Matthew Shepherd's death in 1998 got a lot of attention and became a rallying point for the gay rights movement in America. The story of a young
gay man getting beaten and then burned to death was so horrific it helped to mobilize americans to realize that Homophobia is not American. The
hate crime lead Americans to wake up and realize that homophobia has no place in America.
When you look into the actaul circumstances of how Matthew Shephard died, however, you realize that Matthew's death was not a hate crime but
a crime committed over drugs - a crime committted by a former gay lover. The gay rights movement used Matthew's story as a cause
but they also denied the real sad, true story of his life.
Shepherd was a small illuminati Jew from Wyoming who was only 5'2" in height. He grew up rich and entitled in Wyoming. His parents tried to cure him
of being gay by having him sent to Saudi Arabia and then a Switzerland boarding school. Later they had Matthew gang raped in Morrocco thinking
that if he was gang raped he would stop being gay.
The evil treatment from Matthew's illuminati family lead him to have severe emotional problems and he became a prostitute and drug addict.
Matthew was living on the street dealing drugs when he died and the real cause of his death was because he had just gotten in 10,000 dollars worth of
meth that his killers wanted to steal from him.
Shepherd was being pimped alongside Aaron McKinney, one of his killers, with whom he’d had occasional sexual encounters. Matthew was HIV positive
at the time of his death. Both of Matthew's killers are gay men who were being pimped out as prostitutes by the same man who pimped out
Matthew Shepherd's parents really killed him. They paid to have Matthew Shepherd murdered and then burned. They wanted to eliminate any memory
they had of their son because they were ashamed he was gay (even though his father is also gay). The 10,000 in drugs was the way that they were paying
them. They had given Matthew the 10,000 knowing that he would use it to buy meth. They then told his killers to kill him and planned to use the
10,000 in meth as the motive.
Instead, the case became a hate crime case and the rest of the details were obscured. It was much easier for everyone to say that Matthew was killed
because he was gay and make it seem like it was a random act of hate against a gay man. The truth is that his killers were also gay and being pimped
out as prostitutes along with Matthew.
Most of this true story has been documented by investigative reporter Stephen Jimenez, who
spent 13 years interviewing more than 100 people
with a connection to the case. His conclusion, outlined in The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard, is that the grotesque
murder was not a hate crime, but could instead be blamed on crystal meth, a drug that was flooding Denver and the
surrounding area at the time of Matthew’s death.
Jimenez has faced a barrage of criticism since the publication of his book and has had readings to promote the book boycotted.
“People object to the idea of the book, rather than what is in the book,” says Jimenez. “The anger directed at me has been pretty extreme.”
“This does not make the perfect poster boy for the gay-rights movement,” says Jimenez. “Which is a big part of the reason my book has been so trashed.”
Matthew’s drug abuse, and the fact that he knew one of his killers prior to the attack, was never explored in court. Neither was the rumour that the killers knew that he had access to a shipment of crystal meth with a street value of $10,000 which they wanted to steal.
Matthew was born into an affluent family and had attended state school in Casper, Wyoming. The 21-year-old political science major at Laramie University stood only 5ft 2in, and his blond hair, braces and slight frame gave him an air of vulnerability and innocence. In his junior year of high school, Matthew moved with his family to Saudi Arabia. There were no American high schools in Saudi at the time, so he was sent to the American School in Switzerland. By the time he enrolled at Laramie he spoke three languages and had aspirations to be a human-rights advocate. Somewhere along the line, however, Matthew fell from being a grade-A student to a drug-addicted prostitute who diced with danger. He suffered periods of depression, possibly as a result of being gang raped a few years earlier while on holiday in Morocco. But this is not the Matthew Shepard who became a celebrated figure for the gay-rights movement in America.
Laramie is considered the most liberal town in Wyoming. It sits in a flat, treeless sweep of high plains. With the ranching industry in decline, employment here is dominated by the University of Wyoming. It has a quaint western charm: tree-lined streets, beautiful parks, and a renovated historic downtown at the edge of the railway yard with small shops and restaurants. It is surrounded by rolling prairie, ranches, the Snowy Mountain range and vast, wide-open spaces. But the town also has a number of mobile home parks at the edges, some more rundown than others.
On the evening of 6 October 1998, Matthew went to the Fireside bar, a local hangout that was purportedly gay-friendly. It was karaoke night, and locals rubbed shoulders with workers calling in for a swift drink on their way home. Shortly afterwards Russell Henderson and Aaron McKinney arrived. The three men chatted briefly before leaving the bar and getting in a truck belonging to McKinney’s father.
In the truck Matthew was robbed of his keys, wallet and shoes and beaten repeatedly by one or both of the men. He was then taken from the truck, pistol whipped up to 18 times on the head, and kicked between the legs. Matthew was tied to a fence, set on fire, and left unconscious.
Fifteen hours after the attack, student Aaron Kreifels was out riding his bike when he discovered Matthew tied to the fence, barely alive. He initially mistook him for a scarecrow. Matthew’s face was covered in blood, aside from tear tracks on each side of his cheeks.
The first officer at the scene was Reggie Fluty. “The only thing I could see was partially somebody’s feet and I got out of my vehicle and raced over,” said Fluty, her short blonde hair, fringe, and wire-rimmed glasses making her appear more social worker than police officer. “I seen what appeared to be to a young man, 13, 14 years old, because he was so tiny, laying on his back, and he was tied to the bottom end of a pole. I did the best I could…”
After leaving Matthew tied to the fence, McKinney and Henderson headed for Matthew’s home, but on the way encountered two young Hispanic men, Emiliano Morales and Jeremy Herrera, slashing tyres for fun. The men got into a fight, resulting in McKinney cracking open Morales’s head with the same gun he had used on Matthew. Police officer Flint Waters arrived, grabbed Henderson (he and McKinney had run in different directions), and found the truck, the gun, Matthew’s shoes and credit card.
