Ed Buck, a former West Hollywood Democratic donor and political activist, was sentenced last week to 30 years in prison for fatally injecting two gay men with methamphetamine in exchange for sex, which resulted in their deaths.
Sixty-seven-year-old Buck, who was white, preyed on vulnerable black men who struggled with drug addiction and homelessness for about a decade.
Even after the two men died at his home, Buck continued to lure gay men into his home and inject them with large doses of methamphetamine, the prosecution said. He was only arrested in September 2019, when a third man overdosed in his home twice a week.
“Party and Play”
The prosecution said that between 2011 and 2019, Buck engaged in a pattern they described as “partying and gambling.”
Buck attracted men via social media, dating apps, escort websites or through referrals from his former victims, who received “finder’s fees”.
Once the men arrived at his apartment, the prosecution alleged that “Buck prepared syringes containing methamphetamine, sometimes personally injecting the victims with or without their consent. Buck also injected the victims with more narcotics than they agreed to take, and sometimes he injected the victims while they were unconscious. At trial, the victims described how Buck put sedatives in their drinks or injections, causing them to lose consciousness or control their bodies. While they were unconscious, Buck sexually assaulted his victims.
On July 27, 2017, Buck killed Gemmel Moore with a lethal dose of methamphetamine. A year and a half later, on January 7, 2019, he killed Timothy Dean with a lethal dose of methamphetamine.
United States Attorney Tracy L. Wilkison said Buck continued to pose “a clear danger to society, as evidenced by the fact that he continues to attract men to his apartment, even after killing two men with lethal methamphetamine injections”.
“Tackling Young Black Men”
“Ed Buck preyed on vulnerable, isolated young black men who often struggled with substance abuse,” said Kristi K. Johnson, deputy director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office.
“Evidence showed that Buck, in addition to causing the deaths of two men, also degraded his victims with racial slurs and exploited their circumstances, including homelessness and drug addiction, to indulge his addictions. This sentence will effectively eliminate a predator and hopefully bring justice to the families of the victims.”
Jose Ramosfounder of Impulse Group, said it was an “important case that needs to raise awareness of the problem of predators like Buck who prey on vulnerable victims – black men struggling with drug addiction and homelessness” .
“Would it have taken this long (to stop Buck) if the men had been white?” Ramos said, adding, “I live on the same street where Ed Buck’s apartment is. As this case evolved, I remember walking past his building and seeing all the candles and flowers for weeks. I’m going to look at his apartment and wonder how many gay people he’s drugged, raped, and abused.
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