Throughout the Western Pennsylvania area a phantom has stalked the outer city boroughs for young men.  The men, who continue to be ignored by the press, are typically seen drunk on camera, then recovered from a river some time later. While the cause of death has still, as of March 14th, not been reported for Dakota James, Paul Kochu’s was reported as drowning. No new information has come to light, but a startling connecting line has been drawn, or rather, downloaded: Grindr. 

Dakota James river

Grindr is an app that is used by gay men to find other men and gears more towards the digital hookup culture. Serial killers across the country, such as notorious Stephen Port, sickeningly perverted the digital age to find people to lure into their web. The advent of internet technologies is nothing new, having started with John Edward Robinson who would coax women into his life through chat rooms.

Dakota south side

The anonymity inherently present in cyber space should bring heightened alert to Pittsburgh men who regularly use the app. This is unfortunately yet another area brushed aside by the local police, who seem to be willing to do anything to eradicate these atrocities from the headlines. It is important that the possible modus operandi of the Pittsburgh Predator, which may include using the Grindr app to meet gay young men, not be confused with whatever signature is driving him to his dastardly deeds. This very well may include non-gay men into a compromising position for attack, which would coincide with the bodies of other men found, such as Andre Gray. All we know for sure is that these bizarre drownings must continue to receive your attention in order to bring about the full investigation they deserve. Gay men, which have statistically not received the respect they deserve from law enforcement, must remember that history has proved with a variety of other serial murders such as John Wayne Gacy, to Jeffery Dahmer, to more recent local cases such as “Crazy Tony”, the murders of homosexuals and disappearances are far less likely to be investigated or reported on with care. 

-National Crime Beat News Exclusive (Editor’s notes)