Details in 2007 Orlando Double-Murder Suicide Start to Leak Out
In late September 2007, three men were discovered deceased in a house owned by the former Executive Director of the Georgia Republican Party.
At least two of the dead men lived at the residence at 2420 Hickory Oak Boulevard in Orlando.
At the time, investigators didn’t release much information, just that they were in their 30s and white. Detectives said the deaths happened because of foul play, but wouldn’t say any more.
Murders frequently happen in Orlando, an average of over one a week. This made the news as 2420 Hickory Oak Boulevard was the address for The Strategum Group — Ralph Gonzalez’s political consulting firm.
Before starting the Strategum Group, Gonzales, 36, was the Executive Director for the Georgia Republican Party. Gonzalez managed dozens of campaigns throughout Florida including Mayoral Races, Congressional campaigns and almost everything in between.
Gonzalez’s level of international political experience made many candidates choose him as an asset and political organizations — as well as candidates — flocked to Orlando to see him.
Whatever work Gonzales did for his clients wasn’t cheap. The Orlando Sentinel reported in July 2007 one Orlando mayoral candidate handed over a little more than $114,000 for three weeks of work. That candidate lost.
Finally, the sordid story started leaking out.
Ralph Gonzales, David Abrami, also 36, and Jason Robert Drake, 30, perished in what the police called a double-murder suicide. Law enforcement pointed to Drake as the killer — but gave no explanation for his actions.
Gonzalez and Abrami were longtime friends — and lovers — according to FlProgressive, a liberal political blog in Florida. The two men also shared a life time enthusiasm for right-wing Republican politics.
Abrami, a lawyer, caught the Secret Service’s attention in 1992 as a junior at the University of Central Florida.
Abrami advertised a Turkey Shoot where individuals paid $2 to shoot a shotgun at life-size photographs of then-President Bill Clinton.
“A ton of laughs for the whole family,” Abrami said to the Orlando Sentinel. The Secret Service responded quickly.
Abrami’s contact with the Secret Service wasn’t the only problem for the Florida GOP — the party that bellows its stand for “family values.”
Over the past nine years, many have speculated that the double-murder and suicide were tied to some sort of gay love triangle.
Drake’s ex-wife wrote on Crimeblog, a site which has since expired:
“While reading the news articles, I saw quite a few speculating that it was a ‘love triangle.’ So there is a chance my ex-husband was gay. OK. That’s not something I’d freak out about — but it is shocking.”
Regardless of the circumstances of Gonzalez’ life — and death — his name does live on in the Ralph Gonzalez Memorial Award.