Bodies Found of Australian Gay Couple Murdered by Officer

The bodies of a missing gay couple have been found in a town south of Sydney. They are believed to have been killed by a police officer who claimed to be in a relationship with one of the two men. Due to the double murder, the police are not welcome at a major LGBT+ event in Sydney.
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The police tracked down the location of the bodies following a statement from the main suspect, police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon. According to the police, he shot the two men and then transported them in surfboard covers to a house in the countryside.

The murder of 26-year-old Jesse Baird and 29-year-old Luke Davies has gripped Australia for days. The search for the couple's bodies began last week but was only successful after Lamarre-Condon provided a tip about the location of the bodies on Tuesday. Since Friday, the police officer has been in custody on suspicion of murder but initially refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Baird and Davies lived in Sydney, where Baird had a career as a TV presenter. Initially, Australian media reported that Lamarre-Condon and Baird had been in a relationship, but later friends said this was not true. At most, there might have been a "friends-with-benefits" situation. According to the Daily Mail, Baird cut off contact with Lamarre-Condon when he allegedly claimed on social media that the two were a couple. Baird reportedly called a friend in fear last August because a police car was following him.

Last February, according to the police, Lamarre-Condon even broke into Baird's house. The officer then took his phone and wallet. Lamarre-Condon deleted messages from the phone and sent a number of new messages to mislead the police.


The LGBT+ community in Sydney is mourning the murder of the couple. Flowers are being laid in front of Baird and Davies' house. This weekend the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras will take place in Sydney, a major LGBT+ event. Normally, police officers also participate in the parade, but this year the organisation is not giving them permission. The reason is that police participation in the celebration could disrupt the grieving process.

However, the decision is being criticised. The police said in a statement that they find it "disappointing." The opposition leader in the New South Wales state parliament goes further and calls for the event's subsidy to be withdrawn. Premier Chris Minns of New South Wales disagrees with this. Nevertheless, he regrets the organisation's decision to boycott police participation. "There are many [LGBTQIA+] members of the NSW Police Force who would have battled prejudice within the workforce," says Minns. "I believe police participation in the Mardi Gras parade is an important part of bringing communities together."

Police participation during Mardi Gras has always been a sensitive topic, as the event originated in 1978 from a demonstration by the LGBT+ community against discrimination. That demonstration was violently dispersed by the police. This even led to many forced coming-outs after the media published the names of the demonstrators. Some participating groups have long been calling for the police to be excluded from the event to make a statement for groups in society who they claim are oppressed and discriminated against by the police.

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