Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation
World News

Canada

Prominent Canadian LGBT activist, journalist murdered in Nova Scotia

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A prominent Canadian LGBT activist and journalist was found beaten to death outside a popular gay bar in Halifax early Tuesday morning.

Raymond Taavel, 49, the former editor of the LGBT magazine “Wayves” and former co-chair of PrideWeek Halifax, was found bleeding and unconscious outside the Menz & Mollyz bar in Halifax at about 2:30 a.m. by a passerby who called authorities.

Raymond Taavel

Constable Brian Palmeter, a spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Halifax, told LGBTQ Nation that according to witnesses, Taavel and another man were accosted by an individual outside the bar.

One witness told police that he saw a large man attack two smaller men, one of whom fled as the attacker slammed the other man’s head into the street. Two other witnesses told police the attacker used homophobic slurs during the beating.

Palmeter said Taavel died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

A police K-9 unit was used to track the assailant to a nearby alley where he was hiding behind some trash cans. Andre Noel Denny, 32, is scheduled to appear in Halifax Provincial Court Wednesday on a charge of murder according to Palmeter.

Denny is a psychiatric patient from the nearby East Coast Forensic Hospital who failed to return to the facility after a one-hour leave. He is one of three patients who did not return to the hospital Monday. One of those patients is still at large.

Capital Health, the private organization that runs the hospital, told LGBTQ Nation that it has launched an internal review into the matter and will not make further comment pending the outcome of that inquiry.

The CBC reported that Denny was sent to the facility after being found not criminally responsible on a charge of assault causing bodily harm in Sydney.

In court documents, the man is described as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He is also described as being grossly psychotic with a history of aggressive impulsivity and unpredictability.

Tributes to Taavel have been expressed by scores of Halifax citizens and fellow activists shocked by his murder. “I think I have the same sense of shock as everyone else who is connected to the community,” says Kevin Kindred, of the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project.

“It’s incalculable, he was such a beautiful spirit,” says Halifax activist Hugo Dann.

“Anyone who got involved in gay rights in Halifax, knew Raymond. Raymond took his knocks, but he never stopped smiling and he never failed in kindness. That’s the loss that will stick with me because he was unfailingly kind … I think people will want to go out, to be together. I don’t think our community ever hides,” Dann said.

Archives: , , , ,

Filed under: North America

46 more reader comments:

  1. OMG, this is terrible! I always thought these things didn’t happen in Canada :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:20pm
  2. I can’t take much more!

    First Kenneth’s death over the weekend, now this. How much worse is it going to get???

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:20pm
  3. WHAT THE IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE!? some people are gay, get over it!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:20pm
  4. -bows head-

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:20pm
  5. This is not cool or right at all. Prayers to the family. This really hurts me.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:22pm
  6. Our hearts are with you in Halifax tonight.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:23pm
  7. OUTRAGED

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:23pm
  8. god damn this planet.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:23pm
  9. How sad R.I.P.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:24pm
  10. May his murderer (or murderers) rot in hell for the heinous crime they commited, taking this man’s life away.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:24pm
  11. I live in sydney nova scotia and have friends in hali and this is to close to home

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:26pm
  12. I’m reading this, understanding that there were witnesses, yet no one intervened to help this man. How do these people sleep at night?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:27pm
  13. Did anyone read about the people that committed this crime..who would let them roam free for an hour?!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:28pm
  14. what is with people

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:28pm
  15. That is so sad and my prayers go out to his family.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:30pm
  16. This is a heart breaking tragedy. I’m so sorry for Raymond T., his surviving family, friends & acquaintances.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:31pm
  17. In court documents, the man is described as suffering from paranoid schizophrenia. He is also described as being grossly psychotic with a history of aggressive impulsivity and unpredictability…so why was this guy permitted an outing at all, let alone unsupervised?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:31pm
  18. BOOOO — first the 14 yr old in IA takes his own life, now THIS? i HATE this, HATE this, HATE this

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:32pm
  19. Prayers to his family. Prayers for the witnesses who didn’t step up as well, that they realize that they were wrong. I can’t hate them, because that would not make me any better than those who hate my LGBTQ community. Prayers for just punishement.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:33pm
  20. That’s heartbreaking.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:34pm
  21. Candles are being lit tonight up and down the province in big and small gatherings. None close enough to physically attend though… :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:36pm
  22. sad sad day

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:38pm
  23. so sad to hear this news :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:39pm
  24. Damn!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:41pm
  25. Why? Why can’t we just live and let live? What are these people do afraid of? If they only knew what cowards this makes them

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:42pm
  26. Absolutely awful! Prayers to his family. Love one another! Stop the hate!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:44pm
  27. May he rest in peace…my thoughts are with his family.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:44pm
  28. We need to make a stand We are who we are i wish i could change me for my family i cant change that feeling that u cant what the heart wants

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:50pm
  29. :( so wrong…

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:57pm
  30. What a terrible loss for his family and the world. <3 Rest in peace, Raymond.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:59pm
  31. This violence needs to end!!!! What does it matter whether you’re white, black, gay, straight….we’re ALL humans….we need to start acting like it!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 7:59pm
  32. Very, very sad.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 8:08pm
  33. That’s so sad. Honestly ppl make me sick

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 8:13pm
  34. R.i.p. our fight continues.equal rights are NOT special rights! Sick to my stomach.why so much hate in the world?!????? Thoughts and prayers goin out to his family and our family!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 8:21pm
  35. :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 8:27pm
  36. Why are people “liking” this?

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:13pm
  37. This is so horrible.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:17pm
  38. @ Holly Mayer: a) People hit “like” for this page, not to say they LIKE the content obviously, but to show acknowledgment, support, solidarity, many other reasons than LIKE. b) There are functional reasons too that I do not understand, with certain numbers of likes checked meaning something or other on Facebook – this I am guessing as people say “please like my page” (but I don’t understand this part). Take care. A tragic and devastating death.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:42pm
  39. What the hell! This is terrible :(

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 9:44pm
  40. From the Halifax Chronicle tonight –
    http://thechronicleherald.ca/metro/87682-slaying-suspect-has-history-of-mental-health-woes-run-ins-with-law
    late TV news said the suspect was on a 1 hour pass and did not return.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:32pm
  41. Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:36pm
  42. “Compassionate, Caring, Outgoing, Welcoming”
    Vigil held on Gottingen Street following murder of Raymond Taavel
    http://halifax.mediacoop.ca/story/%E2%80%9Ccompassionate-caring-outgoing-welcoming%E2%80%9D/10566

    Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:49pm
  43. Posted on Tuesday, April 17, 2012 at 10:56pm
  44. :( prayers to his family,friends and loved ones…R.I.P. Mr.Taavel

    Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 12:52am
  45. so very sad. i understand the killer is a paranoid schizophrenic and was “out for an hour” from an institution. so many questions why.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 5:59am
  46. that’s very sad.

    Posted on Wednesday, April 18, 2012 at 6:07am