Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Attorneys calls attention to, refutes claims in Matthew Shepard book

It's safe to assume the new book regarding Matthew Shepard's murder is not exactly hitting the spots to change the narrative of that awful crime.

To recap - Author Stephen Jimenez claims via his book that Shepard's murder was not the result of homophobia but a drug deal gone wrong and that also Shepard and one of his murderers had sex.

The book, while celebrated by conservatives and the religious right, has been justifiably condemned pretty much everywhere else.

And since I am a proponent of smashing until consuming (it's a Biblical reference), allow me to spotlight another condemnation courtesy of Equality Matters. Amongst other things, apparently Jimenez's anonymous source for his ugly spin on the crime wasn't all that trustworthy:

The appellate attorney who represented an accomplice in the 1998 murder of gay University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard assailed author Stephen Jimenez's book suggesting that Shepard's murder was fueled by meth, not anti-gay hate.

In a statement provided to Equality Matters, attorney Tim Newcomb - whom Jimenez lists as a source in The Book of Matt - responded to Jimenez's claim in a recent interview that Newcomb's criticism of the book is invalid because Newcomb was an appellate attorney and not involved in the Shepard case from the beginning. As a longtime resident of Laramie, the small college town where Shepard was brutally murdered, Newcomb said in his statement that unlike Jimenez, he has a long-standing familiarity with the tight-knight community:
Unlike the author, who visited Laramie from New York a year and a half [after Shepard's murder], I was an attorney living in Laramie, and had been for several years, when Matthew was murdered. I mention that only because Laramie has few people and we tend to know of each other. Hidden truths behind notorious crimes are as rare as windless winters.
Moreover, as the appellate attorney for Russell Henderson, Aaron McKinney's accomplice in Shepard's killing, Newcomb dealt with one of Jimenez's apparent sources, who claimed to know the "hidden truths" in the murder. In his statement, Newcomb described how -- like many of Jimenez's other sources -- this man put forth multiple shifting stories, including the theory that Shepard's murder wasn't motivated by homophobia:
During the time I represented Russell, a man called his grandmother, saying he had been Matthew's lover and had his diary. I called him and asked if that was true. He told me it was, so I asked for a copy. His story shifted; his sister had the diary. I asked that she send me a copy. His story shifted again. She wouldn't show it to anyone because she feared for his life. I asked why he called Russell's grandmother then; eventually, he seemed to suggest that he didn't have enough money.
Our conversation ended but I'm told he became a source for a recently published book rewriting Matthew's murder, claiming that McKinney did not target Matthew because he was gay.

For more of this story, go here to Equality Matters.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately this book is all the loons need to run that narrative. We know from the Regenerus study that it doesn' go away no matter how debunked it is. That isn't to say we stop trying.

BlackTsunami said...

That's right. NEVER stop.