Anthony Joseph “Tonee” Mello, born March 5, 1947, in Oakland, was found dead April 14 in a well on his property in Oaxaca, Mexico.
by Seth Hemmelgarn, Bay Area Reporter
June 16, 2011
Family and friends of a gay former Bay Area resident who was recently killed in Mexico will be remembering him this Father’s Day.
Anthony Joseph “Tonee” Mello, born March 5, 1947, in Oakland, was found dead April 14 in a well on his property in Oaxaca, Mexico. Mello’s friend Ron Schmidt of San Francisco and his son Jon Mello of Scotts Valley believe two people burglarized his home and murdered him days before the discovery.
A gathering celebrating Mr. Mello, who was 64, will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 19, at Cafe Flore, 2298 Market Street in San Francisco.
In an interview, Schmidt called Mr. Mello, whom he’d known for 30 years, “one of my very dearest friends” and “a mentor.”
Continue reading “Man from Bay Area, killed in Mexico, mourned”
We had no time to mourn Tonee because the same week, on Wednesday, my son-in-law Alan Freeburn was arrested on the street in Tlalixtac where he lives, and driven away with a black bag over his head.
by Nancy Davies
We had no time to mourn Tonee because the same week, on Wednesday, my son-in-law Alan Freeburn was arrested on the street in Tlalixtac where he lives, and driven away with a black bag over his head. The Mexican legal system is Napoleonic, based on “guilty until proven innocent”; charges may be initiated either by a denunciation or by evidence. It’s not easy to learn what the charges might be because only a lawyer can read them, sitting in the office of the District Attorney. Information leaked to the press is almost totally incorrect; it’s function is to convince the public that something is being done by the Public Security office.
Alan’s arrest was triggered when he had Tonee’s stolen Jeep on Tuesday. When he was stopped with it, he gave it to the police along with the keys. No record of that exists because the police took the car. 1) the Jeep was for sale; it contained no papers connecting it to Tonee, and 2) Alan did not withstand the days of Oaxacan interrogations: he changed his story several times and finally signed some sort of “confession”. (Those self-incriminating statements are not evidence in court, even in Mexico)
Continue reading “Tonee Mello’s death: presunto culpable”
More than a week later the news still has not sunken in, and daily the urge to reject it is overwhelming: that my friend Tonee Mello is dead.
by Scott Campbell
More than a week later the news still has not sunken in, and daily the urge to reject it is overwhelming: that my friend Tonee Mello is dead. Tonee was murdered at his home in the outskirts of the city of Oaxaca during a robbery on Monday, April 11, 2011. It is a senseless, vicious loss of life that leaves one with an innumerable amount of emotions and questions which can only be worked through and resolved with time, if at all. While two individuals have been detained in relation to his murder, and the case will make its way through the court system here in Oaxaca, such facts hardly offers themselves as remedies to this tremendous loss.
Tonee was a singular individual, unlike anyone I have ever met. I believe he was the most generous person I have had the privilege to know. If Tonee could have held the world in his hands, he would have happily given it to you, even if it meant he himself was left with absolutely nothing. And even if he had nothing, he would make something of it to share with you as well. He had a boundless, completely unselfish generosity the likes of which I have never seen. As in so many instances, words are insufficient.
Continue reading “Remembering Tonee Mello”
Whenever someone dies violently, many people want to know why. What is known so far is that the murder was not political or a gay hate crime.
As many of you already know, Tonee Mello was murdered at his home in Oaxaca on Monday, April 11. Tonee was a former member of the Oaxaca Lending Library Board, co-founder of the Oaxaca Study Action Group, a gay rights activist, lover of people across age, gender, and race, an animal lover, gardener, with an all around zest for life cradled in arms of great compassion.
Whenever someone dies violently, many people want to know why. What is known so far is that the murder was not political or a gay hate crime. The evidence to date points to a robbery motivated by the need for quick money to buy drugs. The police are holding two persons in jail, one of whom is an American. Tonee was acquainted with the American but was not a friend.
Tonee’s son, John, is in Oaxaca. Not surprisingly, he is quite exceptional. John has been overwhelmed in dealing with his father’s death and with all the attendant details. However, he hopes to meet many of Tonee’s friends this Wednesday when a Memorial Gathering will be held to honor and remember Tonee. Everyone is invited. Please see details following.
Continue reading “Memorial Gathering for Tonee Mello”