1. TANK says

    I’ll be accepting that apology from you, derrick. Right away. It’s hard being right all of the time. I’ll just have to live with it. Oh, and I hope this guy spends the rest of his miserable fucking life locked away in a cell somewhere, getting raped every goddamn day. The cliche gay panic defense…let’s see if it works–and then, schmucks–assess the worthlessness of your claim puerto rico is a paradise for the gays…and that hispanic/latino cultures (as they’re different) aren’t mostly homophobic.

  2. AlexInBoston says

    FYI The prosecution wants to try this case as a first degree murder charge! Puerto Rico does not allow for the Death penalty in its constitution HOWEVER the Federal Law supersedes the commonwealths constitution, subsequently if he can be tried under the new Federal Hate Crimes Law this man should then be executed in the Federal Prison outside San Juan!

  3. Zach says

    “It appears that the killer, 26-year-old Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, originally believed his victim was a female prostitute.”

    He hasn’t been convicted of anything yet. Call him a killer once he’s been found guilty. Until then, he’s the accused.

  4. John in Boston says

    C’mon people. Didn’t know she was a chick with a dick? He knew what was up. Something bad went down. He of course is publicly embarrassed and is copping the usual tall tale.

    In a lot of traditional macho cultures a dude who is the masculine top isn’t really considered gay as long as he’s the one being serviced or fucking. Especially true if the ‘gay’ bottom dude is fem.

  5. JT says

    So was Mercado really working as a prostitute? Or even a drag queen prostitute? And, either way, did the accused know Mercado’s real sex when he picked him up? Lots of unanswered questions at this point.

  6. TANK says

    I’ll call him a degenerate murdering shitbag, zach. I’d dangle this crying, screaming pleading, begging POS on a meat hook and take him apart sinew from limb, feed him to my dog; and all without the benefit of a trial–but it’d soil the hook. He deserves no respect, and has copped to the act with the defense. You self loathing scumbags defending him are despicable.

  7. Caleb says


    It is nauseating to even hear anyone here remotely defend this person! He has admitted DECAPITATING and DISMEMBERING a 19 year old boy.

    You are all sick, sick people.

  8. says

    Zach: the guy confessed to the murder already, so yes, he is a killer. whether or not he’s a convicted killer is still to be determined. he’s not an alleged murderer, or an accused murderer, he’s a murderer. whether he can convince a jury he should be exonerated, is still up in the air. i just hope that they don’t blame the victim anymore than the original police chief/detective did when the crime was first discovered. let’s all hope it doesn’t matter to the jury what the victim’s life was all about. and technically, since the killer admitted he murdered the man once he ‘found out’ he was indeed a man, isn’t that the very definition of a hate crime? there was no other reason to kill him except he hated gay men. seems a slam dunk to me, but NOTHING that goes on today is ever a slam dunk anymore, imo.

  9. John in Boston says


    There’s a thousand reasons why he could have murdered him, none anti-gay or homophobic hate. They could have fought, it could be a crime of passion, drugs, some kind of transaction that went bad, ET AL.,

    I’m not saying he didn’t kill him because he was gay, just saying there could be many other reasons.

  10. JT says

    In NYC, anyway, the general belief is that the men who pick up transvestite prostitutes know they’re really men, but there have been cases, albeit rare, where the john was generally unaware and went into a rage where he found out. Not saying that’s definitely the case here, just pondering..

  11. Davey says

    I can never understand why some tranny prostitutes pretend to be women when they know full well, the guy wants an actual woman. I’m not talking about men who are looking for trans-prostitutes, but the ones who want actual women. It seems the risk is just too great. I’m NOT SAYING anyone deserves to die, but geesh, is it really worth it just to say you got with a “straight” guy?

  12. Kat says

    The eyebrows: I was in PR recently and was amazed at the eyebrow grooming of the men there. Seriously. It seems to be the trend for men to over-groom their eyebrows (imho a bit over the top). Seriously ruined my gaydar.

