WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — According to a report in the “Los Angeles Times” today, cold-case detectives have identified a primary suspect in the brutal 1990 murder of William Arnold Newton, aka gay adult performer Billy London.
A „self-proclaimed white supremacist and skinhead“ and onetime gay adult performer known as “Billy Houston“ has allegedly confessed to Newton’s abduction and murder in a taped confession
The „Times“ article by Kevin Rector is titled, „Avenging Billy: How amateur sleuths took on a gay porn actor’s haunting Hollywood murder.“
Houston now identifies as a transgender woman and an Orthodox Jew named Daralyn Madden and is currently serving a life sentence for murder in Oklahoma. Although a criminal case was presented to prosecutors, L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón has declined to press charges, according to the „Times“ report, citing “a lack of evidence beyond the confession,” as well as “the difficulty of proving Madden’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt after 30 years and with so many unanswered questions remaining in the case.”
Over the past several years, a community coalition came together to raise public awareness of the case, among them Emmy-nominated documentarian Rachel Mason (“Circus of Books”), adult director Kevin Clarke, novelists and true crime podcasters Christopher Rice and Eric Shaw Quinn and, notably, social worker Clark Williams.
This reporter is among those who called for leads more than a decade ago and has published a series of bulletins for XBIZ documenting the progress of the cold case.
Rachel Mason spoke with XBIZ about the breakthrough.
“I learned about this story when I was working on ‘Circus of Books’ and read an article about the murder by [adult journalist] Mickey Skee, followed by articles by others, including [you]. I assumed Billy’s death never made news in the mainstream because it involved someone from the adult community and that enraged me,” she said. “I felt by making a documentary I could simply share the profound story of his life and death, but I didn’t think at that time we would solve this crime.”
Mason noted the recent breakthrough was enabled through the efforts of “all the different people in the community coming together in almost perfect synchronization.”
She added, “I have to think Billy is watching, and I feel so much gratitude at all of these forces that collided at the right time to make solving the crime a reality.”
In late October 1990, shortly before Halloween, Newton completed what would be his final film and was last seen alive socializing in West Hollywood on Oct. 28, according to available evidence. On Oct. 29, his head and feet were discovered in a dumpster. Despite multiple attempts over the years to generate new tips or leads, until recently the case remained frustratingly cold.
Billy Newton would have been 58 years old this year.
Contact Mason at email@example.com or this reporter directly at JC@xbiz.com.
XBIZ will continue to update this breaking news story.
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