Condemned killer who strangled and stabbed gay man says ‘gay panic’ is to blame

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A murderer on death row Robert Van Hook begs to keep him alive saying that he killed David Self in 1985 because of ‘gay panic’. He met Self at the Subway Bar in Cincinnati, Ohio, before the two went together to Self’s flat. It was here that Van Hook strangled Self until he was unconsciousness before stabbing him multiple times in the neck. The murderer proceeded to cut open his abdomen before stabbing his internal organs, court records show. He stole some of his victim’s minor possessions and escaped to another state. His legal representatives stated that he had been physically, mentally and sexually abused as a child, which led to mental health disorders. Prosecutors have rubbished Van Hook’s ‘homosexual panic’ plea, explaining that he had a history of going home with gay men in order to steal from them. “This is a man who had cynically manipulated homosexuals for years,” the Hamilton County prosecutor’s office wrote in a filing, noting that the man pretended to be gay and was seeking victims in gay bars deliberately several times. According to the prosecutors, Van Hook has committed violent acts since being imprisoned, including stabbing another convict on death row in November.

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