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Three Decades After Gay Murder Spree, Killer Dies in Prison

by Kilian Melloy
Wednesday Jun 13, 2018

Arnold V. Mulholland, the confessed killer of three gay men in a series of stabbing attacks in 1989, has died in prison, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Mulholland, 50, was serving three consecutive life sentences.

Mulholland was "found unresponsive in his cell" on June 8, the Philadelphia Inquirer article said. No cause of death has been released.

The victims were all killed in June of 1989 after bringing Mulholland home, the article said. According to the report, Mulholland was working as a prostitute at the time; the Philadelphia Gay News recalled in a special article looking back over decades of gay news headlines that Mulholland declared gays to be "sick," even though he was reportedly having sex with men for money.

Mulholland's murder spree took place during a larger trend of anti-gay violence in the Philadelphia area that claimed the lives of at least five more gay men, the Philadelphia Gay News recalled.

NewNowNext reported that the killings prompted a "Save Our Streets" demonstration in which 250 people protested the outbreak of homophobic violence.

Mulholland was arrested after a fourth man jumped from a window to avoid being killed, the Inquirer reported. He then pled guilty to the three stabbing deaths in order to avoid the death penalty. Several years later he told the Inquirer that he "regretted" the crimes.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


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