Welcome to Killing Killers, worldwide headquarters of author/blogger Eponymous Rox

Browse us for breaking news, missing person alerts, unsolved crimes and cold cases. Plus explore interviews, photos, case updates and brand new evidence in our ongoing 'Smiley Face Murder' investigation.
Never heard of the Smiley Face Killers before?
Start here. New guests, are you investigating a loved one's suspicious disappearance and drowning? Begin with a look at the forensics of a true drowning and the complete Smiley Face Serial Killer case background. Then read in-depth interviews with families of other 'Smiley' victims, by author Eponymous Rox.

ABOUT KILLING KILLERS' BLOGGER: Eponymous Rox covers cops, curs and killers and has been featured in Crime Magazine and on NBC. The author is also a regular paid-contributor to CrimeMagazine.com, the Gather News agency and Yahoo's Associated Content. JUMP IN: The majority of cases presented on this site are unsolved so your opinion counts -- you don't need permission to start or join discussions, vote in crime polls or submit tips on Killing Killers, and can even do so anonymously if you prefer.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Abduction and Murder of Joey LaBute 'Not a Hate Crime'

Weeks after the abduction and murder of Joey LaBute -- and his staged river drowning -- Ohio police are still processing "a huge amount of information," but haven't IDd a single suspect.

And they're still convinced that 26-year-old Joseph 'Joey' Labute, rumored now to have been homosexual, wasn't the victim of a hate crime.

As the trail to his killer steadily grows cold, investigators announced this week they've "come across" new video from inside the restaurant where LaBute was last seen alive by family and friends before abruptly disappearing.

follow the Joey LaBute abduction & murder probe with Killing KillersThe footage shows him "on the dance floor" of the Union Cafe in Columbus center around midnight of March 5, 2016, and then, just "seven minutes" prior to vanishing from the establishment forever, exiting one of the restrooms.

It's not clear where that vital evidence has been all this time or how police finally obtained it. However, it doesn't seem to provide any clues as to why, and with whom, Joey LaBute went outdoors and subsequently died.

A coroner found no evidence whatsoever he had truly drowned and, in fact, ruled there was "a high probability" LaBute was "already dead" when he went into the Scioto River sometime last month.

A group of lawmen checking the riverbank for his body on March 31st coincidentally spotted it semi-submerged in a shallow section not far offshore.

Divers retrieved the corpse in "pretty good condition," suggesting that, whoever slew LaBute, and whatever their motive in doing so, they didn't dump him until well after an active search had all but ended.

Investigators hope the latest images from LaBute's last known location, once enlarged and forensically analyzed, will shed more light on who he was interacting with when he suddenly vanished without a trace.

Obviously the still unknown perpetrator/s themselves likewise had to be captured on security cameras that night, since America is by now a a full-fledged police state and the city of Columbus is no exception to such widespread privacy invasions.

Yet, despite all its traffic cams, license-plate readers, aerial drones, and numerous other clandestine methods of tracking the minute-to-minute movements of innocent citizens without probable cause or court-issued warrants, no images of LaBute's kidnapper and killer have ever surfaced...

Those following these so called Smiley Face Murders of course know that Joey Labute isn't the only young male to suspiciously go missing from a public place and later be found dead in a river, lake, pond, stream or reservoir. And he probably won't be the last. 

But his bogus cold-water death this season stands out as one of only a few in the decades-long Case of the Drowning Men which wasn't whitewashed by officials as a drunken "accident."

Anybody who can help solve the LaBute abduction, homicide and attempted cover-up during March of 2016 is urged to contact the Columbus Police Department at (614) 645-4545.


  1. Are you, like myself, wondering how it can be declared "not a hate crime" when no arrests have been made? The only things I can imagine are (a)they have a suspect or (b) there are other aspects of the case being kept quiet. If not that, it's pretty baffling.

  2. The Columbus Dispatch is running a good article on this in today's paper, entitled "Autopsy Can't Identify Cause of Man's Death". It spells out that the 0.15 alcohol level can be caused by decomposition; lungs dry; no signs of trauma. The online article is a little misleading, stating something like nothing found, only alcohol, which could cause someone just reading headlines to think it was alcohol. I wonder over the different titles in the two articles.

    1. This is why the bodies of slain young men (like Joey LaBute) are being tossed in rivers, lakes, ponds, etc. -- water washes away most evidence and confounds postmortem exams.

      On its own a BAC of 0.15 is not going to cause someone to clumsily plummet into a river, BTW. Once a corpse is submerged for a few days or longer though it will start manufacturing ethanol at an increased rate, especially if the victim ate sugary foods in the hours before his death or, as with LaBute, was drinking.

      Undetermined manners of death are still considered suspicious and, combined with an equally questionable disappearance, would normally warrant further investigation.

      IMHO, if indeed there were no signs of serious internal or external trauma at autopsy, then LaBute was strangled or otherwise suffocated and then dumped in the Scioto River.

      Find out why anyone would want this young man dead and you'll likely nab his killer/s.

      Thanks for reading today and posting an update!