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Christopher Rudow (left)was killed in January of 2010 is seated next to his former boyfriend of five years John Warner(right)

2010 Murder Of Gay Buffalo Man Remains Unsolved; Mother Asks For Help

Christopher Rudow with a friend

BUFFALO— Christopher Rudow's January 2010 death was caused by blunt force trauma. A neighbor in a downstairs apartment heard a prolong struggle that night coming from Rudow's apartment but turned up the volume of the music to drown out the sound.

Christopher was a gay man living at the Elk Terminal lofts on Scott Street. He had moved there two months prior to his death after he and his former boyfriend, John Warner, had ended a five year relationship and sold the house that they had shared and co owned on Woodbridge Avenue in Buffalo's Parkside neighborhood.

Linda D. Olenski, Chris Rudow's mother described her son as a happy person. "Chris was not a confrontational person. He was a peacemaker always looking to reconcile disagreements".

Linda Olenski, who lives in California, spoke to Outcome Buffalo in an effort to encourage people to come forward and share information that will fill in the blanks regarding how her son came to be murdered in January 2010 and help bring who ever killed Chris to be brought to justice.

Buffalo Police still list the case as unsolved and have told Olenski that the killer used "blunt force" to end Rudow's life. Police also told her that it appeared to be a crime of passion and that Chris probably knew his killer.

There was no evidence of forced entry or a break in. Who ever killed Rudow was let into or had means to enter the apartment.

There was no evidence of internet hook-up with a stranger or that Chris had met someone at a bar. Chris had broken his leg in November and that along with a subsequent infection had caused him to become temporarily disabled. Chris had gone in late November to stay with friends in Long Island to recuperate. When Rudow returned to Buffalo, in December, it was still difficult for him to get around.

Christopher M. Rudow, 32, was a corporate trainer with GEICO in Amherst, was found beaten to death in his Buffalo apartment on January 5, 2010. It is unclear when he was killed because there is an eight day period during which no one had contact with Rudow. His body was discovered by police after Elk Terminal Lofts management were notified that his mail was backing up and that his truck was parked behind the apartment building where it was not normally parked.

Linda Olenski with her son Christopher Rudow

Chris came to Buffalo in 2004 transferring from GEICO's Woodbury, New York office as part of the training team that set up the insurance company's new Amherst office.

Chris loved music and singing. He was often a DJ at GEICO corporate parties. In fact Jennifer Kirchmeyer- Erskine, a former coworker of Rudow recalled on facebook that he used his karoke machine as part of his training routine.

Chris owned a professional DJ setup of sound equipment that he used professionally. Music was a major part of his life. Chris enjoyed going to local clubs to listen to and feel the vibe can be enjoyed at lgbt bars and dance clubs.

Police have told Olenski that they have interviewed a person of interest and that person has passed a lie detector test and that the case is still under investigation.

During the same first week of January 2010 there were four reported incidents of violence against lgbt people. New Years Eve 2009 a young woman was slashed by a knife in front of Roxy's on Main Street in Buffalo. A young man was physically attacked at the Walden Galleria Mall parking lot because he was perceived to be gay and another Buffalo man, William Foster was stabbed and murdered in his Hudson Street apartment. Both the Foster and Rudow murder cases remain unsolved.

"I raised Chris by myself for 17 years, and not only was he my son, but he was my best friend," she said. "Everybody tells me it gets better as time passes, but it gets worse. There isn't a day, an hour, a minute or a second that Chris is not on my mind."

Rudow grew up in Willows, California. When he was 16, Chris was key in efforts to locate and identify a man that was wanted for the killing of a girl in Oregon. The fugitive had spotted in Willows after a segment detailing the slaying had aired on America's Most Wanted TV show.

Chris Rudow in 2008

From the beginning I have asked police to visit the bars and clubs where Chris would often visit after working late nights to dance and listen to music. Olenski said that the police have not canvassed Buffalo's lgbt bars. Olenski has taken it upon herself to keep Chris's story alive. "Somebody has to know something." She said.

Olenski says she wants to know what would provoke someone to commit such a vicious act. She recalls her last telephone call with her son. They spoke about how Chris was "done" with relationships. Possibility of Olenski moving to Buffalo to join her son, and that Chris had hoped to adopt a child someday. "He wanted to be a father and he wanted his mom with him." Linda Olenski added "I am not going to give up on my son!"

Anyone with information on it, he said, should contact Buffalo police at the department's tip line, 847-2255, which also is the Text-A-Tip number. You can also contact Outcome Buffalo at editor@outcomebuffalo.com or the facebook page set up by the family and OutcomeBuffalo.com here.Tim Moran


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