Ever since the Matthew Shepard’s death, various members of the Right Wing have desperately tried to blunt the impact of the hate crime. Various people have claimed that Shepard was not murdered because he is gay. A variety of theories have surfaced, and Stephen Jimenez is just the latest to use them to try and tarnish the death of this young man.
Jimenez writes in his schlock book “The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard” that Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson killed Shepard while in the middle of a meth-fueled rage. He also claims that Shepard and McKinney had sex with each other while doing meth.
Never mind the fact that McKinney has denied this.
Media Matters notes that the report of a sexual history between Shepard and McKinney is new, but the other stuff is just a rehash of old stuff from Jimenez. In 2004, Jimenez co-produced a piece for 20/20 about Shepard’s murder in which he made that claim.
Jimenez was the friend of Tim Newcomb, the lawyer who represented Russell Henderson. Jimenez has also shown that he has never actually looked into the case objectively.
At the time, GLAAD noted that there was no evidence that drugs were a factor in the attack, and that McKinney actually did confess to a homophobic reason being behind the murder of Shepard. McKinney even attempted to use a ‘gay panic’ defense to try and get out of the murder charge.
Adding to the problems is the fact that Shepard’s mother, Judy Shepard, accused ABC and Jimenez of twisting her own words in an effort to trying to make it seem like there was some other motive than a hate crime.
Gay City News reported that about two months ahead of the ABC 20/20 episode on Shepard, Jimenez, who is a freelance producer and ‘journalist’, had already decided that meth had played a part in the murder, and not homophobia. He even wrote to a producer on the show saying that the “‘hate crime’ motivation of Shepard’s death” was incorrect.
Sean Maloney, the attorney who represents the Matthew Shepard Foundation, said of the piece that “This strikes us as bad journalism. There is a significant body of evidence that says that anti-gay bias played a role in Matt’s death.”
Of course, now that he needs some more money and notice, Jimenez is publishing his book. The Matthew Shepard Foundation is already condemning the theory saying that “Attempts now to rewrite the story of this hate crime appear to be based on untrustworthy sources, factual errors, rumors and innuendo rather than the actual evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented in a court of law. We do not respond to innuendo, rumor or conspiracy theories. Instead we recommit ourselves to honoring Matthew’s memory, and refuse to be intimidated by those who seek to tarnish it.”
Of course, the Right Wing is eating this up with World Net Daily’s Jack Cashill claiming that the book undermines the “gay grievance industry,” and how it exposes the LGBT rights movement’s false narrative of anti-LGBT crime.
Austin Ruse, the man who does not mind if Russians slaughter Catholics so long as they go after gays, attacked what he calls “Matthew Shepard, Inc” for promoting the ‘lie’ of homophobia. Ruse is heavily homphobic and is the head of the anti-human rights outfit Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute.
Jimenez is openly gay; unfortunately for him, this does not excuse horrific journalistic practices.
In 2009, McKinney told Tectonic theatre company member Greg Pierotti that “Matt Shepard needed killing. . .The night I did it, I did have hatred for homosexuals.”
McKinney also told Pierotti that he and Henderson targeted Shepard because “he was obviously gay. That played a part. His weakness. His frailty.” The initial motive was robbery, but they killed him because he was gay.
Jason Marsden, the Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, stated that “Attempts now to rewrite the story of this hate crime appear to be based on untrustworthy sources, factual errors, rumors and innuendo rather than the actual evidence gathered by law enforcement and presented in a court of law.”