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Gay activist murdered in NOLA

The post-Katrina crime wave in New Orleans has been in the news intermittently, but the toll it is taking on those who live there is demoralizing. The latest murder of a prominent local figure to hit the local airwaves is that of Robin Malta, a gay community organizer. (WWLTV)

Forty-three-year-old hairdresser Robin Malta was found beaten to death inside of his home. Police picked up 36-year-old Shawn Curry, an ex-roommate of Malta’s for questioning. They stress that Curry is not a suspect, but they hope he can shed some light on the killing.

He was remembered as a gregarious personality who had been organizing community meetings and serving as a neighborhood watchdog against crime.

Malta had served as the grand marshall at Southern Decadence, the massive gay-pride festival that is hosted in New Orleans each year. “He loved everyone,” said Malta’s sister, Monica Thurmond. “He didn?t have an enemy anywhere.”

Friends said the fact that Malta was so well liked makes it hard to understand who could commit such a crime. Malta was killed and his car was stolen, burned and dumped in a Central City neighborhood, where it was found several hours after his body was discovered.

… His killing, and that of filmmaker Helen Hill in January, have shed light on the city’s post-Katrina crime problem in a neighborhood that wasn’t known for having such problems.

Hat tip to Scout Prime, who said “There is nothing to indicate this is a hate crime. But it is another example of just how out of hand NOLA crime has become. I have a friend who knew the man and said he was just a great guy. He owned a salon in the Quarter and post Katrina cut hair for the National Guard troops.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding