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Three More Youths
Perceived as Gay Are Dead!

Thursday: 2 Murders and 1 Suicide Reported

Deceased are 13, 15, and 26 Years of Age

By Jack Nichols

Cherokee County, Georgia

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported Thursday the murder in Cherokee County, Georgia of a 13-year old eighth grader, Josh Bellurado. Monday, as young Bellurado was getting off a bus to go home, an older teen-aged bully hit him in the back of the head and continued to pummel him after he'd fallen. His sister and others rushed to his aid, but the damage had been done and the boy went into cardiac arrest. He lapsed in a comma and died on Wednesday.

John Miller, 15, has now been charged as an adult with Bellurado's murder. Apparently, Miller had been harassing the younger boy for quite some time. The Atlanta Journal Constitution interviewed a young friend of Bellurado's and she said Miller often tried to insult kids he didn't like by saying they were gay. She went on to reveal that the alleged teen killer had said, "Gay people deserve to die." EV1106.jpg - 6.81 K Suspect John Miller
Photo: WSB-TV

It was reported that authorities had revealed that the accused, upon arrest, had smiled.

Josh Bellurado's sexual orientation remains an unknown, but his death qualifies as a hate crime if he was "perceived as gay" or if his murderer's excuse for harassing victims was, in fact, because of their sexual orientations.

Central Florida

The murder of Sabastian Durgins, 26, of 825-D Ivey Lane, Orlando, Florida, was first reported October 27 in The Orlando Sentinel and was initially mentioned in GayToday on October 28. The Orlando paper, however, aside from identifying the victim by his stereotypical occupation (a "free-lance hairdresser") had provided no indication that Durgins was gay.

attacked2.gif - 16.53 K GayToday's follow up calls to Sentinel reporters on November 5 confirmed that no further inquiries had been made by the newspaper about the motive behind Durgins' killing. His body had been discovered in Sanford, Florida by two boys walking near train tracks. The Sentinel had stated that the young man had been shot in the head, quoting Sanford Police Corporal Randy Smith who'd said that robbery had not been the motive.

GayToday received confirmation from local residents that an unidentified TV news station had treated the Durgins' murder as an anti-gay hate crime. TV reporters had interviewed Durgins' neighbors, they explained, saying he'd had a warm and engaging personality.

Sanford police Sergeant Pat Smith confirmed November 5 what GayToday had sought to discover, namely that Sabastian Durgins was, in fact, gay. Robbery had indeed been ruled out as a motive. "There was money in his pocket," said Smith. The Sanford police officer refrained, however, from calling Durgins' murder a hate crime. "We don't have enough information," he said.

Burton, Staffordshire, England

Darren Steele, a 15-year old choirboy was bullied and abused by schoolmates— in Burton, Staffordshire, England.

His friends told a recent inquest he'd been burned with cigarettes, hit and verbally abused and was called a "gay boy" and a "poof". A suicide note left by the boy confirmed the abuse he'd suffered. In the months before Darren's suicide friends also told how he'd grown pale and sickly. He'd been discovered by his mother—hanged—in his bedroom.

The teenager had exhibited a love of cookery and drama lessons at de Ferrers School.

Among those testifying at the inquest into his death, an unnamed (underage) girl told authorities she'd seen the marks on Darren's back, school bag and head whereon he'd been burned with cigarettes. It was not the first time he'd attempted suicide, she said.

. The boy had told her: 'I am fed up. I am sick of being picked on."

"He said he had no friends," she said, "but I told him he had me and pointed to his other friends."

A choirboy at St. Chad's Church in Burton, Darren declined to tell his teachers about those bullying him for fear of revenge.

His friends said he was a "bubbly, kind and loving" boy who could always be relied on to help others. His mother, returning home from an errand, discovered his body slumped and blue-faced.

She ran downstairs screaming, "My son is dead!"

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