$5,000 reward offered in anti-gay arson that killed 8 horses

Wed. April 27, 2011 12:02 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

An arsonist in rural Ohio wrote gay slurs on a barn on Easter Sunday, and then set the barn on fire, killing 8 horses inside.

The barn is on 46-year-old James B. Whitehouse's property in McConnelsville. He found it burning when he let his dog out just before midnight Sunday.

He tried desperately to open the barn door and get the horses out, but it was melted shut. He told a local newspaper that he could hear the horses kicking inside.

"I was raised that you treat others they way you would like to be treated. James was too," his mother, Mary Whitehouse, told the Marietta Times. "And he didn't do anything to deserve to be treated anything like this."

Friends in the small town told other local media that Whitehouse's sexual orientation is nobody's business.

"Whatever his sexual orientation was it had nothing to do with him as a person and to take it out on these innocent horses was beyond any fathom of what anybody should ever do to anybody," Yvette Yeadon told WhizNews.com.

The fire caused $500,000 in damage.

Firefighters are now offering a $5,000 reward in the case. Police want to talk with anyone who might have heard even the smallest snippet of information or gossip.