Ripped From The Headlines

Random Write-Ups for Seemingly Nothing

March 10, 2022 Season 3 Episode 24
Ripped From The Headlines
Random Write-Ups for Seemingly Nothing
Show Notes Transcript

It's almost the end of our 3rd season!? This week Matt recaps Episode 21 of Law and Order's 3rd Season; Manhood- Don't even get me started... Since it had no direct inspiration, Enn takes great care in telling us the story of Jesse Valencia, and his tragic murder at the hands of someone unexpected at the time.  As members of the Queer community, this episode definitely effected us and we had a lot to say about gender and masculinity; we'd love for you to get in the conversation so please reach out and tell us your thoughts <3

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Enn Burke:

Hey listeners. Today's episode deals with the topics of homophobia and murder. We wanted to notify our listeners who may experience trauma related to those topics ahead of the episode and to let you know that resources are listed on the website. Thanks for listening.

Voiceover:

In this true crime law and order podcast, the episodes are presented by two separate yet equally ridiculous individuals, one who researches the actual crime and the other who recaps the episode. These are their stories. Hi,

Matt Molinaro:

hey, how's it go?

Enn Burke:

How? How are you doing? How was your week? What's new?

Matt Molinaro:

Oh, my week was pretty good. It was stressful. But yeah, yeah, just a lot going on this week. I'm still fighting that moving company relentlessly. I still haven't gotten our deposit back. Oh, my God. We got it back. It was taken back away. It's been this whole big thing. I'm literally on the phone with them. And the bank every single week.

Enn Burke:

September. Yeah, that's a nightmare. Oh, yeah.

Matt Molinaro:

It's a big nightmare. And I think we finally maybe have our money coming back to us, I think, great. But we will know for sure. By Wednesday. So listeners, stay tuned. Stay tuned. And I just wanted to give a public service announcement because I don't want anyone to go through what I went through. And yeah, it's I've found a very common scam that has now grown like proportionally since pandemic because people watch a lot more. If you are hiring a long distance mover, any mover really, you have to really do your research, like intensely, do your research, do not trust a star rating on Google or Yelp or whatever, look into the reviews, see which ones are legitimate, see which ones are fake. We hired a moving company, I'm saying their name is gold standard, moving and shipping, they've gone under many other names, as they actually recently changed their name, again, to gold standard relocation. Because if you search gold standard moving and shipping or moving and storage, the whole first page of Google results are about their fraudulent company. So they changed their name. You can't even gets their main website from the first page of search results. That's how you know it's a problem. There are over 200 complaints in the Better Business Bureau, there is a class action lawsuit against them out of Florida, and they will take your money with a low deposit, they will not give you a refund policy, they'll promise you refunds if something goes wrong, but no specific policy. And then you could be like us and be quote unquote lucky, where they actually never pick up your belongings and then canceled a route and then you don't get your money back. Or you could be even less lucky than we were and have them pick up your items and never get them. They'll hold them hostage, or they'll deliver them to somebody else. Or you'll get them delivered and they'll be completely destroyed. If you've chose to get them packed by them you are in for a shock. And at the very least, if they are going to deliver your items, they will show up at your house. And they will tell you oh wait, the size of your box is different than we thought maybe the number is right. But the size is different. You owe us an additional blank before we pick up your items. And it will be a three digit number minimum and they will require it and you will not get it back if they don't do the job. So really do your research. And if you get scammed, like I did find the class action lawsuit, find your resources and be relentless because the only reason I think we're going to maybe get our money back is because I am a relentless maniac. And I am not one of those people that has the disposable income where I could just let the deposit Go and call for a wash. So I need that money. So I am I am a maniac on the phone. I hate being that person. I apologize to everyone I've talked to. But I am unapologetic in my sentiment and I think I finally maybe got it back. So listeners I just want to caution you it's been a real tough time for me it I wish I had been able, I wish I had talked about it more sooner. And to however many listeners we have out there. If I at least help one. Not get involved with this nonsense. I'm happy. So that's my big disclaimer of the week. And all I have is a recommendation. So what about you what's going on?

Enn Burke:

Um, let's see. I have miles and I have just been watching a lot of love is blind.

Matt Molinaro:

Oh, I haven't started the second season yet. Okay,

Enn Burke:

but you watched the first one. Oh, yeah. Okay, season two. In a lot of ways. I was kind of thinking like, all right, they really really gave us some magic with Season One. Season two probably won't be as good. I was wrong. It is terrific. Ah, and the reunion is truly a spectacle to behold. So if you're not watching Love is blind, I strongly encourage you to do so because it's really engrossing.

Matt Molinaro:

I definitely am going to get into that we were scrolling through Netflix, like, oh, what should we watch recently that we haven't, like, finished? And I was like, Ooh, love his blinds, but it just felt like too intense of an endeavor to start late at night. Yeah, because we were up all night.

Enn Burke:

This is not a spoiler, because I'm not going to tell you like who said it. But at the reunion, the like opening question is like, is anyone nervous about the reunion data, like the host ask that of the guests or the, you know, whatever, people who are on the show, and the first person who says something is, I'm just really I'm worried about how we're going to be edited. And this person, of course, was a complete garbage, human, of course, and they're concerned with their how they're going to be edited. And it's just that is not the problem. Sir, it is part of the

Matt Molinaro:

problem. It is not the problem in the words of Caroline Manzo. If anything, I'm edited to look better. She used to talk about it all the time when the other housewives were complaining about the edit. And she's like, Listen, I'm not proud of everything there. But I said everything I said, it was said, but I said, Yeah, have you watched because you brought it up in a previous episode, and now I've watched it that Kristen Bell parody. Okay. Yeah, window.

Enn Burke:

I didn't know. Yes, yes, I did watch it. And I forgot to talk about it after I finished watching it. So it's been a few weeks.

Matt Molinaro:

Okay. We finished this earlier this week.

Enn Burke:

Uh huh. I also loved it. I thought it was just a hilarious satire on like, True Crime me. Movie type things. Christmas

Matt Molinaro:

mysteries. Kristen bells. She's just

Enn Burke:

fantastic. I love her to death. And it was really well done. And I did not see the end and coming the way it ended.

Matt Molinaro:

I had a different person in mind to the whole time. Yeah, yeah.

Enn Burke:

So if you haven't watched that, I think it's called like the girl in the house across the street from the woman in the window or something like that.

Matt Molinaro:

Yeah. And I actually read that it was they wanted to shorten the title to just the woman in the window. Kristen Bell was like, no, no, no, keep it long. It's funny. And they were like, all right. Have you seen the movie that it's most closely based on the Amy Adams?

Enn Burke:

No, but you've talked about it. I remember that. I loved that movie.

Matt Molinaro:

But this movie follows it so closely. And it makes me wonder. Maybe that movie wasn't as good as I remember. He was.

Enn Burke:

Yeah, I was gonna say I wonder how the reviews are on that movie.

Matt Molinaro:

I think it's mixed. But you know, I called the woman in the wind. That was just the woman in the window, I think. Okay, okay. Oh, that was great. Yeah, I was really very much enjoyed that.

