relief pitcher John
this week for his
gays, just days
after Major League
him to undergo
Gore Vidal talks
about being a
who not only
defined what it
is to be gay but
to escape the
that definition— ■ ^m /
gloriously. 1 ' /
ALL THE NEWS FOR YOUR LIFE. AND YOUR STYLE.
Texas City killings go unsolved
Three dozen people took part in a vigil last year (or two gay
Texas City men slain in a double homicide, including Betty Parker
(background), the mother of one of the victims.
Kevin Tryals (left) and Laaron Morris were shot and found dead
along with Morris' burned Ford Mustang on Jan. 17, 1999. The
killings of the two gay men remain unsolved.
• '■' t—f r T T
A year after two gay men were
slain, police have exhausted their
leads, as family and friends prepare
for a vigil to remember the victims
by MATTHEW A. HENNIE
Betty Parker will once again stand on the front lawn of her
Texas City home Monday, light a candle and search for the closure that has eluded her for a year.
The day—Jan. 17—marks the one-year anniversary ol the
brutal double homicide that claimed the lite of her son, Laaron
"Larry" Morris, and his friend Kevin Tryals.
The two gay men were shot and burned to death in the city's
firs! double slaying in more than 25 years.
And in the year since the two men were discovered in a burning Ford Mustang on a dead-end road, the crime has continued
to stump police investigators, who have exhausted the few
leads they had, and made no arrests.
"You get agitated and frustrated because you have nobody to
take to trial for two murders," Parker said this week. "The onlv
thing we can do is keep praying."
Friends and family will join Parker on Monday to plant two
trees tn memory of the slain men, and hold a final vigil to commemorate the anniversary- of the killings.
While the event may help Parker and others to cope with the
unsolved crime, Parker said she will not soon forget what happened to her son.
"For me, it is not a closure on the case al alt. That tree planting will keep his memory alive. Maybe I can sit down and kxik
at the tree and it flourishing and go out and remember the good
Morns and Tryals stayed out into the early morning hours ol
Jan. 17,1999, stopping in at a local bar, visiting nearby (lalveston
,uk\ spending time behind the wheel of Morns' Ford Mustang,
purchased a day earlier.
They left a club in the 6100 block of FM 1765 about 2:30 a.m.
Then bodies were found about tour hours later as police responded to a report ot heavy smoke near Bayou Campbell Road.
Sometime after 2:30 a.m., the two friends wen- shot several
times and killed, and put in or near Morris' car, which was set
ablaze on a dead-end road off Loop 197 South, just a few miles
from Parker's home in Texas City.
Morris was so badly burned that family members identified
him through jewelry and his auto.
After the slayings, Texas Citv police spent hours in two
Galveston gay bars that Morns and nvaIs visited, logging interviews with people who knew the two men. They gathered
mounds of forensic evidence from the crime scene.
Bui in the days after the killings, and in the months since the
crime, authontiL^couldnf uneartli sus[.xvts or de\'elop strong leads.
Because the two men were found with their jewelry, robbery
may not be a motive, police have said. And police say none of the
evidence in the case supports a hate-related motivation.
> Continued on Page 14
Baton Rouge High School student Martin Pfeiffer's transformation from closet case to activist now includes a push
to start a gay student group at his high school.
Baton Rouge youth
leads fight for Gay-
Martin Pfeiffer left school
officials scratching their heads
when he asked to start a
student-led Gay-Straight Alliance
BATON ROUGE—Make no mistake about it. Martin
"Marty" Pfeiffer is one self-assured guy who's it
ahead of most youngsters his age—which happens to be
In many respects, he's not unlike other high school
seniors: his bleached-blond hair is closely cropped; he
wears an earring in each eariobe; his baggy Cargo slacks
are topped by an over-sized sweater. Slung over his
shoulders is the over-packed backpack that has become
an extension of every student's wardrobe.
Despite the similarities, Pfeiffer is notably different.
The tall, lanky high schcxil senior is remarkably articulate, politically astute, and hell-bent on changing the
And he's gay.
> Continued on Page 12