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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Wandering Minds » Reading Stabbings - was this really a homophobic attack?

Reading Stabbings - was this really a homophobic attack?

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Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
Maybe I'm reading too much into this but the more news that comes out of those killed the more it looks to me that they were gay - and I wonder if they were targeted for being such?

These were comments from someone who knew the first two reported victims -

Martin Cooper, chief executive of Reading Pride, said he had been friends with Mr Ritchie-Bennett and Mr Furlong who were both "great supporters" of the LGBT community.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-berkshire-53135466

Now this from someone who knew the three of them -

A friend of Mr Wails, and the other two victims Joe Ritchie-Bennett and James Furlong said they were "always happy" and would be remembered fondly.

Michael Main, who knew them from drinking at the Blagrave Arms in Reading, said the attacks had affected the town significantly.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-england-berkshire-53124483

Just so happens that Mr Main was the Parade Director of last years Reading Pride -

It was a colourful scene in Reading on Saturday as thousands of people took part in this year's Pride festival. T

he event kicked off with a parade through the town centre.

Mary Stanley spoke to festival-goers and Parade Director Michael Main...

https://www.itv.com/news/meridian/2019-09-01/report-thousands-take-part-in-reading-pride/

...and that the Blagrave Arms according to a simple Google search is -

"Although not an exclusively gay venue, The Blagrave Arms is a gay-popular bar in Reading. There are no other gay bars in town. You can have a meal here and a civilised drink or you can pull a late one and party".

https://www.travelgay.com/venue/the-blagrave-arms/

I'm wondering whether the focus should be more on homophobia and less on terror as such?

Seems to be a big coincidence if this has nothing at all to do with it being gay related? Possibly the blokes (if they were gay?) just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time perhaps?

About time the world (and it's religions!) moves on over being concerned if someone is gay or not.

Norpig

Norpig
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
The BBC made a point of mentioning that the 3 men were gay on the news last night. Lots of mention of the attackers background but to me this seems more like a mental health issue on his part than a terrorist attack.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@Norpig wrote:The BBC made a point of mentioning that the 3 men were gay on the news last night. Lots of mention of the attackers background but to me this seems more like a mental health issue on his part than a terrorist attack.

I must have missed the BBC report about them but I'd already reasoned they must have been.

Don't know what it was that made me think they might have been but something didn't sit right in my mind about those who had been killed and when the details of who they were started to come out, that they all seem to know each other (they weren't random people in that sense) and the person who spoke about one of them also turned out to know the others, there seemed to be interconnected strands to the story than ran a bit deeper to me.

I doubt it is mental health issues as such with the killer (obviously you have to have something wrong with you to kill people) but I'm thinking more along the lines of him being a religious extremist and his religion saying gays should be 'punished' or whatever it is their holy book says.

He clearly was outside with a knife, so that was no accident and I wonder if he had seen this group of people before and knew they were a gay crowd, and he decided to do something about it?

I don't know about these things but I suspect it isn't actually easy to kill people even with a knife if you don't really know what you are doing, so to kill three within a minute or so as per the witnesses accounts of the attack, suggests to me he had some sort of previous knowledge/training and knew where to inflict the most damage and how?

Seems also to me that it wasn't a specifically 'planned' attack in the sense that he didn't do it say at the big Pride event with all the cameras and media there but more probably he saw this group on a park he probably walked through regularly and took a knife for when he saw them there the next time.

I guess the police didn't want to initially raise it as a homophobic terror attack until they interviewed the killer to see what he said was his motive really was?

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Weren't 3 others injured? If so their sexuality may go some way to proving or disproving the theory.
However seeing as the perpetrator threw his TV out of top floor flat last year and has a mental health support worker I imagine there is at least some element of him being a nutter.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@wanderlust wrote:Weren't 3 others injured? If so their sexuality may go some way to proving or disproving the theory.
However seeing as the perpetrator threw his TV out of top floor flat last year and has a mental health support worker I imagine there is at least some element of him being a nutter.

Well I did say you don't kill people without having something wrong in your head first but to my way of thinking he clearly targeted (or at least started off shall we say) a group of gay men.  He was carrying a knife, so that was a deliberate act, and I doubt the gay group initiated the attack - as I understood it all three were seated on the ground when it happened.

I don't think it was a terrorist attack as such but more of an extremist religious attack aimed at gay men.

I also suspect he had some training in how to kill people with a knife.

Plenty of people have mental health issues and even professional support but extremely few go on to kill people and I don't think it was a random act and was indeed targeted at the gay blokes sat on the grass - in which case he knew what he was doing.

No doubt all will be reported in due course.

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha
I don't doubt he had mental health issues and it looks pretty likely that he targeted gay men. However I don't think you need training in order to kill people with a large knife. Plenty of lowlifes kill people with knives all the time without any training.

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
@xmiles wrote:I don't doubt he had mental health issues and it looks pretty likely that he targeted gay men. However I don't think you need training in order to kill people with a large knife. Plenty of lowlifes kill people with knives all the time without any training.
I tend to agree seeing as he only achieved a 50% kill rate.

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin
@xmiles wrote:I don't doubt he had mental health issues and it looks pretty likely that he targeted gay men. However I don't think you need training in order to kill people with a large knife. Plenty of lowlifes kill people with knives all the time without any training.

The witness report was that he killed the three people in less than a minute and stabbed at least one of them under the arm - which I know is a deliberate killing technique.

I don't think that was pure chance.

I think people probably shock themselves when the plunge a knife in someone for real and you need a cool head (and trained) to do it to three people in a matter of seconds to such devastating and fatal effect.

Most people survive knife attacks.

The three others injured weren't taken as much by surprise as those first three, with loads of people around and having some idea of what was happening - and all survived, I don't think that's a coincidence either.

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