Enn Burke:

She's so funny. And it's just like, it's one of those shows where? I don't know. Okay, so I'm gonna say some things about the show because it's been out for like 10 shirts. Now. So if you haven't seen it, and you want to see it, skip ahead. Two to three minutes. I loved the like recurring gags of her like wine drinking. I love

Matt Molinaro:

God. gags were so good. So good.

Enn Burke:

Did you notice the the casserole dish how she had like 17 of the same dish because she kept breaking it over and over.

Matt Molinaro:

That was the one I was gonna mention was the casserole dish. And let me tell you that dish we actually have plates with that pattern on it. That is like a plastic pattern. We live I literally went in the cabinet. I was like, Davey, we have that plate.

Enn Burke:

That is so funny. The other thing I didn't notice I'm grateful I was watching with somebody else who did notice. Did you notice that the quotes on the gravestone just changed every time? Yes killed me. I loved

Matt Molinaro:

I think for me like everyone was very good in it. I really enjoyed it. Kristen Bell is obviously the stand out of it. Of course. Yeah. For me the character that just got me every single time they were on the camera was the neighbor who hates her. Oh my god. Yes. Like when she storms over it goes. Why are you talking about me telling people that don't ever take your problem? She goes because you think that I'm crazy and I have a drink your problem she just goes because you're crazy and everyday problems.

Enn Burke:

The other thing I wanted to mention is there's a new Netflix series that I've only watched two and a half episodes of called worst roommate ever.

Matt Molinaro:

Oh, Davey was watching that the other day. I think I didn't I didn't see it though.

Enn Burke:

It's a It's true crime. And the first episode episode is about Dorothy aplenty. She's the old lady who was like taking in homeless people or like our other folks who were like kind of kind of the folks who our society ignores she would like take them in and then murder them and steal their social security checks.

Matt Molinaro:

Oh my gosh, I was I don't understand or my favorite murder.

Enn Burke:

Um, it was definitely on my favorite murder. I don't know if I've heard it on sinister hood. Why that was a wild, wild. Unbelievable. Unbelievable. And I'm surprised because I think all that happened in the late 80s. I'm really surprised we haven't gotten a law and order episode about it.

Matt Molinaro:

I wonder if we oh, yeah, yeah. Who knows yet true? Yeah, there have been a lot of episodes this season that were more topical versus revealed actual headlines. Yeah, it was more of a split. But yeah, I can't

Enn Burke:

wait. Speaking of which, is this our last episode of season three next week? Next week? Okay. Oh, my gosh, that's exciting. We're almost at season four of our podcast. I'm

Matt Molinaro:

so excited. We're really killing it.

Enn Burke:

We're getting through law and order like nobody's business.

Matt Molinaro:

I have a lot faster than I thought we would. You know,

Enn Burke:

actually, I agree. Should we get started?

Matt Molinaro:

Yeah, you're ready to talk about?

Enn Burke:

Yes, I sure am.

Matt Molinaro:

Oh, boy. This episode, who darky This is called manhood, right? Yes. Okay, so I'm glad I watched the right one. Oh, animal. So I'm glad. So this is episode 21 of Law and Order season three. It's titled manhood. And boy, you just buckle up, and a lot of thoughts. So the episode begins, and we are panning across several ladies. Um, it looks like a call center. But it's really a 911. Often,

Enn Burke:

what do you call that up? I would call it a 911 call center.

Matt Molinaro:

Okay. Okay, number one call center like at first that you would think it was like a New York Stock Exchange or something. That's how things are and everything. But you know, It's pandemonium. They're all hands on deck, it's clearly a busy night, most probably often as we get the vibe that everyone is overworked and understaffed. That's the kind of, you know, camera icon stuff we're getting. And we keep hearing from multiple operators, or at least to that officer 3118 is still waiting for backup. And they're talking to someone on the walkie talkie called 31. Frank, it doesn't matter. And they're saying got the wrong location. And they're like, why are you there? There's a lot of back and forth. And then we hear from 3118 over the over the 911 call that shots have been fired. And he's like, Oh, my God, I'm down. I'm hit. I'm hit what?

Enn Burke:

I was just gonna say I realized I don't think I've ever seen like a true crime series or documentary, specifically about 911 operators, like I would actually be really interested to learn more about what it is like and what it takes to be a 911 operator and, and the absolute banana things that they hear.

Matt Molinaro:

Oh, totally. I feel like there is a there's got to be some sort of true crime series that does those kinds of things like yeah, Forensic Files style, oh, tree out 911 operators. And I think they actually came up with a sick sitcom with a drama called 911. And I think it's about like emergency like workers and in my mind, I'm thinking it's recent. I'm thinking Angela Bassett, Senate, I might be crazy. But this is all kind of coming to me. More on that later. We'll see. So in the 911 Center, the they hear that this guy has been hit, and then the line goes dead. He's not quite He's not speaking anymore. And all the officers in the room are standing around this woman who was on the phone, and they're all looking shocked. And it's a very morose. And I just thought that you hear my dog? I did. He was also shocked. Yeah. I just thought to myself with all this madness on the phone lines. Yeah. No one really seems to be doing anything at the center. Like there are five officers standing there. I know. They can't just run out. But everyone's just kind of standing there staring at this 911 Operator shocked that no one is going to help this guy. Maybe someone else can go. We got to the opening credits. So I decided to do an Easter activity. Oh, I bought some eggs. Went to the store. I prepared a bunch of dyes created some stripy ones, a couple of high dye eggs, some stickers on some googly eyes, made a little basket finished up

Enn Burke:

and we're back. Do you ever think about things like Easter egg dying and go like God? Humanity is fucking weird. Like the things we do are very strange.

Matt Molinaro:

I think about that kind of stuff all the time. There's

Enn Burke:

so I think probably most people know because I've mentioned it a few times. But I have done drag for a few years. I think like seven now. And I just so distinctly remember, like I was backstage with a friend who is also a performer and just being really nervous about like going out and performing, and at that point, I had been doing it for years, but it was just kind of that like, performance anxiety sort of thing. And I just remember looking at her and going, this is the absolute stupidest thing, like drag, like it, it's meant to be it's meant to be sort of like a mockery of or like, bring attention to like how ridiculous gender and gender norms are kind of stuff. And so and I was just like, why am I nervous about literally the dumbest thing on the planet? Like, it's fucking ridiculous, and I'm nervous about it. So I just, I think about things like that a lot, too, where it's like, This is so weird and manufactured and strange, but we're, we were really invested in it.

Matt Molinaro:

It's so true. Like, the things that we do, from the biggest to smallest thing is I'm like, How did someone first think that this was a thing to do? Right, you know, who was like, oh, you know what? I'm gonna take that cow. Oh,

Enn Burke:

that's so weird wheeze the

Matt Molinaro:

otter and see what

Enn Burke:

I was thinking of cows. I was exactly thinking of cows before you said that.

Matt Molinaro:

It's so strange

Enn Burke:

isn't it really is?

Matt Molinaro:

Well, I'm glad we do. Because I love cheese. Alright, so we're back. And we're back. And it's craigan and the detectives, they're on the scene. And we find out that officer new house has been shot he's killed. And they hope that they can get as much information as soon as possible. There's a rush on it, because it's at point, you know, one of their own. Right and Craig and says, I'll deal with the press, you guys do the investigation, we find out that there's already a $50,000 reward that's going to be issued for this. That it's you know, we're right on the scene would

Enn Burke:

I think it's a little early for that little

Matt Molinaro:

really, there's no investigation yet.

