September 29th, 2006

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A Life and Death on NYC Streets
Associated Press, August 28, 1999
By Chelsea J. Carter, Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) -- Dion Webster talked loud and laughed louder. He was a prankster, a kid who got things started. But late one cold November night, his laughter ceased. He was found dead on the street, a knife shoved into his head.

Kevin Freeman was a quiet young man, an introvert with bright eyes. Six months after his friend Webster was murdered, Freeman’s body turned up in a park not far away with his skull nearly split in half.

Few mourned these two young men: their fellow street people, some social workers.

These were people passersby ignored; the type police rousted and arrested. They were homeless, addicted to crack cocaine, and stuck in a dead end of life before age 30. Besides, they lived in the hidden realm of the “transgendered,” men believing they should have been born female. They worked the streets.

In a city that boasts its dropping crime rate and safer streets, their murders barely registered. There were no news conferences, no task forces, no public outcry.

“They were dead already to the world. When they were killed, it just made it official,” said Carl Siciliano, a social worker who knew them.

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