American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men
by David McConnell
Akashic Books. 256 pages, $15.95
THE TITLE of this book refers to a type of murder that involves a straight male perpetrator and a gay male victim. But these are not hate crimes in the usual sense (though they may be reported as such in the mass media). They are crimes of passion—or, more accurately, crimes of passionate men who reacted with extreme violence to contact with gay men. Such crimes, argues author David McConnell, are the “remote cousins” of old-fashioned duels. They are “honor” killings in the sense that the perpetrator sees himself as a combatant against a social evil, even as a hero fulfilling a destiny of some kind.