Monday, April 24, 2006

Murder in Cruising Park, Brooklyn New York



Cops were hunting yesterday for a cold-blooded killer who stabbed a 61-year-old man to death in Prospect Park - rocking the Brooklyn oasis.
William Oliver was knifed once in the chest and may have been robbed Saturday afternoon in a section of the park that's known as a gay pickup spot, cops said.

"I still have trouble getting over his death," said Wilson Oliver, 67, the slain man's brother.

The attack raised fears that the so-called ninja who prowled the same area of the park more than five years ago, preying on gay men, had returned. Cops said they did not believe the slaying was related to the ninja attacks.

William Oliver, a bachelor who bounced around between relatives' houses, had called his brother at 3:11 p.m. Saturday to say he was on his way to his house in Bedford-Stuyvesant.

But he never made it.

Two parkgoers stumbled onto his bloody body on a path in the lush Vale of Cashmere area of the park about an hour later. "Everything was fine, he was going to come by," said Oliver's brother. "He said, 'See you later.'"

Cops said they found William Oliver's wallet nearby and found some cash in his pockets.

The murder weapon was not recovered. Investigators were searching a nearby man-made pond for clues.

Relatives said Oliver kept to himself and never talked about his sexual preference, although his brother said it was "a good possibility" he was gay. "He was a good person, a kind person," said Willa Oliver, his sister-in-law. "If he could do something to help you, he did it."

The secluded Vale of Cashmere and the nearby Rose Garden are popular hangouts for gay men near Grand Army Plaza.

In 2000, a man dressed in a black ninja outfit stabbed, clubbed or slashed at least four gay men during a two-week crime spree. Another man was stabbed on Jan. 17, 2001, by a man dressed in black.

Oliver's murder was even more worrisome because it came in the middle of a Saturday afternoon, when the park was fairly crowded, even on a rainy day. "It's spooky," said William Davis, 42, sitting in the Rose Garden. "It's really scary because it's daytime."

Even though police said the killing wasn't linked to the ninja attacks, just the mention of the spree was enough to frighten one man, who said he once came face-to-face with the black-clad attacker.

"I hope they catch him," said a 48-year-old man who didn't want his name used because his family doesn't know he is gay. "I won't be coming over here by myself."

William Oliver in an undated photo.

Brothas b careful!!

Originally published on April 24, 2006

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