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Police Still Hunting for Clues in Death of Gay Activist, A Year Later

 Police and loved ones are still looking for the suspects in the October 2012 killing of Lou Rispoli.
Police, Family Still Looking for Answers in Lou Rispoli Case
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SUNNYSIDE — Police and loved ones are still looking for clues in the death of Lou Rispoli, nearly a year after the gay rights activist was fatally assaulted on a Queens street near his home.

Rispoli, 62, was struck in the head with an unknown object at the corner of 42nd Street and Queens Boulevard on Oct. 20, 2012, according to the NYPD. He died five days later.

Police are still looking for three people wanted in connection with the crime, and the NYPD re-released sketches of two suspects this week in the hopes of catching a break in the case as the first anniversary approaches. Police do not have a description of the third suspect.

A $22,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest, according to the NYPD, which is investigating the killing as a possible bias crime. Police say the suspects may have fled the scene in a white or gray four-door sedan with a loud muffler.

"They're putting the word out there again, which I'm happy about," said Danyal Lawson, Rispoli's husband and longtime partner. "It's been a year and it's just really hard."

Rispoli had worked as an administrator at the Greenwich House Music School in Greenwich Village, where Lawson is also a teacher. The couple had been together for more than three decades, and were married in 2011.

Lawson said he's still hoping someone will come forward with information in the case.

“I have no closure,” he said. “It’s hard for me to move on until they catch these people.”

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau was looking into how officers handled the investigation in its earliest hours, local officers have said, based on reports that there was a delay of more than a day between the attack and when police established a crime scene at the location.

The NYPD has not responded to requests for information about the Internal Affairs investigation.