First-degree murder warrants have been issued in the investigation of Julio Ramirez and John Umberger’s deaths, W42ST has learned.

Julio Ramirez and John Umberger
Julio Ramirez and John Umberger. Photos: Instagram

According to reporting from the New York Post, six suspects were indicted on Friday with grand larceny and first-degree robbery in connection with a conspiracy to drug and rob as many as a dozen victims, while three suspects have been additionally charged with first-degree murder. W42ST reached out for further details on the indictments from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office who said: “We cannot comment or confirm. Indictments are under seal until arraignment in court. “

The break is a critical push forward in the case to find justice for Ramirez, 25, and Umberger 33, who both disappeared and were found dead within weeks of each other — each after having spent a night out in Hell’s Kitchen. The Medical Examiner’s office recently classified both deaths as homicides, adding that the two men were killed by a lethal dose of fentanyl, p-fluoro fentanyl, heroin, cocaine, lidocaine and ethanol.

Ramirez, a mental health counselor living in Brooklyn, went missing early the morning of April 21 after leaving the Ritz Bar on Restaurant Row in Hell’s Kitchen with three unidentified men. He was later discovered dead in the back of a taxi on the Lower East Side, his bank accounts drained of at least $20,000. Five weeks later, DC-based political consultant Umberger was discovered dead after last being seen at The Q nightclub on 8th Avenue. Umberger was also robbed of $25,000. Despite initial reports of the deaths as accidental drug overdoses, both Ramirez’s family as well as Umberger’s mother Linda Clary pushed officials to consider the deaths homicides as a result of robbery. As the investigation progressed, dozens of other surviving victims came forward, suspecting they were also targets of a crime ring. The Manhattan DA’s office made arrests in the murders of two Lower East Side clubgoers late last year, though the suspects were not believed to be connected to the Ramirez and Umberger cases.

Umberger’s mother credits NYPD Detective Randy Rose as making the connection between the cases and with pushing the investigation forward. “Without the hard work and dedication of NYPD Detective Randy Rose and countless others we would be nowhere,” Clary told the Post. “Detective Rose has been the greatest blessing in this tragedy. He is professional, committed and excellent at his job. I wish there were more of him.”

Last night, the New York Times reported that celebrity fashion designer Kathryn Marie Gallagher, 35, whose body was found in her apartment in July, was murdered. Police launched a homicide investigation after the medical examiner concluded she died of acute intoxication caused by a mixture of fentanyl, p-pluorofentanyl and ethanol.


This is a developing story and we will update it as more details become available.

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25 Comments

    1. They did release pics. It’s kinda blurry but there’s 3 of them. What they did is unforgivable. How did they even know these fellas had any money in their accounts? A warning should be issued regarding that matter. If you don’t know someone, DO NOT discuss ANY financial issues with them. It’s not their business-period. Also, discussing that information with acquaintances or work associates could create dangerous consequences. A scenario: Mentioning to a coworker or the server at your favorite coffee shop you received a bonus. One of those people passing along that information either intentionally or unintentionally could put you in the same situation these unfortunate men were in. Sexual orientation is irrelevant. Those punks got approximately $45,000.00 from those two guys. They pumped them up with dope so it appeared like an overdose. The sooner the authorities know the facts regarding a crime, the better the chances of resolving it become. Thank God for their families notifying police those crime scenes were setup. Getting photos to the public from cameras placed in that area, asap, is critical. They’ll all get arrested and be sentenced to prison where they’re going to have the shit beat out of them on a daily basis-bet they weren’t thinking about that when they did what they did. My prayers go out to the families of these two men. Losing a child is a tragedy no parent should have to face and in this case, the brutality of their demise is unfathomable. “Thou shalt not kill” is one of our commandments and our God is forgiving. But, He has to draw the line somewhere, right? I honestly believe there’s a special place, in the deepest parts of hell, for those that can’t manage to conduct themselves in a humane manner. My heart goes out to all the families and friends of these two men. I am so sorry 😞

  1. Many thanks to Phil and the team at W42ST.nyc for pushing forward these stories and bringing them to the attention of the police and other people in the City. May justice be served.

  2. Thank You Phil and w42st for all your dedicated wonderful work; and especially for your continued coverage of these 2 horrible events. Your daily newsletters are not only informative but your Support of Hell’s Kitchen is so Important!!! Thanks can never be said enough!
    Thank You!!!
    THANK YOU!!!

