Over the weekend the brutalized body of gay teen George Steven Lopez Mercado was found by the side of a road in Cayey, Puerto Rico. The police investigator suggested that he deserved what he got because of the "type of lifestyle" he was leading.
Uninformed people love to bash Cleveland as backward and homophobic. But I could never imagine any investigator here implying the victim had it coming. (In fact, Cuyahoga County has an openly gay deputy.) The Federal government needs to step in and, under the Matthew Shepherd Act, take over the investigation.
As to the killing itself: I doubt this was the work of a garden variety gay basher. Most homophobes would not go to the trouble of dismembering, decapitating, and burning a corpse. That speaks to someone with a truly sick mind - going far beyond mere homophobia. Apparently, there was recently another murder in of a gay man in Condado - San Juan's predominently gay neighborhood. But without knowing more about the victim or his death, it's impossible to know if there is a pattern indicative of a serial killer.
11/17/2009 - Follow up
Police in Puerto Rico have arrested a 28 year old man, who is now the prime suspect in the murder. The police investigator, Angel Rodriquez Colon, who made the remark which outraged gay activists, has been relieved of duty and placed on administrative leave.