Crime | Lincoln, NE | News

Home Invaders Carve 'Dyke' Into Nebraska Woman's Stomach, Try to Set Her on Fire: VIDEO

(journal star)

Hundreds of people turned out to an impromptu vigil in Lincoln, Nebraska last night after news spread quickly of a horrific hate crime against a woman in her own home which took place early Sunday morning.

Watch a news report from KLKN TV, AFTER THE JUMP...

LincolnThe Journal Star reports:

The woman said she was attacked early that morning by three masked men who barged into her house, bound her wrists and ankles with zip ties, cut her all over her body and carved homophobic slurs into her skin before dumping gasoline on her floor and lighting it with a match, said a friend who spoke to the Journal Star.

The friend said the woman crawled from her house, naked and bleeding and screaming for help before reaching the doorstep of a neighbor's home. Late Sunday, police said they still were investigating the case and had yet to release an account of what they believe happened inside the home.

The City Fire Inspector confirmed that a fire had been started in the woman's house but had failed to spread.

LeavekidsaloneThe Omaha World Herald adds:

[Capt. Jim] Davidsaver said the victim’s description of the suspects was limited because of the masks. When police arrived, the house was still on fire, the captain said. He said it caused about $200 in damage. Davidsaver would not say what words the men carved into the woman’s skin. “We need to maintain the integrity of the case,” he said.

But Erin Thompson of Lincoln, who described herself as the victim’s best friend, said she got a call from her friend about 6:30 Sunday morning. The friend asked Thompson to pick her up from the hospital.

“They carved on me,” Thompson said her friend tearfully told her.

Thompson said three epithets, including the word “dyke,” were carved on the woman’s arms and stomach.

BsementKLKN TV adds:

Friends add the men who assaulted her also spray painted anti-gay words in her basement. Friends say they think this was a hate crime because the woman assaulted is a lesbian.

"When someone takes the time to hand cuff someone with a zip tie and carve derogatory comments or words into somebody else's body, that's sheer hate and at this point, this is a hate crime."

Police say the woman ran to her neighbors house for help. We spoke to the neighbor, who says she also believes this was a hate crime. She also doesn't want her identity revealed to keep the victim anonymous.

VigilA Facebook vigil was announced and had been shared hundreds of times before an event Sunday night attended by hundreds:

The woman's account of the attack drew outrage from a gay and straight-allied community already galvanized by this month's Star City Pride Festival as well as debate over the city's so-called fairness amendment, a proposal to ban discrimination in housing and employment based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

The City Council approved the measure, but petition gatherers recently obtained enough signatures to put the measure up for a public vote. The earliest the amendment will appear on the ballot is November.

A Facebook group has also been formed.

Police are still searching for suspects and have not made any arrests.

LGBT issues have been in the headlines in Lincoln recently with the passage in May of an LGBT anti-discrimination ordinance. Anti-gay activists have gathered enough signatures to put the measure up for a vote in November, with the support of Nebraska's governor Dave Heineman, who says that anti-bias laws against LGBT people should be put up to a popular vote.

Watch a news report from KLKN TV, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The carving into her skin makes me suspicious. Other aspects of this story also make me suspicious about what really occurred. Yes, I'm jaded. Unfortunately, there are MANY fake 'hate' crimes, and this story doesn't pass the smell test, unlike the story of the two young women shot in Texas.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Jul 23, 2012 11:44:00 AM

  2. + the zip ties thing. It is easy to zip tie your legs together and then use your mouth to pull the zip ties tight on your hands. I do not have enough information to form an opinion yet. Either scenario is awful though isn't it?

    Posted by: StraightGrandmother | Jul 23, 2012 11:49:30 AM

  3. I'm not buying this either. She was tied, beaten, cut up, and her house was set on fire, with the perpetrators presumably leaving her for dead. But in the time it took her to come to, crawl to her neighbor's, call the police and the police to arrive, the fire only did $200 worth of damage? And, according to, she called the police at 4:00 am and was released from the hospital at 6:30 am? I'm calling it a hoax and I'll bet the best friend was in on it.

    As for what would she have to gain? Lots and lots of attention. Like the Seattle woman who threw acid in her own face, or the girl who carved a backwards B onto her face and blamed Obama supporters.

    Posted by: Rodolfo | Jul 23, 2012 12:01:47 PM

  4. There have been several instances where someone staged hate crimes for attention and sympathy, and these comments show why that's such a terrible thing. You read about an attack like this and you're outraged and angry but at the same time part of you is weighing the odds, your reaction tempered by doubt. That's what the fakes have done, introduced doubt where there shouldn't be any.

