Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Death by Grindr: Is It the New Killer App?

(The murder of 25-year-old Dino Dizdarević is only the latest in a recent wave of violent crimes facilitated through the country's most popular gay hookup app)

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Dino Dizdarević’s body was found on May 1 in an overgrown alley in Chester, Pennsylvania. The 25-year-old chemical engineer left his loft in Philadelphia, 18 miles away, the night before to allegedly meet a man he found on the hookup app Grindr. Police say Dizdaravić, who was a gay man in an open relationship, was subsequently strangled and beaten so viciously that he was unrecognizable.

During a late-night romp in March, a Seattle man allegedly went berserk and beat down a Grindr date he took home to his apartment. Naked and brandishing a hammer, Curtis Rosenblat clobbered his unclothed companion repeatedly and even bit the man while attempting to rob him, police say. The victim required eyelid surgery and several staples in his skull, according to court records. Police finally arrested the 23-year-old suspect last week.
Others have faced similarly unsettling casual encounters. In April, a Canadian tourist visiting Philadelphia met a man on Grindr who allegedly held him at gunpoint, raped him and shook him down for $2,000.

Meanwhile, Daniel Simmons, a former deputy attorney general in Delaware, was charged last week with fourth-degree rape after he allegedly lured a 16-year-old boy back to his home and involved the minor in a threesome.

“We are deeply disturbed by the conduct alleged in this case,” Delaware state prosecutor Kathleen Jennings said in a statement.  “We are most concerned for the welfare of the victim.”
Grindr, which turned five years old in March, now has more than 5 million active monthly users worldwide, and the app itself has been downloaded more than 10 million times. In February, the company published a list of safety tips for users, which includes advice like “Don’t believe everything you see,” “Don’t rush into things” and “Honesty is the best policy.”

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Responding to our request for comment, a Grindr spokesperson says in an email: “As a company, we treat all reports of crime very seriously. We encourage anyone with information on any criminal incidents to reach out to the police. If we are contacted by the authorities about an investigation, we fully cooperate with their requests. Regarding the recent incidents you pointed out, our thoughts and prayers are with the victim’s family and friends.”

Still, the attacks have placed some local law enforcement on alert and prompted them to issue warnings about Grindr. “I think that anyone should use extreme caution when going on this dating site or any other,” Philadelphia Police Lieutenant Robert Otto told ABC News.
Gay and LGBT news outlets are also asking men to be careful. Following Dizdarević’s death, both the GailyGrind and Queerty published tip sheets on how to stay safe while hooking up online. Among their advice: Tell a friend where you’ll be, avoid total strangers and arrange your own transportation to and from a hookup.

Despite all the news some users aren’t worried. “Things like this—like stranger danger—are really overblown and shouldn’t prevent people from meeting,” one active Grindr user tells Vocativ. “I’m more worried about living a terrible life where I’m afraid of everything than I am of being murdered by some random dude.”

Source: vocativ.com
Contact: skavanaugh@vocativ.com



  1. Death isn't only from murderous members. The stuff people say to someone they aren't interested in has pushed members to committing suicide. Imagine calling someone "old and ugly" and blocking them (and meanwhile they hang themselves?). The polite factor has gone out the window.

    No one ever says "no thanks" or "sorry, I'm not interested" (in a polite way) anymore. Just blatantly REJECT people and make them feel like trash in the process (and have the nerve to say something like "nice Asian guy, say HI I don't bite" in their profiles)!

    Try imagine saying THAT to someone in a bar or club when they come up to you and say hello, or even compliment you, and they aren't your "type"? Imagine losing all your front teeth as you are punched in the face?

    But now, behind the "safety" of your smartphone screen, and distance across cyber space, you can say all that. BUT close your eyes and imagine HEARING THAT yourself. How would you feel?

    Like crap? Embarrassed? Worthless? Mad? Or even "I am no one and I can't take it anymore" and kill yourself?

    YES, this HAS HAPPENED...