'77 Slaying Still Unifies Chicago Gays

April 7, 1992

Frank Rodde III did not seem to fit anyone's definition of a hero.

The 29-year-old suburbanite turned Chicagoan poured liquor for a living, and his friends say he enjoyed partaking of it for fun. For most of his life, Rodde was obese, carrying more than 250 pounds on his 5 foot 5 inch frame.

He wasn't devoted to any cause and spent his time searching for fun, whether it be through light-hearted rap sessions with old friends or flirtatious meetings with young gay men like himself.

But early one April morning in 1977, Rodde's happy-go-lucky lifestyle came to a grotesque end. Maybe his latest romantic encounter turned dreadfully sour, or maybe he forgot to take one last look over his shoulder. The result was Rodde's slashed body, riddled with 40 stab wounds, found wrapped in a shower curtain and left to bleed to death in his own bathtub.

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SOURCE: articles.chicagotribune.com/1992-04-07/news/9202010019_1_gay-community-lesbian-task-force-national-gay