LGBTQ activist accused of burning own house in alleged hate crime hoax

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Her/his five pets took “one for the cause,” perishing in the fire.

From Yahoo: A popular gay rights activist was charged on Monday with first-degree arson after an FBI investigation led authorities to believe he set fire to his own house in an elaborate hoax meant to look like a hate crime.

Nikki Joly lost five pets when his Michigan house burned to the ground in 2017, according to the Detroit News. At the time, he was a prominent figure in the LGBTQ community who had helped open the city’s first gay community center, organized the first gay festival and helped establish a hard-won ordinance that prohibits discrimination against gay people.

Considering Joly’s status in the community, the FBI initially treated the fire as a hate crime. But the more they pounded the pavement, the more the trail led right back to Joly. “We determined it pretty quickly to be an arson,” said Elmer Hitt, Jackson’s director of police and fire services, according to the Detroit Free Press. “We investigated it over what probably was a year’s time before the prosecutor ended up issuing charges.”

Joly, a transgender man, had been declared Citizen of the Year by the Jackson Citizen Patriot, a local newspaper, in 2018. The accompanying article dug into his painful past and celebrated him as the leader he’d become. It described the rejection he’d experienced at 15 from the adopted parents who couldn’t accept that he didn’t identify as a girl, the sexual assault he’d survived and the harassment he’d received for being transgender.

The article also called him “stubborn and undeterred” in his anti-discrimination crusade and detailed all the things he’d done for the LGBTQ community. But many in the community have expressed deep disappointment over Joly’s case.

“It’s embarrassing,” Travis Trombley, a gay resident involved in the fight for the anti-discrimination ordinance, told the Detroit News. “How do you do it to the community you have put so much effort into helping?”

“All that good work is tainted. We know one bad mark outshines a hundred good ones,” added community member Stella Shananaquet, whose son is gay. “I’m infuriated someone could tear down the community that way.”

Investigators have still not announced a suspected motive for Joly to burn his own house down and kill his own pets in the process. But Barbara Shelton and Bobby James — two officials from St. Johns United Church of Christ, home of the Jackson Pride Center, where Joly spent much of his time volunteering — have proposed a theory to the police.

They told authorities that Joly was annoyed that the gay rights controversy wasn’t receiving much attention once the anti-discrimination law he’d fought for had been passed. They said he was also disappointed in the lack of fanfare over the gay rights parade he’d helped organize, according to a police report. But when questioned by the Detroit News, Shelton backpedaled, saying, “Not sure I said that. I have no idea about anything, never heard Nikki comment in any fashion about anything like that.”

Joly’s attorney, Daniel Barnett, dismisses the speculation. “It doesn’t make sense,” he told the Detroit News. “He was Citizen of the Year. There was plenty of media coverage already before the fire.”

Joly’s supporters are also standing by him. “If there’s a cause he’s always there,” friend Terri McKinnon told the newspaper. “He goes out of his way to help anybody and everybody. We’re lucky to have him.

The case is reminiscent of another alleged hate crime hoax that recently came to light — that of Empire actor Jussie Smollett, who reported that he was assaulted by two men who hurled homophobic and racist slurs at him outside his Chicago apartment in January. Investigators now say that Smollett knew his attackers and have accused him of hiring them to stage the crime to elicit public sympathy. Smollett was arrested on Thursday and charged with a felony.

Just how common are hate crime hoaxes? The New York Times reports they’re “rare,” but “do damage.” Cynthia Deitle, who spent 20 years as an FBI special agent focusing on hate crimes, said the most common reason for this kind of hoax is “the desire for attention and sympathy.” She said, “The cases I examined took place in a workplace environment and at residences, and sometimes the allegation was made to draw attention away from a real negative aspect of the complainant’s life, like poor performance at work or school, or a feeling that the complainant was not getting the attention she or he deserved.”

Of course, hate crimes are a real and serious phenomenon. The FBI reports that in 2017, there were more than 8,000 reported incidents in the U.S. That number was up about 17 percent from 2016.

A hearing to file motions in the Joly house fire case is scheduled for March 8 in Jackson County Circuit Court, according to the Detroit News. Yahoo Lifestyle has contacted Joly’s attorney for comment.


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23 responses to “LGBTQ activist accused of burning own house in alleged hate crime hoax

  1. “He”, “him” and “his” should be “she” and “her”.
    Nikki Joly is a woman, no matter how much she wants to be a man and no matter how corrupt the journalism profession is in succumbing to the Left’s pronoun tyranny.
    Nikki Joly is also insane. She should be charged with animal cruelty, arson, and perpetrating a hoax on the public.

    • You know me pretty well, Eo, so you won’t be surprised when I say that this infuriates and enrages me equally, so much so that I think it’s beyond insane.

      If this creep incinerated her poor animal companions, she deserves murder charges, in my opinion.

