Murder-Suicide Claims Prominent GOP Strategist; Gaydars Going Wild

The Gonzalez crime scene

Ralph Gonzalez, a former executive director of the Georgia GOP while Ralph Reed was its chair, was found shot to death yesterday with two other men in a home he with shared with one of them in Orlando.

Gonzalez was among the three people found inside the home, and their bodies may have been inside since Tuesday, authorities said.

“The third person was the shooter. He shot my son first and then shot David and then killed himself,” Eva Gonzalez said.

A prominent Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives

The home where the deaths occurred was also listed as the headquarters of the Strategum Group, a Republican consulting firm whose clients include Jack Abramoff-linked U.S. Rep. Tom Feeney (R-Fla.).

The other victims were identified as David Abrami and Robert Drake. Gonzalez lived in the home with Abrami, and Drake was a former roommate who was visiting from out of town.

“(It was) horrible. I can’t believe he lied in there, and the more I see all that blood, it was sickening. Why would anybody want to shoot my boy?” Eva Gonzalez said.

The police have an answer for that, Mrs. G. but you might not like it.

A prominent Republican Party consultant is one of three men found dead in a Central Florida home Thursday in an apparent double murder-suicide possibly sparked by a lovers’ quarrel, according to detectives…

“We are working it as a homicide, but there is some early evidence to suggest that this may in fact be a murder-suicide,” Orange County sheriff’s Sgt. Allen Lee said.

An attack ad from the Strategum Group’s portfolio

Reed himself, the former head of the
Christian Coalition, also flies under
the gaydar in Republican
conservative circles. If he’s not gay,
he fooled me.

Our sympathy goes out to
family members of the three men,
along with our hope that you will have answers soon and that you will make your peace with whatever they turn out to be.


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  • peg
    August 24, 2007 - 7:23 pm | Permalink

    This is the second person murdered that I’ve heard about in association with Rep. Feeney.

    BradBlog had a story some months ago about an investigative reporter looking into allegations that Feeney paid a computer expert to engineer software that could “steal” an election.

    If I remember correctly, the guy died by ‘suicide’ found in a tub at a hotel with slashed wrists while he was on trail of the story.

    I’ll copy this story to BradBlog to see if I’m remembering this correctly.

  • sharpinchitown
    August 25, 2007 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Peg, you are correct. It’s amazing how the novelty of the type of death that occurred in that Georgian hotel room is not enough to hold much linear time interest in reality. It seems like a long time ago yet was only a couple years ago (so much news, like it’s in fast forward, competing for the attentions of the public).

  • roooth
    August 26, 2007 - 9:38 am | Permalink

    This really goes to the heart of what is wrong in the GOP: it is populated and run by immoral hypocritical liars and those who willingly use them to further their own agendas.

    Immoral not because they are gay, but because their entire lives are built on dishonesty about who and what they really are. I don’t think Joe Scarborough is gay, but the GOP ruthlessly buried the story of his Congressional aide turning up suspiciously dead in his office.

    Once you cross a line where everything about you is a lie, when your whole life is a lie, then no lie is too great to tell. Including lying to steal elections, or lying to claim moral superiority, or lying to start a war that will make you rich while causing death and destruction to others, or anything else, up to and including lying about murder.

    They have lost any moral center they may have ever had. And there is no possibility that they will institute any corrective changes themselves. They will only do the minimum needed to maintain their power. If we want to be rid of the lies, we have to get rid of the liars – and right now that is the entire leadership of the GOP.

    Remember when the Foley scandal broke? Remember when it came out that the rop GOP Congressional staffers – the closeted gay mafia that runs so much of the GOP – all knew about Foley but covered it up?

    Until they are all gone, this will not change.

  • August 27, 2007 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I have known for the past 30 plus years, the Repugs consisted of the Mafia. Dan Rather let it be known during the Nixon administration, he told the public that Nixon and BeBe Rebozo were the best of friends. BeBe was a known Mafia figure in the 70’s in Miami. That is when I began to notice. Too bad most of the American voters didn’t notice. I would never in my entire life vote for a Republican for anything. They are the most corrupt group in America. But; I guess that is one of the requirements of this party. I hate this party and their beliefs, after this administration, I hope they are abolished just like the Whig party was abolished.

  • Bill Short
    August 27, 2007 - 11:16 am | Permalink

    Maybe Jeff Gannon has the answers. He had a top security clearance to the white house and press room. Its also probably why the “Log Cabin,” Republicans still vote for the Republicans. Go figure?

