Saturday’s Herald story “North Miami councilman said sex abuse allegations ‘shameless politics'” takes the reader to the heart of darkness. A recap: In 2008, a 26-year-old named Gregory Horowitz killed himself with a chrome revolver inside the White House Inn, a North Miami motel. Police found cocaine, oxycodone, morphine, and other drugs in his system, according to the Herald. In a suicide note, Horowitz accused openly gay councilman Scott Galvin and two other men of molesting him when he was 12 years old. Galvin admitted to having had a relationship with Horowitz when both men were adults, but denied the accusation in Horowitz’s suicide letter. North Miami police ultimately found no evidence to substantiate the allegation, and the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office also declined to prosecute because of a lack of evidence, according to the Herald.
The story is back in the news after North Miami resident Jane Del Rosario alluded to “secret files” that Galvin had assaulted a 10-year-old boy at a city council meeting on Tuesday. “There must be something that’s being hidden,” said Rosario, imploring council members to investigate.
Galvin called Rosario’s claims false and accused her of doing the bidding of Edwin Hiram Quiñones, Galvin’s only opponent in the May 10 city election. “This is an assignation on my character,” Galvin said. “It’s all politically motivated.”
(Assignation means a secret rendezvous, especially between lovers. Galvin probably meant to say “an assassination on my character”. However understandable, the misusage may bring Freud back from the dead.)
The story gets more complex. An excerpt from the article:
Del Rosario told The Miami Herald that she had never met Quiñones before Tuesday’s council meeting and is not aligned with him. Galvin, however, provided The Herald with a photo and a sign-in sheet that indicate the opposite.
The photo, taken by the city at a North Miami Community Redevelopment Agency workshop earlier this month, shows Del Rosario sitting next to Quiñones, who is standing beside her. Her signature appears next to a box on the workshop’s sign-in sheet saying she’s affiliated with the “Hiram Quiñones Campaign.”
Del Rosario denies signing the sheet. “Anyone could have filled that in,” she said.
In the comments section, Herald readers have picked sides, advanced theories and countertheories, and levied accusations, at Galvin — who one commenter says was fired from the Miami-Dade school system “for accusations like this” (three likes) — at politicians not named in the story (Andre Pierre, Willis Howard, Ricardo Brutus), and at one another.
As I’m writing this, the second to last comment reads, “Unless you were shadowing Galvin 24/7 and chaperoning every encounter he had with Horowitz as a 12 year old boy, how can you possibly know anything about his alleged crime? The fact is you don’t know whether Galvin molested him, so stop attempting to vouch for Galvin’s character.” (One like.)
The last comment: “Mud is thicker than water.” (No likes.)
Indeed, visibility here is low, the poles of possibility disturbingly far apart. Did Galvin molest Horowitz as a child? Does the councilman share the blame for a 26 year old’s suicide? Is he, in short, the scum of the earth? Or did Horowitz kill himself not because Galvin molested him but merely because he jilted him? Was the suicide note the work of an embittered lover, a drug-fueled attempt to assassinate an innocent man’s character? Was Horowitz molested by someone but not by Galvin? Are the words of a man more or less believable when they come in the form of a suicide letter?* How do Rosario and Quiñones fit in? Do they know each other? Was the proof of their ostensible alliance fabricated? Why did Galvin seem to have it at the ready?
There are many more questions, I’m sure. I have no answers. The Herald article proffers none. The comment thread — 37 entries long at last count — does as much to obfuscate as to clarify.
So here we are. In the dark. Unable to tell if we are inside or outside. Not able to tell villains and victims apart. Compelled to withhold trust from everyone and everything in order to save ourselves.
This is the modern world. It is a photograph developing in reverse. A photograph of a 26-year-old lying dead inside a bayside motel called the White House Inn, one of its rooms turned into a mausoleum with a single gunshot, fading to black with the truth of this story sealed inside forever.
Another question: Is the room still let out?
* A commenter named TheTruthWillComeOut says suicide letters are “generally credible”. (Two likes.)