No one can claim to be a Christian and deny this commandment direct from Jesus Christ.
To the memory of
Brutally and Savagely attacked, beaten, robbed
And left to die.
In Laramie Wyoming.
He died October 12, 1998 having never recovered from the coma induced by the beating, crushed skull, burning, inflicted by Aaron Jame McKinney, age 22,[Sentenced to two life sentences, without parole] Russell Arthur Henderson, age 21,[Sentenced to two Life Sentences without parole] and aided by Chastity Vera Pasley, 20,[Sentenced to 2 years] and Kristen Leann Price, 18.[ Sentenced to 18 months]
Remember Matt, and let the authorities in Wyoming know that you support the trial, and conviction of the monsters that committed the act.
Statement by Matt's Parents:
"Matthew is a very special person, and everyone can learn important lessons from his life. All of us who know Matthew see him as he is, a very kind and gentle soul. He is a strong believer in humanity and human rights. He is a trusting person who takes everybody at face value and he does not see the bad side of anyone. "His one intolerance is when people don't accept others as they are. He has always strongly felt that all people are the same; regardless of their sexual preference, race or religion.
"We know he believes that all of us are part of the same family called Humanity, and each and everyone of us should treat all people with respect and dignity, and that each of us has the right to live a full and rewarding life. That is one lesson which we are very certain he would share with you, if he could.
"Matthew also feels strongly about family. He is a loving son, brother and grandson who has made our own lives much richer and fuller than what we would have experienced without him.
"Matthew's life has often been a struggle in one way or another. He was born prematurely, and he struggled to survive as an infant. He is physically short in stature but we believe he is a giant when it comes to respecting the worth of others. We know that he thinks if he can make one person's life better in this world, then he has succeeded. That is a measure of success which Matthew has always pursued.
"Matthew very much enjoys the outdoors and camping, and he has always loved acting in the theatre he started acting in community theatre at the age of 5. Acting and the theatre arts are skills at which Matthew excels.
"He knows he's not the best athlete in the world but he has a very competitive spirit. One time he participated in the Wyoming State Games. He had a respectable finish in a running competition and then he decided to compete in a swimming event. He did this even though he knew he would likely finish last. Which he did. Afterwards, he acknowledged to us that he knew his chances of winning were far from good but he wasn't going to let that stop him from trying. That's Matthew's lesson for all of us. It's a lesson that we hope everyone takes to heart.
"Matthew has traveled all over the world. He speaks three languages: English, German and Italian. He loves Europe, but he also loves Laramie and the University of Wyoming. We feel that, if he was giving this statement himself, he would emphasize he does not want the horrible actions of a few very disturbed individuals to mar the fine reputations of Laramie or the university.
"Finally, we would like to thank the sheriff's department of Albany County, Wyoming, and Poudre Valley Hospital in Fort Collins for their very professional efforts on Matthew's behalf.
McKinney Pled guilty of Felony Murder Nov. 3, 1999 and sentenced to two life sentences, without the possibility of parole. Henderson is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole
The Crime Scene
The vigil at the University campus
Statement by Philip L. Dubois, President, University of Wyoming
University of Wyoming
Benefit Fund for Matthew Shepard
Matt Shepard Resources
But all law-abiding Americans can agree that every human being has inalienable rights - the Declaration of Independence doesn't exclude anyone from "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And although America may have frequently fallen short of protecting all its citizens equally, that is the ideal. No matter how one feels about homosexuality, no one has the right to commit violence - or to urge acts of violence - against gay Americans. One suspect's father apologized for the killing, but said that the media have over-publicized it because Mr. Shepard was gay. Unfortunately, that's pure denial. Whether the story is covered extensively or not at all, this is the heart of the issue: If the suspects hadn't hated gays, Mr. Shepard might still be alive. Dallas Morning News, Oct 13, 1998
One fall winter day
Cause of someone not caring
A friend they did find
My friend will no longer be sharing
His life was snatched
Before his time
And yes this is true
It was a crime
I believe in God
As many of us do
But for someone to do this
I want a revenge too
But I know this now
As I say this so
Matthew would not want
Us to stoop so low
So keep his name
Within your heart
And Matthew will live
And we never be apart
Contributed by Sean Taylor
somebody cry out! somebody get mad! somebody please... speak for him. in the darkness he sees his dream, gone to waste while he shivers he remembers all the years before him his hope and his youth still a part of him he lays there praying to a god that allows this kind of pain "please let me live" but I can only imagine... at twenty-one all I was concerned with concerned fun yet already an adult ready to face the world ready for my dreams to come true ready for Life, ready for Love at twenty-one my head was not bashed in I was not pistol- whipped not tied to a post not left to die somebody speak out! somebody scream in anger! somebody please... break this silence.
Contributed by (Anonymous, by request)
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