Enn Burke:

And did they say where it came from, you

Matt Molinaro:

know, who knows, probably the city.

Enn Burke:

Let's just point out that there have been a lot of murders on this show so far. And I don't recall that kind of reward money for anyone else.

Matt Molinaro:

Ding, ding ding. The detectives follow up with a Captain Tom O'Hara, who is the captain for the deceased police officer. And they're at the 31st precinct. And they're not thrilled that I'm sorry, my dogs are so loud right now. Captain Tom O'Hara is clearly not thrilled that they messed up and getting their backup there in time. It doesn't look good. But, you know, he's saying we did the best we could. It was just an accident. We're all very sad about it. So detectives leaves the station with really little information. But craigan warns them to tread lightly with O'Hara because you know, he's a captain, you know. Be respectful. Yeah. But Logan has is clearly miffed a little bit more than anyone else. Yeah, I think I'll find forensics and they find out that prints were lifted from the baggy. Which, by the way, I don't remember anything about it baggy until much later. When I was like the baggy. What is it like? Goldfish? Cheetos. Most snack?

Enn Burke:

Was it meant to be like cocaine? Yeah,

Matt Molinaro:

we find out some kind of drug. I don't even remember what it was. It's so irrelevant. But they get prints off this baggie and it matches to a man named Lucho Martinez. And they go through his record, he has a few different. He has a few different things that come up on his record, but no convictions because lawyer always gets them off. So they'll like Spanish

Enn Burke:

phrasing, oops.

Matt Molinaro:

So they're gonna go follow up. But not until after Logan expresses his suspicions about the precinct in question. He doesn't think they're being honest about their whereabouts. He believes that they're being shady. And Briscoe is like, well, maybe this is more about you. Because you know, you've had both greavy and Sarita be shot, you know, and it's probably affecting you.

Enn Burke:

That sounds like a you problem, essentially, you

Matt Molinaro:

problem. I actually thought for a second oh, we're gonna we're gonna get deep here. This is going to really be a moment of strong character development. We're going to, we're going to talk about mental health and the importance of dealing with grief and not just, you know, letting it go, especially for someone with a gun. But no, no, no, we're interrupted immediately. And there's a suspect outside so they hop out with their guns drawn and arrest him. Yep. Say goodbye to all that. Yeah, there was a moment of opportunity. In interrogation, they bring this guy in and Lucho he says he wants a lawyer. So of course they say no problem. We're gonna leave you alone. And you know, absolutely will stop talking to you. Just kidding. Yeah, just kidding. They keep talking to him. And Logan spins his chair around pushes him and calls him a duck. A dumb son of a bitch. And he's like, I want my lawyer. And Briscoe says your lawyer is not God, you're not going to walk on this one. Okay, so the lawyer actually shows up, and he tells them, you know, back off, and then you basically have nothing. And then he goes back out into the hallway and tells Robin it the same thing. You got nothing. This is this is a joke. But Robin that tells him well, we we have something so we're going to arraign him, and then we'll have five days while he's, you know, being held to look into it. And

Enn Burke:

which is, by the way, this whole thing, police are required to stop interrogation when you ask for an attorney. Right, right.

Matt Molinaro:

So they need to go do some more investigating. So they go to the 911 Center, and they get one of the recordings, and they listen to it. And it's a man who says that someone's been shot by the dry cleaner. And Logan listens to it like a million times because he's like, I'm gonna get this voice down. So they go to the apartments to try to find this anonymous 911 Caller, the apartments nearby the scene of the crime, and they're just going cold, knocking on people's doors and asking if they saw anything. And they're hoping to hear us a familiar voice. At one point Briscoes talking to someone and Logan overhears it, he recognizes the voice and he comes over. And he says did you call 911 And the guy's like, it wasn't me. I don't want to get involved. So Logan grabs him by the collar, pulls him out of his apartment doorway and threatens to arrest him. For what what? But he's obviously scared. So he says he saw a guy shoot a cop and drive a sports car away. Maybe a Corvette. I don't know who was I just I just saw someone running away. And I can ID him if I saw him maybe. So they take them up on that offer. And they take him to the station for a lineup. And he ideas Lutra Martinez. So it seems like we haven't match. But really quickly afterwards, we find out that the guns that Lucho has and the slug as they find on the scene do not match. I thought this was a weird way to clear him because how does he not have? How did they know how many guns this guy has? But I guess that that was kind of enough. Yeah. And he he talks he says listen, I was there. But it wasn't me. There was a guy named Romero there who shot the officer in the leg. And then he ran him down and shot him again. And then the cop turned around and shot him back. And officer Newhouse was still alive at that point. So that's probably at the point when we heard him on the recording. And he says he just basically got the hell out of dodge. And he even passed two cop cars block away. So you know, they can ask them. So this, you know, obviously perks up the ears of Logan, who suspected just this kind of corruption. Briscoe Craig and Logan meet at a donor and they discussed the possibility of some in house cover up. And it turns out that Logan obtained a copy of new houses police service record, and it was perfectly squeaky clean until a few months ago with where he started getting random write ups for seemingly nothing. And so Logan's like maybe he was being retaliated against maybe he knew something maybe he saw something and he was going to talk and say, you know, wanting to edge him out. And Craig asks, and where he got this record from? A leprechaun? I don't know why. It's not near St. Patrick's Day during this episode, even though it is now. Yeah. Anyway, so they question they go back to the station, the 31 precinct and they question Captain O'Hara again. he resents the accusation that something was shady. And he says something really strange. He says, Is this about true and ASCE because I don't need to be told how to run my precinct. I already chewed ass Yeah,

Voiceover:

no, you wouldn't ass.

Enn Burke:

I mean, I guess I get well, I mean people say chewed out maybe the original phrase was chewing Errol's? Yikes asked, I'll look into that.

Matt Molinaro:

I'll let you I'm not searching.

Enn Burke:

I take that back. I do not feel like googling the I don't want to go through those Google results. I take it back.

Matt Molinaro:

So we get some more confrontational words between everyone and Logan is asked to leave. And before they depart, Briscoe spots on the desk at that officer new house the deceased officer. His partner has recently asked for a transfer right after his death which seems suspicious because wouldn't you want to be around your, you know, brothers in blue. So they find officer Greg McGraw, who is the scout guy who asked for a transfer he's in plainclothes on the street and And He's nice, but he's a little dodgy. So they don't really get anything out of him. But they know he's he's also on their radar now. So now they go to new houses old apartment. It's kind of unclear how they get in or whether they did this or not before. It's kind of strange that this would be happening, like so far into it and murder investigation or, or whatever kind of investigation it is. I guess it's not technically a murder investigation right now. But they see that he's got like a business card, it looks like to a bar called the wave, which Briscoe knows is a gay bar. A business card? Do you ever have business cards while carrying it around? I've

Enn Burke:

certainly never seen one.

