WeHo Fitness Trainer Jovin Raethz Among GHB-Related Deaths In New York This Week

1498142_10202903640658879_690847818_oIt has been revealed that one of three men who died of an alleged GHB overdose in New York City on Sunday was actually a well-liked member of West Hollywood’s gay community.

Jovin Raethz, a 37-year-old fitness trainer from West Hollywood, died of “an apparent drug overdose” in New York City last week, and was discovered just four hours after the death of wealthy Manhattan hotel heir Charlie Denihan.

Although the medical examiner has not confirmed the cause of death for Denihan, early reports alleged it was an overdose of GHB — his body was found in his luxury Union Square high-rise along with crystal meth and cocaine.

The three deaths reported from Manhattan’s 13th Precinct spawned a theory that a deadly batch of GHB was infiltrating New York’s gay community, which would have been supported by the news that Raethz and the third victim he was found with, 34-year-old Shawn Murphy, were in fact gay.

However, Denihan did not identify on social media as being gay, and a female model who spent the night with him has come forward claiming he did not live with “a roommate” or “a boyfriend.” Police are still not sure if the three men knew each other, and the deaths may possibly be unrelated.

WeHoville notes that the use of crystal meth and GHB are still large issues in the gay community, citing a report from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department noting a significant increase in arrests for possession of GHB:

There were 36 arrests for possession of [GHB, heroin, and cocaine], with no breakdown as to individual drug, which was a 29 percent increase over the year before. Arrests for possession with intent to sell increased to eight from three in the same period the year before. The report also noted a major increase in arrests for possession of methamphetamine, also known as “tina” or “crystal.” There were 115 arrests for possession of the drug, a 13 percent increase over the same period the year before.

Raethz, who had posed for the HIV Equal campaign last year, will be laid to rest in his hometown of Faulkton, South Dakota. A friend made the touching memorial video posted below.

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  • Stache99

    Ok I’ve used plenty of GHB in my wayward days and I know it can be dangerous if the right amount isn’t used or if it’s combined with other substances. When they say deadly batch I wonder what the that even means. Was it some idiot mixing stuff up and just didn’t know what was poisonous or are we talking about someone that wanted to kill some gay men.

  • Stache99

    I used to buy GHB when they sold it at GNC back in 2000. One was called Blue Nitro and another that was in a yellow coloring that I used to get. GHB was big with the Body Builders. They pulled it though when people started using it recreationally.

    It does have the advantage of being better on your body then alcohol. Like a night out on GHB you’ll actually feel refreshed after. Assuming your not consuming other substances. They also called it liquid extacy because of it’s similar effects. Just much shorter.

  • Stache99

    Ah the good ol days when you could legally buy speed and GHB. We had a great time:)

  • StephK

    There is a sad irony here that a fitness trainer should have died from a drug od. Since when do drugs have absolutely anything to do with physical fitness?

  • Geeker

    Would this be a case of Darwin’s theory in action?

  • Tookietookie123

    I find it difficult to feel sad for someone who died using drugs. If you don’t care enough about your health as to use drugs, then why should I or anyone else care? Drugs are bad, they taught all of us that since elementary, I’m just amazed that people ignored it over the years.

  • Cobalt Blue

    Drug users/addicts are loosers.

  • BrokebackBob

    When are gay folks (and folks in general) going to figure out that some substances WILL MORE THAN LIKELY KILL YOU. Dumbfuck.

  • seaguy

    @Cobalt Blue: People who do not recognize the science which clearly shows addiction is a disease are stupid.

  • Chris-MI

    @StephK: GHB is a performance enhancing drug. Like it or not, performance enhancing drugs are the standard now in the fitness and bodybuilding community. If you won’t take them, you won’t achieve then unrealistic physique that is considered the norm now.

  • oilburner

    Great story lol although the YouTube video is dumb and stupid . I can’t feel bad for people who make idiotic choices . As far as I’m concerned these three guys got what they deserved.

  • Geoff B

    Yes, drugs are bad. I think we all have gotten the memo from all the 80s sitcoms. Yes, this guy’s death was preventable (shouldn’t do drugs, got it), but for God’s sake! This was also someone’s son, brother, partner, etc,. Did he do anything to harm anyone? I’ve seen more sympathy for Fred Goddamn Phelps.

  • vive

    @Chris-MI, maybe you are thinking of HGH. GHB is not a PED.

  • vive

    @Geoff B, I agree. There are some sick, sick, sick people commenting on here. Anyone can make a mistake and some empathy is in order.

  • Cam

    I”m surprised that they are saying it was a GHB overdose when they also found Meth and Coke in his apt. Poor guy, sounds like he was in fairly deep.

  • B Damion

    This is so terrible. My heart goes out to his close friends and family and the people that genuinely cared for him.

    I consider myself an addict. Only, I am addicted to food. I am overweight. I know it’s not the same thing but the point I wanna make is we are all addicted to something. Whether we admit it or not we are.

    I know how hard it is to kick a habit esp a bad one(as most tend to be)so for those of you lacking empathy for this situation, try and remember that non of us are perfect and will never be.

    We have to start being kinder to each other. It’s a very small world folks.

  • B Damion

    @cam..your so sweet to me.


  • MadMikenCT

    I didn’t know any of them but I’m a wuss and I’m sad that they have left behind friends and family. I hate the thought that this is how many of will come to know them and remember them. I thought that vid for Jovin was a truly sweet tribute. Ok gays, I don’t need to read any negative bullshit and hating on my comment. Just acknowledge that good people died by accident and it has left people with broken hearts. Just be kind to one another.

  • Stache99

    @Cam: Meth and Coke + GHB is like Peanut Butter and Jelly. Usually where you find one you’ll find the other or more.

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