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Gay author – revealing the truth about Matthew Shepard’s death “a moral thing”

December 27, 2013 By: Tom Coy Category: Gay Politics

October 28, 2013

The following excerpts are from the article “‘Uncomfortable truth’ in Matthew Shepard’s death” written by Andrea Peyser on published on the New York Post website: “ … Jimenez unearthed a story that few people wanted to hear. And it calls into question everything you think you know about the life and death of one of the leading icons of our age. Matthew Shepard, college student. Killed, at 21, for being gay. Or was he?”

“Jimenez’s ‘The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard,’ out last month, challenges every cultural myth surrounding Shepard’s short life and unspeakable death. After some 13 years of digging, including interviews with more than 100 sources, including Shepard’s killers, Jimenez makes a radioactive suggestion: The grisly murder, 15 years ago this month, was no hate crime.”

“Shepard’s tragic and untimely demise may not have been fueled by his sexual orientation, but by drugs. For Shepard had likely agreed to trade methamphetamines for sex. And it killed him.”
“Heresy. Why dredge this up now? Jimenez’s answer surprised me. ‘As a gay man,’ he said, ‘I felt it was a moral thing to do.’”

“Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, now doing life for murder, were not homophobes, writes Jimenez. Shepard was lured from a bar, then driven to the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo., where he was robbed. McKinney savagely pistol-whipped Shepard with the barrel of a .357 Magnum. The men then hung him, barefoot, freezing and barely alive, on a fence, in a pose resembling a crucifixion. He died six days later.”

“But McKinney was no stranger. Strung out on meth for a week before the slaying, writes Jimenez, McKinney likely had been Shepard’s gay or bisexual lover.”

“‘To understand who Matthew really was,’ Jimenez said, ‘to alter our perception of him as a martyr and an icon, is not going to be damaging to gay rights. I don’t buy it. I don’t think we have anything to lose from telling the truth.’ …”