A young male model has apparently confessed to castrating and killing Portuguese journalist and gay rights activist Carlos Castro on Friday — in order, he says, to "get rid of [Castro's] homosexual demons."
According to the NY Daily News, 20-year-old Renato Seabra confessed to police that he cut off Castro's genitals with a corkscrew as a way of "curing" his homosexuality. He also beat Castro severely before leaving him to die in the hotel room they'd shared. Styleite says that before the chilling murder, "By all accounts the two were a couple on an extended New Year's vacation, and they'd been seen together doing all the things tourist couples come to New York to do: dining out with friends and going to Broadway shows." But Seabra apparently denies that he and Castro were together, and his mom says, "My son was not Carlos Castro's lover. From the beginning, he never hid his sexuality, which is heterosexual." She maintains that Seabra is innocent: "My son, being a golden boy, who is so good, he didn't do this."
Seabra is currently in custody at Bellevue Hospital, after a possible suicide attempt. It's not clear whether he's mentally ill, or whether any discrimination he may have felt over his or Castro's sexuality pushed him over the edge (Portugal has actually become more accepting of gay rights lately, legalizing gay marriage in 2010). But if Seabra is in fact gay — and one friend told the AP the two were a couple who had become "upset with each other, for jealousy reasons" — then the case casts a pretty disturbing light on the power of anti-gay stigma: Seabra was willing to confess to ripping out a man's genitals before he'd admit to having sex with him.
Male Model Charged In Castration, Murder Of Portuguese Journalist [Styleite]
Male Model Renato Seabra Charged With Murder After Confession In Castration Slay Of Carlos Castro [NY Daily News]
NYPD Charge Portuguese Model In NYC Hotel Slaying [AP]
Image via NY Daily News