Tuesday, July 12, 2005

GHB Serial Killers In Florida?

Police in Florida are investigating what appears to be as many as seven murders in which saddistic murders were carried out on victims drugged with GHB. The Bradenberg Herald reports:

From the outside, Steven Lorenzo seemed a perfect fit for Seminole Heights, a historic riverside neighborhood where front-porch friendliness still flourishes under moss-draped oaks.

The electrician and home inspector often sat on his veranda, ready with a smile or helping hand. He lent his tools and home-repair skills. He rescued one neighbor's cats from the pound and another neighbor's house from a fire. ...

But inside his meticulously restored 1928 bungalow, investigators say, Lorenzo turned tormenter, drugging, raping and torturing men he met at gay bars or on the Internet. At least seven reported escaping with their lives. But two others who vanished in December 2003 apparently didn't, finally spotlighting the disappearances of three other Tampa Bay-area gay men.

One of Lorenzo's Internet chat buddies, an Illinois native who briefly lived in Orlando, recently told police that he helped Lorenzo kill and dispose of the two men's bodies, dismembering one in Lorenzo's garage.

Today, Lorenzo, 46, and Scott Schweickert, 39, are being held without bail in Hillsborough County Jail, accused by federal authorities of drug-assisted crimes of violence. Lorenzo's charming cottage on West Powhatan Avenue remains the focus of an ever-widening, multistate probe that has yielded horrific clues about what might have happened behind closed doors.

The most telling evidence - DNA analysis of bloodstains found on wood floors and cobblestones in the garage - could answer the question that haunts the families and friends of Tampa Bay's missing gay men: What happened to their loved ones? ...

Neither man has been charged with murder. But indictments are expected soon, contingent on the DNA results Nielsen and the mothers of at least two other missing men and three other police departments anxiously await. ...

Then, in 2002, federal drug agents visited Lorenzo for buying on the Internet a solvent used to make gamma hydroxybutyric acid, or GHB, commonly known as a "date-rape drug."

Again, Lorenzo was questioned but not arrested.

But, after the town-hall meeting, police and federal drug agents actively began investigating Lorenzo in the reported assaults. Serving a search warrant on his house a year ago June, they found photographs and videos of numerous men in various stages of bondage, some who appeared to be in "a comatose-like state." ...

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