Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) - April 8, 1977
New Orleans Has 5 Slayings
NEW ORLEANS (UPI) - Investigators say one "French Quarter Stabber" may be responsible for the murders of five men who died within blocks of the noisy strip joints and jazz parlors of Bourbon Street.
The five men, all of whom lived alone, were stabbed to death during an eight-week period beginning with the Valentine's Day murder of Robert Gary. The latest killing was Thursday when a 77-year-old man was found in his apartment with 50 stab wounds.
"It seems to me if this same individual is committing these atrocious crimes, then this individual is deteriorating very fast in his mental activities and he needs to be caught in a hurry." said Dr. Frank Minyard, Orleans Parish coroner.
Minyard said the Thursday murder of Ernest Pommier fit a pattern established in the four earlier killings, all of which occurred within a 20 block area of the lower French Quarter.
Investigators and residents of the area, however, noted one major difference in Pommier's death. Some of the earlier victims were homosexuals, leading to a growing fear a killer was preying on the French Quarter's gay community.
"There was a lot of speculation before this last killing, but I've known (Pommier) for the last 10 years and to my knowledge he was not gay," said Michael, a spokesman for the Gay Service Center, who asked that his last name be withheld.
"In two of the (earlier killings) I knew that the people were gay," said Michael. "We knew one of the people because he was a sponsor of the gay service. The other person I knew from the Quarter."
The area where Pommier was killed, however, is frequented by gays, who often gather on French Quarter streets to socialize.
"Before this last killing everything seemed to point to one French Quarter Stabber," said Gretchen Hock, a Loyola University junior who lives just two blocks from Pommier's apartment and one block from the home of an earlier murder victim.
"Four out of the five as far as I know have been gay people," she said. "The street talk is that it is gays, but people may be capitalizing on the murder like the Boston Strangler. If you have a vendetta against somebody you could kill them in the same way (as the earlier victims) and capitalize on it."
Police put a special five-man investigative team on the killings Thursday and issued an urgent call for any witnesses.
Daily Review (Hayward, California) - April 15, 1977
Homosexual hater accused of slayings
NEW ORLEANS (UPI) - A stocky teenager with a revulsion for homosexuals" has been accused of being the "French Quarter Stabber" who murdered four men in the past two months, police report.
Warren Harris, 16, was booked Thursday for the four murders which occurred in French Quarter apartments within 18 blocks of each other. He originally was arrested Wednesday for the attempted murder of a French seaman.
Police believe three of the victims were homosexuals and said Harris spoke of a "revulsion for homosexuals."
Police Supt. Clarence Giarrusso refused ot discuss details of the investigation or arrest. To do so could jeopardize a trial because the suspect is a juvenile, he said.
He did say Harris made a statement to detectives. The suspect's mother and grandmother, a minister, were present during questioning.
The short, stocky youth was dwarfed by guards as he entered magistrate's court Thursday. He had been living less than a mile from the killings and had a transsexual roommate, police said.
"All indications are that he's not gay," said police spokesman Gus Krinke. "We don't believe that he was connected with the gay community at all."
Harris' mother said she did not believe her son was guilty. "I know my child. He's no saint, but I don't honestly think he is capable of something like this," said Joyce Harris. "He's a good-hearted child. He likes girls, he has a lot of girl friends. He's not homosexual."
"Mrs. Harris said Warren dropped out of school last year after eighth grade. She said he was confined to a state youth institution in 1974 for attempted auto theft and also had been arrested for theft and purse snatching. "I know he'd do a lot of drugs - but not that (murder)," she said.
Denton Record-Chronicle (Denton, Texas) - October 30, 1977
Youth guilty of stabbings
A jury in New Orleans found 17-year-old Warren Harris, left, guilty of three counts of murder late Friday. Harris was convicted in the deaths of three men stabbed to death last spring in the French Quarter.