WATCH: Insane Hate Crime Reported in Small-Town Tennessee

Health food storeWhat’s going on with bizarre hate crimes lately? After that totally baffling cake incident, in which a bakery took the time to make an insulting cake for a lesbian couple, now there’s a case in Paris, Tennessee in which three guys walked into Healthy Thyme, a health food store, stole some cash and then beat up the owner, Joe Williams, and tried to burn the building down.

Again: what, what?

We’re struggling to comprehend the thinking here. Were these guys just looking for a store to rob and thought they’d throw in a little hate crime as well? Or were they looking for a fag to bash, and just happened to bring along arson equipment just in case? Did they decide, “let’s see how many crimes we can commit within a 60-second span, like some kind of felonious Supermarket Sweep“?

There are just so many incomprehensible details. The crime kind of defies belief; according to locals, this kind of violence is unusual in the small town. There’s the victim’s miraculous escape from his attackers, described as happening “somehow” in media reports. And also the Morton-Downey-Jr-style writing of “fag” on the victim’s forehead.

Then there’s this detail: apparently, a guy came into the store earlier that day to interrogate the owner about his sexuality and berate him. Okay, so this customer is apparently really concerned about whether he’s buying echinacea from a gay man or a straight man. Sure, there’s crazy bigots out there who might behave that way. Maybe they walk into every store and ask about the manager’s sex life. We’ve all been victimized by that kind of person at one time or another.

But then to come back hours later with two friends to set the place on fire? With the owner inside, which would make it attempted murder? That seems to shoot way past “crazy” into the realm of “unbelievably psycho.”

Photo credit: WSMV

H/t: HuffPo


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  • John

    Because being gay isn’t about sexual orientation, it’s exclusively about your sex life…

    Grrrrrr. Come on, let’s not reinforce right-wing anti-LGBT misconceptions here.

  • niles

    This story has so many holes. (see lying lesbian)

  • Dixie Rect

    @niles: Exactly. Queerty is such a joke!

  • the other Greg

    What is this, Odd News Day at Queerty? First you tell us that Los Angeles has a library, really? Now you’re telling us there’s a health food store in Tennessee? Come on. What next – is there a bar in Salt Lake City? (Kidding, kidding.)

  • Rob

    Probably an elaborate shakedown by the perpetual victims of the Gay Inc. variety. Sorta like this other story from TN.


    Sorta along the same BS lines as the Trayvon kerfuffle, Jena 6, Duke Lacrosse, & Tawana Brawley.

  • Ogre Magi

    The South is a rotten rotten place

  • Gigi Gee

    @the other Greg: The Daily Caller Rob? Thus rag is ever-so-slightly less reliable than World Nut Daily. Come on!

  • Gigi Gee

    My above connevt was meant for Rob.

  • jojothedogfacedboy

    Gee, Rob, you’re kind of a dick.

  • Irish

    I’m from Paris, and as far as I know, the story is not fake. I don’t appreciate how Queerty wrote this article, as if it is all some hoax.

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