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Man sentenced to life in prison for 1992 murder of gay sailor recommended for parole

Family of Allen Schindler organizes campaign opposing release



Terry M. Helvey pleaded guilty to the 1992 murder of gay Navy sailor Allen Schindler (pictured above).

A former U.S. Navy sailor sentenced to life in prison for the 1992 anti-gay murder of fellow U.S. Navy sailor Allen Schindler while the two were stationed in Japan received a recommendation for parole at a Feb. 17 hearing, according to Schindler’s sister who attended the hearing.

Members of Schindler’s family, who expressed strong opposition to approving parole for former Navy Airman Apprentice Terry M. Helvey, are calling on the LGBTQ community and others to send email messages and letters opposing parole for Helvey to an official with the U.S. Parole Commission, which is an arm of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Kathy Eickhoff, Schindler’s sister, told the Washington Blade that a parole examiner issued the recommendation that Helvey be approved for parole at the Feb. 17 Zoom hearing after listening to testimony by Helvey and his sister. Eickhoff said she, her mother, and her daughter also gave testimony at the hearing in their role as the victim’s family.

“He was given a recommendation to be paroled on Oct. 26, 2022,” Eickhoff said. “It will now go to a parole board for a final decision,” she said. “That will happen in the next week to three weeks.”

Porcha L. Edwards, the Parole Commission official that Schindler’s family members are urging people to contact to oppose parole for Helvey, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Schindler’s murder triggered expressions of outrage by LGBTQ activists when news surfaced that Schindler, 22, had been subjected to harassment and threats of violence on board the Navy’s amphibious assault ship Belleau Wood when rumors surfaced on the ship that Schindler was gay, and the ship’s captain ignored Schindler’s request for protection.

Naval investigators disclosed that Helvey and another one of Schindler’s shipmates, Airman Charles Vins, attacked Schindler on Oct. 27, 1992, in a men’s bathroom at a public park in Sasebo, Japan near where their ship was docked.

A Naval investigative report says a witness to the attack saw Helvey repeatedly stomp on Schindler’s head and body inside the bathroom. An autopsy later found that Schindler’s head and face were crushed beyond recognition, requiring that his body be identified by a known tattoo on his arm.

Another Naval investigator, according to media reports, presented evidence that Helvey admitted to his hostility toward Schindler when Helvey was interrogated at the time of his arrest the day after the murder. “He said he hated Homosexuals. He was disgusted by them,” the investigator said in a report. In describing Helvey’s thoughts on Schindler’s murder, the investigator, Kennon F. Privette, quoted Helvey as saying, “I don’t regret it. I’d do it again…He deserved it.”

Helvey, 21, was later sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to killing Schindler. The guilty plea was part of a plea bargain offer by military prosecutors not to seek the death penalty, which could have been pursued under military law.

Charles Vins, the other sailor implicated in Schindler’s murder, whose lawyer argued that he was an accomplice to the attack who did not actually physically assault Schindler, also pleaded guilty to three lesser charges, including failure to report a serious crime, as part of a separate plea bargain offer by prosecutors. As part of that plea offer, Vins cooperated with prosecutors in the case against Helvey. He was released after serving 78 days of a one-year prison sentence.

After being dishonorably discharged from the Navy, Helvey was transferred to a federal prison and has been an inmate in several federal prisons for the past 29 years. He is currently an inmate at the Federal Correctional Institution in Greenville, Ill.

Eickhoff, Schindler’s sister, said Helvey has been applying for parole and clemency almost every year for at least the past 20 years. She said federal parole authorities have turned down all those requests until last week, when, for the first time, a parole examiner issued the recommendation for parole.

According to Eickhoff, Helvey, who is now 50 years old, has expressed remorse for what he did 29 years ago and claims he is a different person. She said the Feb. 17 parole hearing, in which the parole examiner asked Helvey questions, appeared to focus on whether Helvey would “reoffend” if released from prison.

“He [Helvey] said what he has lined up,” Eickhoff told the Blade. “He’s going to go home. He’s got three different jobs lined up. His mother and his stepfather need him. He wants to be a truck driver,” Eickhoff said. “And then, of course, all of the things he has done while he’s been in prison,” she recounted Helvey saying at the hearing. “All of the mentoring and all of the classes and all the wonderful things he’s done.”

Eickhoff noted that if Helvey is approved for parole and is released on Oct. 26 of this year, it will take place one day short of the 30th year after her brother’s murder. She said the parole examiner also stated at the hearing that 30 years of incarceration in a federal prison can sometimes become a threshold for when a prisoner becomes eligible for parole under federal law.

“And he does have a parole hearing every two years and a clemency hearing every other year,” Eickhoff said. So, it’s more or less every year we are going through this,” she told the Blade. “Twenty-nine years ago, we thought that was it,” she said when Helvey was sentenced to life in prison. “But no, that’s not what happened.”

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons website says all federal and state prisoners are eligible to apply for clemency, which can be granted by a state governor or the U.S. president depending on the circumstances of the case.  

Among those joining Schindler family members in urging opposition to parole for Helvey is longtime gay activist Michael Petrelis of San Francisco, who called on the Navy to publicly recognize the Schindler murder as a hate crime shortly after the murder took place in 1992.

