November 26th, 2004


20/20 matt shepard

so much of the "investigation" tonight will center around drugs, robbery, and that apparent "lie" that the killers told about the gay panic defense. they thought it would get them off easy, they said. they didnt really kill matt shepard "because he was gay."

but nobody is ever just killed "because they are gay". they are beaten too hard or targeted for murder because of what they trigger in the perpetrator.

tonight's 20/20 makes a very strong case for the apparently closeted McKinney to have been triggered into such a reaction.

and as far as the 'gay panic' "LIE"....

i think one story i read summed it up nicely with these quotes:

"They were willing to use the gay panic defense when it would have helped to lessen their responsibility, but now that it would make them look less prejudiced in the eyes of the world, they're suddenly saying that Matthew's being gay had nothing to do with it. There is little credibility in that."

"A hate crime is a crime that doesn't just affect the victim. It's also the fear that resonates out from there," he said. "It's an act against a whole group of people. They engineered the means for it to be a hate crime. They used homophobia to try and justify their actions."

* * *

ABC never even goes into *why* the killers used the gay panic defense other than asking them why they 'lied' about it. The better--smarter--question is --why did you think gay people were so dispensable that killing one would get you a lesser sentence? and isnt that defense very telling in and of itself--even in *the choice* of the robbery victim... they picked someone they believed would not be missed as much....

...drugs and sex and whatever else may have been present but it's impossible to remove the sexuality piece of the crime...from the apparently closeted killer to the original panic defense to begin with, it influenced them...and if anything, i think 20/20 tonight makes a *stronger* case for that.