Thursday, September 13, 2007

Rumor Control: Debunked

Ralph Gonzales’ Orlando home

A few words on the latest conspiracy theory about the Kocis case: you know, the one that gained initial steam with a post last month on Crimeblog? It was an entry that was then updated and purported to kinda-sorta, maybe-almost, halfway-perhaps link the recent double-murder/suicide at GOP strategist Ralph Gonzales’ Orlando home (seen above) to Harlow Cuadra, Joe Kerekes and the murder of Bryan Kocis.

We never expected the thing to last more than a couple of days. I mean, even the blogger who runs the Crimeblog site called the ruminations “highly speculative,” warning readers to “[t]ake much of [it].... with a grain of salt, and... consider some of the sources I’ve cited with a healthy dose of skepticism.”

But, to the abject dismay of all of us who knew better, it became the story that would not die.

The gay-politico blogs picked it up. It went from 'lifestyler' blogs like Towelroad to eensy, wee local Florida blogs, and finally to national sites like Americablog. Also, here, here, here, here, and elsewhere.

Nothing was proven; precious little new information was added as it passed from hand to hand. Nevertheless, The Little Lie That Could (But Shouldn't) forged ever onward.

What to think of such goings-on?

Ralph Gonzales

In our opinion, the evidence for a connection between the Kocis case and the Gonzales (seen above) murders is all but nonexistent. Harlow and Joe lived in Virginia Beach for the entire time that this bogus story puts them in the Orlando area. The places, people and events vital to the veracity of this deadly connection just don't mesh.

Worse, those of you who follow the Kocis case know where the wild story came from: it originally fell into Crimeblog’s lap via comments from a fabricated Internet character, ‘Zenoble.’

Given sourcing like that and its outlandish claims, the story sure reads like nothing more than the newest adjunct to the ever-present and ongoing conspiracy ravings that perpetually surround the death of Bryan Kocis.

Juicy as it would be to hook vile, gay Republican demons to the Kocis case (such a temptation!), alas, it just ain’t so.

But whether true, false or inconclusive, the story is most of all beside the point. Were every one of its obvious confabulations proven beyond a scintilla of doubt, it’s hard to see any effect they would have on the outcome of Cuadra’s and Kerekes’ trial.

Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes

That being so, we fully expect this entry to be both the first and the last discussion of the Florida fable’s merits to be found on this blog. One can only hope these tawdry falsehoods can die a natural death... the kind of demise that comes from readers’ realizations that they’ve been had.

And let’s hope those realizations come soon.

-Both PC and KM contributed to this story.