    It seems odd to say, but I hope she really was attacked, that this is real. Each time someone "cries wolf" it detracts from the real crimes, which really do happen with sickening frequency.

    Posted by: Caliban | Jul 23, 2012 12:07:27 PM


    I don't blame people for being skeptics based on past faked hate crimes. It may help to know the Lincoln Police Department following their investigation has announced they believe it is a hate crime.

    Posted by: Alex | Jul 23, 2012 12:21:07 PM

  6. In the article it also does mention that the home was on fire when the police arrived on the scene so I'm not sure where the "unable to light on fire" thing is coming from.

    Maybe it's just me but my impression was that the perpetrators (if true) tried to set the home ablaze with her in it as opposed to literally dousing her with the gasoline and lighting her on fire.

    Posted by: David | Jul 23, 2012 12:26:39 PM

  7. Being cautiously skeptical is warranted give claims and evidence presented at this point. I personally know a guy who in the 90's claimed that he and a friend were chased and attacked by racists weilding baseball bats. This happened in Seattle & there were multiple rallies by UofW students in protest and in support of the victims of the vicious hate crime. Turned out to be completely fake, and that the "victims" were actually robbing local banks. Not saying that is the case here, just saying that folks who are reacting blindly with their emotions might be wise to think a little before suggesting that anyone attempting to examine the evidence and form their own opinions are just trying to "hide their bigotry" or "part of the problem".

    Posted by: Hmmmmm... | Jul 23, 2012 12:42:27 PM

  8. Came here to post exactly what Caliban said. Yes, in a weird way, I hope her story is 100% true.

    If it's made-up, it means she has some severe mental issues. It will also play into the hands of our enemies, allowing them to call us unstable. It will make the on-the-fence population less likely to jump on our side.

    One thing I read that may provide some answers on the whole basement graffiti thing - one source I read (which may or may not be accurate) didn't say the men barged in, but said they were waiting for her in the basement.

    Thanks for the link, Alex. I figured they were waiting on the hate crime classification to rule out self-infliction, but I'm no police officer.

    Posted by: kpo5 | Jul 23, 2012 12:46:32 PM

  9. @B-Rod: Let me answer your first question with something I know for fact because it happened in our state not too long ago:

    Extremist fundamentalist will go to any great length to discover who is or who isn't gay or lesbian. All you have to do is follow the license plate or use GOOGLE to look up a FaceBook page or something related to this person's political activities.

    In my state of Pennsylvania, there was a popular diner/gay and lesbian bar that was particularly targeted by this fundamentalist group with known KKK connections. On the weekend nights when this diner operated, they would have people standing outside protesting this gay bar every weekend...even taking pictures of the people who frequented the bar with Polaroid cameras in an attempt to shame them by posting copies of the pictures all over the town.

    To make matters worse, some of these fundamentalists worked in law enforcement capacities. And as it turned out, one or two of the officers would write down license plates in order to gain information: Where they worked, where they lived, who did they associate with. and so on. It was a tactic used very widely in the south, as well. During the early '80's and 90's when there were these out of the way gay clubs that were out in the sticks, the American Family Association( the AFA) would send their people out to these clubs and have them go around the parking lot recording license plate numbers of the patrons without their knowledge. Then they would give these numbers to the local police saying these people were involved in illegal activities. Once the AFA had the names and places where these people worked or lived, they would sent threatening notes saying that if they were caught at that place again they would be outed publically to their family and co-workers.

    "Why? How did they know her? They had to have known who she was. They didn't stumble in on her and discovered she was gay. They had to know her." And they probably did know her on some personal level. Perhaps she was a teacher and when someone saw here coming out of a gay bar they probably followed her home. Hence the "leave the children alone" tag. they associated the fact that she was having her way with children because she was a lesbian...not a far stretch for bigots to be making since that is their main fear...Being gay or lesbian =child molester.

    "This just seems implausible." What seems implausible? That a lesbian can be attacked in her own home simply because she isn't a heterosexual woman? Is it also implausible that according to reports that gays and lesbians are attacked at increasingly larger numbers than any other minority? Or are you going to deny that and just stick with your stance that any or all hate crimes reported are just "all made up and faked to make the problem seem bigger than it is?" Think about that for a bit....

    Oh, and while we are on the thinking part..i want you to think of where you can PROVE that the other attacks were "faked" because I know there isn't any substantiality to your claim. Until you can produce an article( and NOT an article manufactured by a right wingnut group site) then I will believe you...Until then, you can't really judge this as fake.

    Posted by: Ray Sager | Jul 23, 2012 12:58:33 PM

  10. This is another one of those cases where I don't know which to wish for - that it's fake (to show that things are getting better for LGBT people) or that it's real (to avoid tarnishing the LGBT community with fake charges).

