The Book of Matt

The Book of Matt

Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard

Book - 2013
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"Late on the night of October 6, 1998, Matthew Shepard, a twenty-one-year-old gay college student, 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 sources. Who was the real Matthew Shepard and what were the true circumstances of his brutal murder? And now that he was larger than life, did anyone care? 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" -- from publisher's web site.
Publisher: Hanover, New Hampshire : Steerforth press, [2013]
ISBN: 9781586422141
1586422146
Branch Call Number: 364.1523 JIMENEZ
Characteristics: viii, 360 pages, [16] pages of plates : color illustrations ; 24 cm

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 05, 2017

Thought provoking even if you don't buy the basic premise; but there's too much detail about all the drug runs and dealings, and too many tidbits from anonymous* sources. (The first time a pseudonym is used it it followed by an asterisk; thereafter you might have trouble remembering who said what on condition of not being named.) Makes a case that one of the convicted killers wasn't as horrible as the other, which doesn't paint the justice system in a good light. And it took some Internet digging to learn about the accomplices.

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StarGladiator
Feb 15, 2017

This outstanding book or work of achievement by the author, and one person makes a world of difference, especially given all the // indifference \\ or on-the-payroll-following-directives behavior of the multitudes of Fake Newsies today. That everything we heard on the TV news, save for the victim's name, was fictitious is truly telling. And yet, this is so utterly common during my lifetime, from the JFK assassination, when as a youth I first began taking notice, onwards. Only two newspapers which I've been able to ascertain, ever reported truthfully on the trial of Sirhan, the alleged murderer and assassin of Sen. Bobby Kennedy in 1968 [San Jose Mercury and a small Iowan independent paper] - - simply and unbelievably amazing!!!
[Please keep in mind, THIS is what identity politics is all about, for to have told the truth about this young man's death might have involved real economics of America, the drug trade, CIA involvement, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera!] To understand the objectives of identity politics, please read Joan Roelofs' fine book, Foundations and Public Policy: The Mask of Pluralism.

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weeee
Dec 10, 2013

Interviewing dozens of people over several years including Matt's closest friends, Stephen Jimenez searches out more-plausible motives for the murder of Matthew Shepard other than the 'accepted' view of it being a hate crime. Through his many interviews we learn that Matt was not just an occasional user of meth but also a dealer who would move ounces of the drug per trip from Denver to Laramie and then sold it in a dangerously competitive market. Matt also apparently knew Aaron McKinney some time before his murder, was friends with him, and had sex with him. The book also uncovers the media and others aggressively using Matt's tragic death for political gains, ignoring any facts they didn't want to hear. As stated by one Laramie resident, "It made me really angry that it just blew over as a hate crime, that, you know, because Matthew Shepard was gay. It had nothing to do with Matthew Shepard being gay, nothing. It was about drugs and money" (p 321). Very well-researched.

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