  3. My first thought was, “Good! I’m glad they finally caught these b*st*rds.” But then I reminded myself that folks are innocent until proven guilty. Still, I’m glad the justice system is moving forward on these terrible cases.

  4. I hope they have the right people, and I hope that justice will be done. We’ve all been frustrated by the slow pace of the investigation. I hope it took so long because they did it right, found the people responsible, and built an airtight case against them. But nothing will bring back these promising men or console their grieving loved ones. Hell’s Kitchen grieves with them.

  5. I am glad they have finally indicted and am looking forward to finding out exactly who the guys in this “gang” are. I doubt that a gang, as we traditionally understand them, could have easily done this. It would have to have been a gang of gay men to be able to seamlessly enter a gay bar without others being aware that something was off about them. The fact that these guys used the victims credit cards to splurge on Sunday brunches, spa days, and shopping sprees at bloomingdales is not insignificant. The problem still boils down to the fact that gay men have normalized drugging other men in the bars, and not only in New York.

      1. Are you a bartender or a bar owner? Either way you guys make your money so you don’t care about drugging predators.

    1. The spa purchases and brunch were in a different case, which you’ve acknowledged in another post. The facts aren’t all available to us yet. Let’s not make up our own.

      1. Did no such thing…this came out in an article about Ramirez’ murder. You really think a New York gang is going to mingle in a gay bar? Lol…that’s absurd.

    2. @DHT your comment is BS. The spending was from a different case where the victims were straight. And the investigators have said the suspects are gang members – the investigators having worked the case for months and solved it. They know the facts. You clearly dont.

      1. There are so many cases how can you possibly keep them all sorted out? The old gays drug the young ones for sex because they don’t take “no” for an answer and think they’re “alphas” while the young ones are drugging the old ones to get their cash and pay their bar bills because they have no money. The bars are vile and we all know it. This isn’t just happening in NY btw, it’s everywhere and it’s a public health crisis.

        1. I see that you have been posting similar messages across the internet for years now. You have a certain experience and ideas about this topic, and you are imposing your own fixation on to the actual cases of John and Julio. I don’t think this does anything good for anyone.

          1. It certainly does do good. Forewarned is forearmed, young gay men need to know what they are up against. Most young men go to the bars looking for friends and community, the only community that is left in them is the drug crowd.

    3. As someone who was a young gay, now an old gay, I have never ever known of people drugging each other at bars. This comment is really crackpot.

  6. Julio was sweet, kind, and intelligent. He put others first and worked in a profession where he helped children. Whoever did this to him and others should be brought to justice and understand who they robbed from this earth.

  7. Vile. Team-tandem murder.

    Was there a robbery at same time, or foul play —- in other words, why would they assume homocide in the case of Kathryn Gallagher, the costume designer, as opposed to accidental overdose?

    1. Because when a young woman is found dead of an overdose of a date rape drug everyone assumes that she was victimized and when a young man is found dead the exact same way everyone assumes that he did the drugs himself. It doesn’t help that the drug crowd in the gay bars cover for each other when the police investigate and say that they saw the guy do the drugs himself. It’s surprising that the police got as far as they did with this investigation, you can thank Umberger’s mother for that.

    2. They didn’t assume. They took from last July til now to rule her death a homocide. They investigated.

      1. Interesting that you accused me of making things up. The Medical Examiner tried to tell both Linda Clary and the Ramirez family that their sons died of accidental overdoses. That did not happen with the Gallagher case. BTW, the guys on here saying that my posts are bs are most likely either drug dealers or bar owners. It’s common knowledge among gay men that this happens and it’s why a lot of us don’t go to the bars. Like any other dirty little secret, they don’t want you to know.

        1. Look, we get it: you’re a paranoid crackpot and a conspiracy theorist. Bar owners, bartenders, and the “drug crowd”: we’re all out to get you. That’s great, believe what you will. But can you keep it away from Julio & John’s cases? People are grieving, and they’re looking for answers. We won’t find them in your bizarre copy-paste diatribes. Why not stay local and look into Robert Wone?

          1. My best guess is you’re either a predator or an enabler yourself trying to protect your lifestyle. Drug predation in the LGBTQ community is rampant and it isn’t just for rape. It is particularly problematic among gay men and in the gay bars. At least me and my paranoid crackpot friends stay safe and alive. The research is starting to come out. What happened to these guys is an ordinary night in the bars. If someone had warned John and Julio they probably would be too: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/00224499.2021.1962236

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