarned, were, in fact, what one angry citizen called "downright fabrications."

This announcement also sadly confirms the worst suspicions of activists and journalists throughout South Florida's gay communities, including Ft. Lauderdale's influential Hotspots editor George Ferencz, and fiery, outspoken Miami Beach activist Bob Kunst. (See bottom of GayToday's contents containing a multi-article series with special focus on FBI and police misbehavior in the Versace case).

For over a week Kunst has been leading a non-stop grass roots campaign from his Versace mansion-area petition table, one that that has quickly gathered over 6,000 signatures toward assuring that Miami Beach does not renege on its promise of a $45,000 reward to Fernando Carreira, the houseboat caretaker who called 911 after stumbling inadvertently into the domain of the fugitive murderer. For next weekend a Miami Beach City Hall protest is being planned.

Kunst says he is organizing in part to remember Gianni Versace in a way he'd have appreciated, by spreading a general awareness of the importance of the ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) that is now reportedly stalled in Congress.

To assure that gay men and lesbians get equal treatment under the law, Kunst believes City Hall's lies must be exposed without cease as an example of law enforcement's continuing romance with deadfag=goodfag machismo. "They have a scary way of throwing out diversionary stories to cover their tracks," he told GayToday, "they don't care who gets hurt. Now they're duking it out with each other over the blame."

The activist's response to such "cheap city hall" syndromes goes to both the reward-refusing Miami Beach Mayor Penelas and to New York City's reneging Mayor Guiliani. Kunst wants them to know: "It's the Reward, Stupid!"

Fernando Carreira himself, traveling with his lawyer to New York, happily received on Monday--amid much public acclaim and fanfare-- a $10,000 reward from New York's Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project. The organization's director, Christine Quinn, said that the Project had decided "not to stand on details or the fine print," and that "what Mr. Carreira did was significant, and we did not minimize it."

Carreira's public response to Mayor Guiliani's refusal of a $10,000 reward was an amusing rebuke. On Sunday Guiliani had tried to excuse his withholding of the reward by saying Carreira hadn't called the proper New York City hot line for tips. To this Carreira, at a news conference, replied in Spanish: "Next time I'll bring the yellow pages so I'll know who to call."

Kunst's response to Mayor Guiliani's statement was curt. "He's a jerk," he said, "and the Miami Beach police are already playing dirty to save their hides, releasing bogus stories--like the one about that lady who supposedly saw Carreira but which has now been discounted in the woman's affidavit held by Carreira's attorney. The Beach police are just trying--with publicity leaks--to weasel their way out of giving the reward. The affidavit says that the woman's statement on seeing Carreira earlier at the houseboat was 'falsified.' Now people are saying Mayor Penelas made the reward offer only as a cheap publicity stunt."

The houseboat's caretaker Carreira, speaking through his attorney Tuesday evening on CNN's Larry King Live, attempted goodheartedly to give Kunst's decades-old organization, The Oral Majority, recognition for its welcome services, saying instead that The Moral Majority in Miami Beach had collected 6,000 signatures. The actual figure Tuesday evening was 6,034.

A group of Miami Beach businessmen and women stepped forward Tuesday to gather funds for the 71-year old caretaker while GLAAD's national office announced that there are still five serial murderers of gay people who are still at large. "While the threat of Andrew Cunanan is gone," said the GLAAD release, "many wonder if law enforcement will not step up their efforts" to find the men believed to be the killers of over 35 gay people in states as varied as New York, Virginia, and Colorado.

GLAAD said: "We hope the lesson learned from the past few weeks is that law enforcement needs to walk hand in hand with the community to put an end to anti-gay bias crimes."

Neighbors who live in the vicinity of the houseboat where Cunanan allegedly shot himself, are saying that "the houseboat door was open regularly long before Cunanan ever occupied it." Some believe the rumor that Cunanan may still be alive and that beach police may have staged his demise to purposely turn off the unfavorable spotlight resulting from the presence of so many world press reporters.

Kunst intends to return to his Versace mansion petition site Thursday at 4 p.m. At his arraignment because of his false arrest for allegedly scratching an officer July 8 at a post- equal rights ordinance-failure-rally, it was announced his trial date would be September 15. Kunst had inspired the arresting officer's indignation carrying a sign that read: "Christian Reich."

1997 BEI; All Rights Reserved.
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