Matt Molinaro:

Okay. So they also find a document from a organization called lambda, which offers legal aid to queer people. And now we're seeing maybe there's a possible motive they think, which I'll talk about that in a second. Yeah. So they tell craigan, who says, you know, what did you do? It seems like he's insinuating they broke into his house. And he tells them, he tells Brisco that he's worried about him losing his house and eaten macaroni for the next 20 years. And I resent that. I love macaroni.

Enn Burke:

I, I don't this is not interesting. So it's gonna make for great podcast content. I am currently eliminating things from my diet to see if it helps my like, issues. And now

Matt Molinaro:

eight or nine days now, right? Well, yes.

Enn Burke:

However, it's been eight days without gluten and it's been fine. Like I don't really care that much. But today, I fully just ordered a grilled cheese sandwich and ate it. And then Myles looks at me and goes, is there no gluten in sourdough? And I was like, totally messed that up.

Matt Molinaro:

It's okay, you can restart it. Yeah. Well, Briscoe feel similarly about carbs and says I like macaroni. But in any event, it doesn't look good. And Logan's words are. Well, who's going to risk their career by speaking up very gay cop. Okay, so in addition to his sexuality, they also have the 911 call. And I just thought, Why in the world? Well, I know why. But isn't it disgusting? That simply the fact that this guy was gay? immediately brings up a motive? Yeah, like he was gay. So of course, the they think, Okay, well, that's why he was killed. Yeah. Why do we live in a world like this? Yeah, and why? But you know, it's not not. It's not untrue to life. So we get a scene next, where Logan and Brisco show up at a bar filled with cops at the 31st precinct, because they were trying to like get information and be surreptitious about it. And I just thought to myself, the way this scene is portrayed, if we had been told that this was a biker bar, and everyone in the bar behaved exactly how they do in the scene, and they're dressed exactly the same in plainclothes. But we think that they're bikers. Well, let's say they were people of color, or queer folks, this would be spun to the audience to look like a hot tempered bunch of wild animals on this bar. Yeah, but because they're cops, it's spun as Hey, back off. They're cops. It's okay. Everyone come down. Of course, they're like this. Yeah, it's okay. I would argue it's even more not okay. Yeah. And why are they all at the bar in the middle of the day? Anyway, everyone is on the edge, and they're bothered about Brisco and Logan being there. It is very obvious why they're there. It is not like sneaky doll. Everyone is in plain clothes. And they're in suits. Right, fine and casual. It's like a dad showing up at school and saying is this teenager Hello, fellow kids. Hello, fellow kids. So everyone is very frustrated that they're there. No one wants to say anything. And Logan can't keep anything under wraps. So he lets it slide like you know that the way they feel about this precinct and what they think is going on. And it's very tense. And then we move immediately over to the order side, which is very strange way to do so. Yeah, the prosecution doesn't have much to work with. So they're going to investigate a little bit and see what they find. And stone and Craig and team up, which is an interesting to oh, we haven't seen this duel before. Yeah, we haven't. Right. And I was like, okay, so they go talk to Captain O'Hara because he's been so cooperative so far. All right. He says he didn't even know that new house was gay. And he says listen, if my officers are racist and homophobic in the privacy of their own home, I don't care as long as it doesn't affect their jobs. How? How is that possible?

Enn Burke:

I honestly How people are completely distinct separate people in their personal and private lives or personal lives and professional lives is nonsense

Matt Molinaro:

nonsense, especially when you have a career where you have to depend upon having good judgment about people. Right? Okay. So stone clearly feels the same way we do about it. And he has this look on his face. And he heads out. And he ends up talking to one of the sergeants who was who's in questioning for not showing up on time. And he says that they got there as fast as they could. And when they asked him if he knew that Newhouse was gay, he says he didn't know because he quote, didn't look like one of them. Yeah. And he said, he was taught that that kind of thing was wrong from the Bible. The they talked to the other Sergeant Sergeant Ross, and he says he also didn't know that Newhouse was gay. And when asked if he thinks that homosexuals should be cops, Ross says, I know you're under a lot of pressure. These people have clout and they help Clinton got elected. I just can't even next, they talked to Officer McGraw. Again, he is the guy they saw in plainclothes on the street. He's the one who looked for the transfer. So they mentioned to him that they think that his partner was targeted for being gay. And he nervously says he doesn't want to lose his job. But he pulls out a flyer that he just had in his jacket. Because it in anticipation, I guess, out of it, right? And he says, I don't know who wrote this, but it was on the floor of the precinct. I gotta go. And he leaves. They look at the paper, and it says, It's titled, manhood and police work. And it has a Bible verse on it. And it says, basically, that homosexuals don't belong in the police force. Yeah, they bring this to craigan, who makes a comment about baking bread? I don't really know why. And then he kind of just says, Well, you know, we don't really know who wrote this, like, we don't have a lot of information, but they wonder if anyone else would be willing to talk to them. So they check with one of the other officers who had showed up late to the scene. His name is Whitaker, they had noticed he was like a younger officer, and he might be more willing to talk. He's not as skilled at lying, his conscience kicks in. And he says that his partner, Sergeant Rhodes, and also Harley, one of the other guys on trial, or, you know, suspected that they wrote the memo. And he says, And these, these are people that they've already spoken to plus one other person who we know is the other, the fourth officer who really doesn't matter in this case, because he's never spoken to. But he's that that's who he is. Yeah. Now we had the pretrial, you know, bail hearing. And then the three men are standing there accused, it's Davis, Harley and row two, their names. They're accused of murder in the second and they plead not guilty. The judge does not care that they're allowing law enforcement as hard as his, you know, defense attorney is trying to push that and he commands them all for $200,000 in bail. On trial, the 911 tapes are played for everybody. And then officer Whitaker testifies that people were talking about new house at the station. They were talking about the fact that he was gay, and he had recently passed the sergeant's exam. And that's what had prompted to that note, because Sergeant hardly had said, we don't need any queer sergeants. And he wasn't using queer in the way that we've reclaimed it. Yeah. Sergeant Harley, we also find out stopped a block away from the scene of the crime, and said, If officer Newhouse needs help, he's a fairy. And if he's in trouble, you can flap his wings and fly away. So one piece of evidence that they couldn't get in, unfortunately, was the flyer, really, because Whitaker wasn't there when it was written. So he can't declaratively say it was written by these people he just heard it was. So this is kind of a big deal, even though I feel like there's so much other like circumstantial evidence, but they kind of need this. So back in the days office, they're deciding to have another go with McGraw. And he's the guy who brought them the note, he's reluctant to talk, Robinette reveals that they suspect the reason he might be reluctant to talk is because he's gay also. And he confirms it. And they try to sort of guilt him into coming out in court to to, you know, help the case. I'm very conflicted about this part. Yeah. Because it's like, I understand the big picture here and how it would help the community. And it's, it would probably be a good thing, hopefully. But at the same time, it's so wrong to out somebody in that way or to guilt somebody into feeling like they have to, oh, yeah, reveal their identity, especially if he works in law enforcement, and he's seen this happen into his, you know, former partner, you know, it's like right really puts it's like putting a witness in danger essentially. Anyway, he agrees and he goes on the short sort of monologue and says that they both knew that the other was closeted, but neither neither really talked about it up front. They kept up the facade even around each other because, quote, you do anything to hide even when you don't have to. Right. And honestly, I totally get that. I knew when I was in high school, and I was like, so sure I was gay. I had a friend, who I was pretty certain was gay as well. And we both would like commiserate about being teased about being gay, and why people thought that you know what I mean, but we both knew, right? Totally related to this guy in that scene. Yeah. He describes that he was essentially found out by his colleagues, and he believes he was reassigned partners specifically to new house at that point, because they wanted to keep them together. On the stand, he says that Captain O'Hare. So he goes to he agrees to testify. And on the stand, he says that Captain O'Hara was also confrontational with him about his identity. So he did know. And he also testifies that Sergeant Rhodes was making copies of the original copy of the flyer and left it for him to find. And that's when he asked for a transfer because he didn't want to die. Yeah, the defense attempts to say, this is their basic defense against this guy. You weren't harassed enough? right for us to care? Yeah, that's it. In the hallway, stone is told that, you know, another witness has been added to the defense and it's a psychiatrist who's going to, you know, try to get it in that this is justified, that everything was justified. And Dr. Stone says, Oh, I didn't know it was gonna get ugly. And it sure is, yeah. So the psychiatrists on the stand, discuss his things about the fear of homosexuals, and how it makes a man not feel like a man and what really makes a man and they're poor men being afraid, straight men being afraid of being hit on by gay men. And it makes them feel like a woman, which makes them feel weak. And that a fear of seduction makes them angry and violent. And it's common and understandable because you can't control these feelings. Yeah, and that hatred of homosexuals is merely unfortunate. I could have

