Eight Horses Dead After Alleged Anti-Gay Arsonist Burns Ohio Barn


A barn in Morgan County, Ohio was targeted by an arsonist on Sunday. After someone spray painted "fags are freaks" on the side of a fence surrounding a barn, the barn was torched, killing the eight horses inside of it.

WHIZ News reports: Whitehouse

Seven adult horses and one foal died as a result of an arson fire at 874 West Richards Road in McConnelsville just after 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. Owner Brent Whitehouse said he woke to discover the barn engulfed in flames and immediately called 911, but it was too late.

"I couldn't get the door open I could still hear the horses kicking and I tried as hard as I could to get them out and I just couldn't get them out in time," he said.

Those who know Brent believe this was a hate crime, explicit words relating to his sexuality were spray painted in large white letters on the side of the barn before the fire was started.

"They obviously don't know him very well, because he's a sweet-hearted person and how he lives his lifestyle is nobody's business but his own," said Friend Bobbie Nelson.

Watch video here.

(image below via Zanesville Times Recorder)


Feed This post's comment feed


  1. I guess those gay horses got what they deserved, huh? This is beyond sickening. Also sickening is the likely common reaction, which I also am having to the deaths of defenseless animals, that it is somehow more horrific on a gut level than the murder of an actual LGBT human.

    Of course, it's not. But the emotional reaction to the killing of animals who could not possibly have caused the imagined offense is heart-rending. But I suppose whatever gets the good people of Ohio up-in-arms about hate crimes is a good thing.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 26, 2011 10:40:05 AM

  2. KeHow horribly sad. I have close friends who have a farm and care for their animals. They become like family. This is awful.

    Posted by: K | Apr 26, 2011 10:55:06 AM

  3. welcome to ohio!

    Posted by: EO | Apr 26, 2011 11:00:06 AM

  4. Only a truly sick person would demonstrate their hate against a gay man by burning alive his innocent animals. There's no place in Hell big enough to hold such a f**kwad.

    Posted by: Rob | Apr 26, 2011 11:00:15 AM

  5. ..and Que the police calling this an "Alleged" hate crime...

    Posted by: Disgusted Gay American | Apr 26, 2011 11:07:16 AM

  6. Too bad the horses didn't trample the attacker. Things like this show you just how twisted an irrationally hateful mind really is. Committing horrible, unspeakable acts of terror, solely because someone is gay. What makes it even sadder is that the evil monster is not caught, while the victims have to pick up the pieces and deal with the trauma that comes with situations happening to you like this. So sad.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 26, 2011 11:07:43 AM

  7. Sickening is an understatement.

    When I read this post and the one below it about the cabbie dumping a gay couple for a peck on the cheek, it makes me think twice about "It gets better."

    Posted by: Tim | Apr 26, 2011 11:24:48 AM

  8. When a friend says you have a "lifestyle", there's a problem.

    Posted by: CRISPY | Apr 26, 2011 11:26:19 AM

  9. yes, and if they call it an "alternative lifestyle" it's even worse.

    Posted by: yupyup | Apr 26, 2011 11:32:13 AM

  10. This makes me sick to my stomache. This guy didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this. What an effin tragedy.

    Posted by: Tigger | Apr 26, 2011 11:32:38 AM

  11. Please let us know the minute there is a fund set up to help this guy out! This is so hideous I can't bear to even watch the video.

    Posted by: greg | Apr 26, 2011 11:36:50 AM

  12. The perpetrators of this incredibly heinous crime need to be caught and given a punishment that mimics what those horses went through.

    Posted by: Tre | Apr 26, 2011 11:47:48 AM

  13. Well, this is small town Ohio. So, although their alternative lifestyle comment was eye raising, they were being supportive in the way they know how, so I can't be too critical. Anyway, I agree with Tre.

    Posted by: Francis | Apr 26, 2011 11:55:38 AM

  14. I agree, please let everyone know if a fund is set up to help. Though I've recently lost my job, I'll do what I can to contribute. I'm a horse owner/lover also and this breaks my heart. Mr. Whitehouse's grief must be overwhelming.

    Posted by: Sara | Apr 26, 2011 12:18:11 PM

  15. I will reserve judgement until the facts are known. We have been "burned" too many times in the past with these stories that turned out to be false.

