A murdered Dallas man’s family and friends are eager for answers as his case grows colder.

The memory of 46-year-old Rory Sean Thacker lives on in loved ones. They describe him as “an amazing human being and loyal friend” who “lived a life full of love, joy, and adventure.”

As eager as they are to preserve Thacker’s legacy as someone passionate about animals and serving the community, they also wish to bring his killer to justice.

“I suspect this wasn’t just foul play, but also a hate crime committed on a member of our [the gay] community,” Chris Youmans, Thacker’s friend, told the Dallas Voice.

“I fear that the more time that passes without an arrest may inevitably be moving Rory’s investigation toward the cold case files. I hope that this wasn’t a hate crime, because I would hate to think that he suffered,” said Youmans.

As previously reported in The Dallas Express, Thacker’s death took time even to be considered a criminal homicide by the authorities even though his sister, Holly Kimbrell, found him strangled with his hands tied behind his back in his home located in the 8000 block of Hunnicut Drive in eastern Dallas on December 5, 2023.

It wasn’t until February, when the Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office officially declared it to have been a murder, that Dallas police began to investigate it as such.

A person was seen on a nearby surveillance camera leaving in Thacker’s car — a 2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport, which is still unrecovered — at 3:30 a.m. on December 4, 2023. Fraudulent purchases of $5,100 were also allegedly made on his credit card.

There was no sign of forced entry at the home, leaving some of Thacker’s friends to suspect that he could have met the killer on Sniffies, a dating app for gay men.

“Because of the way he was found, I think he was set up,” Jay Bogaards told the Dallas Voice. “That app he was on was super sketchy.”

A spokesperson for the Dallas Police Department (DPD) told DX that the investigation had no new leads and was still ongoing.

Although the murder rate in Dallas has declined so far in 2024, in 2023, it was up by 15.4% compared to 2022, according to the City’s crime analytics dashboard. The overwhelming majority of the 247 murder victims clocked last year were black and Hispanic males, a continuing trend, City data reveals.

DPD has been grappling with several resource shortages, including a shortfall of police officers and a $654 million budget for this fiscal year—considerably less than the spending levels on police departments seen in other high-crime jurisdictions.

DPD fields roughly 3,000 officers despite a City report recommending closer to 4,000. This shortage of force has led to Downtown Dallas emerging as a hotspot for criminal activity, especially motor vehicle theft and assaults.

“The biggest correction to crime is having a police presence. It’s not even putting people in jail, just having enough people on the street, making people less likely to commit crime, and the City’s not doing that,” Louis Darrouzet, CEO of the Metroplex Civic & Business Association (MCBA), told DX in a previous interview.

MCBA produces monthly comparisons of crime reported in Downtown Dallas versus the downtown area of Fort Worth, which is patrolled by a specialized neighborhood police unit and private security guards. The former regularly puts up more offenses.

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