Kresta in the Afternoon – October 19, 2018 – Hour 2

+  20 Years Later, Media Still Claims Matthew Shepard Murder was a Hate Crime

  • Description: On October 6, 1998, Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard was brutally tortured and left to die, tied to a fence post in freezing temperatures. Shepard was openly gay and the media quickly labeled the murder as a homophobic hate crime – a narrative they maintain to this day. We look back at a discussion with Stephen Jimenez, an openly gay man himself, who looks at the deeper backstory behind this disturbing and complex tale.
  • Segment Guests:
    • Stephen Jimenez
      Stephen Jimenez is the author of The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths about the Murder of Matthew Shepard an award-winning journalist, writer and producer. He was a 2012 Norman Mailer Nonfiction Fellow and has written and produced programs for ABC News 20/20, Dan Rather Reports, Nova, Fox, Court TV and others. His accolades include the Writers Guild of America Award, the Mongerson Award for Investigative Reporting, an Emmy, and fellowships at the Ucross Foun¬dation in Wyoming. A graduate of Georgetown University, he has taught screen¬writing at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and other colleges. He lives in New York and Santa Fe.
  • + Resources Mentioned Available in Our Store:

    • The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard

      "An award-winning journalist uncovers the suppressed story behind the death of Matthew Shepard. . . . As Jimenez deconstructs an event that has since passed into the realm of mythology, he humanizes it . . . Investigative journalism at its relentless and compassionate best." — Kirkus Reviews What role did crystal meth and other previously underreported factors play in the brutal murder of gay college student Matthew Shepard? The Book of Matt is a page-turning cautionary tale that humanizes and de-mythologizes Matthew while following the evidence where it leads, without regard to the politics that have long attended this American tragedy. Late on the night of October 6, 1998, twenty-one-year-old Matthew Shepard left a bar in Laramie, Wyoming with two alleged “strangers,” Aaron McKin­ney and Russell Henderson. Eighteen hours later, Matthew was found tied to a log fence on the outskirts of town, unconscious and barely alive. He had been pistol-whipped so severely that the mountain biker who discovered his battered frame mistook him for a Halloween scarecrow. Overnight, a politically expedient myth took the place of important facts. By the time Matthew died a few days later, his name was synonymous with anti-gay hate. Stephen Jimenez went to Laramie to research the story of Matthew Shepard’s murder in 2000, after the two men convicted of killing him had gone to prison, and after the national media had moved on. His aim was to write a screenplay on what he, and the rest of the nation, believed to be an open-and-shut case of bigoted violence. As a gay man, he felt an added moral imperative to tell Matthew’s story. But what Jimenez eventually found in Wyoming was a tangled web of secrets. His exhaustive investigation also plunged him deep into the deadly underworld of drug trafficking. Over the course of a thirteen-year investigation, Jimenez traveled to twenty states and Washington DC, and interviewed more than a hundred named sources. The Book of Matt is sure to stir passions and inspire dialogue as it re-frames this misconstrued crime and its cast of characters, proving irrefutably that Matthew Shepard was not killed for being gay but for reasons far more complicated — and daunting. (learn more)

Comments are closed.