The 55-year-old Black man found dead on Monday in the Los Angeles apartment of LGBTQ activist and Democratic donor Ed Buck has been identified as Timothy M. Dean, local LA newspaper Wehoville reports. Dean was an employee of Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, a member of the National Gay Basketball Association and a recently baptized member of the OneLA church. Dean also worked as an adult film star and had 18 adult films to his credit between 2007 and 2016.
This marks the second time that a Black gay man was found dead in Buck’s apartment. In July 2016, 27-year-old Gemmel Moore died of a meth overdose in Buck’s apartment. Both Moore and Dean were Black, gay and engaged in sex work — and both found dead in Buck’s apartment after using drugs.
Buck’s attorney, Seymour Amster, told the Los Angeles Times that Dean “was an old friend who died of an accidental overdose, and unfortunately, we believe that the substance was ingested at some place other than the apartment. The person came over-intoxicated.”
Ottavio Taddei, Dean’s roommate of three years, said that that account was at odds with the roommate he knew. “He was a wonderful person … I lived with him and he never did drugs,” Taddei told KTLA-5. “I’ve never seen him on drugs, ever.”
A journal entry of Moore’s from December 2016 blames Buck for his introduction to crystal meth.
“I honestly don’t know what to do,” the entry reads. “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that.”
It continues, “Ed Buck is the one to thank. He gave me my first injection of crystal meth it was very painful, but after all the troubles, I became addicted to the pain and fetish/fantasy.” In another entry, he wrote, “If it didn’t hurt so bad, I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”
Jasmyne Cannick, a political strategist and activist who has been following Moore’s death, wrote in Out that after Moore’s death several witness came forth to detail similar patterns of abuse from Buck: namely, that he “uses the internet to stalk and prey on young, Black gay men who are usually homeless, HIV-positive, and often work as male escorts.”
In a recent interview, 28-year-old Jermaine Gagnon said that Buck flew him from Minnesota to Los Angeles, drugged his drink and then injected him with drugs. Gagnon said that Buck enjoyed men who were, “young, Black, handsome and well-endowed” and that he was “quite open about being very generous to the Black community.”
The sheriff’s department of West Hollywood didn’t open an investigation into Moore’s death until 21 days after he was found dead. Now, after Dean’s death, a lieutenant called the deaths “suspicious” and said they’d open an investigation to “determine if it is criminal in nature,” the New York Times reports.
At a vigil for Moore outside the West Hollywood sheriff’s station in August 2017, Moore’s mother LaTisha Nixon told those gathered that her son’s death “shouldn’t have happened.”
“He called out to so many people,” she said. “We all failed him. I just hope that the sheriff’s department does not fail my son.”
People have called for politicians who have received donations from Buck to return their donations to various causes, especially LGBTQ rights groups, the Justice4Gemmel fund or to Moore’s mother.