A gay investigative journalist named Stephen Jimenez says he has learned that the man whose death led to hate crime legislation wasn't killed for being gay after all. Instead, Matthew was killed for other reasons and the hate crime charges were wrong to be leveled based upon Jimenez's new book titled The Book of Matt: Hidden Truths About the Murder of Matthew Shepard.
Fox News reported on Monday that not everyone is glad that Jimenez, a Georgetown University graduate, has spent 13 years doing his own investigation into the old murder case, or that the findings appear to support that the crime didn't occur due to the sexual leanings of the deceased. In fact, some are calling the work nothing more than "innuendo, rumor or conspiracy theories," like the Matthew Shepard Foundation, for example, who refused to comment otherwise.
But Jimenez says that he "applied rigorous journalistic standards to the reporting and writing of this book." And he shares new information he learned as a result, such as the anonymous letter that had been previously sealed by the court. And then there are the new witnesses, who are speaking about the case for the first time.
It is understandable that the Shepard Foundation would not want to give any credibility to the research conducted by Jimenez, as it would appear to show that the passage of hate crime legislation following the murder of Shepard was built upon a faulty foundation, since the journalist contends that Shepard wasn't killed because he was hated or gay.
Visiting as many as 20 states and talking to more than 100 people, Stephen Jimenez acknowledged that when he first started out on this quest, he was doing so with the preconceived idea that he would just be documenting and telling the story of a fellow gay man who was murdered as a result of a hate crime. But that is not what his investigation uncovered, and he feels he has to tell the truth about Sheperd's death now, in the form of his book, since it was violence resulting from meth anger, not a sex hate crime, that led to Shepard's murder.
The Shepard Foundation, however, feels they must stick to what their organization believes to be true, as they owe it to the people who have volunteered and invested in their public efforts to gain hate crime legislation. So for them, to be open to new information that might prove otherwise, is, understandably, not something they are likely to do. Right?
Shepard Photo credit: Wikipedia.org