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Sunday, October 12, 2008
WND Columnist Repeats Bogus Matthew Shepard Revisionism
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In an Oct. 11 WorldNetDaily column marking the 10th anniversary of the death of Matthew Shepard, John Aman, "a writer for Coral Ridge Ministries and author of the book, 'Ten Truths About Hate Crimes Laws,'" repeats revisionist claims about Shepard's death to argue against hate-crimes laws:

There is just one problem with this story. According to the evidence, it is not true. Money for drugs, not "homophobia," was the motive for Matthew Shepard's murder, as revealed by a 2004 ABC News "20/20" report. Aaron McKinney, sentenced in 1999 to two life sentences for Matthew Shepard's murder, was on a sleepless week-long methamphetamine binge and in search of money for more drugs when he and his accomplice, Russell Henderson, met Shepard at a bar.

Earlier that evening, McKinney said, he had tried and failed to take $10,000 from a drug dealer. He saw in Shepard, a well-dressed but slight young man, an easy robbery victim and readily obliged when Shepard asked for a lift home because he was too drunk. All three were in the front seat of McKinney's truck, with Henderson driving, when Shepard grabbed McKinney's leg. McKinney reacted by hitting Shepard with his gun butt, as he told ABC, "I was getting ready to pull it on him anyway."

McKinney's attorney offered a "gay panic" defense at trial, suggesting that the murderer turned violent when Shepard made a homosexual pass at him. McKinney, who will never be eligible for parole, now says that was not the case. "No, I did not," he replied when asked if he attacked Shepard because he was homosexual. "I would say it wasn't a hate crime," he told ABC. "All I wanted to do was beat him up and rob him."

Henderson also denied the hate-crime charge. "It's not because me and Aaron had anything against gays or anything like that," he said.

As we pointed out back in 2004, when right-wingers begain taking refuge in McKinney's and Henderson's claims on ABC, McKinney and Henderson have a long record of lying, so it's rather impossible to believe anything they have to say now, especially given that the hate-crime aspect was corroborated at their trials.

As a Wyoming police detective who worked on the Shepard case said: "Only three people know what really happened that night. ... One of them is dead and the other two are known liars and convicted felons -- murderers."

Aman has decided to trust liars and killers instead of the record of the case. It's a lot like trusting Ted Bundy as a way to argue against pornography.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:27 AM EDT

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