Authorities investigating claims gangs killed gay men for sport
Police have opened an investigation into allegations gay men were killed for sport.
New claims have come to light that they were targeted by gangs.
It’s thought as many as 88 men could have been murdered by attackers targeting people they know to be, or perceived to be gay.
Australian authorities now say gangs of teenagers in Sydney hunted gay men for sport, sometimes forcing them off cliffs to their deaths.
Officers are looking at claims they failed to investigate fully at the time, making assumptions of suicide.
It comes after officers re-opened the case of Scott Johnson, a young mathematician, who was found at the bottom Sydney harbour.
His brother has convinced police to re-open the case 28 years after a verdict of death by suicide was recorded.
They’re now investigating claims that he was murdered for being gay.
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As many as 30 deaths of gay men who died in the 1980s and 1990s in the area remain unsolved, while 88 deaths are now being reviewed.
About a dozen victims were found dead at the bottom of cliffs or in the sea, the police say.
“We can now see that predators were attacking gay men,” Ted Pickering, police minister for New South Wales in the late 1980s, told the New York Times.
“And they were doing it with the almost-certain knowledge that the police would not have gone after them. That was the police culture of the day.”
No new arrests have been made, but police say a full investigation is now underway.
“While the review is a difficult task because we can’t rewrite history, we know it is important we do everything we can to ensure the best outcomes in the future,” said Tony Crandell, acting assistant commissioner for the New South Wales Police Force.