Hostages hid homosexuality from hijackers

SAN FRANCISCO -- Two gay hostages from TWA Flight 847 hid their homosexuality from hijackers, fearing they would kill them because Moslems punish gays with death, one of the men said in an interview Wednesday.

Jack McCarty, 40, also told the San Francisco Examiner in a copyright interview that he and two other captives were also forced to undergo faked games of Russian Roulette.


McCarty said he and his traveling companion, Victor Amburgy, 31 - his roommate in San Francisco -- hid their homosexuality by pretending to be brothers.

'Had they known, we could have been killed,' McCarty said. 'They could have justified killing us.'

McCarty said he tried to act tough and was helped by his military-looking fatigue clothing, which unknown to his captors is common garb in San Francisco's predominantly homosexual Castro district.

He even arm-wrestled with one of his captors, suffering a bloody bruise when his hand smashed back against a table top. 'Good man,' one of the terrorists said, giving him a thumbs up sign, McCarty said.

On their arrival Tuesday in Washington after their release, McCarty and Amburgy, walked down the steps of their TWA flight with their arms around each other, meant as a declaration of their open homosexuality, McCarty said.


He said neither of the men's parents knew previously they were gay.

McCarty described as brutal and inhuman their 17 days of captivity by Shiite Moslem terrorists who killed one of the passengers -- a Navy diver.

He said they were locked three days in a basement cell-like room, where their meals were shoved through a metal-grate door and rats crawled on the floor.

'It is impossible to describe -- realizing from the time the serviceman was dead that you were very possibly going to die,' the San Francisco chef said.

McCarty said they were constantly threatened with death by psychological intimidation, including Russian roulette -- aiming a gun at a hostage, spinning the barrel and pulling the trigger.

He only concluded later that the weapon used for the game had been altered so the torturer could tell that a firing chamber did not contain a bullet.

'They tried everything,' McCarty said. 'They got you good.'

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