Monday, October 12, 2009

Matthew Shepard - Never Forget

Eleven years ago today 21 year old Matthew Shepard died from injuries received after being driven out to a field, beaten mercilessly, strung up, and left to die in freezing weather.

In October of 1998, the world was stunned when Matthew Shepherd a Laramie, Wyoming college student, was kidnapped, tied to a fence post, beaten and left for dead. Matthew Shepherd was killed for being gay.


YouTube is full of Matthew Shepard tribute videos and it was difficult to choose one of them to post.. I liked this one, because it's not too long and has a great song playing. The following is from the maker of this video (named BLOODplusRulz22):

Matthew Wayne Shepard (December 1, 1976 -- October 12, 1998) was a gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was fatally attacked near Laramie on the night of October 6 -- October 7, 1998. Shepard died from severe head injuries at Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins, Colorado, on October 12, 1998. His murder brought national attention to the issue of hate crime legislation at the state and federal levels.

His two assailants, Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney, were convicted of the crime and imprisoned. Henderson is currently serving two consecutive life sentences and McKinney is serving the same but without the possibility of parole.

This is just awful... how could someone do this!? Matthew Shepard was KILLED because he was just a little different, because he was GAY. big woopdy freaking doo, that's NO reason to kill him! This is for you, Matthew, I'm sorry.

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kenju said...

What happened to him was obscene. I can't believe that humans can treat other humans that way.

Blonde Goddess said...

I am glad that people are keeping Matthew's memory alive. It's important to have tributes reminding us of the horrific way that people are discriminated against.
What happened to Matthew was an act of senseless violence and hate. It's a tragedy that there are so many people that harbor such hatred and intolerance for others who are different than them.

travelingman said...

John...there are just no words. I will remember that day forever. When I heard the news that Matthew had passed I wept for hours. So senseless and just utterly heartbreaking. Thanks for posting. We can never forget all of those that have fallen before us.

libhom said...

It is so important that people don't forget.

Stephen said...

I saw Judy Shepard on Ellen the other day & I just cried & cried.

lavonne said...

I had heard his name for years and had no idea who he was. And then I saw a movie on Lifetime television about him and it made me sad. He seemed to be a sensitive, gentle and loved young man. What a senseless loss. I hate bullies and those 2 guys were cowards and bullies. In our society the sensitive are so under-appreciated. He didn't deserve that!

John said...

After I posted this I realized we already have a whole generation of kids that don't know who Matthew Shepard is. Last year after getting an offensive forwarded email that made from of gay people and "retards" etc. from a 17 year old nephew, I sent him a scathing email back letting him know about a retarded cousin he didn't know about, and of course reminding him of several gay family members who would also be offended, and I also told him to google Matthew Shepard and next time stop and think before he forwards hateful emails like that. One thing in the email he sent next said "thanks for the history lesson." My nephew was the salutatorian of his class--very smart kid, but didn't know about Matthew Shepard.

@kenju, I know it's hard to believe such an obscene vile thing occured.

@Blonde Goddess, I'm also glad that his memory is being kept alive, especially with the new hate crimes law that will be named after him. I was shocked to see so many tributes to him on youtube! You got it right calling it "senseless."

@travelingman, I know just what you mean. I remember that day he died and the day he was found. I was so sad that he died a few days later. HBO did a movie about his short life and it was a real tear jerker at the end.

@libhom, I certainly agree!

@Stephen, I missed that, but I can imagine how sad it must be for her and to hear her talk about her son's senseless death. So sad.

@lavonne, I'm with you...I hate bullies, and Matthew was such a small guy that he didn't have a chance against those two monsters. I hope they rot in jail for a long long time and never get out.

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