  • Joe Guckert
    August 27, 2007 - 2:33 pm | Permalink

    “Strategum Group” sounds fabulously studly

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  • Johnny Blow
    August 28, 2007 - 5:17 pm | Permalink

    They were responsible for the gay bashing, anti marriage Adam & Steve mailers in an Alabama legislative race. Hypocrites, do you think they have ever heard of the “eye of the needle” stuff since they are so Godly?

  • seabolt
    August 29, 2007 - 9:08 am | Permalink

    It’s better to say nothing and be thought a fool, than to speak and relieve all doubt. Speaking of gay, remove your proverbial heads from your ass! I’ve known David Abrami for almost 20 years and there is NOTHING gay. This is just wrong!

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  • peggy a
    September 2, 2007 - 1:09 pm | Permalink

    The death of the three men , including Ralph Gonzalez was not a murder suicide. they were all killed. Yes, Ralph was the Georgia Republican party director and then 2002 US Feeney campaign director. He was also indicited Governor Ga. campaign person.
    The bog picture, this is the forth dead person that knew or was investigating US Tom Feeney Bush ties.
    The other dead man was Raymond Lemme, who had a two month later wedding of a daughter, and over 30 year happy marriage t his wife .
    The DAY he was to have a meeting about his INVESTIGATION with the Florida DOT general counsel about US FEENEY and Yang enterprises, he was MURDERED. the Valdosta Ga police tried to say suicide, but the CRIME photos that were supposedly overflashed made their way on Brad blogs.. Strangled and tortured.

    The evidence he had in 2004 would have SHUT DOWN the Yang voter software to Diebold voting and allowed DEMOCRAT WINS.

    As we speak, in 2006, Mr. Curtis, the software programmer that met FEENEY (jeb bush’s running partner in 1994 Fla Gov) and wrote the software for his old company YANG ENTERPRISES testified against FEENEY in 2006 before US congress Republican judiciary.

    Ga 2002 elections had massive voter Diebold software fruad, democrat heavy neighborhoods became WHITE REPUBLICAN. Ralpg Gonzalez, in my review of voter evidence, was murdered, as Wash post and NY times had Yang eneterprise stories about Feeney’s envolvement and Rove voter Diebold software manipulation in national elections…

  • June 21, 2008 - 7:02 am | Permalink

    Let me see whether I have this right: people around Tom Feeney die like flies. Why does the old saying come to my mind: evil attracts evil. CSI-Jacksonville investigates congressional corruption and reports it in form of a video blog.
    As we have shown, the corruption around Feeney is not limited to vote fraud, it includes the participation in one of the largest bribery schemes in the history of the U.S., with $2.5 million paid to Hillary Clinton, James Sensenbrenner, Thomas Feeney, Bill Nelson, and Barbara Boxer in return for ex parte contacts to (mostly but not exclusively) federal judges to intimidate them to obstruct justice and influence the outcome of litigation in favor of the paying party, in every case large corporations, telecoms, banks, pharma, etc. The legal terms are bribery (18 U.S.C. 201), Obstruction of Justice (18 U.S.C. 1503), and racketeering (18 U.S.C. 1961 ff).
    The FBI and DOJ know about it but have been instructed not to investigate corporate crimes by the Whitehouse, and would not investigate during an election year under SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) any crime committed by elected officials.
    The evidence is on CSI-Jacksonville dot com.

  • July 4, 2008 - 10:41 am | Permalink

    People seem to die like flies around Fenney. Fill me in, wasn’t Gonzalez the Executive Director of the Republican Party in Georgia at the time the Ray Lemme murder took place? It was murder alright, check the evidence published on

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  • Drew
    July 18, 2008 - 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Florida is full of spooks.. foreign and domestic. Weird shit happens in Florida.

  • HillbillyBob
    August 11, 2008 - 5:28 am | Permalink

    As a forner South Florida resident, I and other eye witnesses saw our ballots being shredded as they were taken from our poling place in the predawn hours of the morning after the election in 2000, and quite a few other unsavory actions by our supposed law enforcement while I was an over the road salesman covering from FtPierce to KW.
    For my and my family
    s safety we now live in the woods, after my partner and I spoke out about what the dog did in the night, we got scary phone calls, threatening emails.
    I was put on the no fly list, and our phone was tapped and house was rifled thru, everything moved and looked into and the door left standing open as a warning. If it had been a robbery there were things there that would have been missing like cash, tvs, puters etc

  • December 27, 2009 - 7:38 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your response on my blog. This is indeed a fascinating story if only because it was so grossly under-reported in the age of “if it bleeds, it leads” style reporting.