    Posted by: Seattle Mike | Jul 23, 2012 12:59:10 PM

  11. @ Ray - Talk about thinking......Google much?

    Posted by: Hmmmmm... | Jul 23, 2012 1:12:38 PM

  12. Sorry, but Tony does have a point -- it could be a fake. I would wait until all the facts are in until taking a stance. People have done this before and this seems to fit in the pattern of a faked incident. You're all jumping on Tony for jumping to a conclusion but you're doing the same in automatically assuming the allegations in this case are true. People have injured themselves before to get attention or cover up an insurance fraud. I'm not saying she did, but at this point anything is possible.

    Posted by: scott | Jul 23, 2012 11:25:11 AM

    It sounds extremely contrived to me. And given
    that there have been many fakes, I am skeptical pending a thorough police investigation. Sick people do anything for attention.

    Posted by: Forrest | Jul 23, 2012 11:27:55 AM

    I just get a sense that Forrest, Tony, B-Rod,Ocham and others who say this is a faked thing are nothing but bigoted trolls who have no sense of what it's like to be attacked or hurt like this. I'm beginning to get a clear reading of you guys and what I'm beginning to see is something like this: Let's replace the word "sick people" with gays and lesbians as per Forrest's statement and then you begin to see why I am re-acting the way I am to their comments.

    People like these will couch their comments very carefully so as not to make it seem that they are bigoted or homophobic Words like "these people" or "sick people" seem innocuous to them since no one will stoop to think they are relating to gays and lesbians. However, I'm not one of "THOSE gays" In your mind, you see all gays and lesbians as having an "agenda" that the gay and lesbian community will do ANYTHING to gain the attention of their plight. Your way of thinking is this: Gays bring this on themselves, if they would just keep their sexuality in the closet then we as the "other" wouldn't have to resort to violence or angry rhetoric." Have I hit the nail on the head yet? I know I have.

    It's easy to blame the gay community for the heterosexual unhappiness that seems abundant. Germany had it's JEW PROBLEM...America seems to have this GAY PROBLEM according to all the hype we hear from the bloviators such as Rush Limbaugh and his ilk. I was even surprised to hear a pastor recommend that gays and lesbians be penned up behind electrical fences and then starved to death...something I would have associated with Nazi Germany...have we become any better than they?

    Reading this article makes me think that. We are no better than Hitler's Germany...No better than Uganda with their "Kill the Gays" bill. When it comes to Human Right abuses...we've seem to have degenerated to their levels. So, I don't think this is faked or contrived or staged as you and your fellow trolls would have us believe.

    Posted by: Ray Sager | Jul 23, 2012 1:28:05 PM

  13. I also have to say that this seems staged. Look at they way the walls were spray painted. There are definite gender cues in handwriting - that is a woman's script.

    Posted by: Pierre | Jul 23, 2012 1:56:51 PM

  14. Ray, quit projecting. Your ad hominen attacks are without merrit. No one here has claimed that it WAS faked, they are just questioning the evidence as presented, which frankly sounds a little contrived. The fact that you can deny that people have faked similar attacks:

    "PROVE that the other attacks were "faked".....Until you can produce an article... then I will believe you"

    Then continue to call those that might be skeptical bigototed homohating trolls when evidence meeting your criteria has been presented, only paints you as the troll.

    So, Ray, which troll is more akin to "Germany's Jewish Problem"; The skeptic that is analysing the evidence and reserving final judgment until all of the evidence is in, or the bandwagon jumper with flaming posts accusing (most likely gay) folks of being bigots and part of the problem? The truth, dear Ray, is that you are reacting hystericaly (not reasonable) out of emotion (totally reasonable). Please take a deep breath before continuing on with your unwarrated attacks.