Enn Burke:

choked, combust it.

Matt Molinaro:

I mean, I imploded. I totally imploded. I dissolved into the ether. And I had to like find all of my cells to get back here. Captain O'Hara then testifies and says everything is lies. Everyone is great. Don't know what you're talking about. And they both the defense and prosecution get their closing statements. And the defense says that the guys acted unconsciously. And they were just upholding societal values. And are they that much different than the juries their own? The jury deliberates, and they come back? Not guilty for all three, not surprised. And then this episode ends and stones has sown and the TAs team say that four cops let new house die. And then 12 citizens did it again. And I just thought, and that's the end of the episode. Thank God. And Wow, great, great job law and order for really just doing doing the work of featuring the queer community on your show as victims of violent crimes. Wonderful. How about I don't know, like a gay detective? Yeah. Or character.

Enn Burke:

Right? At all.

Matt Molinaro:

I literally looked into it afterwards, because I was like, has there ever been a gay character on law and order? Right, like a main character. And so BD Wong is in the show. And he has out gay man. Yeah. And his character is is queer coded. Yeah, but he doesn't come out as a gay man on the show. Until a season before he leaves and he's on for 11 seasons, I think. And then they have a and that's law and order. SVU. So not even regular law and order and law and order. SVU the last couple seasons, there was they did have a lesbian detective and she was great. She was a really good character. And actually, spoiler alert for those of you are not watching Law and Order SVU Olivia son just came out as bisexual. And he's really little. Oh, yeah, yeah, he's, um, he's in grammar school. And I have to say, it's really handled in how it should be. It's really how it should be. They're having a conversation completely unrelated to identity. Nothing in the episode is about it at all. And then just at the end real quick, she's talking about like You know, Oh, what about that kid that was bullying you at school like, you know what's going on? And he says, Oh, well, I was standing up for my friend because he was making fun of him saying that he was gay. And I said, Well, I'm bi, and you shouldn't make fun of him. It's not a big deal. And Olivia just goes, Oh, that's really great that you stood up for him. She doesn't react this. What? Oh, my God, what did you just tell me my? She's like, Oh, that's great. I'm so glad that you stood up for your friend. Yeah, it's the right thing to do. And he's like, Yeah, I had never said it before that to anybody. And I just, you know, I just wanted to say it. And she says, Thank you so much for thank you so much for telling me that. And then they move on. Yeah, beautiful. Beautiful, but regular law and order does not have a gay character on the show until they have a like a DA, I think a way later, and even then, like they just don't treat it well. So come on already. 20 Something seasons. Yeah. Anyhow.

Enn Burke:

All right. Well, great job.

Matt Molinaro:

Thank you. Sorry for my tangent.

Enn Burke:

That's okay. Are you ready to hear the true crime? Am I? Probably not. I will say the episode. This was not based on a specific crime, so I did my best to find something related. So this is the story of the murder of Jesse Valencia. Does that sound familiar to you at all? It

Matt Molinaro:

does, but I mean, Valencia is a town in an RV. It

Enn Burke:

was covered on an episode of Dateline. I tried to find, but I couldn't. I couldn't find it. But I figured I was like, Oh, it's on Dateline map. probably saw this at some point.

Matt Molinaro:

You know what? That is possible since I'm a Dateline head.

Enn Burke:

Do you think that you've seen all Dateline or is it like,

Matt Molinaro:

I think it would be almost impossible because it's been on for like, there are like 30 Something seasons or more, and each season sometimes can have like 20 Something episodes.

Enn Burke:

Okay. So Jesse Valencia was born February 22nd 1981, in a town called Perry Ville, Kentucky. There he graduated from Boyle County High School in 1999. And he went to a college called Earlham College in Indiana, before he transferred to the University of Missouri Columbia in 1992. By the way, a lot of the articles referenced Colombia, like they say, University of Michigan, Missouri, Columbia, and then just refer to it as Colombia from that point on, which I will also do just because it's easier, but I want to be clear that at no point in this story, am I talking about the country of Colombia? Okay. Okay. So, and I'm also not talking about Columbia University in New York. Okay. So, Columbia is Missouri's largest university. It has about 30,000 students. And Jesse transfer. They're initially planning to major in journalism, but decided that he wanted to go to law school after graduation. And so he switched to study history. A couple of the articles also mentioned that he studied political science, so I'm not quite sure if he was a double major or just was taking classes in those fields. Okay. So while he was there, he, you know, was just kind of your average student. He went to classes, he worked at a local hotel as a desk clerk. And by all accounts, he was a pretty good student. One of the professors was quoted as saying, quote, he was quiet in class, but he was very energetic in a one on one conversation very lively. In class, he would sit toward the back, but nine times out of 10. When I called on him, he had the answer. I know a lot of people like that. Yeah. Jesse's friends described him as eccentric, caring, sophisticated, and with, quote, a passionate approach to life that touched those he knew. And one of his friends mothers described him as the first and only Southern gentleman that I'm ever likely to see. He was a very wonderful young man, just lovely to be around. So nice. While he was at college, he would make like Patsy Cline T shirts, he sang Tori Amos to friends, I feel like you would have gotten along very well. One time on a trip to Chicago, a man asked to take his photograph. And that kind of resulted in like a temporary short lived career in modeling like he did a few things. He was in a Gucci ad in GQ magazine, but really was focused on his studies nice to have his letters while he was a student were published in the student run newspaper, which the student run newspaper is called The Man Eater, like the solid notes, and or the Nelly Furtado one Oh, Ah, and I couldn't find the history of why that was. I just thought it was an interesting title for a newspaper. Anyway. He wrote about the presidential race at the time. And in March he wrote a letter in support of marriage equality for the LGBTQ community, because Jesse Valencia was gay. And the events of this story take place in 2004 when he was a junior at Columbia. Okay. On Friday, June 4, Jessie attended a party in a campus neighborhood and was seen leaving the party and returning

home at about 3:

30am in the morning of June 5 to his apartment, which was a few blocks away from campus. The afternoon of Saturday, June 5, police received a call from University of Missouri senior Matt, I'm not sure how to pronounce this. It's FY nuc a ne Finn you Cain is my guess. And he stated that Jesse Valencia's body had been discovered a block from his apartment in kind of like a grassy area. He was wearing only a pair of boxer shorts. His body showed some bruising on his upper body, and his throat would be his throat was slashed. And an autopsy would later show that the wound was so deep that the blade had hit his spine. Jessie was 23 years old at the time of his murder

Matt Molinaro:

God.

