Gay Soldier Murdered in Afghanistan? Military Rules It was Suicide
Posted on June 30, 2008
Filed Under Gay News Blog
NEW YORK The military has finally, after nine months, announced the results of its probe into the death by gunshot of a gay soldier in Afghanistan, who was engaged to marry her partner in Massachusetts, last fall. The case has drawn wide coverage by Boston area newspapers.
The military’s handling of the case has been disturbing from the outset, with claims of murder voiced by friends and family due to the fact that the victim was known to be gay and had written home that she had seen some troubling things that might cause her not to survive.
Officials first reported that Ciara Durkin, 30, of Quincy, Mass., who served in the National Guard, had died “in action,” then revealed that she was killed in a “noncombat” incident that was being investigated.
Her family was told that she had been killed by a single gunshot near a church. They soon charged — and the media widely covered the allegations — that the military had been dragging its feet in giving them more details. They rejected any chance of suicide and suspected friendly fire or murder.
They said she had told them to push for an investigation if anything ever happened to her. She was in a finance unit and may have found some improprieties, according to a story in the Patriot-Ledger, which also disclosed that her family had notified the military about her concerns about her safety.
An e-mail she had sent friends in June 2007, claimed a fellow soldier had pulled a 9mm gun on her.
The Boston Globe reported that the family wondered if, as a lesbian, she may have been targeted. Sen. John Kerry and Sen. Ted Kennedy pushed for answers.
“She did say to us that she had concerns about things she was seeing when she was over there,” her sister, Fiona Canavan, told WGBH-TV in Boston. “She told us if anything happened to her, that we were to investigate it.” Gay Soldier Murdered in Afghanistan? Military Rules It was Suicide
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