      And let me assure others here, if sent to a prison –either male or female– once the inmates learn of this, they will do unto her what she’s done unto those innocents. Really.

      S/he will find itself in a population of people from abused backgrounds: they hate animal abuse, as animals were often their only companions when they were growing up, and will seek to avenge these helpless five innocents. Tears.

      • “If this creep incinerated her poor animal companions, she deserves murder charges, in my opinion.”

        I totally agree! She is a monster.

        • I found my reply to you difficult to write, because I try to be a Christian, but some people… Had to stop, tough old me is getting angry & sad again, a bad combination, as it means I could go off on someone doing this, and never even think about it.

      • I feel likewise, Joseph.

        2 of the pets were German Shepherds, and having owned one myself, I’m not sure there’s a punishment sufficient for Nikki, to make her feel what her pets went through.

        What Nikki did, is about as unforgiveable as one can do.

        • Now that just makes it all the worse, because I can picture it: I had a Golden German Shepherd about 40 years ago. He FINALLY had a really great home and a loving environment w/us on 40 acres, but one day he wandered down to the highway and no one saw him, until next day when I discovered his body by the side of the road where someone hit Lobo and just left him. Grrr!!

  2. I imagine Joly is also a member of PETA. What the hell kind of person burns down her own house and kills her own pets with it? Joly is not only insane, she is criminally insane!

    But this goes to show that 100% of the hatred in America comes from—drumroll—THE LEFT.

    • I agree with you, Steven, but I can’t write anymore because I’m too choked, I’m completely pissed off.

      • I read your previous thread, Joseph, and I totally understand.
        I cannot fathom what kind of mind this woman is possessed of, but it sure seems to me the Devil has a stronghold with her.
        At least the woman who falsely accused me of assault (she also attempted to file an anonymous claim vs. my insurance!) did not set me on fire. (Although she did say to me, “I’ll destroy you!”)

  3. Forget the arson, perpetrating a hoax, what kind of a human being sacrifices their pets lives so they can get attention??!!!! What kind of a human being can wantonly kill an animal, their own loyal pet with no feeling? I would say beyond gender confusion this thing, he, she, it, has a serious case of malignant narcissism or some other psychotic disorder. This totally sickens me and “it” shoud indeed be charged with animal cruelty.
    Will they throw her in a man’s prison like they do with male tranny’s who they put in women’s prisons? I bet “it” would be screaming to go to a woman’s facility when it comes to the time

    • I totally agree. I couldn’t care less about his/her mental challenges but those animals didn’t deserve to die like that.

  4. Yet another Wackadoodle from the LGBTQ-BLT bunch!

  5. I am disgusted at her heartless “hate crime” against her own pets. Those poor trusting creatures were apparently just collateral damage in her calculations. Heart breaking.

  6. I sure do get tired of having to delete all these ‘app’ symbols or what ever they’re called, every time, every click, or what ever, they just put in our face. Got no use for em or understanding of em, just a nuisance.

  7. Lock the perv in a cage in the pound with hungry pit bulls.
    No Mercy.

  8. Richard C Youghn

    “Somebodys got to hate me! Even if its myself!”

  9. This is just more “cult of victimhood” crap done a different way. They are all competing for attention. Instead of honoring achievement and competency they want to be helpless and psychologically messed up. Rather than be affirmed for their hard work they want to be coddled for their deficiencies.

    It is a death cult, pure and simple. They are not people of hope. They are not confident, talented people. They are losers.

    • This woman belongs in an asylum for the criminally insane, but isn’t the real story about a town like Jackson, Michigan awarding her Citizen of the Year? Stephen’s allusion the other day to Nietzsche’s Last Man fits Jackson to a tee. So far from rising above this sort of cultural degeneracy, this formerly conservative town’s proud nihilists would cry out “Give us the Last Man” if they knew what it meant. Wow, they must feel so relevant in Jackson marching under any banner that makes them more comfortable than they already are in their meaningless lives.

    • Boy oh boy, Lophatt, you sure got that right! And very, very well put, so kudos to you.

      I really want this creep in some place like Walla Walla maximum, or a hard time joint in Ontario, because the boys and girls there know what to do: believe me they’re ready, willing, and plenty damn able!

  10. Lophatt . . . I think you are right on the money with your comments. Bravo!

  11. “It” should be burnt to a crip,

  12. The totally unnecessary pain and suffering heaped upon loving and adorable animals by a retched, mentally disturbed ‘human’ can only be atoned by GOD, assuming he would be willing to make such atonement.
    And I feel safe in saying HE would be hard pressed to do so.

  13. I would relish the opportunity to tune this piece of shit up properly. Anyone that would harm an animal or child is a waste product that needs to be repeatedly beaten until they beg for mercy… I am totally with Joseph BC69 in my outrage. My cats are family and better than many that I am related to…


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