The New York Times reports that 33-year-old John Umberger and 25-year-old Julio Ramirez were murdered blocks away and 5 weeks apart, and that an additional five men reported a similar methodology was used on them. According to the Times, "they were drugged at gay bars in the city — including the Eagle, the Boiler Room and the 9th Avenue Saloon — and then robbed."
The deaths of Umberger and Ramirez were connected earlier in November ,as the New York Post reported, "a gang that preys on gay men at Hell's Kitchen nightclubs is suspected of killing at least two victims and of drugging and robbing more than a dozen other men — but Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg's office is impeding the investigation."
Bragg's office has not warned the public of a possible serial killer targeting gay men in the NYC area.
The NYPD are investigating as reports emerged that each man had been spotted with three unidentified men just hours before they were killed.
Both men reportedly died of a drug overdose from being roofied, and their phones were missing as were thousands of dollars from their bank accounts.
Andrew Sullivan addressed part of the suspects' MO, and wrote, "A terrifying twist in the arrival of facial recognition technology: a dead or drugged man's face can open his iPhone wallet."
Ramirez, a Brooklyn social worker, was murdered and robbed of over $20,000. 5 weeks later, the same thing happened Umberger, a political consultant from Washington, DC, and $25,000 was taken from his bank account.
Several additional men have come forward and said similar tactics were used on them, but they survived.
27-year-old Tyler Burt was allegedly drugged at the Boiler Room in December 2021 and digitally robbed of $25,000. His blood test revealed he may have been drugged by GHB, which works as a depressant and can cause black outs.
33-year-old Oscar Alarcon was allegedly drugged at the Ritz in March of 2020 and was robbed of $2,000 from his accounts.
"I don't remember what happened there," Alarcon said. "I don't remember how I left. Then I just woke up in a strange hotel lobby."
Alarcon said when he reported the incident to police "they didn't seem like they were interested."
Burt said that the police "asked me if I had been assaulted, and I was like, 'Getting drugged is assault.'"
"It seemed like they thought being drugged wasn't even a possibility. They said, 'Maybe you were but that isn't really relevant to the robbery,'" Burt added.
Umberger's mother, Linda Clary, said, "I can't be quiet anymore. Word needs to get out, especially in the gay community, that they are targeting gay men."
"This same group of killers have drugged, robbed and murdered countless young gay men in New York," she added.
Clary told Pix11 that a third man, who was married and was from out of town, also died under similar circumstances. She learned of the death after the man's family contacted her and said they have been quiet due to fear of publicity.
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