    The killing: It matters not whether you are straight, gay, black, hispanic, white, male, female – you simply don’t kill other people. They did something bad to you? Use the law to make it right. You have zero right to take matters in your own hands (save when your own life is threatened which his was obviously not).

    Furthermore, when you get pissed at a guy for coming onto you when you thought he was a girl – after you chop off his head, you might come to your senses and go, “Oh crap.” But to carry on so far as to remove all limbs and head and then burn him? That takes a while and if your temper is so bad you can’t come to your senses earlier than that – well, you need to be locked up for life anyway (and I’d say get the death penalty as well except that I get a certain warm glow thinking about the men in prison that will use this man as a bottom).

    Either way, those of you defending him in various ways – seriously? What planet do you live on? If this was a black woman that was killed because she pretended to be white – or someone killed because they pretended to be single but were really married – I mean would you defend any other killing? I think not. Perhaps dig into your own homophobic minds?

    No one deserves to be killed because they’ve offended someone (sensibilities/sexuality/whatever). ‘Nuff said.

  13. TANK says

    Yeah, JT, you’re not necessarily saying that’s the case, but you’ve gone out of your way to focus on the victim (exclusively) and understand the victim in terms of his responsibility for his own murder. You’re a real prize. I don’t give a fuck if he didn’t know (and there’s simply no reason to suppose–other than the MURDERER’s statement–that he was even in drag, or a transvestite prostitute…the murderer using the gay panic defense…THE MURDERER! LOL!), NO excuse. It’s surreal that an adult that isn’t cognitively impaired needs to be informed that there is no excuse for murdering someone in this context–even IF (and that’s highly unlikely) he didn’t now that jorge was a man. By all means, let’s accept the murderer’s account over the likelier one, and entertain this pathetic explanation as reasonable grounds for excusing this heinous crime. It’s simple minds like yours that make defense attorneys click their heels in joy, JT and John in Boston. The same defense attorneys who used the short cut dress defense for rapists. You guys make ’em money.

    As to the reasons, there aren’t countless reasons why as he’s already using the gay panic defense. That makes it inherently homophobic as IT IS. And I’m not going to entertain for one second the HIGHLY UNLIKELY situation in which this douchebag didn’t know. But even if I were to, it would change NOTHING.

  14. Randy says

    There used to be a gay panic defense, but with the passage of the hate crimes act, that defense is by definition a hate crime.

    If he uses this defense in local court, the case must be moved to federal court and treated as a hate crime.

    I guess we’ll see whether anyone believes he was defending himself against being stabbed by a fragile-looking 19-year-old transsexual, and whether any attempted stabbing was not itself a self-defense against being dismembered and decapitated.

  15. casey says

    John in Boston: I suppose if this was a work of fiction, the author WOULD have a thousand ways this murder could have gone down, but by the quotes furnished in this article, (and the exact same quotes appear in other pubs-google the story) i don’t see how you could reasonably say other wise. this quote pretty much sums up the hate crime, to me: “He said that he did not know that it was really a man and they went to his apartment in Cidra, where Steven allegedly told him to have anal sex with him, which provoked anger in him and caused him to murder him…” i don’t see anything there that would lead me to believe it was a ‘transaction’ or anything of that sort. i wouldn’t be surprised if there were drugs involved. i think the percentage of men trolling for prostitutes using drugs is pretty damn high, but i don’t know how much that would negate a hate crime. in my mind, if this isn’t a hate crime, i can’t imagine what is. but i’m an artist and not a lawyer, and i’m bitter and jaded to boot, so who knows what will happen. as i wrote in an earlier post, i just hope that police detective’s attitude isn’t indicative of the population in general that would make up the jury.

  16. casey says

    OK, it’s late, i’m tired. i MEANT to write: i think the percentage of men using drugs and trolling for prostitutes is pretty damn high… (not … trolling for prostitutes using drugs…) sorry.

