Friday, October 10, 2008

Matthew Shepard - 10 Years Later, We Remember

Sunday, is the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard. Don't let his death be in vain. Fight bigotry and hate with both words and actions wherever you go, and in everything you do. To read a report from Matthew's mom and to see a video of her on CBS discussing what progress has been made over the past ten years in the fight against hate, click here.





22 comments:

Mooshki said...

There have been so many anti-gay crimes lately. I just don't get it. What are people so afraid of? And damn to hell all the asshole politicians who use anti-gay fearmongering to win their elections, and just keep fueling the hate.

Ms Cool said...

Poor precious boy.

Christina Penn said...

I realize that this conflicts the general consensus of the crime, and I'm not in any way anti-gay, but Matthew Shephard's death wasn't a hate crime.

He was killed by a couple of dumb addicts who wanted money and had partied with him in the past (it was a small town after all). They just thought that saying that they killed him because he was gay was some sort of affirmative defense that would make them more likely to be acquitted. Obviously it backfired, but it wasn't a hate crime.

This doesn't diminish the tragedy of his death, all murders are tragic. But this isn't really the best case of anti-gay hate that could be found.

Molly said...

what a shame. i feel so sad for his mother, family and friends. wtf is wrong with people that they can't leave others alone? bully bullshit from losers who feel shitty about themselves.

califblondy said...

I didn't know that Christina. Thanks.

GladysKravitz said...

First, thank you Enty for posting this.

Sorry this won't be funny--I usually at least TRY to be funny, but I can't figure out a tasteful way to make this humorous.

Second, the facts as presented by the prosecutor and as shown in testimony at the trial--Shepard was selected as a victim because he was gay. I'm not sure where you got your information, Christina, but from the transcripts of the trial, both men wanted to rob a gay man. Here's Wikipedia's info (I love Wikipedia--I read pieces of the transcript a long time ago but Wikipedia makes it all so accesible!)

The prosecutor in the case charged that McKinney and Henderson pretended to be gay in order to gain Shepard's trust to rob him.[12] During the trial, Chastity Pasley and Kristen Price (the pair's then-girlfriends) testified under oath that Henderson and McKinney both plotted beforehand to rob a gay man. McKinney and Henderson then went to the Fireside Lounge and selected Shepard as their target. McKinney alleged that Shepard asked them for a ride home. After befriending him, they took him to a remote area of Laramie where they robbed him, beat him severely (media reports often contained the graphic account of the pistol whipping and his smashed skull), and tied him to a fence with a rope from McKinney's truck. Both girlfriends also testified that neither McKinney nor Henderson were under the influence of drugs at the time.[13][14]

zandra said...

I can't believe it's been 10 years, not that his family isn't painfully aware of each passing day, and my heart goes out to them and everyone who has been touched by a hate crime.

Matthew wasn't just killed he was tortured and left to die slowly and alone, making this one horrific crime. I wonder what the killers think on the anniversary of their crime?

Katja said...

Wow, I can't believe the media and the courts got it all wrong!

Kara said...

Very sad.

That's all I can say.

Bruce said...

Thanks Ent, great tribute and thanks for spreading the message.

Kara said...

Oh - and if it truly was just about drugs, and they used his sexuality to try and get out of responsibility - that IS a hate crime. His sexuality was still being used as a justification for the crime.

Harriet Hellfire said...

Just horrible in every way.

brendalove@gmail.com said...

I hope those guys are getting MEAN PEEN'D every single day.

Christina Penn said...

I'm not crazy or spouting unreliable sources.

ABC's 20/20 did a follow-up story about this in 2004. The killers were meth heads, and robbed Shepard (of $30) when they couldn't rob the drug dealer they were planning to rob. I'm sure you've heard before, but meth makes people crazy, and the fact they could only get $30 made the ringleader (McKinney) go into a rage. Because Shepard was gay, many people thought that of course such a vicious crime was motivated by hatred against gays, and McKinney's moronic girlfriend thought that everyone in a conservative little town would go easier on them if she said that they were reacting to Shepard's sexual advances. The 'Gay Panic Defense' is what it was called. Of course the court transcripts would reflect that. The truth only came out after they were convicted and given life sentences, and their plan was totally upended.

There are even some people in town who claim that McKinney was bisexual and had engaged in sexual activites with Shepard, though that has been denied by McKinney.

The point is, it was not a hate crime, but a meth-fueled rage crime.

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Story?id=277685&page=1

mngddess said...

God, Enty - you had to show the baby photo. That just broke my heart. No matter what the cause of the crime, this should never happen again.

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

So very sad.

Just a reminder to those of us in California... NO on Prop 8! We're one of the few states (3 of us now, as of today) who allow all of our citizens to marry, regardless of their sexual preference. Vote against this homophobic prop.

jax said...

Chrsitina, I concur with Gladys, this was hate crime and was prosecuted that way.

I too have read the testimony at the time and BOTH gfs did in fact say it was not drug fuelled and was gay related. i aso saw the follow up 4 years ago and it left many holes..in the defendants case.

Either way this is not the time or place to be disputing on the anniversary of his death that was preventable in every way. IMO.

not a famous adrian said...

This was one of the most awful stories I had heard--I can't believe it has been 10 years.
I hope poor Matthew is resting in peace.

CB said...

Thanks EL!!!!

Matthew Shepard Foundation - http://www.matthewshepard.org/

Matthew's Place - http://www.matthewsplace.com/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Shepard_Act

Most involved in the criminal investigation state the 20/20 report was poorly researched. Interviews with the defendants and their girlfriends for the program did not coincide with the facts of the case as documented in court. 20/20 tried to turn the table to Matthew Shepard. Pitiful reporting.

Retired Police Chief of Laramie, Commander Dave O'Malley — who was also interviewed by ABC and criticized the 20/20 report — pointed out that the drug motive does not necessarily disqualify the anti-gay motive: “My feelings have been that the initial contact was probably motivated by robbery because they needed money. What they got was $20 and a pair of shoes ... then something changed and changed profoundly...

Matthew Shepard was murdered in a horrendous hate crime. The defendents knew what they were doing and tried to get their girlfriends to alibi for them! There is hate everywhere, unfortunately Matthew put a face on gay hate.

If you want to see some truth about gay hate, check out my YouTube video @ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tbibzeSR_-o

Rest in Peace Matthew, may we never forget!

Ernestine said...

Thanks, Enty. Judy Shepard spoke at my school a few years ago and it was incredibly emotional and angering. She's a strong woman.

Homophobia is like the last socially-accepted prejudice. Gays really are vulnerable to shit like this in our country. It's disgusting that crimes like this one are still being perpetuated basically because of a bunch of douchebag politicians who happen to be wary of divergent sexuality.

bionic bunny! said...

little miss smoke,
have you seen the horrendous ads the opposition have been putting out? "mommy, today i learned i can marry a princess!" as the mother looks horrified. my God, those people have no shame! how many times have we in california voted to legalize same-sex marriage and legalize weed?
i wonder if a law would have made any difference to this poor boy? unfortunately there will always be asswipe shitkickers in the world.

Jasmine said...

thank you enty, and for all of your kind words everyone. i remember a few months back when my bff called me and told me he was allowed to legally get married ( i live in cali) i cried with him as he screamed and talked excitedly about the future he could have. i just wish matthew got that chance to feel what my friend felt. rip.