Enn Burke:

On June 10, the Jefferson City News Tribune reported that police investigation was underway and the police had been speaking with patrons. What's kind of weird about this is the early on investigation. Like one of the early things that they did was go to a club where they knew like queer events happened and questioned the people there. I was unable to find why that was like the first connection for them to investigate. But I mean, but while they were there, they distributed photos of Jesse and asked anyone with information to come forward and to contact police. Despite the fact that Jessie was gay, and that they had investigated that as like a line of inquiry in the investigation. The Police stated that there was nothing to indicate that this was a hate crime, and they don't believe that he was attacked because of his sexual orientation. A couple of days later, police received an anonymous tip that Jesse was an acquaintance of a police officer who worked at Columbia. That police officer's name was Steven Rios. Police informed the public that officer Rios was not a suspect. Police Chief RG bone stated, quote, we have thoroughly investigated all information related to this officer's possible involvement. In this case, this officer is not a suspect in the case. A neighbor named Ryan Kepner, who lived kind of next door to Jesse's apartment, told the police that he had heard like loud bumping noises coming from Jesse's apartment early Saturday morning like around 330 or 4am, which is around the time that Jessie should have been getting home. Okay. He said while he heard those noises, he also heard Jesse repeating stop it and no for about five minutes between 330 and 4am. He stated quote, The impression I got was that he was trying to kick somebody out of his apartment that didn't want to go. After a while I held back at the wall saying yes stop it because I couldn't get to sleep. Then it was over. The noise stopped. Officer Rios was questioned by police and initially told them that he did not have any connection to Jessie. But it was discovered later that he had been sleeping with Jesse. And he later admitted to that but said I'm innocent of this murder.

Matt Molinaro:

Is is this officer like working in the same as the people investigating this working with him like they work in this out of this precinct? Yes.

Enn Burke:

So on Thursday, June 10, which is five days after Jesse's murder. Officer Rios called the police and told them that he was going to kill himself and stated that he's told them that he had a shotgun and that he intended to die by suicide. He was placed on the phone with crisis negotiators from the Kansas state police and the FBI, who were able to like talk him down and then officer Rios was taken into protective custody and transferred to a hospital for psychiatric evaluations. So They could determine if he was a threat to himself or others. Okay. The next day he escaped from the hospital. And I'm not sure if he was actually on the phone with police, like if he called them again, but he was threatening to jump from a parking garage. And that, again was tucked down. On June 12. St. Louis Post Dispatch, which is a newspaper stated that officer Rios was in protective custody and was not a suspect. He was simply a, quote, person of concern. In response to this, police chief Beaumes told bone told reporters, we never used the word cleared. I did say that he was not a suspect at that time. I'm not prepared to call him a suspect at this time. But the incident last night causes concern and causes us to reevaluate his status.

Matt Molinaro:

What is what is the difference?

Enn Burke:

Yeah, so a little just literally three points. Bullet points background on officer Rios. So he had worked for the Columbia police department for three years and he was working the late night shifts. He had a wife whose name was Libby. And he had a child named Grayson, who was it sounds like an infant around the time that all of this was happening. At the time of Jesse's murder. Rios was 28 years old, so about five years older than Jesse. So they got connected. This is kind of now going into how did they meet and what was their relationship like, on April 18 of 2004. Officer Rios had arrested Jesse Valencia, as well as another man. They had been called out to investigate a noise complaint. There was like a loud party going on. And they arrested Jesse and this other man for obstructing a government operation essentially, records claimed that Jesse interfered with the officers who were investigating and noise complaint. friends who were there at the time stated that Jesse was trying to play Peacemaker between the police and the party goers. But regardless of exactly how that went down, they ended up arresting him. And then he was released, and at 3am. The next day, Officer Rios showed up at Jesse's apartment, and told him that he wanted to talk to him about the case. And Jesse was like, assuming that he was just going to ask him some more questions. But he started showing up Jesse's apartment again and again, usually late at night. Deborah Davis, who is a mother of one of Jesse's closest friends, said that Jessie had expressed concern that officer Rios was lying to Jesse about his personal life. Because at this point, they were sleeping together. And so it was then that kind of when all of this came out, and after the second incident of him, declaring suicidal ideation, that they stated that Rios was now a suspect in the investigation, stating that they believed that what had happened was that Jesse had tried to end their relationship. Officer Rios grew angry at this, Jesse attempted to run away, but Rios caught him, choked him until he was unconscious, and then killed him. A witness would later tell police that Jessie had warned Rios that he would expose their affair if the officer didn't leave him alone. So one thing that I do want to mention is that obviously Jesse is not here to tell his story. There are indications in a few of the articles that I read that the officer may have been exerting his power in creating a opportunity for sex with Jesse. So there may not have been entirely consensual throughout or at various various times. But again, Jesse wasn't there to tell that story. So it's, it's unclear if that was whether they were like, actually kind of consensually sleeping together, or if it was coerced in some way or forced in some way.

Matt Molinaro:

Yeah. I mean, it's, it's likely I mean, if someone is coming to your house, as law enforcement writer, you're trusting you're trying on enforcement, you're hoping that everything is on the up and up and you just want to get in trouble.

Enn Burke:

