Summary: Six years ago, on a cold October night on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyo., 21-year-old gay college student Matthew Shepard was brutally beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead. He was found 18 hours later and rushed to the hospital, where he lingered on the edge of death for nearly five days before succumbing to his injuries. The story garnered national attention when the attack was characterized as a hate crime. But Shepard's killers, in their first interview since their convictions, claim that money and drugs motivated their actions that night, not hatred of gays.
Disclaimer: I'm uploading this copy with fair use and the public interest in mind. The tape does not seem available in most libraries, online, or on the ABC site. This is an important piece of reporting that tells a much truer story of Matthew Shepard's murder than the subsequent popular narrative. Originally broadcast on ABC on November 26, 2004.
3:34 Cal Rerucha on the media descending upon Laramie
9:01 Russ Henderson background
10:18 Aaron McKinney background
13:29 Doc O'Connor interview on limo service
19:35 Aaron describes hitting Russ and the coup de grace
22:32 origins of Aaron's failed "gay panic" defense
26:55 Aaron denies knowing Matthew despite the witnesses
30:27 Matthew's history with Aaron and Doc O'Connor
37:08 Andrew Sullivan on the complexities of the case
37:25 Judy Shepard asserting that hate played a role
39:13 Cal Rerucha on the dangers of meth
Production: presenter/reporter Elizabeth Vargas; editor Joel Herson; producers/reporters Stephen Jimenez, Glenn Silber.
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