In 2015, Petrelis released to the public a 900-page Naval investigative report he obtained from the Navy through a Freedom of Information Act request that revealed new information that the Navy had withheld in earlier years.

Among other things, the investigative report provided further details that the captain of the ship on which Schindler was stationed discussed Schindler’s request for protection from anti-gay harassment in front of other shipmates. Doing so further spread the word that Schindler was gay, a development that subjected him to intensified anti-gay harassment on the ship, according to Petrelis.  

Eickhoff and her family are urging members of the LGBTQ community and others supportive of what they say is justice for Allen Schindler to send letters and email messages expressing opposition to parole for Helvey to:

Porcha L. Edwards
Victim Witness Specialist
United States Parole Commission
United States Department of Justice
90 K Street, N.E., Third Floor
Washington, D.C. 20530
Email: [email protected]
Office: 202-346-7003
Work Cell: 202-880-2156


State Department

State Department hosts intersex activists from around the world

Group met with policy makers, health officials, NGOs



The State Department last week hosted a group of intersex activists from around the world. (Courtesy photo)

The State Department last week hosted five intersex activists from around the world.

Kimberly Zieselman, a prominent intersex activist who advises Jessica Stern, the special U.S. envoy for the promotion of LGBTQ and intersex rights abroad, brought the activists to D.C.

• Morgan Carpenter, co-founder and executive director of Intersex Human Rights Australia

• Natasha Jiménez, an intersex activist from Costa Rica who is the general coordinator of Mulabi, the Latin American Space for Sexualities and Rights

• Julius Kaggwa, founder of the Support Initiative for People with Atypical Sex Development Uganda

• Magda Rakita, co-founder and executive director of Fujdacja Interakcja in Poland and co-founder of Interconnected UK

• Esan Regmi, co-founder and executive director of the Campaign for Change in Nepal.

Special U.S. Envoy for Global Youth Issues Abby Finkenauer and Assistant Health Secretary Rachel Levine are among the officials with whom the activists met.

Zieselman told the Washington Blade on Sept. 21 the activists offered State Department officials an “intersex 101” overview during a virtual briefing.

More than 60 Save the Children staffers from around the world participated in another virtual briefing. Zieselman noted the activists also met with Stern, U.N. and Organization of American States officials, funders and NGO representatives while in D.C.

“The people we met were genuinely interested,” Rakita told the Blade.

Stern in an exclusive statement to the Blade said “the visiting intersex activists clearly had an impact here at State, sharing their expertise and lived experience highlighting the urgency to end human rights abuses, including those involving harmful medical practices against intersex persons globally.” Andrew Gleason, senior director for gender equality and social justice at Save the Children US, in a LinkedIn post he wrote after attending his organization’s meeting with the activists echoed Stern.

“There are many learnings to recount from today’s discussion, but one thing is clear, this is unequivocally a child rights issue, and one that demands attention and action at the intersection of LGBTQI+ rights, reproductive rights and justice, disability justice and more,” wrote Gleason. “Gratitude to the panelists for sharing such poignant testimonies and providing insights into what organizations like ours can do to contribute to the broader intersex movement; and thank you to Kimberly for your leadership and bringing this group together.”

The activists’ trip to D.C. coincided with efforts to end so-called sex “normalization” surgeries on intersex children.

Greek lawmakers in July passed a law that bans such procedures on children under 15 unless they offer their consent or a court allows them to happen. Doctors who violate the statute face fines and prison.

Germany Iceland, Malta, Portugal and Spain have also enacted laws that seek to protect intersex youth. 

A law that grants equal rights and legal recognition to intersex people in Kenya took effect in July 2022. Lawmakers in the Australian Capital Territory earlier this year passed the Variation in Sex Characteristics (Restricted Medical Treatment) Bill 2023.

Intersex Human Rights Australia notes the law implements “mechanisms to regulate non-urgent medical care to encourage child participation in medical decisions, establish groundbreaking oversight mechanisms and provide transparency on medical practices and decision making.” It further points out the statute “will criminalize some deferrable procedures that permanently alter the sex characteristics of children” and provides “funding for necessary psychosocial supports for families and children.”

“It’s amazing,” Carpenter told the Blade when discussing the law and resistance to it. “It’s not perfect. There was some big gaps, but physicians are resisting every step of the way.”

The State Department in April 2022 began to issue passports with an “X” gender marker.

Dana Zzyym, an intersex U.S. Navy veteran who identifies as non-binary, in 2015 filed a federal lawsuit against the State Department after it denied their application for a passport with an “X” gender marker. Zzyym in October 2021 received the first gender-neutral American passport.

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Federal Government

Federal government prepares for looming shutdown

White House warns of ‘damaging impacts across the country’



U.S. Capitol Building (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

However remote they were on Monday, odds of avoiding a government shutdown were narrowed by Thursday evening as House Republicans continued debate over their hyper-partisan appropriations bills that stand no chance of passage by the Upper Chamber.

As lawmakers in the Democratic controlled Senate forged ahead with a bipartisan stop-gap spending measure that House GOP leadership had vowed to reject, the federal government began bracing for operations to grind to a halt on October 1.

