Crime | News | Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Teen's Killer Says Murder was 'Gay Panic', Self Defense

More insight into the murder of gay 19-year-old Jorge Steven Lopez Mercado, whose killer was arrested yesterday.

Matos Christopher Pagan, whose original iReport was the first I learned of the crime, has been following it. It appears that the killer, 26-year-old Juan Antonio Martínez Matos, originally believed his victim was a female prostitute.

Writes Pagan:

"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. He also said that Steven tried to stab him, and that he armed himself with a kitchen knife and under a fit of rage he injured him, dismembered him, decapitated him and then later took his remains to Guavate where he was left. Other allegations of the killer is that in 2003 he was arrested for domestic abuse and that in his youth he was molested and that is why he hates homosexuals. The authorities said that this case has been advanced and successful due to the cooperation of the local GLBT community. The agent Angel Rodriguez said that he is being interrogated and will be charged with first degree murder. He also indicated that he will submit another request to the federal judge to have this treated as a hate crime. At the suspect's home the police found 2 knives to commit the murder, and that they were then thrown in a septic tank."

Video of the suspect in custody, AFTER THE JUMP...

There will be a vigil held in New York City in downtown Manhattan - location TBA on Sunday at 8 pm. Here's a page of information on it, and here's a Facebook page.

Previously...
Suspect Arrested in Horrific Murder of Puerto Rican Gay Teen [tr]
Gay Puerto Rican Teen Decapitated, Dismembered, and Burned [tr]

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Comments

  1. 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'.

    Posted by: Zach | Nov 18, 2009 7:33:15 AM


  2. 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!

    Posted by: Jay | Nov 18, 2009 7:37:42 AM


  3. 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.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 18, 2009 7:49:36 AM


  4. Jay,

    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.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 18, 2009 8:00:56 AM


  5. Whatever the fuck. Just lock the asshole up and throw away the key and be done with it!

    Posted by: Chris | Nov 18, 2009 8:36:00 AM


  6. 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.

    Posted by: JT | Nov 18, 2009 9:00:48 AM


  7. TANK...TANK...tank,

    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).

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 18, 2009 9:25:09 AM


  8. "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.

    Posted by: Tom | Nov 18, 2009 10:11:23 AM


  9. Tank,

    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.

    Zach,

    The guy confessed. Therefore, he is a killer.

    Posted by: Ian | Nov 18, 2009 10:30:13 AM


  10. 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.

    Posted by: prisle2010 | Nov 18, 2009 10:44:48 AM


  11. I hate being right sometimes.

    Posted by: Marc C | Nov 18, 2009 12:44:28 PM


  12. 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


    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/event.php?eid=178097968401&ref=mf

    Posted by: Lester Aponte | Nov 18, 2009 12:47:14 PM


  13. "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:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa5KSu9OMDQ&feature=player_embedded

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 18, 2009 1:31:17 PM


  14. 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.

    Posted by: Maverick69 | Nov 18, 2009 1:34:21 PM


  15. 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 18, 2009 1:38:06 PM


  16. 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.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 18, 2009 1:42:40 PM


  17. TANK,

    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.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 18, 2009 2:15:43 PM


  18. 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?

    Posted by: JT | Nov 18, 2009 2:19:14 PM


  19. 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.

    Derrick,

    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.

    Posted by: TANK | Nov 18, 2009 2:22:38 PM


  20. I guess Tank's definition of hate crime is : when a gay gets killed.

    Posted by: JT | Nov 18, 2009 2:31:52 PM


  21. Marverick69,

    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.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 18, 2009 4:00:25 PM


  22. 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.

    Posted by: John in Boston | Nov 18, 2009 4:18:39 PM


  23. Derrick,

    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.

    Posted by: Marc C | Nov 18, 2009 5:07:36 PM


  24. @ 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.

    Posted by: Maverick69 | Nov 18, 2009 6:25:49 PM


  25. 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!

    Posted by: PUNCH | Nov 19, 2009 3:13:48 AM


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