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  • Kevin Bacon. Photo: Facebook

Cannibal Pleads Guilty in Gruesome Michigan Grindr Murder of Kevin Bacon

Victim was trans rights pioneer Grace Bacon's grandson

By |2022-09-29T10:22:36-04:00September 29th, 2022|Michigan, News|

Mark Latunski, 53, of Morrice, northwest of Lansing, pleaded guilty last week to the grisly death of 25-year-old Kevin Bacon on Christmas Eve in 2019, averting a trial that would have subjected Bacon’s family and loved ones to a detailed examination of the crime. Latunski’s trial had been scheduled to begin Oct. 18.

Latunski and Bacon apparently met on Grindr and agreed to rendezvous at Latunski’s house in Shiawassee County. There, Latunski admitted to killing Bacon — by stabbing him in the back and then slicing his throat — before making a meal out of a portion of Bacon’s genitalia. 

Bacon, 25, of Swartz Creek, was a hairdresser and student at University of Michigan-Flint. He was also the grandson of Michigan trans rights pioneer Grace Bacon, who in 1977 founded Crossroads, the first support group for trans persons in the state. Following her grandson’s tragic murder, Grace Bacon spoke to Pride Source about the crime in 2020.

“I’ve seen death up close at times,” she said. “But nothing bothered me quite like this. It’s a young person that was robbed of what? Sixty, maybe 80 years of life, even. This young man had a lot of potential. We were robbed of his company.” 

In a Facebook post from Jan. 1, 2020, Grace Bacon said her grandson’s death “has galvanized me in a way that no other event in my life has done to this point.” She pledged to expand the Transgender Safety Project she created several years ago to include crimes against the LG and B communities as well. 

Kevin Bacon is believed to have been seeking a BDSM experience with Latunski but tragically got much more than he bargained for. After killing Kevin Bacon, police say Latunski strung his body up from the rafters of his house with rope, hanging him by his ankles. His body was found naked in that position by police on Dec. 28 when a search of Kevin Bacon’s Facebook history led them to Latunski’s house.

At the time, Kevin Bacon’s father Karl Bacon said in a press conference in 2020 that “Evil does exist and it touched us.” Admitting that his son had “a dark side,” Karl Bacon said, “It’s gut-wrenching to hear the details and we are just beside ourselves.”

Karl Bacon and family will be spared from reliving those details in court thanks to Latunski’s guilty plea.

Bridget Parker runs the Justice for Kevin Bacon of Michigan page on Facebook. She said that Latunski’s guilty plea “is a relief, [but] it doesn’t bring Kevin back to his friends or family. It doesn’t change the pain and devastation this horrific crime has caused.”

Parker said that she hopes “this will allow Kevin’s loved ones to move forward knowing justice will be served.”

Erin Knott, executive director of Equality Michigan, said the plea is a moment for the LGBTQ+ community to consider taking caution and be aware of the risks associated with online dating or hookups.

“Make sure you have a safety plan that includes meeting in a well-lit public space, and do not leave your drinks or belongings unattended,” she said. “Additionally, consider using a location and alert app like Life350 so that you can share your location with a friend or family member.”

Pleading guilty to “open murder” means Latunski could possibly be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter. At a hearing on Oct. 18, the court will determine which crime Latunski will be convicted of. This will determine whether or not he will be eligible for parole. 

According to Flint’s WJRT, Latunski’s lawyers advised him against pleading guilty. They had originally intended to use an insanity defense in the case and Latunski was initially deemed incompetent to stand trial. In late 2020, however, he was deemed restored to competency. Prosecutors, meanwhile, say they offered nothing to Latunski in exchange for his plea and that he will not receive a lighter sentence because of it.

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael has been with Pride Source since 1999 and is currently senior staff writer. He has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author for his authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," released on his own JAM Books imprint.
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