Gay lovers' row ends in Penthouse death

Frank Cianciosi, 51, was found dead in the chic East Perth apartment on Friday afternoon.
…The couple bought the luxury penthouse for $3.2 million in November 2005 and lived in it together.

http://www.news.com.au
January 7, 2008

Gay lovers' row ends in Penthouse death
Nicole Cox

A DOMESTIC argument between gay lovers spiralled out of control and ended in the death of one in a Perth riverfront penthouse, police will allege.

Frank Cianciosi, 51, was found dead in the chic East Perth apartment on Friday afternoon.

His partner, Gerurdas Gerrit Heijne, 44, has appeared in East Perth Magistrates Court, charged with murder.

The men, well known in Perth's affluent social set, became millionaires after establishing the Lenard's chicken franchise in WA.

Det-Sgt Terry Rakich, from the Major Crime Squad, said: "Police will allege there was a verbal and physical altercation and as a result of that we now have a deceased.''

Police refused to comment on the cause of death because they were awaiting details of a post-mortem examination.

Mr Heijne's barrister, Luka Margaretic, contacted Major Crime detectives at 1pm on Friday after Mr Heijne went to his chambers.

Police discovered Mr Cianciosi's body in their high-rise home in Terrace Rd, opposite Langley Park.

They searched the penthouse and forensic investigators were called in.

In court, Mr Heijne remained expressionless as he stood in the dock, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts from the police watchhouse lost-property collection, during his brief appearance.

He was not required to plead and was remanded in custody to appear in Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court on January 16.

Outside court, Mr Margaretic said they would defend the charge.

Police believe Mr Cianciosi died some time on Thursday or early Friday, but a precise time of death has not yet been determined.

"He (Mr Heijne) went to a solicitor and that solicitor has contacted Major Crime,'' Det-Sgt Rakich said.

"We've gone and spoken to him and then gone to the address. Eventually when we get a cause of death, we'll be alleging that specific actions caused specific results, but we can't say yes or no to those questions yet because we have to wait for the post-mortem.

"All deaths are treated as suspicious until they are proved otherwise.''

Mr Cianciosi's parents visited the riverside high-rise on Friday night after receiving news of their son's death.

Overcome with grief and clasping her hands to her face, his mother was supported by police as she left the complex.

Sources told The Sunday Times that Mr Cianciosi's parents were "extremely traumatised by the event'' and concerns had been held for their health and wellbeing.

Neighbours at the Westralian apartments complex expressed shock at the death and spoke of the men as a very private couple who largely kept to themselves.

"We rarely saw them together. All we had in common was (owning) dogs,'' said a neighbour who did not want to be named.

The couple bought the luxury penthouse for $3.2 million in November 2005 and lived in it together.

Mr Heijne's mother, Paula, lives in the $1.8 million apartment below the couple's penthouse, moving there in August 2006.

There are 96 residential apartments and two commercial sites in the 2-year-old complex.

AAP


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