This would mean hundreds of thousands of workers are furloughed as more than 100 agencies from the State Department to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation roll out contingency plans maintained by the White House Office of Management and Budget. On Thursday the Office of Personnel Management sent out memos to all agencies instructing them to ready for a shutdown on Sunday.

Before 1980, operations would continue per usual in cases where Congress failed to break an impasse over spending, as lapses in funding tended to last only a few days before lawmakers brokered a deal.

Since then, the government has shut down more than a dozen times and the duration has tended to become longer and longer.

“Across the United States, local news outlets are reporting on the harmful impacts a potential government shutdown would have on American families,” the White House wrote in a release on Thursday featuring a roundup of reporting on how the public might be affected.

“With just days left before the end of the fiscal year, extreme House Republicans are playing partisan games with peoples’ lives and marching our country toward a government shutdown that would have damaging impacts across the country,” the White House said.

The nature and extent of that damage will depend on factors including how long the impasse lasts, but the Biden-Harris administration has warned of some consequences the American public is likely to face.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, for example, warned: “There is no good time for a government shutdown, but this is a particularly bad time for a government shutdown, especially when it comes to transportation.”

Amid the shortage of air traffic controllers and efforts to modernize aviation technology to mitigate flight delays and cancellations, a government shutdown threatens to “make air travel even worse,” as Business Insider wrote in a headline Thursday.

Democratic lawmakers including California Congresswoman Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters, meanwhile, have sounded the alarm in recent weeks over the consequences for the global fight against AIDS amid the looming expiration, on Oct. 1, of funding for PEPFAR, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.

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Federal Government

QAnon follower pleads guilty to threatening member of Congress

Conspiracy movement claims Satan-worshipping pedophiles secretly rule the world



QAnon banner at a pro-gun rally in Richmond, Va., in 2020. (YouTube screenshot from Anthony Crider)

A New Mexico man has entered a plea deal after being charged with a federal criminal complaint of making threats through interstate communications directed at a member of Congress.

Federal prosecutors charged Michael David Fox, a resident of Doña Ana County, for calling the Houston district office of an unnamed member of Congress on or about May 18, 2023, and uttering threats that included knowingly threatening to kill an active member of Congress.

The plea agreement was brought before U.S. Magistrate Judge Damian L. Martinez of U.S. District Court in New Mexico in the Las Cruces by Fox’s attorney from the Federal Public Defender’s Office in August.

According to the criminal complaint as outlined by a Federal Bureau of Investigation criminal investigator for the Albuquerque Field Office, Las Cruces Resident Agency, on May 18 at approximately 9:04 p.m. Fox called the office of a congresswoman for the District of Texas, U.S. House of Representatives (Victim One/”V1″), who is from Houston. The call was received by V1’s office.

In the phone call Fox stated “Hey [Vl], you’re a man. It’s official. You’re literally a tranny and a pedophile, and I’m going to put a bullet in your fucking face. You mother fucking satanic cock smoking son of a whore. You understand me you fucker?” 

Law enforcement was able to trace the call back to Las Cruces, N.M., and it was believed that Fox was the user of cell phone account used to make the call. According to the FBI agents who interviewed Fox, he admitted to making the call.

Fox acknowledged that the threat was direct but claimed that he did not own any guns. Fox
claimed to be a member of the Q2 Truth Movement, the Q Movement. Fox explained these
movements believe all over the world there were transgender individuals running
governments, kingdoms and corporations. 

Fox told the FBI that there is a plan called “Q the Plan to Save the World” which he learned about from an online video. Fox claimed that he believed Q was going to engage in the “eradication” of the people who were causing all the world’s misery. He believed that part of the eradication had already happened.

Fox explained that he had run Vl’s skull features through forensic analysis and determined
that Vl was born male and is now trans. Fox discussed his military service with the
U.S. Air Force, “Q the Plan to Save the World,” and how God communicates using

Fox continued to reiterate several different types of conspiracy theories indicating
extreme far right ideologies as his explanation for why he conducted the phone call to
threaten V1.

According to the FBI, Fox rescinded his threat against Vl and apologized. Fox claimed he was not intoxicated or under the influence of drugs when he made the call. Fox stated he understood how Vl would feel threatened by his phone call, and he acknowledged that anyone he knew or cared about would also be concerned with such a threat.

The charge of interstate threatening communications carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison.

QAnon began in 2017, when a mysterious figure named “Q” started posting on the online message board 4chan, claiming to have inside access to government secrets. Since then, QAnon has grown into a conspiracy movement that claims Satan-worshipping pedophiles secretly rule the world. It is claimed by QAnon adherents that former President Donald Trump is the only person who can defeat them. 

Brooklyn, N.Y.-based journalist Ana Valens, a reporter specializing in queer internet culture, online censorship and sex workers’ rights noted that Fox appears to be a “transvestigator.” Valens noted that the transvestigation conspiracy theory is a fringe movement within QAnon that claims the world is primarily run by trans people. Phrenological analysis is common among transvestigators, with a prominent focus on analyzing celebrities for proof that they are trans.

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