NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum  

Go Back   NNN Reporters Newsroom Forum > RSS FEED


Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2019, 03:13 AM
voiceofreason's Avatar
voiceofreason voiceofreason is offline
Junior News Editor
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 40,726
Default Tranny Buck Found Hanging from a Tree. PDX Kwops Say It's Suicide; Fambly Disagrees.


A Black, Queer, Homeless Portlander Was Found Hanging from a Tree. Police Say It's Suicide. Her Family Disagrees.
Jun 10, 2019 at 6:57 pm

(Editor's note on gender and pronoun usage: From speaking with Gulley’s family, we’ve learned that Gulley’s gender expression was fluid. Her family knew her as a cisgender gay man named Otis who sometimes dressed in drag, and they are quoted in this story using he/him pronouns. But among friends, Gulley typically presented as a woman, used she/her pronouns, and went by the name Titi. Because Gulley is now deceased, we can’t ask her which pronouns we should use, but we have decided to use she/her because that is how she usually presented publicly.)


On the afternoon of May 27, police officers found the body of a Black, queer, homeless person hanging from a tree in Rocky Butte Park.

According to the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), the death of Otis/Titi Gulley, 31, has been ruled a suicide. Her family, however, isn't as quick to settle on this conclusion.

Weeks after her death, Gulley's family is still struggling to find answers about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the end of her life. Since the night of Gulley's death, they have found the PPB to be unreceptive to their concerns. Kenya Robinson, Gulley’s mother, told the Mercury she believes some of this indifference has to do with Gulley's identity.

“You didn’t ask any questions,” said Robinson, referring to the PPB. “You saw a Black man in a tree who was in a homeless camp, and you wrote him off as being a transient homeless, and wrote it off as a suicide.”

Gulley had been homeless for most of her adult life, and also struggled with mental illness that Robinson said was caused by a difficult birthing process. Gulley was in regular contact with her mother and three siblings, and had been working with the homeless services nonprofit JOIN to try to find housing shortly before she died. Robinson said she had many friends in Portland’s homeless community, and was known by friends and family as a cheerful, helpful, and loving person.

“He was always wanting to help,” Robinson said. “‘Want me to cook? Want me to do your nails, do your hair, do something for you? Take the trash out?’ That’s just him.”

Though Gulley faced challenges in life, her family said that as far as they knew, she never mentioned suicide or attempted to harm herself. In fact, the family initially hoped the case was an instance of mistaken identity, and that Gulley was not actually the person found hanging in Rocky Butte Park.

They weren’t permitted to view Gulley’s body and confirm it was hers until a week after she died.

“I didn’t even know it was my son at the morgue until we went to go view his body at the funeral home,” Robinson said.

Gulley told the Mercury that initially, PPB did not plan to have an autopsy performed on Gulley’s body, but that they changed course after she requested one. She was told the autopsy concluded it had been a suicide, but she was not given any paperwork from the medical examiner’s office or the police about it.

PPB did not respond to several questions from the Mercury about these details, but did confirm that Gulley's death has been ruled a suicide by the Multnomah County Medical Examiner.

Gulley's friends do not believe she died from suicide. In the weeks following her death, many of them contacted her family, claiming that Gulley had been murdered, and was then hung from a tree to make it look like a suicide. They said there were other homeless people had witnessed it, and that someone had a video.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.