Monday, July 27, 2020

Metro Con and How you Can Grow Beyond your Founder

Opening Ceremonies 2019
This weekend would had been Metro Con last year, but Metro Con this year would had been held on the 11th to the 14th of July but due COVID-19 the event got cancelled and even if it was a low punch, we understand the circumstances and there is always one in the future that I can always go.

Metro Con for me is my first convention ever, I went to the conventions when I was 32 years old, I went because a former friend who knew I followed certain Youtuber, so she asked me to go with her and I said OK, I was mesmerized by the convention as it was my first event ever but that's a story for another day.

Aggretsuko Cosplayers
I find the story of Metro Con fascinating because there are plenty of activities, great cosplayers, the vendor's hall is a little bit small and the merchandise is not that varied but still you can find cute things and there is not a big artist alley but the soul of the convention are the cosplayers. A lot of the people that go are super creative with their cosplays, and is just fascinating to take photos but also to see what the cosplayers will do every year.

Continuing with the convention cases, this example goes with the San Japan case I exposed not long ago in which the founder got involved in a problem because he got exposed saying racist commentaries about guests followed by an empty excuse on Facebook in which he said he only followed whatever the attendees want.

The aspect on this case is what Metro Con did to linger out of the founder's image after he got arrested for statutory rape on 2009, which several reports indicated that over the years he was in to predatory practices before being arrested and subjected to register as such.

Looking at old articles, one from Anime News Network when the problem happened, the current CEO and Owner Alex Craddock "Roy Harms is our CEO, and a very close friend of mine. I trust him with my life, my dreams, and my 4-year-old child, and so would anyone else that has ever met the man." He continues,

"An arrest does not mean a conviction to or admittance of the crime being charged. In this particular situation there is one thing required for an arrest to be made, and that is a claim."

A problem with that statement, is that people seems to had forgotten about it, but even so Alex kept part of the promise that he made in the public statement 11 years ago and made the event family friendly over the years, and there hasn't been any sights of Roy inside Metro Con but that doesn't mean he still active.

Another problem and Alex statement is that Roy was convicted but not incarcerated, a quick search on the Florida Database he is still there, he got registered and he still subject to visitations from the county, but the problem is that even with visitation Roy was still present outside of Metro Con, such as 2017 in Holiday Matsuri and Omni Expo around 2016, even his Linkdn profile marks him as active on public events as a Trade Show Consultant which is somewhat hypocritical that he has still somewhat of a controlled access to a computer but there is no way to find if he is active on social media, but even a small search around Twiiter pop results about his doings being a sexual predator.

Now, what really happened that people essentially forgot about this scandal? The answer is no, people who are familiar with the development of Metro Con and have been going through the years they still speak about this incident, and people who are newer but get well positioned within the convention scene they also know it, I learned from a friend who has been going there from 12 years and it chilled my spine because is somewhat of an open secret.

But, the operations and how the event is promoted has essentially distanced from the era of Roy Harms, which from the information I had found under the tutelage of Alex has been positive and more fan oriented events had been placed inside the convention, but also they had brought people that are meaningful and varied within the guest spectrum over the years up to the point that as time pass by, there is not too much mentioning of Roy Harms at all that he was ever the person who founded Metro Con.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

A Short Letter to Someone I Admired

Hello Person I Admired;

I rewrote the original one at least 5 times, I ended up placing on my drafts again, I decided to go for a new shorter one. I wish you the best, I am not angry at you or any others, I do not harbor any hard feelings except for disappointment because my pleas were ignored to the people who made my online time a living hell, I know your brother wants to talk to me, but my heart after two years of other people being toxic to me it really gave me a sour taste and I honestly don't know if I can talk to him on any time soon or anyone else for now, I had enough bullying from too many people and abuse that I can't simply to listen yet, to listen to a speech someone close to you also gave me "but we can be friends, all of us, this is the place for the ones who are out", my heart is broken but if you reads this, I am OK, just OK and nothing else.

No, we all can't be friends, there are plenty of people who hate me for who I am and they let me know I am a worthless as a piece of shit daily.

I already unsub you, cancelled my Patreon (it was a dollar at the end but it was something), placed all the merch I got in the closet so is far away from me, requested friends in common to unfriend me and I explained the reasons, same I essentially unsub from everything related to you within friends and family content, is been 72 hours and I haven't received any message which has been the longest some of the anonymous accounts had been sending me, I already deleted them because honestly there is no more pain I can take from the one I been getting in person by racist and homophobic individuals as well the one I had to endure online for the last 2 years.

They won, whoever is behind, whoever are behind those accounts that harassed me and other people, they won; I am gone. It was a good 11+ years, but as any fandom I guess it was my time to say farewell.

I am still going to Metro on 2021, but I am not going to be near your events or near you, you won't even know I am there, same with my panels, my co-host already agree she will speak for me if they get approved and I will be wearing masks, and any dialogue from my side will be pre-recorded. Also I deleted your number out of respect of privacy and I hope you have deleted everything from my side, I was a lucky fan who lasted a long time and probably a pen pal.

I rewrote this letter at least seven times in the last five days, I hold no hard feelings as I said before, just myself being human, I know you won't read this letter because I am just a number of the 1.3 million people who follow you, I said goodbye on one of your videos as I knew you weren't going to reply on any other way or reply at all, but I wanted to make it more honestly that's why I wrote here.

