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 Moisés 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.