French Quarter Massacre Jimani Lounge Massacre Research

French Quarter Massacre Jimani Lounge Massacre Research

French Quarter Massacre Jimani Lounge Massacre Research

Photo from Jimani’s Facebook Page


We received so many hits on our Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre Review and our Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre View Through that we wanted to do a page completely dedicated to research we did so we could bring you some answers and information.

French Quarter Massacre Jimani Lounge Massacre Research – the address for the lounge is 141 Chartres St. New Orleans, LA 70130.

Jimani opened in 1971.  The building is much MUCH older so there are probably spirits from long before the fire.

The first sale of building seems to be in late 1848 and was purchased by Julia Hunt from Henry Carleton and was probably used to pay off a debt.

But you didn’t come here for a history lesson, did you?  So, let’s get to it:

The fire started in The Upstairs Lounge which was located on the 2nd floor of a building at the corner of Chartres Street and Iberville Street off of Canal Street very near the edge of the French Quarter.  The fire was deliberatly set and is the largest mass murder of gays in US history having killed 32 people.

Sunday, June 24, 1973 there were approximately 60 people in the building.  There had been over 100 attending the New Orleans Metropolitan Community Church (this was a church for homosexuals) that held their services in the bar.  When services were over the bar offered free beer to those that stayed.  People had stuck around for the free beer and to discuss the MCC’s fundraiser for the local Crippled Children’s Hospital.  This wasn’t the first time the church had been set on fire, it was the 3rd and the Upstairs Lounge had been serving as their temporary place of worship.  There had been 3 fires at the Metropolitan Community Church during the first half of 1973.  Their headquarters was destroyed on January 27, 1973.

A little before 8:00pm the doorbell rang which signals that a cab had arrived.  The bartender, Buddy Rasmussen, opened the steel door the wooden staircase was fire and the lounge was quickly overtaken by flames…this was the only entrance/exit.  There was an emergency exit but it was unmarked and the windows had metal bars.

Reverend Bill Larson, the pastor for the congregation, tried to escape through a window but became wedged and was burned to death.

Buddy Rasmussen, helped 15 escape (another article said 30) through the unmarked emergency exit.  One of the people he led out was Mitch Mitchell.  Mitchell went back into the building to help rescue Louis Broussard, his partner.  Their bodies were found together.

George “Bud” Matyi escaped the fire but went back in to help others.  His body was found under the piano holding on to other victims.

The fire lasted 16 minutes.

Many local churches refused to memorial services for those that perished in the fire.

No elected official ever made a public comment about the fire.

Many bodies went unclaimed because families were embarrassed to have gay family members.  There were 4 unidentifed bodies that the city wouldn’t release for burial and their bodies were put in a mass grave in Potter’s Field; a pauper cemetery.

Rogder Dale Nunez was arrested for the fire.  When he was questioned he went into convulsions (in 1970 he was diagnosed with Conversion Hysteria) and was taken to Charity Hospital and from there he escaped.  He was often seen in the French Quarters but was never arrested.  Allegedly, Nunez, told a friend on FOUR occassions (while drunk) that he had set the fire.  Another friend said that Nunez said he had put Ronsonol on the bottom steps and tossed in a match.  Nunez committed suicide.  His autopsy showed that he had a brain tumor.

I was able to find a complete list of the deceased:

Partners, Joe William Bailey & Clarence Josephy McCloskey, Jr. perished together. McCloskey’s sisters and two neices attended the Memorial Service. His neice, Susan, represented McCloskey in the Jazz Funeral.

Duane George “Mitch” Mitchell, assistance pastor at MCC, died trying to save his partner, Louis Horace Broussard.

Mrs. Willie Inez Warren died with her sons, Eddie Hosea Warren and James Curtis Warren.

Pastor of the MCC, Rev. William R. Larson, formerly a Methodist lay minister.

Dr. Perry Lane Waters, Jr., a Jefferson Parish dentist. Several victims were his patients and were identified by his x-rays.

Douglas Maxwell Williams

Leon Richard Maples, a visitor from Florida.

George Steven Matyi

Larry Stratton

Reginald Adams, Jr., MCC member, formerly a Jesuit Scholastic. Partner of entertainer Regina Adams.

James Walls Hambrick

Horace “Skip” Getchell, MCC member.

Joseph Henry Adams

Herbert Dean Cooley, Upstairs Lounge bartender and MCC member.

Professional pianist, David Stuart Gary.

Guy D. Anderson

Luther Boggs

Donald Walter Dunbar

John Thomas Golding, Sr., member of MCC Pastor’s Advisory Group.

Professional linguist, Adam Roland Fontenot, survived by Douglas “Buddy” Rasmussen, who led a group to safety.

Gerald Hoyt Gordon

Kenneth Paul Harrington, Federal Government employee.

Glenn Richard “Dick” Green, Navy veteran.

Robert “Bob” Lumpkin

Four men were buried in Potter’s Field, Ferris LeBlanc, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, Unknown White Male, the City refused to release these bodies to the MCC for burial.


Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre Review


Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre

Ghost Hunters
French Quarter Massacre
New Orleans, Louisiana
Jimani Lounge Massacre
@GhostHunters @JCHawes

This weeks episode, Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre, cover a fire that took place at the Jimani Lounge in New Orleans, LA in 1973.  People smelled gas before the building caught fire.  ARSON!  Thirty-two died and nobody was ever brought to trial.  The team also investigates the mortuary where some of the bodies were taken and a cemetery where the unclaimed bodies were buried.

