Magazine article The New American

Matthew Shepard Murder

Magazine article The New American

Matthew Shepard Murder

Article excerpt

ITEM: In a November 26 feature entitled "Secrets of a Murder," ABC's 20/20 newsmagazine examined "startling new revelations about the Matthew Shepard story." The 21-year-old college student was savagely beaten, tied to a fence post, and left for dead outside Laramie, Wyoming, in October 1998. "It was the motive that fueled a firestorm of reaction around the world," noted 20/20 co-host Elizabeth Vargas. "The killing was widely perceived as a hate crime" because Shepard was a homosexual.

With Shepard in a coma in a local hospital, media from around the world descended on Laramie "like locusts," recalled prosecutor Cal Rerucha, who built the case against Shepard's murderers. "I remember one of my fellow reporters saying, 'this kid is going to be the new poster child for gay rights,'" commented reporter Jason Marsden of the Casper Star-Tribune newspaper.

Local men Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson were convicted of the crime and sentenced to consecutive life sentences. As predicted, the "gay rights" lobby quickly canonized the unfortunate Shepard as a saintly victim of "homophobia," invoking his murder to advance "hate crimes" legislation and various initiatives to promote "tolerance."

However, noted ABC news, "Shepard had troubles of his own." Close friends described him as severely depressed and even suicidal, in large part because of his heavy involvement in narcotics. "He said, 'Everywhere I move, it seems like I get sucked into the drug scene,'" recalled Tina LaBrie, who befriended Shepard at the University of Wyoming. …

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