One other situation that I will mention that, uh, so there's that that's a little hazy. And there's another scenario that could that kind of complicates this that is also a little hazy, which is that friends would say that Jessie was sleeping with the police officer as a way to kind of like under the belief that it would help the arrest go away. Again, that's kind of a abuse of power situation to take advantage of that to sleep with someone, but a couple of things mentioned that like he, it's really hard because again, Jesse isn't here to tell the story. But some of the articles sort of indicated that maybe he was like calling around or threatening officer Rios to expose their relationship if he if officer Rios didn't find a way to get rid of that arrest problem. Right. Right. So kind of a little bit of cloudiness there on exactly the motives behind any of this for Jesse at least right? Yeah. Rios resigned from the police force on June 16. And on July 1, Officer Rios was arrested on charges of first degree murder and armed criminal action in the murder of Jesse Valencia. He pled not guilty, but it was noted in a couple of articles that he did not cite by reason of mental defect, which is like the legal sort of classification of saying, sort of like being able to argue that you committed these actions not in a right state of mind in some way. So that was not a motivation for the defense. While he was awaiting trial, he was kept at Fulton state hospital again, because he was declaring intent to die by suicide. They were holding him under sort of psychiatric evaluation from June until January of the following year, at which point he was moved from the mental health facility to Boone County jail where he was separated from the rest of the jail population and checked in on every 15 minutes to ensure his well being Jesse's mother when this happened, stated, quote, I'm glad they did it. And I think it's about time. I told the prosecutor that I didn't understand why he was in a mental hospital. He deserved to be in jail. So Rios this trial would begin on May 16, which is almost a year after Jesse's murder. In opening statements, Prosecutor morally Swingle, which is a name that sounds like it came straight out of a Dr. Seuss book to me love it. Yeah. Or Harry Potter. Yeah. So he, by all accounts was kind of brutal in his prosecution of Officer Rios. He stated to the jurors in opening statements, quote, Jesse had been involved in a secret homosexual relationship with this defendant. Jax, Jesse had been excited at first, but reached the point where he wanted to end the relationship prosecutor Smith Swingle stated that he had more than 60 witnesses to corroborate that officer Rios and Jesse were in some kind of relationship. And he had DNA evidence from that matched Rios that was found under Jesse's fingernails as well as a couple of hairs on Jesse's body. And initial challenge to the investigation that ended up actually providing evidence for the prosecution was that officer Rios had never told Jesse his real name. This whole time. Jesse was telling, you know, friends, that he was sleeping with an officer named Ted Anderson. However, Officer Anderson's name tag had gone missing. And Rios had it in his possession and was wearing it to support this fake identity to Jesse. Wow,

Matt Molinaro:

that's really I mean, he could have just given a fake name. And he went through some real effort to actually steal an actual person. I was like, Wow, what a fake name, but it was really ricin.

Enn Burke:

Nope, he stole it from one of his co workers. The prosecutor presented evidence that the that Rios had used a chokehold on Jessie that he learned as part of his police training, which rendered Jessie unconscious before he slashed his throat. The bruising on Jesse's body was consistent with marks that would show up from this specific hold. And the fact that there were no defensive wounds on from the knife on Jesse's body indicates that he was unconscious when he was killed. Prosecutors also presented testimony from several women who stated that Rios had propositioned them for sex after he arrested them. So we're seeing a pattern of behavior here. Rios this public defender Valerie left, which I'm just going to say right now, I know she the job of any lawyer is to like fervently defend their clients or argue on behalf of their client. One of her strategies to do that was to smear Jesse's name and to paint him as this. Essentially promiscuous loudmouth is what several of the articles described her as the portrait of Jesse. Yeah. She said that, although there was ample evidence to indicate that they had been in a relationship, there was no evidence that officer Rios had killed Jesse, which, you know, the DNA evidence, it could have been from days prior. So there's nothing necessarily about that DNA evidence that indicates that it was as a result, or as part of the moments in which Jesse was murdered. So she stated the officer Rios had worked until 3am, the morning of June 5. And when he finished his shift, he had gone to have beers with a couple of other officers and had

then gone home at about 4:

45am. So that was his alibi was that he was with other officers at a party at like four in the morning drinking beers. She said that and to kind of cast doubt that officer Rios was the murderer. She pointed out that some witnesses had noticed another man who was running through the neighborhood around the same time, who appeared agitated who that person was was never clear in any of the articles that I read, however, that was, you know, a strategy to cast cysts or cast doubt that he was the murderer. How vague. Can you be adding to Rios. His defense was that there The murder weapon was never recovered. But the autopsy showed that Jesse's throat had been cut with a serrated knife. And his attorney stated that he had initially lied to investigators about his relationship with Jesse, because he didn't want his colleagues or wife to know about the affair, and that his suicide attempts were because their affair had been revealed, right? Not because Jesse had been murdered or he had murdered Jesse. He was portraying his actions of around this time as because their affair had been exposed. On the stand, Rio stated that he visited Valencia's apartment Jesse, Jesse Valencia six times, including three times while he was on duty. So he went to Jesse's apartment to have sex with him, while while he was working on the job. He also, again, I think this was testimony meant to again smear Jesse's name and portray him as this promiscuous loudmouth. He stated that he and Jesse had engaged in sex without a condom. And he said that at another time, both of them had had sex with another man. This man's name was Andy Shermer horn and he testified that he was in bed with Jesse, and they were both asleep. It was really late at night, and somebody had knocked on the door and Jesse opened it. And he says that a uniformed officer came in and kind of like one thing led to another and the three of them had sex. And he says that the police officer left stating quote, you don't talk about this. You don't tell anyone. Officer Rios his wife, Libby took the stand in his defense stating that Rios had told her about the affair on June 9, and that they were attending counseling together. She said that Rios had returned at about 5:20am The morning of June 5, and that she had been awake at the time preparing a bottle for their son, and that all three of them went to bed at about 6am Both she and Rios stated that he never had carried a knife similar to the one used to kill Jesse Valencia. However, four police officers stated that they had seen him wearing and handling with or handling a knife matching that description. In closing arguments prefer prosecutor Swingle stated he used his badge for sex and then he used his knife to forever close the mouth of his secret lover. At trial, it was also revealed that there was a 45 minute period in which officers Rios whereabouts could not be determined, and it was during the same window of time that Jesse Valencia was murdered. On Friday, May 20. The jury began to elaborate deliberation deliberations shortly after 2pm which continued until 930 at night before they broke for the night and resumed the next day. After a few more hours of deliberation on May 21 The jury He returned with a verdict of guilty of first degree murder and armed criminal action. Rios wept openly in the court when he received the sentence, as did his wife Libby, who called out I love you. And he whispered, I love you to her as he was escorted from the courtroom. Formal sentencing was set for July 5, where Rios faced a mandatory sentence of life without parole. And jury, the jury recommended a 10 year additional term for the armed criminal action. In July of 2005. He was sentenced to life in prison and 23 years for the armed criminal action to be served consecutively. So one after the other. However, this was overturned in 2007, because it was determined that two of the jurors had spoken with each other in the bathroom during deliberations. And so that was enough to get the conviction overturned and a new trial. So at this second trial, he was convicted of second degree murder, and he is now eligible for parole in 2049.

Matt Molinaro:

Wow. Okay. How old? Me? Um,

Enn Burke:

that's a great question. So he was 28 in 2000. Let me undo some of the five

Matt Molinaro:

for sure. Let's go with that. Is being as happy as it sounds like

Enn Burke:

Yeah, yeah. Okay. at sentencing Jesse's mother, Linda stated, quote, we have lost one of the most wonderful compassionate people in the world. She said, quote, my whole family has suffered being without Jessie is the most devastating part. We're never going to get him back. Libby Rios this family would issue a statement expressing RIA that they believed that Rios was innocent of Jessie's murder, and that they believed a the conviction would eventually be overturned. The St. Louis dispatch published an article which stated quote, for friends of Valencia, who said he never wanted to grow up his early death seemed heartbreakingly ironic. Emily Davis 20 remembers Valencia's 21st birthday party. What most of the celebrants did not know she said was that he was really 22. Quote, she said quote he did he just didn't want to get old sheets. His survivors included his parents, Linda Bell, Valencia of Perivale, Kentucky, and Lupe Valencia of Springfield, Kentucky, and his two sisters Maria and Rachel Valencia of Perry Ville. And that is the story of the murder of Jesse Valencia. Wow. So awful. It was this was a challenging case research, I will say you can imagine. Obviously, there are many horrible things involved in this, I think it's important to note that homophobia is deeply connected with toxic masculinity. There are many stories that are similar to this not involving a police officer where men are so concerned about being perceived as not masculine, that they will kill somebody to protect that. So it's really important that people understand just how dangerous masculinity is and the ways that it has to be maintained. And sort of the perceptions of risk. If anyone is perceived as not masculine, who is identifying as a man.

