It 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.