This is an episode that proves, to me, why Ghost Hunters is the top show in this field!  They don’t find an over abundance of proof on every episode…which lets you know they’re for read and don’t try to sell us on the fact that everywhere they investigate is jam packed with the paranormal.  If they did this in every episode…you wouldn’t be able to believe them.  It’s sweet and touching to see Jason be protective of our expecting Amy and, as always, I was THRILLED to see Tango and Steve investigate together!

This episode is sad on so many levels 🙁  The fire was intentionally set and was set because of the homosexuals at the bar.  The person that set the fire was never caught and, therefore, nobody ever paid for this hate crime.  Another level of sadness?  Many bodies went unclaimed because the victim’s families were too ashamed to claim their bodies.  If ever there was a cause of a soul to not be at rest, this one screams of cause!



Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre View Through

Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre View Through
Ghost Hunters
French Quarter Massacre View Through

New Orleans, Louisiana
Jimani Lounge Massacre
@GhostHunters @JCHawes

 Ghost Hunters French Quarter Massacre View Through – I’m always torn on whether or not I want to go to New Orleans.  Being trapped in a fire, I can’t even begin to imagine!  I LOVE house Jason is voicing over at the beginning!  32 deaths.  WOW!  Why on earth would family not claim the bodies?  Embarrassed?  Because they’re gay?  *idiots*  Jay is looking so healthy!  You would think this to more of a residual type of haunting.    OHHHHH Steve & Tango are both there!  You know how much I love those 2 teamed up!

I’m not a Brit fan.  He ALWAYS sees and hears things…almost instantly.  “Did you heart that?” “Did you see that?”  Makes him unbelievable for me.

Jason and Steve 🙁  No Steve & Tango 🙁  I love Steve!  Must be something in the name 🙂  High K2s…that’s why people get odd feelings in that area.  You almost whacked Steve with that camera LOL.  If they find spirits here, oh, my heart would just break; dying in a fire, your family being ashamed to claim your body…so unjust.  You can tell in Jason & Steve’s voices and expressions that their feeling sympathy too.  Will Adam have a better chance…is he gay?  Is that why he thinks he might have better luck.   “We have a lot in common”.  Good for you, Adam!  That looked funny…everything fuzzy but the keyboard looked “sharp”.  I’m so fascinated by the paranormal!  I really hope there is something on the other side!  Aw, Adam, you’re doing so well.  Your words are great in reaching out to them.  Did I hear moans?  Thirty-two.  That’s just insane!  I’ll never understand hate.  You think being a murderer is okay but being in love with someone of the same sex isn’t?  *idiots*

What?  WHAT?  What is WHAT?!??!  I wish the show would drop the music.  It’s better if we can hear what they hear.  It’s also more like we’re there with them.  What a shame that some people feel like they need to keep their homosexuality a secret.  That door is shaped like a freaking coffin.  The ceiling is scorched?  Why haven’t they replaced that?  Morbid and probably bad for the roof.  It’s been like that since 1973?  Odd.

TANGO & STEVE!!! WOO HOO!!!!!  He “feels” most people died in that area….I’ve never heard Steve say anything like that.  They didn’t escape…they hid!  Saying “escape” sounds like they’re cool & bad as opposed to hiding like a coward.  Committed suicide?  I missed something. I’ll have to watch the beginning again…I was thinking they never caught who did it.  I still am dumbfounded that some people think that it’s more acceptable in society to be a murderer than to be gay.  You really think killing somebody is BETTER than being homosexual? *freak*

Well, they aren’t there to judge you if the your the victim but if it’s the guy that murdered them….PLEASE judge away!  You HOPE he’s a tortured soul!!!!!!

Photo of a ghost?  I looks like light LOL.  New Orleans cemeteries are amazing unique and beautiful.

Jay, such a dad to his team 🙂   It’s got to be hard to investigate a haunted haunted house LOL.  Camera guy must have heard something…he turned around.

Jason hears up and camera guy hears behind.  Spiderweb feeling in a “haunted house”.  Not too weird.  I get that spiderweb feeling quite often…I don’t know that I buy that as a paranormal thing.

Look at that amazing cemetery!  Boo, Brit.  Brit you’ve been on screen for 15 seconds…you’re due to hear or see something any second now.  And there you have it!  They’re just smudges…wipe it off and see what’s going on then.  JUST wipe the lens off.  Oh, well, I was wrong on what it was but…well…it wasn’t paranormal LOL.

MORE Steve & Tango!  What a happy HAPPY day!  I love to hear Steve speak.  He ALWAYS sounds so sincere!

I often wonder, why do the TV shows turn the lights out for investigating?  People report seeing and hearing things in the buildings, homes, etc.  THEY aren’t walking around with the lights out.  I do not see anything that even remotely looks like an apparition in that photo.  You can show me that photo over and over but I still don’t see what people are claiming.

I don’t like the review set up as much as the way they used to do it.  Every bit of me thinks that’s somebody on the crew talking.  There’s the coffin shaped door again.

I don’t hear the sound.  OH they didn’t catch it…good reason why I didn’t hear it LOL.  I wish Amy wouldn’t lighten her hair.  It would be so much prettier with her skin tone.  OH the guy was a suspect!  “Too late”…that was a FAST talking spirit!  NO, nobody is saying “stop it”.  I can usually hear what they hear after I’m told what to hear…not on that one.  “Come on, let’s get outta here”.

One reason I love this show and believe that they shoot straight with their findings is that they don’t always walk away with having found something.  THAT makes them believable.  If they always walked away with “evidence”…you can’t believe them.  They don’t.  This episode was a perfect example.