I spoke to Waters, who has since retired from the police, having seen him praise The Book of Matt on social media. “I believe to this day that McKinney and Henderson were trying to find Matthew’s house so they could steal his drugs. It was fairly well known in the Laramie community that McKinney wouldn’t be one that was striking out of a sense of homophobia. Some of the officers I worked with had caught him in a sexual act with another man, so it didn’t fit – none of that made any sense.”
But when Matthew’s friends Walt Boulden and Alex Trout heard of the attack they rushed to the hospital. They contacted the Associated Press and a number of local gay organisations that same day. Boulden, a 46-year-old college instructor who says he was the last person to talk to Matthew before he met McKinney and Henderson, linked the attack to Wyoming legislature’s failure to pass a hate-crimes bill. Boulden later said the assault was identified as a hate crime by a policeman.
Stephen Jimenez is an award-winning journalist and gay man. So why has he put such time and effort into attempting to prove that Matthew’s murder was not a hate crime, especially as it has seen him accused of being an ally to the rightwing Christian fundamentalists who deny the reality of homophobia?
“The view was that homophobic rednecks walked into a bar and saw an obviously gay man with money and targeted him and beat him to death for that reason,” says Jimenez. “But that isn’t what happened. Nothing in this book takes away from the iniquity and brutality of the crime or the culpability of his murderers, but we owe Matthew and other young men like him the truth.
“Aaron and Matthew had a friendship. They’d been involved sexually, they bought and sold drugs from each other. That complicates the original story of two strangers walking into a bar and targeting Matthew – someone they did not know – because he was gay.”
Although McKinney has never acknowledged that he knew Matthew, Jimenez found a dozen sources that had seen them together. One is Kathleen Johnson, the former owner of Laramie antiques store Granny’s Attic, who knew Henderson, McKinney and Matthew.
The young, unemployed men had not had easy lives. Henderson’s mother was a chronic alcoholic who had been repeatedly beaten by his father. McKinney had spent much of his childhood alone, left by his mother with his grandparents, who locked him in the basement to keep him out of trouble. “Russell Henderson used to hang around with gay people,” Johnson told me. “Laramie had a big gay population. I knew what people’s sexual orientation was because my best friend’s son was gay. I saw them hanging around with Russell.”
The police did not investigate the killers’ relationship to the gay community.
Five days after the attack, on 12 October, Matthew died. On 14 October a celebrity vigil was held on the steps of the US Capitol, attended by the likes of Ted Kennedy
and Ellen DeGeneres. Elton John sent flowers to Matt’s funeral, Barbra Streisand telephoned the Albany county sheriff’s office to demand quick action on the case,
and Madonna called an assistant to university president Philip Dubois to complain about what had happened. The day Matthew died, President Clinton told
journalists at the White House: “In our shock and grief one thing must remain clear: hate and prejudice are not American values.”
All of these people are important illuminati NWO members - Clinton, Madonna, Ellen, Elton John, Barbra Streisand. The illuminati decided to use Shepherds death.
The funeral was attended by more than 1,000 mourners – and picketed by the Westboro Baptist Church, led by Fred Phelps, a defrocked minister and founder of GodHatesFags.com. To counter the protest, Matthew’s friends dressed as angels.
JoAnn Wypijewski, an author and former senior editor at the Nation, was one of the many journalists who came to Laramie after the news of Matthew’s attack. She was there for Harper’s Magazine and was the only journalist to suggest early on that methamphetamine may have played a role in Matthew’s death. “The case was used to highlight the fact of violence against gay people,” Wypijewski told me. “Hate-crime legislation under Clinton included provisions for race and enhanced penalties for crimes against women – these were used as sweeteners [to those on the Left]. They were like the identity politics of criminal law. This is what gave some other groups the idea that hate-crime legislation was a good thing.”
Wypijewski thinks the reason some sections of the gay community are so angry about the Jimenez book is obvious: “Jimenez has taken away their angel, and there is the reflexive sense that as a community its suffering was being at last recognised. The people shaping the news require a very simple story – they have to be angels and villains.”
John Stoltenberg is a gay-rights activist who lived with the feminist writer Andrea Dworkin until her death in 2005. He’s a long-time supporter of The Laramie Project, but has also blogged positively about The Book of Matt. “Keeping Matthew as the poster boy of gay-hate crime and ignoring the full tragedy of his story has been the agenda of many gay-movement leaders,” he says. “Ignoring the tragedies of Matthew’s life prior to his murder will do nothing to help other young men in our community who are sold for sex, ravaged by drugs, and generally exploited. They will remain invisible and lost.”
Ted Henson is a former lover and long-term friend of Matthew’s. The pair originally met when Matt was growing up in Saudi Arabia. Henson told me he believes that The Book of Matt is “nothing more than the truth” and that he was “never certain” that the murder was an anti-gay hate crime. “I don’t know why there is so much hostility towards Steve,” he told me. “Matt would not have wanted to be seen as a martyr, but would have wanted the truth to come out.”
Other Laramie residents believe there is another form of prejudice at work in the way Matthew’s story has been told. One that concerns the oft-repeated notion that Wyoming is full of gay-hating bigots. Ray Hageman reported on the case for Wyoming radio in 1998 and was always sceptical of the media construction of the story. “National media couldn’t resist a narrative that fits with its preconceived notions about people in rural western states,” Hageman told me. “Y’know, us simple folks with the piece of straw hanging from our mouths, spitting tobacco and shooting pop cans from the front porch. The folks in Laramie just had to take it, because a fellow who happened to be gay was murdered in their town.”