    Posted by: Hmmmmm... | Jul 23, 2012 2:07:34 PM

  15. I understand not wanting to believe that someone would do such a thing to another person, but the victim should always be believed until evidence proving otherwise is found. This is the reason rapes aren't reported! I do NOT believe this was faked! People are questioning:
    1: the fire
    The articles I've read say that the gasoline was poured on the floor and dropped a match before leaving. Anyone that has studied fires using gasoline knows that gasoline vapors will ignite but when the gasoline runs out the fire won't continue unless there is another flammable source for the fire to go to. Carpets and some curtains now have anti-burning agents in them (many people don't know this) and tile and concrete will not catch on fire. I do not know where the fire was started other than on a floor, but I believe the attackers were trying to burn down the house but were too stupid to do it properly.
    2: spray painted words in basement
    first, the attackers might have had the victim in the basement and wanted her to watch them and/or since their intentions were to burn down the house, the basement walls were most likely to survive, leaving their message.
    3: injuries weren't that bad
    the articles I read didn't give a full description of the injuries. It said there were cuts "all over." Which leads me to believe there were cuts in places that someone would not do to themselves. And I would assume they wore gloves since they had the forethought to wear masks, which would mean their skin was not in contact with the victim's skin or blood. I hope they didn't so they left fingerprints, but they would really have to be stupid if they didn't.
    4: She crawled out of her house still bound and naked until she got to a neighbor's house. Which means it was a time of day when no one was around. If it was faked, you would think they'd go for a time of day that would get more attention and would keep at least a little clothes on.

    Posted by: A | Jul 23, 2012 2:32:00 PM

  16. Could be wrong, yet I bet the police will discover this is another case of being a hate crime hoax!!!If so, she'll confess

    Posted by: ShinBet | Jul 23, 2012 4:21:01 PM

  17. So are the ridicuous right now claiming Jesus is OK with them breaking into our homes and carving words in our skin with knives ?

    Why are American religious people more stupid that religious people in the rest of the world ? I will never understand this disconnect between what they say they believe and the actual actions they do ? Are they all just insane or have then actually never read the Bible or maybe it's both.....

    Posted by: Icebloo | Jul 23, 2012 5:30:39 PM

  18. I'd give this a 75% chance of being fake. It's too absurdly over the top to be real.

    Posted by: asdf123 | Jul 23, 2012 6:12:26 PM

  19. As to why someone would fake a crime such as this ?
    The same reason it's happened dozens of times before ... to claim "victimhood".

    Like all her stalwart defenders on this site, they are in love with the idea of being a "victim".
    The only difference, is she actually had the nerve (or the insanity) to go through with the actions.

    Every fake hate crime serves to deny credibility to the real hate crimes that happen every day.

    Posted by: Anastasia Foos | Jul 23, 2012 7:29:51 PM

  20. @ Ray Sagar ...
    Yes I know that we're all supposed to be "gayly correct" and make pretend this was a real crime,
    but many of us have left the "gay plantation" over this kind of sh!t long ago.

    Posted by: Anastasia Foos | Jul 23, 2012 8:51:23 PM

  21. My uncle was beaten unconscious in his own yard by two thugs who then poured gasoline on him, tried to light him on fire, and left him for dead. Fortunately, the fire went out without burning him and a neighbor found him two days later and called an ambulance. My uncle recovered, but the attackers were never found, because my uncle was hit from behind and didn't see their faces. I'm telling this because of the people who don't want to believe something this horrific.

    Posted by: Cindy | Jul 24, 2012 12:49:05 AM

  22. Why is it that people are always quick to judge and decide its fake that the victim is a liar, fact firemen at the scene reported there had been a fire and that it failed to spread, there could be many reasons for that, Fact police didnt want to say what was carved into her body they did not deny there was any carvings.Why would any one do such a thing to there body and go outside naked crawling to a neighbours house wouldnt it be just as believable to say anti gay activist would go out of there way to discredit a hate crime by stating its fake. People in this world are cruel and there are more and more crimes being committed because people cant let people live there own lives. Ignorance and discrimination is no excuse for any crime.

    Posted by: valasca | Jul 24, 2012 6:14:19 AM

  23. @B-Rod Local news stories are reporting that she was targeted because these men found out that this woman was volunteering at an organization that had her working with children. If you look at one of the pictures, you can see the words "Leave kids alone".

    Posted by: KSH | Jul 24, 2012 10:19:12 AM

  24. A classic sign will be the orientation (for lack of a better word) of any letters carved on her abdomen. Most common signs of a feigned injury are multiple very shallow lacerations for each stroke of every letter without violation of the fascia or defense wounds, as well as letter bases facing the view of the victim or "mirror" lettering (very tough to write upside down and backwards without using a mirror). Let's see what the evidence shows. BTW, anyone know what happened with the alleged gay bar rape from Pride in NY?

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 24, 2012 12:22:13 PM

  25. A classic sign will be the orientation (for lack of a better word) of any letters carved on her abdomen. Most common signs of a feigned injury are multiple very shallow lacerations for each stroke of every letter without violation of the fascia or defense wounds, as well as letter bases facing the view of the victim or "mirror" lettering (very tough to write upside down and backwards without using a mirror). Let's see what the evidence shows. BTW, anyone know what happened with the alleged gay bar rape from Pride in NY?

    Posted by: Yeek | Jul 24, 2012 12:22:16 PM

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