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Gay Man Murdered in NYC Hell's Kitchen; Police Search for Lover

 Police discovered a horrific murder in a NYC Hell's Kitchen apartment Thursday after 41-year-old John Lea failed to show up to his job as an event planner with the New York Society of Security Analysts, the NY Daily News reports:

Lea"Another pal returned Thursday with cops, who scaled a fire escape and broke through a window to gain access to the apartment about 2:30 p.m. They found a ransacked apartment and a gruesome, blood-soaked crime scene in the bedroom. Lea, wearing only boxers, was found lying beside his bed, his throat slashed and a massive gash on his head, police sources said. His body had numerous other stab wounds that indicated he had fought for his life, the sources said. 'The bloody knife was right next to him,' one source said. The killer covered Lea's body with clothes and bedding, and locked the door on the way out - leaving Lea's cat, Oreo, roaming around inside, the sources said...Friends and co-workers said the event planner with the boyish smile was gregarious, outgoing and always went out of his way to help people. But that last quality may have led to his murder."

Waller Police are trying to track down Lea's lover:

"A co-worker of Lea's, Michael Herz, said the lover - identified by friends of the victim as Justin Waller - was 'down on his luck' and was supposed to stay with Lea only briefly. 'A few days turned into a few weeks. A few weeks turned into a month. A month turned into two,' Herz said. 'This weekend is when John was going to tell him he had to leave.' Herz added of his slain co-worker: 'He was an extremely giving person and, apparently, that's what ultimately did him in.'"

NY1 video news report HERE.

Lea was an acquaintance of mine, a better friend of my boyfriend, and a close friend of many other people I know. He will be missed, and I pray his killer is brought to justice. R.I.P. John.

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  1. My condolences to your boyfriends' loss. Loosing a member of one's chosen family is never easy. Do not allow you boyfriend, Andy, to become angry at those who appear to be unsupportive during his grief.
    Celebrate John's life.

    Posted by: Marcito | Jan 22, 2010 7:07:20 AM

  2. What a horrible thing to happen! My condolences to the victim's family and friends. Unfortunately, there's a number of people out there - albeit small - who are pure evil. They have no respect for human life. I can only urge people to be on the lookout for the alleged perpetrator. If they do it once they are likely to do it again.

    Posted by: jason | Jan 22, 2010 7:57:02 AM

  3. What a horrible story. I'm so sorry for all of your loss. Thank you for sharing and my condolences to everyone that knew him.

    Posted by: Chris | Jan 22, 2010 7:57:51 AM

  4. I am truly sorry. My thoughts to him, his friends and loved ones.

    Posted by: Rob | Jan 22, 2010 8:03:34 AM

  5. How horrible. I'm so sorry, Andy.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | Jan 22, 2010 8:14:19 AM

  6. How absolutely saddening. I have to believe that his energy is still with us and allows us to carry on. My thoughts are with his family and friends.

    Posted by: Brad | Jan 22, 2010 8:29:34 AM

  7. So sad. May he, friends and family find peace in this tragedy.

    Posted by: Rafael | Jan 22, 2010 8:44:25 AM

  8. I read this story in the Times this morning. Odd, there was no mention of a gay angle. Although, reading between the lines, I somehow knew. Horrible tragedy in any case.

    Posted by: dave | Jan 22, 2010 10:25:53 AM

  9. So sad. My condolences to John Lea's family and friends. Please, if anyone can find it in their heart to adopt Oreo and give him a good home. I'm sure John would appreciate it.

    Posted by: JerzeeMike | Jan 22, 2010 11:40:16 AM

  10. Unfortunately it seems that Oreo is missing. There are people lined up to take him, though, if we do find him.

    John was an amazingly special guy. The world is a darker place with his loss.

    Posted by: scandi | Jan 22, 2010 2:35:36 PM

  11. Please say a prayer for John, and his family. He was a friend of mine. A genuine, sweet harmless man who wouldn't hurt a fly.

    And let's hope his cat Oreo has found a new home - he seemed to have escaped out the window before the police arrived. I know Oreo brought John a lot of joy over the past year.

    Posted by: D_Nut | Jan 22, 2010 5:37:03 PM

  12. My most sincere condolences to everyone suffering the loss of the lovely man. Please know my thoughts are with you.

    Posted by: em | Jan 23, 2010 12:12:55 AM

  13. John was such a great guy. He was kind and funny, always made you smile and feel lucky you were his friend. I knew him from when he lived in Kansas City, so many friends ane experiences connected us. It is a sad day for all of his friends and loved ones. I sincerely hope his killer is found and justice is served. This should never have happened...

    Posted by: sara | Jan 23, 2010 12:39:47 AM

  14. i live in the building next door and waller has been camped out on the steps smoking almost every time i've left/entered my apt for the last couple months. never seemed like a very happy guy.

    this is shocking and horrific, and terribly sad. my condolences go out to those left behind.

    Posted by: clayton | Jan 23, 2010 12:16:47 PM

  15. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of John's friends and family. I never met John but I spoke to him on the phone many times in my job as a contract labor provider to him when he worked at American Management Association. He always had such a happy sound to his voice over the phone. So sad that this wonderful man is no longer with us. We all must pray that his killer is caught and punished for this senseless act.

    Posted by: Roy Peterson | Jan 23, 2010 4:06:37 PM

  16. What a horrible tragedy. But Oreo is fine, that is false information. He did not escape or run away, he has been taken in by kind people in the building, rest assured.

    Posted by: Junior | Jan 23, 2010 4:17:31 PM

  17. My deepest condolences go out to John's family and friends. This is the most upsetting story I ever heard. He looks so familiar, sweet and innocent! We need to stick together as a community to make sure something like this never happens again. John is now an angel watching over all of us. Justice will be served... may he rest in peace.

    Posted by: Anthony C | Jan 24, 2010 10:04:29 PM

  18. hey guys, can anyone tell me if this is Jon Lea orginally from Forest Hills, Qns , went to Dartmouth then Standford? I'm affraid it might be a friend I lost contact with, sorry if not related.

    Posted by: Joe Sierra | Jan 27, 2010 1:33:36 AM

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