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TW: This article contains graphic details about sexual abuse perpetrated by Ed Buck.
On Thursday, prosecutors finally secured a semblance of justice for families of murder victims as billionaire Ed Buck was sentenced to 30 years for supplying and injecting gay, Black men with methamphetamine before sexually abusing and killing them.
In July 2021, Buck, 67, was found guilty on nine federal charges in connection with the fatal overdoses of vulnerable and gay, Black men at his West Hollywood apartment. Last year’s conviction came after he was arrested in 2019. Yet, for years before that, families of Buck’s victims have pleaded unsuccessfully for him to be prosecuted.
“Buck used his money and privilege to exploit the wealth and power imbalances between himself and his victims, who were unhoused, destitute, and/or struggling with addiction,” said Chelsea Norell, an assistant US attorney, in a court filing, the Guardian reported.
“He spent thousands of dollars on drugs and party and play sessions that destroyed lives and bred insidious addictions.”
Democratic donor Ed Buck left a trail of trauma
At age 65, Buck was arrested in 2019 in connection with the death of 26-year-old Gemmel Moore, who died from an overdose in Buck’s home back in 2017.
“Four years ago, I got the worst news that I ever could’ve imagined. But today, four years later, I got the best news that I ever could’ve imagined,” Moore’s mother, LaTisha Nixon, told KTLA5 last year following the guilty verdict.
“This is what we wanted from the beginning. He can’t hurt anybody else. That’s all we wanted,” Nixon added.
While prosecutors used the deaths of Gemmel Moore, 26, Timothy Dean, 55, and a third victim to finally indict Ed Buck, investigators say he abused as many as 10 or more victims in his effort to fulfill his fetish for injecting gay men with methamphetamine, who then become unconscious or unable to move while Buck sexually tortured them.
Authorities’ late response draws parallels to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer
One victim detailed an account of being drugged on Buck’s couch, waking up with anal bleeding, and finding out at a hospital that he’d been injected with a “tar-like substance,” according to a 2019 report from the Guardian.
Another victim explained how Buck shot him with a tranquilizer and chased him with a power saw when he tried to escape.
Billionaire Buck’s depravity draws parallels to infamous serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer. Unlike Buck, Dahmer wasn’t affluent. Yet, he also targeted predominantly low-income gay Black men by enticing them with sex before attacking, killing and later eating parts of his victims.
Similar to Buck, police and prosecutors didn’t take accusations against Dahmer seriously when one victim escaped and alerted an officer. That officer refused to look into the situation, citing a “lover’s quarrel.” Yet, Dahmer was eventually convicted for killing 15 people.
For their part, Black LGBT activists in California have been pushing for years for Ed Buck to face charges, but then-LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey refused to investigate the wealthy and well-connected predator until a third victim surfaced.
“He has been allowed to do all of these things all of this time,” said Moore family civil rights lawyer Nana Gyamfi in 2019.