You are wondering why I didn't saved any screen caps or conversation, or accounts? Because at the end is not worth especially when some people were toxic on plain sight. I am not going to write anything else, I am happy that I was able to say farewell more properly to people I was friends with opposite when I left Colombia.

To your brother, he is a gentle soul, and seems to be a decent person, same as your mother.

I know you won't read this, but I wish you the best Person I Admired, I hope your original album does well, as well the adoption process, I hope there is peace and that there is always love and Metal forever. I am not writing anything else, they won and I am happy as I said before to be able to say farewell. I hope one day our paths cross in a better light.

2 Corinthians 13:11, Farewell

Thursday, July 2, 2020

The Murder of Norman Fry

Norman Fry circa 1977
Lately, I been regaining a lot of energy to write again, cold cases were my favorites whenever I was working as one in Colombia on the short time I did it after and during college, what sparked my interest was the murder of Rolando Perez (Link is in Spanish but there is always the option of Google Translate) because the case between Rolando and Norman have some similarities, there is a discrepancy in the police report and there is a possibility the investigation didn't went further because of homophobia on the Gainesville Police Department back in 1978 which is similar what happened to Rolando on 2007 when he got murder in Cartagena - Colombia.

The only two reports of the case (as of 7/2/2020 I am going to try to get a copy of the file, if is still available) are a small synopsis of his case on Cold Cases Copy and a copy on The Independent Florida Alligator, which on two websites I took the liberty of getting a copy of each in case they will get deleted by a random act of destiny.

To start we are going to go with the short police copy that is on the cold cases website:

Norman Fry

On Tuesday, November 14, 1978 at 9:00 am the body of Norman Fry, a 38 year old white male, was found at his residence of 3444 NW 10 Ave. by his 4 year old son. The victim was known to be homosexual and unemployed at the time. He had recently been employed at UF. The victim’s vehicle, a 1973 yellow Pinto was taken at the time of the murder as well as a foreign stamp collection, a pocket knife and an ace bandage. The vehicle was located a month later near 1300 SW 16 Ave. The son indicated that they picked up a hitchhiker or two, one of which had blond hair, and brought him to their home. He said he saw the hitchhiker going through his father’s clothing at home and he took his grandfather’s pocket knife. The victim had last been seen by the babysitter that evening when he picked up his son.
The problematic part of the police report and this is the reason I believe the case was left cold because police didn't see it as worth due his orientation, it involves that the agents coached the wife of Matt Fry, Bess Fry to not say murder on any declaration which itself that should be an opening to reopen the case because of discrimination and lack of handling on the victim.

Re-tracing the steps of Norman, is a little bit problematic after 42 years; the only information that is placed with a match is that he worked on University of Florida but he seems he got fired on a few weeks prior his murder, the problem goes that the cause of murder don't coincide - the Assistant State Attorney of that time Billy Malphurs, - couldn't specify the real cause of death, as he contradicts his testimony if it was an external injury versus internal trauma - police report also contradict everything on the piece of information versus the external investigation, the son of Norman mentioned they were two hitchhikers while in the report says it was maybe only one (I hope I can have access to this public records of his examiner and information on the murder scene, even if 41 years ago it was denied to the two journalist who were investigating)

Now another part of the contradiction involves on what really happened that night of November 14th of 1978, we have to organize the story as there are two perspectives on this story one is that Norman was murder when he was cruising for escorts which is the version the police gave, now the second perspective is based on Norman's son Matt, which was roughly four and mention the description of the individuals.

On the two versions the only aspect of the report that is equal are the items that were stolen, which with the few pieces of information we can assume the killers were in Norman's house before and knew what they wanted, I highly doubt they were hustlers because if Norman was living a double life he wouldn't take them to his house, and he wouldn't risk his reputation even if there is some sort of liberal mindset in Gainesville, he wouldn't be as reckless knowing there are plenty of hotels even when the city was developing back in the 1970's.

Instead the two perpetrators probably were Norman's students, as they knew what they were looking, probably they were tutor by him and let them come to his house as a symbol of good faith, they knew where he kept his key, they neighbors trusted them and they didn't suspect anything strange, and they knew where he kept his possessions as well his son trust them

I suspect the ordinarily public report has the identity of the murders, because they had to be familiar with the area and they didn't went to far which I firmly believe where some of his students or former students that were looking for a tutor. Part of my questioning on this murder if is University of Florida still has some of the records from 41 years ago that could say and make public why he got fired from his position? Any list of students that fit with the characteristics Norman's son gave in case the police doesn't want to release the records.

Why I am saying this? Because if it was someone else, people who were more familiar with the city or at least knew how to drive, they would had planned their strike carefully and not in such a reckless behavior, part of my hypotethis is also funadmente that the murderers had ties with wealthy family in the North Florida area and their parents pay for the police silence but also to avoid the records being released, and if money was a factor that would explain why the coroner didn't say anything on any interview towards Norman's topic.

The other part that I believe is a cover but also part to discriminate against him, is to mention that he was gay and that he was looking for sex outside; I know the historical setting and that Stonewall was relative recently within the last decade but the story that is given in the cold cases section and the few prints of newspapers doesn't match and I think his killers could be still alive.