  17. casiano19 says

    Drop the eyebrow issue! LOL
    It’s a cultural thing in Puerto Rico, influenced, believe it or not, by the rappers. My brothers take care of their eyebrows much better than I do. Oh, and straight guys shave their legs and torsos quite often… Again, it’s cultural and a very odd thing, even for some of us Puerto Ricans :-)
    So, regarding the killer… first degree murder gets you life in prison in PR. They don’t sentence you to “life in prison,” but you get a humongous sentence, like 99+ years in murder cases, so essentially they are letting you know you will die in prison, without actually using the phrase “life in prison.” The death penalty is applicable in Puerto Rico by virtue of federal jurisdiction (in certain, VERY specific cases). For example, not every murder case falls under federal jurisdiction and certainly not every murder case is eligible for the death penalty. (NOTE: I am a lawyer but I need to look up the new hate crimes statute to see whether it falls under these exceptions.) HOWEVER, the federal prosecutors have been unable to get a jury that will hand down a death penalty verdict. Again, it is a cultural thing… Puerto Rican society still has much more in common with Spain than with the US. There have been HORRIBLE cases, comparable to Jorge’s and even some with multiple victims… still, the prosecution has been unable (or in some cases, unwilling) to pursue the death penalty.

  18. niles says

    So funny that many here still fall for the obvious trolls. At any rate, I predict either aquittal or downgrade to manslaughter. After all, it is Puerto Rico.

  19. Zach says

    I don’t care if they found a dozen bodies in his apartment; there’s still due process.

    The problem isn’t the anonymous comments calling him a murderer though, it’s Towleroad. People are free to disrespect the law and call the guy whatever they want. Towleroad should aspire to something a bit higher. I’m not suggesting the site pretend it’s objective, but it certainly diminishes it’s reporting credibility when it casually throws out terms like ‘murdererer’ or ‘killer’.

  20. Jay says

    At least the “accused” Killer is wearing his “magic Rosary necklace…” A good Catholic. Compare and Contrast to DC’s Archdiocese WHINING about losing their right to discriminate. Waah Waah Waah!

  21. John in Boston says

    OK, I don’t think the guy deserved to have been murdered and mutilated.

    Lets be fucking honest: He/she picked up the wrong dude. Shit happens. It happens every day somewhere.

    IMO it’s very unlikely he didn’t know she was a he. There are again multiple things that could have occurred that don’t involve specifically an anti-gay hate crime.

    Why is this hard to understand or accept by some gays and others? And it’s not fantasy, it’s real life. Gays, bisexuals, str8s, whatever the fuck, get involved in situations that turn violent all the time, where their sexuality is secondary to another issue, or not an issue at all.

    And I’m not defending the guy. I’m just being honest. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a hate crime and he didn’t kill the other guy because he was a guy in drag and/or because he was gay.

  22. John in Boston says


    Religious idolatry is a prominent part of Latin cultures. It’s more cultural than actual religious. This is also true to a certain extent in other non-Latin Catholic influenced cultures.

    Aesthetics also tends to be more prominent in Latin cultures compared to others such as northern European influenced. Some Latin guys come across as overly narcissistic, almost to a feminine extent (I know that sounds sexist) in the eyes of non-Latin dudes.

  23. JT says

    Zach : Towleroad is just the personal blog of one person. It’s not some greater entity. Andrew Towle doesn’t even bother to correct the false stories he’s printed. This blog is good for getting basic info, but read it with a grain of salt.

  24. Derrick from Philly says


    As soon as I saw the headline this morning, I was ready to apologize BUT not the way you want…of course.

    I apologize for wanting more proof that this was a recognizable hate crime– apologize that I believed it could be the act of a psychopathic sex fiend unrelated to the sexual orientation of the victim. Also, I apologize for not examining the theory that underlying ALL sex/serial murders is the element of hate in the twisted mind of the perpetrator when HE rapess, murders and mutilates (for that obvious fact, I appreciate your insight, and apologize for my stupidity).

    Now here comes the good part: what I do NOT apologize for is challenging your continued attack on black people, Arab people and now, Latino people. You claim that a culture of homophobia is what creates hateful acts of murder like this against gay men. OK, then that means that Michigan & Wisconsin must have a culture of homophobia just as bad as Puerto Rico or Baghdad because those two states produced Jeffrey Dahmer who liked to rape, kill and cut up black and Asian gays.

