Death from Meth in a WeHo Apartment Creates Right-Wing Media Buzz

A story on a local blog about the death of a young man from a drug overdose in the apartment of a well-known West Hollywood resident has gotten international coverage after having been promoted or republished in right-wing media such as the Drudge Report, Independent Journal Review and TruNews and on the website of the sensationalist Daily Mail.

The story calls out the death on July 27 of a young, African-American man from Texas in the Laurel Avenue apartment of Ed Buck. Buck is known for his political activism and his donations to state and local Democratic parties and his involvement in West Hollywood politics.

ed buck contributor to PAC
Ed Buck

WEHOville has confirmed with the L.A. County Coroner that Gemmel Moore, 26, was found dead in Buck’s apartment on July 27. The cause was determined to be methamphetamine use. The initial story, written by Ryan Gierach, the former editor of WeHo News, contains allegations of serious and possibly illegal behavior by Buck that WEHOville has not been able to document. The investigation into Gemmel’s death was closed after the Coroner’s Office found no drugs or drug paraphernalia in Buck’s apartment.

Right-wing media outlets have depicted Buck as having strong ties to Hillary Clinton, citing Gierach’s report that he donated $2,750 to her election campaign over two years. They also have republish a photo in Gierach’s story of Buck standing with Clinton. The Daily Mail, whose questionable reporting has led it to be deemed “unreliable” as a source on Wikipedia, published a photo of Buck with Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat. It also inaccurately describing Buck as a West Hollywood City Council member. TruNews, which defines itself as a global news network “to offer Christians a positive alternative to the anti-Christian bigotry of the mainstream news media, also focused on Buck’s Democratic Party membership with the headline “Gay Man Found Dead at Home of Wealthy Democrat.”

Vitriolic comments posted directly on the Gierach story attack Buck because of his Democratic Party affiliation and the fact that he is gay. “The homosexual lifestyle is self loathing and severely shortens the lifespan of its practitioners because of its vile and disgusting habits/practices,” said one commenter. “As if this is the first Democrat to participate in this type of behavior. Buck learned it from his other Dem friends” said another.

Gemmel Moore

Gierach, the author of the story, established in 2005. For a time it was the only source for news about West Hollywood. Gierach, not a professional journalist, was known for publishing favorable stories about political figures with whom he wanted to curry favor and very negative stories about their political opponents. Gierach effectively stopped publishing WeHo News more than a year ago after a series of incidents that left him homeless and struggling with his self-proclaimed addiction issues. The url has since been purchased by the City of West Hollywood.

The blog that Gierach currently writes for is published by Marco Colantonio, a former restaurant manager who now manages several apartments buildings for Wachtel and David. Colantonio launched the website several months ago and recently added a new feature called West Hollywood Insider, whose first story was an attack on this writer, who Colantonio  views as a competitor and who lives in the building where Colantonio lives and which he manages. That story was an apparent response to a complaint from WEHOville to the hosting service of Colantonio’s blog after Colantonio refused to remove content he had expropriated without permission from WEHOville.

Gemmel Moore’s mother, who lives in Texas and is the source of many of the unsubstantiated allegations published by Colantonio, has posted a video on YouTube asking that an investigation be opened into the death of her son.



  1. The mother of this young man has his diary where he clearly states Buck gave him and other young men drugs. Pretty clear to me.

  2. Shawn Thompson, Ryan Gierach is a hack. He lost his credibility years ago. He stopped reporting the news and started reporting his view of every issue. No need to defend him. I do, however, agree that this story is lacking in information and substance. I have more questions since reading this, than I did before.

  3. Somehow I missed seeing an article about this back in July when this event occurred. I’m guessing there’s are a few “important” people who wanted to keep this on the DL. Nice to see it finally gets a mention here after Drudge put them on blast.

  4. The story says the case was closed after the Coroner’s Office found no drugs or paraphernalia in the apartment. Is it normal for the County Coroner’s Office to do these investigations? Why wouldn’t the Sheriff’s Department be involved if someone is found dead of a meth overdose?

    1. Not unless it is verifiable. In our business publishing unverifiable allegations is considered unethical and also can be ruled by a judge to be libelous. That applies to comments published by citizens on Facebook as well as to news stories.

      1. So you post a entire story deleting the most damaging evidence pertaining to it because it might hurt one of your friends and fellow democrats. I suggest you verify the information I provided from a much larger news source than your own.

        1. No one involved in that incident is a friend of mine. And I have both friends and enemies who are members of the Democratic Party (welcome to the life of a journalist). The “much larger news source” that you reference is an organization that republished unverified and potentially libelous information (and has a history of doing so, with it losing more libel cases than it has won). We do not publish unverified information that could be deemed libelous. Sadly, in this era of “alternative facts” and “fake news” there are many outlets that do, nationally and locally.

  5. Gierach effectively stopped publishing WeHo News more than a year ago after a series of incidents that left him homeless and struggling with his self-proclaimed “addition” issues. The url has since been purchased by the City of West Hollywood.

    Correction: “Self-proclaimed addiction”

  6. One of many women and men who lost the lives to Meth. If you read WEHOville you well aware it’s a huge problems in West Hollywood. METH didn’t see colors, gender or religions, Meth is killing us much faster then most people think. Politicians? We all know it’s not the first one who use Meth in our city. What’s so sad is how many people with money “buying” sex with METH, using young men for sexual pleasure by giving them the drug. It’s crazy. I don’t now what the Right and Left have to do with METH. We all know better and still very little is been done to stop it. I will have to say it’s the opposite, I feel and I’m willing to be wrong but our leaders are keep supporting those Night clubs, stores and indecduals who promote drugs. This must stop. Drugs and Alchoal is NOT our PRIDE, but sadly enough it’s a huge part of our West Hollywood Lifestyle.

  7. Yeah, so? I myself would like to know what a 26-year-old meth addict was doing in Buck’s apartment, and how he died? Your piece cast a lot of aspersions about “right-wing” playing up the story as negative commentary on a Democrat, and you’re likely right. Now tell us why the kid was in Buck’s apartment in the first place. It’s kinda lame to just say that cops found no drugs in there after-the-fact. I’m sure Buck would know enough to flush the stuff down the toilet before calling the cops. So let’s get to the real story here, even if it embarrasses a Democrat. I’m sure if it were a Republican, you’d be pushing that angle, as would the liberal media.

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