Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Is the Matthew Shepard story more like Breaking Bad than The Laramie Project?



That's the disturbing question moving behind Stephen Jimenez's new book, The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard, which substantially debunks the "official story" regarding the tragic murder of Wyoming's most famous gay man.  Reportedly some of Jimenez's revelations are that Shepard and one of his killers, Aaron McKinney, had previously had sex (and that McKinney was, in effect, bisexual); and perhaps even more disturbingly, that they were both methamphetamine users - and dealers.

Do these truly count as revelations, however? A similar case has been made in the past by several media figures, including Elizabeth Vargas of ABC's 20/20  - but these reports were widely disbelieved, and indeed rigorously attacked by Mois├ęs Kaufman's Tectonic Theatre Project in their follow-up to The Laramie Project, one of the pieces that put the company on the national map (and which later became an HBO film). According to Kaufman, with Laramie II, Tectonic "proved [the murder of Shepard] was a hate crime."

But now the same issues have re-surfaced. Again. So what is the truth behind the terrible death of Matthew Shepard?  Could the scenario promulgated by The Laramie Project and other cultural observers be at bottom inaccurate?  Was Shepard's death a hate crime - or was it some horrible real-life out-take from Breaking Bad?  Above is author Jimenez, responding to questions from Andrew Sullivan.  His book is released on Sept 24.  Something tells me we're not done hearing about the murder of Matthew Shepard.

7 comments:

  1. This guy has been on this conspiracy theory for over a decade. See this story debunking:

    http://gaycitynews.com/gcn_351/2020coordinationfaulted.html

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  2. That story throws some shade on Jimenez, but doesn't actually debunk his story. And I do have to point out that almost everyone on the side of the "hate crime" scenario has a vested interest - either emotional, political, or outright economic - in that version of the crime. I think we'll just have to see. Hopefully the publication of the book will lead to outside corroboration or refutation of Jimenez's evidence.

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  3. Reportedly some of Jimenez's revelations are that Shepard and one of his killers, Aaron McKinney, had previously had sex (and that McKinney was, in effect, bisexual)

    Isn't it fairly well established that it's not uncommon for gay-bashings to either include a sexual assault on the victim or occur after the the assailant has had some sort of sexual contact with the victim?

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  4. Perhaps. But that makes it a gay-on-gay hate crime, doesn't it? And you have to admit that the meth issue complicates the whole picture.

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  5. The meth certainly does complicate the issue-- but in the case of what you call a gay-on-gay hate crime that more points to internalized homophobia as the specific motive.

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  6. You know, Ian, we'll just have to wait to see how it all shakes out.

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  7. If these boy's were not on Meth which they admitted to having been on drugs and they hadn't slept in day's, I don't think this murder or thousands of other murders would ever take place. My nephew was a Meth user and I have seen him try to kill his own dad. I know there are gay hate crimes but I truly believe this was a Meth induced crime and we should focus on stomping out the use and making of Meth.

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