John LeGeros

Two young boys were hiking in March 1985, when they wandered into a smokehouse on private property. There they found the skeletonized body of a man, naked except for a black leather bondage mask. As the mask actually helped preserve the victim’s facial features, he was soon identified as Eigil Dag Vesti, last seen in the early morning hours of February 23, 1985. The smokehouse belonged to John LeGeros, whose son Bernard was a friend of Vesti’s. Police took 22-year-old Bernard in for questioning and extracted a grisly, bizarre confession.

LeGeros said he was the henchman of a sadomasochistic homosexual art gallery owner named Andrew Crispo, who enjoyed throwing cocaine-fueled parties in which an unlucky victim was held captive and physically, sexually, and psychologically tortured. LeGeros claimed Crispo had ordered him to shoot Eigil Dag Vesti.

LeGeros pled insanity, but the jury convicted him on September 26, 1985. He was given the maximum sentence of twenty-five years to life in prison.

Five months later, Andrew Crispo – who was not charged with any crime in connection to Vesti’s death nor required to testify at LeGeros’s trial – earned his own short jail term for tax evasion, and a longer stint fifteen years later for attempted extortion and obstruction of justice. But while free, he remained “the bogeyman of New York City’s gay world . . . what was meant when older gay men cautioned younger gay men about Bad Things That Happened when hooking up.”