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Man on death row claims homosexual panic was the reason he murdered a gay man

Robert Van Hook brutally murdered David Self back in 1985

By Steve Brown

A man on death row for murder has blamed his actions on “homosexual panic”.

Robert Van Hook, 56, murdered David Self in 1985 and was sentenced to death 33 years ago but has now appealed ahead of his execution next month.

Hook met Self at a Subway Bar in Ohio before they went to Self’s flat where Hook strangled him until he was unconscious before stabbing him multiple times in the neck.

The murderer then proceeded to cut open his abdomen before stabbing his internal organs, according to court records.

He also stole a leather jacket and necklaces before fleeing to Florida.

But now, Hook has appealed to Ohio Parole Board arguing he suffered mental, physical and sexual abuse when he was young and was depressed as a result.

He was also “troubled by increasing questions about his own sexual identity”, according to his lawyers.

However, prosecutors have slammed his “homosexual panic” plea explaining he had a history of going home with gay men to steal from them.

The Hamilton County prosecutor’s office wrote: “This is a man who had cynically manipulated homosexuals for years.

“He posed as a gay, he frequented bars that were gay and he preyed on vulnerable victims who were gay.”

Hook apparently has a record of violent attacks since he was imprisoned, including stabbing another convict on death row.