    Posted by: nelson2 | Apr 26, 2011 12:19:36 PM

  16. As the other comments understand, nothing hurts a horse person like not being able to help your horses trapped in a barn fire. The criminal investigation will be of great interest. In addition to felony arson and the "alleged" hate crime aspect under state law, isn't there a federal terrorism crime for torching someone's property to intimidate them or induce them to move?

    Posted by: Russell | Apr 26, 2011 12:57:08 PM

  17. @Crispy, that's what you took away from this? Not that this man has a good friend who is supportive and kind?

    Be very very careful about making the good the enemy of the perfect; you'll wind up with nothing.

    Posted by: NaughtyLola | Apr 26, 2011 1:07:06 PM

  18. you also have to remember that gay men/women from more sheltered environments might not have a more progressive view/understanding of their own sexuality and may refer to their sexuality as a "lifestyle" as well. just a thought.

    Posted by: jj | Apr 26, 2011 1:09:23 PM

  19. Forget the hate-crime aspect under Ohio law. Gov. Kasich, a rabid evangelical, will not use any state resources to prosecute under such statutes. This will probably be ignored, knowing small-town Ohio as I do. They'll plead "budget crisis" and will state that "only serious crimes can be investigated". Ohio has become a very, very hateful place for LGBT people. I am glad I no longer live there. Anyplace that considers the humanity of any LGBT person as an "alternative lifestyle" (the right-wing controls this debate, folks) will never take our lives and the threat to our lives by religious bigots seriously. My heart breaks for those horses. What a terrible, horrible way to die. This news item has cinched it for me: vigilantism is the only solution to keep the bigots off our backs. What they give out needs to be given back. Find that coward and douse him with kerosene, light a match, toss it on him and then walk away.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Apr 26, 2011 1:22:05 PM

  20. Even if it's not declared a hate crime, there's no way the police can ignore eight dead horses.

    Posted by: Eric26 | Apr 26, 2011 2:07:18 PM

  21. This is sick and federal laws should cover the hate crime aspect, I believe. I have lived in Ohio most of my life and now live in gay-friendly Columbus so those who bash Ohio and think that this could not happen anywhere else - open your eyes and read the news! I have never had an ounce of trouble from anyone here but honestly can not say that about Chicago, DC, Sydney etc. while visiting. Hate has no border.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 26, 2011 2:23:04 PM

  22. This spook me to no end. We live in a semi rural area of Pennsylvania and have not been the quiet good boy. They are out there. I truly hope this gets resolved. The Pain on every level in this incidence, make my Eyes water . Sad, sad, sad

    Posted by: Jerry | Apr 26, 2011 2:41:00 PM

  23. As a horseman, I feel so deeply for this man and the pain at the loss of his horses. We all fear the consequences of a fire and do what we can to minimize the possibility. As an arson, I pray that the slime bag who started this fire is punished thoroughly.

    As a gay man, I am saddened that we still need to deal with those who cannot accept us for who we are. And small town is no excuse. I grew up in Sharon Springs, where the Beekman Boys live now, and can tell you that the entire area is very supportive of the many gay men and women who live there. Long before Josh and Brent moved in, John, Garth, Doug and others were accepted welcomed.

    Posted by: ThomD | Apr 26, 2011 3:03:32 PM

  24. Christian love in action. You can be sure that the Christians who incessantly rant about a minor scuffle b/t Prop 8 protestors 3 years ago, and who fulminate against a gay lesson taught by a single teacher in MA 5 years ago will have nothing to say about this.

    I think I am pretty good at sniffing out the fakes. I immediately called fraud on the recent false claim by a gay student that he was burned by an anti-gay attacker. But this has few indicia of a fake and many of the indicia of an authentic hate crime. By all means, wait for more facts, but I think this will turn out to be exactly what it appears to be.

    Posted by: Reg | Apr 26, 2011 3:08:00 PM

  25. The question is not if this was a hate crime as much as it a crime perpetuated by psychos. Anyone who would burn innocent animals needs to be strung up by their nuts in the tree beside the barn in the photo.

    Posted by: dards | Apr 26, 2011 3:08:25 PM

  26. 1 2 »

Post a comment


« «Bill T. Jones is a New Yorker for Marriage Equality« «