    When you consider that sex scandals (particularly ones that could involve gay sex) and murder stories are immediately bumped to the front page, it really causes a person to wonder about the media in Florida when this kind of thing is bumped, instead, to the back page.

    Your site is to be praised for covering this sort of thing.

  • SettingTheRecord
    August 8, 2011 - 10:39 am | Permalink

    Hi all… Just setting the record straight here. I was in a short-term relationship with Ralph. We separated after I moved to Atlanta to take a job. David A was simply a friend that he was helping out who was straight and out of work. Mr Drake was someone who was a closeted homosexual (of which I was witness to). He would often come over and Ralph would lend him money. Scary thing about this story is that I was going to move in with Ralph had I not taken the job in Atlanta and I would’ve been dead right next to him. It gives me chills to this day. Rest in peace Ralph and David.

  • August 8, 2011 - 3:42 pm | Permalink

    SettingTheRecord: Are you and others who knew Ralph satisfied with the police work on this case? The case was closed very quickly, and no motive has ever been provided that I am aware of.

    There wasn’t much of an outcry over this. A blogger for the Sentinel named Willoughby Mariano scoffed at the conspiracy theories around the case, especially attempts to link Ralph to Jack Abramoff — even though she failed to address the more likely connection to Tom Feeney.

    Here is Willoughby, on her blog, criticizing “bloggers” for making assertions without any evidence:

    Bloggers went nuts. They played a game of Six Degrees of Disgraced Republican Lobbyist Jack Abramoff, tying Gonzalez (often tenuously) to a laundry list of controversies that they insinuated may have something to do with the killing. They never bothered to confirm any of this. The weirdest conspiracy theories tied Drake to a gay escort ring with Republican ties. Again, pure speculation.

    A more mainstream site described the killing with a freakish mystique. Beltway gossip hounds at called it a “bit of bizarre Lynchian violence and mystery” and asked if there were gay Cuban hustlers involved.

    That Cuban hustler line was funny if you didn’t know that other media outlets reported the killing as a result of a gay Republican love triangle (again, unconfirmed speculation). If the victims survived, it bordered on libelous if any of them were straight conservative Christians who believed homosexuality is immoral.

    Furthermore, what did gayness have to do with it? It only comes into play if this were an case of domestic violence. We never established it was, and it’s not clear that detectives have either.

    The rampant conspiracy theories taught me two things:

    1. Bloggers often stink. Don’t confuse them for reporters.

    2. Current public distrust of Republican politicians — even ones who operate on a relatively small scale — is spectacular. Mention “Republican” and “gay” in the same sentence and boom, there’s an avalanche of wild, crazy, speculative tales. No Zapruder film or grassy knoll necessary.

    There. I’m off my soapbox.

    I guess no one at the Sentinel edits or fact-checks their reporter’s blogs, because no legitimate journalistic outlet would knowingly publish an assertion as erroneous as Mariano’s suggestion that it was libelous to suggest that the victims were gay. There is nothing innately wrong with being gay, so it cannot be libelous to suggest someone is gay, even if the person is a fundamentalist Christian like, say, Marcus Bachmann.

    But in her next and final report on the murder investigation, Mariano makes an incredible, unfounded assertion of her own:

    Detectives determined Jason Drake, a tile worker who knew Gonzalez, was the gunman. He killed himself at the scene.

    The Orange County Sheriff’s Office released a final report on the case.

    No motive was determined.

    Drake left no note or other indication as to why he would want to kill. He had a complicated past that included drug use and a dishonorable discharge from the military.

    People who knew Drake described him as guarded and self-righteous. They told investigators he appeared upset and left work unexpectedly in July. When he returned, Drake told an acquaintance he was in Arizona and had to leave town before he killed someone.

    Drake had a red Nike backpack when he was found, according to the report. It contained a gun holster, a Glock magazine with 14 live rounds, miscellaneous paper, clothing, a tooth brush, a gun lock, and a book called Journey to Ixltan by Carlos Castaneda.

    There you go. Not much, but case closed.

    The murderer was a crazed loner. A dishonorably discharged, guarded and self-righteous tile worker with a complicated past. Those may be verifiable facts, but they are not evidence.

    No motive was uncovered but “case closed.” Willoughby has a career waiting for her at Fox News or some other propaganda outlet.

    You have to wonder whether the investigation by the Orlando police — and by reporters like the Sentinel’s Willoughby Mariano — into the killer’s motives and the victims’ connections to powerful political figures about whom there were already alleged ties to murders, if the victims had been Democrats.

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