Deaths of nearly 100 gay Australians are proven to be hate crimes decades later


Police had previously discovered 88 cases where gay men had died under suspicious circumstances between 1970 and 1990. However, a new report from he local LGBT charity showed that these suspicious circumstances included mostly homophobia and inadequate police investigation. The report published on Monday follows an investigation prompted by an initial inquest into the death of Scott Johnson, a 27-year-old mathematician who was found dead at the bottom of a 200-foot cliff 30 years ago. Johnson’s death was originally listed as a suicide, however, an inquest in 2017 found that it was a murder, and it is very likely that it was motivated by his sexuality. The report examined the 88 suspected anti-gay killings and found that there were multiple underlying themes in many of the attacks – determining that homophobic motive is clearly visible at least in a half of cases. As many as 30 deaths of gay men who died in Sydney and the surrounding area remain unsolved. The report called ‘In Pursuit of Truth and Justice: Documenting Gay and Transgender Prejudice Killings in NSW in the Late 20th Century’ aimed to highlight both the deaths as a whole as well as the issues that have remained in the 40 years after they happened.


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