Matt Molinaro:

Right? And that risk is is all over. It's not just from you know, the boogey man, it's from your family. It's troubling. The churches, you go to the schools, you go to, right the the people in your life that are supposed to be protecting you the outcomes from them too.

Enn Burke:

And, of course, also deeply connected with domestic violence, interpersonal violence, and studies actually show that men are the reason men die younger than women, is because men are statistically less likely to seek out both mental health and physical health resources, they're less likely to go to the doctor, even when they recognize signs of a significant illness. Men are less likely to go to the doctor about it. Again, kind of connecting back to men being having to be strong and independent and push through things and all that kind of stuff. Not talk about your feelings, not show emotion are all things that contributed to this case. Yeah, sorry. I'm getting emotional.

Matt Molinaro:

No, I understand. I totally understand because I see a lot of Some memes and like, propaganda, or whatever you want to call it, about how focused our culture is on gender and, and the gender binary and like understanding and like deconstructing this type of type of mindset, a lot of it are surrounds like, Oh, look at look at what's, why is this so important? What is this really effect? What is the big deal. And in addition to the fact that it affects human beings lives and the way they go through life, and how they interact with each other, and how others treat them, and how we then how they then can treat others and themselves and all of the things that are just obvious that shouldn't even need to be said exactly what you're saying. Like, it all builds into these sort of constructs that suppress that keep vulnerability, yeah, suppress vulnerability, suppress, like feeling. And you can't do that, like, you have to the idea that you can't have emotions. Because having, it's always like a mutually, like, two things mutually excuse exclusive, you're either emotional, or you're logical. And it's like, that's not how it works. Like we are dynamic creatures, we are one of the things that separates us from animals, or whatever people say is this, like, ability to feel emotion. And, you know, feelings aren't just about, they're called feelings, because they manifest in different ways. Like they, you feel them. And, you know, people get sick over these things, people die over these things, they develop the illnesses over these things. And then again, it becomes systemic, and all of these other places. And me and David talked about this a lot about culture and how that plays into it as well, because Devi has a very Latin X background, I have a very Italian background. And culturally, there's this idea of this, like machismo or machonis, that a man has to have, and it's really tragic. And I just recently was told this by somebody I worked with, briefly, he's Latinx. And he has a family that's very much that has that that mindset, you know, a macho guy, and they don't feel things and raise your boys to be boys and your girls like girls and all this stuff. And he just was telling me about how he sees his own children treating people differently than, than he would have grown up growing up. And he has a lot of gay friends now. But growing up, he, you know, maybe wasn't so kind to his his friends that were more effeminate, or, or queer. And now it's different. And when he hears his son come home and talk about, you know, his friends that are, you know, gay or straight or whatever, and it's not an issue for him. He's really proud. But he has a lot of people in his family that still feel that way. And they'll they'll criticize him for how He's raising his son, and say, like, oh, no, no, what are you doing, like letting him play with these kids and do these things. And he told me that he had an uncle, who he's unaware of what his uncle's identity was, while he knows for sure is that his uncle did drag. And his uncle was clear. And she was killed. His uncle was killed, gone on, after a date with with a guy. And the, the messaging that he got, and that his family got were was that the reason his uncle was killed? was because the guy he was with didn't know that he was assigned male at birth. Yes, yes. It just broke my I mean, it broke my heart for a million reasons. But even in his wisdom, and all of this, the messaging still comes to him, almost like it was his uncle's fault. Yeah, like he was tricking somebody or something. Right. And I had totally, I just told him like, I panic, right. And I just told him, just so you know, that is not a thing. Like, even if your uncle was trans, or if your uncle was, you know, gender nonconforming, and all of that, that's not your uncle's fault, right. And just because someone had second thoughts about it afterwards, or felt something about themselves that they couldn't handle. That's what it is. It's that person's thing. And this is the kind of attitude that infects the mind of individuals. And it's not just it's a it's a, it's a community thing. It's like, I don't know what the word for I'm looking for is, but it's not just an individual thing. It becomes like a societal norm almost. Oh, totally. It's it's so tragic to hear stories like this, but I mean, they don't get told enough.

Enn Burke:

Yeah, I actually I had not heard of Jesse Valencia's case. Before researching it. It's right around the same. Right around a couple of years after Matthew Shepard's murder, which I I am very familiar with because I feel like that one got a lot of attention. Yeah. Got

Matt Molinaro:

a great job. And I appreciate you picking a case that was closely related. And even though it was challenging maybe to, to research, I think you did a great job. And I think it's really important. Thank you. Yeah. Well, what do you what do you think about the episode?

Enn Burke:

Oh my god. Can? Is there anything lower than an app? Thanks. Can we give it can we give it a you want an X or a Z or something?

Matt Molinaro:

Let's give it. Let's give it I was gonna say, Gee, that sounds good. Yeah, let's give it a Z.

Enn Burke:

Isn't it funny? Actually, when you're a little kid, your grades are like SS. And, and? No, I wonder why that changes anyway. Yeah, so yeah, lower than an F? Yeah.

Matt Molinaro:

I'm gonna give it give it an F. And the only reason I won't give a lower than an F is because I appreciated stones. Stance. Okay, that's it.

Enn Burke:

Yeah. And how it dealt with the topics also F.

Matt Molinaro:

I'm gonna give it a, I'm gonna give it an F as well. I mean, okay. The only thing I appreciated about it is the the reality of it. And that, yeah, they didn't get I knew they weren't gonna get guilty. I knew they were gonna get guilty. And I had a feeling. I don't think it would have happened in real life. If this was a present of the exactly the same way to a jury without all the backstory that we saw. I don't think they would have gotten guilty either, unfortunately. Yeah. So there's that. By the way, did you all know, I bet you did that our podcast is free. We have new episodes every week. So you should subscribe and it costs nothing to write a review and it really helps us out.

Enn Burke:

Yeah, and tell a friend who you think might be interested because word of mouth is really big.

Matt Molinaro:

Our social media is ripped headlines on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and our email is ripped headlines. pod@gmail.com We love getting email from you. So feel free to send us a note. Let us know what you thought about the episode if you have any details, or just say hello,

Enn Burke:

you know. If you'd like to find out more about us find information about our show at newsletters, merch and about our Patreon. Check out our website ripped headlines pod.com.

Matt Molinaro:

Also a percentage of our Patreon proceeds get donated to the Equal Justice Initiative. So just by supporting us, you're also supporting positive change in the world. And

Enn Burke:

if you want you can buy us a coffee. Buy me a coffee.com/nmap

Matt Molinaro:

Thank you so much for listening to rip from the headlines where you get the facts and some fiction.

Enn Burke:

We'll see you next week and until then, stay out of the headlines.