Carlos Castro (journalist)
Carlos Castro, 2010
October 5, 1945|
|Died||January 7, 2011
New York City, New York
Carlos Castro (October 5, 1945 – January 7, 2011) was a Portuguese television personality and journalist, who had worked in the media for over 35 years, mainly covering gossip items about musicians, actors and celebrities. He became well known after he had come out on television and participated in the Big Show SIC, presented by João Baião, in the 1990s. On January 7, 2011, he was found castrated and bludgeoned to death in a New York City hotel. The main suspect in his death was his boyfriend, a 21-year old male model, Renato Seabra, who had been a contestant on the Portuguese television modeling-themed reality show À Procura do Sonho (PT) (SIC). On January 10, 2011, Renato Seabra was charged with second-degree murder by the New York Police Department (NYPD) after confessing to the killing of Castro. He was sentenced to 25 years to life on December 21, 2012.
Born in Moçâmedes, Angola during the time period that it was a Portuguese colony, Castro had, during his childhood, a great interest in works of poetry. He moved to Luanda to become a reporter when he was 15. During his life, he became a "high-profile public figure as a TV personality" in Portugal, who had worked in the media for 35 years covering gossip items about musicians, actors and celebrities, having gained further popularity because of his public coming out as a homosexual to the country and "revealing the feminine side of his personality".
Both Castro and Renato Seabra had traveled to the United States in order to "see some Broadway shows and spend New Year's Eve in Times Square". A friend who had accompanied them on the trip, newspaper editor Luis Pires, stated in a later interview that, "There had been some friction between the two men toward the end of the trip, but nothing to suggest that anything horrible was about to happen". The two went to see a musical on Broadway and also a movie during their stay, but, on Friday night, when they were meant to be meeting up with Pires' ex-wife and his daughter in the InterContinental hotel lobby, they did not show. Instead, Seabra appeared and allegedly said, "Carlos will never leave the hotel again."
Pires' ex-wife and his daughter immediately notified hotel staff and security, who found Castro's body in the room around 7 PM that night. Castro had been beaten with a nearby laptop and a broken wine bottle had originally been believed to be the weapon used to castrate him. It was later discovered that the corkscrew for opening the wine bottle had been the castration implement. It had also been used to gouge out one of Castro's eyes. The cause of death found by the medical examiner was "blunt impact injuries on the head and neck compression." The examiner also noted that there were marks of strangulation on the body. When police looked for Seabra to interrogate him about the crime, he had already left the scene and later admitted himself to the St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center because he had tried to slit his own wrists. He was tracked down after his taxi driver called the police when he saw Seabra's picture in a police bulletin. Taken into custody, he was given a psychiatric evaluation at Bellevue Hospital Center a few hours later and was considered a person of interest.
After interrogation by the New York Police Department at the hospital, Renato Seabra admitted to the murder, stating that he had killed Castro in order to "get rid of [his] 'homosexual demons'". Detectives for the police believe that Seabra had killed Castro after the latter had "refused to take him on an expensive shopping trip." In light of this confession, he was charged with second-degree murder. Odília Pereirinha, Seabra's mother and a nurse with residency in Cantanhede, arrived in New York not long after his confession. She planned on accompanying her son through the trial process in the US.
Renato Seabra was transferred on January 10, 2011 to the prison section of the Bellevue Hospital Center, while his case was handed over to the New York County District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr. On December 21, 2012, a Manhattan judge gave the maximum sentence of 25 years to life to Seabra. As of January 2013 Seabra, New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision ID#13A0056, is located in the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York. Meanwhile, Carlos Castro's ashes were spread in New York City Subway tunnels under Broadway by his sisters, as was his desire.
Depois da Vida show
After his murder in New York, Carlos Castro was shown on the Portuguese television TVI's program Depois da Vida (After Life), a paranormal-related show where a British female medium, Anne Germain, claims she can have a conversation with dead people, that had been filmed in October 2010. During the show broadcast on January 21, 2011, Castro was allegedly "visited" by old drag queen friend José Centúrio de Almeida (stage name: Ruth Bryden), among other people he had known. The episode was originally delayed in airing due to complaints, but the producers decided to air the episode anyway. Afterwards, four further complaints were made to the Entidade Reguladora para a Comunicação Social (ERC), which were then sent to the board's legal department.
- David B. Caruso (January 9, 2011). "Portuguese TV star slain, castrated at NYC hotel". Forbes. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
- "Liebhaber prügelt Fernseh-Star tot". Süddeutsche Zeitung. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (English)
- "NYPD charge model with murder in castration death". Forbes. January 10, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "Model sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for murder, castration of sugar daddy". The New York Post. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- Ted Phillips (January 9, 2011). "Report: Portuguese victim killed, castrated". Newsday. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "TV-Star Carlos Castros kastriert und zu Tode geprügelt". Bild. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (English)
- "Tv-kjendis (65) funnet drept på New York-hotell". TV 2. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (English)
- Claudia Parsons (January 9, 2011). "Portuguese journalist killed in New York hotel". Leader-Post. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- Paul Thompson (January 10, 2011). "Male model admits 'castrating and killing journalist to cure him of his homosexuality'". Daily Mail. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- Susana Otho (January 11, 2011). "Carlos Castro terá sido torturado durante uma hora com um saca-rolhas". Jornal de Notícias. Retrieved January 11, 2011. (English)
- "Murdered Portuguese Journalist and Alleged Boyfriend Fought Over Sex, Money". New York Magazine. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
- "Journalist en homoactivist gecastreerd en gedood in hotel". Het Belang van Limburg. January 9, 2011. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (English)
- Zita Ferreira Braga (January 10, 2011). "Renato Seabra acusado da morte de Carlos Castro". Jornal Hardmusica. Retrieved January 10, 2011. (English)
- "Seabra, Renato." New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Retrieved on January 19, 2013.
- (Portuguese) Irmãs de Carlos Castro espalham cinzas na Broadway, Diário de Notícias
- (Portuguese) ERC já notificou TVI devido a programa com Carlos Castro, Diário de Notícias
- Mario Contumely (January 15, 2011). "Crítica de TV: Depois da vida". Jornal de Notícias. Retrieved January 24, 2011.
- Claudia Garcia (January 24, 2011). "Queixas contra "Depois da Vida" com Castro levam ERC a notificar TVI". iOnline. Retrieved January 24, 2011.