    So, white (American & European) cultures must be just as guitly of producing anti-gay violence as black, Arab & Latino cultures. As far as we know y’all have produced more than your fair share of these type of killers. Do we need to go through the list of well known killers of gay men…hunh?

    (Oh, forgive me Wisconsin folks–just trying to make a point. I love your Senator Feingold & the Packers).

  25. Tom says

    “The problem isn’t the anonymous comments calling him a murderer though, it’s Towleroad.”

    Towleroad didn’t call him a “murderer.” He was called a killer, and as he has confessed to the killing, labeling him as such is entirely fair comment.

  26. Ian says


    You’re one sick puppy. Vividly describing how you would torture and murder someone as revenge makes you one of the most seemingly mentally disturbed people I’ve encountered in real life and on the Web.


    The guy confessed. Therefore, he is a killer.

  27. prisle2010 says

    The “eyebrows” is the style here in PR. Yes, its “weird” to those in the states. They also have “tails.”

    I am a tranplant from the states and this whole story sickens me but unfortunnaltey, I am not surprised.

    This is a latin catholic caribbean island and all the taboos that go along with each of those adjectives apply.

    There are so many closet cases and people on the DL here, its insane. Sick!

    Society and even, I feel, the gay community here, accept things like this to happen. The people as a whole, I feel, are lazy and this overflows into all aspects of their lives. People take no action here but to complain to a backwards government that is more interested in stealing funds than making jobs.

    I will be here another 6 months and while the journey was an education, I am ready to leave…especially after this brutal murder.

  28. says

    We are having a vigil in West Hollywood on Sunday November 22 at 8 pm. at the corner of San Vicente and Santa Monica. We are all grieving for this young man and for his family. We pray for our LGBT brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico who are living in fear and have to face the homophopia that so many are spewing even in the face of this unspeakable crime. The crime touches me personally not only because of my sexual orientation but because this young man and his killer lived in my hometown, where my father still lives. The eyes of the world are on Puerto Rico.

    Lester Aponte Parsi
    Latino Equality Alliance

  29. TANK says

    “Now here comes the good part: what I do NOT apologize for is challenging your continued attack on black people, Arab people and now, Latino people. You claim that a culture of homophobia is what creates hateful acts of murder like this against gay men. OK, then that means that Michigan & Wisconsin must have a culture of homophobia just as bad as Puerto Rico or Baghdad because those two states produced Jeffrey Dahmer who liked to rape, kill and cut up black and Asian gays.”

    Attack on black and muslim guys? And latino guys? That’s rich. The old RACE CARD.

    Here’s what I think of that:

  30. Maverick69 says

    I’ve only skimmed most of the comments because I watched the news clip and it seems no one here speaks Spanish. First off, The alleged killer confessed. The guy was out drinking and had gone to an area where known prostitutes hang out. He approached a female hooker and a male hooker and wanted to exchange sex for drugs, they both passed his offer. He then picked up 19 year old Lopez-Mercado insisting he thought he was a woman. It was when they got to Lopez-Mercado’s house he discovered he was a boy and he claims Lopez-Mercado pulled out a knife first during the dispute. Fast forward, the alleged killer states he was sexually abused as a child, he states he is not a homosexual and does not want the public to view him as such and that’s what bothers him. He has a common law wife with four children and the news anchor stated he is an ex-con in the opening segment.

  31. TANK says

    And jeffrey dahmer can’t be classed a “hate killer”. He was a psychopathic serial killer. IF you can’t distinguish the difference between a serial killer like jeffrey dahmer and discrete hate crimes, I pity you.

    Now, it’s possible that a psychopathic serial murderer could be motivated by bigotry, but not in dahmer’s case, nor gacy’s case…these were just really fucked up guys. Most hate crimes are committed by the sane…the mundanely sane.

  32. TANK says

    I’d bet money that this perp’s a domestic violence offender–has abused his common law wife to the extent that the popo were called, and he was taken away.

