Stephen Jimenez is an American journalist, TV producer and author of The Book of Matt.
Jimenez, who is gay, came out in the 1970's. He marched in the first National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, which took place in 1979. He is a graduate of Georgetown University. He lives in Brooklyn and Santa Fe, NM. Jimenez is also known as Steve Jimenez.
Awards and Recognition
In 2006, Jimenez won that year's Writers Guild Award for Analysis, Feature or Commentary, together with Richard Gerdau and Glenn Silber, for the ABC report "The Matthew Shepherd Story; Secrets of a Murder (20/20)". In 2005, he shared with Silber and with Elizabeth Vargas a Mongerson Prize for Investigative Reporting on the News Award of Distinction from the Medill School of Journalism for work done for ABC's 20/20. He is an alumnus of the Film Residency at the Ucross Foundation.
Jimenez directed and produced for WTXF-TV the 1995 documentary Yearbook: The Class of '65, documenting Philadelphia's Thomas Edison High School graduating class of 1965, which is believed to have suffered an unusually high number of casualties in the Vietnam war.
Jimenez is a trustee of the Ucross Foundation.
The Book of Matt
In 2013 Jimenez published The Book of Matt, an analysis of the murder of Matthew Shephard. Jimenez first visited Laramie shortly after the murder, planning to write a screenplay and believing that the murder was a straightforward homophobic killing. Jimenez spent 13 years researching the murder, and came to the conclusion that Matthew and one of the men convicted of his murder were involved in the illegal trade in crystal meth. Jimenez has said his motivation for writing the book as a desire to show that "the popular narrative (of homophobic murder) served a purpose, but it’s only one thread of a bigger, richer, more challenging story whose lessons we have barely learned. To avoid topics of addiction, including how crystal meth ravaged the queer community (and Matt’s life), is not helpful to anyone."
- RACHEL MARTIN (6 October 2013). "'Book Of Matt': An Alternative Motive Behind The Infamous Murder". National Public Radio - NPR. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
MARTIN: As a gay man, did you have any concerns that your reporting, that digging into this issue, would somehow diminish the power that the Shepard story had; and what it has meant for gay rights in this country?
- Herzog, Katie. "Matthew Shepard Is the World's Most Famous Gay Hate Crime Victim. But Was He Really Killed for Being Gay?". The Stranger. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
a gay man who came out in the 1970s, marched in the first National Gay March on Washington, and then survived the plague years of the AIDS epidemic
- Joshua Rhett Miller (22 November 2015). "Matthew Shepard not murdered for being gay, new book claims". Fox News. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Jimenez, a veteran journalist, producer and graduate of Georgetown University
- Peyser, Andrea (28 October 2013). "'Uncomfortable truth' in Matthew Shepard's death". New York Post. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Jimenez, 60, a Brooklyn native who splits his time between New York and Santa Fe, NM
- STEVE JIMENEZ (24 November 2018). "Book of Matt Author Responds to Media Matters". Out. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
BY STEVE JIMENEZ
- "Previous Awards Winners: 2012-2006". The Writers Guild Awards. Writers Guild of America West.
(TV) NEWS SCRIPT — ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY THE MATTHEW SHEPARD STORY: SECRETS OF A MURDER (20/20), Written by Richard Gerdau, Stephen Jimenez, Glenn Silber; ABC
- Dave McNary (4 February 2006). "Scribe tribe rides with kudo favorites". Variety. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
(TV) NEWS SCRIPT — ANALYSIS, FEATURE, OR COMMENTARY “The Mattew Shepard Story: Secrets of a Murder” (“20/20”) Written by Richard Gerdau, Stephen Jimenez, Glenn Silber; ABC
- "MEDILL AWARDS HIGHLIGHT COVERAGE OF DARFUR VIOLENCE, WMD STORY". News - Northwestern Now. Northwestern University - Medill School of Journalism. 26 April 2005. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Medill also named three winners of the $1,000 Awards of Distinction -- Jonathan Landay and Tish Wells of Knight Ridder Newspapers; Pete Slover of The Dallas Morning News; and Stephen Jimenez, Glenn Silber and Elizabeth Vargas of ABC’s “20/20.”
- "Residency Program - Film". Ucross Foundation. Ucross Foundation. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Film [...] Steve Jimenez
- David Hiltbrand (11 March 2014). "Unexpected twists in a notorious murder case". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
Jimenez moved to Philadelphia in 1995, where he directed and produced the acclaimed documentary Yearbook: The Class of '65 for Fox29. The film looked at the graduates of Thomas Edison High School in North Philadelphia, who suffered a devastating number of fatalities in the Vietnam War. "That was a career turning point for me," says Jimenez, who now splits his time between Brooklyn and Santa Fe, N.M. "It was an opportunity to tell a powerful story with very little editorial interference and to learn firsthand about the Vietnam War from the families in Philadelphia who lost sons in the war."
- "Survivor Of Child Sexual Abuse On Challenges For Victims To Speak Out". NY1. 15 April 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
the co-founder of advocacy group New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators [...] his more-than-decade-long fight for the Child Victims Act to protect children by forcing predators into the open.
- "About Us". New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators. New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
New Yorkers Against Hidden Predators (NYAHP) is committed to passing the Child Victims Act in New York [...] NYAHP is seeking to reform New York State's antiquated child sexual abuse laws and bring to justice the hidden sexual predators that live in our communities today.
- Elizabeth A. Harris (6 December 2017). "A New Push to Expand New York's Childhood Sexual Assault Law". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Stephen Jimenez, an abuse survivor who has been advocating for the bill for more than 10 years.
- "UCROSS FOUNDATION WELCOMES THREE NEW MEMBERS TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES". Ucross Foundation. Ucross Foundation. 6 August 2018. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
The full Ucross board of trustees also includes [...] Steve Jimenez (Santa Fe, NM)
- Adnum, Mark (6 March 2015). "Matthew Shepard and the gatekeepers of the gay orthodoxy". Spiked. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
His work has been published by the Daily Beast, Medium, the New York Post, Byliner and Out.
- Bindel, Julie (26 October 2014). "The truth behind America's most famous gay-hate murder". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Jimenez had no intention of causing such controversy. He’s an award-winning writer and TV producer, and visited Laramie shortly after the murder to gather material for a screenplay about the case. When he started he was convinced that Matthew died at the hands of homophobes, but he soon discovered that Matthew’s tragedy began long before the night he was killed.
- Martin, Rachel (6 October 2013). "'Book Of Matt': An Alternative Motive Behind The Infamous Murder (interview)". National Public Radio. Retrieved 29 October 2018.
- Andrea Peyser (28 October 2013). "'Uncomfortable truth' in Matthew Shepard's death". New York Post. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
After some 13 years of digging, including interviews with more than 100 sources, including Shepard’s killers, Jimenez makes a radioactive suggestion
- Katie Herzog (26 October 2018). "Matthew Shepard Is the World's Most Famous Gay Hate Crime Victim. But Was He Really Killed for Being Gay?". The Stranger. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
Yes, the popular narrative served a purpose, but it’s only ONE thread of a bigger, richer, more challenging story whose lessons we have barely learned. To avoid topics of addiction, including how crystal meth ravaged the queer community (and Matt’s life), is not helpful to anyone.