  33. Derrick from Philly says


    You spent yesterday afternoon explaining to me that hate can be at the center of the killing of gay men in a homophobic culture. I figured you were talking about straight or even for closeted homo men–it may be the 2nd ultimate act of self-loathing (the 1st, maybe suicide). Now, today, you change. You said that a homophobic culture creates this kind of violence–then why the fuck did Matthew Shepard and so many other white gay men get lynched by their own race in this white dominated culture? It aint just black men doing the lynching of gays.

    Did John Wayne Gacy consider himself homosexual? If not, then he comes very close to closeted (dl) men who commit violence against openly gay men and ambiguous teenage boys. He loved the sex with them, but did his insane mind love them while he strangled them to death?

    “IF you can’t distinguish the difference between a serial killer like jeffrey dahmer and discrete hate crimes, I pity you.”

    You don’t have the capacity for pity or empathy. Are we talking about a hate crime as defined by law, or hate crime defined in psychoanalytical terms–what goes on in the mind of a Jeffrey Dahmer when he kills gay men and boys. Does he not hate them at some point during the murder? An insane person can’t commit a hate crime?

    Your talking legal shit, aren’t you, TANK? And here I apologized when I should’ve told you to…go suck off racist MARK.

    Whenever the fuck did anybody care whether the thousands of black men lynched by white trash cared about such a thing as “hate crime” in legal terms? I thought you were talking about something deeper– what a “homophobic culture” can create in the mind of the potential perpetrator, and you only care about what the law says. You got about as much human feeling as fuckin’ Jeffrey Dahmer.

    You simply must maintain your air of racial superiority even when you contradict yourself in just 24 hours, hunh?

    Another thing: I apologize to all the folks who must be wondering, “these homos on this blog must be heartless. they spend so much time debating crap–trying to win an argument, and they seem to have forgotten about the horror of this crime and the pain to Jorge’s friends and family.”

    Yes, I apologize. You do the same, TANK. Take off your fuckin’ hood and apologize.

  34. JT says

    Tank : Why couldn’t Gacy’s and Bonin’s and Corll’s and others’ cases be classified as hate crimes, if they purposely sought heterosexual men? (I’m leaving out Dahmer because he went after fellow gay men).Does being a serial killer somehow negate the hate crimes relevance?

  35. TANK says

    So, JT, you’ve admitted that you don’t know what a hate crime is. That’s par for the course for you. You likely don’t believe thath they exist, and think all of this legislation is a bunch of “liberal chatter”. LOL! We’re done.


    If you’re seriously arguing that jeffrey dahmer and even john wayne gacy were committing hate crimes as defined by law…you’re entitled to that belief or speculation. I think anyone reading this will conclude that it’s absurd.

  36. John in Boston says


    Hablo Espanol

    The dude could still be lying about what really happened. He DOES NOT want it thought he’s a homosexual. I bet that scares him more than the murder charge. He’s also an ex-con, so there are other reasons he’d not be telling the whole truth.

    That the dude has 4 kids with a common-law wife means of course nada. P.R. is as we all know a machismo Latin culture. Dudes are expected to have kids, G.F.’s, whatever.

  37. John in Boston says

    I GUARANTEE drugs were a major component of this crime. Drug induced psychosis. If what he said about the girl and guy refusing is sex for drugs offer is true, they probably saw how fucked up and scary he was.

  38. Marc C says


    I am not racist whether you want to think that or not. You know nothing about me nor would you care to because I have a very strong suspicion that you are indeed racist.

    Go hide in your closet. The fact of the matter is that the Hispanic/Latin culture is now and has always been a misogynistic and homophobic culture which I find extremely fascinating when in one breath I’ve been both propositioned and ridiculed by those same men.

    I won’t waste any more time on your “pity me” party. When you start researching cultures and actually stop excusing the kind of behavior that is inexcusable then I’ll be happy to talk with you. Until then however, go fuck yourself or peddle your internalized homophobia to someone who gives a shit. I’m not here to be liked. I’m here to have my voice heard and by damned like it or not, you will hear it.

  39. Maverick69 says

    @ John,

    I know, as a Puerto Rican. The mear mention of his common law wife and kids was only the reporting of the man who spoke to the news. My post is the reporting of what was mentioned in the news clip so others would understand what was said.

  40. PUNCH says

    Marc C you said to Derrick from Philly
    “When you start researching cultures and actually stop excusing the kind of behavior that is inexcusable”

    Miss One No, Derrick doesn’t know you and you don’t know Derrick either and as for your comment above does that include CAUCASIANS do you research them? Obviously you’re one of them or is it accepted in their culture?

    And another statement you made “The fact of the matter is that the Hispanic/Latin culture is now and has always been a misogynistic and homophobic culture”

    Really so caucasians aren’t homophobic and misogynistic Miss one? Girl get a grip!

    Queens kills me gathering up shit in everyone else’s backyard and not their own!

  41. g_whiz says

    I think we’re pretty damn far off topic here. This isn’t about eyebrows, or latin culture being distinctly different from some other. (Both this and that are pedominantly Judeo-Christian after all). A kid lost his life in a brutal way and the defense of this is…gay panic? I don’t know about the lot of you but I’m really tired of seeing homophobia like this justified in the legal system. Until women get to take crowbars to the heads of those giving them unwanted sexual advances, I think its quite the bizarre disconnect. Another way the heterosexist status quo dictates the terms and we get dealt the damage. You don’t dismember and behead someone because they hit on you, and we shouldn’t accept living in a culture that gives people a pass for committing murder based on this premise.

  42. Matt says

    you know, maybe this guy did get molested and had some deep-seeded issues with gay dudes… but since he obviously can’t conduct himself in society without killing people and frigging dismembering their corpse. That second part is all the more disturbing and I think kills any chance of this being seen as a crime of passion.

    I’m so glad that the hate crimes bill kicks this out of the local jurisdiction. Although I don’t agree with the death penalty, I don’t think this guy should be out in general society. Sorry boutya.

  43. says

    Whether Jorge was working as a sex worker, or whether he was trans-identified or just a femme boy who loved drag, he was a beautiful soul who fell victim to a man who clearly had a hate for gays, trans folks and sex workers. And probably for women as well. We should recognize our common bonds as queer people, and join together to denounce hate crimes such as this.

    Also, just FYI, there will be memorial vigil for Jorge in San Francisco at Castro & Market Streets, this Sunday (Nov.22, 7pm). Please bring candles to honor the life of a brother taken too soon.

    May this beautiful boy rest in peace.

  44. TANK says

    “Overkill, as this seems to be a case of is a strong indication of drug/mental problems.”

    Not really. Unless you think all violent hate crimes are perpetrated by the mentally unstable. Nah. Instead, the violence is an indication of hatred of homosexuals and those who don’t correspond to the gender meme.

  45. Alex says

    “…in his youth he was molested and that is why he hates homosexuals.”

    That’s a funny reason to hate homosexuals, because statistically most pedophiles/molesters are heterosexual males.

  46. Muderiswrong says

    Murder is wrong unless it’s proven as self defense.I would say this that many in the Queer community don’t respect that some men are truly straight.It’s a challenge for many gay men,and Trans to get with a straight guy and some will lie about it.I think that’s wrong when Trans men lied to straight men about being a woman.I don’t agreed with senseless murder but these Transvestites are also wrong for lying to these men.
    What’s the point of Gay men and Transvestites going after straight men?
    Guess what any man that would sleep with anything that has a cock is not really straight.

  47. anthony says

    I love the fact that this guy is wearing a rosary as a fashion statement (or is it because he lives out the Christian ideals and obeys the commandment “Thou shall not kill”??)

  48. SelenaV78 says

    I believe that he knew he was a man, had sex with him and then killed him…sometimes these type of men don’t want to accept the fact that they are gay and, therefore, hate gay men…they have sex with men and kill them to destroy the evidence of ever having engaged in gay sexual activities…its almost like they take the rage out on the victim when its themselves that they hate for being gay…its happened before…Anyway it doesnt really matter why he did it…I hope he rots in there…RIP Jorge

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